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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 5 March 2017 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – THE MASTER POTTER

front-porch-fellowship-banner

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – THE MASTER POTTER

This week I borrow a prophetic word I read Friday on Facebook.

reposting because my friend and master potter, Nolan Windholtz, whose gorgeous pieces I share here, is leaving for ten week mission trip to Eastern Europe this week. If you are interested in donating to his trip, here is the link:

https://www.gofundme.com/nolans-potters-house-ministry-2017?viewupdates=1&rcid=r01-14955816037-bbd874e5e3334285&utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=body_photo&utm_campaign=upd_n

 

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THE MASTER POTTER
by Elaine Tavolacci

The Holy Spirit showed me a lump of clay on a potter’s wheel. The potter began to spin the wheel as he molded and shaped the piece of clay as he formed it.

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When making pottery on a potter’s wheel, the clay has to first be centered, then water is applied before the potter begins his creation. The potter then shapes the clay into the image that he desires. There are different wheels used to create different vessels. The Lord has designed each one of us in a distinct way with a specific calling. Each person is created for a unique purpose and plan.

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The Lord told Jeremiah to go down to the Potters house to give him a prophetic illustration. When he went, he had seen the potter making something at the wheel. The clay vessel that the potter had made was marred in his hands; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

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Many people don’t understand the process of the potter’s wheel. The potter’s wheel is not to judge us or punish us, but it is to form us into the masterpiece that Jesus has created us to be.

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The Lord says; just as the potter designs each clay pot into different shapes and sizes, I have designed and created every individual. Every person has been born with a unique purpose and plan. Each of you have been strategically designed for a particular purpose, and I will work with each of you in a specific way.

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Do not fear the potter’s wheel and do not refuse it, for this is My workmanship. This is the place where I am molding you and conforming you into My image. This is the place where all impurities and defilement will be destroyed and all bruises and blemishes will be erased.

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This is the place where the rough edges will be smooth out, broken vessels will be restored and old mindsets will be dismantled. Afflictions, traumas and misfortunes from the past will be removed, and dreams will be birth and brought forth.

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This is the place where your mind will be renewed and you will learn to walk in integrity and maturity. This place is necessary for your spiritual growth to bring forth the gifts that I have placed on the inside of you.

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Do not refuse the work on the potters wheel but allow Me to transform you as I shape your life and destiny. Trust Me when the process seems too difficult. Don’t say that this is an uncomfortable place, but know that it is for your benefit and it is necessary to bring you in to the fulfillment of My plans. Do not resist the work that I am doing on the inside of you, but allow Me to accomplish My perfect will through you.

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Allow Me to work with you and fashion you into My image. I Am the master potter and as you allow Me, I will design your life so that you will become all that I have created you to be. You will become a glorious vessel of honor, and others will see the brilliance of the transformed life that I am creating in you. I desire to make something beautiful out of your life as you allow Me to work in you and through you says the Lord.

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www.awordinseason.info
www.TheVoiceOfProphecy.com
www.TheVoiceOfBreakthrough.com

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, The Master Potter, Laurie Roars, Elaine Tavolacci, Round Tree Pottery, Nolan Windholtz, Isaiah 61:3, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Isaiah 29:16, Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 18:1-4

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BLOGWORDS – 27 May 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE NEW MONTH NEW ME – SPECIAL EDITION – SWAMP MODE

NEW WEEK NEW FACE NEW MONTH NEW ME – SPECIAL EDITION – SWAMP MODE – writing recovery continues

 

Bronchitis is GONE—PRAISE GOD—and RECOVERY MODE

is now SWAMP MODE,

aka CAVE TIME

as in WRITING CAVE, which we writers are notorious for hiding out in to get some words done, as in writing.

 

This story, though, this series, is set in a tenuous, as in fabricated setting, sort of a mash up of river and marsh / swamp, otherwise known as black river which is prevalent in the South. Saisons is a town somewhere between Columbia and Charleston, along the Santee River, close enough to the ocean to host marshes.

