Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rebirth by Amy Brock McNew | Cover Reveal

Releasing: May 24, 2016

Liz Brantley has a gift she wants to return.

Able to see and fight demonic forces, she has spent her life alone, battling the minions of hell bent on her destruction, running from the God who gave her this curse. The demon Markus, drawn to her abilities, unleashes havoc on her hometown and pulls Liz further into the throes of battle.
She’s desperate for a normal life.

When she meets a mysterious man who seems unaware of the mystical realm that haunts her, the life she’s always wanted flits within reach. But her slice of normal slips from her grasp when an old flame, Ryland Vaughn, reappears with secrets of his own. Secrets that will alter her destiny.
Torn between two worlds, Liz is caught in an ancient war between good and evil.
And she isn’t sure which side to choose.

Amy Brock McNew doesn’t just write speculative fiction, she lives and breathes it. Exploring the strange, the supernatural, and the wonderfully weird, Amy pours her guts onto the pages she writes, honestly and brutally revealing herself in the process. Nothing is off-limits. Her favorite question is “what if?” and she believes fiction can be truer than our sheltered and controlled realities.
Visit to learn more about this intriguing author.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Jaime Jo Wright {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Jaime...

Professional coffee drinker, Jaime Wright, resides in the hills of Wisconsin. She loves to write spirited and suspenseful, turn-of-the-century romance.

How to connect with Jaime...

Periscope: @jaimejowright
Purchase: The Cowboy's Bride

Get to know Jaime Jo Wright

You and Writing 

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

Why do you write? Writing is my other-world, and it always has been. It’s that dangerous place you go into your mind where the rest of the world drifts away and you float into adventures that take spiraling turns you never expected. I have always had an overactive imagination, so I married a guy I call “Cap’n Hook” because he has imagination in the negatives and his pragmatism keeps me balanced and my feet on the ground. Poor man always has to deal with me lifting up objects like paper clips or toothpicks and contemplating aloud how you could use it as a murder weapon. Or, worse, the poor man has to deal with me staring at him with dreamy eyes and swooning when he walks in the door all covered in saw dust and dirt from logging our back woods. Gosh. Hunkafide.

I love to spend time passing on my imagination to my Tinkerbell and Peter Pan, and my kiddos have it in spades (so poor Cap’n Hook is pretty much outnumbered). When I’m not writing, I have a day job where I direct people as a Director of Sales, Development & Associate Relations. It’s a hefty job, but gives me a lot of flexibility so I can work out of coffee shops sometimes. (Writer’s paradise)

Emilie here: Love this "look" into you Jaime! I tend to think more in the imaginative world than the real one ha!

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your novella...

When I wrote my novella it was starkly clear to me that it must be set in New Mexico. All the Western states seemed to be well represented in novels, especially that Texas! But I grew up going to New Mexico in the summers to visit my Uncle’s horse ranch and my grandparents who lived next door. So there’s a part of me that has New Mexico in her blood. Fond memories of my Uncle Dave meant he needed to be represented in my novella as well. He passed away awhile ago and we all feel the ache his absence left behind. When I wrote “Charlie”, my glorified version of an old cowboy, Uncle Dave was filtering into every sentence and scene.

 Emilie here: Oh wow - it's amazing to hear the "story behind the story" in a sense, with this! I love that you choose a less represented state too. Those Texan's get all the stories *hehe*.


Let's talk about your writing life...

How long did you write before you got published?
Hmmmm….I have been writing since I was 13 with the intention to be published some day. Lofty intentions, to be sure. I had no idea the journey it would take me on. 26 years later, here I am. (you do math, yeah, I’m THAT old).

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
I think when I look at young writers now, I believe it’s dangerous to say that you’ll achieve your dreams if you just keep trying. The publishing world is iffy and ebbs and flows. If you attend a writer’s conference you’ll see hundreds of people with the SAME DREAM and yet a large publisher might only publish 7-15 fiction titles a year. That’s quite the odds. So you may be the BEST writer, and never see your name in print. So, sure aspire for it, reach for it, never quit, but write because you LOVE it. Write as if you never shared your work with anything other than your harddrive you’d be okay. Writing is in your blood.

