Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas from Wyoming!

Christmas Wyoming Style




The Christmas presents are all opened and the critters are lounging under the tree. Dinner is...well, still thawing while snow flies outside the kitchen window. It's Christmas, Wyoming style.

It's a beautiful day  in the Rockies--cold, brisk and white. Welcome to Wyoming!

I'd like to wish all a very Merry Christmas. May this day that we remember the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and all He has done for us be blessed and beautiful.



As we look forward to the future and 2017, I have hope. Is it in this world? No. My hope is in the Almighty. And no matter what I may face I know that I will never have to face it alone or with my own feeble strength. I have a Warrior to help wage the battles of this world...even the ones of my own making as well as a Mediator to trod on holy ground where I cannot...yet.

Christmas is a reminder that God shed His glory to don simple clothes...skin. Not to condemn but to liberate. Not to join mankind but pay for the judgment of all.

So, when you offer gifts to one another on Christmas, think of the amazing gift God gave to all in Jesus Christ.

He paid the price for your sins on a cross on Calvary. Do you know Jesus as your Savior today?

I do and I'd like to wish all from the folds of the Lord a very Merry Christmas.

In Christ,

Renee

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Christmas Cowboy Interview on Inspirational Moments

Cowboys at Christmas


Hey y'all, I'd like to welcome Julie Cosgrove to the blog this week. She's got a special treat for us in the form of a handsome cowboy from her latest release, Hill Country Homecoming. I know you're as anxious to find out more about him as I yield the floor. Take it away, Julie.




Thanks, Renee. Howdy, everyone.. Let me introduce you to a guy I recently met in the Cowboy Christmas novella, Hill Country Homecoming. Welcome Travis Wallace.

I’m Travis Wallace, the manager at the Bar-M, which is one of the largest horse breeding ranches in the Texas Hill Country. My parents died in a tornado when I was knee-high to a jack rabbit, so a nice, Christian couple raised me and my sister. I consider them my mom and dad, even though they’re old enough to be my grandparents. Their failing health worries me.

Sorry to hear that, Travis. How did you end up working at the Bar-M?

I came to work at the Bar-M at the age of sixteen, as recompense for driving recklessly over the property while I’d been drinking and carousing. I did a lot of things wrong back then.  But Mr. Maxwell took me under his wing. I worked every afternoon after school, on weekends and over the holidays. Summer vacation, too. A strict taskmaster, he didn’t cotton to any excuses for slacking off. At first I hated the man, but mucking his stables made more sense than rubbing elbows with the druggie kids in juvenile hall. Not a brand I wanted to carry the rest of my life.

Can’t blame you there. So you owe Mr. Mansfield a lot? He must care about you as well. What about his daughter?

Guess I was the son he never could have being his wife died of cancer after giving him a daughter, Sarah. She’s spoiled rotten, that one. Thinks money pops out of ATMs simply because she snaps her slender fingers or flips her silky, blonde hair over her shoulder. But, he’s farmed her out to posh girl schools and colleges for the last decade, so she only flits in on holidays and over the summer. Sarah stays out of my hair when she’s here. Actually she gives me a wide berth. Funny to see a horse breeder’s daughter wrinkle her nose at the whiff of manure. She spends her days lounging on river rafts and kicking up dust at the rodeo dances where she catches every guy’s attention with her sashaying. Not that I’m totally immune to her feminine ways. No man under eighty with a pulse would be. Guess they teach ‘em how to hook a rich man in those private education establishments. Well, this year, it appears as if she has. Poor schmuck.

Now, now. Don’t judge. What have you learned at the ranch you wish the readers to know?

Anyway, between Mr. Maxwell and my adopted parents, I’ve learned hard work and faith is what it takes to make it in this world. After high school, he took me on full-time. Nine years later, he offered me the manager position. I’ve been in charge of the horses’ care and the breeding process for going on four years now. Every morning I get on my knees and thank God for another day to serve Him and Mr. M. Every night, I return to my knees to thank Him for the day, my adopted parents, and to pray for their health. Keeps me balanced until worship service on Sundays.

Something we all need, my friend. Thanks for dropping by.


Thanks for sharing this awesome interview, Julie! So, what do y'all think of Travis? Sounds like a good guy, don't he? Would you like to find out more about Julie's Cowboy Christmas novella, Hill Country Homecoming? I know I do!

And I've got the info for you!

