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Me me me!

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 21 July 2017 – FIRST LINE FRIDAY – REUNION AT CRANE LAKE by ROBIN BAYNE

FIRST LINE FRIDAY – REUNION AT CRANE LAKE by ROBIN BAYNE

 

 

Reading is My SuperPower

http://cafinatedreads.com  |   Singing Librarian   |   Bookworm Mama

Faithfully Bookish   |   Radiant Light   |   Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

All the Book Blog Names Are Taken   |   Fiction Aficionado   |   Bibliophile Reviews

Kathleen Denly   |   Lauraine’s Notes   |   https://joyofreadingweb.wordpress.com/

https://abakersperspective.wordpress.com   |   With a Joyful Noise   |   http://crossromance.blogspot.co.uk/

http://momentsdippedinink.com   |   http://cjaneread.blogspot.ca

 

 

 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!

 

 

 

THE BLURB:  

Colt’s memory is returning after the accident that ended his career. Now he wants to take over his family’s inn, but he’ll have to partner with his former fiancee to be able to afford it. He’ll need forgiveness to make that happen. Tia’s goal is clear: to return the inn to its former grandeur. And she’ll even work with Colt to do so. But like the inn, their relationship needs a lot of work. He broke her heart…can she ever trust him again?

 

THE FIRST LINE:

Colton Reese propped his leather boot on the gray boulder marking the driveway.

 

MY THOUGHTS:  

On the TBR list…

 

GENRE:

Christian Romance

 

 

#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, Reunion at Crane Lake, Robin Bayne

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 20 July2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ – C. KEVIN THOMPSON

CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ – C. KEVIN THOMPSON

I like to see the story unfold, picture it in what I like to call “the movie screen of my mind.” Write it as if someone could easily transform it to the “big screen.” That’s what good novels do, right?”

 

“As with any good fiction, the story must be rooted in truth, fact, and details verifiable by someone. Then, with those facts developed and substantiated, the rest of the “story”-however unbelievable it may appear-will at least seem believable, even possible.”

 

rem:  Hullo Kevin, welcome to my blog! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

KEVIN:  I was born and raised in central Florida where I presently live. But I haven’t always lived here. We had a 13 year hiatus from living in this neck of the woods from 1983-1996. Seven and a half of those were spent in western New York where I attended college (not the whole time, mind you J). Then we lived for three years in Jackson, Mississippi, where I attended seminary. During that three years, we spent six months of it living in the Fort Worth, Texas area (Watauga, Haltom City). Then, we moved to Des Moines, Iowa and spent two years there before moving back to FLA.

 

rem:  That’s a bit dizzying… LOL Tell us three things about yourself.

KEVIN:  #1: I am self-taught on the drums. Can’t read a lick of drum music, but if I can listen to a song, I can pretty much figure out how it’s played and have it down rather quickly. I’ve played in a couple of church praise teams over the years. For a guy who doesn’t own his own set anymore (haven’t for about 20 years), I do okay. J I’d love to play with some group like Third Day or Downhere someday. Not forever, just a jam session. (rem: how cool is that)  #2: I had a chance to go to Taylor University in Indiana on a wrestling scholarship out of high school, but I told my coach no because I didn’t know anyone in Indiana at the time. Silly me.  #3: I’m painfully shy and a bit of a loner. If I have to be in large groups or family get togethers, I can handle it, but I am sure drained after it’s all over. I guess that’s why writing feels so comfortable to me. I could cloister myself for days, look like a beach bum, and get a great deal of writing done…and be perfectly happy. I have guard against that, though. Marriage and family are not fans all the time when you do that.

 

rem:  Cookout—steaks or burgers?

KEVIN:  Why do you have choose? Why not steaks AND burgers?

rem:  Your cookout, your menu, Dude. Beer in a bottle or a can

KEVIN:  Bottle. Everything’s better in bottles. Beer. Wine. Coca-Cola.

rem:  I agree! What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

KEVIN:  Favorite movie? Hopscotch with Walter Matthau (If you can get by Ned Beatty’s mouth). It’s a funny movie, and I love all the classical music in it. Better than the book by the same name, yet both the novel and the script were written by Brian Garfield. (The very first time I saw this movie, it was on TV. They cut out all the scenes with language. So imagine my surprise when I finally received the DVD as a gift and watched it for the first time!)

