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Archive for January, 2017

BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 29 January 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – BELLANOK by RALENE BURKE

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TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – BELLANOK by RALENE BURKE

 

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A young pastor who doesn’t know his strength or calling. A mythical queen who needs him to save her land.

 

Brian Reynolds had a plan. But God had a different plan. Brian had a heart for the Gospel but he wanted to pastor an easy little church in a comfortable country town. Not in a crime ridden, inner city neighborhood. What did he have in common with thugs like that?

 

Fauna’s world was dying and it was time for the vision to become reality. But she must leave her realm, Bellanok, to bring the man to her world.

 

That man is Brian Reynolds.

 

Confronted with Truth he denies, Brian resists Fauna and her guardian’s proposition. Until demons materialize and Brian comes face to face with evil in flesh form. Suddenly he is fleeing with Fauna and Roman—straight to Bellanok.

 

The land is nothing he’s ever seen and everything he’s heard of—in fantasy tales. But even he can see the destruction of death and sin upon Fauna’s world. What he doesn’t see is how he is their savior.

 

Will Brian rise to the occasion? Can he embrace this role thrust upon him? Will he see Creator’s purpose in all that is foreign to him? Can he save Bellanok?

 

 

Ms. Burke’s debut novel brings to life a bevy of favorite fantasy creatures, living in an innocent protected realm. As these creature encounter sin and death, the Gospel message becomes reality, even to fairies and centaurs and dragons. Ms. Burke weaves Truth into fantasy, and victory into darkness. The world she creates is vivid and real, the characters alive with passions and fears. She portrays evil with discernment and understanding of its power—that of deception and fear.

In a classic tale of good vs evil, Ms. Burke brings truth to the battle, and characters that readers will love.

 

 

 

This book was given to me as a gift from a friend. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

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Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE BEYOND! She has worked for a variety of groups/companies, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients.

Her first novel, Bellanok, is available on Amazon!

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

 

 

 

http://raleneburke.com/

http://raleneburke.com/blog/

https://twitter.com/RaleneB

https://www.instagram.com/raleneburke/

https://www.pinterest.com/raleneb/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ralene-burke-7b922433/

https://www.facebook.com/RaleneBurke/

https://www.amazon.com/Ralene-Burke/e/B016PHY8BI/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

 

 

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Bellanok, Ralene Burke, The Reluctant Savior Series

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BLOGWORD – 30 January 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – LORI GRANNISS

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – LORI GRANNISS

 

Broken Wings

 

This is a year of new beginnings and divine reset.

 

“Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.” Isaiah 42:9

 

It hurts sometimes when our wings are broken by those we love. A friend sent me a picture of a church sign that read “ Don’t break a bird’s wings and then tell it to fly.”

 

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The Lord declared to me that this is the season where He will place His loving balm on those who are broken. Even God’s own children have been wounded. Some were wounded by the church. It cuts deep when you are wounded by someone that you are supposed to be able to trust. You may have had someone hurt you. You may have lost a loved one. You may be numb from the life events that have come your way. God longs to heal your pain. God has taught me that He will gently lead me back to the painful events from my life in His timing to heal me, allow me to release forgiveness, and set me free! This season you will begin to feel new freedom in your situations. Where you were once numb, you will slowly start to feel again!

 

There is something interesting about those who have had broken wings. They feel deep compassion for others. They feel compassion that they might not have felt, had they not gone through their trial. God is going to use what you have been through so you can help others who have to walk in your shoes. You can turn the hard times into something beautiful as you help someone else.

 

I had a vision that I was fishing and the fish I caught were very slimy. The Lord told me, “the people you are about to share my love with are going to look messy but do not throw them back.” The Lord is doing a new thing. It will look different. We can’t have an old wineskin for what God is about to do. We have to be open to the new thing He is doing. I think sometimes we get comfortable with what we are familiar with, especially in the church. God is looking for people who will step out of their familiar comfort zone. He’s looking for “good samaritan” hearts, people who will stop and help someone in need and not pass them by. He’s looking for those who will do these things without the need for praise from others. He’s giving those who are willing a divine reset to learn to walk in the Spirit. One of the things that has truly helped me walk in the Spirit right now is to block negative media voices. I only read and listen to things that will uplift my spirit. With social media there are so many sources of information trying to bombard us. We can take what is available to us and use positive resources to encourage us. This has been a huge key to victory for me. I personally enjoy Charisma Magazine and Elijah List. I pray you have an amazing year!