Here's an excerpt:

     Live rich, marry richer.
That had been Sarah Mansfield’s goal since grade school. Now, after years of plotting and planning, it lay within reach. She angled the two-carat round-cut solitaire, surrounded by a myriad of smaller stones, to catch the light streaming through the car window. The facets glimmered in the warm, winter sun as it bounced off the bare cypress branches swishing overhead.
     Her fiancĂ©, Tucker Simpson, sat next to her in his shiny, new Italian convertible. As he shifted gears and pressed the clutch, his hand-stitched, never-stepped-into-manure boots gave off a soft whiff of saddle-soap. Outside the window, the glistening emerald Guadalupe River wound along the state road like a lazy rattler seeking shade.  “It is the one you wanted. From Harrison’s, right?”
     “Yes. I should have known you’d dare not shop anyplace else.” She gave him a teasing wink.
“Only the best for my girl. As soon as I signed the Henderson account with the firm, it proved my worth.” His diamond-eyed, eighteen-carat gold longhorn tie tack blinked in her direction. Symbol of graduating in the top of his Texas law school class. 
     She grinned.
     He slipped his hand from the gearshift and laced his fingers through hers. “After only six months with Abernathy, Smith and Firth, I am the newest junior partner, at $300K a year. Now, I can almost afford you.”
     “The ring is perfect. Just like you, honey.” She fluttered her mascara-laden eyelashes and pecked his golf-course-bronzed cheek in response.
     His French aftershave, at $129.95 an ounce, swept her into euphoria. Yep, all the effort and waiting had paid off.  Born into one of the wealthiest horse breeding families in Central Texas, Sarah spent her summers galloping across the plains in the morning, lounging on rafts in the river through the afternoons, and kicking up dust at the rodeo dances until midnight, all the while tantalizing the local boys she kept at arm’s length. While they offered a certain amount of fun, they didn’t fit the bill. Too uncouth and prone to spit chewing tobacco.
     The school year, spent in San Antonio, sequestered her in an upscale parochial girl’s school away from the inner city sharks, though a few boldly circled the posh pond trying to lure a socialite with their good looks and slumming charms. Nice playthings on which to practice her femininity, but long ago, she’d set her sights on far larger fish—Dallas or Houstonian guys with daddy’s money bulging from wallets in the back pockets of their too-tight jeans. 
      After she graduated, she attended one of the top private colleges in the state and pledged a sorority—the one of her mother and grandmother. Next, she spent the obligatory year touring Europe with the other debutantes, per time-honored protocol, in order to round out her cultural repertoire and to catch the eyes of rich and eligible cosmopolitan bachelors. The fact she had enough brains to make straight A’s all the way through school hardly mattered. Graceful flirtations, the right haircut and perfume, and a flawlessly tanned body did. 
     Her best friend, Emma Rose, landed a minor British duke, but Sarah’s attention fell on Tucker as he volleyed the beach ball while summering on the Italian Riviera. His rippled abs captured the Mediterranean sunbeams and ricocheted into her heart. She used every feminine wile in her well-bred arsenal to convince him to snare her instead of one of the other girls, and then played a mild hard-to-get to reel him in. She convinced her father to pay for her to get her Master’s in Renaissance English Literature at the university in Dallas so she could keep Tucker wiggling on the hook once he landed employment at the prestigious law firm. It was also where she made her debut into society, accumulating well-established names and addresses for her future wedding invitations.
     Yep, her plans had fallen in place. Sarah laced her arm through Tucker’s and leaned into his shoulder blade. She raised her left hand higher. “Everyone at the Christmas Dance tonight at the Bar-M Ranch will wish they were us. You are going to drool over my dress.”
      “I’d prefer to see you out of it, but I know you are the wait-until-the-honeymoon type.”  She lifted off his chest and protruded her lower lip as she twisted to face him. “Which you’ve agreed to abide by.”
      “Anything for you, angel. You just keep reminding me you’re worth the wait, okay?” He winked. 
      She snickered. “My daddy will, for sure. He’s won awards for his rifle shooting.”
      Tucker cleared his throat. “How many folks are you expecting tonight?”
      “Oh, around two-hundred I guess.” She scrunched her nose and swished back her palomino-blonde hair. “Dad insists on letting the ranch hands and their families join in the holiday festivities. Which, unfortunately, means Mr. Righteous will be in attendance.” She mimed a gag, dipping her finger to the back of her tongue.
      Tucker’s eyes twinkled in response as he draped an arm over her shoulders and pulled her close.
      “You mean your dad’s right hand man, Travis?”
       She snuggled into his ribcage and yawned. “That’s the one. Hope he leaves his Bible in the bunkhouse. I don’t want religion spoiling my Christmas.”
       He reared his head back, revealing a protruding Adam’s apple peeking from his starched and professionally pressed Oxford shirt collar. A laugh exploded from his lips. 
       “Turn down that road up ahead on the right, honey, where you see the large oak and the Texas flag.”
       “Yes’m.” Tucker twisted to face her as she rose off his torso and smoothed her hair back into place. “Sarah. Am I seriously supposed to get on this Travis’ good side? I mean, could he prevent our wedding if he disapproved?”
       She brushed a piece of lint from her French designer jeans. “Daddy always values his opinions about raising horses, so sometimes he gets his nose a bit too high, if you get my meaning. But”—she lifted her gaze and narrowed her blue eyes—“if that cowpoke hisses, you ignore him. He’ll slither back into his hole where he belongs as soon as he realizes Daddy’s happy as long as I’m happy.”
       “Good to know.” His eyes returned to the road winding through the prairie grass ahead of them.