Ergo, SWAMP MODE!! Ergo, WRITING MODE. As in #AMWRITING, gotta make some words.

 

Interviews are back with a fun feature this Thursday (contain your excitement) but Wreading Wednesdays and What’s in Your Kitchen are still suspended. RemApWriMo flopped, sort of, but I have designated June as a second chance, RemJUWriMo!

 

Did I mention, IT’S GOOD TO BE INDIE!!!

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, Swamp Mode, Writing Recovery, It’s Good to be Indie, RemJuWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, #AMWRITING

 

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 25 May 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – VALERIE COMER

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – VALERIE COMER

“I’ve always been interested in real food from scratch–gardening, canning, bread-baking, beekeeping, and more–but my conviction has increased dramatically since God has given me three delightful granddaughters.”

 “I’m Valerie Comer, and I’m a teacher at writers’ conferences and retreats with a number of popular topics. … Picture of what it entails to write a story. . .from beginning to end.”

 

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

VALERIE:  I was born and raised in the central Canadian province of Manitoba, but have lived in British Columbia all my adult life. My husband and I have two kids and four granddaughters, thankfully all within a two-hour drive of the 40-acre farm we’ve lived on for the past 17 years. After working in retail, I’m delighted to be a full-time author working from home! Of course, that feeds my workaholic tendencies as well, so there’s that.

 

rem:  Forty acres!!! That’s a lotta farm!! 😉  Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

VALERIE:  Coffee. Sweetened if mocha, but only cream if ‘straight.’

rem:  mmm, mocha! (got peppermint) What’s your favorite recent discovery?

VALERIE:  Dictation! I’m trading in typos for dictatos and trying to preserve my hands and wrists while I’m at it.

rem:  Preserve, like figs and plums?? Do you use sarcasm?

VALERIE:  Yes, it is my native tongue, and I am fluent in it.

rem:  Which is why we understand one another so well. What is the first thing you notice about people?

VALERIE:  Their eyes. Not the color, so much, but the focus and clarity. They are indeed windows to the soul!

rem:  Shuttered or open to the sun! Favorite season? Why?

VALERIE:  Anything but summer! I don’t do heat well at all. Even though I’m a gardener, I kind of like winter because there’s no pressure to do any yard work!

rem:  Now, THAT made me chuckle! Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

VALERIE:  1 Thessalonians :11-12 (NLT)

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.
Why is it a favorite? Because a productive life is simply doing what’s in front of you, working with your hands, not being flashy or uppity. The rewards will come, one way or another.

 

rem:  So simple yet so eloquent. What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

VALERIE:  It impacts me in more ways than I dreamed it would, honestly. It seems to be a form of journaling at times, when the story is mirroring my own spiritual walk. Emails from readers who’re drawn closer to Jesus through the characters’ journeys often bring tears to my eyes. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this opportunity to make a difference.

rem:  Truly amazing, isn’t it, when we have such profound impact on total strangers! When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?  

VALERIE:  My pet peeve is too much telling, especially if it’s repetitive. Get on with the story already, why don’t you! What makes a story un-put-downable? If I’m immediately intrigued by the characters —  what they’re doing, what they’re saying — and if I feel the writer has a good grasp of pacing, I’m in.

rem:  I agree, repeating and saying things over and over are unnecessary and waste of words….. Which is more important: plot or characters?

VALERIE:  What is one without the other? Great characters doing nothing are just as boring as an intriguing plot with cookie-cutter characters. Yawn.

rem:  Good point. Then again, maybe the character IS a cookie-cutter, literally – a baker!!  tee hee hee What would you do if you weren’t writing?

VALERIE:  Is this a ‘thing?’ Really? I seem to be a workaholic.

rem:  What do you munch on while you write?

