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Archive for July, 2017

BLOGWORDS – Sunday 30 July 2017 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – A PSALM

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – A PSALM

 

Oh Lord my God

                You are my Master ~

                                The One to Whom I belong

                                                for Whom I live,

                                The One I serve.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my King ~

                                You rule over me justly

                                With perfect righteousness.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my Saviour ~

                                You have saved my life

                                                from eternal doom

                                Daily You retrieve me

                                                from the snare of temptation

                                                from the tempter’s devices.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my Comforter ~

                                You lift me from

                                                my sorrow, my despair,

                                And in their place, You fill me

                                                with hope, joy and peace.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my Lover ~

                                You fill my need for love

                                                to overflowing:

                                You pour on me Love Divine.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my Healer,

                My Holy Physician ~

                                You turn my sickness

                                                into health,

                                My wounds

                                                into wholeness.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my Friend ~

                                We walk and talk

                                                as good friends should and do.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my Resting Place ~

                                In You I find restoration

                                                of spirit, mind, heart and body;

                                In You I am refreshed.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my Source ~

                                I abide in You,

                                                and You fill my heart’s desire;

                                 I dwell in You,

                                                and  find all my needs met.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my Protector ~

                                You shield me from

                                                all  harm and danger;

                                You smooth my path.

                                                and send legions of angels

                                                                to guard me night and day.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my Father ~

                                You teach me the way I should go,

                                                So as I grow old

                                                                I will not depart from it;

                                You discipline me with

                                                firm yet gentle hands;

                                You are eternally patient and merciful

                                                to me in all my erring ways.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my Light ~

                                You shine in the darkest

                                                of nights;

                                You reveal your heart,

                                                and illumine the Truth.

 

Oh Lord my God,

                You are my Peace ~

                                Flowing like a river;

                                                You set me free ~

                                Abide in me.

 

Dear Lord my God,

                You are my Peace, my Joy, my Hope;

                                In You I have kindness, gentleness,

                                                patience and grace.

 

Dear Lord my God,

                You are my God.

                                You alone are worthy

                                                of glory and honour.

                                You alone are deserving

                                                of adoration and worship.

 

All praise to You ~

                Oh Lord my God,

 

 

                                ~ Amen

 

                                                © Robin E. Mason

                                                May 1986

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, A Psalm

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 28 July 2017 – FIRST LINE FRIDAY – MISSING by LISA HARRIS

FIRST LINE FRIDAY – MISSING by LISA HARRIS

 

 

Reading is My SuperPower

Molly’s Cafinated Reads  |   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/

A Baker’s Perspective   |   With a Joyful Noise   |   Romances of the Cross

Moments Dipped in Ink   |   C Jane Read

Reviews by Van Daniker   |  Iola Goulton

 

 

 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:  

Nikki Boyd isn’t usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she’s ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant–and another dead body–Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business–including Nikki.

Christy Award-winning and bestselling author Lisa Harris puts you right into the action in this fast-paced thriller.Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She is the author of nearly thirty books, including the Southern Crimes series and Vendetta, winner of the Romantic Times Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2015. Harris and her family have spent twelve years living as missionaries in southern Africa. Learn more at www.lisaharriswrites.com.

 

THE FIRST LINE:

8:25 a.m., Thursday

Nashville suburb

Nikki Boyd slid out of her white Mini Cooper as two bagged bodies were being wheeled from the one-story house nestled in one of Nashville’s nicer suburbs.

 

MY THOUGHTS:  

On the TBR list…

 

GENRE:

Christian Mystery and Suspense

 

 

#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, Missing, Lisa Harris

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 1 July2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ – STEVEN JAMES

CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ – STEVEN JAMES

““Steven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.” – Ann Tatlock”

 

“When I was young, I grew up on a steady diet of stories. Whether it was my uncle telling us ghost stories around a campfire or the short story collections I devoured in my early teens, or the Stephen King books I later found myself engrossed in, stories have always been a huge part of my life.”

 

 

rem:  Hello, Steven, welcome to my little nest. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

STEVEN:  I’m a husband, father, author, storyteller. I love coffee and trail running and science fiction movies. I hail from the great white north where I was born in Wisconsin, but now live in and love my home in Tennessee.

rem:  Tell us three things about yourself.

STEVEN:  I love Cheetos, I write standing up, and I’ve never been to Liechtenstein.

 

rem:  Cheetos, check; writing standing up—what???; and Liechtenstein? I don’t even know where that is… Cookout—steaks or burgers?

STEVEN:  Burger with cheese, mayo, and ketchup. Medium rare is the only way to go.

rem:  Gimme some tomato on that bad boy! Beatles or Rolling Stones?