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What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it? I love to read historicals with suspense and romance. I need plot. Straight up historical romance can be exceptionally well done if there’s a good driving plot beneath. It doesn’t have to involve murder (altho that’s always a plus). I love Erica Vetsch, for example, because while hers have zilcho to do with suspense she has snark riddled through her pages and a good story to go alongside the romance. I also love to read rom-com (Romantic Comedy) and Romantic Suspense.

What’s your favorite green food? (In honor of St. Patrick’s Day of course!)
My favorite green food, in honor of St. Paddy, is pistachio gelato. OMIGOSH. To die for.

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading a few books (I always have more than one going). Sister Dear by Laura McNeill is my current open on the kindle. My paperback on the couch is The Fine Art of Murder by the dude who wrote Rambo. So good, but really thick, so it’s taking awhile. On my desk at work is The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. Also so good, also really thick.

Emilie here: Thank you so much for joining us on the blog today! I loved getting to meet you and do head shots a last years conference. You, my dear, have the best sense of humor! Readers, go check out this lovely collection and join Jaime on social media.


Had the lovely Rachel McMillan on the blog last week (check out her interview if you missed it) and she offered up a copy of her new book, The Bachelor Girl's Guide To Murder. Her winner is:

Patty Hamblin

I'll be in contact Patty - and thanks everyone for participating!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Favorite Genres with Author Mandy Fender | Guest Post

I am the thirty-year-old woman who walks into the library or bookstore and heads straight for the YA section and I have absolutely no shame in that. Anyone else with me? Sometimes the teens will look at me, but I just smile and keep browsing the awesome adventures before me. There is just something about YA authors and their writing styles that I love. It also helps that the content is cleaner in YA, not always, but most of the time.

So if I had to choose my favorite genre within YA it would be the dystopian category. Writers who dare to share their views, thoughts, and themes on the end of the world intrigue me. Needless to say, I LOVE the popular ones such as The Hunger Games series, Divergent Series, and The 5th Wave series (I know, I know a little cliché but I can’t help it). I devour Rick Yancey’s writing but one pet peeve of mine is cursing. I hate it. I do not cuss, so to me, cursing is not normal and adds nothing to the story. And it seems Yancey loves to add it in, which I have to say, does hinder my overall reading experience. I mean, when you can use any word or even make up your own words there is no need for the ridiculousness of curse words. Okay, rant over.

And since it seems the majority of these books are being made into movies I ask:

Movie or Book for these Dystopias?

My answer: Book…always the book. I read Maze Runner and then watched the movie, the book wins for sure, then I watched Scorch Trials without reading the book and was so surprised. I mean, where did the zombies come from? I must read the book. Another example is The Giver. I actually watched the movie first then read the book and still liked the book better. Dystopian books make good movies but can never compare to the original writing.

I have also recently found incredible Christian YA authors. Nadine Brandes’ Out of Time series is amazing. Angie Brashear is a fantasy author whose series Legend of the Woodlands is incredible. The Anomaly series by Krista McGee is a must read for Christian dystopia readers. And I really want to read books from Tricia Mingerink and Jaye L. Knight, I hear great things about their books! There are so many more Christian writers than I realized. My horizons are being broadened in the Christian market and these are the books that I will pass along to my daughter who loves to read! I am so thankful for Christian publishers and writers!

At the end of the day, I am really all over the place with my reading because I also love biographies and books based on true stories. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand remains one of my favorites. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers also holds a special place in my heart, so really if the story has meaning to me I am going to cherish it. I am looking at you, C.S. Lewis. I love his work and his heart to share the gospel through it. Works that live on show the power within the written word. It’s simply wondrous.

Books give life to something within me that I can’t quite explain. It opens my imagination and makes me want to create, write, and inspire. As a writer, I understand the hard work that goes into creating an entire world where characters must reach an audience beyond the surface. I like characters who are real and raw, who grow within the story.