VALERIE:  I rarely have food beside me. It’s more likely to be a mug of homemade mocha followed by a mug of coffee. One cup fuels about 1000 words!

 

rem:  That’s some good mileage there. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

VALERIE:  I began writing about fifteen years ago. After a while I began entering writing contests and finaling in them. I also attended some writing conferences and took online courses and workshops. In 2011, I sold my first work, a novella, to Barbour and got an agent. Two years later, we parted ways and I tested out a small press. In 2014 I regained my book rights and jumped into indie publishing with both feet and have since published about 20 titles in total, including 8 novellas. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to finally write full-time!

rem:  Valerie, you’re amazing – I can’t keep up with you!! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

VALERIE:  I write first thing in the morning, usually in my recliner on my swing-arm computer with that first cup of mocha, sometimes at my laptop in another part of the house (still with that mocha), and sometimes dictating into a voice recorder on my morning walk (sadly dry). I’m working on dictation being the normal process but that hasn’t become habit yet. My goal is 10,000 words a week of first draft unless we’re on vacation or the family is visiting. In the afternoons and evenings I’ll do editing, formatting, publishing, marketing, water cooler chat, and studying. I did mention the workaholic bit, right?

rem:  No wonder you’re so productive – you write all over the place! (you workaholic you) What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

VALERIE:  Comparing myself (or my books/sales) to more successful authors. I remind myself that I’m writing as an act of worship to God and doing my best, and the results aren’t in my hands.

rem:  Wise words, comparison does nothing but incur defeat. Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

VALERIE:  Creation, by far. My goal is to tell it right the first time!

rem:  I detect a hint of perfectionism with that workaholicism… What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

VALERIE:  God, the Creator, made us in His image. This includes being creators, too! (rem: yes and amen!) I absolutely love the idea that these words I string together to tell a story have never been used in this way before. That somewhere, from the unknown recesses of my mind, characters and scenes and stories emerge that didn’t exist. Something from nothing. It’s really amazing!

rem:  Indeed, unfathomable. What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would you recommend not doing?

VALERIE:

Do:

  1. Hone your own writing voice
  2. Decide whether it is to be a business or hobby and make choices based on that
  3. Learn from those who have gone before you

Don’t

1: Be in a hurry to publish

2: Brush aside advice and well-meant criticism

3: Equate book sales with God’s love to you

 

rem:  How do you choose your characters’ names?

VALERIE:  I often look on baby name sites for names that were popular the decade my character was born. Still, the name has to fit. He or she may try on a few names and, once the right one clicks, it’s like the character comes to life right in front of me.

rem:  Ooohh, I love when that happens! Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

VALERIE:  Nope, and I don’t even try anymore. I tend to do a lot of setting and character work in advance, more in conjunction with the series than with the individual books. I have some general theme ideas in mind and, of course, I know the guy and girl will get together in the end. I write romance, after all! But the journey unfolds in front of me like it does for a reader. Every day is a question of what happens next, which helps me remember I need God in the process.

rem:  Best definition of a pantzer I think I’ve seen! How many books have you written and which was your first one?

VALERIE:  Sprouts of Love is my 20th published book, including novellas! I’ve also written eight other novels, most of which (all of which?) are unlikely to ever see the light of day. Trust me, that’s a blessing for readers. Apprenticeship work doesn’t need to be shared with the world.

rem:  They, uh, learning curve writing, eh? Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

VALERIE:  Sprouts of Love is part of a multi-author series of foodie contemporary romances set in (fictional) Arcadia Valley, Idaho. The other authors and I released a six-novella collection entitled Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley in January, each introducing our part of the world and the series we’re writing in it. Sprouts of Love kicks off my three-book series within the world, and my current project is the next book, Rooted in Love, to be released in November.