More information about the book:

Sarah has the dollars and cents, Travis the horse sense. When tragedy hits the Bar-M Ranch one Christmas, will they put aside their differences to save it? 


Tags:  Contemporary romance, Christmas novella, Cowboy Christmas, Texas Hill Country, Christian romance



More information about the author:

Julie B Cosgrove has ten contracted novels and novellas published or in the works. She also writes for seven devotional publications and websites and is a professional speaker who leads women’s religious retreats and writers’ workshops. Julie lives in Fort Worth, Texas but her heart is at her family’s property in the Texas Hill Country on the Guadalupe River.

Visit her website www.juliebcosgrove.com, and follow her blog Where Did You Find God Today?



Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Christmas Celebration with Amazing Giveaway

It's Time to Party


The Blare Household loves Christmas. Thanksgiving rolls around and the decorations find their way out of mothballs almost immediately. A trip or two to the store (maybe more) attempt to satisfy the insatiable appetite for glitter and gold.

This year, old combine with new to create a plethora of beauty. Candles framed with holly flicker in the night to remind all what the season is truly about.

The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is worth celebrating. But is December the only time to do it?

God's gift - His liberating gift - is One that sets people free from pain and judgment. And Christmas reminds us that it's available to all, not just the special or elite. For we all have fallen short of the glory of God and are wretched in the eyes of the Father.

Jesus takes us under his wing, not to shelter us from the trials of life, but to weather the storms. To show us that He loves each and everyone of us. To prove that He will never leave nor forsake us and remain the one Friend when none other will or can be.

_____________________

I can hear the questions now. "Is Jesus Christ real or is he someone more like Santa Claus?" "What if I don't celebrate?" "What if I think nobody should celebrate?"

I'd like to address each one of these if I may.

1. Is Jesus real? Jesus Christ is real. Historians, Christian and non-Christian, have documented this fact. Eye-witness accounts (biblical and non-biblical) support his life, death and resurrection. Our calendar is based on his presence on this earth (A.D., B.C.).  If you have an issue with Jesus, I suggest you research a bit more and use other sources besides the Bible. As for the Christian faith, that is another debate, but Jesus is not Santa Claus. Christmas is not a holiday founded on a man in the North Pole who makes presents for the children of the world, although that is a folktale and is told to almost every child from birth. It's about a man who died on a cross for the sins of the world. And that man is real.

2. What if I don't celebrate? Many people, Christians included, do not celebrate Christmas. Their reasons are varied. The commercialism of the world has influenced the true meaning of Christmas for the Christian community and makes it hard for many to celebrate this holiday. Others do not acknowledge it as a holiday simply because they are not Christians, although the world in general, does not celebrate it for that reason alone. Society has set this day aside as a day of rest and a way to acknowledge and bless one another with gifts.

3. "I don't think anybody should celebrate it." I would say you are a selfish person. Whether you are a Christian or not, this day is a way for the world to honor and love one another in the art of giving. In the United States, our constitution give us the right to practice freedom of religion and our Christian faith is protected. That being said, Christmas has evolved beyond merely a Christian holiday. Through this holiday, Jesus' birthday, God's gift to the world touches a multitude in ways unimaginable whether they realize it or not and I say, let it continue.


_________________________

In honor of the birth of Christ, I'm giving away my entire collection
of publications to
ONE winner!


Enter by going to my
comment on the pinned picture (have a pic of your favorite dessert ready)!

I will pick a winner by random draw on Christmas Day. :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!




About the Author:

Renee Blare has been buried in a book for as long as she can remember. Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, she started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie. She’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and her husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.
Nestled in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains, she lives in Wyoming with her husband, crazy dogs, and ornery cat. She serves her beautiful small town as a pharmacist while penning her stories about struggling Christians as they travel along the journeys of their lives. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.

Website: http://www.reneeblare.com/
Blog: https://reneeblare.blogspot.com/

Group Blog: http://diamondsinfiction.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Let Go and Let God

In the Midst of Chaos




The last thirty days has been a bit crazy…well, in most everybody’s world. I’m not kidding or assuming! Ask around. Between politics, weather, and work, life hit hard and turned this big ball upside down.

One nutty night in November, the Presidential election flipped this nation on its ear and lit up the entire planet. People have been reeling ever since. Many are still stomping and crying. As for the impact on my life, well, I’m a conservative Christian at heart but I do live in one of the few liberal towns in Wyoming. Need I say more?

I love this little town, although it is rather cold at the moment. But that’s what winter’s like in the Rockies. Cold and snowy. Speaking of weather, have you seen what the disastrous drought conditions brought to our nation? The beautiful Smoky Mountains are all but destroyed by fire. Again, we watch and weep as the world turns upside down.

