Saturday, June 2, 2018

Welcome Barbara Britton!

Readers, help me welcome Barbara Britton. She's giving us a peek at her book.





Thanks for having me on your blog, Paula!

What inspired you to write “Jerusalem Rising?”

I love to write about little known Bible stories. I’ve been a Christian for forty years and it stuns me that there are Bible stories that are still new to me. Or, at least parts of stories that I never knew existed.
Nehemiah is a popular story for Sunday School and Vacation Bible Schools. I have taught the story and brought boxes for kids to stack in simulation of Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall. Of course, bad guys show up and try to discourage Nehemiah from his task, so students love this lesson.
I never knew that some of the people trying to discourage Nehemiah from rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall were a prophetess and priests. Shouldn’t they have been on Nehemiah’s side since God sent him on this mission? Noadiah is a nasty prophetess that shows up in my book because Nehemiah mentions her in the Bible text. You can tell Nehemiah is not fond of her (Nehemiah 6:14).
Also, I stumbled upon the daughters of Shallum who helped Nehemiah rebuild the wall (Nehemiah 3:12). Women constructions workers? Why hadn’t I heard of them? We don’t know how many daughters Shallum had, and we don’t know their names, but I gave Shallum two daughters—Adah and Judith.
My novel follows Adah and her family as they help Nehemiah restore the City of David. I always say, God has the best storylines. All I had to do was follow God’s plot in chapters 1-8 of the book of Nehemiah to have an action-packed novel. I added a bit of romance for fun. It’s still teen friendly though.
What’s the takeaway from Adah’s story?
The theme I chose for “Jerusalem Rising” was…Be strong and courageous and do God’s work. Adah encourages the Hebrew workers with this chant. This theme is seen throughout the Bible and Christians can grab hold it of today. The theme encourages me as well.


When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit—God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David.
 Nehemiah challenges the men of Jerusalem to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Should her father who rules a half-district of Jerusalem be forgotten forever?
Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside of the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same rocks they hope to raise.


Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. Barb writes romantic adventures for teens and adults in the Christian fiction publishing world. She is published in Biblical fiction and enjoys bringing little known Bible characters to light in her Tribes of Israel series. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.
You can find more information about Barb and her books on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
There’s a fun book trailer for her first two books.


 Barbara, I'm with you! I often reread stories in the Bible and find intriguing things I hadn't noticed before. God's Word is amazing! 

This book sounds like one to add to our Must Read List. How about it, readers? 


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Stacey Weeks' Book, The Builder's Reluctant Bride




Stacey is a member of The Word Guild in Canada and has authored two fiction books. She is finishing up a short Christmas Novella, is waiting to hear back from her publisher on a romantic suspense submission, and is outlining a fourth novel.

Stacey’s debut novel, The Builder’s Reluctant Bride, released in 2016 and was named Best Christian Romance in 2017 at The Word Awards.


He Wants a Second Chance. She Says There’s No Going Back. Ten years ago, a public disgrace sent Jenna Jenkins running from her hometown. Now, the success of her professional future hinges on joining her hometown church restoration project. Her partner and team leader on the job is William Scott—expert renovator, volunteer fireman, and the ex-flame who ruined her life. William is in crisis, facing the tightening screws of personal and professional failure. When the interior designer on the church renovation project turns out to be Jenna, William sees it as a chance to make amends. But Jenna wants nothing to do with him. How much will William sacrifice to redeem his mistakes and prove his love? Can Jenna protect her heart this time or will William break her for good?


Watch the book trailer!

In Too Deep is available for purchase at Pelican Book Group, Amazon.comAmazon.caBarnes&Noble

Download and read the first two chapters FREE here!



What inspired you to write The Builder’s Reluctant Bride and what do you hope the readers takeaway from The Builder’s Reluctant Bride?

I wanted to write a story about the messiness of real life. Too often, following the Lord Jesus Christ is portrayed as a simple fix to our troubles. But Scripture teaches us something quite different. Turning to Jesus does not guarantee a removal of our troubles. In fact, it is more likely to increase them as we walk in opposition to the world. Following Jesus is not easy. We are commanded to do things that are impossible in our flesh, but they become possible as we depend on the Holy Spirit’s power and live in submission to God. 

My characters struggled with forgiveness because I want my readers to see that forgiveness is easy to speak but much harder to live. That’s truth. I also challenge a misconception I hear frequently that forgiveness is free. Forgiveness is never free.

Timothy Keller wrote in The Prodigal God: Recovering the heart of the Christian faith, “Mercy and forgiveness must be free and unmerited to the wrongdoer. If the wrongdoer has to do something to merit it, than it isn’t mercy, but forgiveness always comes at a cost to the one granting the forgiveness.”