STEVEN:  Beatles. My elementary school music teacher was in love with the Beatles, so all the songs we sang were Beatles songs. It became part of the fabric of my childhood.

rem:  Love me some Beatles. If you could have any super power what would it be?

STEVEN:  I’d love to be able to walk through anything.

rem:  Save a lot of time not having to go around everything. Fishing or hunting?

STEVEN:  Fishing.

 

rem:  My grandmother LOVED fishing! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

STEVEN:  I think it’s hard to define Christian fiction, just as it would be hard to define Christian photography or Christian sculpture. I think that if fiction tells the truth about the human condition of the world, then it’s honoring to God. Writing has helped me to explore many facets of my faith, especially the ideas of forgiveness and justice.

rem:  Steven, this may be the best answer ever! (‘specially since I don’t write Christian fiction, but I write my faith into my fiction) When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

STEVEN:  Believability. As soon as something happens that I don’t buy, I tune out the story. Also related to this, when things happen without proper motivation, it annoys me and I eventually put the book down.

rem:  Rhyme and reason, right? Which is more important: plot or characters?

STEVEN:  A character with a meaningful pursuit is always the most interesting. Plot is the map that a character takes, so there will always be a journey, but a journey without a character can’t exist, and a character without a quest isn’t interesting.

rem:  Oooh, I like that—“plot is the map…” What would you do if you weren’t writing?

STEVEN:  I think I would be a family entertainer and tell stories for a living.

rem:  When the stories is there they finds a way out. What are you reading right now?

STEVEN:  The next book on my pile is the Marsh King’s Daughter.

rem:  Looks so intense—and it’s in my TBR mound also. What do you munch on while you write?

STEVEN:  Cheetos. Or Kit-Kats.

 

rem:  Both yummy choices but gimme the chocolate and no one gets hurt. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

STEVEN:  I started writing for magazines and then nonfiction books in the late 90s, but eventually found my wheelhouse when I began writing novels in 2006.

rem:  And never looked back! You spent time in Kazakhstan. Tell us about that experience.

STEVEN:  Over the years, I’ve had a few opportunities to teach ministers and children’s workers around the world on principles of creative teaching and storytelling. My visits to Kazakhstan have always been positive and I love the enthusiasm of the pastors and educators I’ve met there.

rem:  Gotta admit I’m a little envious, combining the two elements of storytelling / creativity with teaching and ministering! What is the strangest or most peculiar research or interview you’ve ever done for research?

STEVEN:  For my book The Pawn, I consulted with one of the three people who was still alive who had survived the Jonestown massacre in the 1970s. That’s one interview I’ll never forget.

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

STEVEN:  Mostly, I write in my basement listening to electronica or trance music. I work from a printed page, typically stand, and do most of my best writing in the morning or late at night.

rem:  Late into the night here, every time! What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

STEVEN:  There are so many obligations to being an author that have nothing to do with storytelling. For instance, marketing or social media posting. All of these end up distracting me and making it harder to focus on my work-in-progress.

rem:  Oh.my.goodness.YES! (like this interview?) Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

STEVEN:  Creating. At my heart of hearts I’m a storyteller, not an editor. I like coming up with and expressing ideas, and while editing is important, it’s definitely not my passion.

rem:  Without a good story (created) there’s not much point to editing is there? What do you mean by “Story Trumps Structure,” the title of your book on the craft of writing?

STEVEN:  Story actually trumps everything—grammar, structure, all of the rules that we’re taught about plotting or outlining. Every great story breaks at least one of them. Rather than teach people formulas that might not work, I like to teach storytelling principles that always do.

rem:  My motto is, I know the rules—and I know how to break them. What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

STEVEN:  God made me to be a storyteller and I can’t imagine feeling fulfilled doing anything else.

rem:  A to da MEN! What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

STEVEN:  Over the course of my career, I’ve worked with many editors, some who were excellent but many who were not. Fixing the mistakes of poor editors is the most exasperating thing for me in the world. The easiest thing about publishing is coming up with ideas for books.

rem:  So.many.ideas. So.little.time. What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

STEVEN:  1) Keep everything believable. 2) Don’t fall in love with your first draft. 3) Tell stories that explore moral dilemmas. Three things I would recommend not doing: 1) Plotting out or outlining your story. 2) Joining a critique group. 3) Publishing your work before it’s ready.

rem:  Pantzer here! (don’t think anyone has ever said to NOT join a critique group before!) How do you choose your characters’ names?