Romans 12:2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

I’m thankful for the Lord’s protection and guidance during this crazy time. I’ll admit it, I haven’t reflected Him recently. I do have a bit of a temper and don't tolerate stupidity well. But without His renewal, I wouldn’t have hope or made it through the last month. I also wouldn't have lasted a day on my two week hunting vacation! (No, I didn't bag a buck. I missed...twice...three times. Sigh. I can't lie. I love to hunt but I'm not the best marksman in the world.)

But let’s forget about the election or the blister I have from my muck boots for a moment. Without His grace, I have no doubt that work woes, two releases in two months, writer’s block, hunting failures, and holiday stress would've brought me to the brink of insanity. But Prism Book Group’s closure definitely would’ve have sent me over the edge without the Lord holding my hand.

Through it all, God showed how good He is and reminded me this world is a lot bigger than I am. A tiny prod here, a gentle shove there, and once again, I was able to let go and let God. I remembered that I’m the vessel and He is the captain. And wow, do my fingers hurt! I didn’t realized how tightly I had a grip on that wheel.

My world may have turned upside down, but I learned that life does go on. And oh, things may not be as crazy as I thought. I just realized I'd been standing on my head the whole time.


Psalm 64:10  The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and trust in Him. And all the upright in heart shall glory. 

P.S. Prism Book Group didn't "close" but joined Pelican Book Group as an imprint! As I say, God is good. All the time!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Fun with Caryl McAdoo on the Coffee Corner (with Giveaway)

The Coffee Corner Welcomes Caryl McAdoo


Caryl McAdoo

Renee: Please welcome Caryl McAdoo to Inspirational Moments! Caryl’s a great friend and awesome writer and I know you will love her as much as I do. She writes amazing stories and has a heart of gold. In addition to this interview for the Coffee Corner which of course I dropped on her at a moment’s notice, she’s offering TWO of her books for giveaway prizes! Did I mention she has a heart of gold? Oh, yeah, that’s right, I did! So…without further ado, let’s get started. Caryl, can you tell us about your new book? What special or unique about this one?

Caryl: The Bedwarmer’s Son insisted on being written. Back in 2013, I’d started a story I called The Pitch about a new TV reality show where the producer follows 3 teams (each has an agent and a writer) to writers’ conferences filming the author-wannabes’ pitches… looking for the next great American Novel.

For this story, I needed lots of titles and skeletal premises. The Bedwarmer’s Son was one of those. I stopped after thirty-five thousand words to write my next historical for the Texas Romance series, but that title proved so intriguing that I couldn’t get it off my brain…so I wrote it! 

It launched this past September. A top fifty Amazon reviewer who’s read all my books, said it earned his personal SIX-Star rank; that the story was perhaps my magnum opus to date, certainly a piece de resistance. It has 79% 5-Star ratings and 21% 4-Star! Woo Hoo!

Renee: Wow. That’s so cool! So you put it on the backburner so to speak until you could really get it cooking. LOL By the way, I love the title. How do your pick your titles, anyway?

Caryl: I love naming books and characters and pets and goats.  I had a herd of eighty Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats and knew everyone by name! For titles, I choose a theme that goes with the story. I hope that they will be interesting enough to grab a reader’s attention. I loved it when Simon and Schuster kept my title for book one in the Texas Romance Family Saga series, Vow Unbroken! Since it’s book one, I’d like to offer a couple of FREE PRINT COPIES to one of your friends who stops by and chats with us!

Renee: You are such an angel, Caryl! That’s such an awesome gift. Thank you! Did you hear that, folks? See what I mean? This lady has a heart of gold. Check out how to win one of these PRINT COPIES after the interview! Until then, onward with the interview we go…Caryl, what’s the favorite part of your novel and why?

Caryl: My favorite part of The Bedwarmer’s Son is near the end when its two stories collide! I hadn’t thought of it and as I wrote, it just came out. Holy Spirit helps me write all the books!  He’s good, too!
In Vow Unbroken, I love the scene where nine-year-old Becky gets Mister Henry to sing. I’m a singer lady…I love music. But I married a man who is tone deaf. Really. My family (all singers) used to love for birthdays to roll around to get to hear him sing the Happy Birthday song. I used that (my Ron is my inspiration for Henry, my hero) for a heartwarming scene I hope everyone will enjoy!

Renee: I’m laughing so hard right now that I’m almost in tears. My husband can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but he loves to sing. In fact, he raises the rafters. He turns heads! I have to admit…he actually sounds BETTER the louder he gets. He puts new meaning in the words “joyful noise.” I may have to borrow that for one of my characters too! Do you have any hobbies or things you like to do when you aren’t working?

Caryl: Singing is what I love to do. Husband has banned show tunes, but he never makes me stop singing praise or worship songs!  God’s given me many ‘new songs’ and recently I’ve been trying to get them all up on YouTube… I think I have nine up so far. I haven’t got the most beautiful voice you’ve ever heard, and may not be much to look at when I sing, but I love the songs He gives me and want to share them.

