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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 13 July 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ AUTHOR INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY – CARLTON HUGHES

 

CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ AUTHOR INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY – CARLTON HUGHES

 

Please join me in giving a feathered welcome to Carlton Hughes.

 

FAST FAVES

Cookout—chicken or brats Chicken!

Coke or Pepsi – Diet Rite Cherry Cola in a can

Dogs or Cats  Cats (My house is the neighborhood feline hangout)

Eggs or Pancakes Pancakes

Fishing or hunting Sleeping

Vacation: mountains or beach Beach (I live in the mountains)

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

CARLTON:  I was born in Falls Church, VA, just outside DC, but we moved to Walled Lake, MI when I was a few months old. Lived there for nearly 10 years and then moved back to my parents’ hometown of Jenkins, KY, in the far Southeastern corner of the state. I’ve lived and worked in Cumberland, KY in Harlan County (in the same area) for 29 years.

rem:  I hear Kentucky is a lovely state—my son recently moved there so of course I have to visit now! Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

CARLTON:  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous. Isaiah 41:10, because it talks about God being the antidote to fear. It says a lot about Who He is and what He does for us.

rem:  In a world where there is so much strife and animosity, it’s so hard—nay, impossible—to have hope outside of God’s Word and His promises.  What is your favourite quotation and why?

CARLTON:  “I’m not funny. What I am is brave,” Lucille Ball. First of all, Lucy is my all-time favorite; I have seen every episode of I Love Lucy numerous times. But this quote strikes at the heart of a humor writer—you have to be brave enough to “go there,” to put a funny spin on your own weaknesses and shenanigans.

rem:  That is so true. To face what life throws at us and turn it into a funny anecdote! That is brave and that is skill.  What’s the most random thing in your car or on your desk?

CARLTON:  I’m at my work office, and I have a tape dispenser that is a dog with the tape coming out of its mouth.

  

rem:  How cute is that! What do you munch on while you write?

CARLTON:  Too much! I love anything salty/crunchy, so BBQ chips are a favorite. I am also a chocoholic.

 

rem:  Well, chocolate is a given! It’s the writer’s manna! LOL What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being an author impacted your relationship with Christ?

CARLTON:  Christian fiction offers a clean alternative and features a worldview you don’t often see in mainstream media. Being an author has drawn me closer to Christ. When you have a deadline, you will definitely pray! Seriously, when I write, I feel I am teaming with God to communicate a message.

rem:  No collaboration or partnership like with the King of kings! When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

CARLTON:  Loads of backstory at the beginning. I recently quit reading a book after one chapter because of that.

rem:  I do believe that’s called info dump…  Ugh! What are you reading now?

CARLTON:  I am currently writing a book on a tight deadline, so I am only reading my Bible and a daily devotional. I’m actually in the middle of Story Trumps Structure by Steven James and hope to finish once I click “send” on my manuscript. I have several books waiting for me when I meet the deadline!

rem:  Well, if you can only read one book, that’s the one to read! Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

CARLTON:  I am co-authoring, with Holland Webb, a 60-day devotional called Adventures in Fatherhood. It is a story-based devotional telling what we learned about God from raising our kids. It is scheduled for release in Spring 2020 from Worthy/Ellie Claire.

rem:  That sounds marvelous! I love how Father God uses our otherwise ordinary life experiences to draw us and others to Him. Sounds rather like the parables Jesus told…  Tell us about why you wrote this book. Why should we read it?

CARLTON:  Holland and I come at fatherhood from diverse viewpoints—his sons are adopted, mine are biological; he was a single father, I am married; he lived in a different country for a while, I lived in the same town the whole time my children were growing up. We hope to inspire fathers (and mothers, for that matter) at different stages of the parenting journey.

rem:  Fathers (and mothers, for that matter  #winkwink) need hope and encouragement and inspiration now more than ever.  What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

CARLTON:  Though it has its ups and downs, parenting is a worthwhile journey with God at the helm.

rem:  Parenting is a most worthwhile journey, and I can’t imagine how desperate it would be without Father God at my side. Anything you’d like to add?

CARLTON:  I began writing in the Christian market 14 years ago and just got my first real book contract. If God has called you to it, He will see it through, in His timing.

rem:  So so very true. It’s when we take a leap away from faith that we get in trouble and make a mess of things. His timing is always always right and best. Stay the course, always stay the course.  Carlton, thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!

CARLTON:  Thanks for having me!

 

Personal website/blog coming soon…

https://twitter.com/carltonwhughes

https://www.almostanauthor.com/

https://inspiredprompt.com/

 

GIVEAWAY

Carlton is offering a signed copy of Everyday Grace for Men. Sorry, U.S. addresses only.

Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway will begin at 12:oo A.M. on Thursday 13 July and end at 12:oo A.M  on Thursday 20 July. Giveaway is subject to the policies found on Robin’s Nest.

RAFFLECOPTER

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b485f64b34/?

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Manly Man Blitz Author Interview and Giveaway, Carlton Hughes

 

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 12 July 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – TIM RITER – GIVEAWAY WINNER

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – TIM RITER – GIVEAWAY WINNER

“A bit of an unreconstructed Jesus freak.”

 

“It’s time to follow Jesus in an unconventional manner. Maybe it’s time to sweat the small stuff. Maybe it’s time to look at fresh ways of following Jesus. Let’s move beyond reading the Bible more and praying more and giving more and serving more as paths to intimacy. Let’s explore new ways to do the old faith.”

WINNER! WINNER!

