Friday, February 27, 2015


Excerpt from the book, IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU
On sale for.99 until March 1 Here


Outward appearance doesn’t have anything to do with our character, but it might demonstrate some of who we are. Whether we are in rebellion, too lazy to work on our appearance, trying to attract attention, or too timid to be our own person might show on our bodies. But if we keep our hair clean, brushed, and styled; and our clothing clean, wrinkle-free, and well fit; and use colors and styles that complement our age, complexion, hair color, and body shape, it says we care about the details of life.


As young people grow up, their choices begin to show. Their creativity, eye for style, and desire to be respected blossom in hairstyles, makeup, and clothing.

Appearance also sometimes demonstrates whether you are a leader or a follower.

Many young women today would rather dress warmer (in cool weather or intense air-conditioning) and less seductively than their peers, but their self-images depend on guys devouring them with their eyes. A large number of young women don’t feel they have worth unless they have a boyfriend, and this starts about age twelve. Some will do almost anything to keep the guy, because they can’t deal with rejection—even from slime. Some attempt or succeed at suicide because of broken relationships that weren’t worth pursuing in the first place.

How did a girl’s self-worth depend on how she looks and whether a guy is leading her around as if she’s blind? Does she understand outward looks and most young relationships are temporary?

I’ll never forget Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s answer on the radio one day when a teen girl called, greatly upset about breaking up with her boyfriend. “Are you ready to get married?” the counselor asked. “Courting is for people who want to get married.”

She said dating when you’re young adds too much grief to your life. When you break up, you’re mad at the former beau or gal, and then you’re mad at your best friend when she or he dates your heartthrob.

Not too long ago a commercial confirmed that fact when two guys on a ski lift were discussing one dude’s former girlfriend. The other skier admits he’s called her and they’re going out now. She’s sent photos. The former suitor asks to see, and then he tosses the phone into a canyon.

Schlessinger advises teenagers to go out with groups of guys and gals, getting to know one another, having fun and being friends with everyone until they’re about ready to get married.

Furthermore, having relationships too early can risk your future, especially if you participate in premarital sex. Have you noticed how many entertainment stars are addicted to alcohol or drugs, apparently to kill the pain because despite all their “so-called beauty,” professional success, and going to bed with many partners, no one seems to make a commitment strong enough to love until death?


Every person is uniquely attractive because we all are made in the image of God. Humankind finally figured out it’s not the color of our skin that matters, but we still don’t seem to know it’s what’s under our skin that counts.

My mom told me the most beautiful thing I can wear is a smile. But even a smile won’t cover an ugly attitude, hatred, envy, anger, lies, greed, jealousy, and rebellion.

I know life sometimes hits youth with ugly blows, but you can have peace and joy.

 Guys and gals who have the courage to look good, inside and out, despite what everyone else is doing, will receive respect. If you don’t believe that, think for a minute about a young individual you look up to because of who they are. Listen to how guys and girls treat and talk about people you know who aren’t respected.

Ask yourself why people respect someone you know. Is it only because of how they look or more about how they act?

We’re not talking about being popular here. We’re talking about people you trust and admire. Who do you know that you respect? Can you trust people who always party, make poor grades, disrespect their teachers and their parents, use bad language, and dress seductively? Do you think they will have marriages that last for life?


People who dress modestly and tastefully—still staying in style—will create peer pressure. More than one person will want to be just like them.

In my teens, those around me helped me grow my character and to be wise in what I chose to wear. My four older sisters set wonderful examples, and one of them always says, “Be classy, not sexy.”

But my oldest sister, Marjorie, had the greatest effect on me. She went to church at the invitation of a friend and that night accepted Jesus as her Savior. I was a baby then, but everyone in our family decided to follow the Lord, including me. That changed my life and made a powerful impact on my future—on earth and for eternity.

Jesus said, “The thief’s (Satan’s) purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (John 10:10).

