Who won the $25 Amazon gift card???

easter basketWas it you?

I looked at all the comments made on our Monday and Friday posts during the months of March and April. If you responded to a writing prompt, I added your name twice. I tossed all the names in an Easter bucket (you make do with what you have) and stirred them around and around. I plucked a single name from the bucket and it was…

Sparks of Ember!!!

Congratulations! You’ve won the $25 Amazon gift card. It only takes a moment to comment.

To win.

Bummed it wasn’t your name? Comment on a Monday or Friday post during the months of May and June and be entered for a drawing on June 30th. This time it could be you…

We’ve also drawn names to win two different books: Saving Eric by Joan Deneve and Love Comes Calling by Deborah M. Piccurelli.

Drum roll please…drum roll

The winner of Joan’s book is…Kimberly Smith!

The winner of Deborah’s book is…Lucy Afong!

Stay tuned for our May posts on the topic…

The Monster Under the Bed: Childhood Fears.

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3 Questions Wednesday with Christine Lindsay

Christine Lindsay Author picToday we welcome author Christine Lindsay to 3 Questions Wednesday.

Hi Christine! So glad you joined us. First question:

Whose books would you never tire of and why?

Christine: She doesn’t seem to be writing much these days, but I love Linda Nichols books. I’ve read Not A Sparrow Falls, At the Scent of Water, and In Search of Eden. I wish she was still writing because her books are such quality in Christian fiction. Wonderful, gentle conveying of our faith, but riveting stories.

I’m also very fond of Jack Cavanaugh‘s Songs of the Night series. In that series he writes about a dark era in history, Germany during the Nazi reign. I love the way he takes the reader through those dark times, but gives us hope on each page. I try to do the same with my series set during a terrible time in British Colonial India. Danger, trauma, drama, but always leading the characters and the reader to a joyful ending.

I love to read books that keep me on the edge of my seat, dangerous page turners, and books that take me to settings that are different from my day-to-day life. I also love the exotic. Even though I love history, I also like what I call BIG LOVE STORIES, not simple romance, but books that have it all. That’s what I try to write.

Sounds like some wonderful books—speaking of dangerous page turners—where would the suspense be without a bad guy or gal?

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Christine: Gollum in Lord of the Rings. I know this is fantasy literature, but Tolkien was a classic. Gollum was one sad figure even to the point of being disfigured from his sin, but at the end of the book there is redemption for Gollum. He was necessary to the hero in defeating evil. I love complex characters, even to my villains. People usually have reasons for turning out awful. Most of the time a lousy childhood, but seeing the redemption of a character—now that makes a story!

I agree. I love to watch a villain redeem himself like Darth Vader.

Would you share with us something about your latest project?

Christine: Now that my 3-book series Twilight of the British Raj is complete, I am currently writing a non-fiction book about my experience relinquishing my first child to adoption when she was 3 days old in 1979, and to our painful reunion 20 years later in 1999. This book includes stories from other adoption reunions, and will show an amazing aspect to the heavenly Father’s love her us–His El Shaddai love.

I’m also looking forward to my fifth book being released this year—Sofi’s Bridge, a historical romance with Pelican Book Group. Tag-line “Are they running away from danger or driving straight toward it?”

Thank you for having me as a guest, Jennifer.

Thank you for dropping by, Christine. If you’d like a chance to win her entire 3-book series as E-books or (if the winner does not have an e-reader) her latest book in paper Veiled at Midnight, please leave a comment below.

VEILED AT MIDNIGHT—Book 3 of the series Twilight of the British RajVAM Polished cover

The British Empire is coming to an end. As millions flee to the roads, caught up in the turbulent wake is Captain Cam Fraser, his sister Miriam, and the beautiful Indian Dassah.

Cam has never been able to put Dassah from his mind, ever since the days when he played with the orphans at the mission as a boy. But a British officer and the aide to the last viceroy cannot marry a poor Indian woman, can he?

As this becomes clear to Dassah, she has no option but to run. Cam may hold her heart—but she cannot let him break it again.

 Miriam rails against the separation of the land of her birth, but is Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sunderland her soulmate or a distraction from what God has called her to do?

The 1947 Partition of India has separated the country these three love…but can they find their true homes before it separates them forever?

Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great-grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that infamous ship.

Stories of Christine’s ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and newly released Veiled at Midnight.

Londonderry Dreaming is Christine’s first contemporary romance set in N. Ireland, published by Pelican Book Group, and she is looking forward to the release in 2015 of Sofi’s Bridge.

Christine makes her home on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINE:

Please drop by Christine’s website http://www.christinelindsay.com/ or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest , “Like” her Facebook page, and  Goodreads.

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Too Big for My Britches: A Look at What I Wanted to Be

by Allie Owens Crockett

cat-71494_1280It’s been a little while since you’ve heard from me, but I’m here today to continue our discussion on what we wanted to be when we grew up.

There’s nothing like the imagination of a child. I remember being asked in kindergarten and again when I was nearing high school graduation. What did I want to be? Well, something of the sort. And oh how my answer has varied over that stretch of time.

Once upon a time, I thought I might like to be a Veterinarian. When it became clear that I would become responsible for administering shots to sweet little puppies and kittens, my interest wilted. Other than that small diversion, I have always been undeniably drawn to the arts. I used to see commercials for Welch’s grape juice, or Manwich or whatever, and I’d think to myself, “Hey, I could do that!”. So I did. I would rig up my dad’s enormous camcorder and film myself being as fabulous as possible at nine years old.

At some point, between this age and middle school, I’d contrived the idea that I could be not just anything I wanted to be when I grew up, but EVERYTHING. I could sing, dance, write, act, paint, sculpt–yes–I wanted to do it all.

potter-622708_1280Somewhere along the way, I began to believe that the most creative people in the world are less successful than those who work at a bank, or a hospital or for the government. Hence the term, “starving artist.” Fortunately,  I soon realized this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Almost daily, by way of social media, I notice more and more Creatives, writing books, producing films, taking on all sorts of projects, and all manner of eclectic endeavors.

acoustic-guitar-15598_1280The refreshing thing is, not all of them are starving. Some may be. But many are actually  sustaining themselves, doing what they’d do for free, anyway. And I think that’s beautiful.

Even if you’re already doing what you love, we can all commit to doing it with more heart, and inspiring others to do what’s inside their own. Instead of outgrowing our dreams, what do you say we dare to dream up something bigger?

Until next time, #DoWhatYouLove

Picture Prompt!–What’s the story? You can write a sentence or a paragraph, but tell us about this picture:

Sneakers on a Pier3

Complete the prompt for an extra entry in our quarterly drawings! Submit your completed writing prompt via Comments.

Growing up with an Imagination

Tammy

By Tammy Trail

I am sure many of our readers can remember their childhood dreams of being a nurse, a doctor, a fireman, or a mommy. Maybe you wanted to be all of those wonderful people at different points in your life. They are all admirable professions. When I was a kid I never thought I would live past the age of 25. I know that sounds morbid. To my little mind that was a huge number of years.

It wasn’t until I got into high school that my parents discussed anything about the future after graduation. We never discussed goals, or if I wanted to get a job in a specific profession. The plan was to get through high school. That was it.

Neither of my parents graduated from high school. They never went to a trade school or college. Neither pairs of my grandparents went on to further their educations. So what’s a girl to do with no idea where to start? I wanted to be a singer in a band, like the Partridge Family. I constantly watched musicals on television, my favorite is “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I wanted to be Jane Powell and twirl and sing and win the heart of a mountain man.

Later in my junior high years I began to read, read, read, and I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder and live in….you guess it. A little house on the prairie. The other character I read about that intrigued me enough to want to jump into the page was Nancy Drew. Not only did she acquire a reputation as a solver of mysteries, but she had great friends, a steady boyfriend who never made demands on her, a great Dad who approved of everything she did.

In high school, it was all about survival. I don’t know about you, but you couldn’t pay me a million dollars to go and do high school all over again. It was the pits. The only thing that really saved me were, books. I read all the time. I read everything I could get my hands on. I daydreamed my life away in my teens. It was so much more entertaining than reality.

In reality, I had very few friends. In my dreams, I was popular.

In reality, I had a very dysfunctional family. In my dreams, I lived with the Walton’s

In reality, I had very few choices in life. In my dreams, I could become anyone I wanted to.

