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Monday, June 30, 2008

Life, and Writing, Seldom Go As Planned


This excerpt is from today's Daily Devotional from Liveprayer.com. It seemed to speak to writers.

Let me share some insights with you that I have found to be true in my life
and I am sure you have found in your own life. It is in our failures that we
learn life's most important lessons and grow. Nobody wants to fail, but the
only person who has never failed is someone who has never tried. Failure is
part of life. It is something we all have to experience from time to time.
The key, however, is how do you respond when you fail? How do you respond
when life doesn't go as you planned?

Winning, losing, succeeding, failing, these are all concepts that we begin
to learn as children. Playing games is something all children do, and
quickly we learn there are winners and losers. During our childhood we try
many things, music, sports, different hobbies. Again, we quickly learn the
joy of succeeding in the things we do and that empty feeling when we fail.
While it is important to keep winning and success in perspective and learn
how to do both with humility, it is even more important to learn how to
handle defeat and failure, as well as the lessons they can teach us.

The first lesson in losing, in failing, is to take personal responsibility
and not blame other people or anything else. Having spent 31 months of my
life in Federal Prison, having ministered these past 18 yrs to tens of
thousands of men and women who are incarcerated, I can tell you the biggest
problem I see with people in prison is the refusal to take personal
responsibility for the choices that put them in prison. Most people you talk
to who are in prison will tell you they are there because of what this
person or that person said or did. They are not willing to accept
responsibility that they are there because of the choices THEY MADE. A
person who is in prison will never be able to move forward and turn their
life around until they are ready to accept personal responsibility for THEIR
choices.

Whenever we lose or fail, it is always easy to sit back and make excuses.
Some of those excuses may even be valid. However, rather than investing the
time and energy into finding excuses why we lost or failed, it is far more
productive to look at the role WE played in our loss or failure. You learn
nothing by blaming someone else or making excuses. When you sit down and are
honest to look at yourself, at the choices you made that contributed to your
loss or failure, then you are able to learn from the mistakes you made and
hopefully not repeat them in the future. We can all learn much from our
losses and failures in life if we will simply be honest with ourselves and
take the time to analyze our thoughts and actions so we can identify what we
did wrong.

The second lesson in losing, in failing, is to not let our loss or failure
paralyze us from trying again. Some people become so devastated by losing,
by failing, that they simply refuse to try again. My friend, losing and
failing are part of life. As I said earlier, the only people I have met who
have never lost or failed are people who have never tried. You can't be
afraid of losing or failure. Nobody likes to lose. Nobody likes to fail.
However, you will never win unless you also lose and you will never succeed
unless you also fail. Rather than being paralyzed by losing and failing, let
them motivate you. Learn from your losses and failures so that you don't
repeat the mistakes and poor choices you made that led to them. Instead of
losing and failing making you weak, they can make you strong.

*LET ME SAY THAT ONE MORE TIME SINCE THIS IS A POWERFUL THOUGHT. INSTEAD OF
LOSING AND FAILING MAKING YOU WEAK, LOSING AND FAILING CAN MAKE YOU STRONG!

The third lesson in losing, in failing is this, THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH
GOD! In the process of serving the Lord, we will always have times and
experiences when we feel in our flesh that we have failed, that we have let
the Lord down. That is a lie from the pits of hell! THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH
GOD! You can't fail when you are serving the Lord. The only way you can fail
is to NOT serve Him! God uses our obedience and faithfulness in ways we will
never see or understand until we get to Glory. The reality is, when we are
yielded to the Lord, God uses our lives to do incredible things that we
never even realize.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

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\ / TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT -- http://www.heartlight.org/
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June 29, 2008


VERSE:
Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one
he has sent."
-- John 6:29


THOUGHT:
"What do you do for a living?" It is one of the most commonly
asked questions in many cultures. We define each other in large
measure by the work we do. God, however, defines us by his grace.
So the work God has for us, the way he wants us to "make our
living," so to speak, is by fully trusting in Jesus. This is the
orientation point for each of our lives!

PRAYER:
Lord God Almighty, Ruler of Heaven and earth, I believe, but
help my unbelief. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Calico Canyon

Barbour Publishing, Inc (July 1, 2008)

by

Mary Connealy



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

MARY CONNEALY is an award-winning author and playwright, married to Ivan a farmer, and the mother of four beautiful daughters, Joslyn, Wendy, Shelly and Katy. They live in Decatur, Nebraska. Mary is a GED Instructor by day and an author by night. And there is always a cape involved in her transformation.

Mary has also written Petticoat Ranch, Golden Days, and her latest, Alaska Brides that will debut in August.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutchs of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R's - widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair - two people who couldn't dislike each other more - an avalanche isn't the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?

Running from her Abusive foster-father, a man intent on revenge, the prim and perfectly proper Grace Calhoun takes on the job of schoolmarm in Mosqueros, Texas.

