Author Interviews, Friday Free-for-All

Author Interview: Denise Buss

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Denise Buss to my blog and introducing her book, Original Design: Set Free to be Who God Created.

Hi, Denise. Thanks for dropping by. We look forward to learning more about you. So, tell us:

How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it?

My book is narrative non-fiction. It uses my life as an example to show how Satan uses an array of influences to mold us, in varying degrees, to become someone we were never intended to be. You’ll see how Satan uses our life experiences to distort our beliefs about God and ourselves, thereby taking us off our God-designed path. Through my journey, I show you how God’s mighty hand reaches forth to unbury secrets, gently uproot lies, and heal wounds in our hearts, thereby setting us free from Satan’s grip and restoring us back to God’s original design.

Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?

The Bible tells us that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Unfortunately, we have an adversary, the devil, roaming around like a lion seeking whom he may devour. Most of the time he doesn’t literally kill us, but he takes us off the path of God by concealing our true identity. Satan attacks when we are young, when our hearts are soft and vulnerable—easily molded.  We don’t realize we’ve been altered because much of Satan’s work is either subtle or completely invisible. But in Christ you have redemption from all of the devil’s work, including the impact it has on your heart, the reactions it produces in you, and even his work that becomes a part of who you are.

How did you get the idea for your book?

Original Design is primarily derived from nearly 80 prayer sessions with my pastor friend, spanning over a period of 3 years. God initially used our prayer time to rescue me from the attacks of the enemy but then later to reveal secrets and unbury lies hidden deep in my heart. As God’s truths penetrated my heart, I changed from a helpless girl cowering in the corner to a mighty soldier in Christ. It is a true a story of overcoming adversity by the miraculous power of God.

How did you get the idea for the novel?

As I was living through trials and praying with my pastor friend, God kept telling me to write a book about it.

Which came first, the book or the title?

The book came before the title.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your book?

I would try to expand the ending a bit more and give more closure.

What inspired you to write this book?

I initially wrote the book because God told me to. As I got into the project I then had a desire to help others break free from the bondage that Satan’s has put them in.

Considering the book from the first word you wrote to the moment you saw it on the shelf, what was your favorite part of the process? What was your least favorite?

I loved seeing how God took a raw prayer session full of unneeded dialogue and turned it into a beautiful masterpiece of writing. My least favorite part was having an editor who sometimes tried to change (inadvertently) the meaning of the text.

What’s up next for you?

I would like to start speaking at women’s conferences and retreats about God’s healing power.

Is there anything specific you want to say to your readers?

Don’t be afraid to go into God’s refining fire. All of us have things hidden deep in our hearts from our past that need to be burned away. The fire is hot and painful, but He will give you rest as the impurities are removed. And it’s definitely worth it.  Being set free from the work of the enemy is the only way you can be who God created you to be and do what He created you to do. That is your true freedom in Christ!

denise bussDenise Buss works as a nurse practitioner, but also has a Bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry. God directed Denise to write her first book, Original Design: Set Free to be Who God Created, to share her experience of deliverance and healing with others.
Denise’s desire is for God to use her labor of love to transform the walking wounded into mighty soldiers for Christ. She believes this can only occur when God’s truths pierce the heart and replace the lies and deceptions hidden within. Once the heart has been delivered from the works of Satan, the captive is free to be who God created—His original design.

You can find out more about Denise and her book at her website, www.DeniseBuss.com.

Friday Free-for-All

Free-for-All Fridays: NEW RELEASE! Striker’s Apprentice by Andrea Buginsky

Friday Free-for-All

Not long ago, I featured the cover reveal for Andrea’s Buginsky’s new book, STRIKER’S APPRENTICE. Now, I’m excited to announce it is available for purchase.

Congrats, Andrea. This looks like a fabulous book, and I hope everyone who sees this post checks it out for themselves! 🙂

Now Available!


As a young hunter seeks a trainer, The Chosen prepare for an unforgettable adventure.
With Nature and Phantasma back in order, Halli and Silvor have settled into their new life in Drumple. During a visit from Striker, Kaidyla and Lumina, a request from an old friend of Halli’s family sparks a new challenge when she asks Striker if he’ll train their young son, Dylan. Working with Dylan gives Striker a chance to be a mentor once again, as he had been in his past.
This brings The Chosen to an area of Phantasma Halli has never seen before. What new dangers might be lurking in the forest? Will Halli have a reason to use her powers?
But Halli and Silvor are facing a new journey of their own, one that will change their lives forever. What is in store for The Chosen’s future? Will this latest escapade prepare them for what is yet to come?

Excerpt

With another week of teaching behind them, Halli and Silvor enjoyed a quiet, leisurely breakfast at the tavern, catching up with their neighbors.

As he was telling her about a new student, Silvor saw a look of surprise and joy come across Halli’s face. Turning to see what she was looking at, he saw a pretty dwarf about his mother-in-law’s age walking towards Halli, smiling at her.

“Do you know her?” As he asked, the woman walked over to their table.

“Halli! Your mother told me I might find you here.”

“Cynthia! It’s so good to see you again.”

Hugging Cynthia, she turned to Silvor, making the introductions. “Silvor, this is Cynthia, Mom’s best friend. She moved away from Drumple years ago with her husband.”

She turned back to Cynthia. “I’m surprised Mom didn’t tell me you were back in Drumple.”

Knowing his wife would be involved in a lengthy conversation, Silvor made his way to the bar and began talking to the tavern keeper.

“We only returned about a week ago, and we’ve been busy settling in,” Cynthia responded to Halli’s comment. “It’s wonderful to see you, Halli. My, how you’ve grown! We’re so proud of everything you’ve done for Phantasma. I can’t believe you’re the same shy girl who used to sit quietly with your mother and me and read all day. Now look at you: married, and a Holy Paladin! Where have the years gone?”

“Mom wonders the same thing sometimes. And you? I hear you have a son. You’ve been gone from Drumple for so long, I don’t think I’ve even met him.”

“Oh, I’m sure you haven’t. He wasn’t born until after his father and I moved away from Drumple. But that was 15 years ago already!”

“What does he do? Is he a student at the school now? I don’t remember meeting anyone new lately…”

“No, he finished his studies a year ago, when he decided to take up hunting. Now he’s looking for a trainer. Which is what brings me to you. I was hoping you could talk to one of the hunters in your group about taking him on as an apprentice. Do you think they would be willing to do that?”

