Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2 day FREE book offer by Staci Stallings

Today, I want to introduce Christian author, Staci Stallings, who has an exciting offer for us. First, she promised a good thought for the day. Staci--


I am a word nut. I think I have been forever. I even have a favorite and a least favorite letter of the alphabet. So basically, I’m a little weird. I love words. I love how by combining just 26 letters in a myriad of ways, I can take the pictures in my brain and convey them to yours. To me, that’s cool.
Many times I have found myself fascinated by a word that I have used forever but suddenly understand in a different light. So one day I was thinking of words and deconstructing them to see what they literally meant. I had gone through a couple when out of the blue the Holy Spirit said, “Yeah, it’s like inspiration.” I said, “What?” And He said, “It’s like inspiration. Get it? In-spir-ation. Or literally being in the spirit.”
Wow! I had been giving the Holy Spirit credit for my writing for a lot of years. Do you really think I could come up with the line “A lie doesn’t understand truth anymore than fear understands faith”? No, way. That was totally from the Holy Spirit. However, I had been using the word inspiration like it just meant “uplifting” or “motivational.”
What I had failed to see until that very moment was how being in-spir-ed literally meant one moment when you were in the Spirit – or more literally He was in you.
So the next time you feel inspired by something, give credit where credit is due and realize you have just had a visitor come into your life. Look around; it might be happening more than you think!

I'll never think of that word again without remembering a visit for the Holy Spirit. Thanks, Staci. Now what's that about free books?


Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. Staci has a special surprise for you today and tomorrow only...
August 15 & 16
Staci's "Amazing!" novel:
To Protect & Serve

"I'm taken away to another world, a world I want to be a part of and never leave. Staci's characters are real with real everyday problems. I love that. Oh, and the firemen in this story, they're smokin' hot! Especially the hero!"
--Debra, Amazon Reviewer

When control freak Lisa Matheson falls for handsome but shy firefighter, Jeff Taylor, it's possible that life might just be going her way for a change. The only problem is she can't control Jeff or the death wish he seems to have...

Available as a free download from Amazon!

Thanks for letting us know about this offer, Staci and thanks for visiting my blog today. I'll never forget the word In-Spir-Ation.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Interview with Author, Mary Beth Lee

This weekend we welcome multi-pubished author, Mary Beth Lee. Her Inspirational women's fiction Letting Go released in July. She lives near me and is a good friend and a good writer.

Tell us something about your latest release, Mary Beth
Letting Go is a story of forgiveness, redemption and second chances. The main character Clarissa has a criminal past and so much resentment toward her mother, it weighs her down. She’s worked for several years to become a different kind of person than she’s been raised to be, but that difference doesn’t include God at all. The book is a romance, but it’s also a book about God’s unconditional love and salvation through Christ. It’s book 1 of a planned trilogy. Right now it’s available in paperback or in e-format on kindle

Where did you come up with the idea for this book?

The main characters just showed up in my mind one day. I see so many people hurting today because they can’t forgive those who’ve hurt them in the past, I wanted to write a book that showed the healing power of forgiveness when it follows Christ’s example.

I love that idea. You're right, forgiveness is so needed. What do you hope the reader will come away with from this book?

I hope they’ll fall in love with my characters, and I hope they’ll be left with a feeling of peace. God’s grace truly covers all. As one of the characters in the book says, Thank God He doesn’t base our salvation on our pasts! If my writing touches hearts, I’m happy.

Praise God. What do you like best about writing? Least?

Best: Probably my dialogue. It feels real to me when I read it. Least: description. I’m terrible at it.

Wow, you echo my own strengths and weakness, so I so relate. What do you feel you did right in your writing career?

Making the decision to self-publish while also pursuing a career with a traditional publisher.

Did you have trouble coming up with your own distinctive voice?

No. I’ve written forever. My friends say they can tell my writing even when it’s not signed.

You’re also published in young adult that isn’t inspirational. One of your books Honor and Lies recently hit the top #50 “coming of age” book list on Amazon. Do you plan on continuing to write in both genres?

