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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Stranded

Good morning suspense fans and welcome to today’s Book Showcase!!! Our next suspense feature for the month of April is Christian mystery novel Stranded, by Christian suspense authors, Don and Stephanie Prichard.

FIRST THEY HAD TO SURVIVE THE ISLAND . . . THEN EACH OTHER . . .

THEN THEIR RESCUER.

StrandedAll Marine Corps reservist Jake Chalmers wants is to give his dying wife a last, romantic cruise to the Philippines. Unable to save her in a mass murder aboard ship, he washes ashore a jungle island, where he discovers three other survivors. Heartbroken that he failed to save his wife, he is determined not to fail these helpless castaways.

Federal prosecutor Eve Eriksson rescues a young girl and her elderly great-aunt from the same ship. They badly need Jake’s survival skills, but why is he so maddeningly careful? She needs to hurry home to nail a significant career trial. And, please, before Jake learns her secret that she’s responsible for his wife’s death.

About the Authors

Don Prichard is a Viet Nam veteran who served in the Marine Corps Reserves for Don & Stephanie Pritchardthirty-two years before retiring as a colonel. He is also a career architect, whose specialty in government work includes the design of prisons, courthouses, and military facilities.

Stephanie is an army brat who lived in many countries around the world and loved it. She met her husband at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she majored in English/Literature. She and Don have lived in Indianapolis, IN, for forty years, where they raised their three children and now enjoy eleven grandchildren. In retirement have turned to co-authoring novels.

 

Kara writes supernatural suspense thrillers and is an ACFW Genesis 2013 Finalist in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. BlogPhoto Resized

She’ll also keep you updated on upcoming writing contests and some of the best reads in Christian suspense.

To contact Kara, email her at fictionwithfaith@gmail.com or by clicking the below link:

@KaraHunt2016 on Twitter

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Book Showcase, Kara Hunt

 

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Anticipation

Have you ever been eagerly awaiting an answer from God? Perhaps you have undergone a rough time and finally see a glimmer that better things are just around the next bend in the road. You have just a glimpse and promise that your situation will improve, but you aren’t sure how long the wait will be. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

It’s been a busy season for me. In the past six months I have completed two writing projects along with a hundred other things. Or at least it has felt that way. 🙂

I have decided to dip my toe in the Indie pool and publish a novella. Anticipation is mounting as Hearts Tightly Knit will debut this coming Monday, May 2nd.

What difficulties are you facing today? Perhaps God has brought you to the point where you need to hope and believe and know that you can trust Him with your future. What an assurance that He has our lives in His hands when we choose to follow Him. How are you doing at trusting Him today?

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Jodie 2015 - cropped - reducedJodie got bitten by the writing bug as a young girl after reading and watching Little House on the Prairie. She loves writing stories about feisty heroines and strong, godly heroes. The power of story to influence lives and change hearts is what motivates her to weave tales that tell of the Savior’s faithfulness and forgiveness.

 

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Jodie Wolfe, Writing

 

Break Time!

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My youngest playing Tball

My publisher contacted me last December and asked if I would write a novella for their Pure Amore imprint, romance stories that promote purity. I’d just finished all the edits for How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart, and the Lord had already started putting pieces of a new story into my brain. I agreed to flesh out a story, write a proposal, and send it in for a contract before beginning. That’s how Preserving Liberty came about. I had until April 15 to complete the story and turn it in to my editor. No problem, right?

We all know how life goes–never as we plan–so finding adequate time to write between work, family, and church life was challenging. But I tend to work better under pressure anyway, and met my deadline on a caffeine-high, eyes aching from staring at my laptop for days. It sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m really not. I love every second of it.

Right now, I’m enjoying a short break. We have four weeks until the school year ends, and

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My oldest, winning second place in the 200 meter.

I’m picking up extra work hours as a substitute teacher. Baseball games and track meets are scheduled for almost every night of the week. We’re also preparing for our missions trip to New Mexico this summer by fundraising with car washes and yard sales. When I have downtime, I kick back with a good book from my review pile or catch up on nostalgic television with the family like Matlock, Lassie, and the A Team.

And of course I’m praying for God’s direction on what story to work on next, because a writer never stays away for long. 😉

 

~Candice Sue Patterson is the author of Silver White Winters and Bright Copper Kettles. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart is available for pre-order at all major retailers. Look for Preserving Liberty, coming 2017. For more, visit her website at www.candicesuepatterson.com.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in Writing

 

Pickled!

While some of us have barely tasted spring, summer is just around the corner, and with it comes fresh vegetables.

