Monday, June 26, 2017

An Unlikely Governess by Christina Rich ends July 3rd





Please welcome Christina back to my blog. Christina is giving away a copy of her novella, An Unlikely Governess so be sure to leave a comment and your email to be entered!

Hello, beautiful people. How are you all doing? It’s okay, go ahead and answer. If you’re like the multitude of people I encounter most days, your response would be something like, “Okay, I guess.” Or “I’m upright.” You might also fall into the category of “I’m good” but the grim lines and downcast shoulders tell the truth.

So, how many of you actually said, “I’m good” and meant it? How many of you got out of bed ready to meet the day with joy and with intentional purpose? Something beyond “I have to go to work” or “I have to run errands”?

Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

After being a stay at home mom and a housewife for almost 28 years, I found myself thrust into the work force. Since I hadn’t worked for almost three decades and my skills were limited. I honestly believed that I would have to start at the bottom rung of the ladder. And, in a way I sort of did, but God blessed me with a decent wage.

Anyhow, in the course of a conversation I remember telling someone that I had to work. Holy Spirit halted me. I didn’t have to go to work. I could choose to stay home. I could choose to lose my house. Choose to let the utilities get shut off. But I didn’t choose those things, I chose to go to work. I get to go to work. It is an honor and a privilege to go to work.

I’m sensing some eyerolling, and that is okay. I may not be walking in your shoes, but I am walking in mine, and… I must say, sometimes it feels like the soles are missing and I’m walking on thorns, but I’m not going to allow that to bump my joy. I know pain, I know grief, I know what it’s like to have a few pennies to my name, I know what it’s like to have both vehicles break down and no means to fix them, I know what it’s like to have my publisher close the line where I make 95% of my income. I know what it’s like to lose the love of my life to cancer, and let me tell you, not even his passing could steal my joy and peace.

Why? Because we are called to a higher purpose, and that is to keep our minds on things above and not on the earthly fleshy things. The Pharisees, who by the way were actively looking for the Messiah, sought from a flesh mindset and not a kingdom mindset. They weren't looking for God to encounter them on their level, rather looking for a man to lead them and I don’t want to be guilty of doing the same.



Bear with me a moment, I hope to tie this all together. I have spent a lot of alone time with the Lord over the last few months, this last year without my husband helping me decipher revelatory epiphanies, and Holy Spirit has shown me many things. One of the most recent territories I've been allowed to step in is that of a cashier (bottom rung on the ladder) where I sell cigarettes and alcohol. This is something I never would have considered a year ago, or even a few months ago. How dare I sell anything that might be considered a sin. That means I’m facilitating it, right? And partaking, right? ;)

But what is the higher thing here? I'm in the position of honor, a position of being able to speak life into hurting hearts. I'm able to sit at their table, so to speak, and affect change because my own personal convictions and the judgmental walls I carried are down and only the love of the Father stands. I can fully encounter them with kindness and joy because I understand that the flesh is not the temple of the Holy Spirit, but rather the heart of the man is the temple, and if I condemn him for what he is feeding the flesh, then I risk further wounding his spirit. The higher thing is the soul and its eternal destination, and God wishes that no man should perish but have everlasting life.

Everything God does is about the eternal. And we, as His heirs, need to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things. Who am I to say how God chooses to reach the heart of a man?

So, you see, I get to go on assignment. Every day I wake up I have an assignment, whether it is taking my daughter to work at 4 a.m., watching my grandson from 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. while his mama earns her paycheck, spending time with my mother-in-law, helping my mother do laundry, going to work, writing books, or even blog posts. Every day I get to choose whether to trudge through the day or rejoice for it is the day the Lord has made. It’s my choice. And no matter my choice, I affect people around me. I change their atmosphere. I would much rather leak joy into their lives, even if only for a few minutes, then add to their heap pile of depressed, self-pity, wouldn’t you?