“Oh, I’m sure Striker and Kaidyla would love that! They’ll be here for a visit this weekend. Perhaps I can introduce you all then. Is your son here now? I’d love to meet him.”

“He’s right over there.” Turning to the young dwarf playing at the game table, Cynthia called, “Dylan! Come here. There’s someone I’d like you to meet.”

https://s3.amazonaws.com/embed.animoto.com/play.html?w=swf/production/vp1&e=1433190986&f=VwquxQ40RGV0A4Cgy0KB8g&d=0&m=b&r=360p&volume=100&start_res=360p&i=m&asset_domain=s3-p.animoto.com&animoto_domain=animoto.com&options=

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My HeadshotAndrea Buginsky is a freelance writer with a BA in Mass Communication-Journalism from the University of South Florida. She has always wanted to be a published writer, and decided to try to write fantasy books for teens. The Chosen is her first book, and was released on December 14, 2010, to her delight.

Andrea has written five more books since:
  • My Open Heart, an autobiography of growing up with heart disease.
  • Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen, Book 2
  • Striker’s Apprentice: The Chosen, Book 3
  • Destiny: New Avalon, book 1, a YA fantasy
  • Fate: New Avalon, book 2, a YA fantasy
She is currently writing the fourth book in The Chosen series.
Andrea lives in Kansas with her family, which includes her two precious puppies.

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Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: STRIKER’S APPRENTICE by Andrea Buginsky (Cover Reveal)

Friday Free-for-All

A while back, I hosted author Andrea Buginsky’s cover reveal for her book, Nature’s Unbalance (Book 2 in the Chosen series). Now, she’s back, and this time it’s with a cover reveal of Book 3 in the series. I’m so happy to be hosting her for the introduction of this third installment.

So, without further ado, here is the cover and short description of her latest book. Enjoy, and be sure to spread the word to all your friends and fellow fans of YA fantasy.

StrikersApp_Cover_1024x683-1 Final

As a young hunter seeks a trainer, The Chosen prepare for an unforgettable adventure.

With Nature and Phantasma back in order, Halli and Silvor have settled into their new life in Drumple. During a visit from Striker, Kaidyla and Lumina, a request from an old friend of Halli’s family sparks a new challenge when she asks Striker if he’ll train their young son, Dylan. Working with Dylan gives Striker a chance to be a mentor once again, as he had been in his past.

This brings The Chosen to an area of Phantasma Halli has never seen before. What new dangers might be lurking in the forest? Will Halli have a reason to use her powers?

But Halli and Silvor are facing a new journey of their own, one that will change their lives forever. What is in store for The Chosen’s future? Will this latest escapade prepare them for what is yet to come?

Coming soon to an eBook store near you

My HeadshotAndrea Buginsky is a freelance writer with a BA in Mass Communication-Journalism from the University of South Florida. She has always wanted to be a published writer and decided to try to write children’s fantasy books. The Chosen, her first book, was released on December 14, 2010, to her delight.

Andrea has written five more books since:

  • My Open Heart, an autobiography of growing up with heart disease.
  • Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen, Book 2
  • Striker’s Apprentice: The Chosen, Book 3 (coming soon)
  • Destiny: New Avalon, Book 1, a YA fantasy
  • Fate: New Avalon, Book 2, a YA fantasy

She is currently writing the fourth book in The Chosen series.
Andrea lives in Kansas with her family, which includes her two precious puppies.
You can visit Andrea on her website or Google+

Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: GMovies Review and Giveaway

Friday Free-for-All

If you like Netflix, you’ll love gMovies!

Join over 2 million people who are already enjoying gMovies on a monthly basis!
·  Instant access to hundreds of Christian movies and TV shows with new titles added monthly
·  The whole family can enjoy a variety of entertainment including Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama, Documentaries, Thrillers and more
·  Stream from iPad, Android, or your PC
·  Only $4.99/month, but you can enjoy a TWO-WEEK FREE TRIAL RIGHT NOW! Just go visit: https://vod.gmovies.com/gmovies/secure/signup?productid=38 and enter this CODE: FREETRIAL61.
·  No contract; cancel anytime
·  Powered by UP, American’s favorite TV network for uplifting entertainment

gMovies offers instant access to almost 300 faith friendly feature films of every genre, in addition to animated stories, television series and biblical documentaries. Always available on your computer or mobile device, gMovies also includes the bible-based animated series “Pahappahooey Island;” teen drama “Much Ado About Middle School” starring Bill Cobbs, Lee Meriwether and Amanda Waters; and the “Left Behind” drama series starring Kirk Cameron and based on the New York Times bestselling books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

gMovies is operated by UP, America’s favorite television channel for uplifting music and family entertainment, so rest assured that you are being offered the very best in faith conscious entertainment. The Parents Television Council™ has twice awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval™ to UP for being “an authentic family-friendly cable network.” UP is the only television network to be so honored.

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 1.31.19 PM

 This is a screenshot showing two of the movies that are available on gMovies. I’ve watched both of them and can highly recommend them – especially Amazing Love: The Story of Hosea. I think everyone should watch it because it’s such a beautiful story of self-sacrificing love. Another one that I really enjoyed was The Town That Came A-Courtin’, based on Ronda Rich’s book by the same name. In fact, I liked the movie so much, I went out and got the book!
GMovies has plenty for the kids too. My daughters’ favorites are the Mandie movies and the Friends and Heroes animated series. And I love that I can set them loose with the gMovies app and not have to worry about them stumbling across something they shouldn’t be watching, as sometimes happens with Netflix.
Two weeks not enough for you to enjoy gMovies for free? I know. There’s a lot of good stuff to watch. You probably won’t get to see it all in two weeks. But you’re in luck because I’m giving away one FREE 6-month subscription code to a commenter on this blog post. Just leave a comment by 11:59 PM EST on Friday, April 24, 2015, and you’ll be entered to win.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: THE ADVENTURES OF PAJAMA GIRL AND THE CORONATION OF THE CUPCAKE QUEEN (Review & Giveaway)

Friday Free-for-All

There’s nothing my girls like more than cupcakes with sprinkles…and the color pink. So, when the opportunity to read and review THE ADVENTURES OF PAJAMA GIRL AND THE CORONATION OF THE CUPCAKE QUEEN came, I had to take it.