Writing isn’t easy but reading a good book is. When my writing stresses me out, I turn to reading because it reminds me it is possible to create something beautiful, you just have to be patient and put in the work.

Keep reading and keep writing!

Mandy Fender

--> Mandy Fender lives in the great state of Texas with her family and mean-mugging bulldog, Ziggy Zoo. She has authored two Christian non-fiction books, Beautifully Broken, and Pretty Little Truths. Her debut novel Defier: The Girl Who Stood is a Christian Dystopian and is the first book in a trilogy. Book two, Sparrow, will be released July 2016. Mandy’s short story Samara of Shalocke was picked up and published by Epifiction. She also writes for the Broken, Beautiful, and Bold Blog, and has a monthly inspirational article in the Westside Sol, a local newspaper.

She would love to connect with you!
Twitter: @mandyfender11
Facebook: Mandy Fender

Defier | The Girl Who Stood
by Mandy Fender

A YA novel inspired by Christian bravery.

When her faith makes her a target, Lennox Winters must leave everything she knows behind and face the harsh truth of what her world has become. The raised scar on her chest reminds her she still has a purpose, but is her purpose worth the sacrifice? With a new Regime taking over America and imprisoning Christians, she must decide what is worth fighting for.

They said her faith would be the death of her, but her faith made her alive.

Back Cover:
Seventeen-year-old Lennox Winters is no stranger to loss. She’s lost her parents, her home, and is in constant danger of losing herself. As she struggles with what to believe, she encounters Christ in a way that she cannot ignore. Kept alive by her newfound faith and accompanied by her loyal best friend, Lennox bravely emerges into a world at war on a quest for the truth. Only after Lennox has journeyed through perilous territory, eluded biologically altered predators, and overcomes the most intense of challenges does the real work begin.

What's worth standing for?

Purchase: Defier


Last week's winner for Delores Liesner's book Be The Miracle! is...

Rachel D. 

Congrats Rachel! I'll be sending you an email :)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sandra Orchard | New Novel News

A Fool & His Monet
by Sandra Orchard

Published: March 2, 2016
From: Revell
Purchase: A Fool & His Monet

A Fool and His Monet is the first book in Serena Jones Mysteries, in which a plucky FBI art crime agent forges her way through a museum of lies to expose the ruthless mastermind behind the recent theft of a priceless painting

Serena’s passion for uncovering lost and stolen art is surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother’s pleas to do something safer—like get married and give her grandkids—Serena’s hot on a new case—a Monet stolen from the local museum. The clues point in different directions and her boss orders her to cease investigating her most promising suspect. But determined to solve the case, and perhaps discover another clue in her grandfather’s case, she pushes ahead, regardless of the danger.

Get to know Sandra...

What prank would you want to play on your main character? 
Since Serena has a reputation for matchmaking men who are attracted to her with other women, it would be fun to turn the tables on her and have the guy that deep down she’d like to be with (even if she’s not ready to admit that to herself yet) come and ask her to set him up with one of her friends.

If your book became a movie, who would you cast for your main characters? 
Ooh, this is easy, because Serena is a movie buff and mentally pairs people she meets with their Hollywood lookalikes to help her remember their names. Since the actors people are familiar with depends on their age and viewing tastes, I’ve made it easy for readers by creating a Pinterest board of the lookalikes for all my main characters here: and under the bonus features on my website. Serena Jones is Kate Hudson. Tanner Calhoun is Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Nathan Butler is Bradley Cooper. Aunt Martha is Betty White.

Who is your favorite secondary character?
Aunt Martha is my favorite hands down. She is as spry and quick witted as actress Betty White. She is an eager armchair sleuth who doesn’t know the meaning of armchair. She’s had this amazing globe-trotting life that we probably don’t know the half of. And she absolutely adores Nate; is rooting for Serena to end up with him; and seems to have a rather unique friendship with him herself.

