Sunday, February 28, 2016

Faithful Reviews: Woman of Light by Teresa Pollard

Faithful Reviews on Inspirational Moments


Woman of Light

by

Teresa Pollard






About the Book, Woman of Light:

Christian fiction inspired by the Bible, Judges Chapters four and five.
On his deathbed, Deborah’s grandfather prophesied she would be a Judge for Israel. But the elders of Ramah vowed a woman would never sit in the city gates to listen to cases. So Deborah and her husband, Barak, returned to his hometown of Kedesh, in the northern part of the Israel, where trouble brewed nearby: King Jabin II had appointed Sisera to be commander of his army… and his nine-hundred iron chariots.
Meanwhile, God brings disputes to Deborah for her to adjudicate, and soon she is holding court under the palm trees outside of Kedesh. Then God tells Deborah to hurry back to Ramah, and the family escapes just before Commander Sisera invades Israel and ransacks Kedesh.
But Israel has no standing army to respond, and not a shield or a spear was seen among forty-thousand men. How will God use two such improbable people, a peasant woman and her husband, to lead Israel to victory against this formidable foe?

About the Author, Teresa Pollard:


Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age. She has a Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children's worker for most of the last forty years. Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia. She blogs every Tuesday at http://teresatalkstaboo.wordpress.com.




A Faithful Review of Woman of Light by Renee:

A captivating depiction of the life and times of Deborah, judge of Israel. Teresa Pollard paints a colorful but realistic picture of biblical times. The reader follows along as she takes you down an amazing trail of quest, loss, and victory when the Lord delivers His nation.
The author sets up the scenario, theology, and terminology by an extensive introduction in the beginning of the novel. I suggest reviewing this to reduce confusion and provide enlightenment before you begin reading. Whether you agree with Pollard or not, this information is important and anchors the story.
Biblical fiction is a unique blend of Christian fiction and one I read with great trepidation. Not only should it capture my imagination, and take me to another place (my first criteria for any type of fiction) but in addition and most importantly, the writing must stay true to the Word of God in all aspects. Woman of Light does this.


Well done, Ms. Pollard. I give Woman of Light five stars. * * * * *


All reviews by Renee Blare are conducted as a reader (not a writer/author) and are posted on this blog and various online reader and purchase sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads at no charge. Renee purchases or author(s) provide a free copy of work for an unbiased review.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Talkin’ Writin’ with Award-Winning Author Lena Nelson Dooley (with Giveaway)

Hey, pardner, welcome to the Coffee Corner! I’m chatting with award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley about what makes her writing special and unique as well as her latest release from Barbour. So grab a cup of joe and stay a while…it’s gonna be a great time.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell ya! Lena’s giving away A PRINT COPY of the Love is Patient Collection. Check out how to enter after the interview…read on!

Renee: Welcome to the Coffee Corner, Lena. I’m so glad you could be here. Let’s get started. I’m sure everyone is as excited as I am. Mmm…where should I start? How about the beginning? How long have you been writing and why did you start?

Lena: I am from a family where writing was just part of everyday life. In May of 1984, God told me to become a professional writer. If you want to know the entire story, including my testimony, you can go to my website, www.lenanelsondooley.com, and click on the About Me tab.

Renee: You hear that, folks? Go to her website! Okay…you’re an amazing writer. You’re an award-winning author, although all a person has to do is read one of your books to know it. I know it’s a technique question…boring…but someone may want to know…how do you write those amazing stories? Planning and plot? Or fly by the seat of your pants?

Lena: I’m more of a seat-of-the-pants writer, but I do have a timeline that I break into chapters before I start. As a seat-of-the-pants author, it’s easier for me to listen for the Lord’s voice to direct me with the story. I love the insights He often gives me into my characters and other parts of the books.

Renee: What’s easiest about writing for you?

Lena: I love the actual writing itself. I learned early in my career to edit as I go. Of course, then there are a couple more edits before the book goes to my agent or a publisher. With the Indie publishing, I use Beta readers and other editing help.

Renee: Writing and editing? At the same time? You’re a multi-tasker! Indie publishing as well as traditional? Cool beans! Publishing is ever-changing and expanding, isn’t it? How do you decide what to write about and when do you do your research?