Favorite TV Show? Wow, that’s a tough one. I’d have to say 24 (The Jack Bauer version), although The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds are a close second, third, and fourth.

rem:  Haven’t seen the movie but will have to check it out now; and Criminal Minds¸YES!!! Beatles or Rolling Stones?

KEVIN:  Beatles, although I like much of what the Stones have produced. I love the “dig” The Beatles made about the Stones in their song, I Dig a Pony. They made fun of the Stones by saying they imitated others, which is very true.

rem:  The things I learn in these interviews! Ha! Vacation: beach or mountains?

KEVIN:  Beach. I love the mountains, too, but there are no mosquitos or black flies at the beach.

rem:  Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

KEVIN:  Romans 12:1-2. Just like Paul was attempting to do when he wrote it, it sums up what the Christian life is all about in two verses.

 

rem:  YESSS!! 12:2 is my signature verse! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

KEVIN:  Jesus was a storyteller. He wasn’t a theologian. He wasn’t a scholar. He wasn’t a teacher of the law, like the ones living in His day. He used story to convey truth. He used imagery to convey meaning. He always used the things of everyday life so everyone could understand (the birds of the air, the flowers of the field, plants, wheat, weeds, mustard seeds, fish, bread, oil, lamps, money, family, etc.). His stories have resonated with people for over two thousand years in the bestselling book of all time. That’s not a coincidence. When you marry story with eternal truth, life happens. rem: emphasis mine  So being a novelist, I try to do the same thing. When I write stories, there is always an overarching spiritual truth, like an umbrella, spreading over the story. Because of this, it has helped deepen the meaning of truths in scripture in my life as I wrestle with them on the page.

 

rem:  YES and AMEN!! When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

KEVIN:  What makes a story for me? One that grips me. Makes me care about the characters. One that has a storyline I can believe in. One that has purpose. A story that I think about long after the last page is turned. One that is realistic, but stretches me. What breaks a story for me? Pretty much all the opposites. A story that doesn’t grip me. One where I don’t like or care about the characters. A story that has a storyline that seems forced or has no real purpose for existing, or characters that seem too perfect, or too trite, or too religious.

 

rem:  All of the above, especially too religious. Which is more important: plot or characters?

KEVIN:  Neither. Both are equally important, in my opinion. I know books have been written on this subject. Wars have almost been waged at writers’ conferences. But for me, you can have the most amazing story, with conflict galore, but if I could care less about the characters, the story suffers. On the contrary, I could have the best, lovable, likeable character ever created, but if he or she is in a boring, lifeless story, who cares? For me, as a thriller writer, plot tends to overshadow character, but I try to make sure my characters are ones people can love, hate, and empathize with, depending on the character’s arc. I try not to get lost in that argument of which is more important. To me, it’s like the chicken and egg. Which came first? Who cares? Let’s eat!

rem:  Yup, and DiAnn Mills has a lovely little book on that, The Dance of Character and Plot.  What would you do if you weren’t writing?

KEVIN:  Good question. Probably more yard work. Ugh.

rem:  That’s neverending, isn’t it? What are you reading right now?

KEVIN:  The Killing Floor by Lee Child. It’s the first Jack Reacher novel.

rem:  What do you munch on while you write?

KEVIN:  Depends on if I want to be healthy or not. Chips or fruit or candy or ice cream…

 

rem:  Sooo… mood driven, eh? Tell us about “In the News” feature on your website. What is the strangest discovery you have found in your research?

KEVIN:  When I conduct research for my novels, I like to give the readers a glimpse into some of that background. I post things I have found and used in my novels I think they will find interesting or challenging. The strangest “discovery” I found was when I was writing The Serpent’s Grasp, it seemed the scientific world was working for me. Article after article, new discovery after new discovery was being published in this journal or that news site. They were proving the point behind TSG every time. Still are, by the way.

rem:  Life imitating fiction! You have teamed up with World Hope International. What prompted your interest in their work and mission and how much does this topic show up in your stories?