STEVEN:  In a sense, I feel like while I work on the book the names reveal to me. Some names just feel right for some characters and there’s no logic or specific process that I know of behind it.

rem:  My [main] characters “introduce” themselves to me. Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

STEVEN:  Absolutely not. I write completely organically. I typically don’t even know how a scene will end when I start writing it, and I’ve never started a book that I’ve known the ending for beforehand.

rem:  And it works very well for you. Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

STEVEN:  Every Deadly Kiss released this summer. FBI special agent Patrick Bowers grapples with a baffling series of murders in Detroit—and discovers a terror plot with roots that stretch back centuries.

rem:  Interesting enough—and then there’s that hook, “… with roots that stretch back centuries.” What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

STEVEN:  The plot twists and turns are one of my favorite aspects of Every Deadly Kiss. If readers like suspense and enjoy a story that they can’t predict the end of, I think they’ll really dig Every Deadly Kiss.

rem:  Go ‘head, readers, go get your copy! Tell us about why you wrote this book.

STEVEN:  I was intrigued by placing a story in Detroit and one of my trips overseas helped me see the bigger picture, and the geopolitical storyline emerged.

rem:  Love how seeming random, disconnected things come together [in our brains] to form a story. Please give us the first page of the book.

STEVEN:  Here’s a link to the first chapter:

 

http://www.stevenjames.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Every-Deadly-Kiss-Sample-Chapter.pdf

 

rem:  Even better! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

STEVEN:  That redemption and hope are available but they are not cheap. They always come at a cost.

rem:  Nothing worth having is cheap, maybe especially hope, and definitely redemption. Anything you’d like to add?

STEVEN:  Thanks for taking the time to meet with me. I hope that all of your readers will have a great summer full of great books.

rem:  Steven, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us at my little nest today!

 

 

http://www.stevenjames.net/

https://www.amazon.com/Steven-James/e/B001IU0RQS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1497465537&sr=8-2-ent

https://twitter.com/readstevenjames/

https://www.facebook.com/sjamesauthor

www.thestoryblender.com

 

 

“Some people outline their books and go through dozens of drafts; some people write organically and hardly have to edit the manuscript at all. Some of it is skill, artistry, intuition.”

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Manly Man Interview Blitz, Steven James, Every Deadly Kiss, Story Trumps Structure, Troubleshooting Your Novel, Checkmate, Opening Moves, Curse

 

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 25 July 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – SECOND IMPRESSIONS by PEPPER BASHAM

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – SECOND IMPRESSIONS by PEPPER BASHAM

 

Opposites attract. But do they stick?

 

Black and white, no gray area, Ethan Keller.is quite put off by taste-the-rainbow Nora Simeon. Travel weary and utterly out of her element, she does not make a great first impression. Then again, spouting ill-tempered words at the innocent desk clerk, neither does Ethan.

 

Thrust together in a compromising situation, Nora and Ethan both back-pedal their previous foul attitudes. And maybe, just maybe even see the pleasant attributes the other has to offer.

 

As Nora becomes less of an aggravation and problem to be solved, can Ethan taste taste some rainbow in his own life? Does Ethan offer the hand-in-glove solution to Nora’s dilemma?

 

 

 

Ms. Basham has created a colorful masterpiece with her latest Britillachian story. Caught in an unthinkable—and rather compromising—situation, Ethan and Nora run the gamut of reaction and emotion, and Ms. Basham paints their story with skill.

 

 

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 free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

 

 

 

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and a finalist in ACFW’s Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. In December 2016, her third historical in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Healer – released with a 4 1/2 star review from RT and a Top Picks rating. You can get to know Pepper on her website, http://www.pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.

 

 

 

 

www.pepperdbasham.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pepper-D-Basham

https://twitter.com/pepperbasham

https://www.pinterest.com/pepperbasham/

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Second Impressions, Pepper Basham, Love at First Laugh

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BLOGWORDS – 24 July 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – DAVID RAWLINGS

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – DAVID RAWLINGS

 

 

Americans, a view from a first-time visitor

 

Last year, I went to the USA for the first time and landed in Nashville. Not the first choice of US city by a travel documentary crew, but still – I love BBQ and majored in music at University, so it was a decent enough fit.

 

In the three dozen international trips I’ve made from Australia, none have been in the Americas, North, Central or South.  I’ve always jumped on a plane in Australia and turned left.  This time the pilot turned right.

 

From the moment I came through customs in LAX, the culture that had occupied my TV set for the past forty years was now living and breathing right in front of me. It was strange to hear the accents on people walking past, instead of walking through the set of a sitcom.

 

You see, as Australians we are very aware of American culture – our media is steeped in it – but we’re so far away from it that it’s somehow foreign.