Here’s a picture of their daddy reading it to them.

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The verdict? The four-year-old said it was “great,” and the six-year-old said she enjoyed it. My husband said he thought they went a little light on the girl for stealing the sprinkles, but it is a children’s book after all, so you can’t expect much in the way of in-depth, severe punishment.

I thought it was a delightful, beautifully illustrated book that is something the whole family can enjoy together. I’m always excited about books like that.

Here’s some more information about the book:

pajamagirl_social1

Hardcover; 32 pages

A cute, illustrated story about a girl‘s imagination and her magical pajamas. In this adventure, Ellie’s cupcake pajamas pave the way for she and her Sis to take a journey to a land filled with all kinds of sweet treats. Their journey quickly turns into an adventure to help the Cupcake Queen find the missing sprinkles needed for her coronation ceremony. In searching for the missing sprinkles, Ellie and Sis uncover a life lesson that is important for every child to learn.

About the author:
Sandra Hagee Parker lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, Ryan, and their daughters, Olivia and Elliana — the original pajama girls. A practicing attorney, Sandy is also a part of the music ministry at Cornerstone Church where she and her husband are leaders.

When not working or writing, Sandy enjoys traveling with her family and mastering the art of making Pancakes à la Pajama Girl with her two girls.

Don’t forget to check out the OFFICIAL WEBSITE!

pajamagirl_social2

As a special bonus for readers of this blog post, when you buy the book from any store or online retailer, and then enter your receipt at http://pajamagirl.com/downloads.php, you’ll receive 10 free Pajama Girl Activity Sheets sent via email!

And I have a copy to give away to one lucky commenter on this blog post. Just respond by 11:59 PM EST on Friday, April 17, 2015, and you’ll be entered to win. Don’t miss out on this chance for a rewarding family experience!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: Author Interview – Sheila M. Cronin

Friday Free-for-All

It’s been a while since I posted an author interview, so when Sheila M. Cronin contacted me after reading a comment I made on Alexis Grant’s site, it seemed like as good a time as any to start back up again.

Today, I am happy to welcome author Sheila M. Cronin. Let’s get to know a little more about her and her book:

1. How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it?

A timeless mix of romance, family drama, and psychological and inspirational insights served with humor, The Gift Counselor is a story that will warm your heart all year long.

2. If Oprah invited you onto her show to talk about your book, what would the theme of the show be?

The theme would be gift-giving and gift-receiving, and Oprah would be all over both!

3. How did you get the idea for the novel?

I observed something unusual in a major department store during the Christmas shopping season. A man approached a perfume counter and asked for gift advice. He needed a gift to fix a problem with his girlfriend. The sales associate behind the counter, a young woman, urged him to forget about perfume and buy his girl something beautiful instead—diamonds—so lovely they would make her cry. Then his problem would be solved. Immediately upon witnessing that scene, I knew I had been given the gift of a story and I began to write it that day.

4. Which came first, the title or the novel?

The story came first, and the title followed.

5. What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of, and why?

Some readers have told me they like the one sermon given by a priest at Sunday Mass most. It took me 25 tries to get that chapter right, and I am proud of it.

6. What inspired you to write your first book?

This is my first book. Originally, it was a screenplay. I wasn’t having any luck getting it sold. Another writer advised me to turn it into a novel.

7. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now? 

I’d have to say that when you receive a gift, such as I did when this story came to me, you’d better honor it as best you can, protect it, write and rewrite and polish it till it shines, and never lose belief in its power.

8. Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what’s your favorite part of the process? What’s your least favorite?

My favorite part was when my editor told me I’d written a good book and that it would go far. My least favorite was pushing to get it done when I was mentally exhausted.

9. What’s up next for you?

I am working hard on the sequel. It is called Best of All Gifts.

10. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Find a writing group and be a good member of it. By that I mean, attend every meeting, be ready to discuss your work and their work, and listen to their critiques. Find a good group with positive energy and serious writers, whether amateur or not.

Be sure to visit Ms. Cronin’s website at: http://www.giftcounselorbook.com.

About the Author

sheila m cronin

Sheila M. Cronin was born in Chicago, Illinois and after majoring in art, she obtained a Master’s degree in mental health sciences. Sheila then practiced art therapy for ten years. Among her other jobs was a stint at Princess Cruises where she traveled to Tahiti twice in one month. “Airport Romance”, her first published story, can be found in The WritersNet Anthology of Prose.

“Heart Shaped: a collection of short romances” includes 10 humorous stories that suggest love can begin or begin again anywhere.

Writing fiction, painting portraits and composing songs on piano are her favorite “cre-activities,” next to reading a good book.

Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: STITCHES (Because Some Wounds Need More Than a Band-Aid Cure) by Jeremy L. Blunt

Friday Free-for-All

Today I’m featuring a book that deals with relationship problems and how to fix them – even the toughest ones. It presents an insightful look at a very real problem. I hope you’ll take a few moments to check it out (an excerpt is provided in this post).

stitches

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Stitches- Because Some Wounds Need More Than a Band-Aid Cure

AUTHOR – Jeremy L Blunt

PUBLICATION DATE – February 10, 2015

LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 184

PUBLISHER – Upland Avenue Publishing Group

COVER ARTIST – Daniela Frongia

Stitches - Book Cover Smaller

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Have you ever found yourself at a loss when trying to figure out why relating to the very people you feel you have to or should be able to communicate well with just doesn’t work? Have you ever had that feeling after you come out of something which gave you the blues while in it, was actually not as bad as you made it if only you had paid attention to the signs and lessons from previous events? If either of these things sound like you then “STITCHES” are what you need. We look for answers from everywhere in the world, our friends, church members, parents, celebrities and sometimes even our enemies but never inside ourselves.

STITCHES are the tools we need to address the issues we have. If you’re tired of putting a Band-Aid on wounds that seem to just keep resurfacing and don’t seem to go away, then I encourage you to start using stitches instead. AS you read “STITCHES”, allow it to broaden your perspective and increase your confidence that you are not as lost as you may have believed.