Christ freely extends forgiveness, but it cost Him much – his life. He loved us too much to withhold forgiveness. He died for us while we continued to sin. Someone always pays for forgiveness. I want my readers to consider that truth. Christ paid for their forgiveness. Perhaps it is their turn [the reader’s] to absorb the cost and extend forgiveness to someone in their life. I wanted to illustrate God’s call on believers to set aside their rights as they seek Him, so in The Builder’s Reluctant Bride Jenna must do the hard work of cultivating a heart that forgives those who don’t know, appreciate, or understand how their actions have affected her, and she struggles with it.

With the help of meddling community, a matchmaking brother, and an ex-flame that refuses to be extinguished, she learns that Christ died for the sinner who wronged her and died for the sinner that is her. He loves them both.

I asked Stacey to describe herself in her own words:

I am from the play-until-the-streetlights-turn-on and come-when-your-father-whistles generation. I’m a cool-off-in-the-sprinkler, drink-straight-from-the-hose, and fish-off-the-pier kind of girl. I’m loyal even when others are not. I’ve wrestled with brothers, played Barbie with neighbors, and stayed up too late reading just one more chapter. I’m from BIG Sunday dinners, steaming hot tea, and Saturday morning coin-sized pancakes. I grew up with Tupperware, paper bag lunches, Yorkshire pudding, and mashed potatoes. Lots of mashed potatoes. My family is a finish-what-you-start, bargain shopping, home cooking, and respect-your-elders kind of family. I am one of four children framed in memories on a wall. I jumped off docks, endured eight-hour trips that took twelve, and sat in the middle bench seat of the family sedan. I am a wait until you enter the house before driving away kind of mom. I boil the kettle in a crisis, and I know that a job worth doing is worth doing right. I am a fixer of old things, painter of everything, cleansed and forgiven child of God. I believe that nothing matters more than the Lord Jesus Christ and who I believe He is.

Can you direct us to where readers can find you?

Website: www.staceyweeks.com - I post weekly devotionals and regular home renovation projects and crafts under the blog tab. You’ll find links and information on all of my books.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/writerSWeeks - This is where I post questions to readers and collect feedback for projects. It’s also where you’ll find the most up to date information.

Newsletter:   http://eepurl.com/cZgDb9  The newsletter is emailed once every spring, summer, fall, and winter and is full of information, deals, and opportunities available only to subscribers.

Twitter: @WriterSWeeks

Thanks for being with us and sharing about this book, Stacey!

All you avid readers out there, check this one out!



Saturday, February 24, 2018

Christy Barritt's Hidden Currents - Missed Nap Worthy

Hey Readers! This week I have a new book, actually a new series, from Christy Barritt. When I contacted her about featuring Hidden Currents here, I admitted to her that this book had caused me to miss my Sunday afternoon nap. There are very few things that will cause me to miss my Sunday nap, but this book did it.

Now, you'll have to excuse me, but I'm a bit of a Christy Barritt fan. In fact, those of you authors out there who have taken classes from me at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference might remember me using some of Christy's books as examples of "jumping into the action." (Used with permission, of course). I'm not only a reader fan but a fellow author fan of her work.

Welcome to Christy Barritt!



What inspired me to write Hidden Currents?
I can’t say there was one thing that inspired me to write Lantern Beach mysteries. I knew I wanted to create a series that took place on a fictional island on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. I thought it would be fun to have a detective who was in hiding, who was having a hard time repressing her investigate skills. As I was mulling that over, another idea hit me. I actually have a home on an island in the Outer Banks, and there’s this ice cream woman who comes around every day. She even gave me her card so I could call her and she said she’d make a special trip to my house for sales. I started thinking about how cool it would be to have someone like that as an investigator in a mystery series. After all, the ice cream woman is all over the island, going in and out of neighborhoods and meeting new people. With those two thoughts in mind, the character of Cassidy Livingston was eventually born. I also decided to try something different with this book and do a mystery written in third person with a strong supporting cast of characters. It’s really been fun to write!

Take away:
Cassidy Livingston learns throughout this six-book series who she really is and discovers that your upbringing doesn’t have to define you. The book also delves into the fact that friendships and community are a vital part of life.




Visit Christy's page on Amazon and check out all of her titles. Be careful! You might lose a nap or even a whole night's sleep if you get started!

Christy Barritt's Amazon Page

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Check Out this Book from Stacey Weeks



Stacey is a member of The Word Guild in Canada and has authored two fiction books, is waiting to hear back from her publisher on a romantic suspense submission, and is working on a fourth novel.

Stacey’s newest book released in November 2017.


