Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SOUP DAY

Here in North Texas, the temperatures have run in the upper nineties through most of September. Saturday evening, God sent six inches of rain on Wichita Falls, ushering in a cold front. Yesterday, our high was 75 degrees. It felt wonderful.

For one who works at keeping my weight under control, the cooler temperature offered two special advantages.

1. It was cool enough to take a nice neighborhood walk in the afternoon.

 All summer, I only had two options for exercise: a)swimming in our backyard pool, or b) doing inside exercises such as DVDs, line dancing class, or riding my stationery bike. Those are good. Those are profitable. Those are beneficial. However, I love a nice walk in the neighborhood, or the walkway of Lucy Park (a big city park), or a hike around a small in-city lake (Sikes Lake between a museum and our university).

Thank you, Lord, for a cooler day. Though it warms back up today, I hear we're in for another cooler day this weekend. I love autumn.

2. Cool weather makes us hungry for a soup day.

Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? Luke 12:24


“….our sufficiency is of God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5

 When God placed man in the garden, He provided good food and great beauty. When we awake to our need to lose weight, God doesn't require we give up all good-tasting food. He supplies our sustenance and makes it desirable. When it's turning cooler, I love soup. Everywhere I go I find pumpkin-flavored ice cream, muffins, waffles, or other options. Fall is the time for pumpkin.
 
How about pumpkin in soup? Here's a pumpkin-flavored soup that is easy to make, low-calorie, and tasty. Pen-L Publishing will be releasing my Divine Dining Weight Controllers Workbook  the end of this year. This recipe is included in the upcoming workbook.
 
 
 
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to
Guide You to Healthier Weight and
Abundant Wellness
 
 
1 lb. chicken breast
Vegetable spray
3 cans fat free chicken broth
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup white or yellow onion
3 small cans of green enchilada sauce
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 can whole kernel corn
 
Spray bottom of Dutch oven or 5 qt. pot with vegetable spray
Chop chicken in small bites.
Add chopped onion.
Brown in the pan until chicken is no longer pink and onion is browned.
 
Add broth and celery and bring to a boil.
Turn down burner and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add enchilada sauce and pumpkin and simmer for 10-15 more minutes.
 
Optional: Serve with 1 T. shredded 2% Mexican cheese and 15 baked tortilla chips.
 
Makes 4 servings of 1 ½ cups each.
 
Watch for the release of the workbook. Plan to start your own weight loss class or work your program at home by yourself. 
 
Let me know if you try this recipe for a SOUP DAY!
 
 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Find Us on a Map To Win

Are you familiar with Wharton Rock, TX? What is that, you ask. It's where Lacey and Katie live.
 
 
Have you read book 1 or book 2 of the Wharton Rock series?  Book 1 is Worth Her Weight. Book 2 is Worth Forgiving. It just released Sept. 1.
 
 
 
 
My hand-drawn map
I'm sure not an artist.



Downtown part of Wharton Rock
 
 
West side of Wharton Rock
 
Check it out:

Where is Buffalo Lake and what is at least one thing that happened there?

What landmark gave the town its name?

Can you find Toby's police station or Larry's church?

For anyone who answers any of these questions in a comment below, they will go into a drawing to win either Worth Her Weight or Worth Forgiving, winner's choice.

Worth Forgiving


Prejudice and mistrust hinders an ex-con, drug addict’s new beginning. Could it be that she's not Worth Forgiving?
 
Worth Her Weight
 
How can a woman who gives to everyone but herself accept God’s love and healing when she believes she’s fat, unworthy, and unfixable? Can she be Worth Her Weight?
 
 

 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This is How We Roll

God made each of us unique. We have different personalities and different likes and dislikes. Isn't the Lord amazing? With some of us, we see God's sense of humor. Others indicate His love of organization and compartmentalization.

When we left on vacation with our travel trailer in July, I couldn't help but think. "This is the way we roll." My husband and I enjoy nothing more than pulling our second home behind us, parking it close to nature, and spending much of time outside considering the wonders of our Creator.

Our truck & trailer looking across Texas plains

This reminds me of one of God's unusual creations; the turtle or tortoise, that carries its house on its back. Whenever, it needs rest or protection, it goes into its house, only to stick out its head again to travel.

A tortoise in Amarillo zoo

As we travel, a picture comes of a cowboy riding across these Texas plains with saddle bags (all their possessions). On a cattle drive, a chuck wagon followed the cowboys and cattle. When they stopped for the night, the cook dished out dinner. That was how they rolled.



