The Jesus Seed by Staci Stallings

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Here is an interesting concept, but first, we’re going to look at a scenario you’re going to find humorous.

A farmer decides that he wants to grow corn. So he goes out into his field, and he makes all the furrows. He waters the field because he’s been told he must do so in order to yield a crop. He makes sure that he starts watering in the Spring because he’s heard that’s the best time to raise a crop. He fertilizes the soil because he’s heard you should do that if you want good corn. He waters it some more and puts on some bug killer because he doesn’t want the bugs to come and destroy his crop.

He waits, and soon something start coming up–a bunch of weeds. Angry, he goes out and starts hoeing the weeds. He hoes from sun up to sun down, row after row after row. When he’s finished, he looks out over his field and is incredibly disappointed. He’s done everything right and still no corn!

So he increases the water and keeps chopping at the weeds. After all, that’s what the farmer down the road did and this worked great for him. He keeps this up all summer, and at the end, he is incredibly frustrated. Why didn’t his field produce any corn?

Go ahead. Answer the question.

Why did this farmer’s field not produce corn?


Because he didn’t plant any!

Now this is going to sound ridiculously simple, but if you don’t plant a seed, I don’t care how much you work and tend that field, you are not going to get a crop.

So I’m going to ask you–have you ever worked to get a crop but forgotten to plant a Jesus Seed first?

In the book I’m reading, “How People Change” by Timothy S. Lane and Paul Tripp, the idea of Jesus as seed is touched upon. Strangely maybe, I have never had cause to think of Jesus this way, but if you start with that metaphor and look at the Bible stories and parables about seed, it will illuminate many new insights.

You see, I don’t care what “crop” you are wanting to grow, without Jesus at the center of it, you’re watering and weeding a crop that is never going to show up. And if it does, it will feel very empty and will almost certainly lead you to death rather than life.

Really. Look at some of the news stories of the past couple years. Bernie Madoff for example. He wanted money, and he scammed and lied and cheated. Clearly he forgot to plant the Jesus Seed first. Instead, he did what the world said would give him what he wanted, and he ended up with a field full of weeds.

Look at some of the stars that have gone off the deep-end. They wanted fame and fortune. They watered their talent and let the sun shine on their careers, but when the weeds showed up and took over, they had no defense against them. The crop of fame and fortune turned to bitterness and regret.

If you want change, if you want a great crop, you have to start with a Jesus Seed. You must plant HIM in the middle of it. The dreams with Him in the center may not bring you where you thought you wanted to go, but they will always bring you where you were meant to be.

To plant your Jesus Seed, seek His will for your life, put your desires in His hands and take the steps He’s asking you to take when He asks you to take them. Yes, there will still be watering and weeding, but the Seed of Goodness is the key to having an abundant crop that will lead to a life you cannot even imagine right now!

Copyright Staci Stallings, 2012

About the Author:

Staci StallingsNow a #1 Best Selling Christian and Inspirational Romance author, Staci Stallings, astay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, 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. Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe with her various Internet and writing endeavors including,, and

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Home by Laura J. Marshall

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Their weight sinks into the carpet then the floorboards beneath, permeating slowly into the concrete and the earth. Footprints of time and memory.

My head turns quickly to catch the shadow of a moment, a laugh, a sigh.

In the softness of home, the memories rock me. Gently floating across my mind and falling in waves that ripple like a rock skidding across a mirrored pond’s surface.

The air holds promises kept and broken. Words spoken long ago or tongues stilled out of respect and wisdom. Home has been privy to solitude, closed doors, deep thoughts, and heart’s cries.

When nowhere else would shelter, when no one else would hear,

When memories were once today’s and tomorrow was still promised.

Home was and is something fleeting, yet always steadfast.

Home is where your heart falls asleep on the couch after a meal of thanksgiving.

It’s often Mom or Dad. Or scattered across miles and held tight in a brief visit.

It’s childhood memories, the laughter and the tears.

It’s rainy mornings and a steamy cup of coffee.

It’s snowy afternoons when hands cold from fort making are wrapped around a hot mug of cocoa.

Home is said to be where your heart is, but it’s also where you’re given your heart.

Then as we grow, it’s scattered across the country, inside different people. The pieces you’ve given away. Willingly and unwillingly. Wrested over time or given at a glance into the warm brown eyes of a puppy.

Home is inside you and me.

It’s set across years and as we age,

And love and lose, it resides between heaven and earth.

