Friday, December 19, 2014

A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER SHOWS WHO YOUTH ARE INSIDE--AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY

By Darcie J. Gudger

Author of Spin
  1. Nothing like rubbing shoulders with teens to create characters. When did your lead characters come to life for you?
Back in 2001 when I was a special education teacher at a local high school, I was on lunch room duty. All of a sudden, the name “Kisrie” popped into my head. At that time, a teacher in the building had been falsely accused of hitting a student in class. As I heard the kids spread rumors about what happened (a disgruntled student started the whole thing to get him fired), the plot for SPIN came to light. Then I started writing. As I wrote, Kisrie and Wendy revealed themselves to me. Then, over the course of the past 13 years, they evolved. Of course, being a color guard instructor for 15 years and spending countless hours with teens each week, year-round kind of helps.

  1. What is your leading lady’s main problem? How did that develop as the character came to life?
Kisrie’s main problem is that she bought into the victim mentality. Bullied all her life, she embraced the lies that defined her as weak, worthless and ugly. Her feelings drove her inactions when faced with a critical decision to stop vicious rumors about her uncle. Career and life destroying rumors. Through the lens of a victim, she chose self-preservation and hoped the situation would work itself out over time. All actions, or in her case, non-actions, have consequences. The pain of those repercussions drove the change in her character.

  1. How do teens evaluate the importance of fitting in with the crowd?
I don’t think they take the time to evaluate the importance of fitting in. The pressure to conform is intense. It becomes more or less a survival instinct. Kids who don’t comply from the beginning learn very fast that being different, or standing out in anyway results in isolation and bullying. Even in the earliest of grades, an onlooker can see the kids standing on the playground, backs against the school wall, tracing designs in the dirt with their toes while the others chase, laugh, climb and cartwheel around.

  1. Do Christian teens have more confidence in themselves and their future than other youths?
I wish I could say yes. But the reality is this. Christian kids in public schools feel like they have a target on their backs. Their entire belief system, world-view, and values are scorned and flat-out forbidden in the classroom and the hallway. The media attacks Christianity. The culture derides it. For a teen to self-identify as a Christian, or be pegged as a Christian by peers is a social death-sentence. They are called haters. They may even be forced into sensitivity trainings to wipe out their beliefs. They are told to distrust their parents and trust the system. And I am not sure the church understands this and gives the kids the kind of support they need to endure real persecution. Youth leaders had a different experience in school. Social media did not exist. And, they have been in “the bubble” of Christian college or seminary for a while.
The honest truth? Our teens are on the front lines of a culture war. Think about it.  Where does societal worldview come from? The education system.  K-12, and then college is even worse. I have seen way too many Christian teens cave to the pressure and conform, go undercover, or worse, give in to depression and suicide.

  1. Where does this confidence come from—the kind that endures and creates long-lasting friendships?
This confidence should come with a deep, trusting relationship with Jesus Christ. And maturity is a factor as well. Teens are still… teens. They are in a developmental stage where they are trying to figure things out. And who do they tend to turn to first? Peers. We adults would like them to turn to us, or their relationship with Christ. We want to blissfully assume they do this naturally. But again, what kind of pressure do they face day after day? It is not safe to be a Christian kid in a secular milieu. They live with that fear over what will happen if people find out? Sure, there are exceptions to this. There are vibrant, fearless confident Christian kids, but they are a minority. Most are undercover. Take the characters in my book. Kisrie, Jacque and even Tammie do what they can to remain undetected or unobtrusive.
Christ following adults need to come along side teens and show them how to endure a vicious environment. Model for them how to navigate and stand up for what they believe in when there is a hefty price to pay. We need to be with them as they face the forced brainwashing and ridicule by people in positions of authority, or even peers. Knowing WE know how hard it is for them every day will give them confidence they need to stay on course. Praying with them as well as for them, teaching them to study the Bible – really dig in, will build God-Warrior habits that will last a life time.

