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Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Devil in Pew Number Seven

“When the Lord gets ready for me to leave this church, He won’t send the message by the devil.” Robert Nichols, 1975

Rebecca never felt safe as a child.
In 1969, her father, Robert Nichols, moved with his family to Sellerstown, North Carolina, to serve as a pastor. There he found a small community eager to welcome him . . . with one exception. Glaring at him from pew number seven was a man obsessed with controlling the church and determined to get rid of anyone who stood in his way.

The first time the Nichols family received a harassing phone call, they dismissed it. The same went for the anonymous letter that threatened they’d leave “crawling or walking . . . dead or alive.” But what they couldn’t ignore was the strategy of terror their tormentor unleashed, more devastating and violent than they could have ever imagined. Refusing to be driven away, Rebecca’s father stood his ground until one night when an armed man walked into the family’s kitchen . . . and Rebecca’s life was shattered.

If anyone had reason to harbor hatred and seek personal revenge, it would be Rebecca. Yet The Devil in Pew Number Seven tells a different story. It is the amazing, true saga of relentless persecution, one family’s faith and courage in the face of it, and a daughter whose parents taught her the power of forgiveness.

 

Highly Recommended.

Forgiveness. One of the hardest things in life to do, yet the most rewarding. You HAVE to read this book. Gripping. Life-changing.

Post composed and book recommendation given by ~ Kara Hunt

 

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Book Reviews, Kara Hunt, Video Blog

 

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Author Chat with Carol Moncado

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carol Moncado and her debut novel Finding Mr. Write. Let’s begin with her book.

Jeremiah Jacobs moved to the Ozarks for a fresh start. He knows no one and has no plans to get romantically involved with anyone. Ever.Finding Mr. Write He’s already had his heart ripped out once and once is enough. Besides he has contractual obligations that prevent him from talking about work – and what woman would want to be involved with a man who has to keep his job a secret? When he attends his first local writers’ group meeting, he finds the leader so intriguing, his instant attraction to her threatens to complicate his currently uncomplicated life. 

Dorrie Miller has never been good enough. Not for her father or any of the guys she’s dated in the past. She’s pushed beyond her father’s disapproval to have a good career while pursuing her dream of becoming a published novelist. The Christian Authors Network – Dedicated to Inspirational Distinction, or CANDID, is hosting their annual conference in Indianapolis and who’s rumored to be in attendance? The super reclusive, super-star author, Mya Elizabeth Linscott.

The hunky new member of her local CANDID group, Jeremiah, wants to carpool to Indy. Dorrie can handle not making a fool of herself for eight hours each way. Right? But she never imagined doing a favor for someone during the conference would leave her accidentally married to the gorgeous guy she barely knows. How will she get out of this mess, married to a near stranger? Does she want to? Will her insecurities and Jeremiah’s secrets tear them apart? Or can she trust that, all along, God’s been helping her with Finding Mr. Write?

Thanks for joining us today, Carol. I’ve heard the characters in Finding Mr. Write are based on fellow authors. What fun, real-life, stories about writers ended up in Finding Mr. Write?

CM- When Jeremiah talks about worshiping in a room with several hundred other people who “get it,” that’s very much a real experience for me and many others. I cry during the first worship session at the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference—Every. Year.

But my favorite story is about Dorrie and the writer she was talking to in the elevator. At ACFW 2012 in Dallas, a woman walked into the elevator. We greeted each other like long-lost friends. About halfway through the elevator ride, we realized we didn’t know each other, but neither of us wanted to admit it. To this day, I can’t tell you who I thought she was. And vice-versa. We ran into each other constantly that year. In Indianapolis in 2013, we hung out a lot on purpose and she joined my critique group [though she fails to see the wisdom in adding dinosaurs to a WWII epic – sigh]. This year, in St. Louis, we were roommates with plans for Dallas again next year. I thank God for the best “oops you’re not who I thought you were” ever! Jen Cvelbar is a true blessing!

Your book is loosely based on the ACFW Conference? How fun! Pegg and Candice attended the conference in Indianapolis last year. We love how you’ve incorporated that conference into this story. Tell us, how do ACFW and CANDID compare?

CM- The ACFW conferences are only 3.5 days long, though many of us wish they could last all month! You never get to see all of the people you’d hoped to, much less actually spend time with them! There’s lots of other differences between CANDID and ACFW, but some are the same. The appointments, for instance. The coordinators really do pray over every appointment as they make them and others spend those appointment times walking up and down the halls praying over them.