I also really enjoy gardening, making my surroundings more beautiful. Getting up and down isn’t so easy anymore though.

Renee: I can understand that! Although, you don't want me gardening. I don't have much of a green thumb. I’ll have to check out your YouTube channel. I’d love to see (and hear) you sing. I can’t believe I haven’t yet! What about vacations? If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Caryl: Jerusalem! If God provided the funds, I’d be off in a flash! I can;’t imagine how it would be to walk in the Holy City. One day soon, I believe I’ll get to go there once a year to pay homage to the King of Kings Who will be sitting on the throne there ruling over the world. Can you imagine? It gives me glory bumps just thinking about it!


Renee: What about a bit closer to home…do you have any pets? If so, I’d love to hear more about them. We already know you love goats!

Caryl: I’m an animal lover. Right now we only have three dogs. Sassy lives indoors and is ¾ Yorkie and ¼ Maltese. She loves me more, but has my husband wrapped around her little paw! Outside, we have a Border Collie named Faith who always greets us faithfully and a big lummox three year old Great Pyrenees Zoe who keeps me smiling because she refuses to grow up. She’s like an eighty pound puppy who still minds Faith even though she’s twice as big.

Then there’s my horse, Bliss. We inherited a herd of American Quarter Horses when Ron’s father passed—from no horses to twelve almost overnight. When clearing out PawPaw’s house, I found a note he’d written that said “Bingo foaled May 3, 2001” We knew Lady Bingo. She was PawPaw’s first horse and ALL the others were her descendants, so the six-month-old filly at her side that November had to be the one who shared my birthday! I claimed her and we have a fun relationship.

I love putting animals in my stories. The dog on the cover of Vow Unbroken is my dog! His book name was Blue Dog, at home, we knew him as “Roo”, short for Franklin Doganor Roosevelt. And in book eight Covering Love that debuts in January has a pony named Twinkle Toes…that was my first pony’s name and the character is my pony!

Renee: I think it’s cool that you use things (animals, traits, etc.) close to you in your books. I do that as well. It makes your stories come to life. It makes them real, both the good and “bad” parts.
It’s been awesome to have you here, Caryl. I love you so much! In closing, is there a special quote or saying you wish to impart to the readers? Something that comes to your mind in times of need or adversity?

Caryl: The thing that I always say, no matter what is going on…how bad something gets, is “It will all be okay because God is still on the throne and in control!” Trusting Him has made my life so wonderful. I am at peace. I never worry. I have no fear—ever, all because I know He is altogether trustworthy. He has proven it o’er and o’er, and my heart is full with gratitude that He loves me so!


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

CARYL’S AMAZING GIVEAWAY

***TWO PRINT COPIES OF VOW UNBROKEN***



ENTER BY LEAVING YOUR EMAIL & ANSWERING:
What is the most memorable animal in a story you’ve read?
And/Or 
What’s your favorite quote?

(Winners will be selected by Caryl McAdoo. 1 Print Copy will be given away for every five commenters from valid entries via blog comments. A maximum of 2 Print Copies of Vow Unbroken by Caryl McAdoo will be awarded.)


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

About the Book, Vow Unbroken:

Love and determination conquers all on the Jefferson Trace in the fall of 1832. Desperate young widow Susannah Baylor recruits War of 1812 veteran Patrick Henry Buckmeyer to help transport her cotton from the Red River Valley to market in Jefferson, Texas. Along the trail, snakes, drunks, wolves, thieves, black bear, and nature thwart her efforts at every turn. With her daughter, nephew, unsaved hireling and his dog, Sue overcomes each obstacle. At her destination, she learns travel on to New Orleans is necessary to sell her crop. Her mission finally achieved, more travel to Tennessee is required for her love to be realized. She’s made a vow to God, and will not wed again without her father’s blessing.


About Caryl McAdoo:

Caryl McAdoo loves God, and currently writes four series: the historical Christian ‘Texas Romance’ a family saga; a contemporary ‘Red River Romance’; The Generations, her Biblical fiction, and the newest Days of Dread Trilogy for mid-grade readers. Known as the “Singing Pray-er”, she loves praising with new songs the Lord gives her and prays her story gives God glory! In 2008, she and high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-plus years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings, believing all good things come from the Lord. Besides glorifying Him, she hopes each title also ministers His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. The McAdoos live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State with two grandsons.

Links:  



                                     (All First Chapters are offered here)
                                     (Get FREE books for subscribing!)
     (Hear Caryl sing her New Songs!)
                                     (Join Caryl’s Street Team!)









