3 Questions Wednesday with Ada Brownell

Welcome back to 3 Questions Wednesday, author and newspaper woman, Ada Brownell.

Great deal alert! Ada’s latest novel, Peach Blossom Rancher, is on sale for 99 cents tomorrow, Oct. 19, here: http://ow.ly/4ETL302QdhW

Now that you know how to buy the book, let’s get to the first question:

What inspires you?

Ada:  A person with an active imagination and a workaholic personality finds ideas everywhere. When I see an interesting person, somebody with an unusual quality about them, I get inspired to create a character like him. The experiences my parents, siblings and other relatives used to tell about inspired me and I wrote articles, stories and books. I get inspired in church, and sometimes take notes and end up with an article of my own, or ghostwrite with the speaker. The truths I find in God’s Word give me a reason to write. When I can’t sleep I get ideas for new endeavors, or work out the kinks in something in progress.

I sometimes take notes at church too. 🙂 God is amazing!

Next question is a bit of fun–

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Ada:  I’d rather be the color of cream, but I admit I’m red. It’s in my DNA. I am a redhead, today out of bottle, but I was born with an auburn top, and the blonde in it only shined light on the brilliance. Especially in my youth, I blushed easily. I have a temper that the Lord has worked on for years, but somehow my grit and the fire God put in me is behind my success as a writer and newspaper woman.

Good choice. Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love…

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Ada: I wanted to be a secretary. Yet, I had experience leading youth and teaching Sunday school so I expected I could combine that with being a secretary. As a youth leader at age 15, I started selling ideas for youth services to a youth magazine. I expanded to articles. Then I enrolled in a Christian writers’ course, and the instructor suggested I write for newspapers to get experience. After I married, I became a correspondent in a little town and when we moved I got a job as a staff reporter. I was hired by The Pueblo Chieftain because of the stack of published Christian articles I had. I later earned my bachelor’s degree in mass communications.

 What an interesting road to take on your writing journey. Ada, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our 3 Questions.

Readers, Ada is offering a Kindle copy of Peach Blossom Rancher, to one blessed reader. Just leave a comment in the comments section below to be entered to win.

Click to tweet: Meet author and newspaper woman, Ada Brownell. #WriterWednesday #3QuestionsWednesday

Here’s more information about the book:


Peach Blossom Rancher

Sequel to The Lady Fugitive, second in Peaches and Dreams series

A handsome young man with a ranch in ruin and a brilliant doctor confined to an insane asylum because of one seizure. Yet their lives intersect. How will they achieve their dreams?

John Lincoln Parks yearns for a wife to help make the ranch all it should be after his uncle, a judge, ravaged it before he was murdered. John has his eye on his sister Jenny’s elegant matron of honor, Valerie MacDougal, a young widow. But Valerie, a law school graduate, returns to Boston to live since her little son was born. John and Valerie write, he’s kissed her a few times, but while in Boston Valerie and one of her father’s law partners try to get three patients wrongfully judged as insane out of the Boston asylum.

Will John marry Valerie or Edwina Jorgenson, the feisty rancher-neighbor who has been in love with John since they were in grade school? Edwina’s father is in a wheelchair and she’s taking care of their ranch. John tries to help and protect this neighbor who has a Peeping Tom whose bootprints are like the person’s who dumped a body in John’s barn. But John and Edwina fuss at one another constantly. Will John even marry, or be hanged for the murder?

Here’s a comment from Deirdre Lockhart at Brilliant Cut Editing: “By the way, I want Polly to live near me. Not just for the food, which made my mouth water, but she made my spirit sing too. I feel my absolute faith a little stronger after living with her and Abe this week.”

Buy Peach blossom rancher here: http://ow.ly/4ETL302QdhW


 Ada Brownell’s latest novel is Peach Blossom Rancher and on sale for .99 Oct. 19 here: http://ow.ly/4ETL302QdhW

A handsome young man inherits a ranch in ruin and a brilliant doctor is confined to an insane asylum because of one seizure. Yet their lives intersect.

