What to Consider Before Writing for the General Market by Precarious Yates

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Is it possible to be a Christian author writing for the general market?

Yes, and I would say it’s incredibly necessary. The general market needs books that have a Christian worldview.

This isn’t a simple task. One needs to have thick skin, clear vision and plenty of time in prayer and reading God’s word. Also, it’s very important to hone your skills as both a writer and a storyteller.

Why is thick skin necessary? If you find you can’t flush away bad reviews, this may not be the market for you. If you cannot disentangle yourself and your identity from the story, offenses may build up too high as criticism starts pouring in.

In regards to vision, Habakkuk 2:2 says this, “And the LORD answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.’” If you feel called to write for the general market, you will need to make your vision plain. Write out what your calling is, what your goals are, etc. Bounce these ideas off of seasoned writers and be open to changing your mind. Do you feel called to evangelize through your writing? That may look very different than you originally think. Do you feel called to encourage? You may need to learn what is encouraging and what isn’t. During this process, your vision may alter slightly. I know mine did. That’s okay.

You will have to bathe yourself both in prayer and in God’s Word so that when you sit to write to a general audience, your worldview is untainted. This is such a delicate thin line to walk, writing for the general market from a Christian worldview. Time in prayer and in God’s Word can make that line thicker. You will have greater clarity when you read through stories of broken lives throughout scripture and the multiple ways God extends His grace and mercy. The Bible emphasizes forgiveness, but forgiveness isn’t present in a great deal of modern literature. This is an area into which a writer from a Christian worldview can speak volumes.

With regards to skill, it’s a futile effort to attempt to write for the general market if you don’t have great skill both as a storyteller and as a writer. What are the differences between these two? I will write more on that next month, but briefly, storytelling involves the plot and pacing while the term ‘writer’ here applies to the flow, cadence and engaging narrative/dialogue of the prose. If you’re a good storyteller but weak as a writer, practice skills such as similes, metaphors, writing dialogue, etc. If you’re like me, great at writing but unskilled at plot and pacing, practice how to plot and how to pace. Read books where this is done well. Map out the plots of your favorite books and movies. The more skilled you are all the way around, the more well received your book will be. As in no fruitless efforts.

You may want to have a pen name to distinguish these books from your Christian fiction. That’s what I’ve done. Anyone who’s interested in that pen name or those books can contact me privately. I keep both pen names very separate for multiple reasons.

Here’s to all the brave warriors and pioneers who feel called to this path! Let’s don our armor and forge on!

God bless you!

Precarious Yates

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

Links:

Facebook Amazon Author Page

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Take Time to Get Away With God by Rebekah Beene

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We traveled to Crystal Springs yesterday. An old CCC built picnic and swimming area on a huge creek is far from the crowds. It takes a good while to get there on a single lane dirt road. We arrived and it is breathtaking and the solitude is wonderful. Before we’d been there long a couple from Dallas arrived. We talked for a minute or two and he told me that they decided to go home via back roads to see the sights that aren’t visible on the interstate. They wanted to slow down and enjoy everything. As they walked off toward the water he exclaimed to his wife, “I want to run!”

God speaks to my heart. Take time to get away with Me. I will show you breathtaking things in the spirit and you will find solitude with Me is not lonely but needful. Make the decision to get off the beaten path and unhook from life draining resources for I AM your resource.

Oh beloved, it’s Monday and most of us are headed to work. But there is a place of quiet rest where we can meet with our Heavenly Father and tap into His beauty. Even with a busy work week and all the pressures of life there is always time to steal away with Him. It’s your living water, precious believer. It will never run dry and you will always have plenty of all that you need when you take time to drink from that Fountain of Resources. God knows your lifestyle, He knows your demands, He knows what everyone expects from you. He also knows what you expect from yourself. If you will take just a little time each day to slow down and receive from the Lord you will find yourself wanting to run in the fields of Faith with Him! He restores worn out lives, He renews discarded vows, He redeems the time. He is your Strength and you need all the strength you can get in these last days. Your destiny is to pursue God and His Kingdom, finding your place at His table and living completely for His glory! Power naps are nothing when compared to Power moments with the Lord! Weariness fades, worry slides away and cares of this life grow dimmer as you power up in the Spirit of God each day!

God loves you and He’s for you! Trust Him and give Him the opportunity to take you off the path of busyness and into His Very Presence! And rejoice as you go forth with a renewed sense of what it means to live fully alive in God’s Power and Love!

Matthew 6:32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.

Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Psalm 68:4 Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the Lord— rejoice in his presence!

Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to Me and resting in Me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength…

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

In a Christian Women’s meeting in 1983, Rebekah was given a prophetic message that she would write books. Several years ago she began writing stories about special holiday memories and travels, sharing God’s love and care through each story. God has gifted Rebekah with the ability to look at the natural and see the supernatural. Both Rebekah and her husband Danny have a heart to share the Gospel and the riches of life in Christ to everyone they meet. They have served in the local church and in ministry to motorcyclists. Danny is an ordained minister and they both have been Bible study teachers for many years. Rebekah also speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Her tag line says it all “God loves you and He’s for you”.

My website is http://rebekahbeene.wordpress.com

My first book in print is Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word.
Link to buying the book via paypal is on the website.
As well a link to purchasing the ebook on Amazon is there too.
I’m also on twitter @rebekahbeene, tumblr http://rebekah-beene.tumblr.com/
and of course facebook as Rebekah Beene (Warren) I included my maiden name for old friends.
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Vengeful Vows, Book Three of the Sins of the Flesh Launch Party Today! by Parker J. Cole

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Vengeful Vows released worldwide on May 31st. I’m so excited. Daffodil and Vincent’s story takes you on a roller coaster ride of revenge, intrigue, and unseen twists and turns. Just when you think you know where the story is going, you find out you didn’t know anything. Get your copy today and prepare for Vengeful Vows!

Vengeful Vows

“WILL YOU WALK INTO MY PARLOUR?” SAID THE SPIDER TO THE FLY?

Daffodil Simmons is a spider, and all the world is her fly. Her latest scheme for revenge against the two men who abandoned her—her father and her former lover—seems to be going as planned until . . .

. . . ANOTHER SPIDER ENTERS THE WEB . . .

It’s a battle of wits against a powerful foe. Will Daffodil gain the revenge she craves? Or will she be trapped by her own threads?

In order to celebrate, join me for the Vengeful Vows Launch Party on Facebook today at 1 pm Eastern time! Here’s the link. https://www.facebook.com/events/224679774584692/

Win prizes, meet authors, chit chat, play games, and have fun! View the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm1RsbOtL_M Enjoy an excerpt here: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/10109392-a-sneak-peek-at-my-new-book-vengeful-vows

And enjoy every one of the Sins of the Flesh series

Many Strange WomenThe Other Man

About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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Gems From Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 111:2,3 How amazing are the deeds of the LORD! All who delight in him should ponder them. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails.

Have you stopped lately to consider what the Lord has done in your life, in the world? I often read the Old Testament and it is full of God’s dealings with man. We discover there many things about God as He contends with sinful man. We discover how merciful God is with a people who continuously reject Him. We discover how God always gives man a way out of his sinfulness. We discover how unbelievably patient God is and the depth of His love for a wayward people. It is amazing when you stop to think about how a holy God could be so gracious, forgiving, kind and loving to a people who just don’t seem to care much about Him.

When we stop and look at our own lives, we discover much of the same things going on. We now have the help of Christ to keep us right with God, but we often struggle to live the life we profess to have. God’s expectations for us are the same; He commands us to be a holy people. He has given us Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help make us holy. We, just like those who have gone before us, struggle with holy living. Yet, God never abandons us because we struggle. He constantly is at work in our lives to help us. He guides us, teaches us, convicts us, and empowers us. We are loved by God beyond our ability to comprehend.

Everything the Lord does is a display of His glory and majesty. He is incomparable. His glory and majesty fill the heavens and the earth. He made all that is and sustains it. We who take delight in His presence are His crowning glory and majesty. Everything He does in and through us are a testimony of how great our God is.

His righteousness never fails. His righteousness is sufficient! When we live in Christ, our righteousness, we lack nothing. We are all we need to be to make it to heaven. In Christ alone we are made acceptable to God. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves more fit for heaven. All who live in Christ will be in heaven some day. We cannot add to or take away from what Jesus did for us at Calvary.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Communicate Grace by Suzanne D. Williams

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Don’t let even one rotten word seep out of your mouths. Instead, offer only fresh words that build others up when they need it most. That way your good words will communicate grace to those who hear them. (Eph 4:29 VOICE)

No man has the right to say anything he wants.

Regardless of culture.

Upbringing.

Nationality.

Genetics.

Instead, our words should bring encouragement. They should build each other up. They should communicate grace.

What does that mean? It means through your words, you become the person people love to talk to because they never leave without receiving some benefit.

It means no matter what your opinion is about that person, you have something positive to say. You always treat them as if they are important. You bring calm and comfort regardless of their circumstances or any choices they’ve made.

And here’s an additional thought … Both to your closest friends and to that person you’ve only just met.

