Saturday, December 29, 2012

Interview- Author, K. Dawn Byrd

This next week, I'm excited to offer my viewers information on three authors and their latest books. You might discover one or two that are new to you. You might want to add to your list of favorites for the new year.

Today, I welcome K. Dawn Byrd to my writing with hope blog. Dawn is an author of inspirational novels in several genres, including, historical, suspense, romance, and young adult. Some of her favorite things are chocolate, cars, and her pets. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and riding down country roads in the passenger seat of her husband's Corvette Stingray. When asked why she writes, her response is, "For the simple joy of placing words on the page!"
Dawn, what would you like your readers to take away from your latest release, Amazing Love?

Amazing Love is the modern-day version of the Hosea and Gomer story from the Bible. I'd like for readers to take away that God loves us with an unconditional love. My heroine, Dee, does some pretty terrible things and believes that God could never forgive her, but He does.
It was a tough story to write because my heroine suffers severe consequences for her sins, but it was necessary to portray how low we can go and how much God still welcomes us with open arms.

Tell us what it's about?

Gabe Knight, a pastor in a small coastal town, finds his life is turned upside down when Dee Dillow arrives and hires him to remodel an estate she's inherited from her aunt. Dee dashes his plans for wedded bless when on a drunken binge, she divulges that she's the highest paid call girl in Nevada and part-owner of the ritziest brothel in the state.

Gabe falls in love with her, but can't believe he's hearing the voice of God when a still, small voice tells him to marry her. After much questioning, they marry and he is deliriously happy. Until, Dee betrays him.

Gabe soon discovers just how hard it is to have the unconditional love God calls him to have for his wife, the kind of love God has for his children. When faced with losing her, Gabe realizes what true love is, how much it hurts, and just how much God loves and is willing to sacrifice for his children.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that even though the Bible gives us stories about individuals who lived in Bible times, it's vague at times about specifics. This give a fiction writer a lot of leeway to let their imaginations run wild.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Finding time to write. I work a full-time job and also a lot of weekends, which means that I have to be really devoted to my writing time. I set aside at least an hour every night, six days a week if possible. The fact that I start with a well-developed plot makes things move faster.

Which books have helped you most in your writing and why?

It's not really a book, but I'll tell you about it anyway. Margie Lawson's on-line classes made more impact on me and my writing style that anything else I've ever studied. They're very affordable too!

What accomplishment (s) are you most proud of - writing-related or not?

I'm proud of earning a master degree in professional counseling from Liberty University. I believe this degree helps me to understand my characters better and what makes them tick.

What are your favorite writing conferences and why?

The ACFW conference is my favorite because I absolutely love the worship. It blesses my heart. It's also really nice to chat with like-minded people.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A big time plotter. Because I write all of my books in 30-day marathons, I have to start with a thorough plot. That doesn't mean that sometimes the story doesn't take a life of it's own, surprising me when it takes me down a road I hadn't planned to travel.

What would you be doing if not writing?

Probably still riding a Harley. I sold my bike in order to have more time to write. On weekends, I'd rather curl up with my laptop and the story in my head.

What is your personal definition of success?

My personal definition of success has nothing to do with money. To me, a successful person is one who is happy and enjoys life.

Where can your readers find you?

Twitter: kdawnbyrd
Pinterist: kdawnbyrd
Facebook: kdawnbyrd
Twitter: Amazing Love,the story of Hosea & Gomer like never before. #teamjesus #bookbuzzr #amreading #Christfic
Pinterist: kdawnbyrd
Facebook: kdawnbyrd
You Tube:

How much betrayal can a man take from the woman he loves. Amazing Love, modern the Hosea & Gomer story. #jesus

Would God really tell a preacher to marry a prostitute? You decide. Amazing Love, a modern Hosea & Gomer novel.

What happens when God tells a preacher to take back his cheating wife? #bookbuzzr #christfic #teamjesus #Bible

What sin is too big for God to forgive? Prostitution? Cheating? Addiction? Amazing Love, a modern Hosea story.

Purchase links:
Amazing Love released early. It was supposed to release on November 1, but released on October 24. At the time this press kit was constructed, the only purchase link is Amazon (
It will be available in the future at B&N, CBD, and other places in print and ebook formats.

Thank you, Dawn for letting us learn more about you as a person and as an author. Your book sounds very thought-provoking. I'll need to put that on my to-read list now.