Home is never lost, but rarely whole in one person or place.

But there are moments when the feeling of home is found in one terribly sweet piece of the present. Grasp it loosely, examine it fully,

For the weight will sink into the carpet then the floorboards beneath, permeating slowly into the concrete and the earth. Footprints of time and memory.

Of home.

About the Author:

Laura J. MarshallLaura is a full-time mom of five boys. When not on active duty, she is an Amazon best-selling author in various Christian genres: historical and contemporary romance, suspense, children’s, young adult, and nonfiction. She wrote the reflections in “Home” recently after one of her son’s left for college.

Visit her on her website to connect at

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New Release: Forever Fall (Grace Restored Series Book 5) by C. J. Peterson

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Forever Fall

Forever Fall, is the final installment of the Grace Restored Series. The direction of Katie MacKenna’s life has made a drastic change. In order to escape the heavy hands of Lucca and Joey Rossi, Nick came up with a plan to fake their deaths. With Nick and Katie’s identity changed, it allows them to start over with a new life in Australia. Getting married upon their arrival, they plan on living life to the fullest as husband and wife, but have all loose ends been tied? Did Lucca and Joey believe the reports? What about Nate, Nick’s twin brother? If he shows up, he could expose them, therefore putting Nick and Katie in danger again. And then there’s Dominic Cook. In a memorial to Katie, he gets on a plane to Australia using the photos Katie posted from her first Australia trip to plan his travels. Does he find more than he bargained for once in Cairns? Will Nick and Katie ever be able to get their happily ever after?

Daniel 2:20-22:

20 “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His. 21 He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. 22 He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.

Please note: A portion of the proceeds from SEASONS OF CHANGE, WINTER’S VERDICT, SPRING SHADOWS, and SUMMER SECRETS go to Hope’s Door, whose mission is to offer intervention and prevention services to individuals and families affected by domestic violence and to provide education programs that enhance the community’s capacity to respond. To learn more about them, check out their web page:  

Due to release mid-November. As soon as the links come available, I will post them on: C.J. Peterson Writes

About the Author:

C. J. PetersonI was raised in a Christian military home, but it was far from tranquil. Like many young people, I left home as soon as possible, and went my own way, thinking I knew better. To me anything was better than where I was. Unfortunately, some of the choices I made led me away from the Lord, and sometimes that path was a dangerous one.
God is faithful, even when His children are lost and wandering. When I needed Him most, the Lord was there for me. He led me out of that danger and into a new life…a life where I am loved and appreciated. He taught me what ‘real love’ is, and what it’s supposed to look like through my family and wonderful husband.
Who knew that “Prince Charming” actually existed? I hoped and prayed he was out there, and I found him! He is a 24 year Navy veteran and the love of my life! With his encouragement, I rediscovered the creativity I thought I had lost a long time ago, and have begun to publish the books I have written through the years. The words in these books helped me through my struggles, and my prayer is they will help others.
The way in which I write my Christian Books, is unique to say the least. I am a realistic Christian. People are people, they stumble, they fall, they trip, but God continues to dust us off, and set us back on the path again, if we just learn to trust in Him.
The challenges faced in my past give me a perspective on the realities of living the Christian life that some people may never see. There are times we wander away from God…there are times when we draw closer to Him. In our arrogance we think we can make it on our own. However, the One who made this world, and who made you, has the answers, and thankfully, He forgives our impudence and petulance and loves us through it all. God is a God of love, mercy, grace, and guidance. He loves us and only wants the best for us.
Those who have read my books, describe them as encouraging, frustrating, and a wonderful read all at the same time. The same character that could have you crying one minute, will have you cheering the next! One of my editors, stated that ‘she was so into the story, that she forgot to edit, and had to go back to do the editing’.
I pray you will enjoy my books as well!

While the stories are fiction, the journey is real.

Visit CJ’s website

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 90:12 Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.

We need to be taught how to make the most of our time. Most people simply waste much of their time, and thus their opportunities in life to do good. Think for a moment how much time you waste on any given day. How much of your time do you spend on things that are non-essential to your life? I suspect all of us can identify blocks of time we waste away. We need to learn how to better utilize the time we have.

We begin by looking at our priorities in life. Now, before you begin to boast about your devotion to the Lord, consider the time you invest daily in your relationship with Him. You spend time with those who mean the most to you. The time you spend with the Lord in prayer and in his Word are good indicators of how much you really do love Him. In comparison, how much time do you spend on entertaining yourself compared to what you spend on feeding your soul?