Bernadette Chambers has one last assignment before graduating Harris-Spotchnet’s Finishing School of the Peculiar Kind, and unfortunately, she’ll need more than her training has prepared her for when it comes to being a governess to a small child who witnessed her father’s kidnapping, but her lack of preparedness with the child is nothing compared to the sparks ignited by the child’s uncle and his desperate desire to keep his niece safe.

Retired Society Agent Isaac Clanton Willoughby, knew his brother was on the verge of a scientific breakthrough to cure a disease that took his late wife when he disappeared days before the cure was to be unveiled at Andropogon’s Worlds Fair. Now it’s up to him to discern his brother’s secret codes, find out who took him, and ensure his niece’s well-being by hiring the perfect governess without becoming distracted by her beauty and intelligence. But when he discovers nothing is as it seems, can he push past his reservations and trust the woman to help him unravel the mystery left by his brother before it is too late?

ABOUT CHRISTINA:

Christina Rich is a mother of four children, a grandmother of one, a romance author with Love Inspired Historical, Forget Me Not Romances, a photographer, and a painter, and she is currently working on several non-fiction books. You can connect with her on Facebook at Author Christina Rich and on Twitter @Christinainspy Threefoldstrand.com









Monday, June 19, 2017

Finding Love by Toni Shiloh ends June 26th

Please welcome Toni Shiloh to my blog this week. Toni is giving away an ebook so be sure to leave a comment as well as your email address for a chance to win.

Hi, Reader friends! Thank you so much for taking a moment to read my guest post here at Debbie’s blog. The second book in my Maple Run series, Finding Love, releases June 28th. I’m so excited as Delaney and Luke hold a special place in my heart. For those of you who read book one, Buying Love, you met Delaney, Dwight’s sister. Well, she whispered to me that she had a secret. She was absolutely terrified of falling in love with another military man since her first husband, Parker Jones, died while serving his country. My mind immediately wondered what would happen if an Army soldier walked onto the scene. Enter Luke Robinson! Y’all, Luke Robinson has an noble heart, yet he battles his own secrets. One that’s been clinging to him since Parker Jones died. When he walked into The Maple Pit, I knew I had found an honorable hero. I hope you join me and the characters of Maple Run this summer. The Maple Pit crew is waiting! Note: If you pre-order an eBook copy of Finding Love, you can get a signed postcard by yours truly.  Claim your pre-order gift here: http://bit.ly/2rADocs 



 


Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving
grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.
She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and president of the Virginia Chapter.
You can find her on her website at http://tonishiloh.weebly.com



Finding Love Back cover Blurb –
Delaney Jones has finally started to pick up the pieces of her shattered life after the death of her husband, Parker. Just as life enters a new normal, in walks Army soldier, Luke Robinson. Just when she makes the decision to trust him, life deals her a heavy blow.
Sergeant First Class Luke Robinson can’t get over his part in the death of Delaney’s husband. In hopes to assuage his guilt, he offers to lend a hand. Only, he never counted on the feelings she evokes with just a smile. Will his secrets widen the gulf or will he finally find absolution?

Buy links – http://amzn.to/2r2NmFZ





Social media links –

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Tethered World by Heather L.L. FitzGerald ends June 19th





Please welcome Heather L.L. FitzGerald to my blog. Be sure to answer one of her questions to be entered in her e-book giveaway. Don't forget to leave your email address so we can contact you if you wish. 

The Recipe for a Delicious Story





A lot of readers like to know where authors get their ideas and inspiration. I think I can speak for most writers when I say that ideas can come from anywhere—even the most unlikely places. A snippet of conversation overheard at a restaurant, an encounter with the neighbor’s vicious dog, and of course, the daily grind. Good stories are similar to good recipes. There will be a variety of ingredients included, some more than others, but all necessary for satisfying consumption.