Lena: In the past, I’ve written proposals, and my agent has marketed them. So the proposal that sells is the next book I write. With the changes in publishing today, that is also changing. I’m going to Indie publish my next series. The first book in the series is written. I hope to have it published in the first half of this year.
I do a lot of research, especially with historical novels. It’s important to me that my novels are authentic to the time period with setting, society, clothing, etc.

Renee: How do you pick your titles?

Lena: Titles are pretty easy for me. Publishers have used the titles I came up with for most of my books.

Renee: I see you have a new book out. What can you tell us about it?

Lena: Love Is Patient is a Barbour novella collection about people who married a little later in life. My novella, The Spinster and the Cowboy, is about a daughter who inherits her father’s ranch. The cowboy is a real surprise to her in many ways. I loved writing this story.

Renee: Is there any part of this book that was a struggle or you had difficulty with?

Lena: The setting for my novella is Arizona. I had to do quite a bit of research so I could make it authentic.

Renee: Arizona…mmm…sounds interesting! Yeah, I’d have to do a bit of research for that one too! Or call some friends. I wouldn’t know much about Arizona either. How about we switch topics to something a bit more personal? (And the crowd goes wild!)
If you could have the ultimate vacation, what would it be?

Lena: I would love to have at least a month to spend traveling in an RV all across Australia. I fell in love with Australia before it was chic to want to go Down Under. I’ve read way more than 100 books set there.

Renee: Oh, Lena! I’ve never been to Australia but I would love to go! That’s on my dream list. My three top spots are Australia, New Zealand, and Scotland. Of course, Ireland’s on there too. I’ve read a ton of books set in those locations as well, especially Scotland. I know this is a foolish question but do you still read a lot? (I know you’re a busy lady!)

Lena: I read a lot. I always have one print book I’m reading at home and one book I’m reading on my Kindle when we are away from home. It’s a good thing to do when you have to wait somewhere. And don’t we all have to do that?

Renee: Waiting? Always…everywhere! It’s been a pleasure to have you on the Coffee Corner, Lena. Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself and writing with us.


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COFFEE CORNER GIVEAWAY!



  
TO ENTER:

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
YOUR COURTSHIP!

(Leave a Comment Below!)

Prize: ONE PRINT COPY
ONE Winner will be chosen by RANDOM draw in one week (2/28/2016).
Enter by leaving comment on blog (with email address).


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


About the Book:

Enjoy the slow dance through the courtship of nine historical couples in the American west, including the territories of Arizona and Wyoming. Just at a time in life when they have nearly given up on finding love, romance enters their lives. But will it be true love, and will it be worth the wait? Find out in this delightful collection written by eight bestselling authors of inspirational romances.




About the Author:

Award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley has had over 850,000 copies of her books sold. She is a member of ACFW and CAN.

She has appeared on ECPA Bestseller list, CBA Bestseller list, and Amazon Bestseller lists.
Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, 2011 Will Rogers Medallion.
Maggie’s Journey appeared on a reviewer’s Top Ten Books of 2011 and won the 2012 Selah. Mary’s Blessing was a Selah Award finalist.
Catherine’s Pursuit won the NTRWA Carolyn Reader’s Choice, second place in the CAN Golden Scroll Novel of the Year award, and won the Will Rogers Medallion bronze medallion. Her blog, A Christian Writer’s World, received the Reader’s Choice Blog of the Year Award from the Book Club Network.
Lena speaks at women’s groups, writers groups, and conferences. She is a co-hosts of the Along Came a Writer blogtalk radio show.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sibling Love: A Guest Post by Julie Cosgrove