 

Congratulations to

JODI HASSEL

and

LUCY REYNOLDS

Tim will be in touch with you to send your gift!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Riter blends the prophetic (we missed it) with the pastoral (we can fix it), based on over two decades as a pastor and over seventeen years as an educator at the university and secondary levels, teaching composition and communication. A bit unconventional, a non-reconstructed Jesus freak, a biker, fisherman, lover of mountains, but most of all, committed to Jesus.

Tim shares his experiences in a variety of venues, including conference and church speaking, keynotes and workshops at writers conferences, has done about 150 radio interviews, and is the nonfiction book panelist at The Writers’ View, an online group of professional writers. His tenth book, God, a Motorcycle, and the Open Road released this April

He particularly enjoys working with those not yet followers of Jesus and those current followers who want to go deeper. He has a BA in History and an MA in Communication, both from Pepperdine, and an MA in Ministry from Hope International University. He loves the mountains, motorcycle tours, and trout fishing.

And, he’s a biker. He’s ridden over 200,000 miles on two wheels, covering 46 states and three countries, has repaired a chain locking the sprocket on the side or a road in Canada, fixed a flat in 110 degree temps, replaced a master fuse on the edge of a Los Angeles freeway, ridden 1,000 miles in one day, and more. He has a lot of grease under his fingernails, and calluses on his throttle hand. And a few where his body meets the bike seat.

 

 

http://timriter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/God-a-Motorcycle-and-the-Open-Road-660865447703632/

https://www.amazon.com/Tim-Riter/e/B001HCWD6Y?

 

 “As a true extrovert with a very solitary occupation as a writer, I truly enjoy social media. Sometimes I tell people I’m not sure I could have survived my 24-year writing career without it!”

GIVEAWAY

Tim is offering a print copy of God, A Motorcycle, and the Open Road  to two winners.

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Tim Riter, Giveaway Winner, #WINNER

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 11 July 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ AUTHOR INTERVIEW – HARRY WEGLEY

CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ AUTHOR INTERVIEW – HARRY WEGLEY

“A climate of suspense and a forecast of stormy weather.”

“I grew up in one America and I’m growing old in another. Nevertheless, these are my times—our times, the times God has appointed us to. In a very real sense, we were born for a time such as this. Neither nostalgic reflection on the past nor fearful focusing on the future are productive.”

 

Please join me in giving a feathered welcome to Harry Wegley.

 

FAST FAVES

Cookout—chicken or bratsI love brats, but I’ll go with chicken

Coke or Pepsi – Pepsi, ice-cold on a hot summer day

Dogs or Cats  – Dogs

Eggs or Pancakes – Both, preferably served together

Fishing or hunting – Fishing, especially in small mountain streams

Vacation: mountains or beach – Beach. No better place to be on a sunny day

 

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

HARRY:  My wife and I were both raised near Grants Pass in Southern Oregon, beautiful country full of rivers, lakes, mountains and, of course, the coast. After 7 years in the USAF, we landed at a national lab in Eastern Washington, then moved to the Seattle area where we’ve lived for 33 years and where we retired.

rem:  A part of the country I’ve not been to. I hear it’s quite breathtaking and beautiful. Tell us three random things about yourself no one knows.

HARRY:  1) I was a men’s fastpitch softball pitcher for many years. 2) I was a decent racquetball player until I broke my right wrist, hyperextended my right elbow and had rotator cuff surgery on my right arm. (rem: ouch!) My right arm feels great now, and has full motion, but it also feels like it belongs to some stranger. 3) My wife and I have known each other since we were three or four years old.

rem:  Love that about you and your wife. Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

HARRY:  1 Peter 3:15  But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you.

I studied Christian Apologetics for about 10 years. This verse has provided guidance and perspective when I’m discussing Christianity with other people and when my characters are doing so in my stories.

rem:  Powerful verse. What is our testimony if we can’t “give an answer” when asked! What is your favorite quotation and why?

HARRY:  I have so many favorites that I can’t choose. So I’ll pick my favorite writing-related quotation. I like this one because it emphasizes the two things I must strive to accomplish with each story I write, communicate biblical truth and do it in an entertaining way so that people will read it.

A powerful story without a biblical worldview is a great escape to nowhere. A spiritual message without an entertaining story is a sermon, not a novel.”  — Randy Singer

rem:  Oh, I like that! What’s the most random thing in your car or on your desk?

HARRY:  For many years I’ve had an exercise device with a spring-resistance button for each finger of one hand. It’s used to build up finger strength for playing guitar. I used it to rehab my left hand after an accident.

rem:  Ya, I could use something like that right about now; RA is wreaking havoc in my body, especially my hands. (I have a smallish stress ball I use to exercise with.)  If you could spend an evening with a fictional character, who would it be and why?

HARRY:  One character that comes to mind is Atticus Finch. I have a lot of questions for him. One would be how much he knew about Boo Radley prior to the incident with Bob Ewell. Also, Atticus seemed to have a lot of wisdom and understanding, but he didn’t always explain things so his kids could understand them. What were his reasons for that?

 

rem:  Good character, great questions for him! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being an author impacted your relationship with Christ?

HARRY:  Statements my readers have made remind me that my words are impacting their lives, often in ways I might not have predicted. The need to communicate biblical truth clearly and not lead my readers astray drives me deeper into the Word, into Jesus’ life and to the Spirit’s leading so that my writing does no harm and does only good.

rem:  That is truly the calling of every Christian writer!  When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

HARRY:  I want heroes and heroines that I like, characters that I come to admire.

One thing that has caused me to put down books and turn off audio books is a story that runs down rabbit trails, details in the lives of the supporting characters. I don’t want to know everything about them, and I don’t usually want their POV. Just give me the main characters’ stories.

rem:  Clean, clear, and precise, then. What are you reading right now?

