20Apr

Writer Wednesday with Award-Winning Author, Bob Hostetler

Posted by in ACFW, ACFW-Indiana, Author Interviews, Beginning writers, Bob Hostetler, book reviews, books, historical fiction, Nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing, Writing Conference, Youth | 0 comments

I met Bob Hostetler at a recent ACFW-Indiana meeting. I had no idea how much I admired his work until I saw his book table. And there it was. A book that had a huge influence on my life as a youth minister and teen Sunday School teacher: I raised my kids and a whole passel of other kids on this book. It’s an excellent apologetic in layman’s terms. I think I’ve quoted most of it for the past 20 years over and over again. The title itself is one of my favorite phrases. I was fortunate enough to visit with Bob during our luncheon that day and he was nice enough to agree to an interview! Grab your cuppa (I’ve got my iced tea ready!) and get ready to glean wisdom from an award-winning, best-selling author.  Thanks for agreeing to the interview Bob! I’m really looking forward to your next book! And I don’t care if I am gushing like a giddy schoolgirl. Its delicious purple cover (purple is my FAVE) and delectable content has me salivating already! Click to tweet please! Bob says, “Don’t check your brains at the...

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19Apr

Testimony Tuesday featuring Amy Clipston

Posted by in Amy Clipston, Amy Clipston, Author Interviews, book reviews, books, cats, Karla Akins, Life, Memoir, Nonfiction, Pets, Sparrow Song Radio, Strong Girls, Uncategorized, writing | 0 comments

I’m so excited to have found Amy Clipston! Amy’s story is profound. And I was thrilled when she agreed to an interview. So, grab a cuppa, lean back, and enjoy the show! Amy’s next book will be out in June! And be sure to check out her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks Tweet this: She saved two lives with one of her...

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29Mar

Humans acting badly

Posted by in Easter, Karla Akins, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Sometimes, humans really make me ashamed to be one of them. Not that I’m faulting God in His Creation. I know He intended for us to reflect His glory. And when we do, it’s breathtaking. And someday, we will on a consistent basis. But for now? For now, the future of humanity looks dim. Perhaps that why Jesus said, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” Matthew 24:22. I know it’s good that I’m uncomfortable living on earth. Earth is not my home. It’s not as real as the next dimension I’ll dwell in for eternity. Still, Jesus commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. From the looks of things, people aren’t loving themselves much because being kind and neighborly is clearly out of fashion. When the PEZ candy company hosted its annual egg hunt for Easter this year, it turned out to be a very bad idea: I’ve never been fond of egg hunts. I’m a bit leery of the pagan connection. But, this is America, and egg hunts are as traditional as apple pie. (Our church children’s department does hold one but stresses that we look for the eggs as Jesus looks for us as His lost lambs. I suppose that’s tweaking the pagan practice to fit the pagan rituals much like the Catholic church did in the middle ages. When you live in a pluralistic society, this happens.) But back to the behavior of those parents at the egg hunt. This is the future, ladies and gentlemen. And if the children grow up to mimic their parents, it’s looking a little bleak. Come quickly, Lord Jesus! I don’t want my grandchildren to grow up in such a selfish world. Which is why it’s more important than ever to spread the message of the kindness of Christ and His love. As His followers, it’s absolutely vital that we exhibit the fruits of the Spirit: Please tweet: Love never fails. How about you? Do you long for the return of Christ? Are you doing your part by walking in love? Weigh...