Yes! I love YA. Honor and Lies was my first published book. It holds a special place in my heart, and I love that so many people are falling in love with Sissy and Savannah. It’s also a story about redemption and family, although it’s not overtly religious.

Tell us something of your writing journey.

I started writing novel length fiction in junior high. At the time I LOVED the Harlequin Teen romances, but there weren’t enough of them for me and my friends. I started writing serial romances in spiral notebooks with Erasermate pens. My friends would pass the spirals around and tell me to write faster. When I started my college studies, I put the fun writing away until I reached the end of my English degree. One of my last English undergrad classes was Drama. The professor, Dr. Thomas Hoffman, made us write a play for an assignment. I did, loved it, moved on to a career teaching. A couple years later Dr. Hoffman told me I needed to be writing and he’d like me to start work on my master’s degree. I’ve been writing fiction ever since. Honor and Lies was my thesis.

What do you do for fun?

I read and write more than anything else, but I love to watch movies and I spend way too much time playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I love social media. You can find me on facebook at and on twitter @marybethleeybnp.

Thank you for this interview, Janet. It's so much fun to share about writing with friends!

Mary Beth also writing YA as Elizabeth Lee

Thank you, Mary Beth. I enjoyed visiting with you. I look forward to reading Letting Go.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Guest Devotion by Amanda Stephan

This morning I welcome a guest on my blog. Amanda Stephan, a multi-published Christian fiction writer. Since she's known also for her devotions, she's agreed to share one with us.

Regrets By Amanda Stephan

The Free defines regret as:
1. To feel sorry, disappointed, or distressed about.
2. To remember with a feeling of loss or sorrow; mourn.
To feel regret.
1. A sense of loss and longing for someone or something gone.
2. A feeling of disappointment or distress about something that one wishes could be different.

Each one of us deals with some sort of regret about something in our lives. Perhaps it's a mistake we made when we were younger. We can wish all day long that particular incident was different; that you'd made a different choice. Yet all the wishing in the world will not take it away. Neither will self-condemnation.

I've got quite a few regrets under my belt. There are times I'm a little embarrassed to tell someone from my past that I'm a Christian romance author. Why? Because of some infraction I've committed that they'll remember. Oh goodness, just ask my mother-in-law. Scary, I'm telling you!

In fact, I've found that the longer I live, the more regrets I rack up. Not because I'm necessarily stupid, but because...well...I'm human. And we all know what that means. Human = mistakes!

But, let's reflect for a moment. Can worrying about something in our past erase it from our history? Absolutely not. You can pretend it never happened, but all the pretending in the world won't take it away. It's still there. The only options I see? Ask for forgiveness and move on. Get up. Admit you're wrong, brush yourself off, and keep going. This may seem a little simple, but really it's not. We humans have a tendency to remember every mistake (whether it's our own or someone else's) and that is what keeps us down. It impairs our ability to move forward.

I've got a news flash for you.
You're going to make mistakes. In fact, some of your friends are going to make mistakes. They're going to let you down. Someone is *going* to hurt your feelings ~ whether intentional or not ~ it's going to happen.

My advice? Consult your Bible. Read it. Pray over the situation. And if you have a problem with regretting things, ask God to help you get over it. Why?

So you can move forward.

Do you see this picture?

I'm sorry - Amanda- tech-challenged woman, here - Amanda had a picture of a rear view mirror with dice hanging on them. I tried to get it on my blog, but errors prevented it. Readers, try to visualize here your car's rear view mirror.

This is a rearview mirror.
And rearview mirrors have one job.

To show what's behind you.

And we need to be looking ahead.
Not the past.

So next time you're tempted to concentrate on the past, remember the rearview mirror. Its only job is to give you a *small* glimpse of what's already behind. Why is this important?

James 4:14
King James Version (KJV)
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Next time you feel someone has done you wrong, don't waste time on holding grudges and heaping up regrets while you stew about it, let it go. Pray about it.

Because we're only here for a little while.

Only one life will soon be past
Only what's done for Christ will last.

