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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Where Are My Manners?

Marge8My oldest two sons are now teenagers, but back in the day when they were just wee lads, we had an incident where my younger son said something unkind to one of my nieces. Not impressed, I asked him where his manners were. He took one look at my raised eyebrow, placed a hand over his little chest, and said very earnestly, “In my heart.”

I remember trying to explain to him that our good intentions are much more meaningful when we act on them. That same little boy is now much taller than I am and sports a mustache. He opens doors for me, carries in the groceries, and patiently listens to me ramble on about my latest work in progress without blinking or rolling an eye. And the question I asked him so long ago—and many times thereafter—I’m now asking myself. Where are my manners? Do I thank my children for all they’ve done? For all they’re still doing?

I’ve definitely got some catching up to do.

~ Marge Wiebe

photo courtesy of morguefile.com

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Marge Wiebe, Parenting

 

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Author Chat with Clare Revell

What’s better than conducting an author interview? Sharing the interview with you, of course! Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Pelican Book Group author, Clare Revell.
JK: Hi, Clare! Thanks for joining the Quid Pro Quills today.
CR: Hi, Jericha. Thank you for inviting me.
JK: Please tell us a bit about your latest release.
CR: My newest book comes out on May 2nd. It’s called Sunday’s Child and is the last in a seven book series.
Blurb:

Sunday’s Child on life seas is tossed, awaiting the lifeboat that rescues the lost…

Hattie Steele feels like the world is passing her by. Her entire life revolves around the guest house she runs in Headley Cross with her overbearing twin brother. He even attempts to undermine her friendship with a handsome guest. Not that famous ex-footballer, Callum Trant would ever give her a second glance. Hoping to regain control of her life, Hattie takes a well-earned holiday with her aunt on Penry Island.

After retiring from football, Callum Trant divides his time between the family business and volunteering as helm officer on a lifeboat. Danger is nothing new for him. But when he’s called out on a shout and finds the beautiful innkeeper from Headley Cross on a sinking vessel, Callum realizes his heart is in danger.

But could Hattie ever forget his womanizing past and feel the same way? Or will a dangerous rescue end the relationship before it’s had time to grow?

JK: When and how did this story materialize? Had you been working on it for weeks or years? What made you write this particular story?

CR: I wrote this one in about six weeks. It involved fun research, including visiting a lifeboat station and interviewing the lifeboat crew. Most of the rescues depicted in the book came from the real life stories they told me. When I first proposed the series, I knew basically what each book was about and I’ve always been fascinated by the work of the RNLI – ever since we visited a lifeboat when I was little and saw it launched. It’s funded purely donations from the public.  And all the lifeboat crew are volunteers. And of course, just as people lost in storms at sea need rescuing, people lost in the storms of life need rescuing from the only Lifeboat – Jesus.

JK: What is your heroine’s weakness and strength?

CR: Hattie has a twin brother, Steve. She’s devoted to him, doesn’t like upsetting him, but at the same time hates the controlling influence he has on her life. Her faith is very important to her. And once she sets out to do something, she’ll see it through to the end, no matter what.

JK: If you could rename your hero, what would you name him and why?

CR: Actually, Cal started out life as Blake Trant. Then my nephew asked if he could be a hero in one of my books, as his brother, Luke, was the hero of Monday’s Child. So Blake became Cal. (Blake does get his own book however which is due out either later this year or early next. That one is still in edits.)

JK: What’s next on the shelves from Clare Revell?

CR: I have a full-length romantic suspense called Turned due out this year, along with a passport to Romance novel, both from Pelican Books. And I’m currently working on a 12 book series. Having done the days of the week, I’m now doing the months of the year.

JK: You’ve given us a glimpse of Clare Revell, the author. Now give us a glimpse into Clare Revell, the person. If you were to inherit a large sum of money, what would you do with it and why?

CR: I’d pay the bills. All of them. Without having to pick and choose which we pay and which we don’t so that we can feed the kids. Then I’d give the rest to three charities. Macmillian Cancer Support, Help for Heroes and of course the RNLI.

JK: Is there a special talent you have (other than writing) that you might share with us?

CR: I cross stitch. My latest project has just been finished. It’s the view from where we stay in Scotland and where I am basing October’s novel.

JK: Please tell us where we can find your story.

CR: The only link I have right now is Pelican, which is here –

clarerevellSunday’s Child (In Print)

Sunday’s Child (White Rose)

but you can also find me here, too –

Barnes & Noble

Amazon UK

Amazon

WH Smith

Kobo Books

Angus & Robertson

JK: Thanks for visiting the Quid Pro Quills, Clare! We wish the best for you.

