Where Faith and Fiction Collide – Guest Author Gail Kittleson

Author Gail Kittleson is my guest today. Gail is here to share with us about where faith and fiction collide. Enjoy!


Some viewers might consider Fried Green Tomatoes a movie about friendship rather than faith, but there’s a scene where Ruth’s volatile, abusive husband threatens to steal their baby. Shaken to the core, she says something like, “You know, I’ve faced a rough time before, and back then, all I could do was pray. But if he ever tries this again, I’ll…”

Her specific words don’t really matter—trust me, they promise action! Now for Ruth, a quiet, gentle woman, this statement shows a real turn-around. Normally, she wouldn’t think of employing the word she used to describe her vicious, self-serving husband, or of hurting another human being.

But the thought of him taking that precious baby brings out the worst in her … or is it the best? In matters of faith and action, sometimes it’s hard to tell. The Apostle James spurs believers to do something to prove their faith. He makes it clear that “faith without works isdead.” That’s pretty strong stuff.

Kate Isaacs, the heroine of my latest World War II novel, the second in the Women of the Heartland Series, has a moment something like Ruth’s.Suddenly, she understands an ancient religious tenet much more deeply. Because she’s one of the Greatest Generation women, making do in dire circumstances comes naturally.

But in this particular scene, she’s just been interrogated by a Nazi officer, taken to a safe place, and told she’s leaving for another location this very night. She’s not used to this hit-and-miss type of notification, but this time, she’s become ensconced in a Southern French household. She’s become part of the family, and one boy seems like the younger brother she never had.

An orphan with no siblings, this fresh order strikes at her heart chords. She’s already grown close to a little orphaned Jewish girl at her last locale—and before she joined this fight, she suffered a miscarriage. The griefs are piling up.

What does Kate do? Typically, she finds a task to complete, and that work leads to an epiphany. I’ll share part of the scene, so you can enter into her experience.

(Out back sprawled a woodpile, so she found a wood box faded an odd shade of blue—something to keep her busy. Back and forth, she filled the cavernous wooden trunk and low-slung iron arms beside the fireplace. Every load lightened her spirit. On her next-to-last trip, words came to her, silent but strong.

Your real life is hidden with Christ in God—last Sunday’s text in Celeste’s small home church, read with great enthusiasm by an elderly pastor. The French version helped Kate rethink the meaning, and now, she lifted her eyes to the spires just as sunshine broke through the cloud cover.

“I’m like you, a long time in the making. But there you stand, whole and beautiful. I must not let this lost feeling overwhelm me.”)

Ahhh…the action she must take, leaving for another post, finds credence in the action she takes at the woodpile. Through touching rough logs and filling a need, her faith embraces what her helter-skelter life calls for right now. The great cathedral spires in the distance take on new meaning for Kate, and she’s able to rise above her sadness with fresh energy for whatever comes next.

Sounds a bit like Ruth in Fried Green Tomatoes. The terror of an egomaniac’s threat exacerbates, but then roots out her fear. Her love for her baby and her determination bring her to a new level of action—faith at work—she’s no longer a victim.


About With Each New Dawn:

With Each New DawnKate Isaac grieves her husband, awaits their child’s birth, and welcomes her best friend Addie to London. But after her miscarriage, a meeting with mysterious Monsieur le Blanc launches her into Britain’s Secret Operations Executive(SOE). In late 1943, Kate parachutes into Southern France to aid the Resistance.

Domingo, a grieving Basque mountain guide, meets her parachute drop, tends her injured ankle, and carries her to safety. Reunited a few months later, they discover the injured Monsieur le Blanc who with his dying breath, reveals his familial connection to Kate.

In the shadow of the Waffen SS, Domingo and Kate find his younger brother Gabirel missing. While Domingo seeks Gabirel, Domingo’s parish priest, Père Gaspard, creates a new identity for Kate.

United once again, Kate and Domingo subject their mutual attraction to the cause. But can mere human will and moral courage change the war’s tide and forge a future for them?

Where Faith and Fiction Collide – Guest Author Alexis A. Goring

A Happily Ever After that Never Ends

A devotional written by Alexis A. Goring

This devotional is based on the end quote in a movie that I saw a year ago on The Hallmark Channel. The movie was called, “Love By The Book”. Here’s a link to the official trailer for the movie.

“Love By The Book” is a movie about a hopeless romantic who grew up with a steady serving of fairy tales. So at a very young age, she fully embraced the storybook concept of meeting Prince Charming, marrying him and living happily ever after. Now as an adult, that’s what she’s looking for in the dating scene. But after kissing many “frogs”, she’s failed at finding the perfect storybook romance that her heart so desires, and she starts to question her fairy tale beliefs.

I watched this movie a long time ago, so I do not recall the intricacies of the plot. But I do recall quite clearly the end quote from the hero to the heroine at the end of the movie. He told the heroine, “Do you know what I don’t like about happily ever afters? After happily ever after, the story ends.”

Such a line made faith and fiction collide in my mind! Allow me to spend the next few paragraphs explaining what I realized in that moment.

As believers in God and followers of Jesus Christ, we have a promise that our life story will not end permanently after we reach “the end” of our life. We can rest in the truth that if we lived for Jesus Christ and followed Him during our lives here on Earth then when He returns, He will take us home to heaven. There, in that perfect place, we will experience an unparalleled happily ever after that rivals Cinderella and every other perfect fairy tale book ending and it’s unrivaled because this happily ever after never ends!