  1. You discovered you didn’t fit your first chosen career and it resulted in health problems. What do parents need to know about teen emotions to help them find their niche in life?
“You can be anything you dream!” is spewed at kids day in and day out. It’s a lie. Make sure the teens in your life know that. Teens know when adults are being honest and when we are trying to make them feel good. False hopes create false expectations which when dashed, are devastating. Get to know, really know not only what your kid is good at, but what they are passionate about. Now not all passionate pursuits are career-worthy. But, they can be hobbies. Real conversations about economy and future outlooks are critical. Many people try to hide the dismal economic realities from kids today and allow them to chase whims at great financial cost. And here’s a real unpopular opinion – don’t send them away to college right away after they graduate. Give them time to work, earn money and figure out what kind of viable job they are willing to do for years to come. Some kids need extra time to figure out their path in life. There is no rush. There is no hard and fast rule that college must happen at 18, a degree by 22. I learned the hard way that when I make plans and timelines, they blow up. And it’s ugly and costly.

  1. Are young people today concerned about finding and being in God’s will and plan for their lives?
 Kids are focused on one thing – which path will lead to a job? They are concerned with how they will survive in the world once all the schooling is over. Finding God’s will would be nice, but practicality takes priority with many teens today. Funding for college is harder to get than in generations past. Once it is obtained, the loans… oh the loans… they never seem to go away. And then, there is the question I have been wrestling with myself… even now as a published author… what exactly is God’s will? Is there ONE THING out there for me? Or, does God give me choices and let me figure things out?
Here’s what I think about God’s will in the present after much prayer and study. God gives us free will. He gives us gifts and talents. We are supposed to develop those and use them to His Glory. If we do that, no matter the circumstances (good or bad), we are in His will. If we use them for hurting others, or getting in the way of another person’s faith journey, we are not in His will. Or, if those things are contrary to His Word, well… not His will.
I have spent a lot of time breaking this apart – especially since I have “failed” at almost all of my pursuits, there were a LOT of them. I have spent a lot of time beating myself up for “being out of God’s will.” Why? Was I? Why did I think that? Why did I spend so many years in deep depression thinking I missed the God’s Will Express? Americanized theology tends to teach us that financial success and a life of ease means we are in God’s will. If life is hard, and poverty has us in a choke-hold, we must be out of God’s will. The Bible speaks to the contrary. Financial blessing was what God used in the Old Testament. But in the New Testament things were different. Blessings came in persecution. Blessings came through hardship. Blessings were NOT material! The focus is on the eternal. The rewards are in heaven. God’s will for us all is this. Conform to His image. Become Christ-like. Period. What that looks like is different for each person. Doctor, lawyer, road sweeper, nurse, social worker, stay at home mom… but it will involve refinement. And that hurts. Let’s be honest with kids about that and prepare them so it is not such a shock to the point they throw faith away.

  1. Do most have goals connected with their faith?
It depends on the teen and where they are. I would guess most teens in public schools are trying to survive until that one day they graduate. Their goal is survival. Teens out of high school, teens who are in private school, homeschool and youth group may have goals connected with faith.

  1. How are teachers, even youth leaders and Sunday school teachers, equipped to help youth in their emotional journeys?
I can’t say for sure they are.

  1. What part does God’s Word play to give them hope and peace?
God’s Word should play a part to give teens peace. But many are not going to just go and seek it on their own. Remember, they are trying to survive a nasty social ecology. Teens need adults mature in faith, to come along side them and guide them. Every teen wants a Yoda. A Gandalf. A Haymitch Abernathy. The Bible tells older believers to come along side younger ones and mentor them. That cannot be done in large groups. It needs to be 1:1. Taking solace in God’s Word is a discipline. Disciplines take time to become habit. And habits can fail if there is no accountability system. With a mentor framework in place, God’s Word does have everything all teenagers need to find REAL hope and peace.
  1. How do the characters in your book find joy and peace?
The characters in my book are on a journey. A long one. Kisrie starts to find it when she seeks God for answers. She also has the wisdom of her father and the modeling of Christ-like behavior from her aunt. Then the support of her friends.  Her faith is quite shallow in this book. But as the series progresses, it will deepen. And who knows? Maybe Kisrie’s faith may become a change agent for Wendy.
  1. Does the humor in your writing stem from your experiences in the classroom?
School is a funny place. Teens are funny people. I was telling one of my guard kids the other days that they are my favorite because they love to be goofy and laugh. Some of the material does come from things I’ve seen in the classroom, on my guard teams, and in the hallways. But I do have quite the imagination.