HARRY:  I’m reading a fascinating book by American Journalist, David Kupelian, The Snapping of the American Mind. It has a lot of info that will seep into my next book series.

rem:  So relevant in today’s climate! What do you munch on while you write?

HARRY:  Recently, I’ve discovered that mint has some medicinal properties that I need. So I keep a container of starburst mint candies handy.

 

rem:  Love me some mint! ‘specially if it’s cloaked in chocolate…  You have quite fascinating background—two roles in the USAF, research scientist, and computer science. How did these ‘roles’ ‘roll’ from one to the other? And which was your favorite, and why?

HARRY:  Initially, the Air Force trained me to be an intelligence analyst, then gave me the opportunity to go back to college to get a degree in Meteorology. The degree gave me the position of USAF Weather Officer. After seven years, we made the decision to return to civilian life and that degree and experience landed me a research scientist position at a national lab. There I found myself writing a lot of computer code to crunch numbers and produce graphics to show to our research sponsors, often Congressional Committees, to justify research funding. Using computers, ranging from small to supercomputers, had become such a large part of my work that I entered a master’s program in Computer Science to increase my knowledge and skills. With sheepskin in hand, I jumped ship to Boeing where I developed large computing systems for more than 20 years. In hindsight, I prefer the academic setting and slower pace of the national lab—where I had my own office, library, and computer terminals—to the cubicles of corporate America. Though I got to do cutting-edge, computer-science work at Boeing, I loved the challenge of the research lab, where I took a nebulous problem, one never before investigated or solved by man, and used all of my scientific theory, numerical analysis skills, and often computer simulation to answer a question that would benefit American society and industry.

rem:  The mind boggles!! LOL  Seriously, though, I find this fascinating. My dad was a computer programmer back in the day, and I used to go to work with him and play with the key punch. In the midst of your stories of intrigue and espionage, you have your memoir. Share your favorite anecdote from that book.

HARRY:  While riding on my motorcycle, my buddy, Colby, and I found nearly a case of old, wet dynamite at a deserted logging landing in the mountains. We packed the smoking mush into a large paper grocery bag, wedged it between us and rode home on my bike, never realizing how volatile the stuff was. It was a good thing we didn’t take a spill on the way home, or we would have become two missing boys. We used the dynamite to systematically blow up an old, abandoned car in the forest. On our first attempt, we packed a large milk carton full of the nitroglycerin-infused mush, pushed in a blasting cap and fuse, put it all on the engine block, and closed the hood of the car. We set it off and it took us a week to find the hood. It had landed a quarter mile away. Dynamite is a bit like that old hymn, Sweeter as the Years Go By.

rem:  OY to the HOLY VEY!!! That is one explosive anecdote! Tell us a little about your writing journey.

 

HARRY:  Writing always came easy to me, and I published in the scientific literature while working as a research scientist. As retirement approached, I began thinking I might try writing a novel, but I’d never written fiction before. So first, at my kids request, I wrote my memoir, my childhood adventure stories I had told my kids and Grandkids. It was such a fun project that I wrote my first novel, a Christian high-action romantic suspense story. I wrote most of it in a week, cold turkey, with no writing classes or writing craft books. When it was critiqued by a writing instructor, I realized the writing was terrible. It took several classes and 3 rewrites before that book won a contract after I pitched it at a Christian writers’ conference. That book turned into a contracted 4-book series. Then I struck out on my own, self-publishing. I’m starting on my 14th novel, my 10th self-published story.

rem:  That’s a great journey! I love how Father God takes the individual threads of our lives to create something totally new.  Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

HARRY:  My favorite place to write is anywhere I can sit in the sun. Summer is my most productive writing time, 10 times more productive than in the gloomy Seattle winters. I’ve written nearly a million words while sitting on our deck in the sun.

rem:  Sounds like ya got some feline blood in your veins! What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

HARRY:  If you’re a novelist, study the craft of fiction before you write that first draft. Make sure you understand good story structure and why it resonates with the human heart. Study characterization, how to write characters your readers will love, identify with, and root for while they learn the lessons God will teach them over the course of the story. Join a critique group. Christian writing, like living the Christian life, is done in community.

Don’t start writing a complete novel until you have studied the craft as I previously mentioned. Don’t have high expectations for your very first first draft. And don’t be disappointed with the criticism you receive from the first critiques of your work. As a weatherman in the Air Force, I developed a thick skin that helped me immensely when manuscripts came back blood red with comments and corrections. So don’t be thin-skinned.

rem:  It’s certainly not an easy profession—but oh! so worth it! How do you choose your characters’ names?

HARRY:  If ethnicity is important, I go to the lists on the Internet and browse for a likely name then choose one I like. If it’s not important, I tend to choose names that I like and which bring to mind people I knew and liked. But for the villains, I must confess that I sometimes use thinly disguised names of people I didn’t much care for. Sure hope none of them are reading this post.

rem:  Harry, that’s awesome! LOL  Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

HARRY:  I know most of the story before I start writing. But, most of all, I know my main characters—their strengths and weaknesses, the lies they believe about themselves, lies that hold them back from being the people they were meant to be. I know their personal histories, their dreams, fears, and deepest desires of their hearts. Until I know these things about my characters, I don’t have a story, I just have a lifeless plotline that’s nothing more than a history textbook.

rem:  Oh, I like that. I, too, write to my characters, taking dictation as it were, with them telling me what to write…  Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

HARRY:  My latest release is a story called Slanted. It’s a character-driven, romantic suspense story about a conspiracy by a big tech company to control American politics, elections, and the presidency in order to change the course of our nation away from its roots as a constitutional republic. (rem: um, this is fiction, right???)  It released a couple of weeks ago and has spent about a week on the Amazon best-seller list for Christian Mystery and Suspense.