What's your favorite way to travel?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Winner of Rose McCauley Book

Thank you for those who read Rose McCauley's post last week about her new novella to be found in Courageous Brides. The author was kind to give away an e-book of this new anthology to one who commented on her post.

And the winner is . . ..

                            ta-da!

Patti Shene

Congratulations, Patti.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Blanche Day Manos, A Cozy Mystery and a Giveaway

I am honored to welcome one of my favorite cozy mystery writers Blanche Day Manos to Writing with God's Hope blog today. I love her Darcy and Flora tales, so I can't wait for this new one to release. Tell us about it, Blanche.



Summer storms can bring unwelcome surprises.

During the rainiest July on record for the people of Ventris County in Oklahoma, in the midst of a violent thunderstorm, a stranger is murdered. When a friend becomes the second person to die under suspicious circumstances, local sleuth Darcy Campbell is drawn into the investigation. Evidence points toward someone she cares about, but has loyalty blinded her to the truth?
Danger is closer to Darcy and her mother, Flora, than either of them suspect. And if the human threat is not enough, Lee Creek and the Ventris River flood, bringing Mother Nature into the fray. 

Has the whole world turned on Darcy and Flora?

 

     The above paragraph pretty much describes the newest cozy mystery by Blanche Day Manos, Grave Heritage.  Fans of Darcy Campbell and Flora Tucker will recognize this book as the fourth in a series, following The Cemetery Club, Grave Shift, and Best Left Buried. It is available for pre-order now from the publisher, http://www.pen-l.com/GraveHeritage.html which will give you a chance to win a signed, free copy, or pre-order a Kindle book from Amazon: Darcy-Flora-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KPDTHX2.

Launch Date is September 19.

     Why, you might ask, would a mild-mannered retired teacher of young children want to write mysteries? Why not children’s stories, or inspirational pieces? Actually, Blanche has written these too, but mysteries is her favorite genre to read; therefore, it is her favorite genre to write.

     In the Darcy and Flora books, Darcy Campbell returns to her hometown of Levi, Oklahoma after the death of her husband Jake. Going to her childhood home to live with her mother Flora Tucker, Darcy expects peace and quiet and healing. Instead of a tranquil life, Darcy encounters greedy men, murderous secrets, and deadly danger. Mysteries swirl just beneath the surface of placid-looking Levi and some people want to keep them hidden. Darcy and Flora find themselves deeply embroiled in tracking down the bad guys.

     In addition to the four Darcy and Flora cozies, Blanche has written the first book of a new series, Moonlight Can Be Murder. The protagonist, Nettie McNeil, faces danger when a deranged killer tries to add her to the list of murder victims. The entire story takes place during the month of December, a snowy month filled with renewed acquaintances, reviving a long-ago murder, and a killer who will stop at nothing to keep a secret.

     You may read more about Blanche on her website: http://www.blanchedaymanos.com/, or from these additional sites:




Check also for books 1, 2, and 3 of the series. I highly recommend them.


Book 1

 
Book 2

 
Book 3

Thank you, Blanche, for sharing with us about book 4. Time to get in my preorder for that one and recommend it to all my viewers. If you like Christian fiction and cozy mysteries, this one is a win-win.
Don't forget: If you preorder before Sept. 19, you enter the drawing to possibly win a free signed copy.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Pick Your Favorite Blog This Month

On August 29, I posted several blogs that pertained to my new release Worth Forgiving.  The link about blog-hopping those posts is http://www.janetkbrown.com/2016/08/last-day-to-enter-giveaway-blog-hopping.html  This post goes through Sept. 7.

Today, I wish to add another group of blogs for the rest of the month of September. Pick your favorite.





9/13/16 Peg Phifer - Why write a series?  https://whispersinpurple.blogspot.com


9/15 Jo Huddleston - a new author interview
http://www.johuddleston.com/

9/16 Rose Allen McCauley - interviews a secondary character in Worth Forgiving
http://rosemccauley.com/

9/20 Toni Shiloh - an insightful author interview
http://tonishiloh.weebly.com/blog/an-interview-with-janet-k-brown


9/23 Elaine Stock - posts my story of God's deliverance from food addiction
http://elainestock.com

9/29 Patti Shene over 50 blog
http://www.pattishene.com/theover50writer This is an inspirational article. You're never too old.


Then on into October,

10/25 Leeann Bates posts my tips on storyboarding

10/27 Donna Schlacter -   promoting my new release, Worth Forgiving


Check them all out. Some have giveaways. All have great information on the topic and about my new release. Which is your favorite?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Rose Allen McCauley's Novella & Giveaway

I wish to welcome Christian author, Rose Allen McCauley today. Do you often read novellas? What is it you like about them? And stories about brides, how fun is that? Don't forget to scroll all the way to the bottom to find out about McCauley's giveaway.