Sibling Love 

by

Julie Cosgrove




I guess most sisters bicker as they grow up. We have a tendency to be a tad jealous of each other. “How come she gets to…” and later, “Why do all my boyfriends notice her?” Even later, “Why doesn’t my husband treat me like hers treats her?” or “Why are her kids so well-behaved?”
My sister and I are six years apart so by the time I entered my teens she was married. I felt a deep loss and for a long time I felt the odd person out. She and my brother’s wife were closer in age, so they bonded. They always huddled at family events. I felt the pangs of exclusion like the wimpy little kid slumped on the sideline bench whose muscles would never fill out his uniform.
Until my husband died suddenly in the shower getting ready for work. Though five hours away, my sister dropped her life and rushed to my aid. She boarded her animals at the vets, packed a bag and drove to my door. I honestly cannot tell you how long she stayed with me. Certainly until after the funeral five days later. Having lost her husband a year previously, she guided my numbed mind and aching heart through the planning, the visitations and the arrangements as I sniveled for days on in overwhelmed by it all.
When I sold the house and moved to a one bedroom apartment, all I could afford at the time, she returned. We spent hours rubbing masking tape onto the floors mapping out where furniture would go and plotting what I could bring and what I should leave behind for the estate sale. She then monitored the estate sale like an award winning car salesman, raking in the bucks so I could afford the moving company.
My brother, an attorney, drove in to handle all the legal affairs pro bono without blinking an eye. All I had to do was show up at the courthouse and swear my husband to be deceased—by far my highest hurdle. Declaring him legally dead before a magistrate made it real, too real. My brother stood by my side as my knees quaked. His even-toned professionalism became my boulder. I watched, wide-eyed and tear-blinked as he handed off paper after paper to the court clerk. Documents all identified by letters and numbers which I never understood. 
Growing up, my brother seemed a phantom. Eleven years older than me, he was a teenager locked in his world by the time I could toddle. Then came the college years away. When I was in third grade, he walked down the aisle. After that, he moved away, had a child of his own and built a life. Eventually I did the same. For decades we acknowledged each other like shadows at family gatherings. But that day at the courthouse, he became flesh and bone to me.

God purposes good from tragedy. My husband’s passing brought me closer to my siblings and showed me what family-bound love is all about. Five years later, we are able to communicate at a deeper level, share our feelings openly, and be there for each other through this roller coaster called life. Now, that’s true love— a love akin to no other on earth.

__________________________________________

Book Giveaway!


Enter now for your chance to win an e-copy of Greener Grasses! Comment below!
(Drawing in one week!)

__________________________________________


Twin sisters, Erin and Ellen, covet each other’s lives and husbands. Their festered envy has not only kept them at arm’s length for almost two decades, it has placed both on a precipice of divorce— something they’d never admit to each other.
Yet after two weeks together with their spouses, as they sort through their mother’s belongings following her funeral, they discover the flaws in their sibling’s “grass-greener” lives. But will that revelation help each sister appreciate her own husband and lifestyle as truly according to God’s plan? Or is it too late for a change of heart?


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EXCERPT:

Church bells tolled their arrival. Already a stream of cars dotted the parking spaces like soldiers lined for battle. For Erin Ballinger Duncan it seemed appropriate. Today she’d combat an overwhelming struggle of the heart. Well, perhaps it could involve skirmish for territory as well— in a strange sort of way. But she tried not to think about that right now.

Erin stepped out of the black limousine with her husband, John, and their two fifteen year-old sons, Travis and Austin. She shielded her eyes from the bright sunlight, a total dichotomy from the darkness brewing in her emotions. She scanned the church driveway and scoffed. Yep, her sister emerged from the limo behind them. “The perfect family has arrived. What no trumpets?”

John rolled his eyes. “Don’t start, Erin. Not today.”

“Whatever. She still makes me want to puke. Perfect life, perfect kids, perfect husband…”

“Stop, okay?” John leaned into her ear with a hiss. “Can’t you two get along for three hours? For your Mom’s sake, and mine by the way.”

A residual hurt sounded in his voice. Once again she’d compared him to her sister’s spouse. Erin bit her lip and turned away.

Ellen pushed an elongated sigh through her upturned nose as they exited the limo. She ran a scrutinizing scan over her twin’s family. With a slight bob of her head, she strutted past, chin held high. Barely above a whisper, she scowled. “Can’t they afford some appropriate clothes? Their twins are wearing navy, not black. At least Erin could have worn a dress and John a good suit. It’s Mom’s funeral, after all.”