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

VALERIE:  I love this book and the series so much it’s hard to describe. Working as a group in the same world has been a blast, and the glimpses of each other’s characters we are mixing in is definitely a big part of the fun. My favorite characters so far are the kids in the series. Maisie (age ten) and Evan and Oliver (age six) were introduced in Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley. In Sprouts of Love, Maisie’s mom, Evelyn, finds her happily-ever-after amid a tsunami of vegetables. Rooted in Love will see the twins’ dad find love.

rem:  Please give us the first page of the book.

VALERIE:

You’re Evelyn Felton?”

Whatever that was all about. The man blocking the entrance to Corinna’s Cupboard couldn’t be a minute over twenty-five, but that didn’t stop him from acting like he owned the place. Eyebrows raised, he appraised her from steely blue eyes.

What had she ever done to him? Nothing. She’d never seen him before… had she? Evelyn stiffened her back and kept the smile in place. “Yes, I’m Evelyn, and I’m here to meet with Ben Kujak about donating garden-grown produce. Is he in?”

Silence reigned for several heartbeats.

Had she asked such a difficult question? The building this charity operated just north of Arcadia Valley’s Main Street wasn’t that big. If Mr. Kujak wasn’t stocking shelves or applying for grants, he likely wasn’t on the premises.

The upstart chewed his lip then nodded, stepping aside. “With a name like Evelyn, I was expecting someone older.”  (rem: :-O )

He had to be kidding. Her name wasn’t Matilda or Ethel. Evelyn tightened her grip on her messenger bag and raised her eyebrows. “I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean. You haven’t answered my question. Is Mr. Kujak available? If not, when’s a good time to meet him?”

Muscles rippled the length of his arm as he stretched out his hand. “I’m Ben. Come on in.”

“I, um…” She blinked and shook his hand briskly. “Hi.” Nobody had told her the man who’d worked miracles starting a charity from nothing was little more than a kid. Scratch that. Definitely not a child, not with how attractive he looked in those cargo shorts and gray T-shirt. Not with his light brown hair matching the stubble that graced his cheeks and chin.

Evelyn shook her head and took a deep breath. “Like you, I thought I was meeting with someone older.”

 

rem:  Well then, they’re off to a smashing start, aren’t they? What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with? 

VALERIE:  My stories tend to have aspects of farm and food, but the main themes most readers identify with are the characters’ struggles to belong, to find hope, and to grow in their spiritual life. In Sprouts of Love, both Evelyn and Ben deal with forgiving parents who had wronged them. Don’t we all struggle to forgive?

rem:  That’s not the one that trips me so much, but there is a plethora of others… Where can we find you online?

VALERIE:

http://valeriecomer.com

http://arcadiavalleyromance.com

http://inspyromance.com

http://twitter.com/valeriecomer

http://facebook.com/valeriecomer.author

https://www.pinterest.com/valeriecomer/garden-grown-romances-set-in-arcadia-valley-idaho/

https://www.pinterest.com/valeriecomer/arcadia-valley-romance/

 

rem:  Valerie, thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!

VALERIE:  Thanks for inviting me over! It’s been fun to visit.

 

“Farm lit is any literature that embraces the life of modern-day “new” farmers.  … Many a riveting tale, from romance to women’s fiction to suspense—and beyond—can be told amid rows of corn or in the cow byre.”

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Valerie Comer, Farm Fresh Romance, Arcadia Valley, Urban Farm Fresh

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BLOGWORDS – 24 May 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE NEW MONTH NEW ME – SPECIAL EDITION – SWAMP MODE

NEW WEEK NEW FACE NEW MONTH NEW ME – SPECIAL EDITION – SWAMP MODE – writing recovery continues

 

Bronchitis is GONE—PRAISE GOD—and RECOVERY MODE

is now SWAMP MODE,

aka CAVE TIME

as in WRITING CAVE, which we writers are notorious for hiding out in to get some words done, as in writing.

 

This story, though, this series, is set in a tenuous, as in fabricated setting, sort of a mash up of river and marsh / swamp, otherwise known as black river which is prevalent in the South. Saisons is a town somewhere between Columbia and Charleston, along the Santee River, close enough to the ocean to host marshes.

