Words of Wisdom from Charles Haddon Spurgeon for December 1 Morning

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Words of Wisdom from Charles Haddon Spurgeon for December 1 Morning

“Thou hast made summer and winter.” – Psalm 74:17

My soul begin this wintry month with thy God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind thee that he keeps his covenant with day and night, and tend to assure thee that he will also keep that glorious covenant which he has made with thee in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to his Word in the revolutions of the seasons of this poor sin-polluted world, will not prove unfaithful in his dealings with his own well-beloved Son.

Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it be upon thee just now it will be very painful to thee: but there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of expectation: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes over the once verdant meadows of our joy: he casteth forth his ice like morsels freezing the streams of our delight. He does it all, he is the great Winter King, and rules in the realms of frost, and therefore thou canst not murmur. Losses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty, and a thousand other ills, are of the Lord’s sending, and come to us with wise design. Frosts kill noxious insects, and put a bound to raging diseases; they break up the clods, and sweeten the soul. O that such good results would always follow our winters of affliction!

How we prize the fire just now! how pleasant is its cheerful glow! Let us in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble. Let us draw nigh to him, and in him find joy and peace in believing. Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of his promises, and go forth to labours which befit the season, for it were ill to be as the sluggard who will not plough by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing.
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Giving Respect by Suzanne D. Williams

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There are a few rules of author-reader relationship that bear repeating from time to time. Recently, one of these came to my attention when a popular author was berated for being “snippy.” Frankly, after reading her reason, I sided with the author.

A friend in a conversation about it later said we sit on the sidelines calling judgment and foul. This is so true, and here’s a good rule of thumb – if you can’t do what you’re criticizing someone else for, then its best to not speak at all. In other words, don’t tell a skydiver how to jump when you’re afraid of heights.

You’d think that’d be common sense, but people do it all the time. They correct preachers when they’ve never been in the pulpit. They correct musicians when they can’t play an instrument or sing one note on key. It’s as if the internet has given anyone license to say anything at all simply because they’re able.

Wait up there, folks! What does the Bible say about that?  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal 5:22-23) And in another location:  “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another.” (Col 3:12-13)

That’s a tall order and a lot to do at once. It’s also easy to forget them individually. The Bible calls this “neglect” of our salvation. (Heb 2:3) I like that word because the fact is, we can’t say whatever we want to anyone we want, whether that’s family or friends or internet acquaintances.

But how does this apply to authors and readers? Well, respect the time and effort it takes an author to write a book. The popular author I mentioned was criticized when someone asked where to find her books for free. Stop right there. When did that become polite to ask? Why not buy the book and support the author so she can continue writing? Also, why not leave the author a kind review after reading the book, especially if you received it for free? That five minutes of your time will mean the world to him or her.

We, as the body of Christ, are called to live above the mandates of the world. We are to be lights in the darkness helping hurting people. How can we do that if we’re too busy tearing each other apart? As the Scripture says, “These things ought not so to be.” (Jas 3:10)

Support an author this Christmas. Buy a book.

A Sweet Teen Romance for Christmas

99 Cents

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OW97EJK

Secret Admirer 

(Click the image to see the book on Amazon)

He turned his back to her and stepped away, then halted and revolved on one heel. “I can’t,” he said. He returned to where he’d been, and the quiet seemed to enclose them, his breath and hers the only noises besides the whisper of falling snow.

“I can’t just walk away.”


When a mysterious package marked “secret admirer” arrives, Esther Parrish is less interested in what’s in the box and more in Weston Cutter, the delivery boy. He’s handsome and charming.

A second encounter the following day seems to seal their mutual interest. They have a date.

But as her feelings for him grow, a series of unusual circumstances and the suspicions of her older brother begin to cast doubt on the man who’s captured her heart, and it all returns to the unknown gift. Whatever is in that box under the Christmas tree holds the key to a happy holiday.

Or does it?

A sweet teenage romance with the promise of the Christmas season by best-selling author, SUZANNE D. WILLIAMS.


 Suzanne D. Williams

Best-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes a monthly column for Steves-Digicams.com on the subject of digital photography, as well as devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalogue of stories, visit http://suzanne-williams-photography.blogspot.com/ or link with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor.