My current project, still early in the research phase, is an epic drama about what could happen with the strong division in our nation. A second civil war wouldn’t be at all like 1861. (rem: no it surely wouldn’t)  The war would be fought on different battlefields—cyberspace, courtrooms, Congress, capitols, and it would have only limited military action. Secession would be informal and fragmented with no clear boundaries as there were between the North and South. In some cases, it would be neighbor against neighbor, county against the state, states against other states. Our national infrastructure would be fractured and unsustai—that’s probably enough to give you a flavor for the plot. The story brings several characters from my previous novels together to try to keep the American spirit alive and stitch the nation back together. It’s a great cast and, of course, a new hero and heroine will emerge who must learn the lessons the story has for them. This will be a multibook series.

rem:  I love when previous characters walk into a new story! What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

HARRY:  My favorite parts of Slanted are the snarky, snippy dialogue during phone conversations between the hero, Hunter, and heroine, AJ, who, by the way, don’t meet face-to-face for quite a while. Hunter is the guardian of eight-year-old Sam, who he hid when hired killers began chasing them. When he came back, Sam was gone, and a witness to the incident said a woman who might have been high sped off with Sam in her car. So when AJ calls Hunter to tell him she has Sam, it does not go well. (rem: OH MY!)

Why should anyone read this story? It’s an entertaining story that reveals what is actually happening to you as you use search engines on the Internet.

rem:  Snarky dialogue is some of my favorite dialogue. Please give us the first page of the book.

HARRY:

This interview might blow up in your face, dude.

Hunter Jones’s right foot tapped out a snappy rhythm on the floor of the studio while he tried to shove the vexing thought from his mind.

Radio host, Zach Tanner, fiddled with his headphones, twisted knobs, and moved sliders on an impressive looking mixing console. “Are you ready to do this, Hunter?”

Was it wise to introduce his research in a live radio interview—to state that the biggest search engine on the planet was run by some corrupt people trying to steal people’s autonomy and possibly an election? But surely there wouldn’t be any real danger from the interview.

Some bright boys from MIT ran the company he was about to implicate. They were not members of organized crime. No one would kill him for his accusations. Lawsuits and injunctions, on the other hand …

“Zach to Hunter. Where did you go? You ready, buddy?”

“I’m ready.” His voice wasn’t convincing, even to himself, and it drew a curious glance from Zach.

Hunter would be on the air live, albeit only to a local audience. And he did need to test the waters before he told the world about his research findings which could cause legal heck to break loose in the life of Hunter Jones.

Now he had Sam to consider. He couldn’t afford to spend weeks or even days in court when he was the only stabilizing force in Sam’s life. Eight-year-old Samantha had had enough changes in these four months following her mother’s death.

And her guardian, Hunter Jones, would not let the coming media storm or anything else upset Sam. If anyone attempted anything that hurt her in any way, Hunter would break their scrawny necks … in the figurative sense, of course, unless—

“We’re on in ten seconds.” Zach adjusted Hunter’s mic.

 

rem:  Well, of course, I must now have this book! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

HARRY:  I hope Slanted convinces readers that every time they enter search terms in their browser and press enter, the query results are controlled by algorithms designed to steer them to conclusions that likely go against their deeply held beliefs. Besides outright censorship of unwanted voices, there are at least eight other methods employed to help a person think they are making up their own mind about issues but, in reality, are steering them to a predetermined conclusion. It’s not ethical, but no authority has yet made it illegal. So beware!

rem:  Nothing like a little “innocent” mind control, eh? Anything you’d like to add?

HARRY:  Thanks so much for hosting and interviewing me!

rem:  My pleasure, Harry. Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!

 

https://www.hlwegley.com       

https://www.amazon.com/H.-L.-Wegley/e/B00B1XMR56            

https://twitter.com/hlwegley       

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4460203.H_L_Wegley     

https://www.facebook.com/HLWegley      

https://www.facebook.com/harry.wegley.1   

 

GIVEAWAY

Harry is offering winner’s choice, a printed or Kindle version, of Slanted. (Sorry, print book to U.S. addresses only.)

Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway will begin at 12:oo A.M. on Thursday 11 July and end at 12:oo A.M  on Thursday 18 July. Giveaway is subject to the policies found on Robin’s Nest.

RAFFLECOPTER

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b485f64b33/?

“Ours is not a time for retreating, cloistering, or just holding down the fort. It’s a time to risk making our voices heard when it may not be safe to do so. But isn’t that what the prophets of God did in olden times? Some were mistreated, but we look back at what they did and call them people of honor. Isn’t that who we want to be?”

 

… but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” 1 Peter 3:15

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Manly Man Blitz Author Interview, Harry Wegley

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BLOGWORDS – Saturday 6 July 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ AUTHOR MINI-INTERVIEW – WILL TWENTYMAN

CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ AUTHOR MINI-INTERVIEW – WILL TWENTYMAN

Please join me in giving a feathered welcome to Will Twentyman.

 

FAST FAVES

Cookout—chicken or brats  BRATS

Beer in a bottle or a can BOTTLE – WINE COOLER/CIDER

Dogs or Cats  CATS

Eggs or Pancakes EGGS

Fishing or hunting COUCH POTATO

Vacation: mountains or beach  MOUNTAINS

 

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

WILL:  Raised in Rochester Minnesota, went to school in Illinois for math, and now live in Greer, SC. I currently work as a programmer.

rem:  Slowly migrating in a southward pattern I see. Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

WILL: John 8:32: “…Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Before I got saved, I majored in math. For me, part of the attraction of the subject is it is 100% factual in nature. A statement is true or false. Period. Internally consistent assumptions are a requirement of math. In my personal life, however, there were a lot of things I believed that were not based on truth, but on what I wanted to be true. These persisted even into becoming saved and getting married, where they lead to problems with seasonal depression. By embracing some unpleasant truths, I was able to actually become much happier. As Christians, we are required to accept some unpleasant truths as part of our day-to-day living that impacts our politics. People are NOT basically good. People are selfish. People will act with ulterior motives. When you accept and embrace these truths, you can begin to predict outcomes of policies and actions in both your personal life and at a nation-wide level.

rem:  Powerful testimony! What is your favourite quotation and why?