Readers can connect with Sandra here:
And Subscribe to her Newsletter for Book Release Updates and Subscriber-Exclusive Stories

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

He Is Risen: Happy Easter!

I just wanted to take a moment to say Happy Easter to you all! I'm blogging over at the Putting On The New blog today with reflections for Easter and thought you all might enjoy that. Follow the link below:

I hope that your day is filled with the joy of the fact that He is risen and the reality of what that means for us if we are followers of Christ.

- Emilie

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Nourish Your Family's Spiritual Health this Easter | Mealtime Devotions with Whit

Emilie here: I just love the idea of meal time devotions! No, I don't have kids, but I have a feeling if I did I would want to use these fun Whit's End Mealtime Devotions to help foster great conversation at the dinner table and beyond. Gear up for Easter and check out the info below:


If your family is like most, breakfast is rushed to get everyone out the door. Lunch is spent at school or work. So where does that leave dinner? Nourish your family's spiritual health as you eat supper together. Adventures in Odyssey and Odyssey Adventure Club want to give you a free resource to help you begin your new dinner tradition of making the most of your family mealtime, beginning this Easter season. Simply head to this page and fill out the form to receive a free sample of Whit's End Mealtime Devotions.


Want new resources to continue to build your family's faith, even after Easter is over? Consider signing your family up for the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:
  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.
To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit, Facebook, Twitter. and Pinterest.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa | RE:View

Annabell Lee is a mysterious adventure that stretches beyond categories to produce an intriguing read.

From the cover you get the feeling that this book is going to be creepy. I personally found it wasn't nearly as frightening as I thought it would be, but I did find it intriguing.

Annabell Lee has a flavor all its own. It reminded me of an amalgam of Ted Dekker, James Bond, Magnum P.I., and post military themes. I know, not the best description but it was definitely in a category all its own. I wanted there to be more suspenseful action, and yet there was definitely a high death-toll toward the end that was quite shocking but not necessarily in a bad "socking" way. That may sound bad, but I'm not opposed to some violence as long as it's not completely unnecessary. I suppose it's in the way that Mike writes that defines the book. It's descriptive but doesn't have as much tension in the writing as you'd expect. 

The characters were intriguing as well. In my mind they weren't your "run of the mill" main characters. You had Annabel who was only eleven but wise beyond her years, a protective German Shepperd (I include him in the characters because...why not?), The Mute (yep, just like it sounds), and then Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill. Talk about some interesting dynamics, especially between Trudi and Samuel. I see some interesting development possible with them - but I'll leave out the rest of my comments so as not to spoil anything.

I think, overall, I would say that Mike has something good going on here. Read the letter at the back of the book and you'll get a very interesting story indeed, but I can see people loving this book and people hating it. It's not traditional or typical and I think that's okay.

I would recommend this to fans of suspense and/or romantic suspense with a disclaimer that it's not your average suspense/romantic suspense book, so don't expect it to be. As I try to do, read with an open mind and you might just find something you love in Mike Nappa's writing.

My Rating: 4*
Purchase: Annabel Lee (A Coffee & Hill Novel)

Book Description
(from Amazon)
Fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden. That secret's name is Annabel Lee Truckson, and even she doesn't know why her mysterious uncle has stowed her deep underground in a military-style bunker. He's left her with a few German words, a barely-controlled guard dog, and a single command: "Don't open that door for anybody, you got it? Not even me."

Above ground, a former Army sniper called The Mute and an enigmatic "Dr. Smith" know about the girl. As the race begins to find her, the tension builds. Who wants to set her free? Why does the other want to keep her captive forever? Who will reach her first?

Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill need to piece together the clues and stay alive long enough to retrieve the girl--before it's too late.

With its stunning writing and relentless pace, Annabel Lee will captivate readers from the first page. 
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Rachel McMillan {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Rachel...

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

Connect with Rachel...


Get to know Rachel...