What are you working on next?

CM- This is the beginning of my “grand opening” as an author! Six books are releasing this year and I’m working to finish them up right now.

* Finally Mr. Write: CANDID Romance book 2; November 24, 2014
* Falling for Mr. Write: CANDID Romance book 3; December 2014
*Good Enough for a Princess: The Montevaro Monarchy book 1; November 17, 2014
*Along Came a Prince: The Montevaro Monarchy book 2; December 2014
*More Than a Princess: The Montevaro Monarchy book 3; December 2014Spring 2014 will see the release of the next series – The Brides of Bellas Montagnes. When I have the time, I’m working on book 3 in that series, Prince from her Past. The first two are mostly done – Hand-me-down Princess and Queen of His Heart [working title].

Wow! You’ve been busy. So, why indie publishing? Why now?

CM- I’ve been doing this for a long time and most of my books are just a bit too outside “the box” for traditional publishers to take a chance on. I completely get that. Plus the number of fiction slots available each year with a traditional publisher has shrunk several times through the closure of fiction lines in the last couple of years.Why now? I have 13 manuscripts under my belt, many of which were a polish or two away from being ready. Plus, I really, truly, believed God gave me the go-ahead when I prayed about it.

Congratulations on Finding Mr. Write. It’s getting great reviews. Thanks for joining us today.We look forward to reading your book!

Carol MoncadoCM- Thanks for having me!
When she’s not writing about her imaginary friends, Carol Moncado is hanging out with her husband, four kids, and a dog who weighs less than most hard cover books. She prefers watching NCIS to just about anything, except maybe watching Castle. She believes peanut butter M&Ms are the perfect food and Dr. Pepper should come in an IV. When not watching her kids – and the dog – race around her big backyard in Southwest Missouri, she’s teaching American Government at a local community college. She’s a founding member and President of MozArks ACFW, category coordinator for First Impressions, blogger at InspyRomance, and represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency.
 

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Give Thanks

Image courtesy of SergeBertasiusPhotography/ freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of SergeBertasiusPhotography/
freedigitalphotos.net

The holidays are upon us and in a few days we’ll gather with family and friends, reflect on the many things we’re thankful for, and stuff ourselves until we’re near to bursting. Though I’m sure many of us strive to give thanks for our blessings year-round, Thanksgiving is a holiday set aside specifically for that reason. Let’s face it, had it not been for the compassion and generosity of others long ago, our nation may not exist today.

1 Chronicles 16:8 says, “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.” So we’re not to just count our blessings, we’re to speak them aloud, tell others the wonderful things God has done for us!

In the spirit of thanksgiving, here are a few of the MANY things I’m grateful for:

* My salvation. Thank you, Lord, for dying on the cross for me so that I can live eternally with you.

* My family. I’m so blessed you’re all a part of my life.

* My church. I’m grateful for the freedom to worship–without persecution–with a wonderful group of people.

* The Quids. This group of women have blessed me in ways they’ll never know. Their friendships help keep me sane on the days when I just can’t handle anymore testosterone (in other words, my hubby and three sons). Their wisdom and advice not only help me in life, but have helped me grow as an author. We’re not only critique partners but we’re prayer warriors for one another, and for that I’ll always be grateful.

* My home. I love our old farmhouse that constantly needs attention and never has enough room, our little patch of land we learn and grow on. “There’s no place like home,” and this couldn’t be more true of our little hobby farm.

Now it’s your turn. What are you thankful for?

~Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood, or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her newest release Silver White Winters is available now!

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Candice Sue Patterson, devotion

 

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Consider It All Joy

Character-building moments. That’s what I call those seemingly pointless times when annoying things happen. It’s then I want to scream, but instead, must control myself. Just yesterday, I was stuck in a Chet Baker song. Does the following ever happen to you?

You don a shirt and it’s backward.file0002108810709

The vacuum plug prongs never align with the outlet the first time.

You turn on a light and the bulb blows.

I could go on. Of course, all of these are First-World Problems. At least I have a shirt, a vacuum, and electricity. I should be more thankful, and less impatient. If I won’t be humble and gracious when trivial things happen, how will I respond with humility and grace when someone offends me, or when I face financial distress? How will I respond if I face imprisonment for the faith, or a loved one dies?

file7951291133643James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Character-building, indeed. Do you find it difficult to consider trials joyfully?