How do you utilize your time at work? Do you give your boss the best use of your time and effort? The Lord expects it of us. How about your time with your family? Do they get sufficient time from you? If you rob them of your time, you are robbing them of your affections and losing out on the love they have to give.

How do you spend your time in worship? Are you focused in on the Lord, or are you busy doing other things? We can never know the peaceful existence of resting beside the still waters until we properly connect with the Lord in worship. We worship the Lord in both spirit and truth. We stand unwaveringly on the truth of God’s Word and we immerse ourselves in fellowship with the Lord. Time spent in worship is the most valuable and life changing block of time we have in life.

A properly balanced usage of our time enables us to grow in faith and enables us to grow in wisdom. We discover how to be good stewards of time so that we can be witnesses for the Lord as we grow in him. The more we invest our time in the Lord and his Word, the more we will experience God’s love, joy and peace, and the more we will be satisfied in life.
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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The Ephron the Hittite Series and Ice Age History by Michael J. Findley

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4 hitties

The book of Genesis, post-flood to the death of Joseph, is the ice age. Michael Oard has done extensive work demonstrating that there was a single ice age immediately after the flood lasting about seven hundred years. For an introduction to this concept, the book Frozen In Time is available without charge as a series of .pdf documents on the website.

We wrote detailed, documented works on the establishment of religion, secular humanism, science, the results of secular humanism as an establishment of religion, creation, the origin of evil, the flood and the ice age. Critics complained that is was too long, too difficult to read, too many sources. So I removed all of the documentation, repetition, and restatement for clarity. No explanations for unusual words, nothing but basic assertions. This book is only about sixty pages and is called Disestablish.

Disestablish 25

To some critics, it is still too difficult to read. So I wrote a series of novels about the Hittites. The first book begins just after the fall of the tower of Babel, and the Hittites cannot comprehend a foreign language. Abraham is a friend of Ephron. Sarah and Hagar are friends of Shelometh. Biblical events are woven into the story line.

The series shows a population explosion, rapid advances in technology, knowledge of world wide events, the ability to travel great distances, wars, the introduction of idolatry, the consequences of idolatry, and long life spans.

It describes tools, food, eating habits, clothing, travel, domestic animals, marriage customs, jewelery, slavery, trade, relationships between cities and cultures, money, hunting, and sailing.

One of the characters talks about his visit to Noah. Death is rare in the first three books. Death is part of warfare in the fourth book, but otherwise uncommon. Death is common in the fifth book, with most of the characters introduced in the first three books dying. Children are born to parents in the fifth book who were born in the fourth book.

There are complex relationships between brothers and sisters and empires. Slaves are as important as royalty. Kings make mistakes. Slaves save empires. Most of the characters are neither royalty nor slaves.

The setting is primarily Hattusha and Hebron. However, it ranges from the first cataract of the Nile, to Troy, to the Black Sea to the Tigris River, to Damascus. Building by stone is detailed, Life an a Phoenician ship is described, but most of the time they live either in a city or a tent.

The standard method of transportation was walking, though riding a camel or a horse was common. During the course of these stories, the wagon and chariot are invented, improved and used in warfare. Ships were common. Writing predates this series. However, at the beginning, writing was very difficult and almost unknown. By the end of the fifth book, reading is common, almost universal.

But the primary purpose was to make the stories interesting. Because, if no one reads them, they do not teach.

Final hittite series cover

Here is the link tot he Ephron the Hittite series on Amazon.

Please let us know what you think of the video.

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Staying in His Presence by Naty Matos

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Scripture: Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. 

If there’s something that I’ve really learned the hard way is that without God this journey is not possible for me without God. My day could be quiet and uneventful and if I don’t meditate on the Word of God and maintain myself in his presence my temptations and the strength to fight them is not quite there.

On days where I’m tired, when I’m stressed is more important than any other time to stay connected to He who keeps me centered. He’s able to bathe my spirit with His peace and I’m able to keep myself on track.

Just like the right foods for my body are the way to function properly, the same thing goes for the spirit. When my spirit is hungry for the Word of God, the rest of me is erratic. It’s not that God doesn’t cover me when I don’t seek him, is that I move myself out of the covering when I don’t.

