Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Carole Brown & The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman

Books and stories about occult and the powerful, mesmerizing allure of its leaders always find a sweet reading spot within me. The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman is no exception. As I read this story, I am swallowed by its fast pace and deep storytelling; and it is my pleasure to host an interview with this talented author.

About the book:
How far would YOU go to avenge a daughter’s cruel death? Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings. Can his prayers and love reach Cara and show her the way to redemption? Will Cara realize God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far?

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman is a novel of hope shining through the darkness with strong elements of suspense and romance. This novel was a semifinalist in the Genesis contest and is receiving raving reviews! Release date was October 21, 2013 from the Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, an ACFW approved publisher. The preorder link for the book which is on SALE NOW is: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1938499948/

Read some of the reviews below:

"What an exciting, yet eerie ride. The characters in this book are so believable. Cara's emotional and mental scars are well-written, making her illogical choices very believable. This book takes the reader into a religious cult community."~ CH Amazon Reviewer

"A compelling story, which takes place in an abusive cult, that grabs you on the first page and doesn't let go." ~ LB Amazon Reviewer

"The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman is a courageous story, set in a storyworld few are brave enough to explore, the seamy world of cults. But even in this living hell, there is a light in the darkness; there is hope for the hopeless; there is a love that is stronger than hate. This is a riveting romantic suspense with underlying spiritual themes. A great debut novel by Carole Brown." ~ PK Amazon Reviewer



How did the idea and/or inspiration of writing this book come about?

CB~ I can thank my husband for the idea. We like to follow news items that catch our attention. Awhile back the cult news in Texas was prominent, and Dan--my husband--began a what if session with me. It seemed like a tough topic, but he was there with me throughout the whole time. Traveling, I’d read to him and he would point out faults in a scene, give me ideas on how to improve certain areas, and suggestions of how to write different things of which I had no experience. We added a twist to the old cult-thing with a spunky rebellious woman who prevailed in spite of circumstances. 

Your book has a strong faith element. How natural was this to write about?

CB~ It was a little more strongly written in this book than some, but easy enough to include. I like showing improvement and change in my characters. Showing their realization that God is real and God loves them, which happened to Cara, was a slow process to someone who never experienced real love. Even then, her faith barely blossomed.

If there is a second book, then I hope to show her growing spiritually through the trials and problems that face her and Dayne.

What do you hope readers take away from this book?

CB~ That there is hope for everyone! No matter how low a person sinks, God loves him/her and is willing to help them if they will open their hearts.

Which of the characters in the novel is most like you and why?

CB~ Oh, dear. Cara is such a stinker in her plotting revenge. Yet her loving, tender heart is a lot like my own. I adore my own sons and grandsons, and have a tender heart for those hurting and needy. I cry at excellent love scenes and when our pets have to be put down. Unfortunately (?) I can usually see the other person’s viewpoint. I’ve always had a tender conscience and probably always will.

Who is your favorite Biblical character and why?

CB~ I love so many of them, but one that always stands out is Daniel, partly because that’s my husband’s name, and mostly because he was such an upright, stalwart young man. Admirable, courageous, and determined to do what he felt was right. Traits I like to write into my own heroes.

What’s your favorite and least favorite part about being a writer?

CB~ Favorite? All of it. Writing the story, knowing you have a good one, and typing the words, The End. Having Readers love your novel. It’s all good knowing you’re using the talent God’s given you.

Least favorite? Hmmm. Probably marketing. I’m enjoying the interaction with bloggers and other writers but shoving myself out there feels sometimes like an abrasive move. Still, it’s got to be done, so I grit my teeth, and adhere! lol

What advice would you have for writers hoping to follow in your footsteps?
CB~ Never, never give up. Hold fast to your dreams.

Other than writing, what else occupies your time?

CB~ Family, GRANDSONS, traveling, gardening, and still some ministry.





Like to learn more about Carole Brown and how to connect with her? Read below and follow the links.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?