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Sara Duggans’ Review of “8 Reasons Your Life Matters” by John Herrick

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Do you ever have one of those days, months, or years where everything goes wrong?

You get laid off from your job. Your wife is stressed and has a miscarriage. You finally finish your novel only to have your publisher drop you. You find out you have an incurable disease.

All you want to do is curl up in bed under the covers and cry. You may even ruminate on suicidal thoughts.

John Herrick, the author of the bestselling book From The Dead,  From the Deadmakes himself vulnerable   and shares how he survives the darker moments of life in his book 8 Reasons Your Life Matters.

8 Reasons Your Life Matters

The places we visit alone.  The vulnerable wounds we would rather not share. The moments we feel that life doesn’t matter. Days we feel we don’t make a difference.

The one message John wants to get across in his writing is that you matter and you are loved.

After observing a close friend go through a challenging time John felt exhausted. He needed to recharge. He gathered some music, got in his car and drove. During his drive he talked to God, cleared his heart and mind, and penned the outline to 8 Reasons Your Life Matters.

8 Reasons Your Life Matters

Before you give up, before you go end your life read this book.

8 Reasons Your Life Matters

8 Reasons Your Life Matters

Author: John Herrick, Bestselling author of From The Dead

From the Dead

Published by Segue Blue, St. Louis Missouri U.S.A.

© 2013 All Rights Reserved

Available on Amazon $5.95 Free

In each chapter John shares snippets of his personal struggles alongside Biblical examples. How did he handle the situation? How did the Bible character handle it? What does God have to say?

Find out why:

  • Your Life Is More Permanent Than Your Struggles
  • God Sees You Differently Than You See Yourself
  • You Have a Destiny
  • You Are Remembered, Not Forgotten
  • You Were Someone’s First Pick
  • Your Absence Would Leave A Permanent Hole
  • People Need to See You Overcome
  • You Are Love And Valued

Non-religious fans of John Herrick will still want to read this book as the truths are universal.

Get Your Copy Today at Amazon:

8 Reasons Your Life Matters

8 Reasons Your Life Matters

Sara Duggan enjoys writing, reading, surfing the web, and Pinterest. In 2007 she started her blogging adventure. She writes PLR, articles, and tutorials for clients on a number of topics including crochet, handmade market, family, homeschooling, scrapbooking, working from home and more. For updates on current openings signup at http://myblogassistant.com/.

Sara Duggan – Momwithahook

Sara Duggan

Create Crochet Patterns: A step-by-step Guide for Beginners

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A friend Loves at ALL times Proverbs 17:17

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes for 11/25/2014

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Jim Hughes

Is. 55:10-11 The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

One of the great mysteries of the Gospel is how God uses it when it is sent forth. The effectiveness of the Word to bring about change in the human soul lies solely in God. We can do nothing to cause anyone to hear the Word and let it change their life. Nothing. The messenger is only that, a messenger. It doesn’t matter how well or powerfully the messenger may speak. It doesn’t matter how knowledgeable he may be. It doesn’t matter how acceptable he may be amongst man. It is not about the messenger; it’s about the message.

The Word never fails to fulfill its mission that God sends it on. When God’s Word is proclaimed, God makes sure that someone gets the message He intended for it to deliver. It always touches a need and produces fruit in the heart of man. Always. We must never pass up opportunities to get the Word out, because God has promised that when we do proclaim it God will bless our efforts and use His Word. It doesn’t matter how you do it or how well you do it; it just matters that you do it. Do your part and God will do the rest.

God sends His Word out. He knows where and when it is needed. He knows who to send it with and to. He never fails to offer people an opportunity to hear it and apply it to their life. Not everyone is willing to hear, but nevertheless, God gives them a witness. No one has an excuse to reject Him when they hear the Word. The Word will either draw man to God or condemn man for rejecting God. Each will be judged by the Word revealed, whether it be the written or Living Word.

God has entrusted you with His Word. Don’t deny anyone the opportunity to hear it and know it. He holds you accountable for what you do with it. Your life is your pulpit. Proclaim loudly the Word and God so that all who are in your world will hear it. God will put it the soil of people’s souls, water it, nurture it, and cause it to take root and grow.