Grace risked everything and found herself drowning in danger. 
Like a sunken treasure wedged in the lake floor, Grace Stone’s heart is submerged in the past. Her only hope in easing her guilt over her role in a tragic drowning is launching a Water-Survival program at Camp Moshe, but success depends on Grace risking everything on the man hired to rebrand the Christian camp. Kye Campton’s extreme sports campaign lands him in hot water with the cautious instructor. His usual confidence wavers when it becomes increasingly evident that the camp’s fight for survival is against more than a declining economy. Will Kye be able to save the camp—and Grace—from a saboteur determined to see the place close for good?

Watch the book trailer!

In Too Deep is available for purchase at Pelican Book GroupAmazon.caAmazon.comChapters-IndigoBarnes & Noble

Download and read the first two chapters FREE here!

I asked Stacey to describe herself in her own words:

I am from the play-until-the-streetlights-turn-on and come-when-your-father-whistles generation. I’m a cool-off-in-the-sprinkler, drink-straight-from-the-hose, and fish-off-the-pier kind of girl. I’m loyal even when others are not. I’ve wrestled with brothers, played Barbie with neighbors, and stayed up too late reading just one more chapter. I’m from BIG Sunday dinners, steaming hot tea, and Saturday morning coin-sized pancakes. I grew up with Tupperware, paper bag lunches, Yorkshire pudding, and mashed potatoes. Lots of mashed potatoes. My family is a finish-what-you-start, bargain shopping, home cooking, and respect-your-elders kind of family. I am one of four children framed in memories on a wall. I jumped off docks, endured eight-hour trips that took twelve, and sat in the middle bench seat of the family sedan. I am a wait until you enter the house before driving away kind of mom. I boil the kettle in a crisis, and I know that a job worth doing is worth doing right. I am a fixer of old things, painter of everything, cleansed and forgiven child of God. I believe that nothing matters more than the Lord Jesus Christ and who I believe He is.

What do you hope the readers takeaway from In Too Deep?

I want my readers to know that God is bigger than their circumstances. I want them to understand that even when life is unfair and we can’t make sense of it – God is always perfectly loving and leading us. His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours that we cannot understand them, but we can trust Him. Most often, the truths that God is teaching me and the ways that He is stretching me also becomes the growth arch for my characters. When my character, Grace, was reading Proverbs searching for wisdom  - so was I. As she meditated on a beautiful passage in Job –so was I.


What inspired you to write In Too Deep?

I save newspaper articles with strange but true reports. One report on a daring water rescue inspired one scene from In Too Deep. I asked myself, “What sort of person does this?” “What person runs into danger instead of away?” What kind of love drives those actions?” I created Grace Stone and Kye Campton by answering questions like those.

Do you ever involve your readers in plotting?

Near the end of In Too Deep, I was frustrated because the characters unexpectedly led the story in a new direction. I was stuck. I posted some questions onto my Facebook author page inviting my followers to comment and problem solve with me. The solution came from a suggestion posted there. I invite my followers to make suggestions for every book. Often, the best ideas come from avid readers, and the most helpful tip earns one lucky commenter a signed copy of the book.

Can you direct us to where readers can find you?

Website: www.staceyweeks.com - I post weekly devotionals and regular home renovation projects and crafts under the blog tab. You’ll find links and information on all of my books.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/writerSWeeks - This is where I post questions to readers and collect feedback for projects. It’s also where you’ll find the most up to date information.

Newsletter:   http://eepurl.com/cZgDb9  The newsletter is emailed once every spring, summer, fall, and winter and is full of information, deals, and opportunities available only to subscribers.

Twitter: @WriterSWeeks



Stacey, I can so relate to your experience of learning from scripture just as you show your characters learning from it. That happens to me in my books as well.

Thanks for telling us about yourself and this book. So, what do you say, readers? Is your interest piqued?



Sunday, February 11, 2018

What Would You Do?

Hey Readers! Here is another book to check out. First meet the author, Tamera Kraft.

Welcome Tamera!


Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novels and novellas in print. She’s been married for 39 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and three grandchildren. 
Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
You can contact Tamera online at these sites.
Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com

What Would You Do?
By Tamera Lynn Kraft
When I was researching my new novel, Red Sky Over America, set shortly before the Civil War, I focused on the conflict America must have felt when she confronted her father with the truth. America knew slavery was against God's commandments, yet her father owned slaves. She could ignore what her father was doing while she went to Oberlin College in Ohio. After all, he was in Kentucky. Besides, she was a woman and his daughter. He wouldn't listen to her.
The conflict started in the first chapter of the novel when the Holy Spirit prompted America to go home to Kentucky and confront her father. She had no misgivings about it turning out well, yet she still obeyed God and became His servant. At one point in the novel, she was talking to one of her father's slaves.
Ruth's shoulders slumped. "No, child, I'll never go against what the Good Lord tells you, but it's bound to end poorly."
"I know." America's voice thickened. "God didn't promise me it would turn out well, but He told me what I must do, and I'm set on doing it."
Peter and John had a similar situation in the Book of Acts. They were brought before the religious leaders of their time and were told to stop preaching the Gospel. This was their response.
"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, 'We ought to obey God rather than men.'"
At some point in our lives, God may call us to do a hard thing, something that goes against our culture and our families. The question is do we obey God even when we know things might not go well.
What I want the reader to take away from Red Sky Over America is the commitment these men and women abolitionists made to God even though they were going against the culture of their time. May we have that same commitment to obey God even if it means going into the fire!
Hebrews 13:6 "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."