Connect with her here:
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/browncarole212
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown


I (Carole Brown) also am part of several other blogs:
Geezers Guys and Gals:  http://geezerguysandgals.blogspot.com/
Stitches in Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Janet Sketchley & Heaven's Prey

Would you pray for the person who has done you wrong? Would you pray for your enemy? Would you pray for the person responsible for a loved one's death? Does pray for the enemy make a difference?

Serious questions for a Christian, but in Heaven's Prey Janet Sketchley brings these questions to light in a bold and unique book. Janet Sketchley's novel, Heaven's Prey, releases November 1, 2013 from Choose NOW Publishing. Feel free to tell your friends! For more information and a free sample chapter, see the Heaven's Prey page at Choose NOW Publishing.

Your novel is Heaven's Prey--tell us a little about it.

Despite her husband's objections, 40-something Ruth Warner finds healing through prayer for Harry Silver, the serial killer who brutally raped and murdered her niece. When a kidnapping-gone-wrong pegs her as his next victim, Harry claims that by destroying the one person who'd pray for him, he proves God can't—or won't—look after His own. Can Ruth's faith sustain her to the end—whatever the cost?

How did the idea and/or inspiration of writing this book come about?

Sometimes I pray for people I see in the news, either victims or villains. One day this question hit me: it's one thing to pray for an offender locked away in jail, but what would you do if you met the person face to face?

Your book has a strong faith element. How natural was this to write about?

The faith element is an integral part of the plot. Ruth feels pulled to pray for her niece's killer, and she thinks it's part of how God will help her grief. Then once she's been abducted, she has no one to rely on but God. The tricky part was to not make it preachy, and not use "churchy" jargon that readers might not understand.

What do you hope readers take away from this book?
 
Whatever happens, Jesus will be there. That's something I tell myself whenever fearful "what if" questions try to steal my peace. Ruth's experiences in Heaven's Prey prove to her heart what her head has already known about God: He is trustworthy and He never leaves us.

Which of the characters in the novel is most like you and why?

They all have bits of me, but I share most in common with Ruth. We live in the same city, have similar tastes in music, and love tea and cheesecake. I think we'd be friends. Like her, I've prayed for race car drivers and convicted criminals (among other people). Ruth has a lot more courage than I do—and she needs it.




Who is your favorite character?

That's like asking a parent to choose a favorite child. I'm very attached to them all, but I do have a special soft spot for Aaron Delaney in this story. Before Harry Silver turns to violence, he's a race car driver. Mr. Delaney is his initial sponsor and his mentor. 

What's your favorite and least favorite part about being a writer?

I love that moment, writing fiction, when a scene or character comes to life and I'm typing as fast as I can to keep up. It doesn't happen often. I think my least favorite part is when writers' angst flares up.

What advice would you have for writers hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Don't wait until you have something published to call yourself a writer. Connect with other writers online or in person. Learn from their experience and their mistakes.

Other than writing, what else occupies your time?

Where does the time go? That's a great question, and if I knew the answer, I might catch up on housework. Then again I'd likely spend it reading, or enjoying a cup of tea with my husband.
Thanks for hosting me!





Here's more about Janet Sketchley and how to connect with her:

Janet Sketchley is a Canadian author with a passion for story. She’s also a wife, mom, daughter, and friend, balancing relationships and responsibilities while learning how faith applies to real life. Combine all that with her quirky imagination to get inspiring novels about everyday women in suspenseful situations, who discover more strength within than they could have dreamed.

Website: http://janetsketchley.ca/
Heaven's Prey page: http://janetsketchley.ca/books/heavens-prey/
Sample Chapter: http://janetsketchley.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Heavens-Prey-Chapter-1.pdf
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JanetSketchley
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanetSketchley
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/author/janetsketchley

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mary L. Ball & Escape to Big Fork Lake

Escape to Big Fork Lake was Mary L. Ball's first book published. Read below some reviews of this romantic suspense novel:

"This is a sweet romance that sensitively addresses sexual temptation for Christians without making the reader blush."~ D. Amazon Reviewer

"This inspiration romance that is filled with mystery and suspense had me hooked till the last word was read. I truly felt this story was well thought out and had a message of Gods love for each and everyone of his children."~ T. Amazon Reviewer

"I felt that the author captured the essence of a small Southern town very well."~ AF Amazon Reviewer

Read below for more about Escape to Big Fork Lake.