A Real House that Inspired my Novella by Rose Allen McCauley

I am happy to report my 2nd collection for Barbour is now out! The Courageous Brides Collection contains nine novellas about courageous women during the 19th century.

 
My story is entitled “Hidden Dreams” and is about a young woman who becomes involved in the Abolitionist movement in Cynthiana, Kentucky. I named the heroine Elinor after my granddaughter who actually lives in the Pre-Civil War home where the book is set.
When her grandparents remodeled the house, they discovered a hidden room in the cellar, so some have ventured it might have been part of the Underground Railroad. The house is real and still standing, and Harriet Beecher (later Stowe) did go to Washington, KY in 1833, but the rest of the story is fictional. Elinor had to trust God to give her the courage to surrender her safe lifestyle to join the Abolitionist Movement and the Underground Railroad.
 
 
 


Here’s what Amazon says about the whole collection: Ride into adventures alongside nine determined women of yesteryear whose acts of compassion and bravery attract male attention. Marcy helps displaced Indians. Emmy tends wounds at Fort Snelling. Ronnie stows away on a cattle drive. Daisy disguises herself as a Pony Express rider. Elinor becomes an abolitionist. Mae tames wild horses. Hannah gets help for accident victims. Lucy’s curiosity unnerves criminals. Kate nurses soldiers on the battlefield. Will real dangers douse the sparks of love?
 
As you can tell from the blurb above about the collection, you should find several interesting stories to read—enough to read days and days, so hope you will order a copy soon! And one commenter will receive an ebook copy of the book. Drawing in 7 days for the winner (Sept. 18), so be sure you leave your info so I can contact you.
 
 
Rose has been writing for over a decade and has four books published. She is thrilled for this to be her second novella collection with Barbour. A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for over forty years, they enjoy their growing family of three children and their spouses and five lovely, lively grandkids! She loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her through her website www.rosemccauley.com or twitter @RoseAMcCauley and Facebook http://on.fb.me/1LrXNoS
 
Books are available in bookstores and on Amazon in print http://amzn.to/28YAvd4
And in kindle http://amzn.to/292I9ov
 

What a blessing to have you visit the Writing with God's Hope blog today, Rose. This sounds like a great book. Novellas are so easy and fun to read. I wish you congratulations.

 
****Now, viewers, don't miss out on this opportunity to win a free e-book of this new release. Just leave a comment and your email so we might be able to notify you if you win.  On Sept. 18, we'll announce the winner.


So, post a comment below:
 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Cynthia Diamond Stevison Talks About Mental Health

Today I welcome author, Cynthia Diamond Stevison to Writing with God's Hope blog. Stevison and I met at the Oklahoma Writers Federated International conference in May, 2016.  Since the mental component involved with fighting addiction is of interest to me, I loved discussing this topic with Stevison. I asked her to tell us about it and to also tell us about her book. Since I met her, I have read her book. Scroll to the bottom for my review and disclaimer.

Take it away, Cynthia.


There is a mental health crisis in our country today.
Few people realize mental disorders can be treated and managed.
Recovery is possible.
The Tree of Happiness explores the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. This story offers encouragement and empowerment to those willing to accept it and climb into their true potential. This book converts decades of personal and professional healing strategies into a proven process that equips readers with the tools to create their own Tree of Happiness.
Readers will
  • Discover how to unveil the roots that bind them.
  • Find answers to help those that suffer from mental illness.
  • Experience comfort that they are not alone.
  • Discern how mental disorders can be managed. Unpack how recovery is possible.
My book offers personal stories. I hope it inspires others to find their purpose and expand their potential. This book highlights the fundamental strategies for a successful recovery.
The Tree of Happiness unites human spirit and the mental health crisis in our country today. It uncovers the secret that mental disorders can be treated, managed and recovery is possible.
The book examines the stigma and discrimination faced by many Americans today. This story offers hope and healing to those willing to accept it.
We can impact others by sharing our stories. Every day is an opportunity to share. You see everyone has a story. If you just take the time to listen, share, and be supportive.

One of my favorite quotes by Katrina Mayer:
“At the end of the day the only questions I ask myself
Did I love enough?
Did I laugh enough?
Did I make a difference?”