I think sometimes it’s our family and friends who get the wrong side of us. We become too comfortable, complacent, and lose track of what we say.

“Well, they know me, so it’s all right to be this way.”

No, it isn’t. There is no excuse for being rude.

I like what it says in Colossians 4:6. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Though this passage is talking specifically about people who aren’t Christians, I believe it applies to everyone.

We SHOULD always speak to one another with grace, God’s principles evident in the tone of our voice and in the wisdom that proceeds out of us. That’s really what it all boils down to. Did what you say make that person think of Christ? Or did it send them running the other way?

Think about it, and become the salt and light that reflects Christ into every area you touch.

Now available for purchase!

Free on Kindle Unlimited

http://amzn.to/1O3ULLO

SuperHuman

Running “The Earth Shop”, Lauren Fournier had seen many unusual things. The supernatural was, after all, the purpose of the store. But never, since she’d taken it over, had anyone in the Christian community entered without an ulterior motive. They want to “save her soul” without a heart for understanding who she was.

But from the moment Reverend Dagger Dawkins first speaks to her, it’s clear something about him is different. Not simply that he asks her out on a date. No man of his caliber has ever dared to do that. But also, she feels a pull toward him she can’t explain.

When he disappears in front of her eyes, she’s desperate for him to return. But nothing about their date is normal – not his description of his superhuman family, not his skin turning colors at her touch, nor the instantaneous transfer of them both from her apartment in Virginia to the California coast.

Who is he? And why, of all the girls he could choose, did he pick her?

About the Author:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-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 devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

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Skirting Insanity by Staci Stallings

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I’ve learned a lot of things about myself by being an author. Some of them are good things like I can start, stick with, and finish long projects. I can do multiple projects nearly simultaneously with little trouble. And I can take the smallest grain of an idea and have the trust to give it to God to see what He will do with it.

While all of those are wonderful, I’ve also learned a few more disconcerting things about myself. When I’m writing, I sometimes completely forget there’s a reality to attend to. Writing tends to take over my sleep patterns as well. In fact, for a while early on, I had to literally make myself not try to think the story at night because my dreams ended up sounding like this:

“Please don’t go,” she said, holding his hand and knowing if he took even one more step she couldn’t go on living.

No, seriously.

When your dreams start sounding that way, you know you’ve been writing WAAAAY too much!

I think one of the more disconcerting things I’ve learned about myself as a writer is that there seems to be a… I don’t even know what to call it… level, dimension, something like that… that I can access not so much by willpower, but ironically by letting go.

Weird. I know.

I believe it’s what some people call “flow.”

What I have learned further is that accessing “flow” is not just about a particularly lucid moment of capturing a scene that is only in your head (which is another cool component of flow). It is also about accessing a “wisdom” in the “flow” of life as well.

I’m going to TRY to explain that using the book that is coming out in June in the “Whispers of Love” collection. The book is called “Flight 259.” This book, probably far more than most of the others, is a lesson in the “flow” of life that I’ve found is accessible only by totally letting go.

First of all, had I been operating on my agenda only, this book probably never would have even been written. You see, I had just started writing 17 years ago, and the book I was writing I had every intention of completing before I started another one. In fact, many writing teachers would gasp in horror at the way I write (another point of my insanity that I’ve learned not to let bother me too much).

In short, I do not write one book at a time. I write six or more, and I go where the Holy Spirit leads when He says to go that direction. But “Flight” came along before I knew that about myself. I was happily writing the other book, and then I had this very vivid dream. By the next morning, I knew most of this story. Not wanting to lose it, I got up and wrote down the pieces I knew. I think I wrote for about an hour—just outline stuff and in no real coherent order.

My plan was to hold onto those notes and write “Flight” when I finished the other one. Well, a day went by and “Flight” was eating at my soul to write. Throwing “how it’s done” to the wind, I sat down and wrote. “Flight 259” was the first full-length novel I ever finished (unless you count the one I wrote longhand in 8th grade!).

And then I went on to write other books. Lots of them.

“Flight” sat on my computer and got transferred and then lost for a while, and then found and reclaimed by buying a floppy disc reader—yes, that’s how old it was! At first, I sent it to New York (NEW YORK!) to be edited. That was before Christian fiction was much of a thing if your name wasn’t Janette Oke, and let’s just say the editor in New York, who charged me $3,000 for the edit, didn’t really “get” the whole Christian thing.

So I put the printed out, marked up pages in the back of a drawer, and I kept writing. I wrote six books before I published any of them. By that time, five years had passed. I revised the others, and although “Flight” got a few attempts at revisions over the years, nothing really came of them. It always went to the back of the “drawer” on my computer and stayed there.

