Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Interview of Cherie Burbach

Today, I have the opportunity along with you to get acquainted with author, Cherie Burbach and ask her several questions. So, here we go . . .

1. When was the last time you wanted to give up on writing? What saved you from doing that?


Yesterday? Today? LOL! I think there are moments of frustration at times with the business ends of things because it’s after all, work… but the actual writing process itself is very soothing for me. I feel like it’s a lifeline that keeps me centered and sane.


2. Where did you get the idea of your new book?


Outer space! I was so into watching Cosmos and seeing all God had created, so when I started choosing poems for My Soul Is From a Difference Place, it seemed like a natural fit to incorporate the look and feel of the universe.  


3. I like that.  Now, tell me if you could be a song, what would it be?


Maybe Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” I’d like to be able to do that a bit more. 


4. In what place do you do most of your writing?


 In my home office.


5. What habit do you struggle with making or getting rid of?


I’m always trying to get over the need to please and working too much. I’ve made strides but it’s something I can easily fall back into. 


6. Oh, I'm with you there. What book are you reading right now?


I just finished Vanishing Grace the other night and now I’m digging into the Gospel of John again. I go through cycles with the gospel writers and right now I’m obsessed with the words of John.  


7. Ah, yes, John speaks of God's love. Anything else you want to tell us?


Feel free to connect with me on my Etsy page or website. Thanks so much for having me.

Cherie Burbach is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and relationships. She's written for, NBC/Universal,, Christianity Today, and more. Her latest book is: My Soul Is From a Different Place: Poems. Visit her website for more info,


About My Soul Is From a Different Place: Poems

The poems in My Soul Is From a Different Place reflect the hope and spirit that have been evident in Cherie Burbach’s work for over a decade. Each poem sweetly centering on faith while examining the ups and downs of life.



Sounds beautiful and a good book to start off a new year. I so appreciate your stopping by and talking with me today.

Anyone have another question or comment for Cherie?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Interview with MG Author, Mary Hamilton

My special guest is middle-grade author, Mary Hamilton. When I met Mary at ACFW conference in 2012, I fell in love with her sweet spirit. I read her debut novel, and that made me hungry to read the second in the series. She has the voice and heart of the preteen/early teen. In Speak No Evil her characters are a couple years older.

    If you ever went to summer church camp, you will relive those years in her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series, both the good and the bad.

     If you have a middle-grade student on your Christmas list, this is a must-buy for a stocking stuffer.

     So, now I have some questions for Mary, so that you might meet her, too, and learn about her new book, Speak No Evil.

1. When was the last time you wanted to give up on writing? What saved you from doing that?

I’ve wanted to give up many times in the last few months as I’ve worked on the last book in my Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. It was a difficult story that I struggled with all the way through. The only reason I didn’t quit was because I had a contract to honor.


 2. Ah, yes, those pesky contracts that we both love and hate. Where did you get the idea of your new book?

When Hear No Evil, the first book in the series came out, I received many comments that the bully in the story was very relevant to today’s youth. So I decided to make him the star of the second book. I wanted to figure out what made him tick, why he acted the way he did.


3. Who is your favorite character from your new book?

I’ve developed a great fondness for Taylor, the main character. When I first started writing his story, I didn’t particularly like him. He was, after all, a bully. But the more I wrote and got to know what was in his heart and the hurt he was hiding, the more I came to love him. He reminds me of a couple people I know who are rough around the edges and kind of prickly at times, but inside they have a good heart.


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

I would like to be any one of the great hymns, because they are enduring, meaningful, and their whole purpose is to praise our God.


5. In what place do you do most of your writing?

If I’m working on a first draft, I’m usually closeted in one of our upstairs bedrooms away from telephones and noise and our attention-loving Golden Retriever. If I’m rewriting, I’m either at the kitchen table or out on the patio (with the dog!).


6. What book are you reading right now?

I just finished Red Zone by Kelli Hughett. It’s a romantic suspense played out on the edges of professional football. I highly recommend it.


