RSS

Under the Weather

cold-1947995_640I’ve been under the weather for the past week and a half. I can’t even remember when I’ve been this sick and for this long. I’m past the achy body and sleeping for hours on end, but there still is something lingering in my head and sinuses.

Throughout my time of being sick, I’ve had a terrible sore throat. One that was only appeased with a Wendy’s frosty. It hurt too much to swallow regular liquids. I tested negative for the flu and for strep throat, but still I was left with feeling lousy and medicines weren’t doing much in the way of relieving the pain I endured.

Through the pain, the Lord kept reminding me to pray for a man from my church who was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. He had a sore throat that wouldn’t go away. I’ve missed two Sundays of going to church, so I haven’t heard how he’s doing or the results he heard from further testing. But through my pain and discomfort, God prompted me to pray for someone who is going through much more than I can even imagine.

How can God use your ‘inconveniences’ to point you to pray for someone in need?

 

social-media-2015

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of ACFW. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at http://www.jodiewolfe.com.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 25, 2017 in devotion, Writing

 

Writing What You Love

the-intimidator-and-suzieWhen I started writing – lo, those many years ago – I always heard, “write what you know.” I think that’s good advice for a beginner sticking their toe into the writing world. Learning to write for publication is difficult. It’s work. It’s not the way you were taught to write in high school English class. Not even close. So it makes sense to start writing about things you know, things you don’t need to research.

Once you’re comfortable in the craft, it’s a lot of fun to write what you love. tweet this

I spun my first yarn – the fiber kind – at the age of 16 on an antique great wheel similar to the one in the photo, which I now own. That combined my love of history with my love of creating things from scratch. I was hooked. I purchased a new spinning wheel and started a multi-decade journey of fibers and spinning that included raising both French Angora rabbits and Border Leicester sheep.

My current WIP (work in progress) is a Colonial historical romance involving a woman who spins and weaves beautiful cloth, and a handsome journeyman fuller who finishes her cloth at the fulling mill. I’m once again combining my love of history with my love of creating things from scratch. I’m also spending many hours researching the historical facts. How many people today have ever heard of a fulling mill? How will I make it understandable without dragging down the story? The goal is to bring a bit of history to readers via the romantic journey of the characters, not to overload the reader with historical facts. Still, the history must be correct, or the story falls apart for those who know history.

Writing what you know is the easiest way to begin, but writing what you love is. . .fun!


PeggThomas.com

Debut story will release in April 2017 from Barbour

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Pegg Thomas, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Meant To Be

If you’re a fan of military suspense, patriotism and romance then today’s featured book in our Book Showcase, Meant To Be, by multiple award winning Christian author Jessica James is the one for you.

 

meant-to-beIt started as a chance encounter on the beach, and ended 24 hours later when they parted to go their separate ways.

Or so they thought.

Actually it was just the beginning.

When Lauren Cantrell and Michael “Rad” Radcliff said goodbye, they had no way of knowing they would ever see each other again. But fate had another unexpected meeting in store for them—this time in a place where danger was part of the culture and the stakes were life and death.

From the sundrenched beaches of Ocean City, Md., to the snowcapped mountains of Afghanistan, this gripping tale of espionage and intrigue takes readers on a spellbinding journey into the secret lives of our nation’s quiet heroes—and answers the question:

What do you do when the person you most want to protect is the one risking everything to make sure you survive?

 

Awards of Author Jessica James:

2016 Gold Medal Military Writers Society of America
2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Bronze Winner Romance – Suspense
2016 Finalist for BOOK OF THE YEAR in Foreword Magazine’s IndieFab contest
2015 NJRW Golden Leaf Award
2014 Valley Forge Romance Writers Sheila Award Finalist
2014 John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction
2014 Reader’s Crown Award Finalist
2014 Next Generation Indie Award Finalist in Fiction/Religious
2013 USA “Best Books 2013” Finalist in Fiction/Religious
2012 Bronze winner Foreword Magazine Book of the Year in Romance
2011 John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction
2011 USA “Best Books 2011” Finalist in Historical Fiction
2011 Next Generation Indie Award for Best Regional Fiction
2011 Next Generation Indie Finalist in Romance
2011 Next Generation Indie Finalist in Historical Fiction
2011 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award
2010 Military Writers Society Award in Historical Fiction
2009 HOLT Medallion Finalist for Best Southern Theme
2009 Nominated for the Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction
2008 Indie Next Generation Award for Best Regional Fiction
2008 Indie Next Generation Finalist for Best Historical Fiction
2008 IPPY Award for Best Regional Fiction
2008 ForeWord Magazine Finalist for Book of the Year in Romance category