But you see, that’s how this insanity of surrendering your life works. Things often only make sense when you look back on them. Rarely do they make sense looking forward.

So, completely out of the blue, a few months ago I was approached about being in a new collection of books. The catch was it had to be a completely new, never-before-published book. And what book came to mind? “Flight 259.” The book that had laid in drawers and collected cyberdust on my computers for 17 years!

Strangely, I can see that it simply wasn’t ready before now. I can’t explain that other than to say in the “flow” of this version of writer’s insanity, it’s time.

I know God has great things for this story in His Plan because clearly, the writing of it and the releasing of it where formulated in His Plan, not mine. So, I hope all of my readers will buy the collection it’s in because in God’s Plan and mine right now, it will only be available for a limited time in that collection. Then, it won’t be released as its own title until mid-to-late 2017.

I don’t know why. I just know that’s where God is leading, and often that feels very much like skirting insanity!

Copyright Staci Stallings, 2016

Whispers of Love

About the Author:

Staci StallingsA 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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Bible Buffet by Sherry Chamblee

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Do you ever think of the Bible like a meal?

I know I hear preachers talk about getting fed from God’s Word, and living daily off it, and how it is our meat, and our bread, and our milk. We must be fed by God’s Word daily in order to thrive spiritually.

I’m sure you’ve heard that too.

But then, why don’t we eat of it often? Why do we not pull up to the table and partake?

Let me tell you, the Word of God is like a buffet – the best buffet you’ve ever seen or heard of.

You know what that means? No matter what we pick from that buffet, it’ll be great! You can’t go wrong with the Bible. It’s not like you’ll pick something up, fill up your plate, and find out that it’s all really bad, or something went rotten, or it’s too spicy or too bland.

No, it’s all good for our edification. You can’t go wrong.

So have confidence. Don’t be hesitant – don’t think that just because you haven’t studied it much up until now, then you must not be capable of studying the Bible.

No, you ARE capable. Open up that Bible and study anything you find in it.

It’s literally all good.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 107:8-9 Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for all his wonderful deeds to them. For he satisfies the thirst and fills the hungry with good things.

Praise the Lord for His great love. He is love. There is enough love in the heart of God to love everyone who has ever lived or shall yet live on earth. There is no depleting God’s love. God loves the lovely and unlovely. There is no bias in His love. There is nothing anyone can do to not be loved by God. Everything God does is blanketed by His love.

Praise the Lord for his wonderful deeds. God’s love is balanced by His holiness and goodness. It is a wondrous thing to observe what God does amongst men. We don’t always understand His workings at the time, but when we see what God does from the perspective of time, we stand in amazement at the goodness of God in all He does. God works amongst men for their good and for His glory. God knows what we need to have and experience in life in order for our hearts to be holy before Him. He knows how to treat us well.

Praise the Lord for He satisfies our thirst and fills our hunger with good things. The Lord is our provider. He takes care of all that we need. What we need more than anything else in life is pure hearts. We may want more, but we don’t need it. The Lord purifies those who hunger and thirst for Him. Those who desire to be made right before God will be given all that is needed to be holy.

Praise the Lord for He is love. Praise Him for His wonderful deeds. Praise Him for He satisfies all the longings of our souls when we seek Him.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Integrity & Writing by SUZANNE D. WILLIAMS

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When I was originally going to write this blog, I had a list of “tired” storylines, plots that have been used and re-used, but I realized in scanning it, that much of what was listed was simply my opinion. Opinion, by definition, is simply a personal view. Thinking of it positively, it isn’t necessarily right or wrong. If John prefers beets, but Mark hates them, neither John nor Mark are right or wrong about the flavor of beets.

Applying this thought to writing, take a genre like Amish fiction. We can argue the merits and faults of it all day long and come away as divided as when we began. I, personally, don’t care for it, but it’s intensely popular. It isn’t wrong for me to avoid it. It isn’t wrong that others love it. Both are the result of opinions.

What one reader enjoys, another dislikes. I have had both five-star and one-star reviews on the same story. One person loved it and thought it was unique, the next one found it boring. Thinking of this in reverse, I’ve read stories that have dozens of five-star reviews, unable to understand why anyone cared for it.

But … and here’s my point … all of that is the result of opinion.

Good opinions sell books. Forming good opinions is a result of far more than genre or even quality of writing, though. I think every author needs to study writing. I also think some people have no talent for writing and, like people who try out for dance or singing competitions without training or any sort of gift for it, should find another hobby. But what makes me buy books, what helps me sell books, is integrity.