 

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lori-grannissLori Granniss is the author of Now is the Time to Walk in the Spirit and a freelance religious and math curriculum writer. She is also a small business owner of  Blitz Card Fundraising. She writes on the blog Inspire Hope Magazine. She lives in Shelby, North Carolina with her husband and two sons.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/inspirehopemagazine/
https://www.facebook.com/blitzcardfundraising/

Instagram is @bargainshopperlady

 

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Face, #NWNG, Guest Post, Lori Granniss, Broken Wings

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 29 January 2017 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – REST IN ME

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – REST IN ME

 

Some days are better than others. And I’ve had a few, shall we say, difficult ones. And right now I’m just utterly drained. There’s a quote I’ve seen / heard,

 

“When you can’t see His hand, trust His heart.”

 

And that’s where I’m at right now. Tired and tired of being tired, running on empty, leaning on Jesus, and looking to Father’s Word. He’s got this, and He’s got me.

 

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Rest in Me

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BLOGWORDS – Saturday’s in 2017 – WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES

WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES

 

I like to cook. And I like to invent my own recipes. And I like to try other people’s recipes. And now I’m going to share them with you.

 

If you’ve a recipe you’d like to share leave a comment below or email me at robinemason212@gmail.com

 

NOTE: All recipes must be used with permission.

 

#Blogwords, What’s Cookin’ in Your Kitchen, #RandomRecipes, #AuthorsEat #AuthorsCook

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 27 January 2017 – FIRST LINE FRIDAY – BELLANOK by RALENE BURKE

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FIRST LINE FRIDAY – BELLANOK by RALENE BURKE

 

  Reading is My SuperPower

Bookworm Mama

Singing Librarian

Faithfully Bookish

Radiant Light

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

All the Book Blog Names Are Taken

Fiction Aficionado

Bibliophile Reviews

 

 

 If you’d like to join us on your blog for First Line Fridays, shoot Carrie @ Reading is My Superpower an email and let her know!

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 THE BLURB:    

A haven for myths and legends . . . until evil discovers a way in. With evil darkening the mountains to the north, the fairy queen, Fauna, must journey from the island realm of Bellanok to the modern world to find the man the Creator appointed to save their kingdom. A man she has been dreaming of her whole life. Brian is a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up on God. He’s tired and frustrated–a failure. No sooner does he make a decision that jeopardizes his career than an unusual blonde woman shows up and tries to convince him he is some kind of savior. Fauna must open Brian’s eyes to a different reality, and Brian needs to embrace the haven’s secrets. If neither of them succeeds, Bellanok will succumb to evil and the world will lose all trace of innocence.

 

THE FIRST LINE:   

Fauna coaxed a flower to bloom and leaned in to inspect it.

 

MY THOUGHTS:    

Just got started with this book, and not a genre I’ve read much, but I love the natural way Ms. Burke mingles the supernatural with the natural. I think too often we, as Christians, miss the supernatural move or voice of God because we’re so wrapped in the natural world we live in.

 

 

GENRE:

Spec Fiction

 

STARS:

slide5     Just started reading, so far so good

 

#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, Bellanok, Ralene Burke

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 26 January 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – REVIEWER INTERVIEW – CELESTA THIESSEN

CHAT THURSDAY – REVIEWER INTERVIEW – CELESTA THIESSEN

 

“Being a writer is magical – spinning nothing into stories – stories that can light the way to a different world.”

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“Settings are easy for me because that’s what’s always going on in my mind. I tend to spend very little time in the present in the real world. Most of my time is spent far away in fantastic places. I like my invented worlds because they’re unique and exciting and the dangers are life and death.”

 

rem:  Hullo Celesta and welcome! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

CELESTA:  I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It’s the largest city in Manitoba – near the center of the continent of North America. I really enjoyed growing up there, right across the road from a huge shopping mall. It was a great place to live. Now I live in Steinbach, Manitoba. It is a very small city (more like a town, really) that is one hour away from Winnipeg. I just love it here because it’s so quiet, there’s no traffic and it’s a more Christian community with lots of churches and Christian heritage.

rem:  And not a little bit cold right about now, I imagine! BRRRR  Tell us three things about yourself.

CELESTA:  I’m a homeschooling mom, I have a business with my husband making apps for iPhone and iPad, and I write books for Jesus.

rem:  Books I knew, writing apps I did not! What do you do as a hobby?