My debut novel is Escape to Big Fork Lake. I was cleaning house and thinking about going to the lake. A thought about spending a few days away at a small town resort formed in my mind, the next thing I knew Samantha Blacker was born.

She is a lady much like most of us women. She appears to be vulnerable at times, but underneath her exterior is a determination to rise above the challenges.

Later in the story, she meets Noah. A down to earth county man who loves the Lord. It’s with Noah’s help, Sam learns to trust in the Lord.   
             
Of course, life isn’t always simple and neither are my characters journeys. Along the path to happiness, there are bumpy roads that Sam and Noah must travel. Below is the blurb of Escape to Big Fork Lake:

Will an inheritance bring new happiness or a trap for murder?
Bad luck seems to follow Sam Blacker. She loses her job and faces daily struggles keeping her drunken neighbor away from her. When an unexpected inheritance gives her, a chance for a new beginning, Sam, a city girl at heart, is hesitant. However, after a brutal attack she has no choice.
Making a decision that will forever change her life; she flees to the small fishing town of Big Fork Lake, Alabama and soon finds herself in the arms of Noah Frye. A tumultuous relationship with Noah sparks buried desires of the heart, even if he is a Christian, surely, she can get around that little problem.
As Sam and Noah’s passion grows, trouble lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching. Inescapable, Sam’s bad luck returns when she stumbles upon a murder and becomes the only suspect. Will she have to run again, this time to stay out of prison? Worse, will she lose the best man she’s ever found? And what about the newfound hunger in heart to know God—can she truly trust in Him?


Thank you, Mary, for the chance to feature you and your two books. I look forward to reading them both!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mary L. Ball & Stone of Destiny

Stone of Destiny is the second book written by Mary L. Ball.

Brief blurb of this book: Taylor has given up on everything but her work. After becoming the youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, she believes life is complete--until her grandmother asks her to oversee the renovations of the family home, in addition to searching for a missing heirloom.
Her first contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. Taylor experiences strange. Unexpected feelings surface that she doesn't understand. Thoughts that should remain unspoken are voiced.
Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself and forcing her to question everything she believes.
Is this a fairytale, or simply her soul reaching out for a different world--a life she can only find
through faith and a divine trust in God?


The blurb captivates me and urges me to try this book. Based on the reviews below, Mary L. Ball is one author that I will enjoying reading.

"Mary L. Ball writes an intriguing suspenseful story. The book is a delightful read full of suspense, romance and the destiny for those who follow God's will. Well done, Mary!" ~ VPC Amazon Reviewer

"I felt that Mary did a great job on the writing of this book! It was a light mystery and romantic story. And yes, A Christian story! I gave her five stars because of how she put it all together to make it a very,interesting story that keeps the reader wanting to keep coming back and not wanting to put it down so easily." ~ A. Amazon Reviewer

"If you like a wonderful story with lots of romance, a little bit of suspense, and a story in which faith in God plays a big part, then this is the book for you." ~ DLG Amazon Reviewer

To read more reviews, click on this link: http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Destiny.

Learn more about Mary L. Ball and her book Stone of Destiny.

How did the idea and/or inspiration of writing this book come about?

MLB~ My Grandson has a fascination with teenage magic books. I passed by him reading the latest saga on one such novel, and the thought hit me. I needed to write about a spiritual kind of enchantment that only happens with faith and prayer.

Your book has a strong faith element. How natural was this to write about?

MLB~ For me it is very natural. I stand on faith. Things don’t always work out the way I want, but my faith lies in the fact that God knows best and in the end, I’m the winner.