Having a life of worship keeps me energized all day. It motivates me not only to do right for myself but for those who are looking up to me to get motivated to start the journey for themselves. It helps me get through a whatever task I’m tackling when all I want to do is crawl in bed and sleep after a day of work.

Prayer for today: 

Lord, may I remember today that I crave your love even more than anything else . May I also remember that you love me unconditionally and that from you I have all the strength and wisdom I need to do your will. Lord, grow my love for you. May I crave to please you, praise you and stay in your word day in and day out. May my life be an act of worship for you. Keep me under your covering this day, in your son’s Jesus name.


About the Author:

Naty MatosNaty Matos was born in the city of New York. She grew up in the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico and now lives in the city of Atlanta.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Minor in Mass Media Communications and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling.

Naty writes Christian fiction and non-fiction. She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics at

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A Spiritual God by Sherry Chamblee

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I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now. What do we think of when we ask God to ‘take care of us’?

You know, in this world of the physical, we all connect with the physical first, right? We think of physical safety, physical food, physical connections.

So when we ask God to take care of us, to help us, to see us prosper, we’re thinking physically – I’m thinking this is especially true of American Christians, or those in more industrialized nations..

The Bible holds so many promises of God ‘taking care’ of us, helping us, watching over us, not letting harm come to us – letting us prosper. And because we’re so connected with the physical realm around us, we automatically see those promises as applying to our physical realm –

What if it doesn’t?

Right here you’re probably thinking, “Well sure spiritually God cares for us, but I think those promises would apply physically to.”

But why? What if those promises from God are all about our spiritual wellbeing? God is a spirit. He thinks differently than we do. The point of us being a new creature upon salvation is that we learn to think more like God – not cram God into our physical thinking.

Look at the Christians around the world who live with daily suffering. Are we going to claim that their faith is small simply because they have physical traumas? I’m telling you, if we only think of God as caring for us physically, then it is us who have the smaller faith.

When God says He will take care of us, I believe wholeheartedly now that He is referring to spiritually. I don’t mean He will never care for our physical needs, for He does reference them at times, but even in those references it is His attempt to get us to focus on the spiritual, and stop being so obsessed with the physical.

Spiritually how does God care for us?

Salvation…given freely to all who accept Christ as their personal Savior.

Comfort…trials are bearable because of His ‘spiritual’ presence.

Connection…we can commune with Him at any time, over anything.

This is meant to just get us thinking about this – do you have any other ways God cares for us spiritually?

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 Or check out her books at

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 89:15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD.

Worship is not confined to one day a week. Worship happens whenever we turn our hearts and mind to the Lord. Worship does not depend on an agenda to make it happen. It is the spontaneous reaching upward to God. Worship is what we do in response to who God is. It is praise, thanksgiving, meditation, singing, and waiting. It is confession and adoration. It is the filling of our souls with God. It can happen anytime and anywhere. It can last for a few moments or it could last for hours.

The call to worship is a joyful call. All of nature sings forth the praises of God. Birds do not sing a sad song. The varied sounds of nature are not a death song. All of creation testify to God’s greatness and glory. It is a wondrous thing to draw near to God. God calls us into worship. Oh, what a joyous occasion worship is!

Think about it. God calls us to into His presence! We are allowed to enter into pure light, into the splendor of His holiness. We are allowed to linger in the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords. We linger and are purified by His amazing presence and touch.

Worship changes us. It changes our perspective on life and how we live it. It changes how we react to what comes our way. How can it not? When you leave worship and mingle amongst men, can they see that you have been with Jesus?
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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Author Interview: Vince Milam

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Our Interview today is with Vince Milam. Thanks for being here today, Vince and for agreeing to this Interview.

Question #1 : What is the best thing about being an author?

The creative process. What a joy to be able to create worlds, characters, story arcs, and – hopefully – a good tale told.

Question #2 : What are some of the challenges of being an author?

Goodness, I’d have to double up on the first question and say that the creative process presents its own special challenges. Staring at a blank page, unsure of how to craft a scene, is – in and of itself – a bit daunting. I would also add that the discipline of creating every day, even when the muse doesn’t call, can be a challenge.

Question #3 : Describe a Typical Day for You.

I’m blessed to be an early riser, so after coffee, prayer, and some stretching, I’m able to write prior to engaging my day job (Health and Wellness Coach). My goal is to write 2,000 words a day, something I attain less than regularly although I do average that number over any given week. In the evenings I enjoy reading (right now I’m into Tim Keller’s The Reason for God – that’s one bright fellow).