Robert hushed her. “And because it is, you will not say a thing about it. Understood?”

She jutted her chin. “Don’t get cocky with me, Robert Longstrum. I’m hardly in the mood.”

Her husband muttered deeper under his breath. “Lately, you never are.”

“Humph.” She darted him a daggered glare. With clenched teeth she lobbied back his volley. “And your secretary always is, right?” She pushed past him through the church door the usher held open. The girls, ages four, eight, and twelve, paraded by as well, each avoiding him. They didn’t catch the conversation but their mother’s tone indicated he’d displeased her again.

Why her sister didn’t make an effort to better herself puzzled Ellen. They only had two boys, and boys were half as expensive to raise than girls, or so her social friends claimed in conversations around the bridge table. John should land a more lucrative job, if he had that capability. From the little contact they’d shared over the years the man seemed intelligent enough.

Even so, she couldn’t help but notice John’s arm slip around Erin’s waist. Even though he dressed like a country bumpkin, he obviously loved her.

Perhaps Erin hadn’t chosen so poorly after all.

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About the Author:

Julie B Cosgrove is a freelance Christian writer and author who writes regularly for several Christian websites and publications. She has authored six nonfiction works and four novels with five more under contract for 2016-2017. She also leads retreats, workshops, Bible studies and quiet days for prayer and reflection.
Julie lives with two cats in Fort Worth, Texas and loves to spend quiet time at her family’s cabin on the river in the Texas Hill Country where she first drew closer to God. 
Visit her website at www.juliebcosgrove.com and her blog  entitled Where Did You Find God Today?



Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lisa Lickel Talks It Up on Inspirational Moments

Lisa Lickel Talks Up Her New Book
and Prism's LOVE IS Series



Welcome Lisa Lickel to Inspirational Moments! She's talking her latest release and Prism Book Group's new series! Which series is that? The LOVE IS...series. What an amazing subject, wouldn't you agree? Especially in February! Well, let's find out what this is all about.

Hi, Lisa, welcome to Inspirational Moments. What can you tell me about Prism's new series?

Starting in February, 2016, the first four of the LOVE IS Series will release. Initially individual e-books, these nifty little romances based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV) will charm and uplift readers from about high school age and up. Each story’s theme is based on the definition of what love is, and is not, from Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth: starting at verse 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Verse 5, It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Verse 6, Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Verse 7, It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and verse 8, Love never fails.

You have a book in this series as well. Which part of this awesome passage does it focus on?

My book, the fifth in the series is based on “love is not proud.” Everything About You takes place in rural western Wisconsin, as a movie set with cues as seen in typical scripts.

That sounds cool! I can't wait to pick it up! I'd like to find out more about you as a writer. I'm sure my readers would too! Mmmm, let's see...do you write more than just novels?

I also write radio theater and took a script writing class, so I’m a tiny bit experienced with plays and I decided it would be fun to use a few quirks in my LOVE IS novella to make it a little different. I also write devotionals, workshop curriculum, interviews, press releases, articles and feature newspaper stories, though it’s been a while.

What about your characters? How do you get the "three dimensional" quality?

Just like real people, fictional characters have to be real to whoever is experiencing them, reader, visitor. If I’m sitting with you, having a cup or tea, a meal, a chat, there are things that I observe you doing, and things that you do that I react to—such as fidgeting, the way you hold your cup, your scent, what if anything I know about you in order to judge your reactions and actions, your posture, the timbre of your voice, if your skin is cool, clammy, rough, when or if I shake your hand. Those are things, the sensory images, that allow us to experience each other. I try to bring those things into play in subtle ways in my stories.

When and how do you do your research? Do you travel?

If the concept or setting is some place or thing I’m not terribly familiar with, or has changed since the last time I visited or thought about it, yes, I’ll travel if the site is within reach. For my novel Healing Grace, I visited western Michigan and Petoskey, an important part of the story; for The Last Detail, I spent time in the central Illinois area and state parks where that story is set. For Everything About You, I pictured the community where I set the story, in my mind from my frequent visits passing from one side of Wisconsin to the other. I research as I go or ahead of time in the “pre-writing” stage, keeping notes and downloads in a separate folder.