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

Why do you write? 
I write to validate women beyond the domestic experience and romantic ideal we find in so many happy ever afters. We read romances that stop at marriage. I took two women whose experiences with romance are rocky, vulnerable and hopefully a little validating. I really wanted to champion women who don’t fit the perfect model of the domesticity I saw in my Janette Oke novels. I enjoy romances profusely, but knew that would never be my world. I think there’s a bit of Jem Watts and Merinda Herringford in every woman (tweet this).

Your Writing 

Tell us a little bit about your book...

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
I am so lucky to have six stories with which to develop and grow my characters. There is so much of me in Jem and so much of me in Merinda so they are very special to me. Like friends at this point. I do have a soft spot for Ray DeLuca. Mostly because when I was outlining the book he was a secondary character (in a very early whiteboard session, I had Jem Watts ending up with a cop!) but then he just snuck in there and took over. Soon, he was a POV character. As the series progresses, he develops more. He’s a really fascinating character and he emblemizes Toronto at a time of progress and change, yes, but also the darker side with its prejudice toward immigrants and its inability to accept newcomers to its staunch English traditions.

What did you learn while writing it? I uncovered an amazing amount of things I never would have found in my Canadian history textbooks! One, that Toronto had a sort of morality police that had the power to arrest women suspected of vagrant or incorrigible behaviour (that could mean anything from loitering to suspiciously looking flirtatious or pickpocketing) and that any man –be it brother or husband or father or ex-boyfriend—had the right to report a woman and his statement alone would see her questioned and most likely detained. I work this into my series a lot (it is why Jem and Merinda have to dress as men in their cases). I also have learned quite a bit about the War Measures Act: a series of laws put in place when Canada joined Britain in the First World War in 1914. In the third book, Ray DeLuca has to report as an alien immigrant once a month. The government had the power to rid immigrants of their jobs and property if they suspected they were dangerous. Of course, like the morality police, this level of power is easily abused and becomes a major theme in the books.

Finally, because I am just so excited, I learned a lot about Theodore Roosevelt. My second novel a Lesson in Love and Murder releases in August and finds Jem and Merinda trying to stop an anarchist group from bombing the Chicago Coliseum where Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party in August ,1912. I love Roosevelt now. I read so many books about him! Bully!

Emilie here: Wow! That is so fascinating and I love the fact that the series is set in Toronto - I love learning about new places (even if it's the 1900s version *hehe*).


Let's talk about your writing life...

How long did you write before you got published? 
I wrote about twenty years before pursuing publication. Three years ago I signed with my agent (relatively quickly) for a historical romance proposal. My first book was passed on by every CBA publisher. But, while it was making the rounds, I wrote The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder and a proposal for that. My agent sent that out in May of 2014 and I signed the contract with Harvest House in Dec 2014. During that time, there was a lot of re-jigging and working with editors and gauging interest. There is a lot of patience and dedication and back and forth that goes into pursuing publication. I am quite lucky because while my first book has still not been picked up, It was less than two years between signing with my agent and signing a three book, three novella contract with Harvest House.

What’s your encouragement for younger writers aside from “keep writing”?
Always have something in your back-pocket (tweet this). While my first book was out on submission, I wrote Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder. When that was out on submission, I immediately started something else. This allows you to hopefully have a range and a manuscript that will fit a market need. This industry is very changeable and it helps to stay on top of the pulse of it. I pitched at two ACFW conferences before signing Herringford and Watts and while meeting with editors, I always talked about the manuscript they had from my agent and what I was working on.

Secondly, read everything (tweet this). Everything in your genre of choice, but across the board. I am not a mystery reader first and foremost. It’s a genre I enjoy; but I always fancied myself a historical romance writer. When the opportunity came to flex my muscles in this way, I was lucky that I had a working knowledge of detective fiction to draw from.

Third, manage your expectations (tweet this). If you are writing because you want a career, you are not writing for the right reason. You cannot (with very few exceptions) support yourself on a writer’s salary. You have to be willing to view it as an elaborate hobby with a lot of sacrifices while you work at a job that will pay for your benefits, rent, food and retirement fund.