As if being a wanted woman isn't bad enough, Grace has her hands full with the five rowdy and rambunctious Reeves boys─tough Texan tormenters who seem intent on making her life miserable. When, in an attempt to escape from the clutches of her pursuer, Grace is forced to marry widower Daniel Reeves, father of the miniature monsters, she thinks things couldn't get any worse. Or could they?

Daniel Reeves, happy in his all-male world, is doing the best he can, raising his five boys─rascals, each and every one. Since his wife's death in childbirth, Daniel has been determined never to risk marriage again.

When God throws Grace and Danielt together─two people who couldn't detest each other more─the trouble is only beginning.

Will this hapless pair find the courage to face life together in the isolated Calico Canyon? Or are their differences too broad a chasm to bridge?

If you would like to read the first chapter go HERE

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Fiction From Fellow Baltimore-ean

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

The Hunted
(Realms - June 3, 2008)

by
Mike Dellosso


A town's deadly secret will drive one man to the edge of his faith...

After learning of the disappearance of his nephew, Joe Saunders returns to his childhood home of Dark Hills to aid in the search effort. When Caleb is found, badly mauled and clinging to life, Joe embarks on a mission to find the beast responsible. But the more Joe delves into the fabric of his old hometown, the more he realizes Dark Hills has a dark secret, shrouded for three generations in a deadly code of silence.

As Joe unravels the truth behind a series of unexplained animal attacks, murder, and corruption at the highest level of law enforcement, he is led to a final showdown where he must entrust his very life into God's hands. Will his young faith be strong ehough to battle the demonic forces of The Hunted?

Scripture Says. . . .


That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

As the Scripture says, Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.

--Romans 9-11

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New fiction!!



What’s a girl to do when she’s thirty-three and all her friends have started their lives and left her behind?
Lucinda Kelley works for a local cable television show, assists her sister in her tumultuous relationships, and yearns for the day she can meet Mr. Right. All that seems to change when she meets Londoner Julian Crawford in an on-line tv chat room. Eight months later, via email he has become her best friend and closest confidant. Then one day the messages cease, and Lucinda feels lost until she makes a vow to end this infatuation with someone she has never met and move on to something real. When an alarming revelation is exposed, it could be Lucinda’s undoing or it might be exactly what she was looking for.



This past May marks the date for the release of Cindy K. Green’s sixth book title, Meeting Mr. Right Online. It is a sweet, chick-lit novella. What is Chicklit you might ask? Here is a little introduction from the author.

Chick-lit is primarily about young women in their 20’s or 30’s dealing with life (some newer titles include older women as well). It contains a light, humorous and most importantly a confiding tone (like you’re speaking to your girlfriends)—almost always in the first person. The themes focus around love, relationships, friendships, professional dilemmas, and a penchant for fashion—usually facing hilarious and embarrassing situations. But what it all comes down to is the heroine figuring out herself and what she really wants out of life. There is usually some kind of epiphany that blows her mind away and finally she can see clearly about what she really wants—or more importantly—needs.

Chicklit is a completely different genre from romance because the focus is on the woman and how she navigates her way through the twists and turns life throws at her. But the romantic angle is usually at the forefront of the story. Another things about chicklit is that it does not always end in a happily ever after for the heroine and her love interest. Now I am an HEA girl all the way, so never fear, mine is very romantic and sweet and ends with an HEA.


A few questions to Cindy about writing this book.


How did you go about writing this story?
This story resulted from a few factors. I was reading a couple of chick-lit novels last spring, I’d just watched several episodes of a certain tv show with my sisters which resulted in the names of all the side characters, and I really did have an online friend like this who I had come to rely on and then all of a sudden didn’t hear from. My friend though was only a friend and we started writing again in a very short time. But the situation made me think…What if??? It all went from there.

Did you plot out this story or write it pantser style?
There was no plotting to this story until toward the end and then it was only ideas of what I wanted to happen to bring about the conclusion. I began writing this story on my PDA late at night in the dark (this is also how I wrote NovelTea #1). Sounds weird, right? :D Well, we authors are an odd lot. LOL! I was in the middle of editing a full-length novel and to those of you who have ever done that we know how consuming it is. I needed to write something new. So, there in the dark as my husband slept, I began this story.

Is the finished version much different from your first draft?
Yes, actually, it is. It is about 5,000 words longer to begin with. I changed the heroine’s profession, adding a secondary plot line about her work worries. And I made her love interest British instead of American. My husband calls me an Anglophile as I love all things British especially Period Dramas and British television. I thought, ‘I can write an English bloke.’ I had a couple English author friends read through his passages to make sure he seemed real. It seems he passed muster.