Switching topics now! What about marketing and social media? (Every writer's nightmare, I believe. LOL) Is social media a hindrance or a tool for your writing?

The short answer is: Yes. Marketing is part of the work; it has to be, but it takes time and if it’s not as instinctual for an author as it is for putting words on paper, then it feels intrusive. But it’s part of developing and maintaining a fan base.

Oh, I just about died laughing! I agree so much! I think of it as a double-edged sword. I really need to get a timer and put it next to me. Set it and when the thing goes off, GET OFF Facebook...or whatever I'm doing. LOL Do you have any quirks or habits which keep your family or friends guessing?

I’ve started carrying over this annoying habit from work into “real” life: I have a running commentary on EVERYTHING in my head, and I sometimes forget if I’ve already introduced a particular thought so I just start in talking out loud as if my listener knows exactly what I’m talking about. For instance, if I’m sharing a bit of news, I’ll start in on the “what do you think of…” part while my poor friend or husband has no idea what I’m talking about. It might be more annoying than “guessing” however.

Oh no, has someone been watching too much news? Just kidding! One last question for the readers...is there a special quote or saying which comes to your mind in times of need or adversity?

A verse from the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11-12, usually puts me in place where my worry-wart side shows up: “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Thanks for a great interview, Lisa!

_________________________________________________________


Share what "LOVE IS NOT PROUD" means to you for a 
chance to win an e-copy of
Everything About You!
(Available upon Release in March to ONE Winner!)

Comment Below!
Drawing on 2/13/2016
(Minimum of 5 comments to validate giveaway)

Book cover and blurb: pending

______________________________________________________

About the Author, Lisa Lickel:

Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and workshop leader. Visit LisaLickel.com. Follow me at twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@lisajlickel; facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorlisalickel



Monday, February 1, 2016

Faithful Reviews: Dandelions on the Road by Brooke Williams




Faithful Reviews on Inspirational Moments


Dandelions on the Road

by

Brooke Williams






About the Book, Dandelion on the Road:


Twelve men…one woman…plenty of dandelions. Eva Merida has her life in order. She loves her job at the Furry Friends Rescue League and has a loving, supportive family. But she’s still missing that one special person to stand by her side. When she comes in third place on the local TV version of “The Bachelor,” entitled Accept this Dandelion, she nearly loses all hope for romance. Fortunately, the TV station decides to do a second season of the dating show…and they name Eva as the Bachelorette! With a plethora of dating mishaps recorded for TV, Eva finds herself falling for several men at once…including the show’s host. Will she find love at last or simply embarrass herself in front of the entire city?

About the Author, Brooke Williams:


Brooke Williams is a sleep-deprived stay at home mom/freelance writer/author who has an unnatural interest in dandelions. She attributes her humor to her two young girls for keeping her in the lack of sleep state on a regular basis. She has been married to her husband Sean since 2002. Brooke has a background as a radio announcer and producer and also did a short stint as a TV traffic reporter. Brooke specializes as a freelance writer and creates blogs, articles, web content and more for clients all over the world. She has written a number of novels including: “Someone Always LovedYou,” “Beyond the Bars,” “Wrong Place, Right Time,” “Accept this Dandelion,” and “Mamarazzi.”

A Faithful Review of Dandelions on the Road...by Renee:

I open the page and always get a delightful reminder of why I love this author's books!
Book Two of the Brooke's Dandelions series delivers fun and romance in the same light-hearted style as Accept this Dandelion (Book One) and does not disappoint. In Dandelions on the Road, the reader gets to revisit familiar characters and have a ball as "The Bachelor" dating game continues...but this time with a twist. A beautiful woman's up for grabs this time and twelve men are on the chopping block.
Don't miss your chance to giggle, sigh, and cry. I wish it had a bit more depth but other than that, this book has plenty to make the heart sing.
* * * * You do it again, Ms. Williams. I give Dandelions on the Road four stars...


All reviews by Renee Blare are conducted as a reader (not a writer/author) and are posted on this blog and various online reader and purchase sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads at no charge. Renee purchases or author(s) provide a free copy of work for unbiased review.