Copyright © 2015 Ada B. Brownell

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


 By Ada Brownell


.99 thru April 28

What we do today determines the kind of person we will be in the future and what our lives will be like. Activities and attitudes of yesterday, today, and tomorrow become habits that change us for the better or for worse—and sometimes are almost impossible to change.

Habits are like the tree in Vashon Island, Washington, that grew around a bicycle until the bike became part of the tree. Somebody obviously leaned the bike against the tree when it was a small sapling. Now the bicycle is lodged into a large tree trunk five or six feet off the ground. It is impossible to remove the bike without destroying the tree.

Dr. Alan Friedman, a botanist at Marquette University in Milwaukee, says if an immovable object comes in contact with a growing tree, the growth that creates wood and bark will eventually cover the object. The only exception is a wire or rope put entirely around a tree, which will kill it.[1]

Habits entwine themselves into us in a similar way and become part of who we are. Some habits make us better people because they cause us to do good things. Bad habits wrapped into our character jeopardize our future.

Habits are one part of our lives we control, but we can’t choose our parents. God made sure they love you by implanting love into their beings, although some moms and dads don’t show their love. But even parents who forsake their children love them, because many come back to them later in life and ask for forgiveness.

Parents are stuck with their children, and their children are stuck with them. Parents don’t have control over the genes their kids inherit, either. By the same token, they had nothing to do with the kind of atmosphere their ma and pa provided for them that influenced their behavior.

True genetics, culture, temperament, talents, education, beliefs, quirks, and hang-ups of the people who gave us earthly life affect us, but we can’t blame them if we end up a drunkard, too lazy to support ourselves, or in prison. No matter who we are, our background, what internal and external obstacles we face, through God's help we can scramble over everything in our way and reach a life of joy and fulfillment.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

You can purchase the book here

[1] Country Magazine Extra Collector’s Edition 5 (Harlan, IA, 1995).

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Couriers, Author Susan Reinhardt and Never Give Up

Sometimes You Just Have To Trust

By Susan Reinhardt

On Father's Day evening 2012, Mom and I attended a concert at a local church. Dave, Duane, and Neil, formerly known as The Couriers, were doing a farewell tour. The guys often came to our church when I was in my teens, and I simply thought of it as a nostalgia event. I never dreamed God would give me a lifeline for my publishing journey.

Discouragement dogged my steps as my manuscript, The Moses Conspiracy, received rejection after rejection. I knew the Lord wanted it published, but I was fast running out of options. No answers seemed forthcoming when I prayed.

One of the group, Dave, is known for his powerful preaching. That evening, however, he felt led to share a pivotal moment in Courier history. After being on the road and not making enough to support their families, they rode home from a concert in gloomy silence. One thing they agreed on: It was time to quit.

Someone started singing the song, "God will make a way where there seems to be no way..." Dave said they sang their way back into the ministry. By this time, I'm a puddle. I couldn't stop crying because the Lord was speaking to my heart not to give up.

I needed that word because the next six months proved even more challenging. As the New Year approached, I wondered what it would hold for my writing. A short time  into 2013, a friend urged me to contact a small press in Pennsylvania.

The publisher asked me to send him a proposal. Less than an hour later, I received an email with the subject line, "We want to work with you." I blinked, wondering if my eyes were playing tricks on me. Yet within two weeks, I'd signed the contract, and The Moses Conspiracy was published in March 2013.

I've discovered that when I'm at the point of wanting to quit that's usually when a breakthrough is on the horizon. Since that time two more novels have been published and another is about to be released.

I shudder when I think of how close I came to giving up. Thank God for ministries sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Faithfulness, patience, and perseverance are key elements not only in our publishing journeys, but also in our lives.

Bio:  Susan J. Reinhardt's publishing credits include numerous devotionals, articles, and some anthologies. In 2005, she began writing fiction. The Moses Conspiracy, The Scent of Fear, and The Christmas Wish were published in 2013. Her latest book, Out of the Mist released in 2015.