GettyImages-127637696

What is essentially the ‘correct’ mindset to combat the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness?
In my experience over the last 25 years there are several ways to reduce stigma and discrimination. First to combat the fears about mental illness is to accept that mental illness can’t be cured but can be managed with proper treatment. This treatment is up to the individual. This person is not broken and everyone’s success looks different. Many individuals want to end the stigma and open the door to opportunities for discussion.
What is offered in your book “The Tree of Happiness”?

“The Tree of Happiness” unites human spirit and the mental health crisis in our country today. It uncovers the secret that mental disorders can be treated, managed and recovery is possible. There are four phases to the book.
1. The Struggle
2. The Recovery Plan
3. The Healing
4. The Impact
 
In the book I open up my tool kit of and reveal the seven practical steps for educating, empowering and encouraging others with mental illness.
Who do you recommend this book for?
People with mental illness and their friends and family
NAMI Groups
Social Workers
Counselors
Department of Corrections
Suicide prevention centers
Alcohol and drug treatment providers
Grief Counselors, Trainers
Military Personnel PTSD
Law Enforcement
Department of Child and Family Services
Support Groups
Crisis intervention teams
Why mental illness called the invisible disease?
People don’t often look sick. Some individuals hide behind closed doors and use alcohol and drugs to medicate the disorder. Many individuals rather than seek help with their mental disorder, many hide, hoping that it will go away. They are unwilling to admit to their illness because they are frightened of society’s reaction. Those who most need support from others, aren’t able to find the support they need because of society’s view on their illness.
 
What is your advice?
My advice to caregivers is smile, sit and listen. Don’t pity the individual. Realize the person is trying on good days and bad days. I advise those that struggle with mental health to learn to ask for help. Remember, ninety percent of mental disorders are treatable.
How did you recover?
I want everyone to know things did not change overnight. It was a slow and steady pace. I have known my share of hardships and loss but here I stand continuously moving forward. I remember the days that made me strong. I asked for help and I never gave up on myself. I am now in control of my own destiny. I have a wellness plan and that I am faithful to.
Which is your coping strategy?
I have a wellness plan that involves medication, relaxation, yoga, supportive people, meditation, volunteering, journaling and creative writing.
Why read the book now?
• We can raise awareness for others that are still struggling.
• We could inspire hope, and help in others.
• We have to expose this invisible disease to others.
• Tell them we need to treat mental illness like every other chronic illness.
• We must invoke policies changes in our federal and local government.
• If we better understand ourselves and others, conflict will decrease.
• Healthier relationships inspire peace, forgiveness and new beginnings. They build value and worth.
• We must advocate for each other.
 
Message in three words or less.
NEVER GIVE UP.


Order Tree of Happiness on Amazon








Cynthia Stevison is a midwest writer, advocate, blogger, traveler and entreprneur. She is a great storyteller. 
Cynthia earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Cynthia resides in the state of Oklahoma with her family.





Thank you for visiting us, Cynthia.


 My Review and Disclaimer

The Tree of Happiness supplies a wonderful resource for those who have ever dealt with mental illness through family or close friends, or in themselves. This author has experienced both things. Her brother is bi-polar. Written in the form of creative non-fiction, Stevison gives her brother's account as through his eyes. Her own story is a memoir or journal entry of her experiences during her stay in a mental hospital as well as struggling though years of recovery. Often, people shun those ill mentally unlike those with physical ailments. I found Stevison's steps for recovery not unlike much of my findings written in my book, Divine Dining. The Tree of Happiness asks questions, giving space to provide answers, utilizing thought processes that a mentally ill person can work through by themselves or in a support group. The book offers much common sense wisdom. Stevison believes in 12 step programs, as do I. She calls on help from her Higher Power, a mixture of God, as preached in churches, and humanism or spiritualism whereas my Higher Power comes from Jehovah God of the Bible, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, three in one.

****Disclaimer: Though this book can definitely help the mentally ill, and those dealing with one who is mentally ill,  be aware, first of all, that the journals give realistic language including a little cursing or crude words. This doesn't happen a lot, and is mostly at the beginning. Second, Stevison promotes a lifestyle that the Bible preaches against. Because of this, anyone reading this must be strong in their Christian beliefs, so as not to be influenced in the wrong way. As a believer in Christ, I love Cynthia Stevison. I applaud her recovery success. She's doing much good with her life. What a blessing that is. I do not advocate her sin, merely the wisdom she brings to the mental health issue.

Thank you, Cynthia Diamond Stevison for introducing us to this resource. I pray for your continued recovery and writing.



Saturday, September 3, 2016

Do you Have Broken Walls?

  And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy you with all good things, and keep you healthy, too; and you will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
Your sons will rebuild the long-deserted ruins of your cities; you will be known as the ‘People Who Rebuild their Walls and Cities’.