CELESTA:  My hobbies are reading, taking photos and LARPing. Live Action Role Play(LARP) is like playing adventures dressed up in costume in a world like in Lord of the Rings.

rem:  LARP’ing sounds like so much fun – I’m an actress don’tcha know! What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

CELESTA:  Soldier – I’ve watched that so many times. I just love that movie! As for TV shows, I don’t love them as much as movies but I recently enjoyed watching Super Girl. I also really liked Once.

rem:  Haven’t seen that one (Soldier) but will take your recommendation to see it! What is the first thing you notice about people?

CELESTA:  This is the first time I’ve actually thought about that question. But the first thing I notice about people is if they are looking at me. I guess I look to see if they are paying attention to me to see if I should try engaging with them. I find connecting with people hard so if they’re not even looking at me then I usually just go back into my own world in my head.

rem:  Interesting take on it but oh so true! Hugs or kisses?

CELESTA:  Kisses, totally. But hugs are nice too, but only with close family. I’m not a hug-everyone type of person.

rem:  I need some kisses in my life! Hugs too! Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

CELESTA:  My favorite Bible verse is 1 Samuel 16:7b– “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I feel like a lot of people don’t understand me or get where I’m coming from. But God gets me. He made me the way that I am and he knows my heart.

rem:  Isn’t that so comforting, that no matter what, God “gets” us!! If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

CELESTA:  My super-awesome, brilliant, patient, kind, supportive and attractive husband, Leo. I’m SO lucky ❤

rem:  Best.answer.ever What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

CELESTA:  I think Christian fiction is important because it gives an alternative to the soulless, misleading mainstream fiction that is pushing the enemy’s agenda. It can lead people closer to the Truth (Jesus) and help people grow in their relationship with God.

 

I feel like God called me to write. I think being pushed outside of your comfort zone makes you grow. I always hoped I would be able write a book one day. Now I have over 30 books published. I couldn’t have done it without God. Writing has made me tune into him more and rely on him and follow him more closely.

rem:  I agree, well written Christian Fiction draws us closer to Father and to the Truth. And yes, I also believe Father called me to write. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?  

CELESTA:  I’ll stop reading a book if I don’t care about any of the people in it or if I can’t see it. Sometimes when I’m reading an indie book the description is so sparse or confusing that I have trouble seeing the story.

rem:  Yeah, I tend to go overboard with description… LOL  Which is more important: plot or characters?

CELESTA:  Honestly it’s characters. My favorite genre is sci fi so I love plot and action! But the reality is that I’ll read a good sweet romance if the characters are great and I’ll love it but I’ll drop a sci fi book if I don’t care about the people in it.

rem:  Isn’t that true in life, too, though? If we don’t care about the person we are less vested in what happens to them? What would you do if you weren’t writing?

CELESTA:  If I wasn’t writing I’m pretty sure I would feel way more miserable like I did for the first ten years of my working life – being a round block trying to fit into a square hole. I used to be a schoolteacher.

rem:  Oh how well I know the round block in a square hole syndrome!!  Too many years! And I’ve never been happier with what I’m doing than with my writing! What are you reading right now?

CELESTA:  I’m studying scripts right now because I’m going to write for TV one day. Also, I’m reading, Save the Cat – a book on writing screenplays. I feel like I’m learning a lot about story structure.

rem:  How fun is that! I mentioned I’m an actress, ya’d think I’d want to write scirpts but nope, no interest in that at all! LOL  What do you munch on while you write?

CELESTA:  Nothing. I need to focus and have trouble doing two things at once. I’m one of those people who can’t chew gum and walk J

rem:  LOL  I don’t listen to music (or nothing) at all when I’m writing for the same reason – too distracting. (I do have to eat though, blood sugar… ) Tell us a little about your writing journey.