 

~ Jericha Kingston

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2014 in Jericha Kingston, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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Life in the Margin

Life in the Margin

I was so busy last week, I never had time to mop my kitchen floor. I won’t get into the details (not of the busy-ness nor of the dirty floor), but suffice it to say, it was all my fault. Let’s blame my artistic (okay, flaky) mind, shall we? I simply forgot something very important, and I had to get it done—fast. Some of you may be thinking, “You have a job, a house, a husband, and three teenagers. Aren’t you always that busy?”

Nope, I’m not.

Nothing raises my anxiety more than having too much to do and too little time to do it. And when the things on my list affect other people—like the editing jobs that piled up last week—my anxiety goes through the roof.

I like to have breathing room in my schedule. Despite the fact that I spend a lot of time in my pajamas (one of the perks of working from home), I’m not lazy. I don’t watch TV or hang out on social media all day. No, I write fiction, critique friends’ manuscripts, edit novels, and write blog posts. And I usually have time to make dinner, take the kids hither and yon, visit with friends, and check in with family.

Last week, when my 13-year-old wanted to chat, I had to say, “I’m sorry, buddy, but I have to finish this.” When my husband told me about something that had happened at work, I barely glanced up from my laptop screen, offering the occasional, “Uh-huh” in response.

And what did I miss? Conversation. Connection. Life.

Life happens in the margins. (Tweet this)

At least a lot of it does. I really enjoy my work, but I love my family. Sometimes, work will get crazy, but if my life becomes so busy that I don’t have time for the people God has blessed me with, it’ll be time to rethink what I’m doing. Because my husband, my kids, my extended family, and my friends—they matter, even more than mopping my kitchen floor.

How about you? Do you have trouble keeping margin in your schedule?

Do you have any tips on how you manage to keep margin in your schedule?

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Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. She is the author of two books, Faith House and One Christmas Eve, both Christmas stories. Read excerpts and find out more at her website.

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Posted by on November 19, 2014 in Parenting, Robin Patchen, Writing

 

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Amish Buggy Ride

hills ahead
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to ride in an Amish buggy? Me too. We live in an Amish community and pass these vehicles on a daily basis. Recently, I had the opportunity to ride in an open buggy with my friend, Clara Mae. It was a typical fall day in Northern Michigan with a chilly wind and a sprinkle of rain or two, but we had a good time.

golden leavescurious palominos

awesome clouds

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sun peeked out from behind the cloud enough to take a few photos. The colors were bright in the trees. Some curious horses came up to the road to greet Magic, the handsome black Standardbred horse pulling our buggy. And the clouds were awesome between the showers. I had a blast snapping photos along the way. When I didn’t have my camera in hand, Clara Mae gave me the reins and let me drive.

On the back roads I was relaxed and thoroughly enjoying the steady pace of Magic’s clip-clopping trot. But when we swung onto the busier paved road, I admit to getting a little nervous. The distance between buggy and automobiles seems much narrower when seated on the buggy! I’ve always been careful not to crowd the buggies on our road, but I’ll be even more aware of that now.

the sun peeked out

It was a fun experience and a good way to relax and enjoy the day. What type of “slow down” activity do you enjoy to break up the hectic pace of life?

 

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2014 in Pegg Thomas

 

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Upcoming Writers Contests!

Old TypewriterCHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL HOLIDAY STORIES CONTEST

We want to hear about your holiday memories and traditions. During that time of the year we reunite with scattered family members, watch the wonder in a child’s eyes, and feel the joy of giving gifts. The rituals of the holiday season give a rhythm to the years and create a foundation for our lives, as we gather with family, with our communities at church, at school, and even at the mall, to share the special spirit of the season, brightening those long winter days. Please share your special stories about the holiday season with us. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS JANUARY 31, 2015.

2014 OWL Anthology

The Ozarks Writers League is calling for submissions to the OWL Anthology, of Ozark-centric short fiction and poetry under the prompt: the people you meet along the journey.

SHORT STORIES: Complete stories between 2,000 and 5,000 words on the theme put forth above.

POETRY: No more than three pages on the subject of the prompt, no style excluded.

NONFICTION: Complete essays or memoir between 1,000 and 5,000 words on the theme put forth above.