Question #4 : What genre(s) do you write? And why or how did you chose them?

I’ve just published my second novel in the Challenged World Series. This series falls in the “Spiritual Thriller” category, although “Spiritual Warfare” would also be an apt designation. I chose this genre because I love a good thriller, although the spiritual aspect of most tales were missing. There’s no reason – in my opinion – that a good thriller cannot have a strong spiritual component, flawed characters (aren’t we all?), real-life dialogue, and some assignment to the spiritual realm of the evil the world deals with daily.

Question #5 : Do you read the same genre that you write? Why or why not?

I do read Ludlum, Flynn, Clancy, etc. I enjoy the acceleration of a tale within the context of a story arc. I appreciate great character development.

Question #6: What is something that readers would be surprised to know about you?

Well, I’ve lived in over twenty countries around this world (Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Asia) and do appreciate the experiences of getting to know folks from all cultures. I’ve been able to learn that respect for the individual goes a long, long way even when there are wide cultural chasms. Oh, and roses. I became infatuated with roses – particularly antique roses that were developed many, many years ago – in my youth. For some reason, my love of roses often comes as a surprise to people.

Question #7: When and how did the writing bug bite you?

Over twenty years ago I wrote my first novel. It was less than stellar in almost all aspects, although it proved to me that I could, at least, produce a long tale. Since then I’ve written mostly short stories until two years ago when I sat down and committed to fill a gap I saw in the thriller genre – a gap of having a spiritual component to the story.

Question #8: When you write, do you plot everything out or not? Why does that work for you?

I endeavor to plot out the story arc, define the characters (especially with regard to what they have to gain and lose), identify the major disasters, and begin with an idea of chapter content. All that said, it changes and morphs during the writing process. At some point in each novel, the characters begin to “talk to me”, and define – to some degree – the flow of the tale.

Question #9: What is the best thing a reader or reviewer has ever said about you?

I’ve been blessed with excellent reviews. I was especially pleased with the reviews from agnostic readers who acknowledged the spiritual nature of the tale but found it part-and-parcel of the story and not off-putting. To read those is very heart-warming. My first novel (The Unknown Element) had a five star review from an Amazon Hall of Fame reviewer, and comments such as, “This will be a great book for a reading group to pull apart, examining all of its many aspects and different levels of interpretation. BUT if all you want is an exciting good read, you won’t miss with this one. If I could, I would give this a higher rating than five stars,” and, “Superbly written, no drags, no slow starts, just hop on board and ride the express to the end,” and “I loved this book! It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that hooked me on the first page and sustained my interest right to “The End”. So far, this second novel has also received similar reviews even though it has only been out six weeks.

Question #10: What is the worst thing a reader or reviewer ever said about you? How did you handle that?

On occasion, someone who is clearly an atheist will lambast the book in a review (blessedly very few of those). I shrug it off and keep moving. If a belief in God and a tale with characters walking their individual spiritual paths is offensive to some, well, so be it. I’ve also had a couple of negative reviews from Christians who were offended by the language. There is cursing in the dialogue (hells and damns) because that is how people talk – even Christians. I don’t use “f-bombs” or sex scenes (there is some tender kissing). There is some violence, and some of that a bit gory, although these scenes are short and for a purpose.

Question #11: If you could go to one place and write, where would it be and why?

I’m so blessed to write exactly where I am now, on my back porch with a view of mountains, my garden, dozens of flying critters fighting over the bird feeder, and a cup of coffee.

Question #12: If you could have one experience back to do over again, what would it be and why?

Actually, I’d choose most of my experiences in my younger years. At the time I lacked mindfulness – an acute awareness and appreciation of here and now. All the small miracles that God has given us can so easily be passed by when one’s focus is on “get it done” and “what’s next?”.

Question #13: Who do you consider a mentor in your life? What did that person teach you?

My mom. Without doubt. She taught me to appreciate beauty in life, God’s creations, and the ability to laugh. Humor is so important, and we tend to take ourselves way, way too seriously. She also gifted me life-long frameworks, using expressions such as, “Rise above it,” when encountering criticism or mistreatment by others.

Question #14: Is writing your only job? If not, tell us a little about your “day” job.