7. How did you connect with your current publisher?

I met Lynellen Perry of HopeSprings books at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. We sat across the table from each other at breakfast the last morning, when I’d pretty much given up on getting my first book published. Obviously, God had a different idea!

What a wonderful inspiring story for other still unpublished authors who are getting discouraged.


Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, hosting small group Bible studies and pancake suppers. One summer, she even volunteered as a camp counselor for a week—and decided once was enough.

When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever.


Connect with Mary:



Having his younger sister at camp was a pain, but Taylor Dixon never expected the pain to go so deep.

At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving racecars when he’s older. Only his younger sister, Marissa, believes in his dreams, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble. Dad won’t let Taylor get his license unless he stays out of trouble, and predicts he’s heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother.

Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp, expecting softball, swimming and sermons. Then he discovers a classic Mustang in the camp’s machine shed, and the owner’s invitation to help restore it fuels his dream of driving race cars. But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the ensuing war of words and pranks escalates until it threatens to destroy both the car and his dreams for the future.

Will Taylor fulfill Dad’s prediction? Or will the message of the old Mustang’s engine set him free from the prison he built himself?



I love the cover, Mary. Of course, I love Mustangs. The book is good.

Do any of you have questions or comments for Mary?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Word from Pen-L Publishing, Publisher of Divine Dining

Me with Duke & Kimberly at OWFI in May, 2013
For the first time on "Writing with God's Hope" blog, I have the opportunity to welcome my own publisher, Pen-L Publishing Company. Duke and Kimberly Pennell know the inside scoop on Janet K. Brown, Author and on publishing in general.
Now, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
Tying the Knot: “I Do” or “Oh No You Don’t”?


From Pen-L Publishing, Duke and Kimberly Pennell

When we first met Janet, back in July of 2012, we were only five months into our publishing experience. She took a chance with us and we were thrilled. Since then, her book, Divine Dining has inspired many to create a new and happy relationship with food and their bodies. It’s worked out well for both of us. Janet is a great example of a professional writer. She writes most of the time (she and her husband do have the travel bug to feed) and promotes constantly. She loves to talk and teach and learn and she’s kind, committed, and flexible. No wonder we’re soon publishing a second book with her! Worth Her Weight is a love story about overcoming through friendship and faith, due out late this year.

One thing we’ve learned since early 2012 is that no two writers are alike. That means some are a joy to work with, some are fine, and some are, well, “challenging.” That’s not to say that they’re not good people, just that they’re an uncomfortable fit for us. We’ve learned from experience to get to know our authors a bit before offering them a contract, and to be specific about what we expect from them and what they can expect from us. We’ve found that this makes it much more likely that it will be a happy experience for everyone involved.

One day, it occurred to us that working with our authors is a bit like being married. After nearly thirty years of the give and take of a relationship, we’re found both have many opportunities to stand firm, give in, or find compromise, depending on the moment. Surely the best way to ensure a happy pairing of any kind is to:

·         spell out what you expect from the other party

·         know what you are willing to do to achieve your goal

·         communicate your wants and willingness

·         ask for the other party’s expectations

·         look for any mismatches and discuss

·         don’t assume everything will work itself out!


The thrill of knowing that someone has chosen you to partner with – whether your sweetheart or a publisher – has been known to suspend people’s rational thought. But this is the time you need it most. Don’t say “I do” until you know the match is a good fit. If it isn’t, hold out for someone who is.

Remember, there are no stupid questions – don’t assume things will be the way you envision them – ask. And ask yourself important questions too – where do you want to be in your writing career/marriage in five years? Ten? Twenty? Make sure your intended has a similar picture of the future.

So if the day comes when you are considering entering into a contract – marriage or publishing – give some time to examining the expectations of both partners. It will help you avoid much stress, disappointment and frustration, and help create a more peaceful union.

Make sure your “I do!” doesn’t become a “Why didn’t I?”