Author bio:
YA author Darcie J. Gudger loves teenagers. Aside from making up stories, she is the director of the award-winning color guard program at Evergreen High School where she teaches students to throw things, catch things, and dance with them. To music. Wearing costumes. She holds a masters degree in education from the University of Colorado. Whenever she gets the chance, Darcie escapes the city with her husband and son into the pine-scented Colorado Rockies.
Website: http://www.darciejgudger.com


SPIN summary:

Sophomore Kisrie Kelley longs to fit in. Instead, she’s always been a misfit, a fact her nemesis Wendy won’t let her forget. At least she’s got color guard and photography, right? She almost feels normal when she’s out on the field performing or behind the lens. Truth be told, they’re the only reasons she even shows up at school, though her professor mom thinks they’re both a waste of Kisrie’s time. Add a serious affinity to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that has her battling the bulge and a pestering “prodigy” little sister who thinks she’s a bush baby, and Kisrie’s contemplating moving to a different planet. The stakes are raised even higher when she overhears Wendy plotting against Kisrie’s English-teacher uncle all over a stupid grade! Should Kisrie snitch and risk Wendy’s wrath? Ever since elementary school the young beauty queen has bullied Kisrie as if it were an Olympic sport. Who’s going to believe Wendy’s story anyway? Everything spins out of control as vicious rumors fly and lives are on the line. Only the truth can set them all free, but will it be too late?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Grief Turned to Joy--SNOW ON EAGLE MOUNTAIN

By Linda Wood Rondeau
Every Christmas Helen tries to hide at home and wish the season away or the painful past still pierces the heart each time the mistletoe is hung.  Her friends make Herculean efforts to draw her out of this seasonal agoraphobia. She acquiesces out of loyalty, but secretly aches for the occasion to end.
Helen’s fiancĂ© was killed during the Christmas holiday just days before their wedding. Christmas, to her, only serves to remind her of the happiness so cruelly yanked away.  Though Helen gives much to her community and is one who would never be characterized as embittered. Yet every year at Christmas, the unwanted memories are revisited.

There are many like Helen, shunning the season, fearful they will be inflicted with recollection. Though we try to be compassionate, few truly understand the depth of sorrow the season emotes for those who grieve.
Yet, our Savior was the first to be acquainted with grief. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Isaiah 53:3a). Because Christ suffered, we too are healed. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
I believe God knew that first Christmas what the future held for his own son. Angels trumpeted the long awaited arrival of the Messiah, and shepherds knelt before a holy infant as a virgin mother cradled her first-born. While the world rejoiced, perhaps the Father mourned.  For the birth of his only Son would culminate in sacrifice.
When the Father viewed the rustic cradle, did He see the Cross? When Mary wrapped Jesus in the swaddling clothes, did God see the crown of thorns? When shepherds worshipped, did He see His one and only Son ridiculed, scorned, stripped of dignity, beaten and scourged? When Mary twirled the babe’s fingers within her own, did the Father see the nails that would pierce them?
That first Christmas night, only the Father knew the events that someday would unfold.  The world celebrated the promise of salvation not knowing the price that would yet be paid, yet planned from the beginning of time. Only God knew of Heaven’s loss. And I wonder if His grief is renewed each yuletide as men continue to scorn the gift He gave.  
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).



 Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes blended contemporary fiction that speaks to the heart and offers hope to those with damaged lives. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.  Her most recent release, A Christmas Prayer, (aka A Father’s Prayer) was a finalist for both the 2014 Selah and Carol Awards. 