Ergo, SWAMP MODE!! Ergo, WRITING MODE. As in #AMWRITING, gotta make some words.

 

Interviews are back with a fun feature this Thursday (contain your excitement) but Wreading Wednesdays and What’s in Your Kitchen are still suspended. RemApWriMo flopped, sort of, but I have designated June as a second chance, RemJUWriMo!.

 

Did I mention, IT’S GOOD TO BE INDIE!!!

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, Swamp Mode, Writing Recovery, It’s Good to be Indie, RemJuWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, #AMWRITING

 

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 23 May 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY EVENT – THE MEMORY OF YOU BY CATHERINE WEST

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY EVENT – THE MEMORY OF YOU BY CATHERINE WEST

Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

 

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

 

And Natalie never says no to her father.

 

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.

 

But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

Nicole’s obsession with Tanner Collins had been the biggest wedge between them. Natalie could put up with her sister’s bossiness, snide remarks, the calculated schemes that left Natalie holding the bag every time, but the final insult was the look on Nic’s face when she’d snuck in late one night, her face flushed, eyes lit with excitement while she eagerly relayed the events of the past few hours.

 

He’s such a good kisser, Nat. Oh my gosh. I’m so in love…”

            “Oh, please. You’re thirteen. What do you know about love?” Natalie rolled over in bed, squeezed her eyes shut. Why had she been so stupid to confide in her sister? To think she could actually trust her. Hot tears trickled down her cheeks.

            Two days ago, after Natalie and Tanner spent the afternoon together, reading and swapping stories, Tanner had done the unexpected. Leaned in, looked her in the eye for a long moment, then kissed her. Short, but oh so sweet. It had taken her breath away. And she’d come home and confessed her undying love for Tanner Collins to her sister.

            “Natty? I know you said you liked him, but… you’re okay with this, right?” Nic crawled onto the bed and rubbed Natalie’s back. “Tanner said he likes you, but only as a friend. He wanted to make sure you wouldn’t be upset.”

            “You told him how I felt?” Natalie sat up and stared at her sister in horror. “Nic!” You promised.”

            “Aw, come on, Nat.” Nic laughed and patted Natalie’s wet cheek. “Everyone knows you’ve had a crush on Tanner Collins for like, forever. But unfortunately, he only likes one of us.”

rem:   Hullo, Catherine, welcome to my blog. If you could live anywhere in any time period, where would you go?

CATHERINE:   I’m a huge Downton Abbey fan, so I’d probably pick that time. I’m not sure I’d be a fan of all the dressing up for every meal though. J

rem:   I know right! as I sit here in my lazy day uniform… Where did you find this story idea?

CATHERINE:   My husband and I went to Sonoma, CA to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and I fell in love with that part of the country. As we visited wineries and toured the area, I knew I really wanted to set a story there. The characters and ideas didn’t come until later.

rem:   My sis-in-law is a sommelier so bits of your story resonate with me. Who was the easiest character to write and why? The most difficult?

CATHERINE:   We’ll start with the most difficult, and that was Natalie. I couldn’t get a handle on her for the longest time. At first she didn’t have a twin sister, just other siblings. I think that was her problem at the beginning. Her loss wasn’t profound enough. Once I settled on her history, her character began to make more sense. The easiest was probably Tanner. I usually have less issues figuring out my male characters and I knew what his story was almost at once. Of course there are always surprises that pop up along the way during the writing stage, and there were a few in this book, but that’s what makes it so much fun!

rem:   Sometimes those deep wounds keep us hidden from those who love us best—both real life and fiction. What do you munch on while you’re writing / researching / editing?

CATHERINE:  I’m not really a muncher. I try to stick to three meals a day and not much in between but nuts, olives, yogurt and fruit are always good,

rem:   And healthy for you, too. What do you do to recover once you’ve typed “THE END?”