~ Kara Hunt

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 20, 2017 in Book Showcase, Kara Hunt

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Are you frustrated yet?

3753584003_95eef4f7ce_oYou’re 18 days into the new year, and you still haven’t lost those ten pounds, finished that novel, or gotten your kids in line. Your plan to get the house clean seems to have disappeared beneath a fresh layer of dust, and you’ve apparently misplaced the organization chart you spent hours crafting. Your decision to work out daily was waylaid by a nasty cold, and your resolution to make it to church every Sunday wasn’t quite enough to drag you out of bed on time.

You started the year with such hope lo, those many months…er, days ago. And now, all is lost.

Or maybe you’re like me and quit making resolutions years ago. If we don’t aim for anything, it’s impossible to miss.

Impossible to hit, too.

I jumped on the word-of-the-year bandwagon awhile back, so every year around the first, I pray about what word God would have me focus on for the next 365 days. Guess which one he gave me this year?

Perseverance.

I wasn’t happy when the word came to me, because it means that those things I want might not come so easily. The ten pounds won’t just slip off like pants two sizes too big. The words of the novel won’t glide effortlessly from my fingers onto the screen. The teenagers won’t suddenly behave like mature adults.

So I’ve decided to look at my word from a different angle. Perhaps my word is not about the goals at all. Perhaps it’s about trusting God with everything and slogging forward—“straining toward what is ahead” as Paul so aptly put it (Philippians 3:13).

Would God ask me to persevere in a lost cause? Would he expect me to keep fighting a losing battle? I think not. I think he wants me to fight for what I want and trust him with the results, so that when I do achieve what I’ve worked for, I’ll have truly accomplished something. And I’ll know he was with me all along.

There are still 347 days left in this year to persevere. Imagine what God can do with a servant unwilling to give up.

Bring it on, 2017. I’m ready.

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Check out my latest releases, Convenient Lies and A Package Deal, at my website. Or read more about them below:

Kindle CoverConvenient Lies

What happens when a woman marries her greatest enemy?

When investigative journalist Reagan McAdams discovers her new husband Julien is part of a powerful international crime family, she flees Paris with their newborn, returning to her childhood home in Nutfield, New Hampshire. She plans to gather her inheritance, collect her beloved grandmother, and disappear forever. She’ll do whatever it takes to protect her son from his criminal father. 

But when Reagan arrives home, her heart breaks at the news of her grandmother’s death. Finding her missing inheritance—hidden somewhere on the property—is as impossible as a second chance with her former boyfriend, Brady. Reagan’s feelings for Brady are stronger than ever, but when Julien harms innocent people to smoke her out, Reagan must make a choice.  

What—and who—will she have to sacrifice to save her son?

Only Mine

A Package Deal

Jo didn’t know she wanted children until she learned that cancer had likely ruined her chances to have them. Dared by her friends to try online dating, Jo meets a man who would be perfect—if not for his obvious desire for a family and her too recent cancer scare. 

Carter can’t believe his luck when his first match through the online dating site is the pretty woman from the UPS store. He figures he’ll tell Jo about his five-year-old daughter if things get serious—which he doesn’t figure they will. He’s been burned by enough women not to get his hopes up. 

As Jo and Carter start to fall for each other, they realize the secrets they’ve hidden could tear apart the tenuous bond they’ve created. They both come with baggage. 

Can either of them accept a package deal?

