3 Questions Wednesday with Brenda S. Anderson

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday, Brenda!

Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is Past-President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE, the 2016 ACFW Chapter of the Year. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball, and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 30 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.

Question:  What inspires you?

Brenda:  Being out in God’s creation always inspires me. When I see the lands He’s sculpted and the unending palette of colors He uses, when I hear the complicated and beautiful outdoor choir and symphony He’s conducting and breathe in the diverse scents in nature, I’m awed by His artistry. How can it not inspire you?! As an author, I’m honored and privileged to have the gift of creating my own little worlds.

I love that, Brenda. There is so much beauty all around us.

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

Brenda: I’d probably be a very neutral, normal color at the tip, as I excel at blending in. But when you pulled the crayon from the box, you’d see that it’s a rainbow swirl of colors in one crayon. Once people get to know me, they discover there’s so much more to me than what is first seen.

Good answer. Sometimes those neutral colors surprise you, and there are actually many tones of neutral. I’m reminded of a chameleon, and how they change with their environment.

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

Brenda: Honestly, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Back in grade school, I was writing stories that impressed my teachers. I even wrote a couple of plays that our class put on for other grades. That was marvelous encouragement for me, and kindled my passion for storytelling.

Wonderful. Teachers have such an important role in our lives. Through encouragement, they can send us down the right path.

Readers, Brenda is giving away an e-book copy of her brand-new book, Planting Hope. Leave a comment for a chance to win! Here are more details about the book:

Planting Hope – Where the Heart Is, Book 3

Planting Hope by Brenda S. Anderson

When flowers and chocolate collide, romance is sure to bloom

Family has always been the one constant in Jess Beaumont’s messy life, so when her parents separate, she puts “Operation: Planting Hope” into action. All she has to do is recreate the circumstances that helped her parents fall in love. Unfortunately, that includes the daunting task of restoring the family cabin’s gardens. When the handsome candy store owner shows up to help, she’s certain she has all the elements required for her parents’ love to bloom again. After all, flowers and chocolate are the perfect ingredients for romance.

Luke Harrison has spent his life trying to win his father’s approval, and a promotion in the family land development business would be a step in that direction. But when he inherits Gran’s candy store, his dreams of being promoted start melting away. Then his dad dangles a Vice President position in front of Luke, with one caveat—acquire the land on both sides of Gran’s store within five months, including the Beaumont cabin, and the promotion is his.

What at first seemed a simple challenge for Luke becomes a tangled mess. Buying the Beaumont cabin and land will nip his blossoming romance with Jess in the bud. Even worse, it could end her parents’ marriage. But if he doesn’t succeed, he could be trading in his corner office for the corner candy store.


I hope you enjoyed getting to know Brenda S. Anderson, and will visit her online in the following places ~


Connect with Brenda ~

Click to Tweet: Getting to know Brenda S. Anderson, author of #NewRelease #Romance, Planting Hope

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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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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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3 Questions Wednesday with Lynn U. Watson

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday, Lynn Watson!

Lynn Watson serves others through women’s ministry and her complementary healthcare practice. Love for God’s Word coupled with a long-time passion for essential oils, prompted Lynn to write her first devotional, The Essence of Courage.

The same warm nutty aromas of coffee and fresh baked bread welcoming guests to Cinnamah-Brosia’s Coffee Cottage in Lynn’s books, also make friends feel right at home in Lynn’s kitchen.

Question:  What inspires you?

Lynn:  My passion for essential oils and their place in the life and times of Bible characters was the original inspiration for Cinnamah-Brosia’s Inspirational Collections. In The Essence of Courage and the soon to be released The Essence of Joy she and her friends share stories drawn from real life women.

We all have stories to share. Many women with whom I do life welcome their stories being fictionalized and shared in this Coffee Cottage setting.  Our journeys encourage others to see how God showed up in the midst of our circumstances to bring significant transformations. Digging deeper into the lives of the women we meet on the pages of the Bible, I discover so much inspiration for us in the 21st century. I mention a novel in question. Again inspiration comes from a real life woman, my great-grandmother, disowned by her own family and sent away across the ocean alone in the 1880’s. I’m missing much of her story, but I know enough to create a novel wrought with the possibilities and seeming impossibilities for a woman in her circumstances and her era.

I love that. Yes, we do all have stories to share.

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

Lynn: Tangerine. The color, the fruit, and the citrusy aroma spreads joy, sunshine, and fun! I ride a tangerine bicycle, too. I’ve named her Gloria, and we enjoy great times together.

Good choice! Tangerine is in the orange family. Orange is the color of youth, strength, fearlessness, curiosity and restlessness, according to my trusty “favorite colors” page.

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

Lynn: My mother always told me I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I didn’t. Becoming a teenager in the Flower Child era of the 1960’s, I believed there must be some where to help people in a meaningful way – like the Peace Corps or a mission opportunity. With no encouragement to push toward my dreams, I went to college instead lacking any real goal. I earned an undergraduate degree in Journalism with an emphasis in advertising and public relations.

