The Wisdom Tree by Lisa Worthey Smith

I’m so happy to welcome one of my Alabama friends, Lisa Worthey Smith, to our blog. Lisa finds truths in everyday events and nature itself and uses those truths to show a patternplan, and purpose intentionally designed by the loving hand of The Creator.

Hello, Lisa! Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Lisa:  I’m a simple Southern girl, who would rather be outside than inside any day of the week! I relished my time as a full-time mom then transitioned into the corporate workplace for a number of years, then taught high school students at a small Christian school.

Then when my health would no longer allow me to work at all, God sent a hummingbird to teach me about suffering. Yep, a real hummingbird who I named Oscar. The story was so unique people often asked me to write it down, so I did. Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird was published in 2015.

God used that story to guide me into this phase where I minister by writing and speaking occasionally. After a recent speaking engagement, several kind people requested I publish that story, and The Wisdom Tree was put into book form October 2017.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Lisa: I intended to write non-fiction, Christian inspirational (like Oscar). “I just don’t have the creativity to write fiction.” Then God gave me the fictional story of The Wisdom Tree. (Hint- Don’t tell God what you can’t do. God has a sense of humor and might just change your course!)

Both have Bible studies included which is where my heart lies. My mission is to draw people to the Word, to point them to the hand of God all around us and create an eagerness to learn more about Him.

Do you work to an outline or prefer to see where an idea takes you?

Lisa:  Some of both. My short stories tell themselves, then I go back and block in chapters and outlines. If I ever write a novel length piece, I’m sure it will start with an outline.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Lisa:  Finding a way to say “the end.” I know readers want a satisfying conclusion, but I enjoy the stories so much that it is hard to stop! I tell myself if I don’t finish, I won’t be able to share – so I make myself cross the finish line in order to be able to share them with you!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Lisa:  Tippy tapping on the keyboard for His kingdom as long as He desires, and there is life within me!

Thanks, Lisa, for dropping by! Sounds like a good book…

Click to tweet:  Alabama author Lisa Worthey Smith latest book, The Wisdom Tree. #amreading #InspiredPrompt


 The Wisdom Tree

An ordinary tree, in an extraordinary place, in an extraordinary time, being prepared for an extraordinary event. If you listen closely to the trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, you might hear this story of a little olive tree named Sprout, and how he came to be known as The Wisdom Tree.

Often compared to the writing style of Max Lucado, this parable includes a Study Guide with the most basic and important questions in Christianity and provides the biblical answers for each.

Simple enough for middle readers, and yet adults who are acquainted with the New Testament love to hear the familiar story told from a unique perspective.

Suitable for book clubs, Bible study groups, homeschool, and personal growth.


 A long-time Bible student with a passion to help people grasp the depths of God’s love, Lisa Worthey Smith has been called “the parable teacher”. Using stories of everyday life and Creation, she weaves gentle stories of inspiration, hope, and love with the common theme of seeing the hand of God at work.

She and her husband live in northern Alabama where she spends time in her yard which includes a hummingbird garden and of course, an olive tree.

Contact Lisa

Twitter 

Life in My Father’s World Facebook 

Bible Study 101 Facebook

Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird Facebook

Lisa Worthey Smith Facebook

Website –  www.BibleStudy101.net

Blog – www.LifeInMyFathersWorld.blogspot.com

Louie to the Rescue-The Big Dig by Maria I. Morgan

I’m so happy to welcome my friend, author Maria I. Morgan, to our blog. She writes children’s stories and has a new one almost ready to release.  Let’s learn more about Louie to the Rescue-The Big Dig

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Maria:  My love for writing began with reading. My Mom read to my brother and me when we were young. Favorite books included anything by Dr. Seuss: Green Eggs and HamFox in SoxSneetches on Beaches; as well as Aesop’s Fables.

In junior high I collected as many volumes from the Nancy Drew series as I could. Instead of just words on a page, each book took me on a journey – painting pictures of far-away places and introducing me to fascinating characters. I couldn’t get enough. I was hooked.

