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What inspired you to write this story?

That’s a funny tale in itself. I was at a local grocery store, and they had leftover calendars on the shelf. In between pop culture icons, black and white scenery, and cute puppies was the latest cowboy pinup calendar. It became a joke between me and a couple friends, so I wrote it into the story.

However, the story morphed quite a bit from the initial version. I gave who Neil Sanborn and Estelle Moore were and where I wanted them to end up a lot of thought. I only create characters that fit into the behaviors of real life people. They have flaws, make bad choices, and must live with the consequences. No one life is perfect, and love only comes when people work through all the kinks in the path. Neil and Estelle are no exception.

What moral did you want to portray?

Forgiveness. You see this in the life of Tyler, who needed forgiveness from Nadine, and in the life of the main character, Neil. He needed to forgive himself, then believe he’s capable of standing for the new values he’s chosen.

I took my main Scripture from 1 John 1:9 in the VOICE. “But if we own up to our sins, God shows that He is faithful and just by forgiving us of our sins and purifying us from the pollution of all the bad things we have done.”

I like the phrase “own up” and the word “pollution” because that’s how it feels most of the time, as if what we’ve done has dirtied the air around us. But the good news is God’s forgiveness is faithful and absolute, and Jesus’ sacrifice complete.

Can you give us an excerpt?

This scene comes at the end of a long day riding in the Florida sun:

They’d rounded the passenger side of her car, the stoop in sight, when Neil halted. Head bowed, he stared through the window glass, and she followed his gaze to the backside of the calendar.

He looked up. Placing his hand on the roof of her car, he slanted his weight on one hip.

“I can autograph that for you,” he said, a smile on his lips.

Autograph the calendar. How was he to take her seriously now?

A fresh wave of dizziness washed over her, and she wrapped her fingers around the door handle for support.

“Estelle? You sure you’re okay?” he asked, his expression growing concerned.

No, she wasn’t okay. She opened her mouth to say so, but what emerged was a whuff of air. Then her legs folding beneath her, she tumbled toward the ground.


 Cowboy for a Lifetime

She gazed at him, unblinking, and made to turn, but his hand cupping her chin, stopped her. Never had she felt more small and insignificant than she did right then, as if the entire earth wasn’t big enough for Neil Sanborn. Never had she felt more feminine, like the finest lace sewed to a leather vest.


Estelle Moore was sent to Mossy Bottoms to evaluate struggling Sanborn Farms for her boss’s next investment. But from day one, the sight of the owners’ son, Neil, on a cowboy pin-up calendar seemed to set the tone for the visit.

He was amazing, and she had no idea who she was dealing with.

Yet what he is on the outside hides his battle within, and, five days later, it looks like what little time they’ve had together is over for good.

Best-selling author, SUZANNE D. WILLIAMS, brings readers a story of love and courage that heals the heart.


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.

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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Gutsy Writers Submit for Critique By Ada Brownell

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Ada Brownell

Critique is for gutsy writers committed to succeed and communicate.

Since I’ve never been much for spending hours beating the air instead of reaching goals, when I decided to write a novel I joined a critique group at American Christian Fiction Writers. If I remember correctly, I had to critique three chapters for other writers before I could submit one. Later, I joined a small group of critiquers. It was a great way to improve my writing and learn what editors and readers are looking for today.

I viewed the first critique with shock when I saw all the track changes and comments. Yet, I took almost all of the advice, and edited my work.

I learned something else. I know more about editing than I thought. After decades of immersing myself in language, I recognized misspelled words, verbs that didn’t agree with subjects, and was amazed that I could find needed corrections for one author who was a mechanical engineer. She had a serious problem with homophones. Yet, her historical romance became a best seller, and maybe I helped her get there.

My critique partners grabbed on telling like an ax on a hunk of wood. Didn’t take long for this newspaper gal to learn the difference between showing and telling. Telling is like looking at a history book. Showing is like sitting in the movie theater at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois, and being dropped into the middle of the Civil War. Before it started, the circular screen promised things to come. I don’t remember if it was 3-D, but then a mass of soldiers pressed around me, shouting commands, firing weapons, while dead and wounded lay at my feet. Shots zinged. Fire exploded from a cannon with a boom, and gray smoke clouded the air. The floor, covered with bodies, quaked as another cannonball hit a target, the sound deafening but not drowning out the cries of the wounded. Even the seats wobbled. The taste of gunpowder lingered on my tongue. Perspiration broke out on my forehead and a lump held back my tears.