Wonderful advice for prospective brides and groom, and new writers searching a fit for their book. Thank you for a wonderful, insightful article, Duke & Kim.

I remember that first visit with Duke when I pitched my devotion book, Divine Dining. Like most authors pitching to a publisher at a conference, my knees were knocking, and my heart was galloping, but Duke was kind, professional, and receptive to the idea. I was ecstatic. After a few weeks, I received a contract, and my relationship with Pen-L began.

If you're looking for a chance with a small, traditional press, I recommend Pen-L The company has grown since the early days of 2012. They've hired editors and cover designers. They've moved  more into promotion. But, they maintain the friendly, small-group atmosphere.

Here's a few books Pen-L wishes to highlight today.

Thank you again, Duke and Kimberly.
Do any of you have questions for Kim and Duke? Click on "post a comment" and ask away. You have their ear now, and that doesn't often happen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Ghost at Fort Sill

A dear friend, Sue Watson, bought me a book titled, The Ghost of Fort Sill, by Robert R. Hiatt. This army fort, built in 1870, has been the site of many strange happenings through the years. Fort Sill, just north of Lawton, Oklahoma is only an hour from my home in Wichita Falls, Texas, so I find the stories in this book fascinating.

Hiatt’s book was published in 1989. He lists 20 documented sightings.
Today, I wish to share one of Hiatt’s tales.

This story is titled “The Lady with the Rustling Skirts.” A grey limestone house built in 1870 was, along with the other officer’s quarters, occupied in 1871.

A family that moved into the house in 1987 was warned that a ghost had been sighted there. A few days later, while the lady of the house was unpacking in her bedroom, she found a planter with flowers in it overturned. She picked it up but found it overturned again twice more. She never heard it fall. Finally, she moved it to another room where it never happened again.

The lady put her rocking chair near her bedroom. One night a sound awoke both the lady and her husband. The rocking chair squeaked as it rocked. Both of them saw it rocking. They investigated but never found any wind, and no firing had been going on that might’ve shaken the house. The chair moved forward as it rocked until the footstool in front of it made it stop. This happened three nights in a row until the lady of the house moved the chair to another room. The rocking stopped.

They forgot the incident. Weeks later, a sound alarmed the lady. When she went into the room, a lazy susan was spinning at a fast rate. The lazy susan stopped while she watched.

From time to time the couple heard the rustling of a skirt like a woman walking around the second floor. At the time of the writing of Hiatt’s book two years later, the couple continued to hear the rustling skirt, and the lady of the house would never go upstairs without lighting her way and keeping a close watch.


When you read my upcoming book, A Ghost for Shelley, you will notice I used the planter turning over by itself as one of my strange happenings.
How many of you have a ghost story to share? I would love to hear it.
Happy ghost hunting

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Ghost of Clara

My first Weird Wednesday ghost tale wound its way to me several years ago when I first moved to Wichita Falls, Texas. Clara is certified as a ghost town about 30 miles northeast of town. On a lazy afternoon joy ride, my husband and I discovered Clara Cemetery, a well-cared for oasis in the middle of the sparsely-populated North Texas plains.

We entered the archway to the cemetery and walked the concrete paths to view graves marked mostly by German surnames. Set out in the middle of nowhere was this cemetery, a church, and a rectory. I researched the area. Many former occupants now live in nearby Burkburnett, Texas, and any children are bused into Burkburnett schools. I interviewed several such as Raymond Schroeder and Phoebe Todd. The North Texas historian, Dick Vallon, shared history on the area. The town once sported a post office, a school, a general story, and a bustling population.
What's more interesting than a ghost town in your backyard? I learned the answer; a ghost legend that sprang up from the area.

Clara, Texas was founded by a German, Colonel Hermann Specht. Texans gave him the title but he was never in the military. Colonel Specht was instrumental in moving Germans from several states to North Texas. His dreams were high, and he set about to make them come true. He named the town after his beloved wife, Clara.

