Showing posts with label #fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #fiction. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Have You Found a Kindred Sprit?

My Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness released in December, 2012. It continues to be the best seller of my four books. As of a few days ago, I had still not found another book even similar. Then I discovered a kindred spirit in an author that released her book in 2013, short months after mine, both of us thinking overeaters needed that daily dose of support.

Have you found a kindred spirit in your writing?

When we pitch manuscripts to agents or editors, we often compare our words to other books. To do this, I've sought out like-minded writers. When I pitched Divine Dining, I compared it to “Food for Thought” by Elizabeth L., “Daily Affirmations for the Compulsive Eater by Susan Ward, and “Food for the Hungry Heart” by Cynthia Rowland McClure.

If you've purchased and enjoyed Divine Dining, then I want to recommend another book to you. 

When I read the preface of Diet Nuggets and Wisdom Appetizers: 365 Days of Encouragement for Dieters  by Kathleen Kurlin, it was almost eerie at the similarities in our background.
We were both "professional dieters.
Kurlin started her first diet at age fourteen. My mother put me on one at age fourteen.
We both reached the lifetime status with Weight Watchers early in our walk.
We both spent our lives in yo-yo dieting with every plan known to man (or woman).
We both believe that focusing on the Lord and committing our will to Him is the only lasting answer to the problem of compulsive overeating. As Kurlin put it in one of her nuggets, "Surrender leads to freedom."
We both used much of our own journal to fill our devotion book pages. Our formats are similar, using a Scripture verse and a prayer with each thought.
With full discloser, I've not read all 365 of her days of encouragement since I've only had the book a few days. I spotted it on my Amazon page under, "If you like this book (Divine Dining), you might like this one. Kurlin and I shared copies of our books. 

The pages I've read so far seem to give more practical helps than spiritual applications, while Divine Dining gives more Biblical insights.

For instance, here's a excerpt from today's "diet nugget."

Remember, your stomach is not the boss of you, but if it starts growling at you, maybe you just need to take it out for a drink. A drink of water, that is. Life is short-drink up!

As the deer pants for streams of water,    so my soul pants for you, my God.
                                                                     Psalm 42:1

If you've spent a lifetime struggling with your weight, Diet Nuggets and Wisdom Appetizers would make a helpful addition to your library. That is, after you've purchased and read Divine Dining, of course.

Yes, I have found a kindred spirit on devotions for dieters. I can't wait to read Kurlin's fiction. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

10 Steps to Good Health with Author, Eleanor Gustafson

On this day, I wish to introduce you to author, Eleanor Gustafson. I write a lot of posts about weight loss and nutrition. I thought you might like to hear another person's view on the subject. Eleanor graciously agreed to share her ten steps to good health, plus a little extra. Be sure to scroll on and learn about this author's exciting books. Take it away, Eleanor.

I’m 82. Been at this health things a few years. While I can’t jump hedges or ride horseback anymore, I still walk a pretty good clip and climb stairs two at a time.

What have I learned about health? In the order of importance, here’s my short list:


1. The very best tool for healthy living is self-discipline. Without that, you’re doomed!

2. The next-best tool is vitamin C. I have beaten back multiple health problems from colds to serious bladder infections. The trick is to attack the very first symptoms. If you bruise, you’re low on C.

3. Best advice: knock out sugar. Did you know that cancer feeds almost totally on glucose?

4. A healthy spiritual life helps promote bodily health. The reverse of that: Don’t expect good health if you harbor anger, resentment, and self-indulgence.

5. Get out and move it—walk, swim, play, bike.

6. Eat healthy—organic when possible, lots of veggies, fruit, whole grains, fish, non-red meats, omega-3 oils.

7. Sleep 7 to 8 hours, especially if stress claws at you. That’s my ongoing problem!

8. Find ways to relax, especially if you work compulsively like I do. My thing is Sudoku.

9. Avoid environmental pollutants—weed and insect killers, microwave (radiation), food additives (MSG, nitrites, bad sugars) Lots of nasty stuff out there.

10. Indulge daily with a square or two of 70% or more dark chocolate. Even 90% is edible.


Over all the above, however, is a life commitment to love, worship, and follow our Lord Jesus Christ. With that in place, our bodies can function as the Designer planned, running on the joy of the Lord. Without him, nothing works well in the long run.

If you’d like more detail on any of these, please email me—  I have this goop recipe that’s nasty but real good for you. Requires a bit of courage. Want to try? Just ask.


One final word: Good health is not a given, and bad health happens. If you are dealing with health issues that seem intractable, please don’t let my list discourage you. Do what you can of the above, see a nutritionist (pricy), or find a doctor who’s not just a pill pusher. And of course, health nuts like me are generally happy to give cheap advice.