With a degree in Health Fitness/Wellness, it wasn’t until years later that I got serious about writing. As strange as it sounds, it took an accident to get me back to the keyboard (you can read about it here).

To date, I’ve had two children’s books in the Louie the Lawnmower series published (Louie’s BIG day!, and Louie & the Leaf Pile), as well as a 10-week Bible study for women, Outrageously Fruitful. And I’m super excited to announce the third book in my children’s series will release in December. A brand new yard tool will be introduced, setting the stage for an exciting adventure! “Louie to the Rescue – The Big Dig” will be available on Amazon.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Maria: I enjoy writing both fiction and non-fiction. My Bible study, Outrageously Fruitful, and the devotionals I write for my blog are non-fiction and are geared toward women. Themes typically include: understanding God’s character, understanding God’s truth, understanding God’s plan, and writing tips & encouragement.

It’s fantastic to share the truths of God’s Word and have ladies respond to its relevance and timelessness – it’s powerful!

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12, KJV

Fictional writing unleashes the kid in me. I love writing stories that teach valuable life lessons. The Louie the Lawnmower series emphasizes character qualities (i.e. selflessness, kindness) through attention-grabbing storylines.

Do you work to an outline or prefer to see where an idea takes you?

Maria:  Good question! Typically, for non-fictional writing I have a general idea outlined in my mind, but it can shift as I write the piece. If I’m writing a devotional, I may have a topic and several verses I want to include, but the life example may change as the theme evolves.

Children’s books allow me to be more creative. There are endless adventures I can dream up to highlight specific character qualities.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Maria:  Honestly, for me, it’s finding the right balance between writing and marketing. I’m not very good at working on several projects at once. So if I’m releasing a book – my focus is on all things marketing. When I’m writing a book, I’m not concentrating as much on social media.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Maria: I asked my husband this same question on our first date – many, many years ago! As an author, I’d like to have several more books published, and see Louie the Lawnmower become a video series similar to Veggie Tales. That’s a BIG dream!

Encouraging women in the Word is my on-going dream as well. I want to continue teaching Bible studies and pointing ladies to fulfillment in Christ.

Thanks SO much for letting me be a part of your Saturday interview!

Click to tweet: Maria I. Morgan’s Louie to the Rescue-The Big Dig #InspiredPrompt #amreading

Thanks for being our guest, Maria. Now for a closer look at her new book…


*The 3rd book in the Louie the Lawnmower series, “Louie to the Rescue – The Big Dig,” will be releasing on Amazon soon!

Louie and the gang are fired up about the neighborhood yard competition. But when a sarcastic shovel arrives on the scene, hurtful words cause big problems. Will the newcomer succeed in intimidating Louie and his friends? Or will her plan backfire? Join Louie and the others and discover whose words win.

Enter to win: leave a comment below listing a character quality you’d like to see featured in a future Louie book, along with your email address, and you’ll be entered in a random drawing to receive a copy of “Louie to the Rescue – The Big Dig.” (Open to U.S. residents only. Contest will run through Saturday, November 4th. Winner will be contacted via email.)

Other books in the Louie the Lawnmower series:

Louie’s BIG day!

Louie & the Leaf Pile


Maria I. Morgan

Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker. She is the award-winning author of Louie’s BIG day! Regardless of the age of her audience, her goal is the same: to share God’s truths and make an eternal difference.