My “day” job is as a certified Health and Wellness Coach. I got into this profession later in life as an opportunity to truly help others achieve their life vision. Wellness coaching is particularly interesting in that the coach doesn’t “tell” the client anything. Most folks are inundated with all sorts of experts telling them this and that. Telling them what they “ought to do.” A wellness coach assumes the client is whole and capable and already knows what needs to be done. I help clients identify their core values and their personal vision and then help identify steps to get there. It is very rewarding.

Question #15: If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

Oh, goodness – I suppose I’d still need to find a creative outlet. Music, perhaps? My son is extremely talented in that regard. I, on the other hand, make dogs howl and scare young children when I sing. And have about as much rhythm as a loaf of bread. Okay, so maybe not music. But we all have a creative need, and I would have to find something.

Question #16: What is your favorite verse in the Bible? Why?

John 1:1 to 1:5. Without doubt. It is simply so awesome – so all-encompassing – that I can contemplate on it for hours (and have). It provides me an anchor-point for my faith. I was in awe of this verse when I first read it, and still am.

Question #17: What is your favorite quote? Why?

Oh, mercy – I don’t know that I have one. Is that terrible? I will drop this little insight: a fun game to play among friends is to randomly provide quotes and then identify them as either Biblical or from Shakespeare. Our common vernacular is so grounded in either the Bible or ol’ William.

Question #18: What is your favorite book? Why?

Clearly, the Bible. As for secular books, I’d have to say either McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove or McCormack’s Border Trilogy. Lonesome Dove was the first novel that, literally, kept me up all night to finish. Talk about a good tale told! Then as a benchmark for wordcraft, the Border Trilogy. I can pull that down from the bookshelf, open it anywhere, and be in awe of his writing talent.

Question #19: What other hobbies do you have?

I love to garden with flowers (especially roses!). I love to fly fish (I recently came back from our annual trip to West Yellowstone. To cast a fly in streams while bison and elk meander by is such an amazing experience). I used to love bird hunting, but my last bird dog just passed away and I’m vacillating on getting another one (or another pair – I like having two little French Brittanys around at the same time). The pain of such a dear companion passing – well, it just tears me up.

Question #20: What is your workspace like? Clean or chaos?

Fairly doggone clean. Laptop computer. A couple of notebooks (filled with ideas and flow and scenes – most of which will not come to fruition). Binoculars in case I spot an interesting bird (there’s been a small hawk trying to snack on my bird-feeder critters lately). A coffee cup. Or two.

Question #21: How did you break into writing?

It was time. I’d read so many books where, after fifty or one hundred pages, a little voice would speak and tell me, “You can do that.”

Question #22: Where can people find you on the Internet?

My website is There is a contact form there, and I’d love to hear from you!

I’m also on Facebook, although the whole social media thing is somewhat daunting for me.

Question #23: What advice do you have for other authors?

Write. Don’t agonize, just write. Also, get a good editor. That is absolutely critical. I go through four or five drafts, then send what I believe to be better than good prose to my editor. He returns it with corrections and suggestions on, literally, every page. In essence, he beats it up. Rightfully so.

Question #24: Tell us about your book.

Pretty Little Creatures

Ebola, ISIS, blood diamonds, drug cartels, and a dark force driving events. In pursuit, an eclectic team of three very dissimilar individuals.

A reserved small town sheriff on a reluctant quest for justice. A beautiful and eccentric technology genius striving to piece together international clues to terrorism. An epicurean French priest committed to combat. Can they work together to challenge a nightmarish conspiracy without driving each other crazy?

The resurrection of the blood diamond trade in the fetid jungles of Ebola-infected West Africa draws the trio together. They are joined by a stunning CIA professional killer with a clear and final solution to any problem. Together they struggle against the leaders of the illicit diamond trade and the foul entity providing the child slave labor.

Have they won? The doggedness of the technology genius and the assuredness of the French priest uncover deeper plans—a game of misdirection and intrigue masterminded by a powerful source nested in the evil enclaves of ISIS.

The stakes rapidly rise as the trail leads them into the wild heartland of a Mexican drug cartel—a launching point to unleash a hellish scenario into the U.S. The final conflict looms as forces for good and evil muster for battle. Can three regular people prevent this terrorist attack? They need to, because failure will forevermore alter the life of every American.

Question #25: Tell us about the characters in your book.

The three core protagonists are the same in both novels as they are part of a series.