KEVIN:  As I was writing my Blake Meyer series, I knew where it was heading (into the world of human trafficking). I felt led to pray about what I could do about this problem. Besides exposing it within the story, I found out about WHI. They have a HT arm of the organization that helps women and children (primarily), who have been victims of HT, rehabilitate and get back on their feet while sharing the message of Christ with them. I prayed about it, and decided to give a portion of what I earn as a writer to WHI. I feel like it’s so small, but it was something I could do to start. Who knows where it will lead from here. And also, each year, the monies given are matched through a government grant up to a certain amount. Even more good news.

rem:  Sometimes it’s those small actions and gifts that manifest the most. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

KEVIN:  I’ve been writing seriously since I was college. While in seminary, I had several articles published in a denominational Sunday School curriculum as well as some other articles in missions magazines, pastoral journals, and even a local newspaper. Then, in the mid-90s, I decided to try my hand at fiction. I wrote a novel called A Case of Déjà vu. It involves some characters I am now developing into a young adult series. (Eventually, I plan to work my way back up chronologically to that time period of their lives with adult fiction. I foresee many novels in this entire journey.) Then, I wrote another novel for my oldest daughter. It was strictly a labor of love and never intended for it to be published. My third novel was a young adult novel, as I tried my hand at such. All the while, I was learning the craft and never too serious about getting any of it published. In 2006, I started writing the beginning pages, by hand, of The Serpent’s Grasp. Four years later, it was done. It was published in 2012 and won the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction. I’m pretty proud of that accomplishment. (rem: as you should be!)  It has since been republished in a second edition (it’s in pre-order status as we speak!). Since 2012, I have written three more novels, all part of the Blake Meyer Thriller Series: Book 1 – 30 Days Hath Revenge, Book 2 – Triple Time, and Book 3 – The Tide of Times. The first two are available. Book 3 will be out in late August. Books 4, 5 & 6 will be out just as soon as I write them. J I also have another manuscript in the hands of a publisher right now, being considered for publication titled The Letters. It’s a Christmas novel about a woman who receives some letters in the mail in the most interesting way. The byline of this novel is: The world is a crazy place when the living are dead and the dead are alive.

rem:  What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

KEVIN:  It varies. I work full-time as an assistant principal at a middle school. That’s my day job. So when school is in session and it works out, I like to get up about 4:00 a.m. and write for a couple of hours before the day gets rolling. If I can, I also write for about half of Saturday. Then there’s holidays, summers, etc. Writing at night is not always the best for me. I’m usually too tired and create a bunch of deleted scenes when I try to write at night. J

 

rem:  Wait! What??? There’s a 4:00 in the A.M. too??? What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

KEVIN:  Time management. Keeping everything in perspective. It’s a daily fight. As far as how I handle it? One day at a time. Some days, I win. Some days, not so much.

rem:  No.kidding! and yeah, best way to tackle it (or be tackled… ) Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

KEVIN:  Creating. Editing is a bear, but it’s worth it, because what you put on the page the first go around (and second and third…) usually says something, but sometimes it’s not what you meant it to say.

rem:  What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

KEVIN:  The creative aspect. Developing stories readers marvel at is fun. I’ve been told by people they are glad I’m on their side. I’d make a scary terrorist, I guess.

rem:  I have a CSI-worthy story that scared a coworker once! I told her I write this stuff, I don’t do it!  What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

KEVIN:  The hardest thing about being published for me was being good enough to get published. As I stated earlier, The Serpent’s Grasp was my 4th novel. And there had been a great deal of non-fiction writing before that. A close second is building a readership. What’s the easiest? I’m not sure there is anything easy about this business.

 

rem:  True, but it’s still so fun!  Love me my networking!! (and yes, my interviews are work! but I wouldn’t trade them for nuthin!) What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

KEVIN:  1. Keep writing with an eye on improving and never think you have arrived. (ouch) 2. Read good writers in your genre and learn from them as well as books on the craft. 3. Attend a writers’ conference. What you learn and who you meet will be invaluable.