C Through Marriage
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“Whisper If You Have To” My Most Personal Story Yet by Staci Stallings

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“Each one of Staci’s books has a life lesson we can all glean from, no matter how old or young we are.”

Whisper If You Have To

Only 99cents!


Some of you know me or know of me. Others may never have heard the name Staci Stallings until this very minute, and that’s okay. In fact, part of me likes not being known. One thing I do know is this: my readers probably know me better than most people who have ever met me in person—they just don’t know how well they really know me.

In my writing, the “real me” that I don’t show many people in real life often comes out. Many times that happens in very subtle ways that most people would never catch, and that’s good for me because although I’m not the mysterious type, I don’t normally shout from the rooftops who I am and why—except in my writing if you know how to read between the lines.

In real life, it takes very little for me to choose to help you. However, it takes moving the Grand Canyon for me to feel comfortable enough with you to really let you in to my world.

That is why my newest fiction release “Whisper If You Have To” is such a step off the sheer side of an emotional cliff for me. When this book came up in my heart and spirit to write, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be that real, even on paper, even if no one else would ever read it. I didn’t want to “go there.”

Trying not to spoil it, “Whisper” is about a young girl who, although she has different talents than I did, is very similar to me when I was that age. She is driven by forces she doesn’t really see or understand. She is constantly trying to be “enough” and knowing she will never measure up. She pushes herself harder than anyone should ever be pushed and then berates herself for not doing and being enough.

Worse, she has a secret that her family literally moved from their previous home to avoid and move on from. It is in that secret that readers will come to know many things about me and my heart. The details are different, but I have lived through what Alison has gone through in the book.

In fact, there are a couple of points in the book that her confessions and “going there” are as much me as her. The fear, the confusion, the not knowing where to go from here—those thoughts are my thoughts, those feelings are my feelings. And that scares me more than you can ever know.

When I first wrote this book, I gave it to two very, very close friends to read telling them that they were probably the only two people on the planet who would ever read it. They read it and loved it, but couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to put it out. That’s an easy one to explain.

It’s because I don’t want to let anyone in that far… especially people who might take my heart and twist it because the book doesn’t fit their preconceived notions about how this type of story should go. The details are different, but many things in the story are exactly how things “went” when I was dragged through this very same fire.

I cannot tell you more as that would spoil the story, but I will tell you… this one was hard to write. Many tears went into every page. I will also tell you that this one was even harder to publish, and I do so even now with great fear and trembling, and praying that others will be gentle with me because my heart is still very fragile in this area.

This one is me, and only because God is giving me the courage to reach out to help others going through this same fire am I even willing to put it out there. It’s in His hands now as it probably always was. I just hope that in your hands it gives God the space to teach you to love on a deeper level as the events in my own life did me.

Copyright 2014, Staci Stallings

About the Author:

Staci Stallings

A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.

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This is the time for Thanksgiving by Sherry Chamblee

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Well, every day is for giving thanks, right? 

Sometimes we talk big, we say things like “I have thanksgiving every day.” Actually I hear it lots at Christmas, too … “We celebrate Christ all year.” 

Ok, let me be honest. Often I think we’re using that as a copout, or an image booster. 

Look in the Bible. God created special feast days, special memorial days that were designed to remind His people of certain things. So I think it makes sense that we would have one special day in the year where we are to be reminded to give thanks for the things we have. This doesn’t mean we don’t give thanks to God all year. Rather it’s a reminder each year…sort of a reset button. It’s a renewal. Each year we fill up our Thanksgiving basket, and make it last for another year.

So participate. Don’t feel guilty if you need this reminder again this year…we all do, by the way.  God designed things like this for a reason. He knows we are flesh. He knows we forget.

Granted, Thanksgiving Day is not a commanded holy day in the Bible, nor is Christmas. So I’m not equating them. I’m just saying it’s ok to have them. They serve a Biblical purpose. So yes, remember that you should be thankful all year round.

That’s what Thanksgiving Day is for. It’s a day to remember and remind us what we ought to be doing all year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Sherry Chamblee

Sherry Chamblee can also be found at www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com

Her new release is here: http://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B00NVU9RAA


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Thanksgiving: One Day or a Lifetime? By Lorieen D. Henry

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Lorieen Henry

Many get excited during this season because “The Holidays” are quickly approaching. Many celebrate Thanksgiving as a tradition the fourth Thursday in November to give thanks for the year’s blessings. During this time many take on a different persona becoming extra nice and overly caring until year’s end.