Emilie here: Such great tips Rachel! I love them and the reality they encourage. I love how you call writing an "elaborate hobby" and it's so true!

How many rejection letters did you get before being accepted by a publisher?

My first novel A Sound Beyond Hearing was rejected by every single CBA publisher. All of them. Except for two who never sent a formal rejection and I think it might be floating in space somewhere. But, in almost all cases, I received feedback through my agent. What editors liked, what made the board ultimately pass. It’s discouraging to receive rejections; but gee whiz!, was it ever nice to receive rejections couched in professional criticism. I took all of these suggestions and they have made me a better writer. As for that book, a few editors were honest enough to tell my agent and I that it would not be the manuscript that broke me into the marketplace. It wasn’t. But, I am not shutting the door on it for good. I still mean to bring it back out into the world someday!

What did you learn along the path to publishing that you’d care to share as encouragement? 
I wrote a book that I thought coloured inside the lines and met all the presumed expectations that CBA publishers were looking for. As rejections piled in, I began writing something else entirely. Something so different for the CBA, breaking nearly every rule. There’s so much of my spark and personality and humour and vulnerability in this series. The faith questions (which are more thematic than blatant, making this an intentional cross-over series) are ones I have grappled with on my own. Instead of reaching to fulfill my conception of the publishing world’s expectations, I should have trusted my own instinct (tweet this). My crazy trouser-wearing Edwardian lady detectives and their two misfit heroes (I call the series the Island of Misfit Toys) made my lifelong dream of publication come true.

How do you grow in your writing craft?
I read and I write. I have never taken a writing class or read any craft books. But, I read all the time. I read all genres. I read in the general market and in the inspy market. I read classics and YA. I am a voracious reader. I also have a subway commute to get to my real job and so I read on the train every morning and at night. The more I read, the more I learn about the craft: what sticks and what doesn’t. I also write all of the time. I am always scribbling. I scribble snippets of dialogue. If I visit an interesting city or research an interesting historical personage, I will “practice” write a few things. I keep them all in Evernote and sometimes they find their way into a book!

Emilie here: Oh yes! I 100% agree with this--the best way to grow as a write is to READ (and of course, to write). And I love Evernote too!

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If you could travel to any location and stay there for one month (probably spending most of the time writing) where would you go? 
Right now, Boston. I’ve been on two research trips there in the past year and a half. Jem Watts and Merinda Herringford solve a mystery there in Of Dubious and Questionable Memory. Also, my proposal for the series set after the Herringford and Watts books is set in Boston. That city is living history. It’s a bit of a muse for me. I could see myself writing about Boston forever!

What are you currently reading?
I am currently A Time of Fog and Fire by Rhys Bowen who is one of my favourite mystery writers. Next up is A Fool and His Monet by Sandra Orchard: another Canadian mystery writer who lives not too far from Toronto!

Emilie here: Thank you so much for your wonderful thoughts here today Rachel. Readers, I've so enjoyed getting to know Rachel and her hilarious personality via FB and I just know you will enjoy her novel The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder! If you haven't already check out her novella A Singular and Whimsical Problem which is available now!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Real-Life Encouragment from Ficition by Delores Liesner | Guest Post

Books are everywhere in my house. Nonfiction, commentary, spirituality, health and research are in the study. Biography and Bible study form 1/3 of currently reading or to-be-read shelves, writing related materials line my office, Biblical fiction, nature, historical and cozy mystery fill baskets by the reading chair, all the books in which I have a story have their own cabinet and in every room in the house and in the car – inspirational stories – mostly fiction. I read an average of 2-3 books a week and during December (and months when I do judging) a book or several novellas each day. Books have affected and continue to affect all areas of my life.

Grace Livingston Hill and O’Henry got me hooked on story, Liz Curtis Higgs and Florence Littauer on humor, and Chicken Soup books on brevity. My most frequently read genre is Inspirational Fiction - preferably with humor and a little romance because I enjoy the respite they offer.