May God supply the health and strength you need to fulfill the task he has assigned you in particular.

Thank you so much, Eleanor. I love your list. So much of it jives with my 10 best tips for weight loss. See this at:
I do have one question. What is Sudoku?
Okay, now tell us about your books.

My novel Dynamo is a horse-and-God story, with characters you won’t forget. Here are a few review squibs:


·         Dynamo is the most spell-binding book I've had the pleasure to read in years! The writing is superb. The story is captivating. The characters are believable. God’s power is evident.  ~Deb Haggerty


·         Love horses? Love God? Love a good read? Then you will love Dynamo! A wonderful story about love, redemption and how God interposes Himself in our lives in the most unexpected ways! ~Barbara Bertolino


·         Nothing is common about this story. It is so full of love, peace, forgiveness, life and loss. It is really, really a book to read. Eleanor Gustafson is a new author to me, but she is now a new favorite. If her other books are half as good as Dynamo they would be worth reading. I highly recommend Dynamo. ~Trinity Rose


The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David has equally good reviews. Check them out on Amazon.



Ellie Gustafson began thinking up stories at a young age but did not begin writing and publishing until 1978. A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, she has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. Additional experiences include gardening, house construction, tree farming, and parenting—all of which have helped bring color and humor to her fiction. One of her major writing goals has been to make scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the undeniable power of story.

Find Eleanor Gustafson online at:



Twitter: @EgusEllie

Facebook: Ellie Gustafson

Oh, thank you so much, for visiting the Writing with God's Hope blog today. I loved your list of 10 healthy steps, and I absolutely must check out those books. My oldest daughter is a real horse lover and a reader, so I'll be sure to tell her, too.

I voiced my question for Eleanor. Do any of you viewers have questions?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Author Interview with Elaine Stock

Online, I meet a lot of excellent writers. I love that part of writing. Elaine Stock is a new online writing friend. I learned about her newest release and wanted to know more about her and her book. She agreed to visit the Writing with God's hope blog today. I asked her lots of questions. You may have questions of your own. If so, leave a comment, and ask away.


Where did you get the idea for your book?


One facet of human behavior I’ve always had trouble coming to grips with is how people treat each other in the negative sense. I’ve grown up with a lot of prejudice hauled at me for a myriad of reasons and have tried my best to beat the drum of respect across the lines of faiths and races. With that in mind, the basis of Always With You began on a light note during a workshop…


Years ago, as part of a writing workshop in Saratoga, NY (a horse racing Mecca), I was given a horse’s name and assigned to develop a story idea. Racehorses have long names! My horse was named Don’t-Tell-Isabelle, which became my story’s original title because so many people have kept family secrets from Isabelle. Throughout her childhood Isabelle had always heard her dad and grandmother whispering Don’t Tell Isabelle. A BTW: I don’t go to the track or gamble on horses!


But then, what really fueled the passion for this story happened when 9-11 occurred. I felt compelled to write a story of how love and faith could conquer horror, and how we all need to love each other no matter our races or faiths.


Always With You was slowly written and re-written a few years after these two influences. It’s faith premise is: A mighty big God can lead people to overcome evil in this world, and that this same powerful faith can help one to overcome past or current trials. The title change came about when my sharp editor, Deb Haggerty, suggested the change and I agreed, believing the title now not only reflects more about the love between the two central characters, but even better—the love between an Almighty God and His believers.


How did you find your publisher?


Always With You is published by Elk Lake Publishing. It was submitted by my fabulous agent, Linda S. Glaz, of Hartline Literary Agency. I’m blessed that both my agent and publisher believe in this story!


Are you working on any other projects that you can tell us about?


I’m finishing up a story that involves 3 different family members that all need rescuing within 1 week’s time and for different reasons.


What kind of books do you enjoy reading?


I love a story that can sweep me away from every day life—full of tension and life truths revealed by the characters, and plots full of suspense. I tend to read more contemporary these past few years than historicals, and definitely more fiction than non-fiction.


What has your writing journey been like so far?


Long, and I won’t even try to disguise that into something more pretty. Looking back, I think I’d begun in the wrong genre—it took years of trying different formats, learning craft, attending writing conferences, interacting with other authors socially, and learning the art/magic of revision to point me in the direction I’m most comfortable in writing. Honestly though, that’s not to say that when I sit down to write the writing comes at a snap of the fingers because I’m so talented and a genius… Not! It’s a lot of hard work and now that I’m published I’m learning that it does NOT get easier.


Where is your favorite place to vacation?


Some years ago my husband and I went to Nova Scotia and loved it. I’d enjoy going back there, but would also like to visit British Columbia in Canada sooner than later. My husband is dreaming aloud lately about traveling to Ireland, and he’s not a lover of planes. We shall see.