Red Sky Over America
Ladies of Oberlin, Book 1
By Tamera Lynn Kraft
In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.
America's classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.
You can purchase Red Sky Over America at these online sites:

Okay, all you historical lovers, is this a keeper? 

Many of us know about being called by God to do hard things. Have you been called to do some hard things? What was it? 

Thanks for sharing about your book with us, Tamera!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Raise Your Hand If You Have a Good Book to Share


Hey all you voracious readers!

How about we do some sharing. I'll go first.

It just so happens that I just completed reading the spotlighted book from last week, Athens Ambuscade by Kristen Wilks.

Let me break it down for you:

Wilks does a great job of creating interesting and maybe even quirky characters. And I do like quirky (since I have been characterized that way on occasion - I think that was meant in a good way???)

The setting is really intriguing and plays in well with the story line.

The plot keeps you guessing when the "next shoe will drop." The antics will have you gasping and chortling in the same breath.

The romance part is clever.

The spiritual message hit home for me, someone who is quite planned and controlling.

Wilks was masterful in including moments of slapstick humor with a bit of hold your breath suspense.

Overall, Athens Ambuscade was a delight to read, and I would recommend it for your reading list.

Now, it's your turn. What are you reading or have read recently that you know you need to share with others? Please share in the comments.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Athens Ambuscade

Do you like a little comic relief mixed in with your tales? 
Then you gotta check out this book. My new author-friend, Kristen Joy Wilks is visiting today. And oh boy, you're in for some comic relief! 
I'm currently reading Athens Ambuscade and loving it!
Welcome to you, Kristen. 

Kristen Joy Wilks lives in the beautiful Cascade Mountains with her camp director husband, three fierce sons, and a large and slobbery Newfoundland dog. She has blow-dried a chicken, fought epic Nerf battles instead of washing dishes, transported a gallon bag of cooked bacon inside her purse to nibble in the movie theater, and discovered a stealthily smuggled gardener snake in her sons’ bubble bath. Her stories and articles have appeared in Nature Friend, Clubhouse, Thriving Family, Splickety, and Havok MagazinesShe writes novella length romantic comedies for Pelican Book Group, including Copenhagen Cozenage, The Volk Advent, and Athens Ambuscade. Kristen loves to write about the humor and Grace that can be found amidst the detritus of life. Much like the shiny quarter one member of their household swallowed and then found in the pot five days later. If God is good enough to grant us these gems, she figures that someone should be putting them to the page. Kristen can be found tucked under a tattered quilt in an overstuffed chair at 4:00am writing a wide variety of implausible tales, or at www.kristenjoywilks.com. If you would rather enjoy photos of charging bison, Newfoundland dogs, and attacking squid then by all means visit her “What I’m Writing About” board on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/kristenjwilks7/what-im-writing-about/

Blog

Why did you write Athens Ambuscade?
I love fun and funny books. Books that rush you away to another place. Books that make you laugh. Books that make you think as well, but I prefer to laugh and think at the same time. I'd just written a romance that contained several of our family's funny dog stories and thought I should shake things up and write a book with a cat. Then I watched this crazy pet taxidermy show with my Grandma in law and I was hooked. My hero would be a taxidermist. What kind of heroine would clash beautifully with a taxidermist? A bridal designer of course. Add in some of my hazardous cat experiences and cat-thieving villains and I was on my way. Can one glean spiritual truths from a story about a frozen cat? You would be surprised. Just as those glassy eyes of a stuffed animal give one a shiver and the realization that something is definitely missing from that lovingly preserved pet, something is missing in each of us when we focus on outward appearance and neglect being real within. God wants more than a finely preserved exterior. He wants the real thing.


An up-and-coming bridal designer must fly a Montana taxidermist to Greece to stuff her grandmother’s deceased cat. If the cat isn’t preserved in two days time, she will lose her inheritance. But will she survive the next 48 hours when the taxidermist ignores her pointed request and shows up wearing flannel?
Buy Links
Like to see a book trailer to entice you further? Check these out:



Are you intrigued? Are you ready to hunt these down and jump into the adventure and antics? 

Anybody else relate to the comic relief that can crop up in your life like Kristen speaks of? Oh my, how often have I said, "This could only happen to me!" LOL

Thanks for sharing with us, Kristen!