Susan blogs at Christian Writer/Reader Connection and has a Facebook Author Page. You can also find her on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Friday, February 20, 2015


Writing Jenny’s Choice and Amish from a man’s POV

         When I first started writing the Apple Creek Dreams Series, I was amazed at the way my characters seemed to spring from the ground, fully developed, letting me see and record all of their strengths and flaws as though I was writing their biographies.
First I wrote about Jerusha Springer and her encounter with God in the Great Storm of 1950 that paralyzed Ohio.  Then I shared the story of Jenny Springer, Jerusha and Reuben's adopted daughter, and her impassioned search for her own identity, whether or not that would take her outside the Amish community of Apple Creek.
 For the third book, I fully intended to write the story of Rachel Hershberger, Jenny's daughter in a book titled The Amish Heiress.
         When I finished The Road Home, I was startled to discover that I had come to love Jenny Hershberger – her strength, her passion, her mind, her love for God – she had captured my heart.  I kept trying to move on to Rachel's tale, but I could not.  So I asked my publisher if I could continue with Jenny's story and they were gracious enough to give me permission to do so.
         So Jenny’s Choice became the rest of Jenny’s story.  For you romantics, it is the story of true love.  For you pragmatists, a gift given and a gift received.  And for those of you who long for adventure, it is the journey of a tiny girl who is found beside a frozen pond in the heart of a blizzard, the road a young woman travels upon to find her way home, and the coming to fruition of the gift that God placed in Jenny's heart.
         As a postscript, some of you may be interested in what it’s like to write Amish fiction from a man’s Point Of View.  As you know, women write the great majority of Amish fiction and the stories tend to be light-hearted romances that work out in the end just because the characters are Amish.  Oh there are a few ladies who can dish out with mysteries and thrillers, my friend Vannetta Chapman being one of them, but they are the exception in this genre.  For me, writing has always been about strong characters facing hard trials. I read plenty of Zane Grey when I was a boy, and adventure and danger were built in to me by reading such books as Betty Zane and The Spirit of The Border
         So when I got a contract to write three Amish novels, I made up my mind that I did not want the series to be your usual light-hearted romance dressed in Amish clothing, but I wanted my stories to be a well-thought-out and uplifting exploration of deep and growing faith in God in the midst of deep trials and desperate situations.  What I really wanted was a new and different approach to contemporary Amish fiction.  Now, a year after Jenny’s Choice, I have finished my fourth Amish book, The Amish Heiress, which will be self-published in a few months and finally tells Rachel’s story.  As I review the manuscript, which turned out to be a real thriller, I have a sneaking suspicion that I may have written myself completely out of the genre.

Summary of Jenny’s Choice

         In the concluding novel to the Apple Creek Dreams series, Jonathan and Jenny Hershberger are happily settled in Paradise, Pennsylvania, on the farm Jenny inherited from her grandfather. But when a tragic accident takes Jonathan’s life, Jenny and her young daughter, Rachel, return home to Apple Creek, Ohio to live with her adoptive parents, Reuben and Jerusha Springer. 
         As Jenny works through her grief and despair, she discovers she has a gift for writing. A handsome young publisher discovers her work and, after the publication of her first book, Jenny is on the verge of worldly success and possible romance.  
         But when a conflict arises with the elders of her church, Jenny must ask herself how far she’s willing to go to pursue her dreams. 
         A touching story of devotion and triumph over adversity.

Meet the Author

Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next 26 years as a worship leader, seminar speaker, and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the western United States. After ministering for a number of years in music and worship to a circuit of small churches, he is now concentrating on writing and publishing both fiction and non-fiction books. Patrick and his wife Judy make their home in northern California an
d are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren.