If you could be a song, what would it be?


I’d be a Bach oratorio. LOL—not that anyone would want to hear me sing!


 Find Elaine online at:


website/blog: Everyone's Story




Can she move forward without knowing her past?

Will he enjoy his present if he can’t free himself from what he left behind?

In the heart of the Adirondacks, Isabelle lives in the shadow of a dark family secret whose silent burden strips her family of emotional warmth and faith in God. Tyler belongs to the religious sect called The Faithful, which Isabelle’s father dislikes immensely. Yet, because Tyler belongs to this group, Isabelle sees only a man devoted to his family and faith.

She wants it; she gets it; they marry.

And when the truth comes out, Isabelle faces two choices:


Staying could endanger her child.

Leaving could cost her life.

That sounds fascinating, Elaine. I need to read that one.
Purchase Elaine's book at:

Barnes & Noble

A former Brooklyn gal, Elaine Stock lives in the Northeast with her husband where she enjoys spring, summer, autumn, and puts up with the winter. A member of several writing associations, she also is a contributing author to the international “Happy Sis Magazine.” In addition to Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, she hangs out on her active blog, Everyone’s Story, dedicated to uplifting and encouraging all readers through the power of story and hope.

Thank you, Elaine, for visiting with us today. I enjoyed it. Your books sounds amazing.
Okay, now any questions or comments?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Cover Reveal from YA author, Beverly Stowe McClure

I'm so excited.

I've got a HUGE announcement.

(Hear a drum roll here.) A good friend of mine and an excellent young adult author, Beverly Stowe McClure will soon release Under A Purple Moon. 

What's Under A Purple Moon about?

No Love in the Garden of Eden...


Eden Rose has learned to deal with her mother’s criticism that she can do nothing right. What she can’t deal with are the arguments between her parents. To escape their angry words, she finds refuge in an old abandoned house. She always returns home, hoping her mother will love her one day, even though Eden’s not sure what the word love means.


Three other teens with problems also hang out at the Old House. Meeting Murphy, Toby, and Josh changes Eden’s world, and she begins to have faith in herself. Perhaps she can do something right, after all.


Thanks to the boys, she begins to understand the meaning of love. But will it be enough to save her broken home life?


Release date - March 15, 2016

$17.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 270 pages

Freedom Fox Press - Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

Fiction/Young Adult - General (JUV000000) / Girls & Women (JUV014000)

Print ISBN 9781939844132 eBook ISBN 9781939844149

$4.99 EBook available in all formats

(Another drum roll now.)

Here's my reveal of the cover of Under A Purple Moon:

Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories little voices whisper in her ears. When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers and clouds. She’s sometimes known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why.
Good luck with the new release, Beverly. I love the cover, but then I'm rather partial to purple. Just ask those who tire of seeing yet another purple outfit. I can't wait until March to read the new book.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Jennifer Slattery Talks About Her New Release

Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy.
Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!


I asked Jennifer how she came up with the idea of Intertwined.

I’m often asked how I get ideas for my stories, and I rarely have an answer except to say I’ve always had an overactive imagination. This can be a good thing—when it comes to writing. This can also be a bad thing—when someone I love is late returning home and hundred’s of what-ifs dominate my thoughts.


For this story, the idea largely came from a friend. One day I posed a question on Facebook. I don’t recall what it was. I’m sure it was crazy-important, like where could I find the best salmon in Omaha or what recipes should I include in my week’s meal plan.


A friend from church responded, “Organ donation.”


Um… what?


A moment later, she left another comment, saying she’d completely misread my question. She’d thought I was asking for story ideas. Not sure how she got that out of “Tuesday’s dinner”. Later, we laughed about it and moved on.


Maybe a month later, I woke with a woman’s story unfolding in my mind. I knew her struggle, her inner lie, what her relationship with her parents was like, and how and when her husband had abandoned her.




I also knew she had a crazy-tough job, a job I wasn’t even aware existed prior to meeting my Facebook friend.


Tammy Kuhn, mother of two, is an organ procurement coordinator. Who was abandoned by her husband for another woman.


That kind of history is crazy hard for any woman to weather, but for Tammy, it’s the type of blow that could threaten to destroy everything—her job, her kids… her relationship with her mother…


I knew I had to write her story. I had to show not only her struggle, but also her hope. The deep healing that can come when people learn to lean on one another with authenticity and grace.


But I knew I couldn’t write this story alone. I know almost nothing about the medical field. The insider language alone is enough to make my head spin. So, I called my friend, Ami Koelliker, who was working as an organ procurement coordinator at the time, and said, “Remember when you suggested I write a story on organ donation.”