 

  1. Don’t give up when you get a rejection. It won’t be your first or your last. The only people who don’t get them anymore are people who gave up on writing. 2. Don’t get all caught up in making huge plans “once you get your first book published.” Thinking big is okay, so long as it is tempered with a huge dose of reality. 3. Don’t compare yourself to other authors. It’s never a fair fight because God called you to write something. He also called the other author to write something else. You’re comparing apples and oranges when you fall prey to this.

 

rem:  That’s some good stuff there, Kev! #RevKev How do you choose your characters’ names?

KEVIN:  I try to make the name fit the character. I know who the character is going to be, so finding the proper name is important. Also, sometimes, it’s about cadence. Blake Meyer was designed to be like most of the other thriller, espionage, murder mystery names out there. Most of the popular ones have one or two syllables in the first and last name, but no more. James Bond. Jack Reacher. Jack Bauer. John Ryan. Sherlock Holmes. Not too many famous FBI or MI-6 agents out there called Englebert Kadiddlehopper. In young adult fiction maybe, but not adult fiction.

 

However, I do have a little Thomas Kincaid in me. Like he did with the letter of his wife’s first name appearing in all his paintings, I have used my family member’s names in various ways for character who have bit parts. For example, in The Serpent’s Grasp, there are two characters with the last names Wiggins and Higgins, the married last names of my middle and oldest daughter, respectively. I also have used my grandchildren’s names. In the Blake Meyer series, there is a Wichita County Deputy Sheriff whose last name is Landon, a Texas Highway Patrol Sergeant named Colton Lee, a Coast Guard commander named Addisyn Rylee, and a paramedic named Evyn. In upcoming books, I have a Brantley James planned. These are little things that are cool, in my opinion.

rem:  So cool! I’ve done this too, in different ways—and use my own name, robin, in some form or spelling variation. Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

KEVIN:  I know where I want to start, and I know how the story ends. I also know several high points in the middle. For me, though, the fun part is the writing journey from point A to point B.

rem:  Sounds rather Pantser-y to me…. Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

KEVIN:  Well, that’s a tough one because I have two books coming out a month apart. The Tide of Times is Book 3 is a series that will have six books when completed (Blake Meyer series…think 24 with a Christian twist). The Serpent’s Grasp is Jurassic Park in the ocean. If you’d like more details, I’ll just say, head over to my website at www.ckevinthompson.com, and have a look!

rem:  Yes! Always more details! You hear the man, peeps, head over to the website already! (just don’t forget to come back… ) Tell us about why you wrote this book.

KEVIN:  I wrote The Serpent’s Grasp to delve into the topic of Truth from a scientific viewpoint. It seems many in the scientific community no longer wish for truth to be known unless it jives with their beliefs (namely, evolutionary theory). I knew this book would be polarizing, and the reviews have borne that out. But when you are attacking the gates of hell with the truth of scripture, battles abound!

 

rem:  Truth tends to do that, though, doesn’t it—polarize, or maybe crystalize, those very differences. Please give us the first page of the book.

KEVIN:  (I gave you the first two, but unfortunately, the serpent shows up on page 3…)

 

Wednesday, 1:57 a.m.

Atlantic Ocean

Approximately 11 Nautical Miles East/Northeast of Fort Pierce, Florida

 

Tethered to the ocean floor for hours, an eighty-five-foot schooner floated in rhythm with the gentle swells of the Atlantic. The masts, standing vigil in the shadows of the night sky with their sails battened tight, rocked back and forth as solitary sentinels. Under a veil of thin cirrus clouds, the moon beamed a brilliant but dispersed glow upon the vessel whose white underbelly glistened against the backdrop of the watery depths.

A soft breeze, mixing with the smell of salt and sea life, wafted across the deck, carrying the mounting sounds of a quarrel that emanated from the quarters below.

“I don’t care about all that. But obviously you do,” the woman said, putting on her clothes.

The man flopped over onto his back and sighed. “Why does that bother you?”

“It’s becoming clear that our relationship is important when we can have our little trysts, but when it comes to disrupting your cash flow, then whoa, wait a minute. You’ve suddenly got to think it through.”

“That’s not fair, Regina, and you know it. If I divorce Evelyn, she’ll want half. Do you know what that means?”

Regina crossed her arms and shrugged.