 

Tags: , , , ,

Mason Jar of Blessings

fullsizerender

January first of 2016, my family started what we call a “blessings jar.” Throughout the year, when we’re blessed beyond the everyday goodness of God, we write that blessing on a piece of paper, fold it, and tuck it in a Mason jar.

Why?

A lot happens in a year, and sometimes we tend to remember the bad more than the good. And what a blessing this blessings jar was when we opened it up on New Year’s Eve, dumped the paper pieces on the table, and took turns reading them aloud.

 

 

 

  • Safety when vehicles broke down.
  • Overtime when extra money was needed.
  • Family members making it through surgery well.
  • Our dinner being paid for.
  • Bonus checks.
  • Free books.
  • My writing career taking unexpected–and amazing–turns.

Just to name a few. Many we had forgotten about with time. Talk about making your heart sing!

Our jar has been emptied in preparation for another year. I’m excited to see what blessings will fill the glass.

~Candice Sue Patterson writes Modern-Vintage Romance–where the past and present collide with faith. Her latest novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart is available at major online retailers. Preserving Liberty, coming soon! For more, visit her website at www.candicesuepatterson.com.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 16, 2017 in Writing

 

Animals & Authors with Kelly Klepfer

Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it? Let’s visit with Out of the Frying Pan author Kelly Klepfer and ask her about her constant companions.

QPQ: Welcome, Kelly! Introduce us to the… *squee!*… hedgehogs you’re sharing with us.

KK: Daisy and Daffodil have been with us since the spring. The girls are still pups (uhhhh, piglets, uuuuhh hedgehoglets…. No… hoglets.  There is room for interpretation over what they are called. Yes. I googled this.) We sought out hedgehogs because…. Well. Weird long story I’ll try to shorten.

13133234_10156826620615375_2682422256088890960_n-1I’ve loved hedgehogs from a distance ever since I was a little girl and I read Miss Jaster’s Garden. But I never thought I’d own one. My husband had a knee replacement which then got infected. As archaic as it sounds they literally removed the knee and left him without one, putting in a cement antibiotic ball-type spacer to help the healing process. Since he had no knee he was limited. He watched a lot of Netflix. There are reasons binge watching is not a good idea, pet obsession is one of them. Kidding. Anyway he watched one show in particular that was set in Europe where hedgies run wild. Tiggywinkles wild animal hospital in the UK rescues hedgehogs and adopt them out to folks who will give them a lovely backyard and possibly even a charming little hedgehog house. Oddly, it’s much more difficult to obtain a hedgehog here in the states. Many states have forbidden them. I believe this is due to the fact that in a milder climate their population might explode and we’d then be like the UK needing to rescue wild hedgehogs. In Iowa and Nebraska you have to be a certified breeder. And these cute little things are not inexpensive to purchase. So. As my husband’s want grew, I let our adult children know of the perfect Father’s Day gift. I also found a breeder who was running a spring sale.  Our hoglets were almost a BOGO (buy one get one free).

They are inexpensive to feed, mostly, they eat high protein cat food and not much of it. In the wild they eat snakes and bugs so I would definitely recommend you adopt a few if you are in the UK. Surprisingly, they don’t smell as bad as hamsters and guinea pigs. I use shredded paper bedding. They have solid plastic wheels they run in and smooth large plastic bins they live in so their little toes don’t get caught and injured. Temperature seems to be the biggest concern most of the time. If they get chilled they can go into hibernation mode which will kill them so I run a ceramic heat source over their cages to keep them cozy. They also have micro fiber pineapple cozy tents that they spend 90% of their time in.

14322462_10157365831775375_2955655823267440153_nAre they sharp? Heck yeah! You know those wire grill brushes? That sharp. And they don’t like to be picked up. And they will be happy to live in cozy pineapples and eat the food you provide every day and then hiss and jump and puff and pout when you want to interact with them. The biggest thing to do to tame them is get over being scared and cuddle with them every day. I have sewn little snuggle bags that I slide them in hold every night so we bond.. You pick them up gingerly by sliding your hands up under them. If they are freaked out they are literally a ball of dried out Christmas tree needles, If you turn them over belly up they will eventually unroll and begin moving then walking around. Note: Walking around generally involves an initial poo session so be prepared. Once that’s over, it’s all good. Their tails pop out when they get ready to go so there is a bit of warning. Or you could put them in a large hamster ball and let them get it out of their system before cuddle time, but note there is much cleanup involved there, too.