“Well, I think I’d like to. But… I’m going to need help.”


“Of course.”


“I mean a lot of help.”


Though she readily agreed to help me, I’m certain she had no idea just how much help I’d need. For the next six-plus months, she and I met over coffee, over lunch, at her house, and talked by phone as  taught me the ins-and-outs of organ donation. Then, I’d go home to plot out story threads and would bring my ideas back, to see if they made any kind of sense at all. Some did, some didn’t, but pretty soon, I had enough to write a cohesive novel.


But that didn’t mean Ami’s role was finished. Hardly! Once I’d written my story, I printed it out and brought it to her so she could read it and let me know if any inaccuracies had snuck in.


They had, so I moved to the rewrite phase and then asked her to read the revised novel. She did. Eventually, she and I were happy with our “final” (ha!) product, so, I sent it to my publisher—who wasn’t my publisher yet. And waited. And waited. And waited.


Two (?) years later, I received a contract offer, and then the real work of big-picture edits began.


Poor Ami. As I said, I’m pretty sure she was signing up for that morning years ago. But she stuck with, read, read, and reread the novel, and was incredibly patient with me, my plunders, and umpteen questions.


The woman deserves chocolate. Like a whole truckload full.


What about you? Have you ever felt God nudge you to do something that was completely foreign? Something you felt utterly ill-equipped to do? How’d you respond, and what happened? Share your experience with us in the comments below. 

Oh, yes, the book I'm writing now is an example of that. I've never been on drugs, and I've never been in prison, but my main character has. I also turned to a friend, who is wonderful.

I wish you well with Intertwined. The story line is fascinating. Definitely a must-read.

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for, Internet CafĂ© Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends.


When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at and connect with her on Facebook at

You can buy Intertwined at:



Thank you so much for being my guest today, Jennifer. I am honored.

Any questions for Jennifer?

Any other authors who delved into a topic they knew nothing about? Share your experiences.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Welcome, Author Jennifer Hallmark

Today, I'm excited to introduce the Writing with God's Hope blog viewers to an online friend, Jennifer Hallmark. She writes, as she states it, Alabama Inspired Fiction. I met her on the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) online writing loop.

This month marks the time for a new release for Hallmark. The title is Unlikely Merger.

No longer needed as her father’s nurse, Mercy Lacewell attempts to step into his shoes at his acquisitions firm. That means travel, engaging strangers, and making final decisions—nothing she feels equipped to do. If her best friend has her way, Mercy will simply marry one of the single, available men she meets, but they overwhelm her. So handsome and kind. And so many. Even if she felt obliged, how could she ever choose?

Should she shove all attraction aside and focus on her father’s business, or is God warming her heart with the possibility of forever?

Jennifer, did you ever feel like giving up on your writing?  And how did you press through this?

Does today count? Seriously, the attacks of doubt surface often. I just remind myself how far I’ve come since I took that first writing course. I try to enjoy each step of the journey. No looking back, no regrets. Prayer helps also. Lots of prayer.

I love your answer, and so agree. What gave you the idea for this book?

Unlikely Merger is actually a multi-author collaboration. I was asked by publisher Tracy Ruckman of Write Integrity Press if I’d be interested in the opportunity to participate in this venture. It’s been fun!

How neat! How do you feel this book will encourage readers, or did you have something in mind like this when you wrote it?

Unlikely Merger shows the reader how one woman can overcome timidity and step out of her comfort zone. I feel it gives hope and encouragement through the difficult circumstances Mercy Lacewell deals with.

 How did you find your publisher?

I met Tracy in person at the Atlanta Christian Writers Conference. We had a mutual author friend, Fay Lamb. I received an email earlier this year asking me if I’d be interested in taking part in this compilation.

Oh, I love Fay.  I met her at one of the ACFW conferences.  Now, tell us.  If you were a song, what would it be?

How about some of the beautiful music found on the Lord of the Rings movie soundtrack? Beautiful, haunting melodies intermingled with light, refreshing tunes.

 What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I baby sit my two granddaughters a couple times a week. I enjoy reading, shopping and dining out with my hubby, and hanging out with family and friends. Also various activities at church.
Jennifer Hallmark is a writer by nature, artist at heart, and daughter of God by His grace. She’s published over 200 articles and interviews on the internet, short stories in several magazines and been part of four book compilations, A Dozen Apologies, Sweet Freedom A La Mode, Unlikely Merger, and a non-fiction compilation on infertility and miscarriage, the latter to be released in early fall. website and the group blog she co-founded focus on her books, love of the South, and helping writers. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thank you for visiting this site today, Jennifer. I am honored and blessed that you took the time to stop by. I look forward to getting my copy of Unlikely Merger.