What do you hope readers take away from this book?

MLB~ I want readers to see that often the road we’re taking isn’t always the one meant to walk down. Life shifts at times, for the best.

Which of the characters in the novel is most like you and why?

MLB~ Well, personality wise I must say it’s Granny Kaye. She faulted in faith a bit, but it didn’t take her long to get back up (Spiritually speaking) and gather more determination.

Who is your favorite Biblical character and why?

MLB~ David is my favorite. Even though he stood strong and trusted in God, he sinned. It’s through David’s pleas of repentance that we learn to take our faults to the Lord and seek pardon.   

What’s your favorite and least favorite part about being a writer?

MLB~ I love creating a fictional world with any type of possibilities that my imagination wants, but I don’t enjoy the editing process.

What advice would you have for writers hoping to follow in your footsteps?

MLB~ Read, write and continue to grow your writing skills. I’m still learning.
Above all, don’t give up. Send out queries until you can wallpaper you house with the rejects. If you’re persistent, a publisher will notice.

Other than writing, what else occupies your time?

MLB~ I wear many hats in a days’ time. I’m a caregiver for my mom and step-dad. A babysitter for my Grandkids. I try my best to support my husband’s ministry. Hubby and I sing at churches and retirement facilities. Oh yea, did I mention I like to go to the lake and fish.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Diane Dean White & On a Summer Night

A fusion of past thoughts with fragrances and salty air played in the recesses of Kate’s mind. More seagulls flew in formation against the blue sky that now showed gray clouds, with splashes of pink. She took her husband’s strong hand, full of love and warmth. Nestled, she sat next to his broad frame as he drove into the village. Memories flooded her soul. She’d  been eighteen, and with youth, wrong decisions often led to grave consequences. There was no erasing the past.
It had been years ago when she and her best friend, Vanessa, made this journey. What a special time their two-week trip after high school graduation had been. She’d never shared with her husband what had happened on that summer night. Kate wasn’t sure she should. Did it really matter? She knew the answer…they shared everything. Maybe it was time to tell him her story.
 