WILL: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1981. Many of our government policies are passed with the best of intentions, yet lead to catastrophe. Cash for clunkers is a good example of this. The idea was to help protect the environment (which may or may not have been needed). What it also did was significantly raise the cost of used cars by shrinking the supply drastically. You used to be able to get a decent used car for under a thousand dollars. Now, you need to spend at least five thousand for a decent used car, simply because the supply was artificially reduced. This hurt poor people disproportionately, but supposedly helped save the environment. Similarly, we’ve had a war on poverty for decades, but it keeps growing while the family unit among the poor has been destroyed. The war on drugs has pushed those who sell/use drugs to be more violent, while discouraging those who want to escape addiction from coming forward. The law of unintended consequences plagues our government programs, often making the consequences outweigh the benefits.

rem:  Reagan was such a true American, and one of the top three best presidents ever! What’s the most random thing in your car or on your desk?

WILL:  Hair bands.

rem:  Yes, I’ve seen the pre-barber pics… LOL What do you munch on while you write?

WILL:  Coffee. I’m not much of a snacker, but there’s always a cup of coffee next to me from morning until I lay down in bed.

 

rem:  I do not understand this concept of not snacking…  LOL What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being an author impacted your relationship with Christ?

WILL:  I have a love/hate relationship with Christian fiction. Some of the best Christian fiction is not overtly Christian. The Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (rem: LOVE that book!!!) among others, share powerful Christian truths, but don’t overtly preach the gospel. The result is books that are loved by everyone that teach deep, spiritual truths. On the other hand, some of the most overtly Christian fiction ends up being riddled with theological errors or heresies. “The Shack” recently made waves as wildly popular, yet it had numerous theological problems. Several other books that attempt to explain theology via a fictional narrative have suffered similar problems, but because they’re labeled “Christian fiction”, many Christians will view them as “safe reading” and uncritically read them. I would rather read something that is blatantly fiction and non-theological, than something under Christian fiction, as I don’t want my theology getting polluted by bad ideas in a shiny wrapping.

I would say my fiction writing has not impacted my relationship with Christ at all. I enjoy exploring various ideas, but just as I don’t trust Christian fiction, I don’t trust myself to write it, either. (rem: kudos for the honest self-assessment)  On the other hand, I also write non-fiction from time to time, primarily in blogs. Here is where I look at world views, theology, and politics. Christ is the center of my world view. If my attempt to understand the world, society, etc is contrary to the Bible, then I know I’m off base. Further, because I used to be an atheist, and often write with a non-Christian audience in mind, I’m able to see how the Bible is wholly compatible with science and reason. I can argue against abortion without relying on the Bible. Since the Bible supports a pro-life position, that helps me to see that the Bible is rational, while I also am able to stay on track when not relying on it for my arguments.

rem:  I agree. I think, as Christians, the best fiction has faith woven into it without being touted as Christian Fiction. Non-believers are not likely to pick up a CF novel, but they might read mine, or yours, which are not labeled as such. And if they pick up any small thread of faith or Truth, then I have sown a seed. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

WILL:  Bad spelling and grammar. I primarily read self-published works on Kindle, and they range from well-edited to unedited. I’ve had a few books where I couldn’t get past the first paragraph, due to the volume of grammar/punctuation errors.

rem:  No kidding! I came into this totally clueless—genre, cover design, editor—but I’m OCD with my grammar and other details. What are you reading now?

WILL:  That’s a dangerous question. I read 3-5 books per week. (rem: HOLY OY!)  So, right this moment I’m reading “Reincarnated as a Sword, Vol 2”. There’s a decent chance I’ll finish that today (DATE: 6-30-19) and move on to “Omega Zero”. I’m also following numerous stories on RoyalRoad, which come out chapter by chapter.

 

rem:  Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

WILL:  My current story is “Bored Immortal”, which is a story about a 20,000+ year old immortal, his 300 year old junior who he’s guiding down the path of immortality, and a 30 year old lich (rem: for the uninformed like moi, a lich is a type of undead creature.) that he just picked up. The two immortals worship beings from the Cthulhu mythos, while most people in this fantasy setting worship Roman gods. For Camp Nano in July, I’m looking at working on a story written from the perspective of a sociopath in a fantasy setting. I’ve tried my hand at writing “villain” stories a few times, and never been very satisfied with the results, as I tend to soft-shoe things, rather than get the dark feel I wanted.

rem:  Ya, “soft-shoe” and villain don’t exactly go hand in hand. Tell us about why you wrote this book. Why should we read it?

WILL:  Bored Immortal started as a simple idea of “What would it be like to be stupidly old and powerful?” I’ve written other stories about immortals, but I wanted a more “fun” version. So I took a character and made him really, really powerful. I’ve got a Japanese friend who describes it as feeling similar to a Light Novel (a Japanese novel style that I read a lot of). There’s humor, slaughter, and a bit of philosophical musing tossed together.

rem:  Interesting combination. I’ve read some stories whose settings and/or characters are Japanese, and am quite fond of the culture and history. Please give us the first page of the book.

WILL:

            Being immortal and overpowered. When you talk to most people about such ideas, they will expound on all the wonderful things they’d do. They’ll tell you about how rich they’ll become, or how they’ll defeat great evils. What they won’t tell you is how bored they’ll be. They won’t mention how they’ll lose their desire to interact with people. They won’t mention how their sense of time will erode until they’ll view a century like a day.