“I’d have to sell the business. That’s what it means. All that I’ve worked for would be gone. I’d be left with our rental in Fort Lauderdale, this boat if I’m lucky, and a whopping alimony payment.”

Regina closed her eyes and dropped her chin to her chest. “So our relationship is based on your financial future? Wonderful.”

David Sims sat up on the edge of the bed and snatched his polo shirt off the floor. “Look, this is not what I had in mind.” He thrust his arms through the sleeves. “If we’re gonna fight, I might as well go home.”

“I’ve got to know this is going somewhere.” She lifted her gaze and watched him get dressed. “If you’re not willing to leave your wife, then all I am is a plaything, and I can’t live like that.”

David sat for several awkward moments before speaking. “What about your husband? Is it that cut and dry for you? Don’t you feel a little remorse when we’re together?”

“Sure, I do.” Regina unfolded her arms and slipped her hands into the pockets of her shorts. “You know, you’re not the only one destined to lose something in this.”

“But you’re the woman. You should get a healthy chunk of your husband’s money.” David chuckled. “Maybe that would help make our lives easier after the dust settles.”

“Well, I hate to paint a bleak picture for you, Dave, but I won’t.”

“You won’t what?”

“Get anything from my husband.”

“You didn’t.”

 

rem:  That packs a bunch in them thar words! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

KEVIN:  Good writing that gets you thinking, i.e., “smart fiction.”

 

rem:  Where can we find you online? (provide links)

KEVIN:

www.ckevinthompson.com/

www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CKevinThompson.AuthorPage/

https://twitter.com/CKevinThompson

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5765265.C_Kevin_Thompson

 

 

rem:  Anything you’d like to add?

KEVIN:  I am also a regular contributor for Seriously Write: http://seriouslywrite.blogspot.it/

 

Also, Reader Poll: Should I start a Pinterest Page? Yes or No? I’ll let the readers decide! 

rem:  Ooohhh, fun, Reader Poll!!  Aite, ya’ll, there it is! Whatcha’ll think? Pinterest for #RevKev, yes or no? Kevin, thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!

 

 

I’ll go first n I say GO FOR IT! And share your Pinterest link in comments below!

 

“He believes the Bible is not the best-selling book of all time for nothing. It’s about storytelling, and it’s about truth. And when you couple those two things together, it makes for powerful reading. (Of course, divine inspiration puts the Bible in a class by itself!) There’s nothing like a good story that brings home something concrete which a reader can take with them long after the last page is turned.”

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Manly Man Interview Blitz, C. Kevin Thompson, The Serpent’s Grasp, 30 Days Hath Revenge, Blake Meyer Thriller, Triple Time, World Hope International

 

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 18 July 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – NEW RELEASE EVENT – WITH NO RESERATIONS by LAURIE TOMLINSON

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY EVENT – WITH NO RESERATIONS by LAURIE TOMLINSON

                                                                             

There can be more than comfort in food… 

What could well-known and wealthy Graham Cooper Jr. have in common with a blogger like Sloane Bradley, a woman with secrets she’s kept firmly out of the public eye? That is, besides a love of food. Sloane still can’t believe Cooper’s the chef at the restaurant she’s been assigned to promote. But she’s boiling to prove to him that her “little blog” can put his place on the map. She can also fall head over heels for the guy, who has secrets of his own, it turns out…except for one thing. She can’t get past the post-traumatic stress disorder that keeps her walled up in her home studio.

 

He’d arranged a bouquet of colored pens in a chunky ceramic mug printed with the Simone logo. Paper clips, Post-it notes and bigger notepads were lined neatly in one corner, arranged by color. A flutter of picture-perfect giddiness set loose in Sloane’s stomach. Bottles of hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes occupied the other corner.

“It’s not much, but—”

“It’s perfect.”

Their eyes held for less than a second, charged with a rushing revelation for Sloane.

Cooper had been paying attention. And, despite all the weirdness, he got her.

 

rem:   Hullo Laurie! Congratulations on your new(ish) book! (which I loved by the way!) If you could live anywhere in any time period, where would you go?