 

So why head to America?  As an aspiring novelist – and finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest and OCW Cascade competition – that’s where my future marketplace is.  (If you think the opportunities for fiction are drying up in your part of the world, we’re in a severe drought in Australia.  Our nation’s bookshelves are lined with lifestyle books from reality TV stars and 21-year-old sport stars telling their life stories.)

 

That desire to break into a market on the other side of the world is what saw me walking The Broadway with new author friends from the USA (and Canada), breathing in the heady aromas of a dozen BBQs to a soundtrack of bluegrass and 70s rock covers.  And talking over coffees (some things are universal) with people from Indiana to Iowa.

 

I found some things that I appreciate about the culture – things that challenged the stereotypes that are out there. I thought it would be good to share them, particularly in a time when the US culture is appearing in the world’s media in a different light. So here’s some positivity – what did I find?

 

  • Your hospitality. Maybe it’s because I was in the south, maybe it’s because I was a visitor in a strange land. Either way, the hospitality of the US folks I met was palpable. It was genuine. It was an honest desire to make a visitor comfortable, and I appreciated it.
  • Your interest in a visitor’s speech. Y’all are entranced by my accent. Single. One. Of. You. I should have charged $20 for every time I had to say “g’day.” J
  • Your entrancement of my country. This is nice, as every single person I spoke to wanted to visit my home, enjoy my country and, in some cases, move there.  People told me proudly that they’d visited and what they had enjoyed. Nothing makes you prouder when you’re abroad than hearing that people love where you’re from.  It was also a source of amusement when you peel back the layers about what some people know.  It would appear some Americans think all Australians own a kangaroo or know Hugh Jackman (these were real conversations). And I’m sorry for trying to convince a few of you we’d converted to metric minutes and now have 100 minutes in an hour.  We don’t. Really. But this guy really does live in the trees in the park across from my house.

  • Your parochialism of the state from which you come. One thing I noticed: in introductions, almost every single person didn’t just say the city they were from. It was always “Birmingham, Alabama” or “Cincinnati, Ohio.”  To me, this was more than helping me out with your geography.  I noticed a sense of pride in your roots. I wish we did that more in Australia.
  • Your patriotism. Leaving politics out of it, I admired the fact you wear your patriotic hearts on your sleeves. This is very different to Australia, where we tend to be very self-deprecating about our own country. We love it, we’ll just never say it out loud. It was refreshing to be a culture where you do.
  • Your respect for those around you. It stood out to me just how much US culture is taught to respect others through speech. I heard “Sir” and “Ma’am” on a regular basis, which was heartwarming. Our culture – to its own detriment – has moved beyond the need for such politeness.

 

So thanks for having me America. It was nice to meet some of you and experiences some of the positives from your culture.  I look forward to being back … maybe on a book tour!

 

 

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, David Rawlings is a sports-mad father-of-three with his own copywriting business who reads everything within an arm’s reach.

 

He writes stories for those who want to dive deeper – inspirational fiction that covers everyday modern issues such as reality TV, the baggage we carry, spirituality, advertising, relationships, the media and technology.

 

His manuscripts have been recognized as finalists in the 2016 ACFW Genesis Contest and 2017 OCW Cascade Awards.

 

 

www.davidrawlings.com.au (and if you sign up to my newsletter, I’ll send you a free short story! And check out my videos while you’re there!)

www.facebook.com/DavidRawlingsAuthor

www.twitter.com/DavidJRawlings

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, David Rawlings, Australian in America

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 23 July 2017 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – MERCIFUL and MIGHTY

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – MERCIFUL and MIGHTY

 

I grew up singing this hymn, and as the word person that I am, each word speaks to me in a personal and powerful way.

 

We sang it last week in church, and the phrase “merciful and mighty” caught my attention. Because He is both.

 

Sometimes we get the image of an iron-fisted ruler, reigning from the sky. He is perfect and unyielding in His righteousness.

But Father is loving and merciful, and has given us access to Himself.

 

Not sure how long ago it was, fairly recently, but Father showed me that His words, from Genesis 1:1 all the way to Revelation 22:21, are His invitation and His direction for us to enter His glory. For us to fellowship with Him.

That is His heart’s desire—relationship. He’s not about the rules or sacrifice or great works. Those all have their place.  But Father’s heart, His reason for all of creation, is relationship.

‘cause when we’re in relationship, with God (or anyone) our desire is to make Him them happy, to please Him, to do what it takes to stay in relationship. Did I mention, He likes to have fun!!!

 

We come to Him through the veil of His mercy into relationship—and dwell with Him in His might.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Merciful and Mighty, Friendship, Relationship, Fellowship

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Me me me!

Source: Me me me!

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