This is the setting for On a Summer Night, the novel written by Diane Dean White and published by Crosslink publishing. A highly regarded book and one I am sure readers would enjoy. Read below the interview with Diane Dean White and learn more about her and her novel, On a Summer Night. I mean, who can resist reading about the south and a 60's southern summer. :-)
Tell us a little about your book and yourself.
DDW~Let me first thank you, Daphne, for the opportunity to share my new book, On a Summer Night, just released, with you and your readers.
I’m a wife of forty-one years and the mother of three grown children. Two are overseas; youngest son and wife on the mission field in Russia and daughter and three grands, hubby is working in Shanghai, China. Our oldest son is in SC, but still too far away. My book came about after writing a weekly column for a Michigan based magazine (Our home state) for over four years, and I decided to write another book. I’ve written over 300 short-stories, but I wanted to write a longer piece. I’d self published two books in the early 2000’s, but this was a new direction, and was eager to share it.
How did the idea and/or inspiration of writing this book come about?
DDW~This is Christian fiction, suspense and romance with everyday people, and although fiction for the most part, many have been through these trials that are a part of the plot. A lot of research was done, because the book starts in the mid 60’s and then comes to present day, although I trust my memory fairly well, I always double check. Some of it is a sensitive area and I can only say I’ve lived in the south and know it to be very true during this time, possibly more so than in other areas…. Aw, now that’s the hook~:-)
Your book has a strong faith element. How natural was this to write about?
DDW~ It was easy to involve the Lord and how we seek Him, sometimes question Him, but knowing He has our best interests, and how we must trust His timing in all things. My husband is a strong man of faith and I patterned my MC husband after my own in many ways. I think as a Christian it would be difficult to exclude God from anything I write, but very real to have my characters stumble striving to serve Him.  
What do you hope readers take away from this book?
DDW~ It’s the belief that whatever our past mistake, God is always ready to forgive us. Perhaps it’s difficult for the person seeking forgiveness to forget, but God always does. Once we ask Him for forgiveness that sin is forgotten. If only we could do the same.
Which of the characters in the novel is most like you and why?
DDW~ I don’t think any of the female characters are like me. I know what I’m like and I try hard to create characters that are better than me. I love creativity! At least in this novel I don’t feel I’ve captured too many of my vices in my characters. Kate may have some hidden traits like me, but she would be the only one. I believe we both share the love of the same type of man in our lives. :-)
Who is your favorite Biblical character and why?
DDW~ Oh, it’s Ruth. I love her submissiveness to follow Naomi and how she helped and cared for her, despite Naomi wishing she shouldn’t follow. And how much Ruth loved and trusted her… moreover, by doing so her obedience brought about much joy, after so much hardship in their former land. Naomi in turn brought much happiness to Ruth, instructing her and wanting her life to be full with Boaz.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part about being a writer?
DDW~ My favorite time is early morning when I rise and allow the creative juices to flow…and since we’re empty nesters I have a lot of time during the day to proof what I write. I enjoy listening to instrumental music from the television, usually easy listening, while I’m writing. I can write to background activity, but I prefer just light music. The hard part, knowing I need to stop and rest my brain and the promotional work once the book is out. :-)
What advice would you have for writers hoping to follow in your footsteps?
DDW~ To start writing…. choose any familiar topic and enjoy creating a story. Don’t worry about sentence structure or any of the rules, just put your thoughts on paper or the computer, there’s always time to rewrite and get rid of weasel words, POV mistakes, be sure you’re not telling too much. And if you’re going to lay your work out to be critiqued you have to be willing to take constructive criticism. Stay with it, and don’t give up. If this is a dream you can make it come true.
Other than writing, what else occupies your time?
DDW~ Writing takes a lot of my time, and especially now with my book just out I’m planning promotional work and creating a video. It’s a long road but a fun one. My sequel to On a Summer Night, called This Side of Heaven, will soon be ready for a final proof. I enjoy antiques and although I used to do a lot of that, and had my own little boutique for a while, I’m fairly limited to the house now with a back injury. However, I always find time for visits when our children come, and we do fun things with them. Our daughter and grand gals, who come once a year from China, enjoy tea rooms, which I also love….so we make plans to do at least one a visit. I’ve got a fun blog site and share my photos in Favorite Things. Some tea pictures are included.

Learn more about Diane Dean White below:
Diane started her writing at an early age, but it wasn't until her husband’s work took them to a small southern town she wrote her weekly columns, “Yankee Viewpoint’s” for a local newspaper. Perhaps not the best name to use in the early 70's. Returning to her home-state of Michigan, she did stringer work over the years, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations. Diane self-published two books in the early 2000’s, and she became a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories. Her book On a Summer Night has just been released. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-one years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals. Both Michigander's, they now make their home in the sunshine state of Florida.
Visit Diane on her website at www.DianeDeanWhite.com
And friend request her on Facebook at, https://www.facebook.com/diane.d.white.75?ref=tn_tnmn
To order her book, check out:


Afterwords from Diane Dean White:
Thank you very much Daphne. I've enjoyed the time with you and getting to know
you better with your interest in my book and spiritual walk. I hope your readers
will feel free to ask questions and I'll try to answer if I can. Thank you, again.
You are most welcome. I've enjoyed reading about you and look forward to reading more On a Summer Night. ~ Daphne
 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Journal by Beth Harlow

The time is June 1861. A journal is given to a young Rebel fighter and each entry over the next four years detail the lives of 8 men: Rebel and Yankee.


As the journal falls from one hand and into the next, each man will read what was written beforehand and add his own thoughts: about life, about the war, about love, and about God.

Each man is at a different stage in his life in his relationship with God. Some make the choice, a couple do not. And each finds that there are good men and bad men on both sides and each pray for the day the war will end.

The Journal chronicles these men's lives and will bring the reader even deeper into their own walk with God.