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28Mar

Words from the abyss

Posted by in Karla Akins, Life, Uncategorized | 1 comment

I stare at the page. No, that’s not right. I stare into space. Into nothingness. Empty of anything but anguish. The mere thought of lifting my hands to the keyboard, exhausting. Thinking thoughts that require more than automatic muscle movement, overwhelming. If you’ve never experienced grief this strong, you cannot know how this feels. The blankets are my shelter. Like God’s wings, they hide me from outside forces that take too much glaring effort to face. Exhaustion. The exhaustion is much, much more than being tired. It’s the lack of will to do anything but sleep, stare, sob, and sleep again. I wonder if God feels this way over children He’s lost. And if He does, how His mercy is even deeper and wider. My thoughts are stuck in a thick goo of anguish. Anguish isn’t the right word. It’s much more than despair. It’s pain, squared by pain times itself, over and over and over again. An exponential abyss of dark, infinite hell. I know now why they wear black when they grieve. This is so much worse than death. So much worse. And I. Can’t. Find. My. Way. Out. This yawning void sucks me down with each strain toward the light. Each small advance thwarted by the constant shadowy reminder of the cause of the torment. The only escape is death. But death doesn’t come. With bodacious irreverence life marches on with trivial duties. Make the bed. Brew the coffee. Feed the cat. Sort the socks. Why do people go on as if nothing has happened? Why does the sun continue to shine? Why do the stars and moon mock the darkness? I must think new thoughts. I must put praise on my lips. No. No energy. My mind is too full of intrusive sorrow. I cannot be a hypocrite today. To pretend I’m okay when I’m clearly not is too heavy a burden. Today I can’t paste on the smile, stick out my chin and write pretty prose. The blankets. So soft. So comforting. The cat purrs. I close the laptop. Close my eyes. Tomorrow will come. Maybe there will be new words...

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25Feb

What’s on your writing desk, Karen Wingate?

Posted by in Author Interviews, Authors, Karen Wingate, Karen Wingate, Uncategorized, Writing Spaces | 4 comments

I’m so pleased to introduce my readers to Karen Wingate. I got to meet Karen in person at ACFW Conference 2015, and we sat by one another during the awards banquet. She is the loveliest, sweetest soul. We were both in tears when fellow author, Kate Breslin, won the Carol! I fell in love with Karen that night, watching her rejoice with other authors. I knew in her I had a kindred spirit. But enough blathering, I’m sure you’re eager to meet her, too. So here we go. Karen claims to be “an ordinary woman who has watched a powerful God do awesome things.” She lives in the farmland of Western Illinois and is married to a minister. They live with a bossy Welsh Corgi and are parents to two “grown and gone awesome daughters who are using their God given gifts to make a difference in their corner of the world.” Karen loves “cooking, Corgis (did I already say that?), knitting, reading, history, reading about history, and of course, writing, especially writing about God’s place in history. I love to share how God does great things through ordinary people and I love connecting with my Christian sisters to hear how God is transforming their lives and using them to extend God’s grace to those around them.” Since Karen is such a gifted writer, I’m going to let her tell you about her cozy writing space. Take it away, Karen! I love my writing room! Even though I’ve worked as a writer for nearly thirty years, I’ve had my own special room for only the last five years. Since my husband is a minister, we’ve lived in parsonages most of those years and I’ve been afraid to ask to decorate a room to fit my taste. I finally got the nerve and created my own space. One of our elders even did the painting for me! I’m glad I did. My room has become more than my office; it’s my own personal retreat where I feel calm, comfortable and quiet, a place where I can think big thoughts. I find the tan walls with lime green accents soothing and relaxing. So does my husband who often wanders into my room in the evening to sit on the bed and chat. I’ve hung two picture on the wall above my desk that remind me daily of my purpose. The larger picture depicts a scene I would like to write about some day. The Moravian missionary, David Zeisburger was called to share Christ with the Delaware Indians. My framed art tells the story of the first time he preached to a group. You can see his audience in various stages of accepting the Gospel message. The smaller picture was taken by a friend at a writer’s conference. That’s a sunrise, not a sunset and it reminds me to keep dreaming, and that God’s faithfulness is new every morning. On the opposite side, I have a day bed for guests or for when I want to stretch out and read. The knitted squares on the bed are part of the afghan throw I’m creating for the bed, another expression of my creativity. My old and faithful Welsh Corgi, Tuesday often sleeps by my side. She asks for walks less often now but...