As a Christian, integrity means treating others fairly, not gossiping, being generous – shutting off my opinion where it hurts others. It does NOT mean tolerating sin. Let me make that perfectly clear. But it does mean moderating my tone when I talk and my words when I write them. It’s being “me”, but a good, kind “me”.

In order to be a light in a very dark world, I cannot afford to douse the candles people are holding.

Some Christian fiction caters to Christians. Some of it stretches its hands to reach those on the fringe of the church. We need both types of books and cannot afford to take offense on either side of the bookshelf. We should, instead, focus our lives on godly living, on integrity and honor, no matter how strongly we love or hate someone’s personal style.

I can be me and write the stories that are laid on my heart, and you can be you and write what’s given to you. The only opinion that matters on either side is God’s.

Indian Summer

Available at Amazon and other retail outlets. http://amzn.to/1RhBJgX

After long correspondence, Ona Privett accepts the marriage proposal of a man she’s never met, swept away by the beautiful words he’s written of their promising future. But when she arrives, far south at the edge of the Florida wilderness, she discovers the man she intended to marry died within weeks of their last communication.

His son, John Cole, knows nothing about their letters, any pending marriage, or why such a beautiful girl is so determined to stay. Nor does he want the responsibility of a wife, though that was his father’s wish. He likes his freedom, spending his days fending for himself, relying only on his horse and the inborne skill of his mother’s Native American ancestry.

Yet that ancestry mixes with his father’s Caucasian blood to form powerful prejudices in the townspeople. Poisonous bigotry that, despite their growing passion, continues to fuel his doubts. Perhaps, the irresponsible youth he’s been isn’t strong enough to protect her. And maybe the hatred of those around them will ultimately destroy them both.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Suzanne 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 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 catalog of stories, visit http://www.feelgoodromance.com.

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God’s Hope for Us by Staci Stallings

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The following is a sermon preached in Staci Stallings’ brand new release, “Mirror, Mirror” available now…

“In the words of St. Paul that Sister Phillis read so eloquently,” Pastor Steve said. “We hope for what we do not see, what we cannot see. Who hopes for something they already have, right? St. Paul, the man of wisdom, tells us that hope must be ours especially when we cannot see how something will work out. And he goes on to tell us how to have hope. It’s not about knowing what we can do to fix things. It is about having hope in our weakness, in our frailty, in the midst of our human suffering and trials. Hope is not about when things are going well. Hope is about when we’re stuck in yuck, and there doesn’t seem to be a way out of it.

“Hope is what says, ‘God has a way even when there seems to be no way.’ In fact, the Scriptures today tell us that even when we don’t know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit will step in and pray for what we most need. This is being in the middle of God’s grace. Seeing our circumstance and knowing we don’t know how to fix it but knowing that even if we don’t, He does.”

Sage smiled, wondering if he had written these words for her. If so, she was thankful.

“I want you to understand that just as we cannot be faithful enough in our own faith. We also cannot be hopeful enough in our own hope. There will come a time and a place where we’re going to want to give up because we don’t see how this is ever going to get any better. That’s when we have to stop relying on our own hope and start grabbing onto His hope. God’s hope, just like His grace and His mercy, does not end. He never gives up on us. Ever. He doesn’t say, ‘Well, okay, I’ve wasted enough time on him or on her. I give up.’ God never gives up. He is

constantly working to set things right in our lives, in your life, in a very up-close-and-personal way. Why?

“Because He made you with a purpose. He set you where you are, as you are so that the world can see Him working in your life. So when things go wrong and we make bad choices or wind up on the downside of the up ladder, remember that God is not finished with you. If you will let Him, He can take even this and show you Him and by doing so, He will show the world Himself as well. With this in mind, we strive forward, forgetting what has gone before, reaching for that prize of faith, which is Jesus Christ Himself standing before us ready to welcome us home—not some day in Heaven. Right now. If we will let Him. He hopes for us, and He never gives up. Let our hope begin to be found in Him as we reach up and let Him take hold of our lives in a powerful, real way today. So that His life, His love, His faith, His mercy, and His hope will be channeled through our lives into the world that needs Him so desperately. Amen.”

Closing her eyes, Sage breathed a sigh of peace. God had a plan, and if He hadn’t given up on them, she wasn’t going to either. “Amen.”

About the Author:

Staci StallingsA 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.

 

 

NOW AVAILABLE

An EPIC LOVE STORY from Staci Stallings

Mirror Mirror

“I fell in love with Sage. My heart went out to her, and I could so relate to how she felt. It’s no fun trying to be someone you’re not even when you don’t know that’s what you are doing.”

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EM3SW2S

Get lost in the saga of one young woman thrown into a life of secrets and lies, and one young man trying to save her from it all.

Mirror Mirror

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