Contact Maria

Website

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Still Waters by Lindsey Brackett

I’m so happy to welcome Southern fiction author, Lindsey Brackett, to our blog. Lindsey is a general editor with Firefly Southern Fiction, an imprint of LPC Books. In addition, she writes a popular column for several North Georgia newspapers.  So what’s she up to these days? Promoting her debut novel, Still Waters

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Lindsey:  I’m a former middle school teacher who always wanted to be a writer. When I started blogging in 2010, finally letting others read my words, the response was so encouraging, I left teaching to stay home and raise babies in 2011. This book had been in the back of my mind for a decade, little bits written here and there, but no doubt it wouldn’t be the book it is now if I hadn’t taken such a roundabout way to writing. I’ve been a MOPS coordinator, I direct and act in plays at the community theater (that’s my college background—theater), and I often volunteer at the local schools to talk about writing.. and wrangle the theater kids because I do love that stage.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Lindsey: I keep myself as open as possible by calling it southern fiction—though Still Waters has hit many labels: women’s fiction, romance, even a little literary. Literary fiction is usually my genre of choice because I love language. I’m always much more concerned with the way the words fit together than what is actually happening in the story. Sometimes I think I should be a poet. But if a story is well-told with strong characters, an engaging plot, and beautiful language, I’m sold. I love southern fiction because it’s my background and I’m constantly trying to examine and understand both the South as I knew it twenty years ago, as my parents knew it fifty years ago, with the “New South” we are now. There are lovely, encouraging aspects about this region and its people—as well as the hardships and realities we like to ignore.

Do you work to an outline or prefer to see where an idea takes you?

Lindsey:  Total pantser. I always just start writing with a loose plot outline in my head—as in, I know where this is going, I’m just not sure how we’re going to get there. Usually I can plot about a scene or two ahead. But the truth is, I write like I play chess. I know a few moves, but I don’t have a great overlying strategy formed. I have to get words on the page before I can go back and work on the big picture.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Lindsey: Realizing scenes I love and worked so hard on will have to go. Recognizing that the plot line I thought was good is weak and needs more tension. Discovering that my characters need more depth than I’m allowing them to have, which means I need to change their circumstances. So, in short, revising, revising, revising. The perfectionist tendencies don’t help.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Lindsey: I’d love to be multi-published and reasonably well-known across the Christian and general fiction markets. But mostly, five years from now, I’d like to see myself not stressed about staring down two kids headed to college because I wrote some books and those books did well and I’m helping support my family with a job I love. Also (this is the ideal) I’d like to have a personal assistant and a housekeeper. Big dreams. #goals 🙂

I need to add assistant and housekeeper to my dreams also. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by, Lindsey!

Click to tweet:  Southern fiction author Lindsey Brackett debuts novel, Still Waters. #amreading #InspiredPrompt


Still Waters

Cora Anne Halloway has a history degree and a plan—avoid her own past despite being waitlisted for graduate school. Then her beloved grandmother requests—and her dispassionate mother insists—she spend the summer at Still Waters, the family cottage on Edisto Beach.

Despite its picturesque setting, Still Waters haunts her with loss. Here her grandfather died, her parents’ marriage disintegrated, and as a child, she caused a tragic drowning. But lingering among the oak canopies and gentle tides, this place also tempts her with forgiveness—especially since Nan hired Tennessee Watson to oversee cottage repairs. A local contractor, but dedicated to the Island’s preservation from development, Tennessee offers her friendship and more, if she can move beyond her guilt over his father’s death.

When the family reunion brings to light Nan’s failing health, Cora Anne discovers how far Tennessee will go to protect her—and Edisto—from more desolation. Now she must choose between a life driven by guilt, or one washed clean by the tides of grace.


 Award-winning writer Lindsey P. Brackett once taught middle grades literature, but now she writes her own works in the midst of motherhood. A blogger since 2010, she has published articles and short stories in a variety of print and online publications including Thriving Family, Country Extra, HomeLife, Northeast Georgia Living, Splickety Magazine, Spark Magazine, and Southern Writers Magazine.

In both 2015 and 2017, she placed in the top ten for Southern Writers Magazine Best Short Fiction. Previously, Lindsey served as Editor of Web Content for the Splickety Publishing Group, and currently she is a general editor with Firefly Southern Fiction, an imprint of LPC Books. In addition, she writes a popular column for several North Georgia newspapers.