To show, use active tense; details such as colors, the exact name of a thing; and motion. The writer should act like a TV camera following movement. Put everyone and even nature in motion.

Never name an emotion—show what the character does with his emotion. Every time you think of an emotion, think motion!

Remember, a great scene has a goal, conflict, and disaster or complication. Here are some of my cliff hangers that reveal complication at the end of chapters in The Lady Fugitive.

End Chapter 1: He shoved her into the darkness and slammed the opening shut. A padlock clicked.

End Chapter 2: An echo pounded in the night air above the rumble of her horse’s feet. A shiver shook Jenny. Was she being followed?

End Chapter 3. Blood rushed to her face. Passion Show? Didn’t he say it was something about Jesus? Evidently the peddler also showed sinful things. She had fallen for a rogue.

©Copyright Ada Brownell 2014

Ada Brownell leads the critique group for Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers in Springfield, MO. She has written for Christian publications since age 15, and has five published books. The latest is The Lady Fugitive, published July 18, 2014, by Elk Lake Publishing, a division of Book Club Network.

Other books: Imagine the Future You, a youth motivational Bible study (November 2013). Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, a novel (Jan. 15, 2013); Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, (Dec. 6, 2011); and Confessions of a Pentecostal, published by the Assemblies of God in 1978 but out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle; All the books are available in paper or for Kindle.

Imagine the Future You audiobook is available at http://www.Audible.com Free book with new Audible membership.

The Lady Fugitive http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LYDWAIW

The Lady Fugitive

Back cover copy for The Lady Fugitive by Ada Brownell

How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?

Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin, and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her or he won’t inherit her parents’ ranch.

Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father’s brutal murder.

Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in? Will she find peace, joy and love?

Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/Ada-Brownell/e/B001KJ2C06/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1409072954&sr=8-1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/AdaBrownellWritingMinistries
Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement

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CrossReads Book Blast for Anne-Rae Vasquez

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By Anne-Rae Vasquez

About the Book:

Harry Doubt, a genius programmer and creator of the popular online game ‘Truth Seekers’, has a personal mission of his own; to find his mother who went mysteriously missing while volunteering on a peacekeeping mission in Palestine. His gaming friends and followers inadvertently join in helping him find her; believing that they are on missions to find out what has happened to their own missing loved ones. During Harry’s missions, Cristal and the team of ‘Truth Seekers’ stumble upon things that make them doubt the reality of their own lives. As they get closer to the truth, they realize that there are spiritual forces among them both good and evil, but in learning this, they activate a chain of events that start the beginning of the ‘end of the world’ as they know it.


Anne-Rae-Vasquez-500pixAnne-Rae Vasquez is currently writing “RESIST” book 2 of the Among Us Trilogy. Her latest novel Doubt, Book 1 of the Among Us Trilogy was released on November 9, 2013 at the Rain Dance Book Festival. Among Us Trilogy is a book series about a group of outcasts (online gamers) who band together to investigate who or what is behind the catastrophic events happening around the world.

Her previous novel, Almost a Turkish Soap Opera, was adapted into a screenplay and later produced into an award winning feature film and web series and was her directorial debut.

Aside from her artistic work, Anne-Rae is the creator/producer and host of Fiction Frenzy TV (fictionfrenzy.tv), a VLog channel featuring indie artists and authors. She also freelances as a journalist for Digital Journal, an online magazine

Other works include: Gathering Dust – a collection of poems, Salha’s Secrets to Middle Eastern Cooking Cookbook published by AR Publishing Inc. and Teach Yourself Great Web Design in a Week, published by Sams.net (a division of Macmillan Publishing).

Follow Anne-Rae Vasquez

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

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Tina Webb
As a child, what was your favorite book?

I don’t remember a particular title, but I do remember the plots and themes that drew me in. Children in Nazi Germany, left alone by imprisoned parents, struggling to survive without being captured; the early books in the Boxcar Children Series in which the Alden kids hid in the woods and miraculously found the practical items that would help them survive.