BUY & TBR LINKS

AMAZON KINDLE US – AMAZON PAPERBACK

EXCERPT

The problem with most relationships is not the baggage that people knowingly bring into them, it is with the baggage that they have, know they have but act like it is not there. Now let’s be honest. We all have baggage. Baggage is what we pick up from life’s experiences that affect how we react to things, how we deal with people, and how we carry ourselves. All baggage is not bad baggage. For instance, it is only after you deal with someone who is independent that you determine if moving forward, you want someone else who is also independent or if you would rather have someone who just has independency. Either way, the baggage we carry from situation to situation affects us differently.

Ideally when we met someone we would like for their baggage to be displayed and scanned as it would be going through check in at an airport. First giving them an opportunity to dispose of anything that would be hazardous to anyone else around and then going through a thermo scan. The problem with baggage does not come when we are dealing with someone who is upfront with baggage that is not necessarily healthy but rather when things pop up that they claim to know nothing about. On my last trip to the airport, I remember hearing several announcements about baggage not being left unattended or taking packages from people that you do not know. We should treat the people we deal with every day with the same level of security and caution. Until we know what at least pops up during their initial scan, we should not pursue them past the outer lobby of our life. In other words, they should remain associates. They should not get VIP treatment or otherwise they may feel and act like they are entitled to more than they are. Then you will feel guilty and try and fast track them to the exclusive area prematurely. To catch a plane now, they tell you to be at the airport at least two hours before your flight so you can go through all of the proper checks and still make your flight on time. We should treat everyone we meet with the same expectation. If they are not willing to show up early, stand in a line or two for a few minutes, and undergo pre checks, then they may as well be labeled as a terrorist and should be treated hostile. I mean let’s face it, what is the point of blood, sweat, and tears if you are not going to use the lessons it has taught you to better yourself. Would you knowingly let a terrorist come on a plane that you are boarding? Of course not! Then why do we let people in our lives without proper clearance. You need to know something about the people you deal with. Where they are from? Who have they been with? Who they people are? Have they picked up any habits, I mean packages, from strangers along the way?

Even after going through baggage check, people still can have extra stuff that can threaten your life. An example of this is insecurities. Let us say you have met this guy and he seems to have it pretty much together. He is a dream come true. You open up and allow him to board your life. Once in the air you realize he has tendencies. He always wants to know about the names of people from a previous manifest. He also asked repeatedly about current passengers who are just temporary passengers until the next stop or two. You understand his concerns but point out that none of these issues surfaced or questions were asked during initial boarding. You pacify him by giving him everything it seems that he would need but nothing is helping. He wants to dig deeper and ask more questions. This is a classic example of what I call “unauthorized baggage”. Unauthorized baggage can have you off balance with very little to no clue as to why. When a partner is overly aggressive or possessive, it can weigh you down to the point where you are ready to start throwing things off. When nothing you do seems to be working, you will start eliminating things that are actually in your life to help you; like fuel, food or even extra oxygen (friends who give you life). Again, those closest to you will give you warning signs when this happens. Your body will also be a good sign of indicators. Do not ignore the signs. Pay attention, life has a way of getting your attention. If you are not careful you will find yourself starting to become distant with friends and even point the figure at others as the reason to why things are the way they are.

BOOK SOUNDTRACK

Life and Favor – John P. Kee and New Life feat. James Fortune

Her Heart – Anthony Hamilton

My Favorite Thing – Ronald Isley featuring Kem

Rise and Fall – Craig David feat Sting

All of Me – John Legend

Sweat – Toni Braxton & Babyface

AUTHOR’S PLAYLIST

Medelssohn: Octet in E flat, Op. 20-1

Van Cliburn Tchaikovsky: Concerto No. 1 & Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. 2

Michael Meets Mozart

More Than Anything – Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise

Grateful – Hezekiah Walker, Love Fellowship Choir

Stitches - Author Photo

AUTHOR BIO

Jeremy L. Blunt is a capital city native of Louisiana and a graduate of the East Baton Rouge Public School System. He is a proud Husband, Father, and Mentor. He is married to the former LaTrisha Earline Milton, also of Baton Rouge. He has two daughters, Kaylie and Amerie Blunt. His hobbies include traveling, reading, exercising, and interacting with people. He is honorably retired from the Louisiana National Guard. While defending his country, Jeremy has been and continues to be very active in his community. He serves as a Minister to young people and serves and advises several boards in his community. Jeremy attended Louisiana State University and attends HOPE Bible Institute for Theology and Religious Studies.

Jeremy is a motivated speaker and teacher who delivers a message of self empowerment and change to audiences of all demographics. He continues to work with “at-risk” youth and considers it as one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. He is an advocate for service and continued education.

Jeremy lives by the motto: “Change comes from those willing to do things differently”.

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

WEBSITE / BLOG – FACEBOOK – TWITTER – PINTEREST – LINKEDIN

INSTAGRAM – stitches4life

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Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES FOR MEN by Dr. Gary Chapman (Guest Book Review & Giveaway)

Friday Free-for-All

It’s rare for my husband to actually sit down and read a book, so I wasn’t sure whether I could get him to read and review this for me, but he agreed…and he was pleasantly surprised by this one. 🙂

We were both familiar with the concept of the five love languages (who hasn’t heard of it by now?), but this was a refreshing new take on the subject that’s designed specifically for men (although my husband suggested I read it too – he was that impressed by it).

He gives it 4 stars (he says the advice felt a bit compartmentalized at times and not easily generalizable to all situations) and recommends it for any man who is either married, engaged, or in an otherwise serious relationship.

5 love languages coverHere’s more information about the book:

240 pages
At the heart of every man is a desire to master what matters. Getting a compliment at work or on the court is nice, but nothing beats hearing your spouse say, “You make me feel loved.” If you haven’t heard that in a while or feel like you are not bringing your A-game into your relationship, this book is for you. The 5 Love Languages has sold 10 MILLION COPIES because it is simple, practical, and effective. In this edition, Gary Chapman speaks straight to men about the rewards of speaking their wife’s love language. You’ll learn each language, how to identify your wife’s, and how to speak it clearly. Packed with helpful illustrations and creative pointers, these pages will rouse your inner champion and empower you to master the art of love.
About the author:
gary chapman

Gary Chapman, PhD, is the author of the bestselling The 5 Love Languages series, which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 50 languages. Dr. Chapman travels the world presenting seminars on marriage, family, and relationships, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Karolyn.