Now that I am all grown up I have found that life is what you make it. I didn’t know that when I was a kid. I have tried very hard to create a life different from the one I grew up in, I had help. I met a man named Jesus, and he has directed my path ever since. I admit, I have not always listened to him and I made foolish mistakes.

Now, I have a great husband who encourages me in my adult dream to be a writer. I have great kids who I have encouraged from day one to become whoever they want to be. My kids were able to explore after school activities, sports, and the arts. My daughter is currently attending Nursing school and has a high-grade point average. My son is an Eagle Scout and plans to attend college as well.

My new milestone is that of Grandmother. I enjoy my grandsons so much. Now I am able to encourage the next generation not to settle for anything less than what the Lord has in store for them.

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Tell the Writing Prompts Crew what you daydreamed about as a kid.

3 Questions Wednesday with Lori Stanley Roeleveld

LoriStanleyRoeleveld HeadshotToday we welcome author and disturber of Hobbits, Lori Stanley Roeleveld, to 3 Questions Wednesday!

Hello Lori! Glad you dropped by for a visit.

First tell us which author you would never get tired of and why.

Lori: I never tire of C.S.Lewis because of the depth and variety of his writing. As far as modern writers, I adore Stephen Lawhead’s writing and, again, love the variety of his work. I always have several books going at a time and bounce between fiction and non-fiction. I’m also breathlessly awaiting James L. Rubart’s next novel. It’s been too long since the last one!

I totally agree. I have a space on my bookshelf waiting for the next Rubart novel. He writes an awesome villain.

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Lori: My favorite fictional villain is Antonio Salieri from the play and movie Amadeus. Salieri’s creative admiration and envy of Mozart’s talent is a study in one of the pitfalls for every creative person – especially Christians – as Salieri directs his rage toward the God he wishes to please. Whenever I wrestle with jealousy, all I have to do is spend a few moments in the company of this fictionalized character to run to God for the cure.

Interesting thought. I can relate. 🙂

Now what projects are you currently working on?

Lori: I continue to write for blog three times a week. I’m speaking at churches and writing conferences. And I’m editing a novella I’ve written titled, “Red Pen Redemption.” It’s the story of an octogenarian editor who believes all her life story requires to be ready for heaven is a “light edit” and dares God to prove to her otherwise one eventful Christmas Eve.

It’s a great story! Thanks so much for being our guest today, Lori! Leave a comment for a chance to win “Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus.)”


Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus)

600 x 900 CoverKing David thought his life was headed in one straight direction – to the throne – when suddenly, all he was doing was running from King Saul. Saul’s the original crazy man but we all have something that interrupts our regularly scheduled programming and we wonder where God is in the middle of it. I believe God was with David in the caves as surely as He was with him when he wore the crown. My book is about following Jesus when it doesn’t make sense, when it’s challenging, and even when it feels like God has no concern at all for your comfort in this life. I’m praying it gives readers eyes to see Him in their time “in the caves.” Each chapter is adapted from an original blog post and concludes with study questions and a thought to remember.

Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored an unsettling blog since 2009; a pursuit that eventually resulted in her first book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus). You’ll find Lori at her website www.loriroeleveld.com or on her front porch writing. If not, know this married mother of two homeschooled adults is off somewhere slaying dragons.

Why Disturber of Hobbits?

I identify with the hobbits of Lord of the Rings who love comfort, routine, and timely meals. I also, though, identify with Bilbo and Frodo who were drafted into adventure and found it to be addictively exciting. I believe Christians can become too comfortable and we not only need to be disturbed into adventure, we benefit from it.

Most Popular Blog Posts:

Lori’s post titled, “They’ll Be Dead by Morning (What Difference Does It Make)” about the persecution of Christians in North Korea, challenging American Christians to make the most of their freedom was viewed over 1.7 million times. Another post, “What We Owe Beheaded Children,” about how to process the news about ISIS activity in Iraq and Syria was shared over 275,000 times on Facebook. Ann Voskamp cited Lori’s parable “A Parable of Haiti” with inspiring her family to travel to Haiti on a short-term missions trip. Another post, “Refusing the Cure,” was read by a woman in Aurora, Colorado just hours before she sat in the theater with her teenage daughters the night James Eagan Holmes entered shooting at the crowd.