Colonel Specht's life faced a tragic end. He traveled to visit his brother in Germany. World War 1 broke out, and he was stranded. He died for away from the land of his dreams.

A woman by the name of Dorothy Crowder probably started the ghost legend in her book "Tales of the Red River Valley." Here's an excerpt:

     The ghost of Colonel Hermann Specht can be seen on foggy nights walking between the headstones at the Clara Cemetery. Specht's back is rigidly straight in a military bearing, but he has a distinctive limp as he drags his left leg behind him. He is over six feet tall. His clothing includes a Prince Albert coat with boutonniere in the left lapel. Specht uses a cane to support himself. His face is gaunt, his eyes sunken. When he turns to see who dares to follow him, he shows no animosity, only sorrow. For Hermann Specht was a man who had a dream which withered and died before it was born.

     ... Colonel Herman Specht's ghost came into being one October morning when a reporter from KAUZ-TV called to ask if there were any good ghost stories in Burkburnett. He was told, "no, not in Burkburnett, but there is in Clara."

And, so the story spread.

When I discovered it, my granddaughter, Victoria, was going through her rebellious teens. As I love to do, I asked myself, what if ...

 What if a young girl sad from lack of friends and feelings of rejection, met up with a sorrowing old ghost. Had Colonel Specht still work to be done in Clara Cemetery?

And, so the story Victoria and the Ghost was born. It's an inspirational, paranormal YA.



At fifteen, Victoria, a city girl, loses her mother’s love and copes with country isolation, no friends and no one who cares, until she meets a ghost.




Well, that's my first ghost legend for Weird Wednesdays, and the one that sparked my interest in ghosts. Watch next Wednesday for the ghost legend that I explore in the sequel soon to be released by 4RV Publishing. It's titled A Ghost for Shelley.

If you have a ghost legend, you'd like to share on Weird Wednesday, let me know. See how to contact me under the "Who is Janet, and Where Can You Contact Her" page.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Christmas Kindness by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Today, I welcome a wonderful online friend, Cheryl C. Malandrinos. She reviews books on her site. Her children's books are precious. Let me recommend to the followers of "Writing with God's Hope" blog her latest release, a beautiful Christmas book, just in time to purchase for that special little someone on your list.

Cheryl, tell us a little about yourself.


Thanks for having me, Janet. I’m a wife and stay-at-home mom who has been an avid reader all her life. I’m the author of Little Shepherd and A Christmas Kindness; the latter written under my pen name, C.C. Gevry. The publisher recently released a digital version of the book.


Tell us about your writing journey.


I had dreamed of becoming a writer since childhood, but I didn’t pursue that dream until I left Corporate America in 2004. Entering the Breaking into Print program offered by Long Ridge Writers Group, I focused on article writing. After graduation in 2005, I connected with Lea Schizas and the Muse Group. She started The Muse Online Writers Conference, which is where I met an Australian writer who gave me my first paid job writing time management and organization articles for writers. This conference is also how I met both of my publishers. Little Shepherd came out in 2010, followed by A Christmas Kindness in 2012. I also have a picture book under contract, currently titled, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving.


I like writing time management tips, too. How neat that you started writing that way. Congratulations on the book you have contracted. Did you ever feel like giving up?  And how did you press through this?


I’m a stubborn person, so giving up isn’t in my nature. Just tell me I can’t do something and I’ll work twice as hard to prove you wrong. Rejections are tough. I think the quickest rejection letter came within a week of my submission. That hurts. Still no contracts from agents, either. In some ways it’s a blessing that I had a tough childhood, because I learned to depend on myself and not let too much get in my way. I also firmly believe that God has a plan for my life and that He has called me to write. If that’s true, as long as I keep my heart open to His direction, things will fall into place.


As for pressing through, I give myself a day to whine after receiving a rejection, but then I forget it and move on. I have numerous ideas in my head and several picture books written, but not as much time as I would like to focus on my career because of responsibilities at home and work. Time is too precious to waste worrying over what happened yesterday.