CELESTA:  I wanted to be a writer since I was twelve years old. The summer when I was sixteen I really tried to write. But I found is SO difficult that I basically gave up on it as a career goal. Then when I was 32 God closed every other door to me so that I was forced to really consider doing this writing thing that I knew he wanted me to do all along.

rem:  Isn’t it “funny” how Father narrows our path like that? What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

CELESTA:  I write in my office. My office is the walk-in closet in my bedroom. My routine is that I wake up in the morning by 6am, sometimes earlier. I do some Bible memorization then I start in on my writing. I do most of my writing in the morning before 8am.

rem:  Yikes! And kudos to you, ya morning person you! LOL  What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

CELESTA:  The constant struggle is battling the enemy’s never-ending barrage of lies. I can’t do it. No one will read my stories anyway. What I do doesn’t matter. No one cares what I do. My stories aren’t any good. I’m not a real writer. I have 20 sticky notes up on the wall in my office. Everyday before I start my writing I read these things out loud to myself. On the sticky notes are Bible verses and other things I believe that God wants me to remember. I also sometimes listen to Christian music to drive away the paralyzing negative thoughts.

rem:  And he’ll do whatever he can to stop us from fulfilling Father’s will and plan for us, won’t he? You keep your focus on Father and His Word and the enemy (and his lies) can’t touch you! Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

CELESTA: Making up stories in my head is the easiest part for me. It’s the getting them down AND the perfecting them parts that are hard work.

rem:  Right. I’ve had stories in my head always! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

CELESTA:  Spinning nothing into stories that can light the way to a different world.

rem:  Beautifully said, Celesta. What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

CELESTA:  The hardest part about publishing was learning how to do it and publishing my first story. Now the actual publishing of the stories is easy for me. Once you learn how to format them the right way for the different places then it’s easy.

rem:  What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

CELESTA:

  1. Write what you love.
  2. Just write anything (you can always fix it later).
  3. Do what only you can do – tell the story that only you can tell. rem: love this one!

 

  1. Don’t Compare – Comparing is a trap that makes you lose! à If you think you’re better -that’s pride. If you think you’re worse you’ll just feel bad. Your journey might not be the same as other people. Success is to obey God.
  2. Don’t listen to the voices that tell you that you can’t do it.
  3. Don’t give up. If you don’t give up you will succeed, eventually.

 

 

rem:  You write a variety of stories—sci fi / fantasy, kids stories, inspiration, and a devotional—where do you get your greatest ideas for writing? (And how do you keep up?)

CELESTA:  I haven’t written a devotional. I have written a marriage book, though. After 20 years of marriage and walking a journey from a horrible marriage to a beautiful, fulfilling, God-honoring marriage I feel I have a lot to share on the topic J

 

I get ideas from life, TV, movies, books, dreams and after that I just make random stuff up. I never really know which ideas are the greatest until I start writing them down or sometimes when I hear others respond to the story. As for keeping up I’m still figuring that out. I feel like I’m juggling and I drop the balls sometimes.

 

rem:  Oops, thought it was a devotional!   :-O  What a wonderful testimony, and even more wonderful of you to share what you’ve learned. You’ve co-authored several books with your daughters. How do you balance that and who does what?

CELESTA:  When I write with my daughters I sit at my computer and write while they shout ideas and phrases at me that I incorporate into the story. In our story there is one character that represents each of them so that character usually speaks with my daughters’ exact words.

rem:  Sounds like a fun set up. I’m hoping to collaborate with my granddaughter – she’s eleven. How do you choose your characters’ names?

CELESTA:  To choose characters names I sometimes get help from Facebook friends. I describe the character and ask for help naming them. People tend to like that and I really appreciate their input. Sometimes, when I’m in a rush, I just name them the first name that comes to mind. When I do that, though, half the time I end up changing it because the name doesn’t end up suiting them.

rem:  I’ve done both but my main characters introduce themselves to me so their name is “predetermined.” Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

CELESTA:  Never. About half of the time I have setting, main characters, problem and the resolution to the problem. But these latest two books I started writing with nothing at all and just pantsed it. (Wrote it flying by the seat of my pants.)

 

rem:  Ya, 100% Pantzer here! Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

CELESTA:  My current project is THE DREAMERS. It is a sequel to WHISPERS OF A FADED DREAMER – which is currently free on Amazon!

 

http://viewbook.at/Faded_Dreamer

 

rem:  What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

CELESTA:  I like this book because it shows that God can rescue any situation, no matter how bad it is, if we turn to him.

rem:  I think that’s the saddest thing ever, for someone to feel God cannot reach into their circumstance and redeem it and them for His glory. Talk about lies of the enemy!  😥  Tell us about why you wrote this book.

CELESTA:  I just started typing and that’s what came out.

rem:  Pretty much my modus operandi. Please give us the first page of the book.

CELESTA:  Okay, how about I give you the first page of the first book in the series. Giving you the first page of the second book would be a major spoiler J

 

This is the story of a faded dreamer for that is what I am.