CATHERINE:  Ah, see now I know better. The end is never really the end. J However, finishing a first draft is definitely worth celebrating. If we can, we usually go out for dinner, or just relax at home, watch a movie. I try to let the story sit a few days before going back to it. The real celebration comes when you send back those final proofs to your editor, knowing the next time you see the story it will be in book form!

rem:   Oh, Cathy, how right you are!! No rest for the writer! And no feeling like that new book in your hands! allll-most as sweet as a new baby… wink wink

Catherine West is an award-winning author writing stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management.
Having previously published three popular romance and women’s fiction titles, Catherine will publish her first novel through Harper Collins Christian Publishing this summer. The Things We Knew, a family drama set on Nantucket, released July 12th, 2016.
Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com

1 – The house now soothed and scared her. Bade her welcome like an old friend, but held a warning like a long forgotten journal, tattered pages filled with too much pain.

2 – Wood polish and the perfume of roses pulled back the curtain of memory again. Nothing was different. But everything had changed. (rem: love the imagery)

3 – Perhaps she could deal with things here. Perhaps she’d found a place to rest. And maybe, to heal.

4 – Sometimes Tanner wished they still did things the old-fashioned way. An hour or two of taking his frustrations out on a bunch of grapes might do wonders for his soul.

5 – Memories of a carefree life surfaced, reminded her that no matter how much she wanted to, she couldn’t go back in time. Couldn’t fix the things that were broken. Couldn’t repair the irreparable.

6 – That was all well and good for people like Laura, people who had nothing to hide. Natalie didn’t need it. Except, maybe she did. But she certainly didn’t deserve it.

7 – “I don’t know what I was thinking, coming back here. Telling myself I could save Maoilios. Thinking my father might actually listen to me for a change.”

8 – “He asked me if I wished I had died that night instead of Nicole.”

 

What happens when tragedy and hope collide?

 

Tragedy struck Natalie Mitchell when she was thirteen years old. After thirteen years living in the shadow of her twin sister, Natalie tries to navigate without that shadow—or her sister.

And thirteen years later, Natalie winds up back in Sonoma Valley where the accident happens.

 

And there’s Tanner Collins, stirring up more than just memories from those childhood summers. Tanner with his own tragedy and secrets.

 

And as the two collide, the tragedies and secrets begin to surface. Can Natalie face her guilt and leave the past behind? Can Tanner? Will they find each other in their search for truth?

 

Sparkling dialogue and vivid imagery! This was my first read by Ms. West and it won’t be my last. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters, and related to Natalie in many ways. Ms. West portrayed her struggle and pain in true-to-life scenarios, with inherent difficulties and complications. The tension between Natalie and her father. The tenderness with Tanner—and her resistance to it. I felt her trepidation as the past began to lose its grip on her, and I felt her angst as she clung tenaciously to what was familiar. I screamed at her not to run away and yet, I felt the need to escape before more damage could be done. I felt I knew Natalie, perhaps a little too well, so thoroughly did Ms. West portray her. I felt I was walking the vineyards with the, so beautifully does Ms. West take her readers there.

 

 

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.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, New Release Event, The Memory of You, Catherine West

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BLOGWORDS – 22 May 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – KRISTEN HEITZMANN

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – KRISTEN HEITZMANN

 

 

Recently I was asked to name my favorite mother character in literature. I mentally went through the zillions of books I’d read, sure that the very best mother would be difficult to single out. Imagine my surprise when I was unable to recall a single one that shone. From the evil stepmothers of fairytales, to the cold, negligent woman who dropped Heidi on the Alp Uncle’s doorstep, to the drug-addicted bring-the-bad-boyfriends-home sort of woman who impacts so many modern novels, it struck me how many mothers were portrayed as villainous.

The second most common thing I found was the missing mother. This is different from the nasty ones. She is gone due to circumstances, personal sacrifice, or death. Those of us who have lost a mother know that emptiness doesn’t end. So it’s no wonder authors choose that route.