                 Isaiah 58: 11, 12 Life Recovery Bible

 
 
 Though Isaiah prophesied judgment on Judah because of their wickedness, his words brought a message of hope. The people of Judah were living in sin and denial. They were God’s chosen people. Nothing could destroy them, but God sent prophets that would confront them with truth. An enemy would destroy Jerusalem and take the people captive because of their unfaithfulness to the Almighty God. After all the miracles, Judah turned its back on God.

 
Do you have a broken wall? Does your life need to be rebuilt?
 

Are we Christians not like the people of Judah? God extends us grace. Christ died for our salvation. The Bible assures us nothing can separate us from God, so we feel invincible.

 

Then, sneaky sins creep into our life; a bit of resentment, a smattering of anger, a tad of envy, a small disobedience. We think it’s not big enough to worry about. We keep going to church and confessing Christ. All is well until someone hits us between the eyes with the truth. We've walked away from His mercy, refused His sacrifice, and denied His unfailing love. The walls of our life are broken.

 
 
God’s prophecy did come to pass. The Israelites were taken into exile by the Babylonians. Despite their situation, Isaiah preached hope to future generations of exiled Jews.

 

Are you facing truth today?

Are you caught up in addiction?

Has denial hit you with depression?

 

Facing your sin isn’t a bad thing anymore than going to a doctor if you're sick is wrong. Doctor Jesus holds out hope for our situation. He promises to rebuild our broken walls, to repair the breaches of sanity, and to restore our long-deserted intimacy with a holy God.

 



My Wharton Rock series deals with addictions.

Worth Her Weight - food addiction


How can a woman who gives to everyone but herself accept God’s love and healing when she believes she’s fat, unworthy, and unfixable? Can she be Worth Her Weight?

 






Worth Forgiving - drug addiction and ex-con prejudice



Prejudice and mistrust hinders an ex-con, drug addict’s new beginning. Could it be that Katie is not Worth Forgiving?



Do you have any broken walls? Addictions, compulsions, or hang-ups?

Your life can be filled with well-watered gardens.

With God, there is always hope.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Winner!

In July, Pen-L Publishing and myself offered a contest to all who pre-ordered the upcoming Worth Forgiving, Book 2 of the Wharton Rock series. The book released yesterday, Sept 1, so the winner's name was drawn from the pre-orders.

A family celebration
Our grandson's high school graduation in June


Last night, Pen-L notified me of the winner's name.

 
Congratulations!
 
 
Ta-da!
 
 
The winner is
 
 
 
Caryl McAdoo.
 
 
I couldn't be happier. I met this sweet lady at a book festival in Denton, TX. in 2015. She's a treasure. Caryl, I hope you enjoy your copy free from Pen-L and myself. I'll sign it before it's sent. Thank you, and thanks so much to all who pre-ordered.
 
 
And now, the book can be purchased anywhere. At the top of this page, three links are listed for the purchase. If you'd like to know what the book is about, either click on the book cover to the right of this post, or click on the page titled, "My Books" on the left of this post.



Thursday, September 1, 2016

Today is Launch Day for Worth Forgiving

I'm so excited. Today is the day Pen-L Publishing will release Worth Forgiving.

If you pre-ordered in August, the winner for the free, signed copy was drawn this morning.


Worth Forgiving


 

Second in the Wharton Rock Series

 

 

Prejudice and mistrust hinders an ex-con, drug addict’s new beginning.

 

The state of Texas releases from prison Katie Smith. Full of optimism, she sets out to get a job, rent her own place, and make a home for her eight-year-old daughter, but Katie gave away her daughter three years ago. She could use a friend, but her past choices threaten to doom her to continued failure.

 

Larry Pullman graduated from seminary with high marks, but the fact that he has no wife makes finding a preaching job almost impossible. It doesn’t help that running from God as a teenager gave him a past that he can’t undo. All he needs is an ex-con, drug addict messing up his life, but then why did God lead him to her? Or did He?

 

Isn’t it enough that Lacey Chandler gave her sister’s daughter a home? Does that mean she has to clean up Katie’s messes forever?

 

Could it be that Katie is not Worth Forgiving?


Now, it can be purchased at Pen-L Publishing, on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or ordered through any retail book store.

2 Purchase Links

Pen-L:   http://www.pen-l.com/WorthForgiving.html

Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/Worth-Forgiving-Janet-K-Brown-ebook/dp/B01JF4INN2/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471904223&sr=1-4&keywords=worth+Forgiving#nav-subnav