At times I found the writing to be heartbreaking and I could picture the horror of the young man trapped in the bombardment of Vicksburg and his relief that his company had surrendered. Finally food and rest, either in a prison camp or in heaven.

Through all the entries and all the worry, the ugliness of war and man's behaviour, and the desperate longing for home one theme reigns: hope. Each man had hope. Hope to see family, to see the end of war, to see his brother or child, or just to go home. And each learned that belief in Jesus Christ gave that hope.

An easy book to read in one afternoon, but a book to keep on your shelf to read time and time again. The author's research of the Civil War was complete and the description placed the reader in each scene. This is a book that will stay with you for a long, long time.

***I was given this book through BookCrash for a complete and honest review.***

Willing to Die by John Muntean/Josephine Walker

"Hope and freedom hang in the balance between the success or failure of one man’s plan. And John Muntean will succeed, or die trying." 


 The True Story of John Muntean as told to Josephine Walker

I have the blessing to know Jo Walker through online and phone calls. A truly remarkable lady with a bright love for Christ in her heart. When she told me about her opportunity to write John Muntean's story I was excited. But that excitement paled in comparison as I read a portion of the story before it was even published.

Willing to Die takes the reader into a world very few knew much about. History books made passing remarks. We could find the country of Romania on the map. We heard tales about Romanian gypsies and the Romanian circus, but other than that what did we really know about it other than it was the Breadbasket of Europe?

The horror of WWII barely touched Muntean's village.  To those who experienced the atrocities the news about the war's end brought them hope. According to Muntean, "they truly believed life would get better once the Nazis left". But the one sentence that prickled my skin and sent ghostly shivers down my neck was: They were wrong--the Russians were coming.

That one sentence set the stage for a book that is truly hard to put down. Throughout the oppression, the reader sees the hand of God at work through one man and his family. How many close calls? So many that you can see only God brought him through it or saved him from it. And God had a purpose for this man's life.

Not only to flee a country where Christians hid in fear, where those who did not conform to Communism faced imprisonment, torture, and even death. People wanted to flee. The Breadbasket of Europe became a withered loaf under the pounding of an iron fist.

As the reader becomes immersed in the true story of one man's plight and flight, you can't help be see the parallelism with today.  That was Romania in history. It is fast becoming America today. With so many truths exposed and so many warnings, I wonder who will listen to his man. He loves America and he's willing to fight for her. Through this book, we see more than just history, we see the future.

In 1981, Muntean and his family saw a wondrous sight, one that most Americans have forgotten that existed. On the plaque it reads:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

The Statue of Liberty represents freedom. Freedom that Americans are signing away each day for a few morsels, a few crumbs, of bread from empty promises of a government.

Read below for more about Josephine Walker and Willing to Die:

Author bio: Josephine Walker a former stay-at-home mom, car sales associate, Realtor and CNA in a long-term care center started her writing career in 2009 after asking God “When I get old, what am I going to be doing? I must have some talent somewhere.” God planted a seed in her heart, gave her the idea for her first book, a fiction called Hope, soon to be published. Over the two years of writing Hope, she learned her craft, which prepared her for God connecting her with Mr. Muntean to author, Willing to Die.
A rough partial outline for the book was written by John Muntean, that and a total of 107 interviews brings the story and John’s warning to America to light.
Josephine Walker is the penname for Jo Walker, a member of ACFW. A mother of three grown children, grandmother of eleven, widowed in 2011.

More about John Muntean:

Born in Romania when it was still the beautiful, vibrant, productive Breadbasket of Europe, John Muntean had a taste of real freedom. Thirty-two years later, his desire to flee religious persecution and Communist control pushes him into a plan that very well could cost him his life. All he’s got to do is get past the throng of specially-trained guards keeping Romanian citizens away from the American Embassy.  If he doesn’t, his family will be living forever under one of history’s most ruthless Communist dictatorships. John’s willingness to die for his family’s freedom rocks the nation and brings hope to those trapped under the thumb of Nicolae Ceausescu. Until November 10, 1980, hope hadn’t been a word heard too often on the lips of the average Romanian citizen. Then, with one broadcast from Radio Free Europe, it explodes across the nation into the hearts and minds of all those yearning for independence.

