A New Winner…Plus More Chances to Win!

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We have a winner for Edie Melson‘s book, While My Soldier Serves.” It’s Deanna S.

Congratulations Deanna!

And more winners are only a comment away. Anne Garboczi Evans is giving away five copies of her children’s ebook, What’s a Foster Family? All you have to do is leave a comment on her post.

Anita K. Greene is offering a copy of her contemporary romance, Out of the Wilderness, to also be given away. Once again, leave a comment on her post for a chance to win!

Join us in June as we explore one of my favorite topics to write about…Comfort food.

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Who’s Afraid of the Dark?

Tammy

By Tammy Trail

I am a night owl by nature. My mother tells a story of waking up in the middle of the night hearing voices to which she’d go and investigate. There I’d be in front of the television watching some late night movie. I vaguely remember this. But the more I thought about it, the recall of some of those movies came back to me. Some were pretty creepy.

file8081258144701In my teens, I became fascinated with the occult. Not to practice it, I just wanted to know more about it. I read everything I could get my hands on from the little bookmobile that visited our tiny town. Ghosts were a special interest.

Stephen King was my favorite author. I never looked at a St. Bernard the same way again after reading Cujo. King just has a twisted way of looking at life, and putting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Then we got cable television with a premium channel, and the ability to watch all the horror movies our hearts desired.

Do you know how paranoid I became? It was off the chart! I learned that a little bit of the wrong knowledge can get you into trouble. Some things are just better left alone.

My love affair with scary stuff came to a screeching halt when I became a mom.

It was bad enough letting my mind race with all kinds of weird stuff that could happen to me. Imagining the same stuff happening to my kid was another matter. I had a change of heart, and my mind needed an overhaul too.

A little bit of scared can be considered fun. A lot of fear can paralyze you and stunt your growth. Spiritual growth is what I am referring to here. I had a whole list of crazy fears that Jesus and I worked through together. Perfect love casts out fear. I didn’t need to be so unsettled in my heart because I had a supernatural protector. I know that words used to conjure up all sorts of occult-like ideas. Supernatural sounds like a ghost and mystical occurrences. But now when I think of Jesus being supernatural, it’s His ability to manifest life-changing moments that our minds can’t understand.

Do I still like Stephen King? You betcha! I haven’t read any of his current books for many years. I admire his ability to plot twist, and turn everyday life upside down. He gets his characters in so much trouble. And of course, you can’t put the book down until you find out what happens. No one can deny his commercial success.

I no longer desire to live with knowledge that keeps me living in the dark. I want the light. Is there still a world out there that wants to keep me in the dark? Sure, it’s still there. It beckons to me once in a while. But I have choices to make–where I should spend my time and what I choose to clutter my brain pan.

It’s all under the Lord’s protection.

So, looking back over the month, our team made some confessions. Some were serious, some funny. Some gave answers, some challenged you to make changes. I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s topic.

Writing prompt: Twist this one!

Louise spends her day working as a bank teller in a small Mayberry-type town. On the surface, she seems friendly and caring. But after the workday has ended, and darkness falls…

3 Questions Wednesday with Anita K. Greene

Anita GreeneToday we welcome author Anita K. Greene, to 3 Questions Wednesday!

Hello Anita! Glad you stopped by for a visit. First question:

Which author would you never get tired of, and why?

Anita: I’ve been a Louis L’Amour fan for years. He painted incredible pictures with the simplest of words. I read a broad spectrum of genres and styles to keep my own writing fresh, so I don’t have one current author that is an auto-buy. When I need a little humor, I’ll read Deanne Gist. If I feel like a good wallow in prose, I pick up Diane Ackerman. I really am all over the place when it comes to who and what I read.

Me too! I try to read a variety of books. To me, a good novel needs a great villain.

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Anita: Nights at the local drive-in theatre battling bloodthirsty mosquitos, exposed me to some of the worst villains on the big screen—the Disney villains. They are still my favorites with the most horrible being Cruella de Vil. That devil woman did not scheme or try to hid behind niceties. Her world was, literally, black and white—with a splash of blood red. Cruella’s fanatical desire for a puppy fur coat was her downfall. Her obsession led to recklessness and ultimate failure.

I love the Disney villains also. Now tell us a little about yourself.

What project are you currently working on?

Anita: I’m editing the third book in my SeaMount series, BENEATH A STARRY SKY. Ethan Thomas’ story is an emotional journey as he let’s go of grief and learns to love again.

Sounds like a good series. Thanks again, Anita, for joining us! Anita would like to give away one copy of the first book in her series, OUT OF THE WILDERNESS. If you’d like to be entered to win a copy, please leave a comment below…

Out of the Wildernessout of the wilderness

Former Navy SEAL Gray Kerr wants to be a good guy. Hoping to restore his integrity by landing a coveted job with the exclusive SeaMount Agency, he is in the middle of a wilderness survival trial when he discovers a woman and her three little girls lost in the forest. If he abandons his personal mission to help them, he could be disqualified for the job.