Still Waters, influenced by her family ties to the South Carolina Lowcountry, is her debut novel. A story about the power of family and forgiveness, it’s been called “a brilliant debut” with “exquisite writing.” A Georgia native, Lindsey makes her home—full of wet towels, lost library books, and strong coffee—at the foothills of Appalachia with her patient husband and their four rowdy children.

Connect with her at www.lindseypbrackett.com, where she Just Writes Life, on Facebook as Lindsey P. Brackett, on Instagram @lindseypbrackett, or on Twitter @lindsbrac.

Solve by Christmas by Amber Schamel

I’m so happy to welcome author, Amber Schamel, to our blog. She writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. So what’s she up to these days? Her newest novel, Solve by Christmas

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Amber: I am a homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children. Today I am a bookkeeper and office manager by day and an author after ducking into the nearest telephone booth. Haha, only sorta kidding.

I spend about half of my time volunteering in the Ozarks at a Christian Family Bootcamp, and I also travel a lot with my family. This affords lots of story fodder.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Amber: Growing up, I always loved history and books. I’d check out stacks of books every time we went to the library and read about American history. This evolved rather naturally into historical fiction stories. 😊

I started writing seriously after high-school and my first book was published when I was 21 years old. No sense in wasting any time. Lol.

Do you work to an outline or prefer to see where an idea takes you?

Amber: A little of both. I do outline, and I create pretty detailed character profiles and I map out the settings. But I don’t always know what happens between the main points on my outline. So that part just comes as I write.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Amber: For me, it’s probably transitioning between projects. Once I have a project finished, I’m so happy to have completed it. I take some time to celebrate. But figuring out which story God wants me to write next….or if I should even continue  in this endeavor is something I seem to question and battle with between every project.  Once I get engrossed in the next project, I do just fine. Except then comes the second most difficult part. Sticking to it and getting the project finished. That can take a LOT of self-discipline.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Amber: Hopefully at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. 😊

If not, I have no idea! LOL.

My greatest desire is to serve the Lord in whatever capacity He would have for me. Right now, I’m not entirely sure what that will mean five years down the road. I’m at a bit of a crossroads and so it will be fun to see where the Lord takes us.

Thanks for dropping by, Amber!

Click to tweet: Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. #InspiredPrompt #amreading 


Solve by Christmas 

Solve by Christmas Historical Mystery

When sabotage threatens the Rudin Sugar Factory, Detective Jasper Hollock believes this will be his first real case. But dear Mr. Rudin—the only father Jasper has ever known—holds a different assignment for his private investigator.

“I’ve struck a deal with God, Jasper, and you’re my angel.”

Mr. Rudin charges Jasper to build a “case” of reasons for his employer to continue his life. If he fails, Mr. Rudin will end it in suicide on Christmas night.

As the incidents at the factory become life threatening, Jasper’s attempts at dissuading Mr. Rudin prove futile, and Jasper is left staring at the stark reality of his own soul. Time is ticking. Jasper must solve both cases by Christmas before Mr. Rudin, the company, and Jasper’s faith, are dragged to perdition. Will this be the Christmas Jasper truly discovers what makes life worth living?

 “Amber Schamel’s engaging prose weaves together not one, but two edge-of-your-seat threads in this historical mystery. With the hero racing against time to solve the two cases readers will be kept guessing as they attempt to crack the case. “  ~ Laura V. Hilton author of Christmas Admirer (Whitaker House)


 Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life.

First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and has been awarded the 2017 CSPA Book of the Year Award in Historical Fiction. Between ministry, family and working in their family-owned businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers and hang out on Goodreads with other bookish peoples. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites.  Amber is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

http://amberschamel.com/

Newsletter & updates: http://www.amberschamel.com/newsletter-signup.html
Blogs – http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/
http://www.hhhistory.com/
http://amberschamel.blogspot.com/

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Life in Chapel Springs by Ane Mulligan

While a floppy straw hat is her favorite, my friend, award-winning author Ane Mulligan has worn many: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that’s a fancy name for a lobbyist), CEO of a Community Theatre, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups.