Angle and light make all the difference in Ada Brownell’s writing. A different angle and light will illuminate important facts for a newspaper story, create interesting characters for a novel, or important truths for a non-fiction inspirational article or book. The author’s perspective, discovered by years of praying for wisdom, hearing the Word and studying Scripture, is best described by her brand, “Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement.”

September Winners

October already? Where did September go? And why am I so late announcing our latest winners? Well, that’s a story in itself.  No time for that but we do have a few winners to discuss.

Are you on our list?

Lindsey P. Brackett’s book, Still Waters, has been won by Jacqueline Kimball. Congrats!

LelandandBecky have been picked to win a copy of Lynn U. Watson’s book, The Essence of Courage. Congratulations!

Brenda S. Anderson’s latest book, Planting Hope, goes to donnabrookmyer !

A big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment.

And keep watching.  We’ll be posting details of our next contest soon…

 

3 Questions Wednesday with Vanessa Fortenberry

Welcome back to 3 Questions Wednesday, Vanessa Fortenberry.

Vanessa’s children’s book titled Mama, I Want to See God was recently honored as a “Winner” in the “Children’s Religious” category of the 2017 Bookvana Awards. Her latest work, Daddy, I Want to Know God depicts the spiritual leadership of fathers as they teach their children about a caring, unfailing, and capable God.

So let’s get to the first question:

What inspires you?

Vanessa:  God’s given life inspires me as a writer. When I hear sermons, speeches, or overhear certain conversations (I’m not eavesdropping :)), I’m inspired to write a piece about the topic I heard. It might appear later as a book, newsletter, or article. Of course, I was inspired to write my first book, Mama, I Want to See God when my grandson said to his mother those exact words. The conversation between mother and son later motivated me to write a series including dads (Daddy, I Want to Know God), and grandparents (WIP). I was also inspired to write a story (WIP) about a turkey who resided in my neighborhood a couple of years ago. This turkey hung around our yards and front porches for about 8 months. My grandchildren and I named him, Bob. Although my daughter speculated, that Bob was probably Barbara! Overall, it’s the experiences and episodes of life that inspires me.

I love that your grandchildren inspire you. (And turkeys)

Next question is a bit of fun–

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Vanessa: As a new addition to the crayon box, my color would be “lavenpeach.” This hue would be a blend of lavender and peach, which are my two favorite colors. Also, peach is my favorite fruit and one of my favorite scents. While I’m not very fond of the aroma of lavender, the herb has calming and soothing effects. The color “lavenpeach” will not only be a radiate color that stands out among the rest, it will also emit an ambient fragrance.

Scented crayons are the best. Now, last question–

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Vanessa:  As a child, I actually aspired to have several careers, all of which have come to fruition. I loved music and singing as a child. I remember as a teenager, pretending to hold a microphone and I introduced “myself” as Lea McGee. Lea is my middle name and McGee was the last name of my teenaged boyfriend. I also liked the idea of becoming a teacher. As a young child, I had a desk that was located under the stairs of the apartment where we lived. I would make up work and test for my made up students and as the teacher, I would grade the students work. Lastly, I enjoyed writing poems, plays, and stories as a child, so I aspired in my early twenties to write a novel. I soon put that idea aside when life caught up with me as a young wife and mother.

As a college student, I majored in music education. I’ve traveled abroad with a couple of choral groups. Now I sing locally with my church choir and a community chorus. However, I never received the chance to use my stage name, Lea McGee, I just use my real name and love singing for the Lord. In addition, in 1994, I commenced to teach music and chorus, in the school system where I live. I also taught private voice lessons. While I never aspired to be a librarian, I loved reading great books. Presently, as a teacher-librarian and a writer, I have the better of two worlds as I share my love of books and my written messages to others.