In 2011 he signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. The books are historical Amish fiction and the first book, A Quilt for Jenna, was released February 1, 2013.  The second book in the series, The Road Home, was released September 1, 2013.  Book number three, Jenny’s Choice, came out February 1, 2014.  His current series is The Paradise Chronicles and the first book, The Amish Heiress, will be out in a few months. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Propaganda and Spin: Think for yourself

By Ada Brownell
Adapted from Imagine the Future You
ON SALE FOR .99 Here
As children, we started thinking for ourselves when we gagged and spit out the spinach baby food and then decided which cold cereal we like best. If we were born into a poor Oriental family, we might like rice instead. If we lived in some African slums, we’d be grateful for slimy oatmeal gruel from a dirty bowl.
In some parts of the world, you’d think putting live bugs between two slices of bread was a special treat, even though bugs crawled around on your fingers as you ate them. In other countries you’d eat dog and monkey.
 In times past, it was quite common for Americans to eat cow and pig brains and kidneys. They made “head cheese,” which was a meat jelly made from the head of a calf or pig. You can still buy pickled pig’s feet. I don’t know if they still sell head cheese but it became popular in a society that didn’t waste anything. In hard times, people also ate squirrels and turtles.
You cringe. Your stomach turns. That’s because you think for yourself and form an opinion.
Your head is not empty now. You learned by experience and from other people. That’s the only way we assimilate knowledge.
After we learn something, we usually can recall it spontaneously. We ride a bike without thinking about how we balance. We can type, text, cook, clean, repair cars, and program computers. We balance checkbooks, do income tax, use math to buy and sell, and make chemical formulas to create medicines that save people’s lives or to invent guns, bombs, and rockets to kill them. You can store billions of information blocks in your memory.
According to Kenneth Higbee, author of Your Memory and How it Works and How to Improve it,[1] your two-pound brain can store more than today’s most advanced computers.
 Everything you put into your mind, especially what you experience, changes you. You study to learn or pick up information from your friends, your parents, or through the media, and you are affected.
I am choosy about what goes into my brain and hope you are, too.

The Bible says when we have a close relationship with God, He will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). Yet, you decide whether or not to post that guard, the Holy Spirit, at the door. If we listen to what our conscience and scripture tells us, 24/7, and resist, Satan and his cohorts flee in fear.

The Holy Spirit, through our conscience, convinces us of sin (so we’ll know what it is), righteousness (so we’ll understand that), and judgment (so we’ll know God will reward those who live for Him and punish those who do not).

It helps to think on things that are true, things that are honorable, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.[2] That means we are careful about what we read, what we watch on television, the movies we go to or rent, and what activities we practice. We pray for God’s wisdom and knowledge and actively reject smut, lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, the pride of life, vulgar language, gossip, backbiting, and wrong attitudes.
We also are able to put some beautiful things in our brains: God’s Word, good music, good information, a willingness to learn, a willingness to work, a determination to love, a determination to help, a determination to make heaven our home.
We can pray for God to help with the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts that they would be acceptable in His sight. That’s what David did. He’d sinned and knew his vulnerabilities.
Although the Lord’s covenant is etched into our hearts, we still need to study good things that “Ca-ching!” profitable character. We’re told in the book of Timothy to study to show ourselves approved unto God, so we will rightly interpret the Word of Truth.
But even if we memorize the Ten Commandments, such as “thou shall not lie” or “thou shall not steal,” and “do not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” we don’t automatically reject it when Satan tempts.
If we use our excellent knowledge of good things, our character and integrity grow. Our will becomes stronger. It’s like seeing a growing baby every day. He looks the same size if we see him often, but if we wait six months or a year, we see a big difference! And you and others will see a change in you when you put positive things you learn into action.
When we make good decisions, we become more mature, more trustworthy, more dependable, and our potential for doing great things increases.

©Ada Brownell 2014

[1] Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.,1977

[2] Philippians 4:18

Kindle version on sale for .99. Purchase a book and get the audiobook for 1.99

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Award-winning author talks about your Self image:

Author Bio

Born in Romania, Sylvia Bambola lived her early years in Germany. At seven she relocated with her adopted family and saw the Statue of Liberty and America for the first time. But the memory of those years in post World War Germany inspired her to write Refiner’s Fire, which won a Silver Angel Award, and was a Christy Finalist. Her frequent moves as an “army brat” gave her an opportunity to see America and fall in love with her new country. Bambola has authored seven novels, has two grown children, teaches women’s Bible studies, and is learning the guitar. 

