Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Faithful Review of Glimpse Eternity on Inspirational Moments

Faithful Reviews on Inspirational Moments

 Glimpse Eternity by Ryan Jo Summers



About the Book, Glimpse Eternity:

Kasey Griffin is determined to prove a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis is not going to ruin her life or define her expectations. Dedicated to running her bookstore, The Next Chapter, and her pregnant sister, Abby, she has everything she needs to live a full and satisfying life, the daily challenges of her condition notwithstanding.

Until musician Ben Salem rolls into town. Ben has a subtle charm that quickly reminds Kasey she is much more than a woman with a disease. She is a woman with a heart. And Ben wants it. But will Ben still desire her once he learns the terrible details of her condition?

About the Author, Ryan Jo Summers:

Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina writer who likes to pen romances with a twist. Love stories blended as inspirational, with paranormal, suspense or time travel--or several at once. She also writes non-fiction for regional periodicals. Her dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry, so Ryan came by the writing gene honestly.
Her hobbies include poetry, bird watching, houseplants and gardening, gathering with friends, hiking in the forest, painting canvas and ceramics, and working wiggly word find puzzles, mahjong, or chess. She lives in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of pets. She often daydreams of the shore and frequently uses water as settings in her stories.

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ROMANCE REVIEWS:

A Faithful Review of Glimpse Eternity by Renee:

A short but poignant read. Summers shows the struggles of a woman to face not only her disease but her future. Glimpse Eternity holds your attention and its short length provides a quick exploration into the struggles of life with a chronic illness such as Multiple Sclerosis without the drama of medical jargon.
If you like short fiction and powerful story, Glimpse Eternity is the book for you. Personally, I would’ve liked to see a bit more depth with the characters and believe this short book would make an amazing novel. Many questions go unanswered…her store, her sister, her treatments…I would’ve loved to know more.

¨      But in the context of what is written today, I give this book four stars.


Thank you, Ms. Summers. I enjoyed Glimpse Eternity immensely.



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

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Paige Skeen's on the Coffee Corner with a Magnolia Lake Giveaway

Hello, everyone, welcome to the Coffee Corner on Inspirational Moments!


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Paige Skeen


It’s time to celebrate another author’s success. Grab a cup and stay awhile. Today, I have a special treat. Fellow Prism Book Group author, Paige Skeen has released her book, Magnolia Lake and she’s here to talk about it.
Oh, I almost forgot! She’s also giving away a copy of it! See details about the giveaway after the post…let’s get started.

RB: Hi Paige, welcome to the Coffee Corner! I’m so excited about your new release. I’m sure you’re about questioned out, but bear with me…we want to hear about Magnolia Lake from your lips. How did you come up with the idea for this book?
PS: It’s funny, but I began writing Magnolia Lake so many years ago that I honestly don’t remember where the original idea came from. And the book has gone through tons of changes since that first draft.
Honestly, because Magnolia Lake was my first attempt at a novel, I just wrote as the ideas came to me. I knew I wanted to use it to inspire people and glorify God, but I wasn’t sure exactly how. I started with a general outline of my major characters, but that’s about it as far as planning.

RB: Do you have a favorite character? If so, why?
PS: Oh, yes! Landon, by far! He’s just the most perfect book boyfriend you can have, I think. He’s this simple, boy-next-door, loyal type but also surprisingly athletic—and romantic.
A good friend of mine who knew me in high school asked once if the male characters in Magnolia Lake were inspired by former love interests of mine, and I think they were, to an extent. Not intentionally or very specifically, just in small ways. That sort of thing happens when you’re a writer—you draw from your own experiences and feelings.
So to really get into the right mindset for creating Landon’s character, I took a little bit of the good from every high school relationship I had and combined it to make the ideal leading man. I felt that it was important to channel those specific relationships (sorry, hubby!) in order to be able to write the situations and emotions of Magnolia Lake in a real, relatable way. Adult relationships are much different than those of our teenage years. And when I first sat down to write the story, I was in college, so the intense emotions of those high school days were fresh. That really helped me connect with the characters and see the story through their eyes.