Meeting Mr. Right Online
By Cindy K. Green
Sweet/Chicklit Novella
By Grace Publishing
$1.49


Excerpt #1: The Opening


Good evening, this is Amber Heffernan reporting live for Channel 11 entertainment news outside the beautiful Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. In just a few minutes, the glamorous Lucinda Kelley will emerge with her new husband, that handsome British financier. This couple has been in the media limelight since they first started seeing each other almost six months ago, outshining all of the other popular Hollywood pairs. The bride was married today in a Vera Wang strapless scoop-neck wedding gown, and I’m told she looked absolutely stunning. When the couple exits the hotel, they will travel to JFK International Airport to board the family jet to Jamaica where the twosome plan to depart for a two week honeymoon. After that they will settle into their Malibu home in California where Lucinda produces her award winning television sitcom…

The computer beeped letting me know it had finally booted up, and there I was, daydreaming again. I really had to stop doing that. I clicked the button once more, hoping this time it would be there. I held my breath for the few seconds it took to check my email messages, feeling that depressed, empty sensation yet again when I didn’t see it. Rubbing my forehead, I closed my eyes. This was absolutely ridiculous. Why did I torture myself so?

Read excerpts and watch the book trailer on my website.

**********
Cindy K. Green is a multi-published author with degrees in History and Education. Previously a middle school English & History teacher, she now homeschools her own children and writes in several genres: Inspirational, Contemporary, Suspense and Historical romance. Find out more about Cindy and her books at www.cindykgreen.com.

Monday, June 09, 2008

We are all Needed

Excerpt from Liveprayer.com's Daily Devotional:

"As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax
collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed
him." - Matthew 9:9 (NIV)


Each day this ministry is in prayer for people of all ages who are dealing
with tremendous mental and health challenges. Many prayer requests we get
each day are simply for God to give them a moment's relief from the pain in
their body. Sadly, every day we are in prayer for people who have had a
family member or close friend die. The reality of this life is that because
of sin, our bodies do break down and become sick at some point. Death is a
reality that each one of us will face one day. That is why today I want to
encourage and challenge you to not waste even one day that God can use your
life in His service.


So exactly what is God calling you to do? Many think serving God means
selling everything you have and going to live in some far off jungle. While
God does burden many people to serve Him in a missionary capacity, most
people God calls to serve Him right where they are at in their life. Don't
think for a second that it is an accident or coincidence you go to school
where you do or that you work where you do. It is God who opened those doors
and has placed you for this season of your life right where He wants you to
be.

GOD NEEDS HIS CHILDREN IN EVERY SCHOOL, IN EVERY TYPE OF BUSINESS, IN EVERY
OCCUPATION!

Never forget that your greatest witness for the Lord will always be how you
live your life before others each day. People do notice. Also, the greatest
thing you can share with someone, after how they can be saved, is what Jesus
has done in your life. You are a living testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ!
God has you at the school you go to, at the job you work at, living where
you do, meeting people in the course of your daily activities, for a reason
and purpose. Especially today where the better part of two full generations
don't go to church, you are the only Bible they will ever read and the only
contact with Christ they will ever have.

NOBODY IS IN YOUR LIFE BY ACCIDENT!

However, there are some of you reading this today that God IS calling to a
new level of commitment and service, and you know exactly who you are. God
is speaking to you clearly through this message today. He is telling you
that now is the time to step out in faith and trust Him. He has given you a
special burden to serve Him and wants you to trust Him today. This word is
simply His confirmation of what He has already been talking to you about.
The fear and doubt you have are coming from satan. Now is the time to step
out in faith, trust Him, and do with your life what you know God is calling
you to do.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

New Christian Fiction

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

From A Distance


(Bethany House June 1, 2008)
by
Tamera Alexander
What happens when dreams aren’t what you imagined,

And secrets you’ve spent a lifetime guarding are finally laid bare?

Determined to become one of the country’s premier newspaper photographers, Elizabeth Westbrook travels to the Colorado Territory to capture the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the remote town of Timber Ridge. She hopes, too, that the cool, dry air of Colorado, and its renowned hot springs, will cure the mysterious illness that threatens her career, and her life.

Daniel Ranslett, a former Confederate sharpshooter, is a man shackled by his past, and he’ll do anything to protect his land and his solitude. When an outspoken Yankee photographer captures an image that appears key to solving a murder, putting herself in danger, Daniel is called upon to repay a debt. He’s a man of his word, but repaying that debt will bring secrets from his past to light.

Forced on a perilous journey together, Daniel and Elizabeth’s lives intertwine in ways neither could have imagined when first they met . . . from a distance.


“…a rich historical romance by possibly the best new writer in this subgenre.”
--Library Journal


“…a most amazing story. The characters are more than words on the page; they become real people.”
--Romantic Times

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Winners Are. . . .

Congrats to Elaine and Michelle Baker! Please send your mailing address to me at
RLBayneXXXatnbayne.com (take out the X's and change "at" to @)

Also Congrats to Carrie Turansky, who won Lauralee Bliss' surprise!! I will forward your addy to Lauralee.

Thanks to all who commented, I know it meant a world to Kristy and her family.