I traded a career in the field to stay home and care for my children. I always enjoyed writing, but little did I ever expect the writing and the marketing skills I learned would be useful in becoming a published author 40+ years later. That idea remained more of a family joke around our home. My husband always asked, “When are you going to write your novel, and make us rich?” Ha! No novel — yet. But one devotional book with a second on the way is a great start. The novel is another dream for another day. Its reality, though, has become a growing blip on the horizon. Who would have ever thought?

Why is it, husbands always think we’re going to make them rich? Ha ha! Sounds like you’ve had a good life, and the best is yet to come (sorry for the cliche). Thanks for answering our 3 Questions, Lynn!

Readers, I hope you enjoyed this week’s 3 Questions Wednesday. Lynn Watson has graciously offered a free copy of her book, The Essence of Courage, to one of our readers.

Do you have a question for Lynn?

Feel free to ask questions or leave a comment below for a chance to win the book. Now, keep reading for more information about the free book and her upcoming release.

[Click to tweet] Lynn U Watson answers our 3 Questions #BookGiveaway #Women #devotional


The Essence of Courage: Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit in Solomon’s Locked Garden and in Your Heart
books, devotions, non-fiction

The Essence of Courage by Lynn U. Watson

This first volume in a series of inspirational collections for women will take you on a journey of adventure and exploration in a secret place. Discover the key to Solomon’s locked Garden. Breathe in the fragrant aromas, and gather the spices and essential oils of an abundant harvest as he attributes their essences to the woman he has chosen as his bride.

*You’ll uncover the fruit of the Spirit when you cultivate them in your heart.
*You’ll focus on women of the Bible whose live reflect the fruit.
*In spite of everyday messiness and challenges of life, Cinnamah-Brosia and her friends (you’ll meet them on the pages of this book, too) courageously use these essences to season the world around them with an overflowing measure of Jesus.
*You’ll find fun facts about the spices and essential oils along with ways for you to enjoy incorporating reminders of the fruit they represent into your life.

Grab a cup of coffee, along with some friends, and come find courage to face life with gusto.


Coming October 2017

In time for Christmas

The Essence of Joy

Filling Your Heart with the Aromas of Jesus’ Nativity

Watch for it on Kindle and Amazon, and other online booksellers.


You’ll find Lynn Watson at the following locations:

Website: http://LynnUWatson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lynnuwatson

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lynnuwatson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lynnuwatson

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lynnuwatson

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It’s September. Therefore Football!

I am not a huge sports fan, but Tim and I have two teen boys. One is a Senior who plays football, the other a Junior who’s into soccer. So, most Friday nights you will find my husband and me sitting through a high school football game. We love to cheer both of them on!

If you’ve read many of my past blog posts, I love to refer to my childhood for a good story. Growing up, the favorite sports team tended to change from season to season. I seem to remember that the Miami Dolphins was the team of choice for my brothers in the early 70’s.

My father worked swing shift at a cement plant for many years. He was either working or sleeping, but on Sunday afternoons during football season, he would spend his day off watching a televised game. There was never a particular team he liked. He would just pick a side and cheer for them.

The reason I recall watching America’s favorite pastime with  Dad is because of  the exuberance he expressed when his team was winning. We didn’t see my Dad in a good mood very often. He was always kind of a grumpy guy, but we found ourselves cheering too. It was a good time, and a great memory.

How about a good show? I can admit that there are a few “sports” type movies that I have loved watching for inspiration and entertainment.

There are two from my childhood that I remember well. One is Brian’s Song. I would rate this one as a two-tissue box movie. This ABC Movie of the Week aired in 1971, with James Caan playing the part of Brian Piccolo. After Brian is recruited into the Chicago Bears franchise, he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. This story is told by his friend, the legendary Gale Sayers. It’s a real-life journey about friendship between teammates, and Brian’s courageous struggle battling cancer.

Another made-for-television story, which aired in 1977  is titled Something for Joey. A three-tissue box movie if ever there was one. Based on the life story of the relationship between Penn State football player, John Cappelletti (played by Marc Singer), and his younger brother Joey. Joey is diagnosed with leukemia. John would do anything for his brother.

Joey expects touchdowns from his older brother. John pushes himself to the limits to give Joey what he wants, so much so that his efforts win him the Heisman Trophy in 1973.

More recently in 1993, the movie Rudy gave us a real-life tale of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. Despite being told he was too small to play football, Rudy has a dream to play for the University of Norte Dame. He has neither the money, nor the grades to qualify for scholarships. After overcoming all the odds stacked against him, he fights his way onto the football team. I was recently told by a male co-worker that this movie is the only one he ever shed a tear over. It was during the part when all the players on the Notre Dame team threw their football jerseys onto the coach’s desk to show they would not play unless Rudy did. It’s another great movie.

So, even though I don’t like sports much, I do love to watch a good game, and it’s even better if it comes on the big screen in a film.

Do you have a favorite motivational quote from a sports coach or a sports movie?

Click to tweet:  There are a few “sports” type movies that I love watching. #football #inspiration

Writing prompt: I grabbed the remote, flipped on the television, and leaned back in the recliner. It was time for…

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