Other books include: , It Really IS a Wonderful Life, Joy Comes to Dinsmore Street, Days of Vines and Roses and her non-fiction book, I Prayed for Patience God Gave Me Children, also part of a compilation (Uplifting Devotionals).A sequel Joy Comes to Dinsmore Street, (Snow on Eagle Mountain) is expected to be released soon.

Rondeau’s, Jolly Angel, is also part of a compilation, Blue Heaven Romances.
Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com, her blog, This Daily Grind, or email her at lindarondeau@gmail.com  or find her on Facebook, Twitter, PInterest, Google Plus and Goodreads.   

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's Christmas! Can we open our presents now?




 
Ada Brownell Writing Ministries December 2014 Newsletter
 

 

 
Dear Reader Friend:

“It’s Christmas! Can we open our presents now?”

The enthusiastic shout came from our oldest son, Gary, then about 10, and our other children gathered at our bedroom door.  Sleepy eyed, I glanced at the clock. The hands pointed at 12:01 a.m.

Such enthusiasm! Although we didn’t give permission for them to start unwrapping their Christmas gifts in the middle of the night, it was a great example of the joy, expectation, and wonder of celebrating the birth of the Christ Child.  

Does enthusiasm flow through your heart as you choose and purchase gifts? Have you found presents that make you feel good about giving?

I’ve always been somewhat shy about marketing my books, but recently author/marketing expert Shelley Hitz said, “Selling your books is a way to help someone else.”

Yes, I wrote the books to bless others. My brand is “Stick to Your Soul Encouragement.”  Since you might have already purchased or downloaded my five books, now you can be a blessing to your friends and relatives by giving them a book or two as gifts.

The Lady Fugitive is written for those who love historical fiction with an inspiring theme, suspense, humor and romance.

 

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.

 

Imagine the Future You  is a Bible study to help youth 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.

Imagine the Future You  also is available in audio and is free with an www.audible.com trial membership.

 

Review:  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!

 

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.”

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.

 

 The Kindle version of Confessions of a Pentecostal  is only 99 cents; Swallowed by Life, Joe the Dreamer and Imagine the Future You are only $2.99. The Lady Fugitive is just under $10, but readers say it’s worth the price. The e-books can be read on Kindle, smart phones, I-pads and computers.

 

All the books are also available in paperback on Amazon and some bookstores.  Four are under $10 and The Lady Fugitive in paper is less than $15 and is easy-to-read print. Scripture Supply in Pueblo, CO has all the books but Confessions and The Lady Fugitive, and Christian Publishers Outlet in Springfield, MO, has all but Confessions.



Some titles in paperback are available at BarnesandNoble.com 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’s Amazon author page is here.

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.

 Thanks for your support of my ministry in the past. I pray you have a wonderful Christmas! Jesus came that we might have life--abundantly  (John 10:10).
RECIPE

 Aunt Daisy’s Christmas pudding

Sift together: 2 teaspoons soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 cups flour

Cream: 2 tablespoons margarine, 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 cup milk

Add:  Milk mixture, 1 cup nuts, 1 cup raisins and stir.

Put batter in well-greased pan. Then mix 2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons butter.  Pour over above mixture. Cook until nice and brown, about ½  hour at 375 degrees F.

 

NOTE: If you don’t want to receive these newsletters, please let me know.

 

 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

COMMON SENSE, PROPAGANDA AND FAITH

By Ada Brownell
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER THE EVIDENCE

Everything about who we are, why we are here, and where we are going is settled by faith.
 It might surprise you, but evolution still is a theory. If you pin an evolutionist down, which I was able to do numerous times as a journalist, he'll admit there is no proof and no solid science behind it, but the theory is treated as fact because it is so widely accepted. The lack of real evidence s why Darwin’s theory has been changed and evolution is many different theories.
I asked the anthropologist at my college why monkeys aren't turning into humans now. He said our life spans are too short to see evolution at work. Then he used a fruit fly, which has a life span of only a few days, and mentioned the changes (or mutations) he'd seen.
"What kind of creature did you have then?" I asked.
The answer: A fruit fly.
Being a journalist, Bible student and teacher, I've studied the Bible and science off and on most of my adult life and interviewed experts on both sides. As a reporter you can ask any question you want to. I share some of those interviews in this book. The secularist’s goal is to destroy faith in a Supreme Being—God, but they can’t prove God isn’t there.