As a fantasy writer I get this question, I suspect, a little more than someone who writes, say…romance. I mean, most people can relate to love and relationships a lot more readily than dwarves and dragons, right? People are often curious to know how both Sasquatch and Nephilim ended up in my novels.



Well, believe it or not, real life is still the inspiration. No, no…I’m not saying I believe in Bigfoot or have discovered a tribe of Nephilim in the woods near my home. But there are a lot of unexplained and amazing things around me. Even the mundane can have a little mystery. The Lord’s creativeness is vast. At once both consuming and subtle. Complex in its simplicity.



Consider the mushroom. That unpretentious little cap-shaped fungi is merely the fruit of a vast network of threads that entwine themselves in the moist earth and other plants, helping matter decompose. These mycelium threads can reach far and wide, in comparison to their clusters of cute little caps. In fact, there’s a single organism in the Blue Mountains of Oregon that is the size of nearly 1700 football fields!



The honey mushroom—dubbed “the humungous fungus”—is s-l-o-w-l-y killing the trees in this mountain range. It is smothering the life out of the evergreens at a growth rate of one to two feet per year. Not spreading up the trunk of each tree at that rate…but the entire network only casts its net a little wider by one to two feet per year. For it to have spread to such an enormous size means that this honey mushroom plant is a minimum of 2,000 years old. Amazing! Doesn’t this sound like something from a science fiction novel?



Now, that example is just one random thing I thought I’d look into for the sake of this post. (Admittedly, I only now learned about this giant organism. You really should click the link and see it for yourself!). But I did, in fact, take the humble mushroom and use it in my book, The Tethered World. However, my mushrooms were humungous, big enough to picnic beneath, and emitted a soft phosphorescent glow. Voila! Fantasy.



I won’t drone on about how all the different elements found their way into my story. But I wanted to point out that anything around you can—possibly—be fodder for your imagination. Take a little folklore, add a tie to the Garden of Eden, mix in a fiercely loving family, swirl together a prophecy about their autistic son and his destiny…and you’ve got yourself an adventure!



Those “ingredients” are all things that are part of my life, to one degree or another. I grew up in the Northwest where there are rumors of Bigfoot. I’m a Christian that believes the Garden of Eden really existed (time machine, anyone?), my family is close and loving, and my son is autistic.



A lot of reality mixed with a heavy dose of “what if” and a story takes shape. My particular circumstances and beliefs are unique to me. But, like a chef, I have learned to take the different elements and create something palatable for most readers.



You, my friend, are blessed with your own unique situation. God has placed you in a particular environment and has allowed your trials and triumphs for many reasons. Might one of them be to create a story that will build the faith of others? Has He given you the ingredients for an appetizing new tale?



What have you experienced that has made you think, “Wow, this would make a good book”?



Now think a little harder…what everyday things surround you that could be added to your story recipe in an unexpected way? I’d love to hear your ideas! You might be surprised at how a new perspective on something familiar can grow into a plot for a book.



But hopefully it will grow a little faster than the honey mushroom ;) 


Heather L.L. FitzGerald writes from her home in Texas, while dreaming of being back in the Pacific Northwest, where she grew up. When her four kids were young, she enjoyed reading aloud until her voice gave out. (Her son, who is autistic, would just move on to his favorite audiobook). Certain stories became good friends—the kind you want to revisit. The kind you wish never needed to say goodbye. Those are the kind of stories Heather aspires to write. Stories worthy of delicious coffee. Stories difficult to leave. She hopes you will find her YA Fantasy trilogy The Tethered World Chronicles to be one of those kind of tales. All three books, The Tethered World, and The Flaming Sword, and The Genesis Tree are available on Amazon or can be ordered at any book retailer.



Heather is a member of the North Texas Christian Writer's group, ACFW, CAN, and helps with the Manent Writer's group in Fort Worth, Texas. You can connect with Heather on her website/blogFacebook, Pinterest, Character blog: (Sadie’s mother has a blog pertaining to legendary creatures), Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.