Sunday, November 13, 2016

Christmas...Wyoming Style with Crazy Woman Christmas

Renee Blare Releases First Christmas Novella


Crazy Woman Christmas



     Devon studied her as his words sunk in. He couldn’t decide if she was angry or not as a glow suffused her skin. Bianca Kolceski was as gorgeous as the land outside his window, and from the looks of it, just as tough. Another section of his rigid heart softened.
    Aqua-blue eyes latched onto him and her head tilted to the side. “Can I ask you a question?”
    He shrugged, wincing when his ribs protested. “I suppose.”
    “It’s Christmas Eve. Why don’t you decorate?”
    Devon ignored the sting of tears. He couldn’t cry, especially not now and definitely not in front of her. He brushed a hand through his hair. An ache spread through his chest. He massaged his sternum and swallowed. “My parents died on Christmas Eve. Celebrating this holiday is hard for me, especially since I still can’t believe they’re really gone.”
    A small sound drew his gaze to Bianca. Her eyes glistened with unshed tears and her hand stroked his forearm. “I can’t imagine losing a parent, much less two. My parents and I—we’ve been estranged for a while now, but I would be devastated if they were gone.”
    Her lips twisted and she pushed her knuckle into the corner of her eye. “Not that I’ve been a daughter they could be proud of.”
    His shoulder throbbed and his ribs ached—from his injury or loss, he couldn’t be sure. “I’m sure you’re a better daughter than I was a son.”



About Crazy Woman Christmas:

A prodigal daughter meets a grieving son…

During her move back home, Bianca Kolceski takes a wrong turn in rural Wyoming and buries her car in a snowbank. Snow piles high outside until Devon Dawson knocks on her window. The quiet cowboy whisks her to his ranch to ride out the Christmas blizzard where Bianca discovers life is cold but also beautiful in the “Cowboy” state.
Christmas is the last thing on Devon’s mind, especially when a storm’s in the forecast, and “Joy to the World,” like his dreams, are ancient history. His world is the ranch, his parent’s legacy, and he labors day and night for it. But when he finds a lost Texan stranded on the side of the road, forgotten desires surface.

And Christ is born. It’s time to celebrate.

Release Date: November 18, 2016

Available for pre-order and purchase on release date at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords
Kobo




A Note from Renee:

I love Christmas. This world has done much to cheapen this holiday, but I ignore them. Why? Because I'm a Christian and that's not what Christmas means to me. It's something much, much more.

It's the birthday of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

For me, this day is about the enormous gift of redemption and sanctification that Father God offers all of mankind through his Son, Jesus Christ.

The gifts we give to our family and friends are a way that we say that we love them...not with our earthly love but with the everlasting, unconditional love of God. The love He gave us to share to the world.

The decorations with which we adorn our homes...inside and out...do not cheapen the day, but shout to the world that a Savior is born.

We lift our voices in song and announce that we don't need to worry, stress, or mourn. We have a Redeemer. We have a Friend. 

Crazy Woman Christmas captures this excitement and shows our love for Christmas even amidst this world's pain and heartache. I hope you treasure Christmas as much as I do and never let this world steal your joy for our Savior's birth.

And now...

It's time to celebrate.



About Renee Blare:


Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee began writing poetry in junior high school. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and she's been counting pills ever since. While writing's her first love, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.
Once again in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains with her husband, crazy dogs and ornery cat, she serves her small community as a pharmacist and pens her stories any chance she can get. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.

Website: http://www.reneeblare.com/
Blog: http://reneeblare.blogspot.com/

Group Blog: http://diamondsinfiction.blogspot.com/




Renee's Releases:

Beast of Stratton
To Soar on Eagle's Wings - Book 1, Snowy Range Chronicles
Through Raging Waters - Book 2, Snowy Range Chronicles
Racing Hearts - Book 12, Love Is Series, A Love Trusts Novella

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Discover Prism's Edie Melson's Alone

Edie Melson's 

Alone



After her family is killed in the cleansing, Bethany’s purpose in life has changed. No longer will she be allowed to work to save her dying planet. As a slave, endurance is her goal as she marks each day as one moment closer to an eternity spent reunited with those she loved. But when her planet is invaded, everything changes. Now she must decide either to align herself with those from her planet who condemned her faith and killed her family, or with the warriors who have conquered her world. Ultimately her choice will mean life or death for more than just her planet’s ecosystem. She alone holds the key to a powerful secret, and the fate of the entire galaxy depends on her decision.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Meaning of Love (Giveaway!)

The Meaning of Love

(with Giveaway)

What is love? Quite the question, isn’t it? Especially in today’s world.

Is it a gooey, gushy feeling? Or a flutter in the belly? I mean, really? Isn’t that what books and Hollywood say it is? I’m not being sarcastic, folks. I’m trying to make sense out of a truly complicated subject.

Well, let’s back up a minute.

We’re educated people, aren’t we? Let’s look at this in rational manner. Today’s world demands “unbiased” discussions (by unbiased, I mean no “religious talk.”) so we’ll only used the scientific method as a means to draw conclusions about the meaning of love.