Finding Your Value in a Bargain Basement World
by Sylvia Bambola

We have all heard that God has a plan for our lives . . . a destiny He wants us to fulfill. Powerful words, high words, true words. Words denoting our worth. And yet often this reality seems to get lost in the day to day minutia of ordinary life as we go about doing laundry, the dishes, making beds, etc. And if we are writers, this can even be exacerbated.

Writing is hard work, done alone and often unnoticed. It usually takes years to develop our craft, years of learning, practicing, and dedication. And when we finally get published, so often the sales are not what we had hoped. The book’s rank is caught in a subterranean basement somewhere. That’s when the rubber hits the road, that’s when Christian writers will often question if they have heard God at all. Was it really His voice they heard commissioning them to write? Or that huge meatball hero?

Times like this we are tempted to buy into the world’s measuring rod of value. Sales, book ranking, name recognition, number of reviews are all fine but really don’t measure value at all. And it’s especially at this time that writers must fight the feeling that they are not important. Not in the grand scheme of things, anyway. And their writing, insignificant.

Now why is that? Why is it easy for us who know God, to lose our perspective about our worth? Because we live in a world with two value systems: God’s and the world’s and sometimes we blend the two. We take old ways of thinking that we haven’t yielded to God or old hurts or old prejudices, and blend them with God’s perspective. And this mixed thinking robs us of our value in our own minds.

The world values outward beauty and outward accomplishments, and this system often creates disastrous results. Consider these facts:
·         1% of all American female adolescents have anorexia—that’s 1 out of 100 girls between the ages of 10-25 who are starving themselves
·         In US secular marriages 41% of 1st marriages end in divorce; 60% of all 2nd marriages; and 73% of all 3rd marriages
·         In Christian marriages 60% of Christians who rarely attend church get divorced
·         More than 1/3 of all school aged children are latchkey

On the other hand, what God considers of great price is a meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:3 KJ). And all our service, all our accomplishments are just so much wood, hay and stubble if done with the wrong motive. Our works should be done in obedience to God’s direction and to glorify Him—period. We are instructed to do all as unto the Lord. We are supposed to be building God’s kingdom, not ours. I had to learn this in my writing. Actually, I had to learn it more than once.
God’s word tells us in Romans 12:2 “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The world wants to conform us, while God wants to transform us. Remember that.

So why are we valuable? Because we are made in the image and likeness of God. Because we have been bought by the blood of Jesus, called by His name, and are joint heirs with Him, because He knows us by name and loves us and because He really does have a plan and purpose for us. Wow! Nothing beats that. And if we writers will simply obediently follow His lead in our work, and let Him do with it what He wills, the greatest prize of all awaits us, that of hearing our precious Lord tells us: “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

Book Summary of The Salt Covenants:

But these plans they have laid out for me like an embroidered rug, showing me where my feet must travel, is to me an awful penance for sins I did not commit.” Isabel

Spain 1493: Isabel has broken her mother’s heart by becoming a sincere convert to Christianity. But when she is noticed by Friar Alonso at La Casa Santa, the Holy House, she is forced to flee the Inquisition by entering into a loveless marriage and sailing with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World. But all too soon Isabel is forced to struggle alone in her new life and new faith. With all the risks and hardships how is she to survive? And will she ever find love in this strange land? And what of the dangerous Enrique Vivar? Will his hidden agenda cost her her life?


Sunday, February 15, 2015


Ada Brownell February newsletter:

“I loved The Lady Fugitive. I read it in two days. It made me laugh. I couldn’t wait until the end. It was so much fun!”

The reader was my sister.  I gave her the book because she needed an uplift—something to distract her from the excruciating constant pain she suffers from her back, a hip she’s broken twice, and a leg that shingles damaged down into the nerves.  She also has congestive heart failure. What a pleasure to gift her with a squeaky clean book filled with suspense, interesting characters, humor, romance and spiritual encouragement.