Viewers, is this an author you know or is she new to you?

On Wednesday, June 2, Writing with Hope blog will welcome author:
Laurie Alice Eakes

On Saturday, June 5, we'll enjoy a post by Sharon Shrock.
Be sure and check those out this week.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winner of book for Christmas

I pray all my viewers enjoyed their Christmas. Here in Texas we saw a rare white Christmas. It was beautiful but trecherous for driving. One set of my kids took 4 hours to drive a 2 1/2 hour trip. The others who left later drove their normally 3 hour trip in 5. Not fun. God blessed our time together and for once, all 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law and 3 grandchildren were here at one time. I am blessed.
This morning, I drew a name from the comments, and the winner is:

(Drum roll, please)


Congratulations on winning the book of your choice.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Three days until we celebrate Christ's birthday and I wish to give you, my viewers, a Christmas present along with a chance to win another. My first present is the short story below about forgiveness. Many of you may face this challenge during the holidays. I hope it ministers to you.

For everyone who comments, I'll put you into a drawing to win one of my books. I'll draw the name and post the winner on Christmas Day at eight in the evening. When you write your comment, tell me which book you want, and be sure to give your e-mail address. Choose Victoria and the Ghost an inspirational, paranormal YA or you can indicate you want, Diving Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness, my latest release.

Now, here's the story TOGETHER FOR CHRISTMAS

High school let out for Christmas holidays. Tammy burst through her back door. She frowned when she saw her mother busy with Christmas preparations. “I dread having David here. It messes up everything.”

Pain washed over her mother’s face. “You should be ashamed. This is your brother’s first Christmas with us in four years.”

Tammy crossed her arms. “He should stay in prison.”

Mother’s eyes flashed. “Go to your room and reflect on your bitterness.”

Tammy slammed the door to her bedroom. Every time she thought of David, she got mad. Two uniformed cops had taken David away in handcuffs the week before her twelfth birthday.

Her hero, her big brother had stolen, lied, and sold drugs.

The family crumbled after David left. Her mother cried all the time, and her father stayed gone, finally dying in a car wreck. Tammy’s church friends picked up her life pieces. Last year, she gave her heart to Jesus, thanks to Casey, the new youth minister. Surrender came hard, but the love of Christ applied a salve to her wounded heart.

A few months ago, she had led her mother to Christ. Tammy hung her head. She wasn’t being a good example to her mother with her bitter language.

Perching cross-legged in the middle of her double bed, Tammy picked up a box which had remained unopened since David left. Tears of remembrance dripped onto the box as she dug to the bottom.

Her fingers grasped a necklace of pink and white beads. Her brother had earned money washing dishes to purchase it. Once upon a time, she’d worn it with pride. Next, she pulled out an autographed baseball. When she turned ten, David took her to her first major league game. When he caught a foul ball, he presented it to his “birthday beauty.”

Voices filtered from the den. He was here. Tammy opened her door and inched down the hall. The man standing with his back to her bore little resemblance to David. His hair, though still black, was cut close to his head. His skin draped loosely on his big frame.

He must have sensed Tammy’s presence because he turned. A half smile stole across his face. He stepped backward with a slight limp.

She recalled hearing about his accident in the prison’s exercise yard. She cringed at his pain, but stood firm.

“Tammy …..” David dropped his head. “You’re so grown-up.”

Without you. The taste of resentment was like bile after vomiting. “Go away.” She ran for her room’s sanctuary.

Tears scalded her cheeks. Pain saturated like tanning oil did her body in summer. He was no longer her beloved big brother, but a stranger to her. He had betrayed their family. He had betrayed her.

Mom demanded Tammy join them for dinner. The three gathered around the round maple table Mother bought last year at a garage sale. Every crunch, chomp, and chew resounded through the silent kitchen.

Mom offered the mashed potatoes to David. “Bet you haven’t got food like this for a long time.”

“Not hardly.” David scooted back indicating his bony arms and shrunken stomach. “You can tell by the weight I’ve gained.”

Mom sliced off more roast and laid it on her son’s plate. “Well, I intend to fix that.”

After she ate, Tammy escaped to her room. Later, loud words came from the living room between her mother and brother, then Tammy heard her brother leave. Her mother’s sniffing noises drifted to the daughter’s room like when the police had arrested David. He shouldn’t have come back.

Tammy’s clock showed after one in the morning when she heard the front door open. Her brother, she assumed, walked down the hall.