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18Feb

What’s on your writing desk, Janet Grunst?

Posted by in Author Interviews, Authors, Janet Grunst, Janet Grunst, Uncategorized, writing, Writing Spaces | 7 comments

  I’m so happy to introduce Janet Grunst to you for our writing desk feature! Janet lives in Williamsburg, in Southeastern Virginia, part of Virginia’s Historic Triangle (Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown) which nurtures her love of history and her writing. She shares life there with Ken, her husband and Scotty, a very entertaining Westie. When Janet’s not writing, she is probably reading, cooking, or working in her garden. She also enjoys serving in her church and participating in Community Bible Study, where she has served in leadership for the past thirty years. The porch is a perfect spot for reading and plotting her historical fiction stories. But the real work takes place in their family room where she spends hours researching and writing either for her stories or blog posts. “Ken and I, both serious introverts, have an ideal set up. I write upstairs at one end of the house, and he builds guitars in his workshop downstairs at the other end of the house. Both of us enjoy our solitary pursuits as well as our time together.” Janet just signed a contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas to publish the first story of her Revolutionary War trilogy! Congratulations, Janet! She is represented by Linda Glaz at the Hartline Literary Agency. You can find Janet online here: http://JanetGrunst.com https://www.facebook.com/janet.grunst http://colonialquills.blogspot.com/ Tweet this: Check out Janet’s writing nest! Would you like to share your writing space with my readers? If so, you can find out how here: What’s on your writing...

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16Feb

In which I reflect…

Posted by in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I made this video immediately after our Valentine’s Day party at the church. As a pastor’s wife of a small, rural church, many duties fall to me. One of the pleasures I have is organizing and hostessing all the social events. What do you enjoy about social events at your church? I need fresh ideas! Let me know in the comments below! [Tweet “What did you do on Valentine’s Day?”] And in case you missed it, here’s the Monday Missions segment on Sparrow Song Radio,...

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11Feb

What’s on your writing desk, Pamela S. Thibodeaux?

Posted by in Uncategorized | 24 comments

Today we are graced with the presence of award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux, Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Pamela is multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction. Her writing is tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Karla: Pamela, I love your last name. It’s an old, southern, French name with so much history. I used it for one of my characters in my book, O Canada! Her Story  in the chapter about Acadia.  Thanks for sharing your story with us today. I’m eager to hear all about your writing space. Grab a cuppa readers, and I’ll let Pamela take it from here. Pamela: Once upon a time I lived in a three bedroom house, one of which I turned into an office complete with bookshelves that hosted my books (those I wrote and those in my Read/TBR piles) and awards, wall shelves for pictures of loved ones, closet space for storage, treadmill (to stave off stiffness from sitting at the desk so long) and other things necessary for an aspiring/published author to work comfortably. That all changed in 2010 when I rented out my home and began travelling back and forth to Bandera, Texas. From then until now, I’ve lived and worked in a bedroom in someone else’s house. But that doesn’t mean I’m not comfortable or don’t get anything accomplished! As a human being on a quest to discover new depths of spirituality I enjoy studying and learning techniques used by people for thousands of years…mediation and mantras, affirmations and journaling, energy and efficiency…So it was a lot of fun to arrange my current living/work space is in the newly refurbished room in the home I grew up in based on Feng Shui principles I gleaned from my good friend Jillian Lambert. My desk is centered on the right wall of the room which is the “creative” area. Since I wanted to–well create–an area conducive to creativity I framed several inspirational pictures and quotes and placed it above the desk. On top I placed more inspiration (cups, a painting my granddaughter did and plaques). In the cubbyholes are prayers to St Francis deSales (patron Saint of writers & journalists), Archangel Gabriel (messenger of God) and Archangel Michael (for life’s purpose). I also have laminated scriptures that were sent to me from my friends at Seekerville and mini-vision boards expressing dreams, desires and goals for my writing career Last but certainly not least, a cross (a wall isn’t complete without one!) The end result is an entire field of creative inspiration and energy. Now, as much fun as this was and regardless of what I or anyone else believes about the validity of Feng Shui, I know and understand that God is the author of (and in charge of my) success so please don’t think I put more faith into this space/practice than I do Him! All I know is I love the way my work area looks and feels. In fact, I love the way this entire room looks and feels. And feeling good is important when you spend as much time in a single room as I do. Tweet this: Check out @psthib...