There is nothing wrong with making a change for better or to line up with scripture from the Holy Bible. I applaud positive change, but let us beware of our motives. Traditions are wonderful, but let us not place tradition above God. I know we set aside days for specific reasons. Nonetheless, I write to make us think. So, are our thoughts about Thanksgiving centered around one day or a lifetime?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, Pray without ceasing. In everything, give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ for you.”

According to scripture, Thanksgiving is NOT a one day celebration in November. It is to be given in everything and thus continuous. So remember to thank God daily and share His love with all continuously. Most of us become more sensitive, kind, sharing and loving on the fourth Thursday in November. My submission is that we carry all the extra love we find during “our traditional days” into our daily life.

Let’s look at Thanksgiving as a daily lifetime experience:

When we cook daily, be willing to share with someone else and if there is no one in need around us begin to pray for the homeless and hungry. As we fellowship with our friends and family, let’s make it a daily practice to pray for the elderly and the lonely. In fact, let’s incorporate visiting the elderly and visiting shelters into our weekly routines/monthly routines.

There will be some who have plenty. At the other end of the spectrum, there will be others that won’t have any. It is our duty to give thanks in all circumstances as well as pray for one another.

Heavenly Father, THE GREAT I AM, thank you for everything! Thank you for our past, our present and our future. Thank you for every blessing in our lives and help us to give you the thanks that you deserve daily. Give us a thirst for your Word and help us to apply it in our lives. As we approach the day set aside to celebrate Thanksgiving, help us not to focus on a yearly event, but a lifetime of giving you thanks. Help us commit to your Word and to serving each other daily. As we make thanksgiving a lifetime experience, let us always remember those who are less fortunate. Grant us the desire to help where we can and to pray without ceasing. Savior only you can help us get it right. It is in you that we put our trust. In Jesus name…Amen.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lorieenhenry

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/lorieenhenry

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00A4F3RJ2 


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CrossReads Book Blast for Sophie Dawson

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Seeing The Life

Seeing The Life
By Sophie Dawson

About the Book

Seeing The Life is a look at the life of Yeshua the Christ in a way never used before. Dassa, the daughter of the innkeeper, is sent to fetch the midwife to help the young woman in the stable give birth. She and Mary become close friends as do Micah, her fiance then husband, and Joseph. Separated when the young family flees Bethlehem in the night, their friendship resumes several years later in Jerusalem.

Dassa and Micah know Yeshua is special, but he is still a boy with a boy’s interests and love of life. Through the years the families, though separated most of the year, spend time together in Jerusalem during the Jewish Festivals. Then Yeshua begins speaking and teaching.

Micah, Joseph of Arimethea, their sons and others who follow and believe Yeshua’s message. Yet do they really understand it? Is he the long awaited messiah who will free the Jews from the grip of Rome? What do the stories he tells really mean?

Seeing The Life sees the life of Yeshua within the social and political culture of the time. Not only do we see his ministry but also his family and friendships as he grew. Yeshua was a normal baby who cried, spit up, wet and messed. He was a child who fell and skinned his knees. He lost his baby teeth. He had siblings. He had friends. My goal was to show the humanness of Yeshua’s life. We see him as fully God but often miss that he was fully man, boy and baby also.


Sophie DawsonSophie Dawson is Midwestern born and bred and is the author of several novels, including the Cottonwood Series and Stone Creek Series. Her novel Healing Love has won three awards: AuthorStand 2012 Gold Medal, Indiebook 2012 Silver Medal, and Readers’ Favorite 2013 Silver Medal. Giving Love was a finalist in Readers’ Favorite 2013. Her books have also been #1 Best Sellers in their genre on Amazon. Seeing The Life is a finalist in Readers’ Favorite Awards 2014. She is a member of Christian Independent Authors and Association of Independent Authors. An award-winning quilter with eclectic interests, Dawson posts to several blogs, including Little Bits Blog on her website, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Iowa Wesleyan College.