Amanda, tell us about your recent release:

The Price of Trust blurb:
Beaten and betrayed by the one who was supposed to love her, Carly Richards is on the run! ~ Christian romantic suspense

Amanda Stephan is a multi-published Christian romance author who loves sharing God's love with others. A homeschooling mother and stay at home wife, she finds pleasure in many things from sewing, to baseball and karate, to writing. She is currently working on a three book Christian romantic suspense series and resides in Columbia, TN, with her real-life hero husband of 18 years and two children.

You can find Amanda at her website -
Her collaborative blog -
Twitter - and
Facebook -

Thank you, Amanda. I, for one will remember that rearview mirror in my car when I start entertaining regrets. Thanks for visiting with us today.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Attitude is Everything - A repost

I get "Today's Thought" through e-mail every day from Hazelden Publications. I buy their books to help me control my compulsive overeating problem. A sweet handicapped friend reminded me this week that for her, everything she does is a challenge. I wanted to repost this "today's thought" because it bears repeating.

Just because you have a . . . handicap . . . doesn't mean that you can't be happy; it just means that it takes a lot of work to figure out how to do that.
--Jodie Foster

One day a blind woman prepared to cross a street. But as she did, her cane made contact with a car parked in the crosswalk. "Who owns this car?" she demanded in a loud voice. "This car is in my way. Can't anyone notice I am blind?" A man tapped her on the arm. "I am blind, too," he told her. "but my dog and I would be happy to take you across the street."

The woman drew her arm back from his touch. "This is not right," she snapped. "Yes it is wrong," agreed the blind man. "But my dog and I would be happy to take you across the street."

Having a visible handicap, or an invisible one such as an addiction, can be stressful. You have to work extra hard doing things most people take for granted. Yet rather than bemoan the difficulties and challenges you face, you can be thankful for those who offer help by providing a guiding arm, holding a door open, or offering a seat in a crowded meeting.

Today I will accept the assistance of those who reach out to me.

I say "thanks" to Hazelden for another reminder. It made me think. I pray it does for my readers, too.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Top 10 Blessings from Letting God Control My Food

10. Pride in success or achievement
9. Look better in my clothes
8. Have more energy
7. Helps with leg or back pain
6. Learn to like new foods that God has provided
5. Lowers blood pressure
4. Can board any ride at fair or Six Flags without worry
3. Able to hike up mountains
2. More self esteem
And my all time favorite blessing
1. Never again be embarrassed because I can’t sit in a tight-fitting restaurant booth.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Setting Priorities Again

At least twice a year, my life bogs down with stuff. To keep my mind and my time focused on the truly important and less on the trivial, I pull out paper and pen and redo a list of priorites.

Some goals remain the same:
The first thing on my list is daily quiet time with God. This doesn't change, yet it becomes increasingly difficult. I prefer time in the morning before the day's cares disturb me, but sometimes the morning holds an early Bible study, or writers meeting or getting off super early for a trip to see family.
Personally, I believe God talks to me while I drive in the car. He must. Sometimes, it's all the time I can find, but I do feel His presence.

My second goal is always my family; my husband first. God sends me little signals like when Charles sits down before my computer and starts talking. Especially, when I'm in the middle of a good part of my story, my first reaction is irritation. "Priority list," I scream to myself. I turn, take a deep breath, and look at my handsome husband and focus on his needs. I'm not saying this is easy. I'm not saying I always do this. I'm just saying (as my granddaughter says). My three daughters and their families and my mother-in-law live within a one day traveling distance so trips factor a lot into my plans.

After those two things, other to-dos fill my mind. Right now, with trying to market my first novel and continue to write another while editing something else, ideas pop across my brain faster than the sportcar that passed us yesterday when Charles was driving seventy on a Dallas freeway.

Things like guest blogs, booksignings, answering e-mails, tweeting & friending everyone I know. Something like critiquing friends' chapters, editing mine and sending them for critique, and stewing over a scene that isn't working. I won't even go into paying bills, reconciling three bank accounts, washing, cleaning, friends, exercise....

Often, things on my list never get done, but the line-up of what comes first keeps me on target. If something remains unfinished, it won't be the most important things.

How do you handle a busy schedule? I'd like to hear from you.