LAURIEI rather like right now! If I could transplant my life to Colorado Springs or Seattle seamlessly (and adjust for cost of living), I love those two cities!

rem:   Both beautiful locations! Where did you find this story idea?

LAURIEIt started with the idea to have a food blogger for a main character, one whose life was much different off screen than as portrayed on her website. I’m a huge fan of food bloggers and will fall for a pretty food photo (and run straight to the grocery store to make it). J

rem:   Loved how you wove the aspects of blogging and food prep into the fabric of the story. Who was the easiest character to write and why? The most difficult?

LAURIE: The story started with Sloane, but Cooper ended up taking over. He was the easiest to write, surprisingly. His father was the hardest. I kept trying to make him more of a villain than my chosen genre allowed.

rem:   He was a tough cookie, and you did that well. What do you munch on while you’re writing / researching / editing?

LAURIEWhite cheddar popcorn and an iced unsweet Arnold Palmer (lemonade + unsweet tea) for sure.

rem:   Yummm to the popcorn, not so much to the beverage… What do you do to recover once you’ve typed “THE END?”

LAURIECatch up on all the books and all the sleep and all the vegetable consumption, of course!

rem:   I like the vegetable consumption bit! Congrats again on entering the world of authors! Well done!

 

Laurie Tomlinson is an award-winning contemporary romance author living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her stories are fueled by faith, steaming mugs of tea, and her belief that life should be celebrated with cupcakes and extra sprinkles. When she’s not writing, she enjoys baking with her two little sous chefs and testing new recipes on her husband—especially if she doesn’t have to do the dishes.

Find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurieTomlinson or her website, www.laurietomlinson.com.

 

1 – A stick of Irish butter, cubed into tiny uniform squares. Half-cup portions of white sugar, brown sugar, glittering in the light. And the star of the show, a mixture of chocolate chips and crumbled homemade toffee that was good enough to eat with a spoon. All showcased in sherbet-colored ceramic pinch pots and bowls from the flea market.

 

2 – His words became more flavored with French as he spoke, as if saturated by the remnant of this woman in his mind.

 

3 – Cooper recognized the pain in her eyes like he was looking into a mirror. Yes, he was very

familiar with the kind of grief that sneaks up on you. With the dark, smothering bag it throws over your head and the way it pushes you into the back of a moving van.

 

4 – She scanned the room for Cooper and started when she found him looking directly at her. Whoa. She felt like a dunk-tank seat had plunged her into water.

 

5 – “À la bonne heure.” Cooper could almost hear the words Simone often told him as she poured tea into his mug. “In good time.” Had his time finally arrived?

 

6 – But some time while he was in Paris, Marian had become a different person. He’d returned stateside to a full-color version of the woman who’d been living in black-and-white when he left.

 

7 – This was an unfamiliar intersection—memories of Aaron that made her laugh?

 

8 – But Sloane was aware. Aware of a strange, comforting feeling that was a night-and-day contrast to the pain. To the numbness. Was this what peace felt like? It’d been so long that it was hard for her to recognize it when it sneaked up on her.

 

9 – “No, Cooper.” Sloane aimed a razor-sharp glare at him, but her lower lip trembled. “You don’t understand. You can’t even begin to understand.”

 

10 – …can you be free if you won’t forgive yourself?”

 

11 – That sacred juncture between past and present was a powerful departure from the vicious cycle her life had been. The hand in hers was the love that had taught her to breathe again.

 

Wow! What a story!

 

Sloane Bradley is trapped and emotionally broken by a past tragedy. She had her life in order, a very controlled order, and she likes it that way.

 

Graham Cooper Jr. ran from his past, trading one destructive habit for workaholic. But as his new restaurant nears opening, his passion for cooking sizzles—and for a certain food and promotion blogger.

 

Both determined that they’re the last thing the other needs, Sloane and Cooper resist the attraction that simmers between them. But will their pasts put a sweet future in deep freeze? Or can they discard expired emotions and stir up a new recipe for happiness?

 

 

Ms. Tomlinson’s dialogue sparkles, her writing jumps off the page pulling the reader right in. Emotions are real, and raw, and I could taste the pain and longing. I felt the taunting burn of a past that won’t leave them alone, and the anticipation of hope that maybe the tragedies have reached their expiration date. I felt the need to hang onto the familiar and the longing to taste something new. Ms. Tomlinson has a secret recipe for story telling and it makes a delightful dish.