 It’s wonderful that you’ve seen your dreams come to fruition. You’re an inspiration to many…

Readers, Vanessa is offering a paperback copy of her book, Daddy, I Want to Know God, to one blessed reader. Just leave a comment in the comments section below to be entered to win.

Click to tweet: Giveaway of Vanessa Fortenberry’s children’s book, Daddy, I Want to Know God. #WriterWednesday #amreading

Here’s more information about the book:


Daddy, I Want to Know God

Does God love me all the time? Will He ever leave me? In this rhyming verse story, children’s probing questions of their dads shows a burning desire to connect with God personally and to learn more about God.

Book two of the series, Families Growing in Faith, depicts a father’s spiritual leadership as he teaches his child about a caring, unfailing, and capable God. This captivating story articulates to young people of all ages and nationalities that through our belief in Jesus Christ we indeed become children of God.


 A music teacher turned teacher-librarian; Vanessa Fortenberry enjoys story time with her students. A Georgia Peach, Vanessa loves singing for the Lord and teaching Sunday school at her church in Stone Mountain, Georgia. To learn more about Vanessa and her other writing endeavors, please visit her website: www.vanessafortenberry.com

What Has Happened Within the Last Twenty Years?

By Jennifer Hallmark

Twenty years. A long time?

It depends how you look at it. To a ten-year-old, it’s forever. To a mother with four  children, it flies by. Think perspective. In today’s world, a LOT has occurred within a twenty-year span.

So much that it boggles the mind. We, here at the blog, are going to discuss the subject in depth. Some will look at inventions or products that have changed our lives. Others will talk about the path their own journey has taken them. Either way, we’ll get some interesting posts we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

Two things came to my mind when we decided on October’s topic. The search engine, Google, and cell phones. Here’s my take on them.

Google. The Google story begins in 1995 at Stanford University, the brainchild of research students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The project was incorporated in 1998 and now has 60,000 employees in 50 different countries.

The positive? Google has made information universally available. If I wonder how many calories are in the sandwich I’m eating, I Google it. Need to find a new nail salon? Google can point the way. Lost in Dallas? Google Maps can direct you to where you need to go.

The negative? Too much information can be crippling. News is instantly available, especially bad news. Tragedy. Devastation. Catastrophe. Complete with photos. And some information doesn’t need to be easily accessed. Want to stalk someone, build a bomb, or disable a motor in someone’s car? You can also Google it. In years to come, we’ll see if the good outweighs the bad with all search engines.

Cell phones. Could we live life today without them? I guess we’ll never know since people from five to ninety-five years old have them. The Motorola StarTAC was billed as a personal cellular phone and put phones in the hands of ordinary people. If you could afford the $1000 price tag, that is. A flip phone,  the StarTAC was one of the first cell phones with vibrate alert and featured a flashing green indicator to show if you had network connection. Later models featured texting.

The positive? Cell phones can go anywhere you can manage a signal, from mountain tops to beach-side to jungles. They are less expensive, depending on what kind you buy, and can act as a mini-computer.

The negative? With cell phones came distracted driving, especially when texting became so easy to do. Medical Daily gives five reasons why cell phones can be harmful.

  • Negatively affects emotions.
  • Increases stress levels.
  • Increases risk of illnesses.
  • Increases chronic pain.
  • Increases risk of vision problems.

As with most things, moderation and wisdom are the key. Use Google and cell phones with this in mind, and they can make life more enjoyable.


Check out our Monday and Friday posts throughout October for more about our last twenty years.

Click to tweet: What has happened within the last twenty years? A lot. #technology #Google http://wp.me/p2YFil-3bD

Writing Prompt: Jill grabbed her cell phone and began to Google the recipe before she…

And stay tuned. In November, we’ll share information about our big Once Upon a Christmas giveaway. You won’t want to miss your chance to win…

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Memories of “Canes” Football

By Steve Connolly

Having spent my early years in Miami, I have many fond memories of the city. I found Miami  an ideal city for a boy to grow up in. We lived on the edge of the Everglades, in a then small suburb, only a short bike ride to the wilds of the Everglades.