RB: Is there a particular reason you chose your setting?
PS: It seemed inevitable. I was born and raised in a small Georgia town, so that’s how the fictional city of Davis came to be. Also, I love the South! And so often it tends to be looked down on—as if living in the deep south automatically makes you uneducated and close-minded. I wanted to represent small-town America in a positive way.
Additionally, one piece of advice I read when I began this journey was to write what you know. It helps you create believable stories; that was very true for me when it came to Magnolia Lake. And I suppose it was also comfortable—I didn’t have to do any research!

RB: Being from the Deep South myself (Louisiana), I can relate to what you’re saying. Assumptions and typecasting is common of the region. It’s hard to break through that barrier as a writer…only one of many challenges of an author. Speaking of challenges, what would be your biggest?
PS: Time. There’s never enough time. I have all these ideas for stories but can’t draw enough hours out of each day to get them all down on paper. It’s especially difficult at this stage in my life, with two little ones under five years old. Some days I wonder how I’ll ever get everything done, but then I remind myself of what’s really important in life—for me, that’s God and my family—and I give myself some grace.

RB: I’d have to agree with that! I don’t think there’s enough time in a day. I never dreamt writing would make my life so busy. If you weren’t a writer, what do you think you’d be?
PS: This answer would’ve been much different some years ago, but full-time wife and mother. Sure, there are a few things I think it’d be fun to do (like wedding planning or fashion buying, for example), but I can’t imagine tearing myself away from my kids to pursue any career other than writing. This is my passion, and it gives me the flexibility to spend the kind of time I’ve always wanted to spend with my children.
Even as a child, I knew in my heart that I’d choose motherhood over a career if necessary. But God knows what He’s doing. He put this writing passion and talent inside me so that I could have a little bit of it all and live out both my dreams: writing and motherhood. 

RB: That’s amazing, Paige! I’m so happy for you! To have both of your loves is a dream come true for anybody. As we all know, God uses life to teach us many lessons. Can you share one of your lessons with us?
PS: This is one I’m in the middle of right now, so I can’t say how it will pan out. But back in 2014, my husband and I decided to buy a house. We’d been renting for the duration of our marriage, and we wanted a piece of property to call our own. We found a cute little fixer-upper on five acres, and we were sold. Didn’t even look another house (crazy, I know!). After months and months of constant renovations, remodeling, and unexpected issues, we were distraught. All our time and money was going into this place, and we were both constantly stressed out—which is never good when you’ve got two little ones to take care of and you’re trying to build a writing career.
We knew we needed a home with a better flow and fewer problems, but we didn’t think we’d be able to make a move with our current lifestyle. We started doubting—and seriously regretting—our decision to buy this house, even though we had both prayed hard about it and felt sure that God was urging us on at the time.
Well, my amazing real state friend came out a month or so ago and gave us an estimate of what we can make if we sell this place, and it’s much more than we’d even dreamt possible. So now we’re in the midst of getting the process started to sell our current house and buy something that better meets our needs. If everything works out, we’ll be at more of a financial advantage than we’ve ever been in our marriage and we’ll have a new house.
If we hadn’t trusted God when He told us to buy this place two years ago, there’s no telling where we’d be right now. It’s been a true test of faith, and I often wondered why I felt so led by Him to make what I was considering such a huge mistake. I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say I will never doubt God again. He always knows what’s best, even when your life seems to fall apart. He can turn anything around when you trust Him.    

RB: Trusting God instead of ourselves is a big lesson. In fact, I think I’m learning many lessons all the time about that! Or maybe it’s because I’m a slow learner. Thank you for sharing your story with us today, Paige. I can’t wait to read Magnolia Lake.

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BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!


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ANSWER THIS QUESTION IN THE COMMENTS BELOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING
FOR MAGNOLIA LAKE

“IF MONEY WASN’T AN ISSUE, WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR A LIVING?”

(One winner will be selected by random draw on 4/24/16 from blog comments. Minimum of 5 comments required to validate contest.
Please include your email address with your comment.)

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About the Book:

Popular and beautiful, Cora Stephens has it all— including the perfect football-star boyfriend— until one fateful afternoon. Facing heartache and betrayal, Cora turns to long-time friend, Landon, for comfort. While his love for her grows, she does everything in her power to avoid getting hurt again—including flinging herself into the arms of another boy.
Then, just as Cora’s shattered world starts putting itself back together, life throws something her way that’s more horrific than she ever could have imagined. Through the emotional and physical pain, she begins to lose hope and abandon her faith. Will this once light-hearted, happy prom queen find her way back home?