Yet, I admit, Christians can't prove God exists, either.  But there is a very good reason for that: Faith is necessary for salvation (See John 3: 16).
In my book Imagine the Future You, I supply plenty of evidence for faith—and reveal forgeries such as the Piltdown man, missing links that DNA proved aren’t links, and a new theory, punctuated equilibrium, unbelievers designed for pseudo-evidence to support their theories that God isn’t there. Punctuated equilibrium assumes species jumped from one to another in evolution.
In my book I also discuss how the secular world attempts to destroy faith with propaganda (spinning the truth) and brainwashing.
But building faith isn’t the only object of Imagine the Future You. This Bible study will help you discover evidence for faith; how to look and be your best; who can help; interesting information about dating, love and marriage; choosing a career; how to deposit good things into your brain you can spend; and how to avoid hazards that jeopardize a successful life on earth and for eternity, all mingled with true stories that can make you smile. 
You can test what you've learned through the questions and answers provided.
Just one other note.  You'll notice the book has a youth flavor. Imagine the Future You also targets faith in yourself and how to grow your abilities.
 That shouldn't keep you from enjoying the message, increasing your faith, teaching your children and grandchildren, and then motivating you to increase your faith and be wise about decisions and what you do every day.
Do everything you can to make sure your friends and family are with God and you for eternity. It comes in paperback, for Kindle, and audio. It's a great gift!

Review:  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!



In His love,

Ada Brownell

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE GIFT YOU'RE GIVING?


To help you with your Christmas shopping I'm sharing my December 2014 newsletter here. --Ada


 
Ada Brownell Writing Ministries December 2014 Newsletter
 

 

 
Dear Reader Friend:

“It’s Christmas! Can we open our presents now?”

The enthusiastic shout came from our oldest son, Gary, then about 10, and our other children gathered at our bedroom door.  Sleepy eyed, I glanced at the clock. The hands pointed at 12:01 a.m.


Such enthusiasm! Although we didn’t give permission for them to start unwrapping their Christmas gifts in the middle of the night, it was a great example of the joy, expectation, and wonder of celebrating the birth of the Christ Child.  
Does enthusiasm flow through your heart as you choose and purchase gifts? Have you found presents that make you feel good about giving?
I’ve always been somewhat shy about marketing my books, but recently author/marketing expert Shelley Hitz said, “Selling your books is a way to help someone else.”

Yes, I wrote the books to bless others. My brand is “Stick to Your Soul Encouragement.”  Since you might have already purchased or downloaded my five books, now you can be a blessing to your friends and relatives by giving them a book or two as gifts.

The Lady Fugitive is written for those who love historical fiction with an inspiring theme, suspense, humor and romance.

 

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.

 

Imagine the Future You  is a Bible study to help youth 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.

Imagine the Future You  also is available in audio and is free with an www.audible.com trial membership.

 

Review:  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!

 

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.”

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.

 
 The Kindle version of Confessions of a Pentecostal  is only 99 cents; Swallowed by Life, Joe the Dreamer and Imagine the Future You are only $2.99. The Lady Fugitive is just under $10, but readers say it’s worth the price. The e-books can be read on Kindle, smart phones, I-pads and computers.

 All the books are also available in paperback on Amazon and some bookstores.  Four are under $10 and The Lady Fugitive in paper is less than $15 and is easy-to-read print. Scripture Supply in Pueblo, CO has all the books but Confessions and The Lady Fugitive, and Christian Publishers Outlet in Springfield, MO, has all but Confessions.