So…how is a person supposed to define “love” especially when the very thing we’re talking about can’t be measured? Is not testable? How can it be dissected or analyzed, recreated in a scientific experiment? After all, that’s how life is supposed to work. That is the method of confirmation or repudiation of any theory in the scientific community, isn’t it?

We could poll a massive amount of people, look at the numbers, separate them into categories, draw conclusions and then develop hypotheses of what this may be or that may say. One problem. That’s not an experiment. That’s a study. In the end, the data reflects nothing but what the person looking at it says it does. Sorry, scientists and pundits, that’s a fact.

We could put a bunch of people in the same situation and watch how they act, but all that does is look at their behavior and catalog it. Again, that’s a study. The data defines nothing. It simply reflects what has occurred. The conclusions drawn are the opinions of the people doing the study.

The point I’m trying to make is that LOVE does not follow scientific laws. It can be studied but it can’t be reproduced in a controlled environment upon demand.

So, we’ve arrived once again at the original question. How does a person define “love?”

To answer this question, we first must look at what love is to the world around us. This may be painful for some of you, but it’s very important. Remember when I mentioned books and Hollywood? Let’s visit just those two and disregard the others.

In books on the market today, both Christian and secular, how is “love” commonly portrayed as well as expected? Think hard about this one, please and we’ll revisit it in a moment.

Although Christian film has made a splash more recently, Hollywood is known to portray “love” in a shallow or sexual manner in its sitcoms, television series, and movies. The content of an average Hollywood production contains sexual innuendo, homosexuality, premarital sex, divorce, extramarital affairs, teen sex…the list goes on. The family is portrayed as broken, disjointed, fatherless, or wounded. The problem with all this? It’s represents many American lives and families today. By doing this, Hollywood glorifies it and says it is acceptable.

But back to the original question, even if it is plastered all over our movie and television screens, is what they are showing “love?”

I’d like to look at the vows a husband and wife take when they stand before a Justice of the Peace.
Here are the vows that are prompted by a Justice of the Peace. Now, you can write your own vows, but that’s not what I’m driving at here. I want people to understand that this is what our society expects from us at marriage even though it’s been disregarded by so many. (This is taken from the State of New Hampshire.)

THE VOWS
We are gathered here this [DATE]
to unite this man
and this woman
in the bonds of holy matrimony which is an honorable estate. Into this, these two now come to be joined.
If anyone present can show just and legal cause why they may not be joined, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.
Who gives this woman to this man?
(MAN)
, will you have this woman as your lawful wedded wife, to live together in the estate of matrimony? Will you love her, honor her, comfort her, and keep her in sickness and in health; forsaking all others, be true to her as long as you both shall live? (I will).
(WOMAN)
, will you have this man as your lawful wedded husband, to live together in the estate of matrimony? Will you love him, honor him, comfort him, and keep him in sickness and in health; forsaking all others, be true to him as long as you both shall live? (I will).
THE RING
BEHOLD the symbol of wedlock. The perfect circle of love, the unbroken union of this man and this woman united here today. May you both remain faithful to this symbol of true love.
Please join hands and repeat after me (man first, while placing ring on proper fingers).
I, [MAN]
, take
as my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.
I, [WOMAN]
, take
as my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.
For as much as [MAN’S NAME]
and [WOMAN’S NAME]
have consented together in wedlock, and have witnessed the same before this company of friends and family, and have given and pledged their promises to each other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a ring, and by joining hands.
By the authority vested in me by the State of New Hampshire,
I pronounce this couple to be husband and wife.



I reminded of my vows because as you can see these are not so different from those taken in a church. They also contain the one word which needs defined by BOTH parties before taking this step…LOVE.

And if you look, I believe we’ll find the very definition of love buried within the vows themselves. You see, love isn’t a feeling. It isn’t a gooey, gushy emotion. It’s action.

Nowhere above does it say, have sex twice a day (pardon my vulgarity), or kiss every time you see each other. Nor does it say, never have a fight, or make sure nobody looks at another human being. Or whatever you do, don’t fall down the stairs or get sick.

So what does it mean to love someone? It means to honor, to comfort, to keep, to nurture, to heal, to have, to hold. When? In good times, in bad times, when sick, when healthy, when rich, when poor.
And above all, trust one another. Where do I get THAT one?

The last vow. It’s the most important one of all and completes society’s guidance for marriage. It also helps us with the definition of love. We are to remain by the one we love until death. In other words…forever, through whatever comes our way—grief, betrayal, sickness, heartache—how else are we to do that except with trust?

What is love? Selfless and forgiving.

Our society expects it, and God expects it.

If you’re wondering how to do it, I’ll give you an example. His name is Jesus Christ. If you’re wondering what the true definition of love is, it's Calvary.

If you don’t think you can do it yourself, ask Him to help you.

1 Corinthians 13:5-8
1Co 13:4  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
1Co 13:5  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
1Co 13:6  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
1Co 13:7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1Co 13:8  Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.