SUBMISSION: All documents must be in Times New Roman, twelve-point font, double spaced, with one inch margins all around. Please do not include extra space between paragraphs. Do not write in all caps. Please avoid excessive use of Italics, bold, and exclamation marks. All files must be in .doc format. Submissions not following guidelines will be excluded from consideration. All submissions must be sent by December 1st, 2014.

NewsflashThe literary journal, Tethered by Letters has the following call for submissions:


Tethered by Letters’ Fall Short Story Contest

We are currently accepting short stories of any genre ranging from 1,000 to 7,500 words. The short story contest winner will be published as the featured short story in the Summer 2015 Quarterly Journal. Five finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL monthly feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.

Deadline: December 15, 2014

Prize: $250 and publication in the quarterly journal

Entry Fee: $10 per entry

URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission

Tethered by Letters’ Spring Poetry Contest

We are currently accepting poetry submissions of all genres and styles—from traditional form to free verse. Length requirements are no more than three pages per poem, single spaced with double spacing between stanzas. The poetry contest winner will be published as the featured poem in the Summer 2015 Quarterly Journal. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL monthly poetry feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.

Deadline: December 15, 2014

Prize: $100 and publication in the quarterly journal

Entry Fee: $5 per entry OR $12 for three entries

URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission

Contact Info: Joe Reinis, jreinis@tetheredbyletters.com

Tethered by Letters’ Fall Flash Fiction Contest

We are currently accepting flash fiction submissions of 55, 250, or 500 words in length. The flash fiction contest winner will be published as the featured flash fiction in the Summer 2015 Quarterly Journal. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL monthly feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.

Deadline: December 15, 2014

Prize: $50 and publication in the quarterly journal

Entry Fee: $4 per entry OR $10 for three entries

URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission

Contact Info: Joe Reinis, jreinis@tetheredbyletters.com

 

WRITER’S DIGEST SHORT SHORT STORY COMPETITION

We’re looking for short stories! Think you can write a winning story in less than 1,500 words? Enter the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition for your chance to win $3,000 in cash, get published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference! The winning entries will be on display in the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection.

Wondering what’s in it for you?

  • A chance to win $3,000 in cash
  • Get national exposure for your work
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference

One First Place Winner will receive:

  • $3,000 in cash
  • Their short story title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s July/August 2015 issue
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!
  • A copy of the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection
  • A copy of the 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
  • A copy of the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents

The Second Place Winner will receive:

  • $1,500 in cash
  • Their short story title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s July/August 2015 issue
  • A copy of the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection
  • A copy of the 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
  • A copy of the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents

The Third Place Winner will receive:

  • $500 in cash
  • Their short story title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s July/August 2015 issue
  • A copy of the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection
  • A copy of the 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
  • A copy of the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents

Fourth through Tenth Place Winners will receive:

  • $100 in cash
  • Their short story titles published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s July/August 2015 issue
  • A copy of the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection
  • A copy of the 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
  • A copy of the 2015Guide to Literary Agents

Eleventh through Twenty-Fifth Place Winners will receive:

  • A $50 gift certificate for writersdigestshop.com
  • A copy of the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection

Entry Deadline: December 15, 2014

For more information on how to enter the Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition click here.

 

The 2015 Utmost Poetry Contest is now open, and is accepting entries.

For All Christian Poets – Total Prizes: US$3,000.00

Major Prizes:
FIRST PRIZE: 1,000.00
SECOND: $500.00

HONORABLE MENTIONS (10): 100.00 each

Special Prizes:
BEST RHYMING POEM: $300.00
HONORABLE MENTION RHYMING POEM: $200.00

Entrant can win Special Prizes in addition to Major Prizes.

We award all prizes, regardless of how few entries we receive. Some contests advertise big awards, but in the “fine print” you see that the prizes are only paid if a certain number of poets enter. Utmost is different. We guarantee to pay all prizes in our poetry contests, and we always announce publicly the winners. Entries must be POSTMARKED February 28, 2015 or earlier.

 

And for those writers that have the knack for short storytelling, you definitely want to check out Wanted: Short Fiction Stories!!

Mark for your calendars for Friday, Nov. 28th for the latest releases in Christian fiction, and Friday. Dec. 6th for more Upcoming Writers Contests!

 

~ post compiled by Kara Hunt.

Photo credits – stock.xchng

 

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2014 in Kara Hunt, Writing Contests

 

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