These books both enthralled and haunted me. As I fell asleep at night, I put myself in the shoes of the protagonist of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and imagined what I would do if I were in her shoes. Swiss Family Robinson was a great movie that I watched with my kids, and I quickly put Robinson Crusoe on the list of must-reads when my home schooled children were in high school.



It’s ironic. The other day my husband asked me if I would ever consider wilderness survival training. You can guess my immediate answer. So he’s going to schedule a weekend, and I’m so excited.

But there is also a foreboding in my soul as I watch the news about Iraqi Christians, African children abandoned by mothers dying of Aids or taken by rampaging militants. Sometimes I quickly turn my ears when I hear people talk about food storage and emergency preparedness. Yet I remember 9-11 and the plots of my youth.

Do the fictional themes that captivate us speak to our fears, our prophecies or our desire to escape from present realities? Is the theme of survival innately human, making books like Kidnapped, trilogies like the Lord of the Rings and poems like Still I Rise instant classics in their genre?

All of you are familiar with the cultural adage: only the strong survive. I did an internet search on the origin and found that it is from A Dweller On Two Planets by Frederick S. Oliver. I’m unfamiliar with the contextual reasons why Oliver coined this phrase, nevertheless its popularity has most likely grown out of our human need for death to be overcome by life, struggle to be overcome by victory, and weakness to be overcome by strength.

Decades from now, people will look back into our time at the global, national, racial and moral events that plague the news, inspire songs, and worry everyone. Our grandchildren will examine how well we survived these events…assuming that we survive them at all.

To end, I want to share this verse with you: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I’ll take it God.

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The Big Giant Pickle Book Release by Sherry Chamblee

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Sherry Chamblee
I’d like to introduce to you my husband’s new children’s book, The Big Giant Pickle. This was a work of love, as he made it up to help our children pass the time on long car rides. They got into it in typical Chamblee fashion, chanting and cheering as he told the story.

Now we have finally gotten it illustrated and printed for other people’s kids to enjoy. Honestly, the parents will have fun reading it too.

The Big Giant Pickle is currently taking a tour of the United States. So far it’s seen the Grand Canyon in Arizona, abandoned Anasazi cliff dwellings of Colorado, and Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.

Those are just a few of the highlights so far. If you’d like to follow along, please find us at www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com. You can also follow us on twitter and Instagram with the hashtags #Gr8USrdTrp and #BigGiantPickle.

The Big Giant Pickle

This fun children’s book is available in many different formats through CreateSpace:

And for Kindle and print at Amazon:

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Three Powerful Words by Naty Matos

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Naty Matos

Before you read ahead, I want to give you the opportunity to think of three powerful words… Take your time, we’ll wait for you.

I can only imagine what three words you thought about. I can only guess that some thought “I love you” or the total opposite “I hate you” There’s no doubt that those are strong and powerful, but I have discovered that there’s a combination of three even more powerful than there, “I forgive you ”

If we’re honest with ourselves, we are not as forgiving as we would let others believe. We don’t measure the offenses of others the way Christ measures ours. Loving comes almost natural, either by blood lines or affinity with others. Hate is a strong feeling that comes from hurt and pain. So we don’t have to work hard on that.

The irony is that when we mess up we want our transgressions to be quickly forgiven and forgotten. When someone else commits the offense we are not as quick to forgive and even less to forget.

In my journey, I ran into the scriptures in Matthew that says “and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against me” We tell God on almost a daily basis to forgive us as the same way we forgive others. Is that what we really want?

We justify saying, “but you don’t know what they did and how much pain that caused. Did you know that in the eyes of God a lie and a murder weight the same? A sin is a sin, the fact that others sin different than us doesn’t make they deserving of forgiveness. Forgiveness takes courage and a lot of soul searching. I’ve been in the experience of giving it to God one, two and multiple times and getting back to be reminded by the feelings of anger at any given trigger. But when you can finally say, “I forgive you” you receive freedom.

The other person may not care. They may not even receive it. That’s between them and God, but you will be out of the cage that had kept you prisoner while you lived in unforgiveness.