 

 

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

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, New Release Event, With No Reservations, Laurie Tomlinson

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BLOGWORDS – 17 July 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – LYNN DEAN

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – LYNN DEAN

 

What it Means to be a Patriot

 

I came from a non-military family, so when I married an Air Force Officer, I was in for a bit of culture shock. For starters, I had to learn the “alphabet soup” lingo the military uses to describe just about everything. I can now tell you that FOD isn’t good around aircraft engines, that it’s good to know what your BAQ is before you PCS, and that when the ADM is TDY life is rough for the NMS, too. (Translations: Foreign Object Defects aren’t good around aircraft engines. It’s good to know what your Basic Allowance for Quarters is before you make a Permanent Change of Station move, and when the Active Duty Member is Temporary Duty life is rough for the Non-Military Spouse, too.) rem: LOL Through our experience with those who sacrifice to protect and defend the Constitution, I have gained a unique perspective on what it means to be a patriot.

I was shocked, for example, to learn that only about 0.4% of Americans make up our active duty military. That’s 4 people volunteering to pay the price for every thousand who enjoy freedom. I’m a writer, so my mind jumped to a writing comparison. This article is about 1000 words long, and 0.4% of those words would be “I came from a…” That’s not much to go on, is it?

But is it enough?

The answer might be “Obviously” or “Yes, as long as we’re not at war,” but we ARE at war. Most citizens forget that. It’s one of the luxuries of being part of the other 99.6%.

In saying that we are currently defended by only 0.4% of our citizens, it is also worth noting that 7.3% of all living Americans have served in the military at some point in their lives. Slightly over 1% of women and over 13% of men are trained defenders—”sheepdogs”—and most of them would gladly stand in the gap again if the need arose.

At its highest the military was made up of 9% of Americans during World War II. Still, less than one tenth went “over there” after we were attacked on our own soil, yet this “bravest generation” tipped the odds in favor of our European Allies. A popular song of the era promised, “We won’t come back ’til it’s over over there.” Americans kept that promise, defending the freedom of others until every enemy was vanquished.

As a child, I always pictured almost every able-bodied citizen fighting for freedom during the American Revolution. How else could the sparsely populated colonies ever have stood up to the well-trained and well-funded British Army otherwise? While it’s true that almost every freedom-minded citizen joined the militia during the first frenzied fighting, others opposed the revolution. In the end only about 6.5% of the American population participated in the Revolution of 1776 on a regular basis.

So few did so much!

What am I saying? That it’s perfectly fine for the majority of us to sit at home—fat, dumb, and happy as sheep grazing on a hillside—while a few valiant souls defend our comfortable way of life?

Not at all…but neither am I saying that we shall all perish unless the majority “wake up,” as so many pundits on both sides insist. We’ve never required the majority of our population to join the military. I find it very encouraging to observe what a few passionate souls can accomplish even though vastly outnumbered. Think of it! For every six who fought alongside George Washington for our liberty, 94 stayed home beside their cozy fires. I do wonder a bit how their consciences allowed them to sleep in comfort while other men defended their homes and families, but I know with certainty that the heartfelt efforts of a relative few are more effective than a fair-weather crowd of thousands with only lukewarm conviction. These vigilant defenders deserve our admiration and gratitude.

Does that mean those of us who are not in the military cannot be guardians of liberty? Certainly not! There are many ways to show patriotism.

We are patriots when we remember and understand what others have sacrificed and died to provide for us. They died for liberty—the God-given rights of men to direct their lives without limits set by other men. Liberty is different from license, which is the permission men grant themselves to do as they like without regard for other men and with no thought of God. License is self-centered. No one died so that we could live raucously. When I remember that people died to give me liberty, I think of the closing lines of Saving Private Ryan: “I tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that, at least in your eyes, I’ve earned what all of you have done for me.”