She listened to a whispered conversation only feet away from her door.

Mom must have waited. “You could come home at a decent hour.”

“You’re not my keeper.” David’s voice sounded gruff, but sober.

Mom started crying again. “I wanted to spend time with you. It’s been so long.”

David’s tone softened. “I’m sorry, Mom. There was something I had to do. We’ll visit tomorrow and Christmas Day. I promise.”

“Aren’t you moving home with us?”

Tammy strained to hear her brother’s words.

“I’d better not.”

At ten the next morning, Tammy woke. Sounds came from the back yard. She opened the door and peeked out.

Mom watered the oak tree she’d planted in the fall trying to save it from the winter’s cold ground. “Hi, sleepyhead. You and your brother are sleeping the day away.”

Tammy stepped outside. Her mother’s eyes were red and swollen. “I’m sorry I lashed out at you about David. I’ll try to do better for Christmas.”

“You need to pray, Baby.” Her mother shielded her eyes from the sun. “Don’t you work today?’

“Yeah, but I don’t go in until noon.” Tammy worked part time at a dress store to make money for gas and car insurance.

“What’s everybody doing out here?” David came through the back door rubbing his eyes. “Brr… it’s cold.”

Tammy turned to go inside. “I should get ready for work.” She brushed past her brother without making eye contact.

That evening Tammy dreaded going home, but it was Christmas Eve.

Around the dinner table again, Mom asked Tammy to say grace. The previous night they’d both forgotten.

“Thank, you, Lord, for this food and this day. Amen.” Tammy stopped.

A knot gripped her throat. How could she pray with bitterness in her heart? Casey taught her to repent first. She raised her head and caught David’s eye. Turmoil seized her mind. She couldn’t eat. She couldn’t speak. She ran.

Throwing herself across her bed, Tammy picked up the box. Pictures lay beneath the necklace and baseball. A heavier David with long hair blowing in the wind held Tammy, a nine-year-old skinny blonde, high on his shoulders. They both laughed in the photo as if sharing a joke. Tammy looked at David’s senior picture. She’d thought he was the most handsome guy that year. Where had things gone wrong for him?

Tammy reached to the night stand for her Bible. She read her favorite verses.

After coming to the Lord last year, she often talked to Casey about her family. Her youth minister stressed forgiveness. “Jesus forgave you, and you must forgive others.”

Her mother’s coming to Christ forged a bond between them stronger than blood. When Tammy prayed, God’s love flooded her soul and eased the rough patches. Why couldn’t she pray now for David?

As she thumbed through the pictures, tender feelings resurfaced. Her eyes stung as she choked down the memories.

When David was being led away, Tammy ran to clasp his legs. His last words brought wounds that never healed. “Quit being a cry baby.”

Tammy had made a decision that day. She had no brother. She’d never written. Now God forced her to face David. Despite the changes in her life, she couldn’t correlate that man in her house with the sweet brother of years past.

Tammy picked up the phone and dialed Casey’s number.

His advice didn’t surprise her. “Perhaps you never opened the box because you had not forgiven David. Maybe now you’re ready.”

“But it hurts so much.”

“Because you love him so much.”

Tammy shouted. “I don’t. I hate him.” The tears came anew.

Casey remained silent. Tammy knew the answer. When the police drove away, David never looked out the window for the little sister crying in the grass. He hadn’t cared.

She heard Casey’s voice. “David needs your forgiveness as much as you need to give it.”

“You think so?”

“Yes, and Jesus will help, but you have to ask Him.”

Tammy hung up the phone. She prayed and read more in her Bible preparing her mind for what Jesus wanted her to do.

Christmas Day dawned sunny and crisp. David bent over the dining table reading the paper. As Tammy and Mom prepared a turkey dinner, Tammy handed her mother a gift-wrapped package.

After Mom opened it, she kissed her daughter. “I love the blouse.”

David’s face reddened. “I’m sorry. I didn’t get you anything.”

Mom threw her arms around the big lanky man. “That’s okay. You’re here. That’s the best gift I could have.”

Tammy was the last to be seated for their meal. “May I say grace?”

Her mother’s eyes filled with confusion. “Of course.”

“Thank you for the food, and the beautiful day, and your love.” She clamped her teeth determined to go on with God’s help. “And, Lord, thank you for bringing my brother home.”