            “Master, we’re nearly there.”

            “Thank you, Genevieve.”

            Genevieve was driving our wagon forward. Most of our trade goods were in a dimensional space she had. It was one of the reasons I kept her around. The fact that she was immortal, was another. She wasn’t like me, though. She could be, and had been, injured. She used magic to preserve her youth and health, unlike me.

            She turned to eye me, her deep, blue eyes meeting my golden ones. Light brown hair framed her quizzical expression. “Do you think they’ll behave better than the last town?”

            I shrugged my shoulders. “We’ll see. I would think most would appreciate a peddler coming to visit, but some people would rather steal than deal fairly with me.”

            Genevieve nodded. After the first two hundred years together, we’d settled into an easy rhythm. She preferred to use her magic for healing or practical purposes. I, on the other hand, was more prone to violence. As we’d grown fond of each other, I’d found that threats to her now made me more angry than anything else.

            I oozed out of the back of our wagon and congealed next to her. My clothing was part of my body, having more to do with fur than anything else. “Claws, Master,” she reminded me.

            I glanced down and saw that I had, indeed, armed myself with claws instead of blunt, useless fingernails. I corrected the problem. “Thank you.”

            She leaned her head against my muscular shoulder as we came in sight of the town.  The barrier shimmered around it, protecting the inhabitants form any wandering monsters that might harm them. It wouldn’t withstand something like a dragon, but it was more than enough to deal with most threats.

            Given what we’d faced on the road, the biggest threat was bandits, not monsters. We came to the edge of the barrier and saw a bored looking guard there. “Purpose in Haversham?”

            “Trading goods,” Genevieve responded with a smile.

            The guard glanced at her, then me. “You’ll want to meet the town elder, then. Elder Lucius is in the central building. You can’t miss it.”

            “Thank you!” Genevieve responded once again, and we made our way forward through the opening in the barrier.

 

rem:  You sure caught my attention. What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

WILL:  I would hope they had fun. I write primarily for myself. Half my stories never get outside of online storage and my laptop. I write horror, fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal romance, comedy, romance, fanfiction, smut, and who knows what else. I write to relax and explore ideas, and I would hope that anyone who reads some of my works enjoys them.

rem:  It’s amazing how something that requires so much thought and energy is, in fact, also relaxing! Anything you’d like to add?

WILL:  I think, like most people, I’m multi-faceted. I write and play video games as hobbies. I follow politics. I get into political/philosophical/religious debates to sharpen my wits and help ensure I’m grounded in truth. I try to be a nice guy who’s easy to get along with. And I try to be a good husband and good employee. I don’t always succeed at any/all of the above, but that’s why I need Christ.

rem:  So well said, Will. Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Manly Man Blitz Author Mini-Interview, Will Twentyman, NaNoWriMo

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 4 July 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – CINDY SPROLES – GIVEAWAY WINNER

 

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – CINDY SPROLES – GIVEAWAY WINNER

“Speaking and Writing From the Heart”

“I love to write devotions, to seek after the deeper side of Christ and to share the lessons He teaches me from life in the hills of East Tennessee. I am a writer. A speaker. A lover of God’s Word and friend to all.”

 

WINNER! WINNER!

 

Congratulations to

VIVIAN FURBAY

Cindy will be in touch with you to send your gift!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cindy K. Sproles is an author and a speaker, whose dream is to do nothing more than craft words that speak from the heart. God’s plan seems to be for her to write and teach the craft.  With God’s guidance, Cindy is expanding her horizons. We’ll see how He uses her.

Cindy is a mountain gal. Proud of her heritage, she was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains where life is simple, words have a deep southern drawl, and colloquialisms like, “well slap my knee and call me corn pone” seem to take precedence over proper speech. Apple Butter, coal mining, the river, pink sunrises and golden sunsets help you settle into a porch swing and relax. Family, the love of God and strong morals are embedded into her life in the mountains. Teaching writers, spinning fiction tales about life in the mountains, history and down home ideas find their way into all she does. “I love to write devotions, to seek after the deeper side of Christ and to share the lessons He teaches me from life in the hills of East Tennessee. I am a writer. A speaker. A lover of God’s Word and friend to all.” This is Cindy Sproles. Welcome home to the mountains.

 

 

https://cindysproles.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Cindy-Sproles/e/B004GL8Y02?

https://christiandevotions.us/

https://www.facebook.com/cindy.sproles

https://twitter.com/cindydevoted

https://www.instagram.com/cindyksproles/

 

 “God first, family second and career third (Thank you Mary Kay Ash for such wisdom.)”

 

 

GIVEAWAY

Cindy is offering a copy of Liar’s Winter OR Mercy’s Rain., e-book or a paperback copy to a US reader.

“I am an encourager and some tell me…this is to a fault.”

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Cindy Sproles, Giveaway Winner, #WINNER

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 4 July 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ AUTHOR INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY – TIM RITER

 

CHAT THURSDAY – MANLY MAN BLITZ AUTHOR INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY – TIM RITER

“A bit of an unreconstructed Jesus freak.”

 

It’s time to follow Jesus in an unconventional manner. Maybe it’s time to sweat the small stuff. Maybe it’s time to look at fresh ways of following Jesus. Let’s move beyond reading the Bible more and praying more and giving more and serving more as paths to intimacy. Let’s explore new ways to do the old faith.”

Please join me in giving a feathered welcome to Tim Riter.

FAST FAVES

Cookout: I love my baby, baby, baby, baby, baby back ribs!