Now, after living thirty-two years in his beloved America he sees the same things happening, and fears for his children’s and grandchildren’s religious freedoms. John has a strong warning for God’s people and every liberty loving patriot.

Excerpt from his warning to America, thirty-two years later:

"The remains of American soldiers lie in cemeteries across Europe
and other countries as monuments to America’s willingness to fight
for freedom for all.

"Thousands of our combat veterans carry emotional and physical
scars from their efforts to protect freedom—ours and other
countries’.

"Do some things need to change? Of course, they do. There
are those within and without who want to bring America to her
knees. There are those within and without who have an agenda of
destruction. Yet, American citizens are strong. Our heritage of freedom
ought not allow us to stand aside and let destruction happen.

"If we, God’s people, will fulfill our responsibility to God and
our land, God will, indeed, hear from heaven and heal our land.
Thirty-two years ago, I feared for my children’s and grandchildren’s
futures under a Communist dictatorship. I put my life on
the line to gain freedom for my wife, my children, and me. Now,
thirty-two years later, I again fear greatly for the freedom of my
children, my grandchildren, and their descendants."

Purchase a copy of Willing to Die at these links:
http://ambassador-international.com/books/willing-to-die-the-true-story-of-john-muntean
www.josephinewalker.com
http://www.amazon.com
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Stay in contact with Josephine Walker at the following:
https://www.facebook.com/jo.walker.9809
https://twitter.com/AuthorJosephine

Evangelism for the Rest of Us

Ever wondered what was wrong with you when you went out into the world and tried to tell others about Christ? Ever wondered what you were doing wrong, why you were failing at it when so many others were succeeding?

Join the club of introverts thrust into an extrovert world. Evangelism requires introverts to step out, and I mean way out, of their normal parameters and comfort zones. Yes, we can delve into areas that are outside our comfort boundaries, but I can't do the things that extroverts do without it sounding fake and forced.

So what can we do when we feel lead to step into the evangelizing field as Jesus commanded?

Mike Bechtle's book evangelism for the rest of us is one of the best books out there for the introvert. It shows how to share Christ within our personality style. Not within our comfort zone, but within our personality style.

I highlighted and marked many pages in this book. Sayings and advice, things that struck a resonant chord within me. Here's something I CAN do!

A few excerpts from the book:
"Most Christians have separated themselves from the world for fear of being corrupted instead of praying for protection as they live among unbelievers."

"We don't 'do' evangelism--God does."

"It's not our job to beat the fish with the bait; our job is to make sure the bait is in the water where the fish is."

"Such churches thought the form was more important that the function."

"When we do something we're not designed to do, fear tends to paralyze us and keep us from taking action."

"Jesus does not tell us where to go; he simply asks us to follow Him."

The book is chock full of inspiration and considerations for the introvert. It would also be a good read for the extrovert so that they, too, may understand not only the mind of an introvert but of the introvert unbelievers, those that are unreachable to an extrovert.

Don't know if you're an introvert or extrovert though? No problem. A short little quiz at the beginning of the book will help you figure that one out.

This book is a highly recommended read. I'm glad I asked for it through AFA and I encourage others to do so too.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Margaret Brownley's Gunpowder Tea

“Suspicion ain’t proof, unless you’re married.”
                                                                         -Gunpowder Tea
 



Gunpowder Tea, an explosive mix of murder, mayhem, humor and love.

Margaret Brownley's story brings this mix to a simmer and lets it brew as the reader takes the tumultuous journey with Miranda, a Pinkerton Agent, and Jeremy, a Wells Fargo detective. The book is wonderful and such a pleasure to read, and even re-read again...and again. The little saying at each chapter added more charm to the book: such as, "Sign outside private detective's door: In God we trust; all others will be treated as suspects" or the one that made me chuckle: "Outlaws are so prevalent in some western towns you can walk form one end to the next without leaving the scene of the crime".