About the Author:

Born and raised in a small Georgia town, Emily Paige Skeen takes from her own life experiences to create real, relatable characters for her novels. She loves to intertwine small-town charm with deep emotion and intrigue, creating stories that inspire readers.
When she’s not writing or chasing after her two youngsters - both under the age of five - you can find Emily reading, soaking up the sun whenever possible, or shopping. She, her husband, and their kids make their home in a tiny little town an hour south of Atlanta, on a five-acre plot of land right off a bumpy red-dirt road. Emily loves to sit and listen as the ever-present crickets and frogs perform their harmonious concerts in the still, quiet evening hours.
Writing has always been Emily’s passion, ever since she crafted her first sloppily hand-written story plastered over spiral notebook paper at the emotionally-charged age of thirteen. Now, she strives to encourage and inspire girls and young women with her writing. She believes that with a little bit of faith and a whole lot of love, anything’s possible.      


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Stop Helping the Ones You Love by Christine Lindsay

Author Christine Lindsay is the guest today on Inspirational Moments. She speaks about a very tough subject...as a Christian, parent, and friend. I hope we all can take home a bit of wisdom today.

Please comment on this blog. Not only would we like to know your thoughts but you also have a chance to win a remarkable book. She's offering a copy of Sofi's Bridge. The drawing will be in one week (see details after the post.)

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God wants us to help others, ease their suffering, doesn’t He? No one can be faulted for lending a helping hand. But what if our help is actually hindering the Lord from what He wants to do in a particular person’s life?

Standing back and letting a person suffer doesn’t sound very Christian.

I’m a mom and a grandmother. Like most moms, the last thing in the world I want to do is watch the ones I love hurt, even if that hurt has been caused by their poor choices, and by not following the Lord’s direction. As moms and dads we used appropriate discipline when raising our kids. As we matured in our faith we grew to accept God’s discipline in our own lives, but yet we still want to step in and “fix” the situations in our families.

Sometimes I have been in the middle of helping my adult kids and wondered, is my help what they need? Or do they need to learn from this mistake to gain the wisdom they lack?

I come from a long line of “savior” type personalities. My mother has an extremely strong bent towards helping others to the point of “fixing” their problems. People with this particular personality trait often choose careers in caregiving, such as doctors and nurses. Even me as an administrative assistant for most of my career; one of my strongest desires was to give aid, solve problems, fix situations. A good thing, but on the flipside this personality trait can bring very negative ramifications.

This has been especially true with one of my sons. He grew up with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. He’s very intelligent but never did well in school. His dad and I are so prone to helping him, even after he was married and had a family of his own. But time after time when we would help our son and his wife out of another financial snag, they would go out soon afterwards and get themselves into another tough spot with money.

Eventually we did one of the hardest things we ever had to do as parents. We had to draw the line. We cut off our financial help, and would no longer “fix” their problems. When they suffered, I added more power to my prayers for them. Gradually I started to see them develop some Godly wisdom.
Our personality traits can have a flipside. What happens when we let an unselfish nature hurt our loved ones and us?

This particular truth inspired my latest historical romance Sofi’s Bridge. In Sofi’s Bridge, the hero and the heroine both had to learn the same lesson that I had to learn—that we cannot save our loved ones. Only Christ can do that.

This often means letting our loved one go through a time of suffering, one of the hardest acts of love on the part of a parent or grandparent. Step back and let God work.