As an appreciation to all my readers I have kept the book “Growth Lessons” at 0.99 cents so that you can enjoy other devotionals and lessons that the Lord has showed me through my journey. Be blessed.

Growth Lessons

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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Jim Hughes

Ps. 19:13 Keep me from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.

Keep me from deliberate sins. When was the last time you prayed this prayer and meant it? Many of us scarcely give sinning a lot of thought. We know we do it and often just shrug it off as no big deal. We may in passing know we should not do certain things, but do not change our ways because we know God loves us, is forgiving and gracious, and will not abandon us when we do sin. We have gotten the notion that as long as we believe in what Jesus did for us and accept Him as our Savior we no longer have to be concerned about our sin problems. Such thinking is a distortion of God’s revealed truth.

God is holy and commands us to be holy. Without holiness we cannot be with God and he who is holy does not treat his sins lightly. He understands the affect sin has on the soul. He understands that God cannot have fellowship with a sin-infested soul. He understands the importance of confessing his sins before God and the need to strive to live a holy life and keep his heart pure before God.

A person who is serious about his soul asks the Lord to help him so that sin does not control him. The desire of his heart is that God will control him so that he will not deliberately sin against God.

There is no condemnation for those who take sin seriously and take a stand against it so it doesn’t take up residence in the heart. There is freedom from guilt and shame when we say no to sin. There is confidence that we are innocent before God. There is no fear of God’s judgment. There is peace and joy in the steps of those who guard their souls against sin. There is condemnation for those who don’t.

I challenge you to pray this prayer of the Psalmist today and mean it. Your life with God depends on it.
C Through Marriage
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Words of Wisdom from Charles Haddon Spurgeon for August 18 Morning

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I am posting the Morning devotional for the current day from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals. If you would like to have your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals for your eBook reader click on the image:

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Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

Words of Wisdom from Charles Haddon Spurgeon for August 18 Morning

“Strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the Lord’s house.” – Jeremiah 51:51

In this account the faces of the Lord’s people were covered with shame, for it was a terrible thing that men should intrude into the Holy Place reserved for the priests alone. Everywhere about us we see like cause for sorrow. How many ungodly men are now educating with the view of entering into the ministry! What a crying sin is that solemn lie by which our whole population is nominally comprehended in a National Church! How fearful it is that ordinances should be pressed upon the unconverted, and that among the more enlightened churches of our land there should be such laxity of discipline. If the thousands who will read this portion shall all take this matter before the Lord Jesus this day, he will interfere and avert the evil which else will come upon his Church. To adulterate the Church is to pollute a well, to pour water upon fire, to sow a fertile field with stones. May we all have grace to maintain in our own proper way the purity of the Church, as being an assembly of believers, and not a nation, an unsaved community of unconverted men.

Our zeal must, however, begin at home. Let us examine ourselves as to our right to eat at the Lord’s table. Let us see to it that we have on our wedding garment, lest we ourselves be intruders in the Lord’s sanctuaries. Many are called, but few are chosen; the way is narrow, and the gate is strait. O for grace to come to Jesus aright, with the faith of God’s elect. He who smote Uzzah for touching the ark is very jealous of his two ordinances; as a true believer I may approach them freely, as an alien I must not touch them lest I die. Heart searching is the duty of all who are baptized or come to the Lord’s table. “Search me, O God, and know my way, try me and know my heart.”
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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What I love About Christians on the Fringe by Parker J. Cole

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Parker J. Cole

In the past, I’ve made the statement that being the host of the Write Stuff show has been a rewarding experience. I cannot reiterate it enough. God has shown me how the diverse Christian family brings so much to the body of Christ.

And that includes the so-called ‘Fringe’ Christians or Christians on the Fringe.

The last several episodes of the Write Stuff we dealt with the Fourth Dimension, the nature of Angels, and more recently, Earth’s love affair with its neighbor Mars. The shows brought out a lot of things to consider as we evaluate what we think we know about God.

Christians on the fringe have what some may consider radical and unorthodox ideas about God. Let me make a statement here: Fringe Christians do not change the nature of God. They wholeheartedly accept scripture as the Word of God. They believe that salvation through Jesus Christ is the only way to God and many more ideas they hold as true and accurate. That is not the issue.