Beer: a nice craft Pale Ale in a frozen mug

Cats: they can be both affectionate and low maintenance

Eggs: in the form of a sausage, onions, cheese omelet with good, hot salsa

Fishing: a mountain stream with wild trout and no one around

Vacation: Love both the beach and mountains, but my soul grows in high country.

 

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

TIM:  I’m a native SoCal guy, born in Santa Monica, and grew up in Long Beach. Then I gave up the city for two years in Taos NM, lived in a log cabin at an unused guest ranch at 8,500, found a church that loved me back into the ministry, and now live in Temecula since 1988. Well, 6 years in Thousand Oaks for a great job! Love motorcycles, and have put on about 250,000 miles in 46 states. I may bag the last four this summer. My tenth book came out this April, God, a Motorcycle, and the Open Road. With Amazon, it hit # 1 in New Releases on Kindle in Motorcycles.

rem:  I love that, “…loved me back into the ministry…” That’s the way it’s supposed to be done! Tell us three random things about yourself no one knows.

TIM:  Lived for four years in south central Los Angeles while Dad ran a local beer bar, my mom’s ashes are in both our yard and in my favorite camping spot, and for # 3, a man does need to keep at least one secret.  😉   Well, OK one more. I passed out evangelism flyers at the Rose Parade when Billy Graham was the Grand Marshall.

rem:  Of course, now everyone’s curiosity is piqued at your #3… How awesome to attend and participate in the Rose Parade thatta way! Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

TIM:  Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” In part, my time in the 60s as a hippie and Jesus freak still speak to my idealism, but it clarifies that we cannot please God and people, so we probably should please the one who choose where we’ll live forever, right?

rem:  So. Much. YES!!! Perfectly logical to me. What is your favourite quotation and why?

TIM:  Emerson’s line “Imitation is suicide.” When we copy others, we kill the dimensions that make us a unique creation of God. So, copying others means we cannot fully be the person God created and gifted. That seems like a bit of an insult to the Creator–to minimize his creation.

rem:  Don’t know that I was trying to imitate anyone else so much, but for so so many years, I surely did NOT want to be who He made me to be—well, I didn’t know who He made me to be… What’s the most random thing in your car bike or on your desk?

TIM:  That’s an intriguing question. On long distance bike ride, storage space is limited, so every item you take needs a practical purpose. So, one item with no practical but great spiritual purpose—I have 3 copies of God, a Motorcycle, and the Open Road, that I give out free to fellow bikers, followers or not.

rem:  Of course you do! Best “random” thing to have with you ever! If you could spend an evening with a fictional character, who would it be and why?

TIM:  The Captain American character Wyatt in the film Easy Rider. At the very end, after making gobs of money off a drug deal, a marvelous ride from SoCal to New Orleans where they enjoyed its pleasures, they’re sitting around the campfire the night before they get killed. Wyatt, patterned in part after Wyatt Earp, says, “We blew it Billie.” I’d love to talk about what did he mean, when did he realize it, and what would he do differently.

 

rem:  So fun to pick the brains of fictional people, isn’t it… What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being an author impacted your relationship with Christ?

TIM:  Two very different questions! Christian fiction is getting grittier, more realistic, less syrupy. (rem: that’s how I roll, er, uh, write…)  Two great writing friends, Murray Pura and Patrick Craig, are working on Islands, a delightful story of WW II and faith and unbelief.

As far as the second, authoring impacts my faith much like my over 20 years in ministry. First, both force me to dig deep into God’s word and not get stuck on the surface. Second, I have to run that through my own life before I put it out there. And, the writing also has made me see God in snapshots, how he touches our lives in small ways we normally never notice.

rem:  For the believer, writing truly is a ministry! I love when I have a “God moment” while writing, or while reading a good Christian fiction story.  What are you reading right now?

TIM:  Two main books. First, a bio of Jean Jacques Rousseau by Leo Damrosch. Rousseau made great contributions to the concept of democracy, but had a tough beginning that shaped him and left him bent in some ways. Second, Holy Noticing by a friend Charles Stone, who explores the intersection of the Bible, our brain, and the importance of seeing God in the small spaces.

rem:  Oh! I’mma have to check out both of those—‘specially Holy Noticing. Brings to mind something a pastor friend of mine said once. Talking about Jesus with the disciples, thirteen grown men; they weren’t all pious and goody-goody. They weren’t vulgar, of course, but they were down to earth, tossing a ‘football’ or a ‘Frisbee’ when they camped out or walked along the shores of the lake. Jesus in everyday life. What do you munch on while you write?

TIM:  Cashews. From Costco. I figure I’m not likely to get a lot of cash from writing, so…😊

rem:  Bahahahah!! Love me some cashews. On your website you describe yourself as an “unreconstructed Jesus freak.” Tell us what you mean by that.

TIM:  I grew up in church and had a shallow faith that dissolved in the first year at a Christian college. I became intrigued with the idealism of the hippie movement, and got into it some. After four years of searching, during grad school I came back to Jesus. I appreciated the commitment of those in the movement, was drawn to it. I led a coffee house, passed out flyers at the Rose Parade, led mission trips to an orphanage in Tijuana Mexico. That has stayed with me, I’ve tried not to “sell out” to getting rich and being comfortable and content.

rem:  Tim, that shows in your blog. So many people have that shallow faith you mention (I did, too.) Sadly, too many never dig deeper to grab hold of the Truth and know the utter joy and peace of life in and WITH Him. Your blog posts are parable-esque in tone and profound in message. Which post touched you most deeply and why?