Cole Garza is the sheriff of Aransas County, Texas—a Gulf Coast county with as many boats as pickup trucks. He has more than a dollop of Comanche blood in his lineage, and while he presents a very laid-back approach to life, when faced with adversity he becomes—to quote a local citizen in his town—“all fight”. Cole, on occasion, has more faith in his .45 pistol than in the Almighty.

Nadine May is an information technology genius, contracting to the NSA, FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security. She can break through any electronic firewall or security system and may well be the world’s best human bloodhound when it comes to finding answers. Her thinking process pinballs from one subject to the next, rarely with a logical sequence—a trait that drives most folks crazy. Nadine has a heart of gold, an OCD habit of doing things in threes, and lives with her pet, Mule the Cat. Her faith is recently acquired, and in a framework uniquely Nadine.

Francois Domaine is a French priest, residing at the Vatican. He has the ability to hone in on manifested evil. He is also a bon vivant—clothes, food, and wine are critically important to him. A lavender pocket handkerchief will, absolutely, be paired with lavender socks and custom Italian shoes. He fully expects Pouilly-Fuissé wine with his BBQ chicken, chain smokes French cigarettes, and often wafts a hand in a dismissive gesture if the subject at hand doesn’t meet his approval. He is, after all, French. And he is absolutely fearless. Francois confronts evil head-on, a short, rotund bowling ball of a man rolling towards danger.

In Pretty Little Creatures, the trio are joined on their quest by JoBeth Clark, a CIA assassin. JoBeth is a Mississippi belle, well educated, tends to addresses people as “Sugar” and “Honey”, is always impeccably dressed, and will kill you in a heartbeat. She is legendary in the clandestine services.

Question #26: Do you include your own life in your books? Why or why not?

I do include settings and scenes I’ve experienced in life. Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, etc. I also include bits and pieces of character traits I’ve run into over time, especially when it concerns dialogue. I love the spice of local vernacular.

Question #27: What is special to you about this book?

This book, as well as my first one, openly present evil as a supernatural element. As a society, we have become so convinced of rational scientific explanations to every ill we face. All wrongs are societal, or cultural, or rooted in mental illness. My novels offer up an alternative – that true, living, supernatural evil is among us.

Question #28: What do you hope readers take away from this book?

First and foremost – a tale well told. Any messaging, in my opinion, has to be provided in a framework of a good story. A tale that engages and draws the reader forward. Within that tale the different spiritual paths the prime characters take can be presented and mused upon, along with the concept of manifested evil.

Question #29: What’s your favorite “treat”?

BBQ brisket. Oh, mercy. I can just flat overdose on good BBQ.

Question #30: Morning or night, which is the best and why?

I do love mornings. The good Lord has presented and blessed us with another day with all its wonders, large and small.

Question #31: Favorite season and why?

Fall. The air turns crisp, engaging in the miracles of the outdoors is a joy, and we prepare to hunker down for winter. Fallen leaves, approaching holidays when family and friends gather, the sound of geese heading south. All good.

Question #32: Favorite sport and why?

I do enjoy walking, weight lifting (my personal fountain of youth), mountain biking, softball (albeit in a league of ‘older gentlemen’), and bird hunting. All that said, fly fishing is something of a passion. It is the selection and presentation of an artificial insect to a trout with the anticipation that it will entice a strike. Also, the fish I tend to remember are not those of size or fight, but rather the setting in which I engaged them. How the sun struck the water, the smells, the rush of river against my waders, and rocks and logs I had to navigate.

Question #33: Least favorite household or yard chore?

Cleaning the microwave. How, how, how does that doggone thing get so grimy so quickly?

Question #34: Least favorite thing to do?

Putting down an old and faithful pet. Don’t get me started – it is painful beyond description.

Question #35: Favorite thing to do?

Sharing a laugh and great conversation and a glass of wine with dear friends and family. It simply doesn’t get better than that.

Question #36: You have a whole day to go anywhere and do anything. What would that be and why?

Start the day with breakfast at Brennan’s, jet to the Caribbean for snorkeling, jet to a great BBQ joint for late lunch, jet to the Rockies for drinks and dinner with friends and family. Odds are, that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

Question #37: Pose a question for our readers to answer…

What is most important to you in a spiritual thriller? A message? Plot? Characters? Story flow?

Vince Milam

B&B Photography Boise’s best studio

About the Author:

To tell a good tale. It’s a simple and valid answer when the question pops up, “Why do you write?”

At the end of the day, it is to tell a good tale.