If you’re fascinated with the idea of hedgehogs, go meet one first. Mine are not likely going to become internet sensations because I’m not going to be making them little hats and setting up cute tea party scenes. I might consider putting them in muffin tins, but I only have two. Daffodil is a little fuller figured and might be a bit of a huge muffin top.

QPQ: Wow. That’s quite the introduction to your hedgehogs!  I hope your husband has made a full recovery. It’s clear that Daisy and Daffodil bring you both joy. Tell us how you came up with their names?

61tvSrINcpLKK: I gave my husband suggestions. We had to do something alliteration-ish because we have the beagles, Gertrude and Gladys and it only seemed right. Miss Jaster’s Garden involved flowers and hedgehogs so I thought Daisy and Daffodil might be good choices. In the end the man on pain meds picked.

QPQ: Perfect! How do Daisy and Daffodil help you in your writing?

KK: Not in the least. Okay, they give me another angle to find metaphors or similes?

QPQ: Have you ever written one of your hedgehogs into a story?

KK: I have not yet. But who knows, there’s plenty of inspiration. Especially with character development.

QPQ: Tell us three things you and Daisy and Daffodil have in common.

KK: Oh, my if I could sleep in a cozy micro-fleece pineapple many hours of the day, I believe I would. Two, sometimes I get bristly but I’m a sweetheart once I unroll. Three, I can do a huffy puffy complaint session like nobody’s business. But once I’m over it I move on.

QPQ: Well said, Kelly! Thank you for visiting the Quid Pro Quills.

 unnamedKelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite awhile ago, but alas . . . she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly, though she lives with her husband, two Beagles and two hedgehogs in Iowa, can be found at Novel Rocket, Novel Reviews, Scrambled Dregs, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter with flashes of brilliance (usually quotes), randomocities, and learned life lessons.

 

 

Tags: , , ,

Playing the Comparison Game

 

compare-643305_1280I recently watched a sermon series by Andy Stanley called The Comparison Trap. In it, he talks about how we humans look to the right and to the left to find out if we’re okay. It’s how we decide if we’re doing well or failing, if we’re good enough or not quite making the grade.

I don’t consider myself somebody who falls into this trap often, but listening to him, I realized how I subtly compare myself and my family to others. I compare how we look, how much money we have, the size of our house, what kinds of cars we drive, where the kids go to school, what we do for work… The list is as long as the unique things that define us.

But by comparing my family to others, I’m discounting God’s hand in our lives. I’m judging God’s plan for me based on what He has done for others. And in doing so, I’m throwing myself into an unwinnable game. For every person I compare well to, there are two or three (thousand?) others who are far exceeding me.

But God’s way is better. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.  For we are each responsible for our own conduct” (Galatians 6:45 NLT).

So what’s the solution? Not that I’ve arrived—not even close—but I find I need to keep my focus on God and what His plans are for me. If I focus on my work and pay attention to accomplishing all God has given me to do, then I have little time or reason to compare myself to others.

Maybe my books don’t sell as many copies as another author’s books, but as long as I write what God wants me to write, I’m a success in His eyes. My children have their own dreams, and their plans don’t include top-level colleges. But God looks at the heart, not the resume. Maybe somebody else’s husband has more worldly success than mine does, but my husband loves the kids, he loves me, he loves God, and I suspect God is pleased with him. So who cares what somebody else’s husband is doing?

We’re walking the path God laid out for us. We’re doing our best and striving to obey Him. Success comes through obedience, and since God’s plan for us is different than his plan for everyone else, the comparison game is one nobody can win.

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Connect with Robin at her website, follow her on Facebook, or keep up with her releases by joining her newsletter list.

 

Tags: , , , , ,