I live in southeast Georgia–where it’s hot ten months of the year–and I’m always on the lookout for recipes with fresh veggies. If you’d like to perk up your standard summer vegetables, consider pickling them!

Pickled veggies are so refreshing, and perfectly compliment fish or grilled chicken. The only downfall? Pickled veggies need to be refrigerated for three days, to soak up all the wonderful flavor. Also, the veggies must be fresh. You can’t use frozen.

Think it’s too labor-intensive? Think again. If you have a refrigerator, a glass jar with a lid, fresh vegetables, some vinegar, and salt, you’re set. Prefer sweet instead? No problem! Just add a teaspoon of sugar.

Like the idea? Then try some of these!

Pick two fresh veggies:

  • cucumber (cut into spears)
  • carrots (sliced thin, on an angle)
  • corn (sliced off the cob)
  • grape tomatoes (halved)
  • whole green beans
  • thinly-sliced red onion
  • sliced radishes
  • sliced summer squash
  • thinly-sliced green cabbage
  • cauliflower florets
  • red or yellow bell pepper slices
  • snow peas
  • young okra

Pick a flavor:

  • American: Dill seed, mustard seed, celery seed, and black peppercorns.
  • European: 2 cloves of smashed garlic, 2 sprigs of fresh oregano, sliced lemon peel, and black peppercorns.
  • Asian: 1/2 teaspoon of peeled, julienne-cut ginger, sliced orange peel, green onion slices.
  • *Whichever flavor you choose, a tablespoon is all you need per jar!*

Pick one:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • red or white wine vinegar

Method: Wash and slice your vegetable choices and place them in a clean, 1 lb. glass jar. Add a tablespoon of your flavor choice. Fill the jar HALF-FULL of your vinegar choice, and add one teaspoon of salt. Fill the rest of the jar with water. If you want sweet pickled vegetables, add one teaspoon of sugar. Seal the jar, shake well, and place in the refrigerator for three days. Pickled veggies will keep for two weeks.

My favorite is green beans and red onions, American-style, with white vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar! Which would be your favorite?

Jericha Kingston

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2016 in Jericha Kingston, Recipe

 

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Finding Contentment on Earth

eiffel-tower-953590_960_720My husband and I went to Paris for our twentieth anniversary. There’s something magical about that city—for me, anyway. We wandered along the streets for a week, and always, in the back of my mind, rang the mantra: I could live here. I could live here forever and be happy.

On the heels of that giant lie came a whispered truth—that contentment cannot be found in Paris. If I were to move to Paris, soon, too soon, I would long for tall trees where I often feel so close to God. And if I were live in the cathedral of the redwoods, I would dream about snowy mountain cottages. And if I were to relocate to a ski town in Colorado, I would ache for sunshine and palm trees. But if I were to someday, somehow, find a secluded seaside home, I’d probably secretly yearn to live in Paris.

courchevel-726325_960_720The truth is, I will never find true contentment on earth. Yet I seek it, I search for it as if it’s right around the next corner. In a meal with friends or a divine piece of Godiva chocolate. Some seek it in a pill or a bottle. Some seek it in fitness and vanity, others in success in the workplace, or in squirreling away enough money so that when they find that elusive thing, they’ll be able to buy it and bring it home and have it forever. As if contentment can be found in a Ferrari or a flat screen TV.

C.S. Lewis said in Mere Christianity, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

The longer I live, the longer I seek pure contentment, the more convinced I am that C.S. Lewis was on to something. I was not made for this world. Neither were you. We were made for eternity, so there will always be, pumping beneath the surface of our skin and our wants, a deeper desire we can never satisfy—to be united with the One who created us, to be surrounded by the beauty that goes beyond cities and mountains and trees and beaches, that goes beyond vanity and money and Masaratis.

Tweet this: “I was not made for this world. Neither were you. We were made for eternity.”

There is, within each of us, an emptiness that can only be filled with the Creator who put it there. And it will not be filled, not completely, not permanently, until we meet Him face to face. Beyond the places and the things and the desires of the earth lie the One we truly want, and only in Him, in Heaven, we will be forever content.

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, released in April, and its FREE prequel, Chasing Amanda, released in July. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Living for God, Robin Patchen

 

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A New Chapter

a-new-chapter

Some new chapters are more than a story. Today’s new chapter is about life. My husband starts work today in a new office. We’re so excited! For the past thirteen months he’s been working across the state from our home. Every Monday he’d leave after lunch and I wouldn’t see him again until 9:30 Friday night. He worked four 10-hour days so that he could be home that extra day every weekend. Still, after 33 years of marriage, it was hard to be separated for so long.