Not all books labeled “Christian” give the reader an uplift. Do you, a friend or relative need to escape from your problems for a while, laugh, and be spiritually encouraged? William’s favorite song is “The Ninety and Nine” that uses the scripture about the one lost sheep God will leave the flock for in order to find and save the one that is lost. Jenny, the fugitive in the book, needs assurance God is concerned about her. She escapes lots of trouble and finally finds that confidence.

 I write to bless others. My brand is “Stick to Your Soul Encouragement.” Swallowed by Life is an Amazon bestseller and many have been blessed by it. My books are written to increase faith, and Imagine the Future You will do that as well as motivate toward success.   Readers love the novel The Castle and the Catapult, and are inspired by Confessions of a Pentecostal.
The Lady Fugitive has more than 30 reviews on Amazon. You can read a sample chapter or purchase it here

Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, an Amazon best seller, draws on the author’s experience as a medical reporter and years of biblical study. It is written for support groups, religion classes, people with chronic or terminal illness, individuals who fear death or are curious about it, the grieving and those who give them counsel. Check it out and order here

Imagine the Future You, e-book, is on sale for .99. It’s a Bible study to help youth (and parents or grandparents so they can teach) discover evidences for faith; how to look and be their best; who can help; interesting information about dating, love and marriage; choosing a career; how to deposit good things into the  brain you can spend; and how to avoid hazards that jeopardize a successful life on earth and for eternity. All this is mingled with true stories that can make readers smile. Check it out and order here
Imagine the Future You also is available in audio and is free with an trial membership; or $1.99 with purchase of the Kindle or paperback versions of Imagine the Future You.

Review of Imagine the Future You:  How I would have loved to sit at Mrs. Brownell's knee when I was a teen. This wholesome book resounds with sage, godly advice and could be picked up again and again as needs arise. Worthwhile for parents too. Much fodder for family discussion!

See a sample and order here

Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult is a teen novel also enjoyed by adults. Enter an area where people are missing and radicals want to obliterate Christianity from the earth. Joe Baker’s parents also disappeared and he finds himself with someone after him. No fantasy. No wizard, but suspense. Christian payload.
Reviewer: “A.B. Brownell weaves a tale of intrigue and faith which captures the reader from the opening page.”

Get The Castle and The Catapult here

Confessions of a Pentecostal is a glimpse inside another person’s faith as the author tells about her family’s conversions one by one and her own spiritual journey. This book is especially enjoyed by older Pentecostal Christians. It was listed many years on The Library Thing among most popular books on Pentecostalism. Because it is out of print, Confessions of a Pentecostal in paperback is only available from the author, but e-books are sold on Amazon. HERE
All the books except Confessions of a Pentecostal are also available in paperback on Amazon and some bookstores..

Some titles in paperback are available at and probably could be ordered from the stores. My publisher tells me The Lady Fugitive should be in bookstores everywhere soon and should be available at Barnes and Noble now.

Ada Brownell is the author of five books, about 300 stories and articles in Christian publications, and she spent a large chunk of her life as a reporter, mostly for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. She and her husband L.C., have five children, one of them in heaven, nine wonderful grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Amazon Ada Brownell author page:

Twitter: @AdaBrownell

 Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement


I’ve had this recipe for years and I don’t remember eating it anywhere but my house. I think I got it out of a Pillsbury booklet. The frosting is one of my favorites. Use it on a purchased angel-food cake or one you make from a mix. This will cover an 8x8 cake. Double it for the large cake.
1 egg white, unbeaten
½ cup sugar
Dash of salt
2/3 cup sliced strawberries
Combine egg white, sugar, salt and  1/3 cup strawberries in the top of double boiler. Use rotary beater to mix.
Place over rapidly boiling water. Beat with electric mixer for four minutes or until mixture stands in peaks. Remove from boiling water. Fold in remaining strawberries.

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