I’ve been fortunate enough to live and work all over the world—in more than twenty countries—and I still relish the opportunity to learn and explore new facets of life. These experiences, new and old, fire up the creative engine and allow me to spin tales and create characters that take on some of the larger questions of our existence—and have some fun in the process!

I’ve always relished fast-paced thrillers with a twist, and this theme is woven into the books of the Challenged World series. If I can entice you to stay up late into the night, reading, then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

I have a passion for learning, spiritual reflection, great reads, fine trout streams, family, and old friends. As a Certified Health & Wellness Coach, I have heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to help others. As a writer, I am so appreciative for the friends and feedback I’ve received in the course of putting pen to paper and opening up a vein.

I live in the Intermountain West where soaring mountains and vast high deserts give a person plenty of room to think. All in all, life is a joy and I am so very lucky to be a part of this world we live in. To all who have purchased my novels, Thank You. I sincerely hope a great tale was told, and your expectations were met.


Twitter Handle @vince_milam

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Vengeful Vows, the Third book of the Sins of the Flesh series interview transcript by Parker J. Cole

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Vengeful Vows, the Third book of the Sins of the Flesh series will be coming out soon. This book deviates from the rest of the series for several reasons but the most prominent is Daffodil is not a Christian character. In fact, she sees religion as a chain people use to enslave others. Unlike Celeste Martin and Leah Westwood, who were believers, Daffodil comes from a different worldview altogether.

Below is a transcript of an attempted interview I had with Daffodil Simmons to see how she felt about this book. You’ll be able to tell from her responses she was reluctant to tell me much information.

Parker: Thanks for joining me today.

Daffodil: You’re welcome.

Parker: When we first met, you were having an online rivalry with Celeste Martin. Since then, it seems the rivalry has stopped. Why is that?

Daffodil: Did you talk to Celeste?

Parker: I did.

Daffodil: Then you ought to know why the rivalry has stopped. But if I have to answer the question, let’s say there’s no need to hash over the past.

Parker: All right, fine. When you approached me about telling your story, you seemed a little reluctant to give me the details. Now that the release is just about here how do you—

Daffodil: I’m still uncomfortable with it. I read over the draft. I feel exposed. I don’t like how transparent you made it out to be. I’ll admit, I’ve some reservations.

Parker: But when we talked on *inaudible* you said that—

Daffodil: I know what I said but now that it’s almost here, it freaks me out.

Parker: Daffodil—

Daffodil: Here’s the thing Parker, no one likes to have all their dirty laundry aired for the world to see. Yes, I gave you legal permission to tell my story but I wish I hadn’t now.

Parker: I understand you’re nervous. Truth is tool you use as you see fit.

Daffodil: It’s not only that. People can’t handle the truth, like Jack Nicholson said. They like to think they can but at the end of the day, we all want to be lied to. Makes it easier to *inaudible*

Parker: Well, this isn’t going the way I planned so let’s talk about the book some. Early on in the story, you reveal you have some issues with you father.

Daffodil: I don’t have issues with him. I hate him.

Parker: And that’s something we discover from the beginning of the book. You hate him and another man. Who is that other man?

Daffodil: Celeste’s father-in-law.

Parker: Why is that?

Daffodil: *swearing* Why do I have to tell you if it’s going to be in the book? Kinda defeats the purpose.

Parker: But people like to know the story behind the story. Which is why I’m asking—

Daffodil: Are a bunch of Christians going to read this book?

Parker: I’m not sure who’s going to read it. It’s out there for the world to pick up if they wish.

Daffodil: Did you write it with Christians in mind? Parker: Yes and no. See, over the past year, I’ve been challenged by other authors of Christian fiction and fiction in general to write stories realistically. That means to tell stories like yours where you’re not coming from the same worldview as I am. God is—

Daffodil: A societal figment of our imagination.

Parker: No, Daffodil. He’s real.

Daffodil: The point is this: I gave you permission to tell my story and most of me is okay with that. But I have to wonder if some Christians just feel comfortable with feel good stories and not ones like mine. Maybe someone from the other side will read it and get a clue. After all if *inaudible* then why would I even *inaudible* in the first place?

Parker: Okay, we’ll just end it here since you refuse to be open about this.

Daffodil: Best idea you’ve had so far.

When all’s said and done, I think you’ll find Daffodil’s story a good one. She’s open and honest about herself, her views and people. We can all look forward to that.

Vengeful Vows

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

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