Oh, Cheryl, I love that thought. Time is too precious. What gave you the idea for A Christmas Kindness?


The idea for A Christmas Kindness came from a desire to encourage my girls to think more of what they can do for others than how many gifts are under the Christmas tree. Jesus called all of us to have a servant’s heart, so I hope this book reminds them of that, as much as our volunteer work does.


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


Not only will A Christmas Kindness encourage kids to consider others, it will show them that you don’t have to spend money to make a huge difference in someone’s life.


Anything more you'd like to add?


When A Christmas Kindness was first published as a softcover, it came out under my pen name, C.C. Gevry. My original thought was that since it wasn’t a religious project and not part of my “Faith-filled journeys for kids” brand, I needed the pen name. Later on, I realized that both books are connected because they are set during Christmas and are message-driven fiction. That’s why the digital version was released this year under my real name, Cheryl C. Malandrinos. Eventually, the printed version will be republished under my actual name, too.


Also, I have to mention the lovely artwork provided by Caroline Mabey. Her illustrations are beautiful. I am so thrilled she was selected to illustrate A Christmas Kindness.


I like the cover. Beautiful. Where can people find you?




I’m on Twitter @ccgevry or @ccmalandrinos. You can also find me on Goodreads at


Where can we purchase your book?


A Christmas Kindness can be purchased from my publisher at It can also be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


The digital version can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and soon on iTunes.


One last question, if you could be a type of music, what would it be?

Gospel music. I hope my writing inspires and empowers young people.
Thank you so much, Cheryl. I enjoyed getting better acquainted. I hope many will take advantage of purchasing this book. A Christmas Kindness will make an ideal children's gift.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Check out old post

This weekend, I'm attending an "Immersion with Margie" Lawson, that is. I hope to learn how to make my writing POP.

This last week I submitted my sequel to Victoria and the Ghost to 4RV Publishing. While I wait with fingers crossed and a prayer in my heart for a contract, my mind still dwells on ghosts. The working title of my new book is A Ghost for Shelley. This story is based on a real life ghost legend in the old Collin County courthouse in McKinney, TX. My first story Victoria and the Ghost told of a real life ghost legend in a Texas ghost town, Clara.

What do you think about ghosts? Read my old post on "Are Ghosts Real?"

Let me know what you think.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


The Kingdom of God is not a democracy.

I am God and there is no other.
I am God, and there is none like Me.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.
My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.
                                                                     Isaiah 46: 9-10

America is a republic. We have no king. We run the country with democratic ruling. We vote on laws, we protest ones we don't like, we elect those that have the say over our lives.

In the Kingdom of God, He is King.  What He says will happen regardless of the way we believe it should be. If you don't think this, then you have yet to be knocked down by trauma. All it takes is one time. Sickness or disability strikes you. A child or grandchild dies. A tornado rips away your house and all your belongings. Then we realize, we only have two choices; to accept God as sovereign and trust Him to mean us good, or to fight and rebel which will end in our ultimate defeat.

Our resolve should be to trust in the one who was before time begun and who has the final say. We can't understand the Mind of God. It's far above our human comprehension. We can't see the future or the repercussions of our decisions, but God can. He leads with the end result in His plan.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
                                                                     Isaiah 55:9

A few years ago,  one of Kathy Macias' online devotions explained a Dennis the Menace cartoon that she had read. I shall never forget the picture it reveals. The little guy is kneeling beside his bed, cowboy hat askew, and plastic gun still holstered around his waist as he folds his hands in supplication, and says, "I'm here to turn myself in."

If you're going through struggles today, remember the posture we must take; head bowed, all fight gone, submitted to our Sovereign God.

(Just a note: 2 of my favorites are highlighted today; one of my favorite books in the Bible, Isaiah, and one of my favorite authors, Kathy Macias.)

The time when I had to bow to God in submission and realize it was all in His hands was when we lost our 8-day-old granddaughter. All I could do was fall on my face before God.