When she raised her head, her mother glowed, and David smiled at her. Tammy lost a hundred pound weight from her heart as God’s forgiveness and love restored her family.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

CHRISTMAS KINDNESS book blast by Cheryl Malandrinos

Hey, friends, look at this chance to win books or an Amazon gift certificate. Check out Cheryl's new book and enter to win.

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who has only one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?

Inspiration Behind A Christmas Kindness

How is it that children have the ability to reach out and help others in ways adults don't always think to do?

One year, our oldest daughter--then only eight--went door-to-door in our neighborhood collecting money for Toys for Tots. Coordinated by the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve, this program collects new, unwrapped toys each year and distributes them as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in our communities. This summer, my girls ran a lemonade stand so they could bring money to a local animal shelter.

Why don't I think of doing such things? I guess it's easier to write a check and send it in the mail. But what effort is involved in that? My children make it personal, and much more meaningful, by giving something of themselves.

With A Christmas Kindness, I hope to capture the generosity of a child's heart--the way they look at the world as a place of endless opportunities to make a difference.

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May you be blessed this holiday season.

Cheryl Malandrinos, writing as C. C. Gevry, is a children’s author and editor. She is a member of SCBWI. A Christmas Kindness is her first book with 4RV Publishing. Visit her online at

Pump Up Your Book and C. C. Gevry are teaming up to give you a chance to win some fabulous prizes!






Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, then after they visit your blog, they are directed to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries.

This promotion will run from December 17th - December 21st. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email, and announced on December 24th.

Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win.

Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour.

What a great way to not only win these fabulous prizes, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!

A Christmas Kindness Book Blast Schedule

Monday, December 17th

This from Janet:Good luck to all my viewers. Hope you win. Be sure & like or tweet multiple times, maybe on all the blogs.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

BITTERNESS by guest blogger Fay Lamb

I'm excited to introduce my guest blogger today, Fay Lamb.
I first met Fay on ACFW's Scribes critique loop. She's an endless volunteer for ACFW. Her debut novel, Because of Me and my debut novel Victoria and the Ghost both released for publication last year. We discovered we had critiqued some of each other's chapters. What an exciting time for we two authors.
Then came the ACFW conference in Dallas last September, and I met Fay in person for the first time. I found her a warm, enthusiastic comrade. I bought her book and absolutely loved it. I highly recommend it for a good inspirational romantic suspense with lots of twists and surprises.
I'm a sucker for novels with kids. That's why mine always include teens or younger children.

Fay agreed to guest today with an article on Bitterness and how it can affect our Christmas. Take it away, Fay.

Thanks, Janet. I’ve been asked what motivated me to write my two romantic suspense novels, Because of Me and Stalking Willow. Each book deals with a myriad of issues, but one issue is addressed in each story: bitterness.

Oh, how I have struggled with that emotion throughout the years, only coming to terms with it in the last decade when I realized what Moses was saying when he spoke to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy 29:18 “Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood…”

If we allow it, bitterness can take a powerful hold over us. This emotion can rob us of a right relationship with God and steal our healthy relationships with loved ones.

In Because of Me, Issie Putnam’s bitterness comes in the form of her silence. She keeps most of her pain inside. She allows only certain people to know the depth of her pain and loss. Issie learns that her sister and her brother-in-law have betrayed her, and that betrayal cost her dearly. When Michael Hayes, the man Issie loves returns to her life, she feels those roots taking hold, and she struggles to weed them from her heart. After all, the roots are due to the harm that others caused Michael. Yet, Michael is also asking her to let go of her bitterness toward a man he now calls a friend—a man whose heinous actions separated Issie from Michael for years.

Willow Thomas is the heroine of Stalking Willow. Her bitterness is more pronounced. From the start of her pain, Willow shut all the people of her past out of her life. She fled her hometown, seeking sanctuary in the loneliness of a big city, spurred on by one horrible moment when she learned the falsehood of the stories she’d been told about her birth and her parents. Years later, Willow is forced, by the actions of a stalker, to return to the small town where she was raised. When she arrives, she finds that time has marched on. People have changed—most people, anyway—and somehow she must shed herself of the roots entangling her heart and holding her captive. If she doesn’t, she could lose the most important person in the world to her—her childhood friend and the man she loves, Quentin Daniels.