S O C I A L • C O R N E R
 
Gary Chapman’s Official Facebook Page
Gary Chapman’s Official Twitter Page
One lucky commenter will have the chance to win this book for either themselves or someone they know and love. Just make sure to comment before 11:59 PM on February 20, 2015 to get your name entered!


Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: NOURISHED: A Search for Health, Happiness, & A Good Night’s Sleep (Review & Giveaway)

Friday Free-for-All

If you’re a wife and a mother like I am, chances are you have some stress in your life. Heck, if you’re a human being, you have stress in your life. But the stressors that women face on a daily basis are sometimes different than those that are experienced by men…and they often affect women and men differently.

This book tackles the issue of stress as it affects women, in particular, and suggests ways we ladies can keep the stressors from getting out of hand – nip them in the bud before they send us reeling toward the nearest mental health facility.

nourished cover

About the Book

Softcover / 246 pp

Order-loving, thirty-something Rachel, and her laid-back, messy mother, Becky, are opposites in many ways. But they both believe that women long for a life that nourishes them inside and out. In this book, the mother-daughter duo will help you make that dream a reality by tackling the “Top 10 Stressors” that mess with a woman’s mind, such as:

•Cluttered Surroundings
•Exhaustion of parenting
•Time-starved marriages
•Feeling like a spiritual slacker
•Crowded Schedules
•Negative Body Image
Following a series of trial-and-error experiments, Becky and Rachel share laugh-out-loud stories, fascinating research, and practical tips to design a nourished life that fits your personality. By learning how to embrace “nourishing compromises,” you’ll never put happiness on hold again. If you are feeling drained, discontent, or discouraged, join a couple of understanding, entertaining companions on the journey from overwhelmed to nourished.
About the Authors
nourished authors
Becky Johnson is the author, coauthor, or collaborator of more than forty books. She’s a natural storyteller who has inspired and entertained audiences for years. Most recently she co-authored We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook along with a blog by the same name with her daughter, Rachel Randolph. She and her husband, Greg, live in Denver, Colorado.
Website/blog: www.laughcrycook.com
Rachel Randolph writes and speaks with humor and honesty about parenting a toddler, young married life, and her mostly plant-based cooking adventures. Rachel is married to Jared, a high school football and baseball coach. They live near Dallas, Texas with their son, Jackson. Nourished is her second book.
Website/Blog: www.nourishedmama.com 
To win a copy of this book for yourself and find out more about how you can add some sanity back into your stress-filled days, just leave me a comment anytime between now and 11:59 PM – Sunday, February 15, 2015.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 
 
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: Movie Review: THE GOSPEL OF JOHN from the Lumo Project

FREE-FOR-ALL

I’m not a fan of “Bible” movies mostly because so many of them get so many things wrong. They stray so far from what they’re supposed to be representing that I, for one, feel cheated, disillusioned, and even sometimes angry that God’s Word is being made a mockery in such a way.

I do not feel this way about a movie I just recently had the privilege of seeing: THE GOSPEL OF JOHN from the Lumo Project.

This movie doesn’t stray from the Bible because it IS the Bible (the script, anyway). I watched the King James Version with my husband (he’s a staunch KJV devotee), and I loved every minute of it! He even agreed that it was a “good” movie, and that means a lot coming from him…he’s even harder on Bible movies than I am.

The scenery is gorgeous. The acting is solid (and I LOVE the fact that Jesus isn’t portrayed as a blond-haired, blue-eyed model type). And the narration for the KJV was provided by Scottish actor Brian Cox (Troy, Braveheart, etc.), who brought a beautifully Shakespearean flair to the whole thing.

The only flaw we caught in the whole film was when Jesus was crucified, and the Roman soldiers drove the nails through his palms. Most people get this wrong, though. It’s unlikely that nails in the palms would’ve worked. They would have torn right through the delicate flesh and bones of the hands, causing Jesus to fall off the cross. The wrist is a much more stable part of the body. But that was one minor flaw to a really amazing movie.

It is over two hours long (it IS the whole Book of John, after all), so you’ll want to carve out a good chunk of time to see it. My husband and I had to watch it over the course of two days because we just couldn’t get that much uninterrupted time together with two little girls in the house. I don’t really recommend watching this with very young children because it won’t hold their attention for very long (unfortunately), and some parts (like the trial and the crucifixion) might be a little too gruesome and violent for little eyes to see. Still, I think everyone else – seriously, EVERYONE ELSE- should see this movie.

And you can see it right now on Netflix. There’s even a Spanish version available. I’ve been talking about this movie to everyone for a couple of weeks now. I can’t recommend it highly enough. You need to watch it. Go to Netflix now!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

— John 1:1

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About the film and the project:

FOUR GOSPELS. FOUR FILMS. ONE JESUS STORY. FOR EVERYONE.

The Lumo Project is a ground breaking, multi-language biblical film resource transforming the way we discover, study and engage with the life of Jesus through the four New Testament Gospels: redefining the standard of visual Biblical media. The Lumo Project presents four films – one for each Gospel account – that will revolutionize the way we all experience the story of Jesus and the world of First Century Palestine in which he lived.

THE GOSPEL OF JOHNDSC_2523.tiff

The Gospel of John takes the story of Jesus from John’s gospel with its own unique characteristics. For John, Jesus is the Word of God made human. John is clear that that when encounter Jesus, we encounter God.  The gospel writer points to the miracles (the ‘Signs’) and teachings as evidence of Jesus’ special relationship as the divine Son of God.

This full-length feature film about the life of Jesus takes the actual Gospel text as its script, word for word, unedited. Five years in the making, this epic production has been critically acclaimed by leading religious scholars as a unique and highly authentic telling of the Jesus story. Narrated by leading British actor David Harewood (‘Homeland’, ‘Blood Diamond’, ‘Merchant of Venice’) it is based on the latest theological, historical and archaeological research. With specially constructed sets and the extraordinarily authentic villages and countryside of rural Morocco, it immerses the viewer in the world of first century Palestine.

#JohnOnNetflix – https://twitter.com/TheLumoProject

 
Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: The Woman Who Didn’t Have Alzheimer’s

Friday Free-for-All

Not very long ago, a friend asked me to give her a ride to a book signing because she didn’t feel comfortable driving on the busy interstates anymore. Since she was offering me a space at her table and I didn’t have anything else to do, I readily agreed.