CR: Thank you so much for having me.

~ Jericha Kingston

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Author Chat

 

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Author Chat with Clare Revell

What’s better than conducting an author interview? Sharing the interview with you, of course! Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Pelican Book Group author, Clare Revell.

JK: Hi, Clare! Thanks for joining the Quid Pro Quills today.

CR: Hi, Jericha. Thank you for inviting me.

JK: Please tell us a bit about your latest release.

CR: My newest book comes out on May 2nd. It’s called Sunday’s Child and is the last in a seven book series.

Blurb:
Sunday’s Child on life seas is tossed, awaiting the lifeboat that rescues the lost…

Hattie Steele feels like the world is passing her by. Her entire life revolves around the guest house she runs in Headley Cross with her overbearing twin brother. He even attempts to undermine her friendship with a handsome guest. Not that famous ex-footballer, Callum Trant would ever give her a second glance. Hoping to regain control of her life, Hattie takes a well-earned holiday with her aunt on Penry Island.

After retiring from football, Callum Trant divides his time between the family business and volunteering as helm officer on a lifeboat. Danger is nothing new for him. But when he’s called out on a shout and finds the beautiful innkeeper from Headley Cross on a sinking vessel, Callum realizes his heart is in danger.

But could Hattie ever forget his womanizing past and feel the same way? Or will a dangerous rescue end the relationship before it’s had time to grow?

JK: When and how did this story materialize? Had you been working on it for weeks or years? What made you write this particular story?

CR: I wrote this one in about six weeks. It involved fun research, including visiting a lifeboat station and interviewing the lifeboat crew. Most of the rescues depicted in the book came from the real life stories they told me. When I first proposed the series, I knew basically what each book was about and I’ve always been fascinated by the work of the RNLI – ever since we visited a lifeboat when I was little and saw it launched. It’s funded purely donations from the public. And all the lifeboat crew are volunteers. And of course, just as people lost in storms at sea need rescuing, people lost in the storms of life need rescuing from the only Lifeboat – Jesus.

JK: What is your heroine’s weakness and strength?

CR: Hattie has a twin brother, Steve. She’s devoted to him, doesn’t like upsetting him, but at the same time hates the controlling influence he has on her life. Her faith is very important to her. And once she sets out to do something, she’ll see it through to the end, no matter what.

JK: If you could rename your hero, what would you name him and why?

CR: Actually, Cal started out life as Blake Trant. Then my nephew asked if he could be a hero in one of my books, as his brother, Luke, was the hero of Monday’s Child. So Blake became Cal. (Blake does get his own book however which is due out either later this year or early next. That one is still in edits.)

JK: What’s next on the shelves from Clare Revell?

CR: I have a full-length romantic suspense called Turned due out this year, along with a passport to Romance novel, both from Pelican Books. And I’m currently working on a 12 book series. Having done the days of the week, I’m now doing the months of the year.

JK: You’ve given us a glimpse of Clare Revell, the author. Now give us a glimpse into Clare Revell, the person. If you were to inherit a large sum of money, what would you do with it and why?

CR: I’d pay the bills. All of them. Without having to pick and choose which we pay and which we don’t so that we can feed the kids. Then I’d give the rest to three charities. Macmillian Cancer Support, Help for Heroes and of course the RNLI.

JK: Is there a special talent you have (other than writing) that you might share with us?

CR: I cross stitch. My latest project has just been finished. It’s the view from where we stay in Scotland and where I am basing October’s novel.

JK: Please tell us where we can find your story.

CR: The only link I have right now is Pelican, which is here –

Sunday’s Child (In Print)

Sunday’s Child (White Rose)

but you can also find me here, too –

Barnes & Noble

Amazon UK

Amazon

WH Smith

Kobo Books

Angus & Robertson

JK: Thanks for visiting the Quid Pro Quills, Clare! We wish the best for you.

CR: Thank you so much for having me.

~ Jericha Kingston

 
 

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Grace for your Children

graceWe’ve talked about grace for almost all the people in our lives—the unsaved, the church, our friends, and our spouses. But now we come to the dearest—and most difficult—of all. Our children.

I have two teenagers and a twelve-year-old I keep praying won’t hit puberty for four years. Because I don’t know a whole lot, but I know I can’t handle three teenagers in my house. Frankly, I can’t handle the two I have.

Why is it so difficult? They don’t look very different than they did a few years ago, back before they thought I was a nitwit. They’re taller, they’re more grown-up, but they still have those same beautiful faces they did back then, albeit with a bit more acne to spice them up. And the braces. But it’s the attitude. The rolling eyes. The smirks. The whatevers and I knows that define these years.