What some find odd is that these Christians push the envelope or completely obliterate it with new thoughts that mainstream, traditional Christianity have put forth. To some, they may be seen as people who are not completely stable.

However, here is what I have come to appreciate about Christians on the Fringe:

They tend to be able to reach a section of unbelievers that may not respond to traditional methods of evangelism. After all, in today’s time, not everyone is going to accept a gospel tract or go to church. Fringe Christians have a more organic way of reaching non-believers because of the very nature of their ideas.

They are dedicated to Bible study. They “eat” the word of God for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They work at understanding exactly what the Bible says and its message to the world.

They ask questions and probe to seek a deeper relationship with God. They are not interested in a warm, tepid communion with a distant God. They want to be wrapped in His arms and in worship with Him. They ask because they are hungry to know more and more about the Creator. Just when they think they’ve learned all there is, something else comes up that floors them. They probe deeper and deeper because God is not staid. He is ever new, ever glorious.

They challenge us to be more than Christians by name but followers of Christ. There is a world dying, sick and terminal without an ounce of hope. Fringe Christians see the need and they take hold of the Great Commission and run with it.

This is not to say other Christians do not do the same. There are Christians who are just as dedicated as anyone else who do not live ‘on the fringe’. But I wanted to let you know that as you hear some of the things some of these Christian brothers and sisters say, don’t immediately dismiss it. Instead, research and see if some of the things being spoken are true.

I’ve linked the shows of interest here for you to listen. I’d love to get your thoughts.

The Problem with Angels http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wluv103/2014/08/05/the-problem-with-angels–write-stuff–852014

Romancing the Red Planet http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wluv103/2014/08/12/romancing-the-red-planet–write-stuff–8122014

The Fourth Dimension http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wluv103/2014/07/15/the-fourth-dimension–write-stuff–7-15-2014

In all things, “Let brotherly love continue”. Hebrews 13:1

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The Power of Words by Lynn Mosher

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Lynn Mosher

The power of words.

Words create images in our mind
and transport us to another place
and another time.

Words confuse and words amuse.
Words weave their stories
and sometimes rhyme.

Words transport us into places scary or fun.
Words ferry us into a misty world of escape
with thrills of mystery and intrigue.

Words evoke emotions with tears or rage.
Words hide us in their sheltered places.
Or chariot us to heaven’s throne.

The power of words…
unveil – shield
protect – satisfy.

create – exhort
admonish – counsel.

Words come in a flash of power.
When the Holy strikes
or a fit of flesh arises.

Words doled out as a balm
offer soothing encouragement
to the one receiving them.

Words wielded as a weapon
injure the human heart,
wounding deeper than a surgeon’s scalpel.

As a balm or a weapon,
both cling and linger
in that secret heart place.

Words sit. Dormant.
to be awakened.

Once aroused,
some swirl about
as on the outskirts of a storm.

Others bring on
the coveted calm
as after the storm has passed.

Some words drizzle
like a summer mist.
Filling only a thimble.

Other words cascade,
as spilling from a waterfall.
Exceeding a vast ocean.

“My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness.
I pour it out in a poem to the king,
shaping the river into words.” (Ps. 45:1 Msg)

“For out of the abundance
of the heart
the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34 NKJV)

Speaks like a river of living matter,
stagnate with words that afflict,
words that sting and breed contempt.

Another river surges,
brimming with words that heal,
gushing with words that give life.

“Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit –
you choose.” (Prov. 18:21 Msg)

Words build in cadence
to crescendo
on eternity’s doorstep.

“On the day of judgment men will have to give account
for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak…
…Your words now reflect your fate then: either you will be justified by them
or you will be condemned.” (Matt. 12:36 Amp, Matt. 12:37 TLB)

God says of His Word…
“These instructions are not mere words –
they are your life!” (Deut. 32:47a NLT)

Therefore, choose words…
Choose words of life.

Fill your mind “with beautiful words for the king…”
Use your “voice as a writer would use pen and ink.”
(Ps. 45:1 CEV)

I am still learning the power of words.
Learning to choose carefully.
To choose life-giving words.

What about you?

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