Here is a brief excerpt from Sofi’s Bridge where Dr. Neil Galloway recognizes this important spiritual lesson while he is waiting in a prison cell:

Neil rested an arm over his eyes. If only he’d taken that ship in June, he could have been in Indochina by now. And what little time he had left on this earth, he couldn’t imagine not seeing Sofi. Touch her hair, the color of August wheat. Hair that never would stay pinned up. He pressed the heels of his hands into his eye sockets. There was no sense thinking of what could have been. He’d sacrificed everything for his brother, everything, and what good had it done either of them?
Da’s face came to him. Back when he and Jimmy were only lads, the two of them hanging on to their father’s hand as they walked to church on a Sunday morn. Bells chimed all over Belfast. Inside the gray stone building, Neil had listened to the minister preach of what Christ had done on the cross for all mankind, taking the punishment that people like him deserved.
Neil sat up and leaned his elbows on his knees. His hands dangled between them like heavy weights. As a boy, he’d believed in what Jesus had done. But as an adult, he’d demeaned that sacrifice. Instead, he’d tried to be Jimmy’s savior. How could he save anyone, him a fallible human being? Lord, I’ve been a fool. He dropped his face into his hands. The dye had been cast though. In only a matter of months, maybe weeks, he’d be facing his Maker.
He picked up the Bible Joel had brought him and opened to the psalm the preacher had spoken on last Sunday. “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path...refuge failed me...I cried unto thee, O Lord...and said, Thou art my refuge.”
He wiped moisture from his eyes with an impatient hand. He couldn’t save himself, but needed to accept the salvation so freely offered. The church bells of home rang in his memories.

Remember, the next time you are tempted to step in a fix something in the life of someone you love, 1 Peter 4:19 (NASB) Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.”


Click HERE to read chapter one of Sofi’s Bridge.

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GIVEAWAY

Enter by commenting below (include email address) for your chance to win a copy of Sofi's Bridge by Christine Lindsay.

Winner selected by random draw from eligible comments on 4/17/2016. Minimum of 5 entries required to validate contest. Winner shall be notified via email provided.


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About the Book:

Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.

Read the complete first chapter of Sofi’s Bridge HERE

PURCHASE LINKS FOR SOFI’S BRIDGE:
Pelican Book Group (Paper & Ebook)


About the Author:

christine-lindsay-christian-author
Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction. Tales of her Irish ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and the explosive finale Veiled at Midnight.
Christine’s Irish wit is evident in her contemporary romance Londonderry Dreaming and in her newest release Sofi’s Bridge.  Coming August 2016 is the release of Christine’s non-fiction book Finding Sarah—Finding Me: A Birthmother’s Story.
Drop by Christine’s website www.ChristineLindsay.org follow her on Amazon on Twitter. Subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, and be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook, and  Goodreads

Sunday, April 3, 2016

When the World Turns Upside Down

What do you do when everything that was once good and right is in shambles at your feet?



And the world keeps turning. The sun rises and the moon sets, and the heart in your chest continues to pump blood through your veins. But you don’t feel the same way anymore.

Do you scream, cry? Or bury all emotion and act as if everything is right as rain?

You ache. Deep within your soul, whether it lingers at the surface or buried beneath layers of pain, anger waits. And so do the questions you long to ask…the things you long to say.


“Why did this happen? What have they done to deserve more? Why can’t my dreams come true? Where did it all go? If only I’d done it that way? What did they do that I didn’t? But I earned it. Life’s not fair. I can’t do this.”

And as dawn breaks and circumstances haven’t changed, what do you do now? You look down the road and find your dreams farther away than ever before…due to no fault of your own. The pain digs deeper and deeper.

Don’t push away the One who can move mountains. He wants to help. Ask Him. He will answer you. One thing to remember though…God can’t look at sin at all. Since we’re all sinners, He hears our prayers through His Son, Jesus Christ. He’s the one and only mediator we have to the all-powerful and loving God.

Now, a quick note about all this “positive” thinking stuff circulating out there on the Internet and even in the church. You can think as many positive thoughts as you want and believe you’re making your life awesome. More power to you, but be warned…it’s a fleeting power. If you’re not bathed by the blood of Jesus and walking with Him in faith, you won’t receive anything but warm fuzzies in the belly and a trip straight to hell. Sorry to be blunt, but that’s the truth.

The only life-changing, world-righting, dream-finding influence on this planet is the Holy Spirit. He’s given to each Christian by God after they accept Christ to help them along their daily journey in this world. You heard right. Only God can provide us with the right influence in our lives…not a job, a woman, a man, or even a family.

No, life in this earthly realm is not fair and the world does turn upside down. What do Christians do when everything lay in shambles at our feet? Cry out and hang on. For we know God can move mountains.




Try it. You won’t be sorry.