Follow Sophie Dawson
Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Author Interview with Christopher Shennan

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Our Interview today is with Christopher Shennan. Thank You for being here today and for agreeing to do this interview.

Chrristopher Shennan

What do you think prepared you or qualifies you to write in your chosen genre?

I had a radical conversion to Christ after an attempted suicide, got involved in both children’s and adult evangelism, been a missionary in Zimbabwe, besides being involved in missionary activity in other African countries, as well as in India and Haiti. My writing reflects my passion for communicating the Gospel.

Have you done anything writing-related, but besides your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?

I taught personal evangelism, which ended up in a published book named, “The Making of a Personal Evangelist.” I have written in excess of 500 poems I have used to great effect in my teaching and counseling ministries.

Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.

The Something Trilogy. Three novels written for youth, and set in the last years of the Apartheid era in South Africa. Strong themes about the true meaning of beauty, how God imparts goodness, and how special minority groups and handicapped people are precious to God: Something Beautiful, Something Good, and, Something Special.

What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)

I may use different means, but my first priority is always to proclaim the Gospel. I may use different genres and different age groups, but my main purpose is to proclaim the Gospel and encourage people to grow in Christ.

Tell us one place you visited or person you met, that made a big impression on you, and why.

My wife and I visited Poland in May 2012 to see my book The Toymaker’s Dream    enacted as a stage production by the Christian Theatre company, DAR (meaning gift). An injury to the main actor prevented us from seeing it at that time, but they visited Minnesota in the States the next year, and we got to see it then. No matter, the highlight of our visit was to get to know our Polish friends.

What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!

The third volume of the Skip Jordan Series was put on hold for a couple of years. Fans of the first two books in the series have been urging me, impatiently, to get on with it. I have promised them I will finish it in 2014, and continue with volume 4 straight after, and a prequel after that.

What is your current WIP [Work in Progress]?

Double Deceit – The Transformation of Jonathan Ward. It is a combination Spiritual Odyssey, Romance, and Murder Mystery.

How many books do you have out?

At present, five. See my website. An additional three coming out in the next few months.

Are there characters/stories/scenes/etc. based on anything in real life?

Yes. Well that would be The Something Trilogy very much. My wife was born in the town of Paulpietersburg in South Africa and went to primary school there. I also did a fair amount of ministry there and have close friends there. I stayed with them when visiting the region. I also based the main character in the first book on one of the workers I trained in children’s ministry.

What is your favorite book/character?

My favorite book is Jane Eyre, and my favorite character is Jane Eyre. The richness of description and noble theme of the book captures both my attention and my heart. The character of Jane Eyre satisfies my sense of justice; the downtrodden gaining ultimate fulfilment.


For EXPLORING BIBLICAL PRAYER – How Bible People Won or lost at Prayer (Non-Fiction)

Exploring Biblical Prayer

“What should a prayer life look like? What meaning does it have? And why should we care?

Shennan gives you 26 chapters of thought-provoking, scripturally based, convicting chapters that delves into these very questions. He also effectively deals with the disappointment that often comes from unanswered prayer and how prayer and other biblical doctrines have become “shadows in the shifting world of opinion.” It seems we haven’t given prayer the power which it deserves. We limit God with our unbelief, our desire for quick and easy answers.

“We are plagued by faint hearts and doubting dispositions. Temptations to put our trust in things seen rather than the unseen lie profusely in our path.”

Yeah, been there.

This book…I just don’t have any words for how wonderful it is. Shennan does a beautiful job of pulling in scripture and Bible stories that look at all types of prayer. I was amazed at some of the things that he pulled from the Bible that I had never even considered. Here are just a few of the great chapter titles: “Desperation in Prayer”, “Dangerous Prayer”, “Argument in Prayer”, “Persistence in Prayer”, “Earthshaking Prayer, “Burnout in Prayer”.

Exploring Biblical Prayer has renewed my spirit, my desire to pray, and has changed my perspective on a topic that can be difficult at best. If I could afford to give copies to everybody I know, I would. This WILL change your prayer life”

–Sherry Torgent

For SKIP JORDAN and the Veil of Deception (Fiction)

Veil of Deception
“This action packed adventure of young red hair Skip Jordon and his 2 friends Nancy and Ashley is very addictive and hard to put down and stop for meals. It starts out with Skip’s rescue from death at the age of 4 years in Africa then jumps to Canada, where Skip is now 13 and living with his aunt May. His very vivid dreams show what is in store as they go to rescue their school friends from the evil of witchcraft.