Have any of you felt the arm of God's sovereignty in your life?

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Water is the earth's new gold.

This last week floods swept into San Antonio, Texas with ten inches of rain in a short span of time. Last night, tornadoes and floods once again tormented Oklahoma City and the surrounding area. These storms brought devastation and loss of life, I pray for the situation still in progress.

Yet, a part of me longs for a tiny bit of their weather problems, not the tornadoes, but perhaps the floods. Wichita Falls, Texas (near the Oklahoma border in central Texas) watches storms build to our west and slide along to our north without a drop of rain to spare for our area. Our land remains parched and dry.

City government tells us that unless we get rain, we have enough water to last to the end of 2014. We conserve all we can. Beautiful green grass and the scent of flowers on the breeze must be sacrificed so we can continue to drink water and take baths. Hot winds stir up wildfires because trees and shrubs are brown and brittle.

I'm reminded of the importance of water to our planet, not too much that would overwhelm our homes, our family, but just enough to provide for our needs.

This is the challenge of our century. Surely if we can travel to the moon and conquer visiting with family and friends on the great web from anywhere in the world, we can figure out how to solve our need for water. We discuss how essential our system of interstate highways is. Do we not also need a system of interstate pipes with valves that can be shut or open to divert water from a flooded area to a parched zone? Come on smart people, think.

(The picture above comes from the Cascade River State Park in Minnesota)

As the hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God. My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? Psalm 42: 1-2

I can't think of our need for physical water without remembering our requirement for spiritual water. Does your heart pant for the living water that only God can give as much as it thirsts for rain to soak the dry ground in drought. Drought from God's presence leaves us cranky and ready to explode into fiery anger just as drought from the rain exposes trees to the chance of wildfire.

Are you living with floods or drought? Spirtually, or physically, or both? Both answers come from our Heavenly Father. I cry along with the signs in most yards of our city as we "pray for rain."

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer Eating

SUMMERTIME! What does that mean for you? Does it mean BALLGAMES? MEMORIAL DAY? WEDDINGS? REUNIONS? GARDENING? THE SWIMMING POOL? BBQs? ROAD TRIPS and VACATIONS? Now is the time to PLAN AHEAD for the upcoming summer season.


Savor the summer and make it last with healthy eating and wise choices while we focus on fun, not food.

If you are like me, you have a list of summer chores to do. I am excited to get going on several projects, but when I think of ALL the chores and projects I need to do, I get discouraged and want to procrastinate. There are also fun things I want to do this summer, so I shall look at those as rewards for doing what's necessary. I can work on tasks one day at a time, chunk them down, and reward myself (not with food) when each job gets done. I have some resting to do as well because that's all part of the summer refresh myself mentally and spiritually.  Summer offers many opportunities to move more. Think of your tasks as extra activity.


Where does watching what we eat fit with these busy months called summer?
1.     Set a goal for our weight by October.

2.     Break that into bite-size stops along the way.  (Pun intended).

3.       Reward ourselves with NON-FOOD rewards for our day-by-day accomplishments.

4.      Move more and eat more summer produce.

5.      Have fun.

6.      Enjoy summer.

Don’t use summer as an excuse to overeat. Don’t get the “vacation mentality.” Breaking your routine in work or school schedules doesn’t require a break from relying on God to lead us to healthy lifestyle choices. Wellness living enhances vacations and BBQs.

Summer is NOT the time to let our food-watching slide

Let's have the BEST summer ever...healthier...fitter...and journeying to our goals. Proclaim this the summer of God and me defeating this “vacation mentality” for good.


Pray for help….

Choose life….





Or walk, or jog, or bike, or climb a mountain….




Tuesday, May 21, 2013


And the winner is: Cheryl Rahkonen.

Yesterday, we drew the name from the comments to pick the one who won a copy of Victoria and the Ghost.. I'll be sending her the free book today.