We are patriots when we read and study the Constitution others have fought to protect and defend, because it is the document that defines our liberty under God. The Constitution doesn’t grant us rights. God did that. The Constitution is merely a formal recognition of the rights God gave each of us. If we don’t know what our rights are, we won’t even notice if someone takes them away. If there’s something the majority of citizens should “wake up” to, this is it. rem: emphasis mine. The Constitution with all its signatures and amendments contains less than eight thousand words, making it about the length of a short story or article you’d read in a magazine. Surprised? I was! It fits easily into a pamphlet and can be read in less than an hour. Have you read it? The way I look at it, the Bible contains the gift Jesus died to give me, and the Constitution contains the gift our forefathers died to give me. One is the foundation of  my spiritual freedom, and the other lays the foundation for my political freedom. I figure it would be a good idea to be well acquainted with both!

We don’t all necessarily have to volunteer for the military and serve on foreign fronts to be true patriots, but patriotism is much more than baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and fireworks. Patriotism is caring passionately about our history and our culture and tending to the things that matter—the things that made us great, and the things that make us good. Remember, and live deliberately.

 


 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Growing up in Texas, I dictated my first stories to my mom before I was old enough to write them down myself. She humored me, for which I am grateful, and I’ve been telling stories in one form or another ever since.

Fast forward more years than I’ll admit to. Children grown. House quiet. Finally more time to get serious about writing for publication, and what an exciting time to write!

I write about the things I know. The things I love. God, family, history, and how those things fit together.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Dean/e/B008520VOA/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1499976490&sr=1-2

https://www.facebook.com/Wordsworth-PublishingLynn-Dean-161921870546466/

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Lynn Dean, Patriot, U. S. History

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 16 July 2017 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – JUST GET ME HOME

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – JUST GET ME HOME

 

“Just get me home.” I mumbled—begged—in prayer numerous times.

I had been to a memorial service for a special friend. It was twenty miles from my house and the gas gauge was already hovering near empty. As I cruised down the interstate on the way home, I kept thinking, “If I run out now, I can call….” I was hard pressed to decide who I could ask to come rescue me. As I got closer, it turned into, “If I run out now, it’s only XX miles to walk…” And the closer I got, the easier the walk would be.

Then I pulled off of I-85 onto the exit toward my house, and He asked me, “Is that all you want? Just to get home?”

Ummm… “Well, in this moment, yeah. Kinda…”

That shook me. Shook the core of my faith. What was I asking for? Just enough to get by? Or truly Father’s best for me? Because His best is far more than “just get me home.”

His best for me?

 

Isn’t God’s best more—far more—than “just get me home?” More than “just” anything?

So, then, what of my asking? Is it not more humble to ask for “just” what I need? I don’t believe so. And not so I can be a blessing, only. (that’s ‘nother post for ‘nother time) God is God of the infinite. There is no end to Him—or to His source and supply. And if He is my source and supply… then my needs should never go unmet, nor my prayers unanswered. (that goes more to me not listening (or asking askew) but that’s another ‘nother post for ‘nother time)

The effective, fervent prayer…

 

Are my prayers fervent? Well, in my ignorance / lack of knowledge, I was begging and wailing—I think that counts as fervent. And as my faith has grown—in direct correlation to my knowledge of the Word—my prayers have become less begg-y and more confident, deeper felt, and much more fervent.

As to effective, that goes with knowledge. For all the good intention of, “If it be Thy will, Lord,” I cringe at that. His Word tells us His will. As I became more filled with His Word, my prayers began to line up with His will, and are therefore more effective—and powerful—and no more striving.

I no longer pray, “just.” I speak Father’s Word, which is His will, and I know He will honor my prayers. I’m bold in my prayers, and don’t shy away from “big” requests. Really, is anything too big for God?

 

Oh, and that afternoon? Ya, He used that to teach me a pointed lesson. I got home, breathing a sigh of relief as I pulled in by the house. Next day, though, when I went to run errands, it wouldn’t start. You guessed it, on empty. He gave me exactly what I asked for.

Lesson learned.

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Just Get Me Home, Ask and Ye Shall Receive, 1 Corinthians 2:9, Ephesians 3:20, James 5:16, Effective Fervent Prayer, Pray the Word

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Grief

Source: Grief. Death. Suicide. Walking Away. 

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