But the story doesn't stop at the surface of love and justice, it goes deeper into our own hearts as we realize that we, too, can be blind about the truth before us. Readers will not be disappointed with this book.

Here's more about Margaret Brownley:


Your novel is Gunpowder Tea--tell us a little about it.

MB~ Pinkerton detective Miranda Hunt (working undercover as Annie Beckman) is determined to track down the notorious Phantom who’s been terrorizing the area for more than a year.  To that end she watches ranch hand Jeremy Taggert like a hawk.  Not only is he the handsomest man she ever laid eyes on, but she’s convinced he’s the Phantom.   Little does she know that he’s a Wells Fargo agent also working undercover and equally suspicious of her.  Needless to say, the two of them are working at cross-purposes and that’s when the fun begins.



How did the idea and/or inspiration of writing this book come about?

MB~ After reading about Kate Warne who worked for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency from 1856 to her death in 1868, I knew I had to write about a female detective. A master of disguise, Kate helped save president-elect Abraham Lincoln from an assassination attempt on the train to Washington by having him pose as her invalid brother.  Kate was the perfect role model for my heroine and I had a blast writing her story.

**how interesting is that! I will have to find more books or stories about Kate Warne now~DS***

Your book has a strong faith element. How natural was this to write about?

MB~ If it doesn’t come natural I delete it because I know it’s probably preachy.  Sometimes I think we take religion too seriously. God has a great sense of humor, so why shouldn’t we?  My detective heroine has a code name for everyone including God, which causes some interesting predicaments.   Faith is more powerful when it shines through character action and change.

What do you hope readers take away from this book?

MB~ I hope readers finish the book with a smile on their faces and maybe a little more hope in their hearts.

Who is your favorite character?

MB~ I love the heroine Miranda Hunt, and I particularly like the chemistry between her and Jeremy.  It is so much fun.   I also have a special feeling for Eleanor Walker, owner of the Last Chance Ranch.  We first meet her in book one (all three books in the series stand alone and don’t have to be read in any sort of order).She’s a tough old bird and it was fun peeling away her many layers.  Readers who wrote to ask about her will be happy to know she does get a happy ending.

What’s your favorite and least favorite part about being a writer?

MB~ My favorite part is when the writing comes easy.  It doesn’t always, of course. Sometimes writing is like chiseling words out of rock, but when the words flow and the story begins to take shape, that’s heaven.  The least favorite part?  Deadlines!


What advice would you have for writers hoping to follow in your footsteps?

MB~ You really have to enjoy each step of the journey or you won’t survive the publishing business.  Surround yourself with a support group and celebrate every success.  Celebrate when you finish a chapter; enter a contest; pop a query in the mail; or sign up for a writing workshop.  This is what kept me going the five years it took me to sell my first book and it will keep you going, too.

Other than writing, what else occupies your time?

MB~ I chase bad guys, rob stagecoaches, hold up trains and break out of jails.  Wait!  My characters do that, not me.

I live a much boring life. I love to read and my husband and I travel in our RV.   I’m also a Boy Scout merit badge counselor and of course, our grandkiddies keep us hopping. 

***I think all us authors live our characters life...at least in our head. :-) ***

About Margaret:

Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this—except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."
           
Margaret wasn’t sure that was true, but she wasn’t about to take chances. She’s now a New York Times bestselling author with more than 30 novels to her credit including her current Brides of Last Chance Ranch series. Also look for her work in the following recently released or soon to be released collections A Bride for All Seasons, A Log Cabin Christmas and A Pioneer Christmas.  Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English.  Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.

Thanks Margaret! And could I ever get a copy of your Grisham-style newsletter? :-)

Get connected with Margaret at:
www.margaretbrownley.com
https://www.facebook.com/MargaretBrownleyAuthor