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Love and Cowboys: An Interview with Author Gloria Doty

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Gloria Doty, Author

If you’re into cowboys and romance, you’re going to love Gloria Doty and her new romance novels! What’s not to like about a title and cover like this? Bring a cowboy home? Don’t mind if I do…

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Click to buy

I fell in love with the book as soon as I saw it. And I pretty much fell in love with Gloria that way, too. She is a jewel. A people person and mother of a live-in adult daughter with autism, Gloria is a fascinating human being. She has a magnetic personality and we clicked immediately. Besides being an all-around great gal, her grit and work ethic are traits I highly admire.

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Click to buy

Her newest book is a winner, too:

Loving-a-Cowboy

Click to buy

Below is an interview I did with Gloria. What a lovely woman and what a great author! You’re going to love her and her books!

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Tweet this: Bring a Cowboy Home! Why not?

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There is only one satisfying way to boot a computer. -J.H. Goldfuss

Can you hear me screaming all the way to your house?

My computer is broken. Hard drive is kaput. No, I didn’t lose data. I have it backed up on Carbonite. (Thank You, Lord!) I’ve learned that lesson the hard way.

I’m very hard on computers. They rarely last me more than four years. And like clockwork, they blow up. I should know better.

I actually did have a premonition, but you know how it is. You just keep babying it until you absolutely have to do something.

I warned you!But you wouldn't listen!

Now I have to decide whether to simply replace the hard drive or get a new computer. Since I’m editing videos now, I need a much more efficient hard drive which means going solid state. But what if the motherboard is the next to go?

If money weren’t an issue, I’d definitely get a new computer. But money is tight and I can’t make the decision lightly  or quickly. In the meantime, I’m using my son’s little netbook. It’s slow. It’s annoying. But it’s better than nothing.

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The thing is, to get a new computer, I need to make sure it’s what I really need now that I’m editing videos. That means more RAM, and an Intel Core i7, not to mention an expensive video card. All these things add up fast. If all I needed were a computer for writing, I wouldn’t be agonizing over the decision so much.

Needless to say, I’m beyond frustrated. Service on computers is notoriously slow, and I have deadlines. It’s been so difficult to get things done. I’ve had to cancel interviews I’ve had scheduled for weeks for my video channel. So disappointing.

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This graphic has nothing to do with this post. I just thought it was cool.

But, I’m determined to keep praise on my lips and rest in God’s perfect plan. When I’m on my deathbed, I’m not going to be fretting over this recent turn of events. The important things are still in place: God, faith and family. Work will always be there. And God’s timing is perfect.

What would you do if you were me? Buy a whole new computer?  Or just add a solid state drive to the old one and some more RAM? Weigh in!
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Tweet this: There is only one satisfying way to boot a computer!

 

In Which Mr. Himself Sings the Blues

Every first Sunday night of the month at our church, we have “Gift Exchange Night” following our monthly Birthday/Anniversary carry-in dinner. This month Mr. Himself — my husband and pastor, Eddie, — shared with us a blues-type song he wrote.

I think it’s pretty awesome. But then, I’m partial. Both to the blues and to Mr. Himself.

What say you?

(I know the sound isn’t that great. Which is problematic when you’re recording music. But hopefully as my YouTube channel grows and my platform grows I’ll be able to afford better equipment. For now, it is what it is!)

Let me know what you think in the comments below! And please subscribe to my channel! If I get 100 subscribers, I can get a personalized URL for my YouTube channel which will make it even easier to find.

Thanks y’all!

Tweet this:

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A new bluesy spiritual by Mr. Himself!

 

How did the month of May get here so fast?

No, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth.

My website has been having major problems, and I was having a difficult time getting in touch with my web people. There were (and still are a few) some glitches that made it plain ugly, so I was reluctant to post content that brought people to an unprofessional looking page.

Alas, in the meantime, I got behind on my Brilliant Blog Awards!

So here they are for the months of February, March and April:

February:

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Kristen Lamb’s Blog. This is my go-to blog for writing. I always read this one. Kristen is a machine. She writes meaningful, useful content and lots of it. I’m always learning from her!

March:

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People of One Fire. This is one of my favorite blogs, if not my very favorite, on Native American and Ancient American culture, architecture, and history. The copious amounts of information constantly blows my mind. How do people find time to write that much on one blog? It’s incredible!

April:

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Elaine Stock’s Everyone’s Story. I admire Elaine’s work ethic when it comes to blogging. She’s consistent, hardworking, and loves to promote other authors. Her blog’s new makeover is a treat for the eyes. And the content is fantastic. I’m so excited that she won this award!

So, there you go! Better late than never, I always say. <sigh> I’ll do better. I promise.

Whose blogs do you love the most? Let me know in the comments below! And stay tuned for May’s pick!

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Please tweet: Congratulations to Elaine Stock and Kristen Lamb for winning the Brilliant Blog Award!

 

 

Writer Wednesday with Award-Winning Author, Bob Hostetler

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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!

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Click to tweet please!

Bob says, “Don’t check your brains at the door!”

Humans acting badly

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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.

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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:

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Please tweet: Love never fails.

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How about you? Do you long for the return of Christ? Are you doing your part by walking in love? Weigh in!

What’s on your writing desk, Karen Wingate?

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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.

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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.”

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My old and faithful Welsh Corgi, Tuesday often sleeps by my side. She asks for walks less often now but I often stay at my desk longer than I intend because I don’t want to disturb her.