Thank you all who commented for a chance to win. I hope you all won a free book on another site. I appreciate all the involvement in the Children's Book Week giveaway blog hop. We'll do it again. It was fun.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

BEAUTY FOR ASHES by Lillian Duncan

I want to welcome Lillian Duncan to Writing With God's Hope blog today. I pray her sweet article reminds you that we find our sufficiency and our restoration only in God.  Take it away, Lillian.
Beauty for ashes! 

This phrase comes up several times in my soon-to be released book, BETRAYED. In fact, I would even go out on a limb and say it’s one of the themes of the story. It’s not a secret so I can tell you, my main characters—Maria and her daughter—are in the witness protection program because Maria was betrayed by her husband in the most horrible of ways. (you’ll have to read the story to find out the details!)

Betrayals hurt! I know—I’ve lived through a few. They were ugly and painful and nothing I would ever want to live through again. Unfortunately, even years later a word, a picture, a smell, or a song can trigger the memory and for a moment the pain still crashes in on me.

That’s when I remind myself of this verse.  Beauty for ashes.  

In fact, if you choose to let them, betrayals can ruin your life.  If you choose to let them, but you don’t have to make that choice. You can choose to understand when someone betrays you that is about their character, not you and your worthiness as a person.

Or you can get stuck in the past!  Stay angry and bitter and pitiful!  Not a fun place to visit, let alone live there!  Go ahead, feel the pain and the anger and all those other powerful negative emotions, but then let God heal you.

He will!

In my own life, God definitely kept his promise of beauty for ashes. He has given me the desires of my heart. I now have a godly, loving husband and I’m a published writer. God restored my life and gave me beauty for ashes.

 He will do the same for you.

Witness Protection Program claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules so Maria follows the rules--every rule. She's given up everything--her friends, her family, her past, even her name to ensure her daughter has a future.

Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop. A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood. A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster.

When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she's wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one...and that's her first mistake

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit:  She also has a devotional blog at:  as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at

 Thank you, Lillian. That sounds like a wonderful story.
Check out both of Lillian's blogs. I've found them interesting and stimulating.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop

Check below for other links to win free books

Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop

May 13th – 19th

Hosted by 

& I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

I'm very tech-challenged, so if that link to sign into the host blog doesn't come through, here is the URL link. Maybe, it will.

Personally, I believe every week should be children's book week.
                                                               Kathy Vossler, youth department head
                                                                 Wichita Falls, Texas Public Library
I agree, Kathy.

I hope my viewers will allow me to give a few personal insights. My ten-year-old grandson brightened my day yesterday. This was the kid who hated reading. My daughter and son-in-law worked with him hours on end. Besides their own involvement, they brought in a tutor to get him excited over reading.

Yesterday, he detailed the plot of the book he just read, gave me the title, and the author's name. He found the action story fascinating. I soaked in his words with the pride that a grandma can't help but feel.

 Friday, this same boy won a multi-school contest for the poem he wrote. It will soon be published. His dad is a teacher/coach and has published motivational articles in magazines and newsletters. Along with me, that makes three published authors in the family.

This is me shouting. YEAH!

Since July, 2012 when my YA novel, Victoria and the Ghost, debuted, I've visited with several librarians and communicated with many who write and read teen fiction. I love the people that share my enjoyment of books and a special thanks to those who cherish and share children's and YA books for our young people.

People ask "why do you write for teens?"

My best answer is "it's fun." Teens act with abandon and far less intimidation or people-pleasing fear than adults. I love being a teen again and find my way to solutions with insights from only living in the world 15-16 years. Try that on for size.

I assure my grandchildren and often friend's kids that their actions or words might end up in my books. Who else might I study?

This week I celebrate Children's Book Week with this giveaway. I will draw from the names of all who comment to this post. The name I draw will receive a copy of Victoria and the Ghost. Be sure to leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win. Also, check in with the host site for further ways to win during this week. Help us celebrate children's and YA books. Below is a list of 132 more links where you can sign up for free children's and YA books. Check out them all.