If we allow it, bitterness will ensnare us, wrapping tentacles around our heart so strongly that we shut people out or our actions will cause them to turn away. In my novels, both Issie and Willow handle their pain in unique ways, but the one course they both take is to shut out God. From the very start, they both turned away from Him, the one they should have run to when life fell apart. Instead, they sought to deal with their situations on their own, in effect, turning to “other gods” just as Moses had warned Israel. The result: burdened, aching hearts.

So, in writing these novels, I hope to share with my readers how the kudzu of the heart works to separate us from God; those roots wind through your soul and cut you off almost as soon as the seed is planted. The truth is, life is never fair. Sometimes, things just don’t go our way. The seed that sprouts the harmful growth is sometimes something small. Other times, the kernel may be large; something horrific has caused you to stumble. You wonder if you can trust God.

In my novels, as Issie and Willow learn to depend on God, one of my prayers is that through their journeys, the readers will look into their own hearts and discover if any roots of bitterness exist, if anything keeps them from enjoying a right relationship with God and others.

As we approach Christmas, I know from experience that bitterness likes the moistened soil found here. Loss is more pronounced during this season, the pains inflicted on us by others shout loudly through our thoughts. We must be careful not to let the roots begin. We need to weed them out with prayer every time we are tempted to allow the seed to sprout: prayer to God and prayer for those who harmed us. As it is has been said, “It’s hard to hate those people you pray for.”

Good words of wisdom, Fay. Thank you.

Here's something about Because of Me.

Not your typical Christian fiction.
Michael’s fiancĂ©e, Issie Putnam, was brutally attacked and Michael was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he’s home to set things right.
Two people stand in his way: Issie’s son, Cole, and a madman.
Can Michael learn to love the child Issie holds so close to her heart and protect him from the man who took everything from Michael so long ago?

Available through all fine book retailers,, Barnes & Noble and Mountainview Publishing (, a division of Treble Heart Books. Autographed copies may also be purchased through Fay’s website at

Fay Lamb offers services as a freelance editor, and is an author of Christian romance and romantic suspense. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Because of Me, her debut romantic suspense novel is available at all book retailers. Her second release, Stalking Willow, is currently available for pre-order through Write Integrity Press and will be released in May 2013.

Fay has served as secretary for American Christian Fiction Writer’s operating board and as a moderator for ACFW’s critique group, Scribes. For her volunteer efforts for ACFW, she received the Service Members Award in 2010.

Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and five grandchildren.

Wow, I can't wait to read that one.
Again, thank you, Fay, for stopping by my Writing with Hope blog today. Merry Christmas and God bless you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING blog hop.

What is a blog hop? My friend, Rhonda Prince, thought it was a new dance, like zumba or cotton-eyed Joe, but no.

Basically, it’s a way that readers can discover new authors, because with bookstores closing and publishers not promoting new authors as much, we need to find a way to introduce readers to authors they may not see in their local bookstore. So I get to give a shout-out to the wonderful author who invited me to this “dance” and then invite (and highlight) three more terrific authors at the end of the blog.

Carol Shenold invited me to join the “hop.” I met her on the Oklahoma Writers Federated Intl writing loop, a new online friend. Her latest release is a paranormal mystery novel, Bloody Murder, a Tali Cates mystery. See the links at the end for three other authors you really MUST check out. Check out Carol Shenold’s blog at


In this particular hop, I and my fellow authors, in their respective blogs, have answered 10 questions where you get to learn about our current work in progress as well as some insights into our process, from characters and inspirations to plotting and cover decisions. I hope you enjoy it!
Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions.

Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book?
Well, remember, it’s a work in progress, so this might change, but the working title is A Ghost for Shelley

2: Where did the idea come for the book?
This is a sequel to my debut novel Victoria and the Ghost. In the first book, Victoria faces the country like an alien world for a city girl. Her biggest nemesis is Shelley Halverson. What if Shelley, the perfect country bumpkin, moved to the city? What if she heard or saw ghosts like she ridiculed about to Victoria? How would Shelley react? I learned her adjustment was even harder, and more deadly.