Sophie Moore has fought to hold heart and home together after her husband’s untimely death. Losing custody of her daughters to his influential parents would be her undoing. Plans for a weekend away fall apart when she takes a wrong turn and becomes lost in a labyrinth of logging roads. Trusting the scruffy, hard-edged man that has found them is their only chance at survival.

From the wilderness of Maine to the SeaMount Agency headquarters on the coast of Rhode Island, Gray works to expose the criminal plot behind Sophie’s custody battle. He jeopardizes getting the job he wants for having the love of the woman he needs. Being a good guy may cost Gray his one shot at redemption.

An avid reader, Anita K. Greene spent her teen years filling notebooks with ‘fan fiction’ before there was such a term. As an adult, she took an ongoing short story workshop to see if her dream of being a writer was even a remote possibility. After writing dozens of short stories, she took the plunge and wrote her first novel. She is now living her dream in Rhode Island with her husband, her son, and a spoiled Belgian Malinois.

Deep, Dark Water & Monsters Under My Bed

by Betty Owens

I’ve seen a lot of confessions here since May 1st as our team of writers examine their Monster Under the Bed. Now it’s my turn. I gaze into the mirror and wonder, what is my biggest fear?

There are several things running around in my head, but they pale in the face of The One:  Deep, dark water scares me. I don’t like it.

DarkScaryWaterI’m not a great swimmer. In fact, I can barely tread water. So the thought of deep water with no visible bottom–I don’t like it.

I’m not paralyzed by the thought of an ocean voyage (except for the vertigo that plagues me). I’ve cruised the deep green waters of the Puget Sound on a ferry. I’ve been on a clipper-ship sunset cruise in the gulf. But when there’s no floor beneath me, just water, and I can’t see what’s in it or where it ends–panic sets in.

So I’m okay in a pool or in the gulf when I can see right through the crystalline waters. But don’t expect me to jump into the deep blue or anything I can’t see through. No way.

I once swam in a nearby quarry lake with some of my high school friends. We hung out on a tractor-sized inner tube. But there were things nibbling at my toes. My friends told me it was only minnows. But how did they know, really?

GuardCatYes, I was one of those kids who checked beneath the bed every night (every single night) before getting into bed. I also checked the closet. Whenever possible, I had a dog or cat with me for the night. Just to keep me company, of course. All right, not just for company. Guard cat. Guard dog. No monsters under my bed or in my closet while they’re on duty.

Yes, that kid’s movie struck a chord with me–Monsters, Inc.–I loved it. It explained a lot. Of course, by then I was grown and no longer checked beneath the bed. I don’t have to anymore, because we have a bed that sits on a storage unit. There are drawers and compartments under the mattress, no room for anyone (or anything) to hide.

I do still check the closet from time to time. But only because I have no dog or cat to protect me. Just a husband who thinks I’m very silly.

I do hope this month’s topic has helped you face your monster under the bed. Or if you’re a writer, perhaps it served to spur your imagination to round out your characters with real fears and emotions. Yes, these feelings and phobias are real. We fight them and sometimes fend them off.

Imagination is a wonderful thing, except when it runs away with you.

So what’s your monster under the bed?


Writing Prompt!

Here’s your chance to show your stuff as a writer and add a double entry to our quarterly contest for your comment/writing prompt.

After finishing her pre-bed routine (flashlight sweep beneath the bed, closet check, window-lock check), Emily snuggled into her covers. With a soft whistle, she invited Ribbet, her Jack Russell Terrier, to join her there. Lights out. All is quiet, until…

The Monster under the Bed: Irrational Fears

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By Jennifer Hallmark

You’re lying in bed, late at night. Tap. Tap. Tap. The sound emanates from somewhere outside. The doors are locked, deadbolts in place. Still you can’t sleep as you wonder…

Irrational fear. Most of us have dealt with some form of unfounded fear in our lives. As I began my research, I looked up the definition of irrational in the Merriam-Webster dictionary: Not endowed with reason or understanding; lacking usual or normal mental clarity or coherence; not governed by or according to reason.

This definition makes sense. So much of the fear I’ve dealt with in my life has no reason behind it. I remember as a child being afraid to put my feet on the floor at night. Why? The monster under the bed.IMG_20150421_070947019

And being afraid to turn my back to an open doorway while I slept? Again, the monster under the bed.

By the time I’d reached adulthood, the monster had grown. My fears had spread to crossing bridges, driving at night, and staying by myself at night. When my husband began working the night shift, fear would attack me so bad sometimes I would turn on all the lights and read my Bible out loud until I fell asleep.

Do you know what the funny thing about it all was? No one knew. Outwardly, people perceived me as shy and quiet. They didn’t realize a lot of the time, I was terrified.

Of everything.

When I reached my thirties, I started a new church and found a genre of books new to me. Christian non-fiction. There were books out there on fear. I wasn’t alone. I discovered fears that are hidden, ones in the darkness, aren’t easily resolved. As I started confiding in trusted friends what I was dealing with, bringing the fear to light, my life began to turn around. Then I read a small booklet by Joyce Meyer called “Do it Afraid.” The premise was that we all deal with fears, but with the help of God, we can step out and do it afraid. It didn’t matter if I was shaking, trembling, or ready to run. The fears in my mind were irrational.
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