I was sitting on a large, flat rock on the sandy beach. With the city behind me, I looked out over the calm blue water as the sun shone down on me. But the warmth of the sun and the gentle breeze didn’t touch my soul. I was alone. The horror was fading but tears filled my eyes again. I’d lost everything. I wouldn’t be able to help anyone, ever again. Tears spilled out and coursed down my cheeks. I let myself cry. There was no reason to try to be brave anymore.

“Now, who will dream my dreams with me?” I whispered.

 

***

 

“Cara Pierce, you know I don’t like you helping all the guys all the time.” Dennis stood too close to me in the school hallway. He towered over me, regarding me with his serious blue eyes. He was so sincere but…really? Scolding me and calling me by my full name?

Taking in his lanky features and fair hair, I took a small step back and tried for a smile. “I help the girls too.” I didn’t like where this conversation was going…again.

“It’s just…I’m your boyfriend. I want you talking to me, spending time with me.”

“I know…but you’re not in my Math class. My teacher likes that I help the other students understand how to do the assignments.”

“That’s not the point. I’m a guy. I know what guys are like. You’re a pretty, blue-eyed red-head. I know what they’re thinking. You’re sending the wrong signals, Cara. I don’t like you flirting with other guys.”

I looked at him incredulously. “Dennis…it’s not flirting – at all.”

He had been talking so loudly that people were staring at us. Dennis glanced down at his watch. “Gotta go. The bell’s about to ring.” He turned away from me and walked quickly down the hall.

Reluctantly, I entered the brightly lit classroom. I took my usual place, at a desk beside Jason, someone who appreciated my help. But it really wasn’t flirting.

Our elderly Math teacher went up to the front and droned on for a while about the topic of the day. I tried to pay attention to the examples that he put up on the board. Opening my binder and pulling out a pen, I copied down the problems and their solutions. I wondered if I should feel angry at what Dennis had said or if I should feel guilty. But the truth was that I felt bad about it already and I wondered how I would be able to make things up to him. I’d have to make sure I wasn’t sending the wrong signals. I wasn’t trying to send the wrong signals. Were boys really so complicated? I sighed. Dennis was such a good guy. I really loved him. But I was just never able to do good enough – even when I was really trying. There was an ache in my heart again. It seemed like I’d been struggling with that for a long time. I blinked and tried to refocus on the examples. It would never do to cry in class.

Finally the teacher stopped talking and wrote down which questions we needed to do from the textbook. After re-explaining how to do these problems to Jason, I started on the questions myself.

“How about a little help over here, Angel?” a guy called from across the room.

 

rem:  Um, okay, I’m hooked! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

CELESTA:  I hope they see truth in my books and feel hope.

rem:  And that’s what the life of a believer is all about, isn’t it? Anything you’d like to add?

CELESTA:  If you have kids you might also like to check out these interactive Bible story apps for iPad that my husband and I have made. http://visionsencoded.com/interactive-bible-stories/

 

rem:  Wonderful! I’ll check that out for my grandgirls. Celesta, thank you so much for chatting with us on my blog today!  It has been my pleasure to have you here!

 

rem:  And where can we find you online?

CELESTA:

http://viewauthor.at/Celesta

http://celestathiessen.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCelesta/

https://www.amazon.com/Celesta-Thiessen/e/B0073JA7DQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

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#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Celesta Thiessen, Whispers of a Faded Dream, Amber Rain, Dragon and Warrior, Salt Eden, Nightcat, Please Fix My Marriage

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Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. —Psalm 24:7 (NKJV)  I had a dream once where Jesus walked through the door. He was rig…

Source: Wednesday Wisdom – DWELL

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 25 January 2017 – WREADING WEDNESDAY SPECIAL EDITION RELEASE EVENT – RECONCILIATION by AMY BROCK MCNEW

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WREADING WEDNESDAY SPECIAL EDITION RELEASE EVENT – RECONCILIATION by AMY BROCK MCNEW

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Some ghosts from the past refuse to stay dead.

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Gutsier. Edgier. Deeper and darker.

 

Anger rages. It rears its ugly head and takes control. Sneaks in and sneaks up, and snakes around your self-control, infesting your peace with turmoil.

 

As Liz and Ryland’s journey continues, the demons they face are more deceiving, more subtle. And much more evil.

 

But the fiercer battles, the uglier demons are the ones they fight on the inside. Their personal demons.