3: What genre does your book come under?
Inspirational, paranormal young adult

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Wow, that’s a hard one. Maybe Scarlett Johansson for Shelley. I’m not up on my actresses. The hero, maybe Channing Tatum

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Mean girl Shelley gets what she deserves when the country girl moves to the city with no friends, vindictive accusations, her own ghost problems, and a life that could get her killed.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Since this is a work in progress, it’s not sold yet. However, I hope to sell it to the publisher of Victoria and the Ghost. That is 4RV Publishing Co.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’ve been working on it a couple months, but it isn’t finished. I will have my first draft finished and do at least one read-through edit by April, 2013. That’s the goal I set for myself. I wish to pitch it to my publisher @ OWFI conference the first weekend of May.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Well, of course, the story compares with my first young adult which compares with Beverly Stowe McClure’s Rebel in Blue Jeans.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The message of each book I write is there is hope in God.
I want to show teenaged girls that different doesn’t mean unlovely. Girls build up themselves by tearing down others, and they need to know there is forgiveness for that. Only God can heal and make them whole and beautiful.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

With Victoria and the Ghost I told a fictional account but used a real place with an oft-told ghost legend. That was Clara, Texas.

With this one which is also fiction, I use the legend of the ghost of McKinney, Texas courthouse.

Below you will find authors (in no particular order) who will be joining me by blog, next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases! Happy Writing and Reading.

1. Cynthia Toney –her book Bird Face will be out next spring.
Almost-fourteen-year-old Wendy Robichaud doesn't care one bit about being popular like her classmates Tookie and the Sticks. That is, until Brainiac bully John-Monster schemes against her, and someone leaves anonymous sticky-note messages all over school. Even her best friend is hiding something. While juggling divorced parents, caring for abandoned puppies, and trying to make the high school track team, who has time to play detective?
The blog site is
Oh, and the publisher's website for future purchases is

Cash-strapped, single mom, Carly Westbrook has her hands full trying to pay the rent and raise two boys on her own, but she's facing eviction this Christmas--and she doesn't need a grouchy neighbor and his big, goofy dog making creating more stress. But Christmas is a season for surprises, and sometimes it's the unexpected gifts that are the most precious of all.
Find her at

3. Sarah Smith – The Elite of the Weak
Hadassah isn’t like the rest of her friends in high school. Neither is she like the kids in her church’s youth group. At least not when she’s in the African jungle trying to rescue an abducted child, or when she’s crawling through an air duct on a surveilance mission in Queens. She was born for such a time as this. She also wasn’t cut out to do this work alone.
find her at

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions, and be sure to check out the other authors listed above.

Thanks for those who’ve purchased Victoria and the Ghost and Divine Dining. Like me on Facebook and/or send me a tweet. (See right side for links)

Saturday, December 8, 2012


In this day of recession and job loss, we need only search history to relive how God provides for the needs of His children in ways beyond our reasoning.
My husband, Charles, me, and my mother-in-law celebra-ted her eighty-eighth birthday last February. Others in the picture include Charles' cousin, his daughter and granddaughter, and our niece and her mother.

Tomorrow, God will use Granny again to build up the congregation at Crossroads Church in West Tawakoni, Texas. She survived the depression years of the thirties. Her stories encourage us to never succumb to fear, because God always provides. Her pastor thought her testimony would help those in the church who've lost jobs or have wavering businesses.

Charles and I will drive there to attend and support her. I remember some of her stories. Life was hard growing up in the twenties and thirties. Granny's parents and three siblings faced hunger on almost a daily basis.

When Granny was a child, she and her family lived on Love Field, an airport now in the middle of Dallas. Life was hard for everyone. A blessing for one often brought a blessing for many. One neighbor slaughtered a hog that he owned. With no refrigeration, he couldn't eat all the meat before it went bad. He went to Granny's mother and offered her 6 pork chops. Granny dug up the last of her potatoes, and their family had an unexpected feast. (Granny's older brother fed most of his pork chop to the family dog, but that's another amusing side line.)

Another time, the family of six was down to nothing to eat with a weekend stretching ahead of them. The kids discovered an old wreck of car out in the field and played in it like they were driving. One of her brothers found this box in the back, and kid-like, he opened it. It was filled with canned peaches. The kids lugged them to their momma.

"Are they any good?" Granny asked.

"Woo-hoo," her mother yelped. "You bet their good. Wash your hands, and we'll have supper." (That's what we in the south call the evening meal.)

Other times, the church brought food. God always had provision even in the bleakest of times.

Granny is an inspiration, allowing God to use her even now when her health is not great, but her spirit is strong.

Always remember, God, not government or employers, is the source of our provision.