Sequential stories are favorites - Jan Karon’s Mitford series, the Sisterchick series by Robin Gunn, Neda Jackson’s Yada Yada books, the Texas Crossroad Series by Amanda Cabot, numerous series by Janice Hanna Thompson including Brides with Style and multiple-author series like Grace Chapel Inn and Love Finds You. Weekly reads are Heartsong authors like Linda Glaz, Jenna Mindel, Coleen Reece, Lauraine Snelling, Melody Carlson, and Christine Johnson. Other fiction I enjoy are Dan Walsh’s Restoration Series and his fiction based on a true story like The Discovery, and The Reunion — keepers that I read again and again.

And they all have something in common – something I wish more professors, counselors, psychologists and therapists realized. It is that fiction can bring life change in a non-threatening way (tweet this) and action steps to make those changes are more clearly understood through story than textbooks. I particularly choose and read fiction centered around real-life situations and responses because I can then pass them on to someone with a particular need, and know this book will clarify what worked for someone else and bring hope to the reader.

It’s tough, I can imagine you saying, (ha ha) to “have to” read all those books because I am not comfortable recommending something unless I have read it. I love to read and it is more like I ‘get to’ choose 2-3 books a week to expand my knowledge, increase vocabulary and enjoy a unique prayer-starter for acquaintances struggling through similar situations.

Because I’ve experienced encouragement myself from inspirational fiction, and know many others who also have, I am learning how to round out all those what if stories into a book or novella. In the meantime, the value of story in communication remains vital to my writing – and my personal growth. I still enjoy imagining the story behind from otherwise boring classes. Each of those famous historical names, were after all, people, just like us with worries, challenges, dreams and goals, and crazy adventures. I’ve prayed for generations yet to come in our family and just recently learned of some characters from my own history that appear to have also believed in generational prayer. What if? What if before I was born someone was praying for me?

Could that be why my grandkids said when they were with Gramma they knew something amazing (or at least unusual) was going to happen? Thirty-one of those (true – nothing fictionalized) stories have been compiled in Be the Miracle! published by Elk Lake Publishing.

I’m happy to share a copy of that book with one of you readers. Not only will you read of some of my amazing adventures, but, I hope, be encouraged to recognize, activate and record some of your own stories. Come along and join others who are not just reading others’ miracle stories, but learning how to Be the Miracle to others.

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Delores Liesner’s motto, putting hands and feet to our faith, is revealed in the true stories in her book Be The Miracle (2015 Elk Lake Publishing). She longs for her articles, stories, devotionals and columns to lead others to recognize miracles in their lives. Delores writings will benefit children with life-threatening illness via Fullness of Life Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ Website/Blog: http:/
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by Delores Liesner 

Whether we title these unexplainable happenings miracles, God-sightings, or some other name, people love to hear of such occurrences. Why? They increase our faith by providing evidence of the miraculous in our everyday lives and heighten awareness of God's desire to minister personally to us and through us. Unique connecting verses, defining thought, key words, and personal challenges will help the readers go beyond the "good for her" feeling and bring each story's teaching to life in their own daily walk. Many will find comfort knowing they are not alone in hearing God's voice or direction. Others also will deepen their walk with God, gain the courage to listen for God's voice, be a noticer of others' needs, and practice hearing and answering God's call to deliver a specific answer to a specific person. Sometimes walking in faith seems risky because it means obeying even if the directions don't seem to make sense. When Abraham brought Isaac in faith up the mountain for a sacrifice, he risked all believing that God's character would not fail him. God did keep His promise and provided a lamb, and Abraham passed the test of trust and faithfulness. What do we risk daily for the Lord? These life-vignettes encourage readers that risking embarrassment is a small price for the incredible joy of seeing God work over and over again. How can YOU put hands and feet to your faith and BE The Miracle for someone else?



Lots of amazing books given away last week! We've got winners....

Rebecca Peterson
Heidi Robbins
Vicki Geslak
Vicki Geslak