In further conversation, she let it slip that she had what the doctors suspected was early Alzheimer’s. That was the main reason she didn’t want to drive any great distances at any great speeds by herself. I couldn’t blame her. After hearing about EXPERIENCING GOD author Henry Blackaby’s disappearance last year (which was actually due to his blood sugar issues, and not Alzheimer’s, although several recent studies have shown there may be a link between the two), I can understand her concern. It’s easy to get confused when you have Alzheimer’s, and if you’re out driving alone, you may just end up in trouble.

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Well, fast forward a few months. This same friend posts a Facebook status update that says something to the effect of: “I went to the doctor today. After four months of telling me otherwise, the doctor confirmed that I do not have Alzheimer’s. This is the exact outcome I was praying for, and I praise God for it. …But now, after months of catering to my every whim and coddling me, my children have decided that it’s time for me to be the mother again.”

As happy as I was to hear this…especially for her because I know this diagnosis bothered her (probably more than she let on), I also felt a little sad because not everyone gets to say this about their supposed Alzheimer’s. More than 5 million Americans are living with this illness, and their family members and friends are also having to learn to live with it.

Until you know someone who has Alzheimer’s, you aren’t aware how crippling the disease can be…or how stressful it can be on the ones who are responsible for taking care of the Alzheimer’s patient. There’s no magic cure for it. There’s no pill you can take that will just make it go away, although (as in the case of my friend) if you pray and ask God, He just might take it away—He is the Great Physician, after all. But sometimes God says, “No,” for His own perfect reasons, and that’s when you and your loved ones will need to learn to cope with the illness in the best way possible.

That’s just what Helping Hands Press author Carol Howell did in her bestselling book, LET’S TALK DEMENTIA: A CAREGIVER’S GUIDE. This is an invaluable, user-friendly resource to help family members and friends better appreciate the impact of dementia for the person living with it AND for those trying to offer support and help. Even though I’m not closely involved with anyone who has Alzheimer’s, I’ve read through this book (it’s a quick read), and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s living with (or knows someone who’s living with) Alzheimer’s. Ms. Howell speaks out of her own personal experience, and she offers a lot of sound, practical advice that is sure to be helpful to everyone!

Friday Free-for-All, Uncategorized

Friday Free-for-All: Music Review: THE IDENTICAL Motion Picture Soundtrack Sampler

Friday Free-for-All

 

I’m taking a break from talking about books this week to discuss something a little different – still fun, but really different. I recently signed up to be part of the FlyBy Promotions Blogger Network, and as such I get access to some fabulous faith- and family-based DVDs, books, Christian music, and more.

One of their most recent offerings was a CD sampler of soundtrack music from the new movie, THE IDENTICAL, which comes out next Friday, September 5th (the CD of the full soundtrack also becomes available on that date).

The IDENTICAL tells the compelling story of twin brothers unknowingly separated at birth during the Great Depression. DREXEL HEMSLEY becomes an iconic 50’s rock ’n’ roll star, while RYAN WADE (Blake Rayne) struggles to balance his love for music and pleasing his father. The Reverend Wade (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd) are sure their adopted son has been gifted and called by God to be a preacher. But Ryan challenges his parent’s vision for his life, and unflinchingly chooses to launch his own music career with his best friend (Seth Green). Encouraged by his wife (Erin Cottrell) and employer (Joe Pantoliano), Ryan embarks on an unpredictable, provocative path – performing the legendary music of Drecel Hemsley in sold out venues all across the country. As the brothers’ destinies tragically collide, Ryan discovers that Drexel is his identical twin, which leads him to question everything he’s ever believed about God, family, and his own identity.

Click here to go to the official movie website or its Facebook page.

And check out the official movie trailer.

I got a free review copy of the soundtrack sampler, and one lucky winner of my Rafflecopter giveaway (click on the picture below to enter) will receive their very own copy.

G L A D S W O O D  C N R  -  D R I N K S

 

 

 

About the soundtrack sampler:

THE IDENTICAL ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK SAMPLER features 12 of the 20 original songs by Jerry Marcellino and Yochanan Marcellino from the film. Including “Your Love’s Keepin’ Me Tonight,” “City Lights,” “Angel of Mine,” “Everybody Knows It” and “Nashville Tonight.”

Here are my thoughts on the CD:

Honestly, at first, I wanted to turn off the CD as soon as I started it. It didn’t give me a good first impression, but that’s because I was expecting something completely different, based on the 50’s-inspired poster image. I was expecting young, cool Elvis, but the CD starts off with “City Lights,” which is more representative of old, fat Elvis.

However, this CD quickly grew on me, and the second time I listened to it, I loved it even more. “City Lights,” for all its “Fat Elvis” vibe, has a VERY catchy tune, and I sing it to myself often. 🙂

There are some real gems on this CD – “Your Love’s Keeping Me Tonight,” with its haunting melody, is one of the CD’s best songs. And I LOVED the bluegrass number “Burnin’ Rubber.” I listened to that song a few times in a row, I loved it so much. The updated soul version of Ringo Starr’s “It Don’t Come Easy” was fairly well executed, and the song itself is solid. “Angel of Mine” was another one of my favorites. It has a nice melody and some great harmonies, but it has a funky, metallic-sounding background to it that I didn’t really care for much. Still, it was easy enough to focus on the vocals and ignore the background. And the last song, the instrumental “One Child,” was simply gorgeous! A perfect way to end the CD on just the right note.

Do I recommend this CD? Yes, I definitely do. And the movie looks like it will be very good too. Check it out when it hits theaters next week. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win your own copy of the sampler. Click the image above, or you can visit my Facebook page and enter there (look for the “Giveaway” tab).  Leave a comment on this blog post, and you automatically earn three entries. I love it when you guys interact with me. 🙂

And don’t forget to share this post with your friends to let them in on all the fun too!

 
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for a giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
Friday Free-for-All, Writing

Friday Free-for-All: God’s Sense of Timing

Friday Free-for-All

I found out yesterday that another story I submitted to CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL was rejected (because one of my Facebook friends posted about her acceptance notification). So far, with them, I’m batting 0 for 5. My point? Don’t come to me asking for advice about how to break into that series of books. I obviously don’t have the answers. 😉

Last night (as I was driving home in my car with the low gas light blaring at me with a bag full of Pull-Ups for my girls that I took from my mother because we didn’t have the money in the bank to get any at the store), I thought about that story. I’d written about how my husband and I always count the bunnies we see as a sort of good omen…but “omen” isn’t really the right word. It’s more like a little love note from God, saying, “Hey. I love you. I’ve got your back. Don’t worry.” Around our house, if it’s a “bunny day,” it’s a good day.