Do any of you have a story about how God provided for you during a rough time?
Share with us if you do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

God Heals Emotions AND the Body

Since my Wednesday posts are about weight loss, fitness, and both emotional and physlical healing, I decided to give you my back cover blurb for Divine Dining

I lost ninety-five pounds and have maintained the loss for seventeen years. One tool in my recovery remains the daily reading of inspirational books. I found my library incomplete when I searched for one that combined a twelve-step program with God as the Higher Power. The biggest secret to my success was giving up my will and letting God do it through me. I wrote a book of daily devotions that came from my journals and memories. This is one woman’s road for success. I pray these thoughts help others reach the same healing God gave to me. It’s all about God.

Each page gives a devotional thought, a Scripture and a prayer to
help us stay connected with the Lord while we lose or maintain weight.

Here are a few of the devotion titles:

1. Repairer of Broken Walls
2. The Protection of the Wren Cactus
3. Call Me a Mule
4. Stuffed but Starved
5. It's Just Food
6. Why Doesn't God Help Every Time?

Since I began my journey to emotional health, I have read something
every day to keep my thoughts on God and away from excess food. This new concept of combining my memories and God's inspiration with the teaching of twelve-step programs led to the formation of Divine dining.

Do you struggle with food as a priority in your life?
Have you tried every diet plan in existence?
That was my story 19 years ago, and I'm here to say, God still heals.

Watch for exerpts next week.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Reaching Non Christians by Laura Popp

Today, Writing with Hope, welcomes Laura Popp. She has served as a missionary to Asia. The picture is Laura dressed in costume.
Doesn't she look like a true maiko from Japan? She agreed to write a post for us that should help both our writing and witnessing for Christ.

Reaching Non-Christians

While working in Asia as a missionary, I strove to understand my “people group,” the Japanese. It wasn’t until I returned to the States that I realized I could do that with my writing. Instead of considering a “target audience,” I started seeing my potential readers as the “people group” God called me to. It’s my prayer that these five steps will help you define your “people group” and write for them.
1.) Know Them
I write young adult fantasy. When I imagine my average reader, I picture a teenage girl with a rebellious streak who believes a post-modernist view of religion (anything goes; it’s all cool). She’s searching for her destiny and purpose. So I hang out at anime and fantasy conventions. I spend time with Twilight and Hunger Games fans and check out their websites. I learn how they think, engage them in discussion, and work that into my books. To write for young adults, I have to love young adults and think like them.
2.) Less is More (Don’t Preach)
Christian authors often think that to relay a Christian message, it must be explained. In my novel Treasure Traitor, a character named Charis tells the protagonist Renagada that “King suffered in our place.” I didn’t spell out that King is Jesus. Nor did I explain the Greek meanings of characters’ names, except when it felt natural and pertained to the story. (Charis means “grace,” but Renagada only learns that through the course of their friendship.) I trusted the reader (and God) to let metaphors speak for themselves. Renagada doesn’t even believe (in the first book) that King’s sacrifice applies to her. For Rena to make that leap so soon would have felt forced.
3.) Story first
There’s nothing more annoying than commercials. When you take time out of your story to throw in something Christian, that’s how non-Christian readers view it. Whatever message you have should flow naturally from well-established characters or plot.
4.) Avoid “Christianese”
Words like “saved,” “born again,” “in the spirit” and “providence” may be steeped with meaning for believers, but to non-Christians you’re speaking another language. Avoid words you wouldn’t use outside a faith context. I even avoid the term “Christian” in Treasure Traitor, since that can have negative connotations for my people group. Know who you’re writing for.
5.) Author interaction
“Connect” is the latest buzz word. We can view social media as a golden opportunity to reach out to readers. Include “extras” on your website or in the book itself like discussion questions and chapter-by-chapter playlists. At the end of Treasure Traitor, I list several songs by Christian artists that my people group can relate to.
I challenge you to view your writing as a mission. Understand your people group and write for them.

Laura’s debut novel Treasure Traitor was published by Written World Communications this November. You can learn more about her books, articles, and travels or order Treasure Traitor on her website,

You can purchase her book at amazon:

Wow, Laura, your article gave me good food for thought. When I taught junior high and middle grades, I alwasy knew. "They don't care how much you know if they know how much you care." I was reminded of that when I read your 1st item. I wish you well on "Treasure Traitor." I'm anxious to read it. Thanks for sharing with me and writing with hope viewers. God bless you.

I apologize to Laura and to my viewers for not getting my post up earlier in the day like normal on Saturday. A writing deadline interfered. Can I hear an "Amen?"