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As women’s ministry director at my local church, I oversee the programs of our Women’s Fellowship and facilitate two on-site and one online Bible study small groups. Right now, our network of groups include over 45 women. In addition to prepare bible study materials, I keep up with my blog at www.graceonparade.com and write articles for The Lookout. I’m currently working on a contemporary romantic suspense set in Southern Arizona and have dreams of writing several historical fiction novels set in Ohio, Kansas and Illinois, all places where we have lived and served in the ministry. Finally I’m waiting for the green light to write a book of adult bible study materials for a company that has previously produced my children’s curriculum.

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Regardless of the space you have as a writer, I encourage you to make it your own. It doesn’t take much—framed art, your personal color scheme or even something whimsical like a stuffed teddy bear or a Mrs. Potato Head like I have in my room. For years, I kept a figurine of a Norman Rockwell self-portrait that reminded me to look into myself and be who I really am in God’s eyes. Surround yourself with symbols that represent you, your faith and your passion.

Karla: Karen, I absolutely love your space. And I have wanted an office with a bed for years! I think it would be lovely to take a little nap to recharge right there in my writing space. I’ve even considered making a nest under my desk. Hee hee.

Everyone, be sure to connect with Karen online. She has the most lovely blog and was the winner of one of my January Brilliant Blog Award Picks!

Website: www.graceonparade.com

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/graceonparade/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kwingate715

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 Tweet this: Author Karen Wingate shares her cozy office!

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 Would you like to share your writing space with my readers? If so, you can find out how here: What’s on your writing desk?

Introducing Sparrow Song Radio

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!

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Please tweet this: Be a guest on Sparrow Song Radio!

 

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

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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!)

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Cynthia T. Toney

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!

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.
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All moved in!

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?

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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.

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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

Where in the world do you write-

Would you like to share your writing space with my readers? If so, you can find out how here: What’s on your writing desk?

January’s Brilliant Blog Winners!

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As you may know if you read any of my posts last week, I’ve launched a new contest this year. I’m recognizing outstanding blogs. Blogs that catch my eye. Blogs that I love.

In choosing blogs for this award, I follow the rubric below. Now, keep in mind, anytime there’s a contest that pits one thing against the other, a judge’s opinion is extremely subjective. Also, as this is my first time doing this type of thing, this rubric is subject to change. As I learn more about what works and what doesn’t in creating a great blog, and as I scrutinize blogs more carefully this year, I’m certain to figure out other important or not-so-important elements.

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But I also go with a gut reaction when I’m at the blog site. If there’s a quick intake of air, if I feel that my time has been well-spent, if I feel butterflies — chances are it’s a blog that even lines up with the rubric I’ve created.

By the way, I’m not comparing blogs with over 1000 subscribers to blogs under 1000 subscribers. All blogs are considered in this contest as separate entities apart from their popularity. I don’t choose a blog simply because it’s more popular. There are a lot of popular blogs I don’t read or don’t like. I choose them for how they appeal to me or meet my needs as a Christian writer.

Now. On to the awards! Drum roll please!

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My first pick is in the Secular Travel Blog category. I’ve chosen Camels and Chocolate by Kristen Luna. I’ve followed Kristen for quite a few years now. But when she gave her blog and website a makeover, I was mesmerized. There’s really nothing I don’t like about this blog. Copious pictures. An engaging writing style. Useful information. Not to mention the aesthetics of this blog are second to none. Congratulations, Kristen! Giving you this award is a no-brainer. Readers, if you want to know how to do a blog in an engaging way, study this one!

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Food category — The Miss Nini Blog.  Full disclosure: “Miss Nini” is a friend of mine from way back when I lived in Iowa. But we haven’t seen one another in person for more than 20 years! And we just recently (about a year ago) got back in touch via Facebook. She and her husband, a very successful sheep farmer, attended our little storefront church in Anita, Iowa years ago. And now she’s a famous baker! She’s won tons of awards at the Iowa State Fair, been a contestant on Shark Tank, and got her picture in the New York Times.

But that’s not why I love her blog. First, who doesn’t love baked goods, right? But I also love Miss Nini’s writing style. You have no idea how thrilled I was to learn she is writing a book now.  Her turns of phrase are as delicious as your kitchen concoctions, I assure you.

My next two picks are in the Christian writing category. These go to:

Zoe M. McCarthy and Karen Wingate’s, Grace on Parade Blog

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I have fallen in love with Zoe M. McCarthy’s writing advice. One of the reasons I like it so much is that it’s worthy of my time and the posts are usually moderate in length. I get a lot of info without spending a lot of time. Several of her posts I’ve bookmarked. The information is so worthy. I never delete a post that shows up in my mailbox.

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Karen Wingate’s blog, Grace on Parade, contains rich content. And I absolutely love the daisies! Her web design is lovely. But it’s the content that’s impressive. Each post is well-thought-out. Each post conveys a message. I like that.

So, tell me, Dear Reader, what are your favorite blogs so far this year? Weigh in!

And congratulations to January’s winners! Write on, ladies! I’ll be in touch with the secret code for posting the button to your blog (if I haven’t given it to you before now).

What do our winners get? Winners get to display the Brilliant Blog Button on their website. Readers can click on the button to vote for them for Blog of the Year. Fun, right?

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Tweet this: January’s Brilliant Blog Awards announced!

Do you have an award-worthy blog or know of one? Let me know in the comments below. And take time to congratulate January’s winners!