So, I’m driving and complaining to God about how there STILL doesn’t seem to be money coming in, and I’m STILL not getting accepted by CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL, when everyone else I know is… blah blah blah. (What did they have against my bunny story, anyway? You DO want me to be a writer, right? Where’s the pay-off?) Boo-hoo. Wah! BLECH!

At that precise moment, there, on the side of the road, I see a HUGE bunny rabbit. Not like “Harvey” huge, but bigger than the ones I normally see. And I smiled…and then I got angry at myself…and then I cried tears of brokenness and repentance. I’m fussing and complaining and doubting God, and there He is…dropping me yet another little “love note”: Hey. Speaking of bunnies…Remember Me? I love you. I’ve still got your back. I’m not going to let go. Stop doubting and worrying. Believe Me.

And I started thinking: Maybe millions of people weren’t meant to read that bunny story. Maybe it’s only meant for me and my husband. But, since this is my blog, I thought: Hey. Why not post it here, so at least someone can read it. Not that I’m expecting fame and fortune from it…but I want others to be blessed. I want to point others to God, more than anything else. And, maybe I’m wrong, but I think this little story does that pretty well. So, here’s my latest CSFTS reject:

Counting the Bunnies

The call came in just before 9 PM, jarring me out of an exhausted slumber. Groggily wiping the sleep from my eyes, I glanced at the caller ID. If I didn’t recognize this number, no way was I answering the call.

My father’s cell phone number glared back at me. I sighed and tapped on the cordless handset’s “Talk” button. “Hello?”

“I hate to ask you to do this, but do you think you can go over to the house and let Carrie out to go to the bathroom?”

“Right now?” I asked, half-asleep.

“Yes. I’m still up here at the hospital, and it’s been hours since I was home. She really needs to go out.”

I nodded, knowing how pointless it was because he couldn’t see it. “Okay, sure. I’ll go right over.” What else could I say? I grabbed my car keys and purse, kissed my husband, gave him last-minute instructions for getting the girls into bed, and rushed out the door.

Driving for once without the distraction of two screaming kids in the backseat, I decided to use the time to voice my frustrations to the one person (besides my husband) who would let me express myself honestly without judging me. “I don’t understand why this is happening. I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired, and I want things to get back to normal!” I prayed out loud, punctuating each phrase by slamming my palms against the steering wheel.

As rough as the day had been, the previous weeks had been even harder. Just nine days after my mother had major heart surgery—valve repair and a double bypass—that only improved her heart’s functioning to 40%, instead of the 60% they were hoping for, her mother had a stroke, rendering her incapable of even answering her phone. My mother and I were the ones who found her and called 911.

Mom was still unable to drive and my father had to go in to work very early, so I was the one who had to make sure Mom got to the hospital, and then later to the rehab facility, every morning so she could be with Grammy. And then I went back to Mom’s house and made sure I let her dog out to go to the bathroom and ensured that her cats had enough food and clean litter pans—every day, all while trying to take care of my four-year-old and two-year-old daughters.

I was tired—physically, mentally, and emotionally. And, to be honest, my spiritual life was suffering as well, my time with God having been reduced to these screaming, crying temper-tantrum diatribes in the car on the way to my next responsibility. There was no “quiet time” for me anymore; only chaos and cacophony.

That Saturday night, though, a wonderful thing happened as I drove toward my parents’ house to let the dog out yet again. A rabbit hopped across the path in front of me, far enough away that there was no danger of me hitting it, but close enough that I saw it definitely was a bunny rabbit.

I gasped and sighed in relief. The bunny was safe. Smiling, I glanced up into the darkened sky, tears streaming down my cheeks. “Thank You, God.” It was a “bunny day”.

I’m not sure when I first started noticing bunnies in yards, or on the street, and equating this with “having a good day”. It was certainly before I was married, maybe even before my husband and I started dating. I know it was part of our normal dating routine—counting the bunnies we saw as we drove.

He was working as an over-the-road truck driver when we first started dating, so any time we got to spend together was precious. For this reason, he’d drive me to work and pick me up, giving us some extra time each day he was in town to talk and get to know each other better. It was on one of these trips that I told him about the “bunny days”. I think I caught a glimpse of two together in the same yard. Pretty soon, he was looking for them too. He’d pick me up from work and proudly announce with a big smile on his face, “I saw three bunnies today, so it’s definitely a very good day!”

Where we live, squirrels are all over the place, but rabbits are much less common and, because of that, they’re much more special. My husband and I are both animal lovers, so it’s natural we would get excited about seeing these cute little furry critters at either the start or end of every day. Each one of those bunnies we counted was even more thrilling than the previous one, and because we were doing this together, it became one of “our things”—and it still is today, ten years later.

During that decade, a lot of good things have happened to us—we got married (obviously), we both got higher-paying jobs, we bought a bigger house, and we had two beautiful, healthy baby girls. A lot of bad things have happened to us too, though—I had a miscarriage, my mother-in-law died eight months after we were married, my husband also lost both an aunt and an uncle, my job was eliminated, we were foreclosed on twice, forcing us into bankruptcy, and then my mother and grandmother got seriously ill at the same time, so now we’re coping with that. But, through it all, I keep seeing bunnies and counting them, and so does my husband.

Those bunnies have become bigger symbols to us over the years. More than just cute, furry little animals, they’re emblems of God’s provision and blessing. Bad things creep in, sometimes daily, but so do the “bunnies”. By counting physical bunnies every day for so long, my husband and I were training ourselves (without really knowing it) to count the figurative bunnies, the blessings that come with each new day that help to ease the pain of the trials. They’re there—always—you just have to learn to look for them.

And you know what I’ve discovered? The more you search for them, the more you’re going to find. Even in the midst of heartache, agony, and earth-shattering loss, the “bunnies” are there, just as God reminded me by having the physical bunny cross my path that Saturday night as I drove to my parents’ house. I saw it. I counted it, and it reminded me that God is always with me, and His blessings are always available to me, no matter what’s going on around me. All I have to do is look for them, count them, and thank Him.

Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: Big 99-cent Sale!

Friday Free-for-All

August is a big month for me personally – August 14th was the day my husband and I went on our first date in 2004 – almost 10 years ago.

The day before that, August 13, was the day Jane Compton married Nat Austin in Monroe County, Kentucky, in 1854. It was also the day in 1862 when Nat Austin was gunned down by Confederate soldiers, making Jane a widow. This real life event was part of what inspired me to write this heavily fictionalized account of Jane Austin’s (Addison, in my novel) life.

Since those two anniversary dates are so close together, I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate by lowering the price of my book. Then, I started thinking about the 14th being toward the middle of the month, and I came to the conclusion that it might not be a bad idea to start the promotion at the beginning of the month, so from August 1 to August 15, the Kindle version of SUN’S PARTING RAY will be on sale for only $.99.

Here’s the book description:

Just follow your heart, and everything will turn out the way it is supposed to. This is the way Jane Addison has always lived her life, but it doesn’t seem like anything ever turns out according to what her heart truly desires. This is especially true when her husband is gunned down by Confederate soldiers on their eighth wedding anniversary. Then, when she meets, and falls in love with, her late husband’s married best friend, things really get confusing for the young widow.

Will she and Cole follow their hearts and give up their homes, their lives, and everything they believe, or will deny their feelings to protect their families? Which will they choose at the SUN’S PARTING RAY?

“And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25).

Click on the picture below to go grab your copy of SUN’S PARTING RAY for only $.99 anytime between now and August 15 before the price goes up again. And, as always, I’d love to know what you think of the book. So, either leave me a comment here, or leave a review on Amazon. Thanks!

Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: Christmas in July

FRIDAU

It’s too early (and too hot) to start thinking about Christmas, but I’ve always loved the idea of Christmas in July. I know it’s just a sales gimmick to revive mid-year retailing sales slumps, but there’s just something about seeing a man in a Santa suit in the heat and humidity that makes me very happy.

So, when I got the opportunity to be a part of a multi-author Christmas in July promotion, I jumped at the chance. See, I have a couple of Christmas stories out and available for 99 cents. But I’m not the only one who’s involved in this promotion. Eight other authors are offering their Kindle books for only 99 cents, so you have the chance to save up to $10 by getting one now.

Watch this promo video to see all that are available.

See something you like? Just click on the image below to get to the host page. It has all the book covers, book links, and descriptions of each title. July is almost half over. Don’t miss out! 🙂

99 cent Kindle books

Friday Free-for-All

Friday Free-for-All: Happy Fourth of July! (Guest Post)

Friday Free-for-All

 

Imagine how the signers of The Declaration of Independence feel while looking down from heaven and listening to their critics. The thought never occurred to me until my publisher asked me to write a fictional short story relating how John Hancock experienced the 4th of July. Before starting, I read Herbert S. Allan’s even-handed biography of Hancock. Yes, the Founders were all human – Hancock was vain and a clothes horse, for example. But when you study the founding of America from the perspective of a Founder, the greatness of these men staggers you.

 

“But they didn’t free the slaves and women and blacks couldn’t vote!”

 

Guess what?  No one could meaningfully vote and everyone, everywhere, was in some form of bondage. The English themselves were “subjects.” Except for royalty and a small number of men in a handful of tiny Greek city states, no one had ever controlled their destiny.

 

Writing in the first person forces you to see things through the eyes of the character or historic figure, to imagine what they felt, wanted and thought. The Founders were operating in uncharted waters, laying the foundation to free all mankind and making things up as they went. They were doing it while at war with the most powerful Empire on the face of the planet. On January 1, 1776, George Washington discovered he had only 8,000 enlistments instead of the 20,000 planned. Georgia and South Carolina announced they would not sign if slavery were denounced, let alone outlawed.

 

As I imagine Hancock saying, “The hard truth is we will not free the Negro slaves . . . not because we don’t want to, but because we can’t. The southerners would revolt . . . freeing the black man will require a war and the forces of liberty are barely able to fight one war, let alone two.”

 

On July 4, 1776, the Founders were almost to a man well educated, affluent and doing quite well as subjects of Britain. In the 18th century, traitors were hung from a gibbet with their hands tied behind their back. Rather than breaking their necks, the traitor took about ten minutes to strangle to death. Traitors’ property was forfeit, so their families were left impoverished. While the Founders were signing their own death warrant, Benedict Arnold was trying to keep his army from disintegrating as he retreated from the disastrous Canadian campaign. “I have often thought how much happier I would have been,” said Washington, “if, instead of accepting a command under such circumstances, I had taken up musket on my shoulder and entered the ranks.”

 

They were great men, yet consider the petulance with which they are treated. While reviewing “The Price they Paid” email about the Founders, the left wing site “Snopes” called it part true, part false. Why? Here’s an example: “Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.” Snopes – “yeah, well . . . she was already sick.” Seriously. I paraphrase, so check it out for yourselves. Part of the disdain appears to be petty racism, sexism and anti-Christianity – the Founders were white male Christians – but there may be something deeper. Writing about an attack on the Framers, Professor Walter Williams wrote, “If I believed in conspiracies, I’d say (Time’s) article is part of a leftist agenda to undermine respect for the founding values of our nation.”

 

Hancock might have said, “No doubt, those who hate liberty and embrace hate amongst the races will use this against us not only now, but far into the future. We can only trust this and future generations will be wise enough to detect the charlatan, understand his aim and reject his deception. That battle is for another time, and will be fought by other men. We must fight the one in front of us now.”

 

This is a column of opinion and satire. The author knows of no undisclosed facts.  Contact Lewis, the author of John Hancock, in Remington Colt’s Revolutionary War Series, visit him at josephmaxlewis.com and click on Rimersburg Rules.  © Joseph M.  Lewis


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Read JOHN HANCOCK today on Amazon for only 99 cents: http://www.amazon.com/Remington-Colts-Revolutionary-War-Independence-ebook/dp/B00KND49O2/ref=la_B008ZHHUBW_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404224548&sr=1-5

 

To link to listen in on the blogtalk radio show with Joseph Max Lewis discussing “The Declaration of Independence”: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gelatisscoop/2014/07/03/joseph-max-lewis-discusses-the-declaration-of-independence

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To stop by Mr. Lewis’ website and connect with him: www.josephmaxlewis.com