It’s nice to look back on the golden years of parenting, when they were too small to talk—and they woke up every few hours and cried all the time. Fast forward to when they were older and were potty trained and could feed themselves—and say NO! without a second thought. Then a few more years down the road, when they could put on their own shoes and buckle their own seatbelts. Not to mention make each other cry with words and pinches and punches.

Maybe the golden years of parenting are right around the corner. Maybe they don’t exist.

All I know is this: I had a plan for my kids, and this wasn’t it.

I pictured my sons playing baseball in the front yard. Instead I have a skateboarder and a video game champion. I pictured my daughter in bright pink bows–until her arms were long enough to reach her head. That was the end of the bows.

I remember when they were little. One morning at church, I watched another family walking into the lobby, their kids all color-coordinated and perfectly behaved.

And there were my kids, my sons wrestling each other. My daughter lifting her dress over her head to show our friends her Dora the Explorer underpants.

I wanted to slink away and hide.

I’ll never forget my chat with that perfect mom. “You’ve really got your kids under control,” I said. “How do you do it?”

“I had to spank the oldest three times before he stopped ripping the tie off, and my daughter refused to wear her shoes.”

I looked and sure enough, the child was shoeless. In church. And I felt a little less alone.

Our children. They embarrass us, they frustrate us, they break our hearts.

They came with minds of their own, and sometimes, they simply won’t do what we say. Or go where we go. Or believe what we believe.

Sometimes, they make poor choices. Terrifying, destructive, or dangerous choices. From climbing too high in a tree to experimenting with drugs and alcohol, sometimes, they do just what we tell them not to do. And do you know why?

They’re human.

Then they reach a certain age, and there’s little you can do to stop them. All you can do is tell them you love them, trust God, and pray like a madwoman.

Some days, it’s sheer torture.

You remember your babies with those tiny round faces, those big adoring eyes, and how they seemed to ask with every blink, “Do you love me?”

Their faces aren’t so small now, and their eyes aren’t so adoring, but they’re still asking the same question. “Look what I’ve done now, Mom. Do you still love me?”

No matter what they’ve done, no matter how far they’ve strayed, no matter how they’ve broken your heart, you faithfully respond, “Yes, child. I will always love you.”

That is grace.

~Robin Patchen

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in devotion, Robin Patchen

 

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Spare Parts

Pegg8Does your husband finish a project around the house and inevitably have parts left over? Mine too. For years he tried to convince me that the companies always include spare pieces in their inventory of parts. *insert wifely eye-roll here*

I finally came to realize that it’s simply the way men are made – or perhaps more to the point – the way woman was made. Genesis 2:21-22 says:

“So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.”

See? Men have always had spare parts. It’s genetic. It’s how God made them. They instinctively know this from birth. So they assume that any leftover part is superfluous.

Women, on the other hand, take spare parts very seriously. After all… you never know what wonderful things can be created with them. *wink!*

This truth of life is illustrated in the kitchen junk drawer. The drawer that contains every spare part the husband was left with, and the wife has collected. Because you never know when you’re going to need it. (And you’re pretty sure some day the refrigerator door is going to fall off and need that “spare” part.)

So the next time your husband seems a bit too cavalier about left over pieces of a project, just remember, if Adam had freaked out over that rib, none of us would be here today!

~ Pegg Thomas

image from morguefile.com

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Humor, Pegg Thomas

 

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Author Chat with Jericha Kingston

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing our very own Jericha Kingston about her debut novella Waiting for Lily Bloom. Before we begin, let me introduce you to her book.

“As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” ~ Song of Solomon 2:2

James Bloom has prayed three years for rain and five years for a wife. His dreams are demolished on Palm Sunday, 1935, when a catastrophic dust storm hits Oklahoma, and his neighbor’s niece has to ride out the storm at his house–-overnight. The next day, he’s forced to marry her, an East coast city girl who can’t speak. Could this be God’s plan?

Condemned to a future married to a stranger in the dusty Oklahoma wasteland, Lily Driggers longs for her home. Yet somehow, her new husband is the only one who understands her silence.

As Easter approaches, Lily and James wonder if there is hope after the storm.

Excerpt:

     “Do you know what happens to thieves?”

     Her head snapped back. Hazel eyes widened as her mouth fell open. Then her chin trembled. Finally, her brows drew together and the eyes underneath hardened. Before he could stop her, the intruder hopped up, dove for the sack, and shoved it at his chest. He clutched the sack of clothes. As close as she was, the gold of her eyes were distinct flecks of green and brown. A spoonful of freckles dusted the bridge of her upturned nose. She spun on her heel and marched to the door.