Some titles in paperback are available at BarnesandNoble.com 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’s Amazon author page is here.

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.
 Thanks for your support of my ministry in the past. I pray you have a wonderful Christmas! Jesus came that we might have life--abundantly  (John 10:10).
                                                       RECIPE

                                                                Aunt Daisy’s Christmas pudding

Sift together: 2 teaspoons soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 cups flour

Cream: 2 tablespoons margarine, 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 cup milk

Add:  Milk mixture, 1 cup nuts, 1 cup raisins and stir.

Put batter in well-greased pan. Then mix 2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons butter.  Pour over above mixture. Cook until nice and brown, about ½  hour at 375 degrees F.


 

 


Monday, December 8, 2014

Interview with budding writer Jamie Wright


Jamie Wright Interview

1.    What led you to writing?  A crazy amount of stories in my head. They were books I wanted to read but weren’t in the library, or published, or available unless I put them on paper. So I started to write horrible, awful stories. But loved every minute.
2.    How did you start, beyond school assignments? I sat down with a Windows 3.1 computer and started hammering out the basis for my story. I was 13 years old and it took me two years to finish. It was the best two years of focused writing ever!
3.    What piqued your interest in turn-of-the century romance? I presume that’s the turn of the 20th Century? Yes, it’s 20th Century J I’ve always had a love of history and antiques. I’ve spent hours looking through old photograph albums and wondering what the stories were of the nameless people who stared back at me in black and white, dressed in garb from another time, another place, another culture. I’ve always wished for a time machine of sorts. I suppose writing is the closest I’ll get to finding one, huh? J

4.    Your blog speaks of “spirited” and “gritty” romance. Explain:  Spirited. J My characters have a lot of energy. LOL My heroines may be timid, but they’ll be headstrong in another area. Or some are mouthy but tender. Mostly, the exchanges between the hero and heroine are outgoing, often heated and definitely not play-it-nice conversations. My heroes typically have a rough exterior. They are usually not gentlemanly from the meaning of “schooled in fine arts”. They have pasts, they are gruff, often sarcastic, cynical, and insensitive, and yet I pull from their deepest parts. The fierce protector in their soul, or the wounded man who wants to experience love based on the Truth of God’s grace, or the man who desperately needs to find redemption. As for gritty? Ok. Not gritty in the sense of graphic or gratuitous. Absolutely not. Gritty in the sense that my characters take life head-on. My books aren’t cozy fireside romances with school teachers and ranchers who need each other. They’re gritty heroes who used to fight on the docks of San Francisco or heroines who are willing to take down an entire town to save the abused. 
5.    Tell us about your book and where the idea for it came from. My latest book that I just finished and sent off to my agent is based on my Wisconsin hometown ca. 1890. It involves a young woman who is searching for her biological father who used to travel on the railway, and a hero who is searching for the man who attacked his sister in San Francisco. Their worlds crash together when that man appears to be both the heroine’s father and the man with a violent past.
6.    Do you have a publication date yet? Not yet. But my book is on editor’s desks as we speak.
7.    Has your novel journey been enriched by writers’ conferences? If so, how? Definitely. The relationships I have formed there are lifelong and enriching. I’ve often stated that if it weren’t for ACFW, I wouldn’t have met my sisters or my mentor. That in itself is well worth the investment! And they hone my writing with honesty and knowledge, save me from jumping off the proverbial cliff, and pick me up when that rejection email filters its way into my inbox.
8.    Does your female main character have some of your characteristics? The one in my latest book doesn’t at all. She was very difficult to write because I was trying to write from the point of view of a girl who wasn’t a fighter but was loyal to a fault. I’m loyal to a fault, but I also fight like crazy and am very strong-willed. So trying to put myself into the shoes of a more timid heroine was difficult.
9.    How does the leading man resemble your husband? His protective nature. My hero will go to war for those he loves. He is a justice seeker and even an avenger. It’s one thing to come against him; it’s a totally different thing to oppose his family. My husband is much the same way.
1 . Did creating conflict come easy? Absolutely. According to my Dad I’ve always been good at creating conflict ;)
1   What is your next project? My next project is the daughter of a medical coroner in 1898. She prefers to befriend the dead, because the living demand too much. But in doing so, she is caught up in their secrets, which may make her one of their numbered souls.
1 . Anything else you’d like to add? Coffee? J