 

“Humans reacted so often out of emotion. Especially anger. They never seemed to realize it debilitated them and left them vulnerable. They didn’t think clearly when running on rage and that played right into Kade’s hand.”

 

When the battle rages around, Liz strikes out. She has reinforcements. But when the battle is within, there are no reinforcements, and to strike out is to strike inward.

 

Can she overcome the boiling rage that torments her? Can she allow herself to become the woman and warrior God created her to be?  Can she conquer the beast within and walk in the fullness of God, accepting all He has for her?

 

 

Ms. McNew continues the story of Liz and Ryland, taking it to deeper levels of truth. Self-examination. And self-discovery. As the battle mounts around them, so too do they both face more intense wars within. Ms. McNew has generated more depth to her characters, woven a more intricate story tapestry. She has added new levels to an already riveting story, with real-life issues that bring an element of truth to the fight against the forces of evil. I was there with Liz as she struggled to quell the storm within, I cried with her when time and again, she fell short. I urged her on as Ryland came by her side with his love and encouragement. I rooted for them both as from the sidelines every time they went to battle.

Ms. McNew has done it again, and surpassed the high bar she set with Rebirth. I was drawn into this story, and saw much of myself in the human condition Ms. McNew so aptly portrays.

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

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amybrockmcnew-headshot

Meet Amy Brock McNew. Author. Blogger. Fighter.

Amy Brock McNew doesn’t just write speculative fiction, she lives and breathes it.

Exploring the strange, the supernatural, and the wonderfully weird, Amy pours her guts

onto the pages she writes, honestly and brutally revealing herself in the process. Nothing is

off-limits. Her favorite question is “what if?” and she believes fiction can be truer than our

sheltered and controlled realities. Visit AmyBrockMcNew.com to learn more about this

intriguing author.

 

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/AmyBrockMcNewAuthor

https://twitter.com/AmyBrockMcNew

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/26955721-amy-mcnew

Purchase Link (L2L2 website): http://bit.ly/2h0CoeY

Facebook Launch Party Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/2046488562244483/

 

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Thanks for having me, Robin! So, what exactly do you want to know? I’m an open book!

  1. What do you want readers to get from reading Reconciliation? There’s so much. It’s kind of a loaded book. Pretty heavy with some scary topics. But there are a couple overarching ideas I’d like people to walk away with. First, don’t be afraid to trust because you’ve been hurt before. There are people who love you, who you can depend on, and who are worthy of your trust. Don’t doubt them because of someone else’s actions. And of course, you can definitely trust God. Second, He is unchanging, as is His love. There is nothing you have done that can make Him stop loving you and trying to bring you back into His arms. Lastly, your past may be a part of you, it may have shaped you, but it doesn’t own you. Be open about it, use its lessons, and move forward in honesty and courage, knowing the past only has power over you if you give that power.
  2. What would you say is an interesting writing quirk you have? I don’t have any odd quirks, at least, I don’t think. I HAVE to have music. I can write without it, but I don’t like to. It seems like it’s more difficult to get the words out. My playlists for each character, scene, and chapter help me get in the right head space. Without it, it feels like something’s missing.
  3. What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? When I’m not writing I like to work out, usually weights or the heavy bag. I also attend a lot of concerts, crochet, read whenever I have a free moment, play volleyball, play piano, and sing karaoke and play games with my family. It gets loud around here! I’m also learning to throw knives, which is just cool. Other than that, I have a video production company, and I volunteer with a music ministry, A1M. Busy busy.
  4. What is your writing Krypotonite? I’m guessing this means my biggest problem or issue. Hm. Probably being a perfectionist. I regularly push deadlines hard, a real last-minute submitter, simply because I want everything I put out to be as perfect as possible. Being OCD and a writer is sometimes a huge pain!
  5. Do you ever get reader’s block? There is always something I’m in the mood to read. It’s making the time that becomes the problem.
  6. How many unpublished and half-finished book do you have? 1 half-finished, 1 that’s ¾ of the way done, and none that are complete and unpublished. I’ve finished and published everything I’ve written.
  7. What is the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex? I’ve never had a problem writing guys, simply because most of my friends have always been guys. The only thing that trips me up occasionally is why they do what they do, and the fact that many men seem to have issues discussing emotionally charged subjects. I like to know the “why” of my characters actions and reactions, so that can get a little hairy when I’m writing a big emotional scene.
  8. How do you select the names of your characters? I tend to associate certain personalities and even physical traits with certain names. When I’m naming characters, I have these in mind as I go through names. I always look for a particular sound to the name, a singular feel to it. I have the character in my head, so when I search name sites, I already know a general idea of what I’m looking for. I’m also big on meanings of names. Then sometimes, the character comes to me with a name already part of the package. Oh, and my angels? I created those names, meshing Hebrew, Greek, and Gaelic names to create the sound and meaning I wanted.
  9. And finally, what did you edit out of this book? Well, the scene in the pizza place towards the beginning was a lot longer. But you get to see more of that in the first novella, Resistance. And I had to scale back a couple of battle scenes a little. I know people who’ve read it are probably like, “Whoa. That’s scaled back?” I tend toward the graphic side when it comes to battle scenes, and I felt it may have been a bit much for some of my readers. That’s about it. This one was pretty clean right out of the gate.