     What? Why did she give him his clothes? “Wait a minute.” He tossed the clothes onto the chair, dashed after her, and gripped her arm.

     She jerked away, hands clenched and lips pursed.

     He raised his hands, palms out. “OK, OK.” Warm air fled from his lungs in a huff. “I take it you’re not a thief.”

     Her chin rose and her eyes sparked.

     “You brought these clothes back?”

     She rolled her eyes and folded her arms once more before she nodded.

     He ground his teeth. Women. Who could understand them? “Then why didn’t you just say so?”

     Her back straightened and her arms fell to her sides. Nostrils flaring, she approached like a bull. She advanced until her forehead was level with his mouth. With a fleeting, heated glance at him, she walked to the table and wrote something in the dust with her index finger. Turning back to him, she lifted the same hand and motioned elegantly at the table. Finally, she smirked, folding her arms again.

     He stepped forward and read words that caused his chest to tighten.

     I CAN’T SPEAK.

QPQ – Thanks for meeting with me today, Jericha. I’m so excited about the release of this book.

JK – Thank you, I’m honored to be here.

QPQ – Tell us about your new release.

JK – Sure. Waiting for Lily Bloom is an inspirational romance set in 1935 Oklahoma. Our hero, JamesBloom, has prayed years for two things he needs, but he doesn’t receive the answer he expects. Our heroine, Lily Driggers, is a Savannah native who’s visiting her aunt and uncle, but unwillingly becomes an Oklahoma resident instead.

QPQ – Hmm. When I think of 1935 Oklahoma, I think of dust storms.

JK – You’re right. James and Lily experience the worst dust storm in American history.

QPQ – That’ll be messy.

JK – (Smiles) You bet.

QPQ – What topics do you address in your story?

JK – Tough things, like poverty. Disability. Relational things, like communication, and how important it is to use words to encourage. Forgiveness. Foster care. Marriage.

QPQ – That’s some list. What disability are you referring to?

JK – Lily is mute.

QPQ – Your heroine is mute? How does James talk with her?

JK – Very carefully.

QPQ – (Laughs) As I recall, he’s not so careful at first.

JK – Indeed. But I love James. He’s patient and kind, but most of all, he tries to meet Lily’s needs. He shows her what love is through words and actions. That’s so important.

QPQ – And Lily?

JK – Lily isn’t someone who trusts easily. She’s trying to figure it all out.

QPQ – Does she?

JK – Eventually.

QPQ – What surprised you the most about the Dust Bowl during your research?

JK – Due to drought conditions and poor farming techniques, the worst dust storm in American history blew from Oklahoma to the East coast. When the dust reached Washington, D.C., President Roosevelt signed the Soil Conservation Act. The dust storm was so intense that “Sailors 300 miles off the Atlantic coast often needed to sweep Kansas soil from their decks off their ships.”1

QPQ – During the writing process, did any of your characters shock you or do something you didn’t expect?

JK – Of course! I was frequently surprised by Lily, our heroine.

QPQ – Do you plot your stories before writing?

JK – Very little. It’s too confining. I write a mini-outline with lots of question marks. It’s just a map, not the destination.

QPQ – What do you most want readers to take away from this story?

JK – No matter what the storm, God is good. Storms reveal our character and God’s faithfulness.

QPQ – Now that we’ve heard a little about your story, tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know about you.

JerichaSmilingJK – Oh, man! Um … okay, how about this? I have two pins in my knee. I broke my leg playing football.

QPQ – When did you do that?

JK – I was twelve. Or thirteen. I can’t remember.

QPQ – Were you on a team?

JK – Not after the injury. (Laughs) Actually, it was a friendly neighborhood game that got out of hand.

QPQ – Thanks for being with us today. Where can we find your book?

JK – It’s an e-Novella, available from PelicanBookGroup.com and Amazon.com on April 18th.

Enter the Waiting for Lily Bloom Giveaway!

Visit here for a chance to win gift cards and other great stories from Pelican Book Group.

~ Candice Sue Patterson

Quote taken from: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/36362.html Cover art by: Nicola Martinez, Pelican Book Group

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Author Chat

 

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Hosanna!

Sunday, April 13th is Palm Sunday, the day we commemorate Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He rode a young donkey into the city. The people shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

But let’s consider an incident that occurred the day before this remarkable event. Lazarus, a godly man, hosted a dinner in his home. Jesus was the guest of honor.

John 12:9-11 states, “Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of Him but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in Him.”

Are our lives so transformed that people turn to Jesus and believe? Lord, save now.

Hosanna!

~ Jericha Kingston

PHOTO CREDIT: funny-days.com

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in devotion, Jericha Kingston

 

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