This very vivid action filled adventure has many twists and turns but with the help of many prayers and the forces of God the group is victorious. A well written adventure story with many biblical insights interwoven with the action.


An index of chapter headings would have facilitated going back to re-read some of the action of this fast changing narrative.”

–Keith Dixon

Contact Information for Christopher Shennan:

E-mail: christophershennan@gmail.com

My website: www.christophershennan.ca

My blog: http://christophershennan.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CNShennan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristopherShennanAuthor

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Teaser from “Family Plan” by Mary C. Findley

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fifty shades one final tagline the edge 25 Our latest fiction work is a collection of short stories titled “Fifty Shades of Faithful.” The following comes from the last story, called “Family Plan.” “Hi, um … my wife and I want to get some photos taken, but she’s running a little late. Is it okay if I wait for her here?” “Of course.” Calvin Weeks, the receptionist, swung around his desk and led the young Asian man over to the comfortable waiting area. “You can just sit here and relax, or you can start filling out your information here–” he indicated a touchscreen “– and you can even look at packages and prices by touching this, here. You have great cheekbones, by the way, and Viv will love working with you. I can’t wait to see your wife. I am just nuts about – are you Chinese? What’s your name?” “Alan Chang,” the young man said with a nervous blush, looking at the touchscreen. Calvin swept back to the counter as someone else entered. “How much for family photos?” Alan Chang looked up and tensed as the group entered Living Images Photo Studio. The blond male receptionist smiled at them and got to chatting and typing on his console. Alan’s eyes widened as he took in the number of children the couple had, and how young the mother looked. All of them looked strikingly attractive. The man had perfect gray touches at his temples and wore a pure white and red silk jacket. The woman had her hair wound into two braided buns fastened with ivory sticks and lacy white and gold ribbons. Her top and capri-length pants were gold and white silk with little fingerless mitts, socks, and sandals. Four children stayed close to them; two girls and two boys, the youngest seeming to be fraternal twins under the age of five, and the whole crowd looked like cosplay characters. Everything about them was perfect. Too perfect. Chang waited until the photographer, a striking redheaded woman who seemed to favor animal-hide clothing, had ushered them behind a curtain. He jumped up to the desk. “Don’t let those people leave,” he hissed at the receptionist, freezing the young guy’s fingers in mid-stroke and showing him a badge. “Can I see that ID?” The receptionist, whose nametag said Calvin, had recovered his composure quickly. Chang reluctantly handed over his wallet. Calvin studied the picture. “That’s terrible. Viv can do a much better job for you.” “I’m serious,” Chang snapped. “I can see that you are. Hey, Sam, I am so glad you’re here!” Calvin waved at the big, uniformed police officer with a dark mustache who entered the shop at that moment. “Viv is back shooting this adorable oriental family and this gentleman seems to want us to try to keep them here.” “I don’t need local police,” sneered Chang. “You can walk right back out of here. In fifteen minutes I’ll have Homeland Security wedged in here so tight you won’t be able to breathe.” “Homeland Security?” Sam gradually backed Chang away from Calvin’s counter and into the waiting area. “Simmer down, friend. What’s all this about?” “Child trafficking,” Chang finally said, when Sam had backed him into a corner and he had nowhere else to move to. “We believe the man is a sex trafficker and his ‘family’ is being photographed for sale online.” “You have some proof of that?” “I have images in this file,” Chang answered, showing the corner of a file folder tucked in his jacket. “They match general descriptions of those people.” “General descriptions. Calvin, pull up the security photos and show me this happy family, please.” Calvin spun his monitor and Sam glanced at the Oriental family. Chang surrendered the file after Sam held out his hand for a solid minute. Sam spent a few more minutes in study. “How can you be sure these are the same kids? They’ve been worked over like poodles at a dog groomer.” “This is not your business,” Chang insisted. “You’re not Homeland Security,” Sam said. “Who are you?”

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Mary J. Findley
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