 

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Author’s Top Ten Favorites

 

  1. Holiday: Halloween
  2. Dessert: German Chocolate Cake
  3. Coffee: Black Rifle Coffee Company. Small, veteran owned, with the richest, strongest coffee ever.
  4. Book: I can’t pick one book. Ugh. Okay, if I have to…Demon by Tosca Lee. I could read that a million times.
  5. Book Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
  6. Date: Coney dogs and root beer from the drive in, at the park, sitting on the tailgate
  7. Vacation location: Myrtle Beach stateside, Scottish Highlands international
  8. Character from TRWC: Ryland. I adore him.
  9. Weapon: Mid-length Katana (Japanese sword), or 9mm SCCY compact
  10. Scripture: Psalm 13

 

Thanks again for letting me crash your blog. It’s been fun!

 

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Blogwords, Wreading Wednesday, Featured Book, Reconciliation, Amy Brock McNew, The Reluctant Warrior Chronicles, Reconciliation, Resistance, #‎TheReluctantWarriorChronicles ‪#‎UrbanFantasy, Author Interview, Top Ten Favorites

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 24 January 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – UNDERSTORY

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TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – UNDERSTORY

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WOWIE! This story grabbed me from the first words and didn’t let go to the end. It still hasn’t.

 

I once read that all families are dysfunctional in some way. The Masters family embodies it. With the mother deceased and the father in prison, one sister on drugs and one deformed, and a stepbrother out for number one—and willing to sell his own sister for personal gain.

 

Lily, however, clings to the shred of survival instinct she possesses. A blizzard changes the course of her attempt to escape her brother’s plans, and lands her in the care of Cam Taylor.

Cam, however, has stumbled into a hornet’s nest of his own—a cold case racially charged murder.

As these two volatile issues collide, Cam and Lily sift through layers of lies, revealing truth underneath.

 

 

 

Ms. Lickel gave me not only real people with whom I could sympathize, but plausible situations that elicited my own apprehension. With each new twist, and there were a bunch, I was as lost as Lily, my trust waning, my desperation for her ratcheting up. I wanted to spit on her father in his cell and gouge her brother’s eyes out (or worse.) I bit my nails as her nephew fought for his life and wept for a ten-year-old little boy so neglected. Ms. Lickel has brought so many pieces to the puzzle of a story and created a mosaic of hope in the end. She has won a new fan in this reader.

 

 

 

 

I purchased this book on Amazon. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

51gry3o9ful-_ux250_Lisa Lickel lives in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction. Her novels include mystery and romance, all with a twist of grace. She writes short stories and radio theater, is an avid book #reviewer and #reader, writing mentor, workshop leader, freelance #editor, and blogger. She loves to encourage new #authors and is a member of Chicago Writers Association, Council for Wisconsin Writers, Womens Fiction Writers of America, and Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp & Writers Retreat. Find more at LisaLickel.com.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Lisa-J.-Lickel/e/B002D66ECC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

http://www.lisalickel.com/

 

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#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Understory, Lisa J. Lickel The Newspaper Code, The Last Detail, Meow Mayhem

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Welcome to my FIRST EVER New Week New Face Feature, with my friend, Amy McNew! Welcome Amy! (repost)

 


Breath and Life

slide 1

 

Thank you so much, Robin, for having me on your blog today! I’m excited to be here and have the chance to speak to new people, and hopefully meet some new friends.