NOW…

Remember the question I asked about books? What do you think? Is love portrayed in a real manner in books today or is the ooey, gooey way to please the reader? And vice versa, is that the expectation of readers? Do they want the happy, shallow relationship because it’s easier to deal with?

I’m not just talking about secular books here, folks. Give me your opinion!

Leave your name and email in the comments as well and I’ll enter you in the drawing to receive a copy of my latest release, Racing Hearts. I’m also throwing in a bonus copy of Crazy Woman Christmas due out in November.


*** GIVEAWAY ***

Racing Hearts and Crazy Woman Christmas:


Racing Hearts:



Full of hope for the future, a young couple sets off on an adventure and welcome their new home with open arms. The lakes sparkle, the mountains glisten, and deep within, the seed of life grows. But challenges arise in their newfound paradise and soon, their love faces a trial of almost insurmountable odds.
For the two Christians, placing the fate of their unborn child in the hands of God seems rather easy, but trusting each other? Now, that may prove to be the largest challenge of all…as hearts race in the Rocky Mountains.









Crazy Woman Christmas:

A prodigal daughter meets a grieving son…
During her move back home, Bianca Kolceski takes a wrong turn in rural Wyoming and buries her car in a snowbank. Snow piles high outside until Devon Dawson knocks on her window. The quiet cowboy whisks her to his ranch to ride out the Christmas blizzard where Bianca discovers life is cold but also beautiful in the “Cowboy” state.
Christmas is the last thing on Devon’s mind, especially when a storm’s in the forecast, and “Joy to the World,” like his dreams, are ancient history. His world is the ranch, his parent’s legacy, and he labors day and night for it. But when he finds a lost Texan stranded on the side of the road, forgotten desires surface.


And Christ is born. It’s time to celebrate.



About Renee Blare:

Renee Blare has been buried in a book for as long as she can remember. Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, she started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie. She’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and her husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.
Nestled in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains, she lives in Wyoming with her husband, crazy dogs, and ornery cat. She serves her beautiful small town as a pharmacist while penning her stories about struggling Christians as they travel along the journeys of their lives. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.

Website: http://www.reneeblare.com/
Blog: https://reneeblare.blogspot.com/

Group Blog: http://diamondsinfiction.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Book Review of Ryan Jo Summers' Beside Still Waters

A Faithful Review

Beside Still Waters

by

Ryan Jo Summers


About the Book, Beside Still Waters: 

Top Journalist and corporate climber McKayla Buchanan is sent to a remote California mountain camp for inner-city, at-risk teens. Accustomed to political and high-society assignments, she is suddenly a fish out of water. At Camp In As Much, she meets eight hostile and distrustful teens, assorted volunteers, rescued horses—and Clay.
Clay Michaels is the man who founded Camp In As Much and made it the success it is now. His hope for the highly recommended journalist is to come and write a feature to send seeds out to form other camps like his nationwide one. He never considered the reporter would turn out to be a lovely woman, or for him to have such an attraction to her.
Between McKayla’s worldly experience and Clay’s strong faith, they form a partnership to help with the endless challenges of the kids. 
While McKayla’s assignment is supposed to be temporary, it isn’t long before she and Clay are each wishing it could last longer. A serious situation will force McKayla to decide if she can give up her worldly ways and place her faith in the same higher source that Clay does.


About the Author, Ryan Jo Summers:

Born in Michigan, Ryan grew up surrounded by books, and has them piled and stacked high in her room. She’s had bookshelves to hold them as long as she can remember. Christmas and birthdays are easy in her home, just buy books. 
Her tastes in subject matter and genres grew as she matured and it seemed only natural for her to write as well as read. The first book she wrote was at age ten and was about a twelve page story that she also illustrated and stapled together into book format. 
Since then, she’s never stopped writing. Some articles make it into magazines, some stories make honorable mention in contests, and her journal has grown thicker. Writing poetry also serves as therapy to life's hurts, a trait apparently inherited from her dad's aunt. Writers, poets and songwriters…you could say she comes from a line of wordsmiths.
In 2012, selling "Whispers in Her Heart" for publication was a dream come true for Ryan, but also a pinnacle of thirty odd years of writing. With each new story, novel or novella that comes out, she grows as a writer and takes one more step on this incredible journey called life.


A Faithful Review of Beside Still Waters:

“Looking beyond their records and scars, he saw the honest heart of a child in need.”

Beside Still Waters takes us into the painful but rewarding world of youth rehabilitation. In addition, this book explores animal abuse. We watch young lives destroyed before they are even begun and the fight to offer hope to the hopeless. Learn about love in a way which makes us eager to show it to those who have none.

This book is well written and offers a good message for all. I give it five stars. Well, done, Ms. Summers.


All books reviewed are either provided for free by the author in exchange for an honest opinion or purchased personally by Renee. Her reviews are not for sale or in exchange for any services or fees.