TIM:  You made me think here! (rem: of course I did! Totally meant to do that! tee hee hee)  I did this on June 10, 2019, “When Angels Ride Along.” It reminded me of an event on my first big motorcycle ride, to Canada. I wasn’t walking with Jesus then, and going around a 35 mph curve at 60, the chain slipped off and locked the rear wheel. I’d only ridden a month and a half, didn’t know how to handle it, but we stayed upright while skidding to a stop. I reflected a lot on this, and realized God must have sent angels to ride along and keep me alive. That played a key role in coming back to him four months later. Writing that post brought back a realization of God’s love and power.

 

rem: The following questions are excerpted from a previous interview.

 

God, a Motorcycle, and the Open Road

Radio Interview Questions

 

QUESTION:  How did you get into riding a motorcycle?

ANSWER:  A neighbor bugged me to ride his Honda Trail 90. It was nice. Then I saw “Easy Rider,” bought a bike and rode to Canada, and the freedom of the open road, being out in nature, captivated me.

QUESTION:  Why did you write God, a Motorcycle, and the Open Road?

ANSWER:  I’m a Riter, a rider, and a writer. Destiny. Focus: show how God connects to everyday life.

QUESTION:  The first chapter opens with a quote from Psalms 45:3-4, “Ride majestically! Ride triumphantly! Ride on the side of truth! Ride for the righteous meek!”  Why did you choose that?

ANSWER:  We ride for many reasons, but I want my riding to be for good. All of our lives should do that.

QUESTION:  You said that a big trip in 1974 was to “find America.” What did you discover?

ANSWER:  America has a lot of good people who went out of their way, like a couple near Boston. It has more magnificent country than I could have dreamed of. And it has a system that can work, which I saw with Nixon’s resignation.

QUESTION:   What did you most learn about God on your trip?

ANSWER:   That he likes to protect his people. From bad cops with good ones. From bad weather. From our impulsive decisions.

QUESTION:   I’ve seen bikers wave at each other as the pass. What’s that all about?

ANSWER:   The brotherhood of the open road on two wheels. It transcends the type of bike we ride, our race, our gear. Don’t you wish the church could be more like that?)

QUESTION:   What advice would you give to new bikers?

ANSWER:   Look on every car as intentionally out to get you. Now, they aren’t, but a lot of times they don’t see you, so leave some space, have an escape route. The same is true in the spiritual life, it’s a jungle out there.

QUESTION:   Do you encourage people to ride?

ANSWER:   Yes and no. If they’re interested, I tell them the dangers, like Jesus told people the difficulty and danger. If they choose to, I try to give them some tips on staying alive.

 

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

TIM:  I love the book because it has great biker stories, but even more, the book shows how we can build a greater awareness of God in the small things of everyday life. You don’t have to be a biker to enjoy the stories or to come to a greater realization of God’s presence.

rem:  Being a Christian is not a religion so much as it is a relationship. And a relationship is an all day, every day thing—the big moments and the small ones.  What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

TIM:  I pray that all readers will learn to look for God in the small stuff, to realize his loving presence is always with us.

rem:  What’s on the writing horizon for you?

TIM:  About 10 book proposals! I have an entire series of Adventure Devotions, like this one, that focus on an adventure activity and the spiritual hook. Lamborghini Lessons, High Country, That Divine Brew on beer, Grid Iron Lessons, and more. Then I have two standard Christian Living nonfiction books, God Knows His Stuff, a practical exploration of his traits to show we can trust him, and Worshipping Worship, a prophetic book that we often miss the heart of worship. Both of these last two proposals are just about ready to send out.

rem:  Awesome sauce! How exciting! Anything you’d like to add?

TIM:  Robin, you are VERY thorough! Thanks so much for the chance to visit your blog and talk about God, a Motorcycle, and the Open Road!

rem:  I humbly thank you for you kind words, and especially for chatting with us at my little nest today!

 

http://timriter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/God-a-Motorcycle-and-the-Open-Road-660865447703632/

https://www.amazon.com/Tim-Riter/e/B001HCWD6Y?

 

 

“…nothing has the value of seeking this transcendent God.”

 

GIVEAWAY

Tim is offering a print copy of God, A Motorcycle, and the Open Road  to two winners. Sorry, U.S. addresses only.

Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway will begin at 12:oo A.M. on Thursday 4 July and end at 12:oo A.M  on Friday 12 July. Giveaway is subject to the policies found on Robin’s Nest.

RAFFLECOPTER

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b485f64b32/?

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Manly Man Blitz Author Interview and Giveaway, Tim Riter, God, Motorcycle, and the Open Road

 

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 27 June 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – MARION UECKERMANN – GIVEAWAY WINNER

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – MARION UECKERMANN – GIVEAWAY WINNER

“A novel place to fall in love.”

 

 

WINNER! WINNER!

 

Congratulations to

ROXANNE CRUZ

Marion will be in touch with you to send your gift!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author, Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked when she moved to Ireland with her family. Her love of travel has influenced her contemporary inspirational romances set in novel places. Marion and her husband again live in South Africa, but with two gorgeous grandsons hanging their hats at the house next door, their empty nest’s no longer so empty.

 

https://www.facebook.com/Marion.C.Ueckermann/

http://marionueckermann.net/

https://www.instagram.com/marion.ueckermann/

https://twitter.com/ueckie

https://www.linkedin.com/in/marion-ueckermann-4b52569/

https://www.pinterest.com/ueckie/

https://www.inspyromance.com/

 

 

A Time for Everything

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give  up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”  Ecclesiastes Chapter 3

GIVEAWAY

Marion is giving away an e-copy of Remember Me, book 1 of our new Chapel Cove Romances.

 

 

“Some relationships are like this pot of Gloop—the color fades and they’re just one sticky mess. And some are a sticky mess even when they’re bright and new.”

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Marion Ueckermann, Giveaway Winner, #WINNER

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