For those who don’t know, I’m the fighter chick. The books I write are speculative in nature, bridging the gap between fantasy and reality. They are all about love and war spanning the realms. On my blog, I discuss war, both spiritual and physical. I talk about those demons we all face, and strive to offer hope in fighting them. I talk about causes that are important to me. I am honest. I am real. Sometimes brutally so. I lay my guts on the page, putting all of me into every post and revealing those parts of myself that can be difficult to uncover. In doing so, I hope that I encourage others to lay themselves open, get real, and above all, understand that they are not alone in their struggles.

Today, I offer you a part of myself. My hope is that you will see there is peace to be had, even in the darkest battles.

Yes, peace.

That’s my word for this week.

I know many of you will probably find that a bit odd, considering I’m the woman that’s always yelling fight! Fight! Fight! But even the fiercest warrior has to have a season of peace. Of rest. Of rejuvenation.

I realized yesterday that it is past time for my season of peace. I’ve been running myself ragged, and haven’t taken the time to reset, to restore my spirit. So today, I’m reminding myself of ways I find peace and rest, and get you to think about the things that breathe fresh air into your life.

There are so many people, places, and things that I find sanctuary in. That are my breath and life. I want to share some of them with you today, in no particular order.

Above is a picture of the White River in Northern Arkansas, not far from where I grew up. This place will always hold a piece of my heart. The smell of pine, the rivers and lake I grew up around, the quiet, being surrounded by nature. When I was younger, all I wanted was to get out of that backwater and see the big world. Now, I return as often as I can, which is not often enough.

 

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These are a few of the crazy people in my life. While often they drive me absolutely batty, each one has at one time or another spoken love into my heart and breathed life back into me when I was fading. For all our ups and downs, we are family and I love these people.

 

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Music. Music is what motivates me. It’s what powers me. I have been a musician and music lover all my life. I find solace in melody, comfort in rhythm. My life has a soundtrack and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

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Martial arts have been a part of my life for 20 years. Though I no longer compete due to health issues, I can still spar lightly, let loose on the bag, work through my forms, and train as hard as always. Even if it’s just me running through a form (think Tai Chi) all by my lonesome, I get a rush. I am centered. I am focused. For that moment, I am powerful.

 

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I would be remiss if I failed to mention my greatest Source of peace. I’ve been involved with church pretty much my whole life. But only in the past several years have I come to have a true, honest, no holds barred relationship with my God, and not just hold to a religion. In opening myself up like that, having faith, I have found peace that is beyond description.

I’ve been in some utterly dark and wretched places, spiritually and physically. Places and situations I thought there was no way out of. Many times I’ve felt that there was nothing but chaos around me, and I had no light to see by, nothing to hold on to. Then I really met my Savior. Once I surrendered, turning everything over to Him without holding back, even in my darkest times I’ve felt Him. He holds me. He comforts me. He whispers to me, letting me know I’m never alone. I’m never without light, even if I have to squint to see it. He infuses me with peace exactly when I need it most.

If you have yet to find that for yourself, I challenge you to reach out to Him. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Now that I’ve laid a little bit more of my guts on the page, how about you? What gives you peace? How do you find rest? Is there a place or person you run to when you need your spirit replenished, when you need to get away from it all, or you just need to be reminded who you are and rediscover your dreams? Share with us! Maybe someone reading this needs some ideas for getting a little fresh air in their lungs. Remember, we’re in this fight together.

On my own blog, I always have a song that follows my post. The melody I’m sharing with you today is an instrumental I find relaxing and soothing. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Thank you again for letting me share with you today.

Fight on friends, victory is ours.


 amy

 

Meet Amy Brock McNew. Author. Blogger. Fighter.

Former nurse and martial artist.

Amy doesn’t just write speculative fiction, she lives and breathes it. She enthusiastically explores the strange, the supernatural, and the wonderfully weird. She pours her guts onto the pages she writes, honestly and brutally revealing herself in the process. Nothing is off limits. Her favorite question is “what if?” and she believes fiction can be truer than our sheltered and controlled realities.

This wife and mom is a lover of music, chocolate, the beach, and cherry vanilla Coke. Her home is a zoo, filled with teenagers–both hers and those she seems to collect–two dogs, a cat, and various fish and amphibians. Strangely enough, her kids are the ones who have to tell her to turn the music down.

It is her firm belief that everyone should have a theme song.

 

You can find Amy at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/AmyBrockMcNewauthor

Twitter: twitter.com/amybrockmcnew

Website: www.AmyBrockMcNew.com

 

amy-books

 

 

#amymcnew, #newweeknewface, #NWNF, #authorbloggerfighter, #specfiction, #peace

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