They were filled with dense trees and inviting canals. It was years before the exotic snakes and other wild things began to encroach on the landscape. Gator populations were lower, too.  Occasionally, we would come across a snapping turtle. Having no fear at that age, we would sneak up on them, touch their backside with our foot, and watch them jump into the canal. We would spend hours exploring, climbing trees and digging under rocks. To a kid, it was like heaven. I hated that we soon left Miami and moved to northern New Hampshire.

Before I knew it, I was grown and in college. Seeking a less expensive way to pay for college, I left New Hampshire briefly and was living back in Miami. Being a student, there was always a shortage of funds for gas and entertainment for a young fella. I found myself working a part-time job at a large bank in South Miami. Because they had a drive-in facility with extended hours, I found it worked perfectly for students.

During this time, I bonded with my coworkers, also students.  What I soon learned was that everyone was “into” football games at the University of Miami.  I had always been a Dolphins fan and had not paid much attention to college ball.  But the enthusiasm among everyone was at such a high pitch it soon rubbed off on me.

Everyone planned to attend the Saturday afternoon games at the Orange Bowl to watch the Hurricanes challenge their weekly teams. At first, I did not want to think about driving west of downtown to see the games, not the best part of the city.

And parking? I remember going to Dolphin games. Besides the dolphin tanks at the end of the field, one thing that stuck in my mind was the nightmare of parking. Hey, at the time I owned a classic Mustang and I was quite fussy about it getting banged up. You know how the priorities of a young teenage male run.

However, with a bit of prodding, I soon gave in and found myself volunteered to drive a bunch of us to a Saturday afternoon game. I found a spot in the surrounding neighborhood where I could safely park my car. I was never much on parallel parking and the spot I’d chosen would require skills in driving I had not yet obtained. It would have been easier to slide my car in sideways if that were even possible. But after a lot of biting my tongue to keep from cursing I got the car parked.

It didn’t take long for the infectious atmosphere to catch me. Everywhere I turned there were hordes of laughing students all hyped up and ready for the game to begin. Climbing into the stands, our gang became just like the rest of the fanatical fans. Yelling Go Canes! Soon I was filing the names of the players in my memory banks so it would seem I was totally engaged in this game. And you know what happened? I got bit by the college football bug. All these years later you’ll find me on a Saturday looking at schedules to see who’s playing and what time the games begin.

What further ingrained this fanatical love of the college football was our move to Alabama a few years back.  I tell all my out-of-state friends that before you can officially become a citizen of Alabama, you must sign a declaration of what team you will support, Alabama or Auburn. I have often thought of making up such a document to further emphasize this point to my friends. Of course, I declared my support to the Alabama Crimson Tide. My son, however, declared his loyalty to the Auburn Tigers. But that’s another story!

Last year, I went to my first Alabama Crimson Tide game in Tuscaloosa. As I stood in the crowd waiting for the players to take the field I was overcome with excitement. I guess the infectious cheers of the crowd took me back to those days at the Orange Bowl. Except for sitting in the nose bleed seats (which I did not budge from), I had a great time.

Recently, I decided that I needed to go back to my roots and support the team of my younger years, the Miami Hurricanes. Part of my justification is that it would drive my friends crazy, and would separate me from the never-ending feud between Tide and Tiger fans. By supporting the Canes, I can harass them all. It is all in good fun.

What about the professional teams? Yes, I still enjoy them as much as the college teams. And love to see the college players who get booted up to the Pros do a great job. What team do I support you may ask?

Go New England Patriots! Go figure… 

Click to tweet: I now support the team of my younger years, the Miami Hurricanes. #ncaaFootball #NFL 

Writing Prompt: I ran to the middle of the football field, clutching my Miami flag, when suddenly…

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