 

No one has such an impact on our personal development as a mother does. If we have a close mother-child bond we will develop differently than if it is distant or critical. A character-building motif in stories often revolves around a difficult parental relationship or a wonderful relationship cut short. Either creates a mother shaped hole the character periodically falls into.

There are, however, some stories with great mothers. In Jojo Moyes’s One plus One, Jess is a single mother trying to make her little girl’s dream of attending a top “maths” school come true. She has collected a goth teenage son whom neither her ex-husband nor the boy’s mother wants. Her generosity (though impoverished) honesty (though cheated and deceived) and compassion (though mistreated) are a beautiful example of a mother’s heart. When she fails in one of these it becomes a lesson to her loved ones and together they make it right.

In The Monk Downstairs / The Monk Upstairs by Tim Farrington, the mother character named Phoebe sees through people’s outer clutter of faults and insecurities to the soul within. Her love is unconditional. She also has a zest for life and delights in the absurd. You can’t read her and not want to be like that.

What stands out for both these characters is their acceptance of their offspring’s natures, desires, fears, and wounds—whether children or adults. Their willingness to protect and develop without forcing their own will and desires resonates in characters like Marmee in Little Women—the Proverbs 31 idealized mother. My tomboy self preferred the story of Jo March in Little Men and her creative parenting. 😊

Charlotte Mason, a 19th century educator said, “Maternal love is the first agent in education.” I love her concept that each child is born a person, equally good and bad, full of wonder, curiosity, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Mothers should be a loving authority in the same way that our Heavenly Father is a loving authority over us.

She advocated that it was the job of especially the mother to develop the child’s will to long for the right and good and just and to train them in habits to achieve that goal. “Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than anything else, future character and conduct depend.”

As in the stories referenced above, mothers are to walk beside, not forcing an action, but allowing room for the Spirit to work in the ones God placed in her care. What an awesome, precarious, and fragile responsibility. Given all that, mothers must also tend themselves.


 

Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of contemporary romantic suspense, psychological suspense, and historical novels, including Colorado Book Award finalist The Still of Night, Christy Award finalists Indivisible and The Tender Vine, and Christy Award winners Secrets and The Breath of Dawn that won both a Christy Award and Inspirational Readers Choice Award and was a finalist for a people’s choice award in the Netherlands. She is a fiction track and workshop teacher at writers conferences. An artist and musician, she’ll also be found hiking the Colorado Rocky Mountain trails near her home where she lives with her husband, pets, extended family, and wildlife.

 

www.kristenheitzmann.com

www.facebook.com/kristen.f.heitzmann

www.facebook.com/KristenHeitzmann?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/KFHeitzmann

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Kristen Heitzmann, Mothers in Literature

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 21 May 2017 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – A GOOD WORK

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – A GOOD WORK

 

Woke up to a lovely text from my friend this morning.

Before I was awake even.

 

What a powerful thing, to know that my friend is not only thinking of me but is praying for me even as I’m sleeping. And in this season, when things have been languishing so badly, I know Father will see me through to complete it.  All of it. Because He set me to it.

 

My writing? Yes, but not just. He began a work in me to make me who He designed and created me to be.

I am not an incomplete leftover or reject. I am a work in progress. And Father places his brush strokes with great care, He selects only the finest clay and spins the wheel just so, He chooses the word or phrase that conveys the essence simply and eloquently.

And with every brush stroke or spin or word, He is drawing me closer to Him, to His image.

And when stuff of the day threatened to overtake me, it did not because I know Holy Spirit is faithful to complete what He has begun. And the world isn’t my standard, He is. His character, His nature, His heart. And I am transformed, I am renewed.

 

I am His, and I rest in Him.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, A Good Work, Philippians 1:3, Ephesians 2:10, Genesis 1:27, Romans 12:2, Transformed, Renewed

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