Jaime Wright Bio:

Professional coffee drinker Jaime Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Her day job finds her a Director of Associate Sales, Development & Relations. She’s wife to a rock climbing, bow-hunting youth pastor, mom to a coffee-drinking little girl and a Sippy cup-drinking baby boy, and completes her persona by being an admitted Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Blogspot junkie.

Jaime is a member of ACFW, enjoys mentorship from a best-selling author, and has the best critique partners EVER! (Yes, that's an exclamation point.) She was a semifinalist in ACFW’s 2013 Genesis contest and that alone encouraged excessive celebration over extra espresso with hazelnut syrup.

In her "down time", Jaime reads voraciously, socializes incessantly, drinks coffee addictively, and overuses "-ly" words excessively.

Links:




Twitter: Jaime_wright
Pinterest: jaimewright01

                                                                                                                                                                                         


Friday, December 5, 2014

WHERE TO FIND HOPE: Janet K. Brown, author of Worth Her Weight




MEET JANET K. BROWN

AUTHOR AND WEIGHT LOSS VICTOR


Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. Writing became her second career after retirement from medical coding.

     Worth Her Weight will be the author’s debut inspirational women’s fiction, but it makes a perfect companion to her recently released, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Both books encompass her passion for diet, fitness, and God’s Word.
Worth Her Weight marks Brown’s third book. Who knew she had a penchant for teens and ghosts? She released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012.
     Janet and her husband love to travel with their RV, visit their three daughters, two sons-in-law and three perfect grandchildren, and work in their church. Find her at http:/ /www.janetkbrown.com on Twitter, @janetkbrowntx , on Facebook @  http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Janet-K-Brown-Author/143915285641707



Thy Will Be Done



BY JANET K. BROWN

The Lord’s prayer states, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

That’s the secret that Lacey Chandler—along with her childhood boyfriend and her mother—from Worth Her Weight must learn to find hope. It’s also the secret I had to grasp to obtain emotional healing. Now, twenty years since God miraculously healed me, I still must pray daily, “Let my will, my life, my choices be yours, Lord.” Praise God for one step at a time with Him in charge.

My power equals destruction.
God’s power equals victory.

I pray Lacey’s journey will remind you that:     I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Phil: 4:13

Our will power can become won’t power without Christ.
     The driving force behind our white-knuckled, clenched-teeth “no” can just as well shift over and fuel the mania to swallow more and more and everything.
From a Hazelden Publication booklet “When Willpower is Not Enough.”

My 4 “S” Motto for Success

Strive toward a decision to follow Christ in all things.
Stretch toward God’s excellence, not man’s approval.
Surrender to God’s will, not ours.

Succeed in keeping communication lines open with God.


WORTH HER WEIGHT summary

How can a woman who gives to everyone but herself accept God’s love and healing when she believes she’s fat, unworthy, and unfixable? Can she be Worth Her Weight?
  
     LACEY CHANDLER helps her mother, her sister, her friend, and then she binges on food and wonders is there really a God?
     BETTY CHANDLER hates being handicapped and useless, so she lashes out at the daughter that helps, and the God who doesn’t seem to care.
     TOBY WHEELER loves being police chief in Wharton Rock, but when the devil invades the small town, he can’t release control.
  
Is God enough in Wharton Rock?

"Worth Her Weight" is up now for pre-order at http://www.pen-l.com/WorthHerWeight.html  Anyone preordering before Christmas will receive a 10% discount. It will actually release on Dec. 16.


 From Ada: What has God taught you about weight loss? Please leave a comment.