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09Feb

Introducing Sparrow Song Radio

Posted by in Karla Akins, Sparrow Song Radio, Uncategorized | 1 comment

I’m so excited to introduce you to my new YouTube channel called Sparrow Song Radio. I’m on a learning curve in terms of polished production, but here are the first three episodes: If you’d like to be a guest on my show, let me know! I’m lining up my programs and have some really fascinating guests coming up. It’s a great way to promote your book or ministry. Join me in this happy new journey! Please subscribe and pass the word! If you know of someone I should interview, pass that info along, too. This is going to be a blast! Please tweet this: Be a guest on Sparrow Song Radio!...

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04Feb

What’s on your writing desk, Cynthia T. Toney?

Posted by in Author Interviews, Authors, Cynthia T. Toney, Cynthia T. Toney, Karla Akins, Uncategorized, Writing Spaces | 2 comments

Today’s writing space is brought to us by former advertising designer, marketing director and interior decorator, Cynthia T. Toney. She has a BA in art education with a minor in history. She knew she was a writer when she got in trouble for rewriting ad copy without permission at a large daily newspaper she worked for. (I love it!) When she’s not cooking Cajun or Italian  food (yum!), Cynthia writes historical and contemporary teen fiction containing elements of mystery and romance. The first edition of her debut novel, Bird Face, won a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, Bronze, in the Pre-teen Mature Issues category! With a new publisher for an entire Bird Face series, the original story is now Book One and titled 8 Notes to a Nobody. Book Two is 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status. Look for more books in the series in the near future from Write Integrity Press. Let’s find out where Cynthia creates these award-winning books! Karla: Cynthia, I’m so excited to have you on my blog today. Tell us all about your writing nest. Cynthia: My current workspace was meant to be temporary when my husband and I moved 500 miles from Mississippi to Texas in April, but I’ve become quite comfortable in what will soon become the guest room. So one photo shows a space in use, while the other shows a space I’m designing in the designated office/study of the house. It looks so fresh and clean, I hate to move the computer and other stuff in there.   Karla: Oooo, I love that curved desk. The carpet is lovely, too. I’m a snacker when I write (unfortunately). Do you have anything nearby when you’re creating? Cynthia: I like to keep the following close at hand on or near my desk: A colorful napkin for use when snacking. I’ll eat almost anything at my desk, but today I tried to be good and ate baby carrots. Brain supplements. A bottle of DMAE sits there now. Handwritten notes to myself. Tissues. Not just for crying. A cushion for the tushie. A novel by an author I admire. My paper files, although poorly arranged. I would’ve made a terrible secretary. A dog or two or three, although they made themselves scarce when I started taking photographs. Karla: Oh, I can totally relate to baby carrots, DMAE (I take other brain supplements but they are near me at all times!) and furry editors. Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers? Cynthia: I love rescued animal-shelter dogs and the friendly South from Georgia to Texas, I love  connecting with readers online and hope to hear from them. Karla: I knew we were kindred spirits! I have furry rescue babies at my house, too! They’re the best kind. Tweet this: Check out @CynthiaTToney ‘s writing lair!   Karla: Dear Readers, please connect with Cynthia in the following ways. She’ll be thrilled: Website:  http://www.cynthiattoney.com Blog:  http://birdfacewendy.wordpress.com Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/birdfacewendy Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7872181.Cynthia_T_Toney LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=79780768&trk=spm_pic Twitter:  @CynthiaTToney Would you like to share your writing space with my readers? If so, you can find out how here: What’s on your writing...

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