Ane resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband. You can find her on her website, Amazon Author page, Novel Rocket, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. Today we’ll talk about her new book, Life in Chapel Springs.

First, tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Ane:  I’ve always been a reader … and a drama enthusiast. I came out of the womb reading. My mother loved to read, so she instilled that in me at an early age. I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hands.

When I was four or five, my parents took me to see Peter Pan, live on stage with Mary Martin. I was hooked! When Peter asks, “Do you believe?”, I was ready to jump off the balcony. My daddy’s  swift grab for my skirt is all that saved me. Peter even mentioned it, saying, “That kid will be on stage one day.” Prophetic, to say the least.

While I once had hoped I would be on Broadway, an MRS degree sidetracked my dreams. However, I stayed involved in my two passions all my life. I served as my church’s Creative Arts director for 11 years, I’m now a multi published novelist, and I’m the founder and Managing Director of a local Community Theatre. I’m living my dream, albeit in Sugar Hill and not on Broadway. lol

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Ane:   My books are women’s fiction, although one slides closer to the edge of romantic suspense, it still lives in WF. I’ve always loved my girlfriends. I can’t imagine doing life without them. So I’ve always enjoyed books about those friendships. When I began writing novels, it was a natural fit.

My Chapel Springs series deals with an entire town, but my main character, Claire, is like me in that she loves her friends. She relies on them, especially Patsy, to keep her out of trouble, while she tries to help keep them out of trouble, which seems to get everyone into trouble.

Do you work to an outline or prefer to see where an idea takes you?

Ane:   Both. I’m a Planster. I need plan … an outline to get me going. Without one, I stare at a blank screen or write in circles. After I know my characters, I write down the main plot points I need to move the story forward and in the direction I think it needs to go.

However, once I have that and know my characters well, I let them take over … which usually sends the story off in a different direction. At least, that’s my desire, because when the characters take over and I am, as Dan Walsh puts it, “an unseen scribe,” the story becomes theirs and not mine. At that point, I return to the outline, rewriting it to fit where the story is headed. That repeats itself until we hit the end.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Ane:  The first draft. Right now I’m working on a story I started a few years back and laid aside. When I picked it back up, I had to renew my acquaintance with the main character. It took time to get to know her and her friends again. And then, when I did know her again, she kept changing the story!

I’ve never stopped learning my craft, which made it a bit difficult to pick up an old work in progress and revive it. I’m pleased to say my critique partners say it’s my strongest work. That’s very gratifying when you put your heart and soul into your work. Be watching for In High Cotton.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Ane: Doubling the number of books I have out now, turning one of those into a play, and being in the new performing arts theatre our town is building. That last one will happen in late spring or early summer of 2018.

I thank God I get to spend my life in the two passions He built into me. When we can take those gifts of God-given talent, put in the required assembly, and use them to reach hearts, life doesn’t get any better!

I’m glad. I love your books. Thanks for dropping by, Ane!


Life in Chapel Springs

Is it a midlife pregnancy or … cancer? Claire will keep her secret until she’s sure but it isn’t easy. Neither is trying to buy a home pregnancy test without anyone finding out. Between her twins double wedding, the caterer canceling, a looming nationwide art tour and her health, Claire’s life is upside down.

Shy Lacey Dawson was happily writing murder mysteries for the community theater with her eye on Broadway. Then, a freak accident causes her traumatic injuries requiring facial reconstruction. When the bandages come off, Lacey s world is turned inside out. Will Chapel Springs rally behind its own … or will life unravel?

When the mayor announces he has found quartz on his land, the local TV station reports: Where there’s quartz, there’s gold. Then Mayor Riley discovers Howie Newlander has bought the mineral rights to his land. Howie and his nefarious investors are struck with gold fever and set out to buy all the homes in Chapel Springs and mine the gold. Will life in Chapel Springs become the tailings of a gold mine?