We’d originally planned to move across the state to his new location, but we never had a sense of peace about it. We’ve followed employment before, more than once, but always had the sense of peace that God was in the details. That didn’t happen this time. Several things occurred to delay our selling the farm, and then there were rumors of a retirement that would have moved him back home to the office he’d left. So we waited. We prayed. We put our ducks in a row. And we waited some more.

In the meantime, we started attending a church that we fell in love with. How can you fall in love with a church, you ask? A church isn’t a building. A church is a fellowship of people. We entered this church and felt like we’d come home. We couldn’t believe God would give us such a gift, only to take it away. Still we prepared to move. We even set the date of April 1st to relist the farm for sale.

Then on March 23rd my husband was called to an office about an hour’s drive away. It was his exact position with the State of Michigan. The same pay. The same seniority. He could transfer right over. Everything clicked. It didn’t take him longer than a minute to agree.

We’re so thankful to be able to stay on our farm and continue with the church we attend here. I’ve no doubt that if we’d moved, God would have provided for our every need in the new place. That’s the kind of God He is. But … as the saying goes … “There’s no place like home.”

Many thanks to my Quid Pro Quills partners, and all the people who have prayed for us through this past year. We felt every prayer. God is so good!

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped

 

 

 

 

 

PeggThomas.com

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2016 in Pegg Thomas

 

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Colorblind – Behind The Story

This month’s suspense post showcased the Christian mystery novel, Colorblind, by multi-published Christian author, Amy C. Blake.  And as promised, here’s the story behind the story.

Colorblind and the Roaring Twenties in Buckeye Lake

From the time I learned about the Buckeye Lake Amusement Park that once graced the Colorblindshores of Buckeye Lake, Ohio, I’ve been intrigued with the idea of setting a book there. In the early to middle 1900s, Buckeye Lake was considered the Playground of Ohio. The amusement park (actually, two parks set side by side) drew thousands each day from Easter to Labor Day. Buckeye Lake’s ballrooms–the Crystal and the Pier–featured big name bands from the Swing era, like Benny Goodman, Lawrence Welk, and Louis Armstrong.

My newly released Christian suspense novel, Colorblind, is set in modern-day Buckeye Lake, where the amusement park is a mere memory. The main character, Christy Kane, is a music major who began an internship at her mega-church pastor-father’s church, but had to leave when his misdeeds became public knowledge. Instead, she goes to Buckeye Lake to help a distant relative, Aunt Jo, make a go of her School of Music and Dance in the (fictionally) rebuilt Pier Ballroom.

Beyond the difficulties she endures because of her daddy’s fall from grace, working at the Pier Ballroom, which sits on Buckeye Lake itself, forces Christy to face her greatest fear–water. Also, her fellow music volunteers harbor racial and socioeconomic antagonisms that encumber their attempts to prepare for the Pier’s Grand Reopening, and Christy fears Aunt Jo will lose her ballroom to bankruptcy. Christy also finds a diary written by Lillian, a girl who lived in Buckeye Lake in the 1920s, and soon discovers that dangerous events from Lillian’s time are being reenacted in the present.

In writing Colorblind, I enjoyed researching Buckeye Lake, Big Band musicians, and 1920s slang to incorporate into my story. However, I was surprised (and disturbed) to discover that Buckeye Lake was also the location for two huge Ku Klux Klan rallies–one in 1923, the other in 1925. In Colorblind, I incorporate some of the racial issues from the 1920s into Lillian’s story line and show the effects of such prejudices in Christy’s world.

Colorblind is the second book in my On the Brink Christian suspense series (Whitewashed released in February, 2015). The books in this series follow three homeschooled friends on their individual journeys into adulthood and so can be read in any order.

Colorblind is now available on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats. I hope you’ll pick up your copy today!

Amy C. BlakeAward-winning author Amy C. Blake is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has an M.A. in English from Mississippi College and has written articles, devotionals, and short stories for a number of publications. You can connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. She’d love for you to visit her website at amycblake.com for tips on homeschooling, advice for the rookie pastor’s wife, and helps for the Christian life. You can also find more information on her website about her novels–Whitewashed, Colorblind, and The Trojan Horse Traitor.

 

Kara writes supernatural suspense thrillers and is an ACFW Genesis 2013 Finalist in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. BlogPhoto Resized

She’ll also keep you updated on upcoming writing contests and some of the best reads in Christian suspense.

To contact Kara, email her at fictionwithfaith@gmail.com or by clicking the below link:

@KaraHunt2016 on Twitter

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2016 in Book Showcase, Kara Hunt

 

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