There are verses in the Bible that talk about how we’ll “walk the streets of gold” (Revelation 21:21) in Heaven. God, who created you, will wipe away all of the tears that were caused by your deep pain and devastation that you faced while living on Earth.

Let’s read Revelation 21:4 (KJV). It says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Never again will you have to kiss a loved one goodbye as cancer or another disease claims their life. There will be no need for insurance of any type because everything will be perfect and death will not happen to anyone or any thing ever again. You’ll get to talk with God and Jesus Christ in person and live forever in a perfect body!

I don’t know about you, but such a wonderful promise of eternal life in a sin-free existence makes my heart happy! Who needs a fictional fairy tale “happily ever after” that ends the story forever, when you have a real-life promise that if you believe in Jesus and follow Him then you will live happily ever after with the Prince of Peace (Jesus Christ), for eternity?

And who needs to pursue earthly royalty for a happily ever after here on Earth when the Bible says that we as children of God are “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17)? Do you know what that means? It means that you and I are adopted into God’s family, which makes us royalty!

So, ladies always remember that you are a princess, and gentlemen, always keep in mind that you are a prince. And always, ladies and gentlemen, remember that your Heavenly Father is King of kings, Lord of lords, the Creator of the Universe and is waiting to bless you with a happily ever after that lasts for all of eternity.


alexis-a-goringAuthor Bio (short): Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.


 

Book Blurb for A Second Chance (book) by Alexis A. Goring:  

Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life.

Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death.

book-coverTraci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

Connect with Alexis

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlexisAGoring/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PennedbyAlex

Website: http://www.screenwriteralexis.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/capturingidea/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7260528.Alexis_A_Goring

“God is Love” blog: http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com

Purchase link for A Second Chance (book): Amazon

We Need Each Other — Where Faith and Fiction Collide

faith and community

I’ve been trying to revamp my blog for a while now. My tagline or “theme” is Where Faith and Fiction Collide, but up until this point, I haven’t really tied the two together too well. I’ve been chewing on some ideas for the last few weeks, and it finally dawned on me — I’ll talk about the faith element in movies I’ve watched or books I’ve read. So that’s what I’m going to do. I hope you enjoy!

In my discipleship group last week, someone mentioned the importance of being there for each other. I chimed in that sometimes we have to be there FOR others when they aren’t “there” for themselves.

Sometimes we have to pick up the slack.

Push them on.

Encourage them.

Slap them into seeing that they have greatness in them.

Okay, we don’t really slap them. But sometimes our friends or loved ones may need to be strongly encouraged to keep fighting. Not to give up. To see that they are almost there.

While we were talking in my group, a scene from Forrest Gump began to play in my head. Maybe the movie was fresh in my mind because I’d just returned from Monterey, California and eaten at the Bubba Gump Seafood Co.

But anyway…the scene that came to me was the one where Forrest rescues Lieutenant Dan. His legs are blown off, and he wants to be left to die. But Forrest won’t leave him.

Lieutenant Dan is so angry with Forrest for saving him. When they are in the infirmary together and Forrest offers Lieutenant Dan an ice cream cone, Lieutenant Dan yanks him out of the bed and onto the floor. He’s really angry. He wanted to die. He didn’t think he had a purpose in life, and he didn’t want to live out that purpose even if he did have one.

Later, they reconnect, and Lieutenant Dan’s life has gone down the drain. He’s given up. But Forrest puts him to work on his new fishing boat, and despite Dan’s hatefulness, Forrest keeps on believing in him and believing FOR him that his life will get better. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should. If you have, you know that things do indeed get better for Lieutenant Dan.

Sometimes, we have to pick our friends up and carry them over the finish line. All they can see is the fact that they are missing legs. They feel hopeless. They can’t see that things will ever get better. But we know that they can! We can’t promise them prosperity or fame or health, marriage, children or a life without depression, but we can help them see that if they give up, they’ll never know what could be.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 – New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

I’ve had friends who refused to let me wallow in my self-pity, who claimed God’s power and His blessing over my life when I couldn’t believe it for myself. In turn, I’ve done the same thing for many. If we all reach out and do our best to encourage those around us and to pick them up (or drag them across the threshhold), this world will be a better place.

Photo credit: Bigstock

Behind the Scenes of Shoba Sadler’s CHILD OF DUST

 http://clashofthetitles.com

Today we’ll sit down to chat with Shoba Sadler, author of the contemporary title Child of Dust. Shoba will take us behind the scenes of her unique new novel and give us a glimpse into her writing.

Shoba, why did you choose to write this type of novel?
Social status and cultural barriers makes for great conflict. Child of Dust is like a modern-day classic of Romeo and Juliet only instead of opposing families, these lovers, Kim and Bryan have cultural and social barriers to contend with.

Kim, the rich and spoilt socialite who loses her money is taken under the wing of her reluctant chauffeur, Bryan, who has his own struggles to deal with. They find love under the most unexpected circumstances.

Can you tell us why you started with an Asian setting for your first two novels?
I was founder of Agape Christian magazine in Malaysia. I also freelanced for the leading English, secular newspaper in Malaysia, The Star. My feature stories forThe Star were several page write-ups with gorgeous photos. Many of my stories were selected by the features editor to be cover stories as well.

As I interviewed people all over the world for Agape, I saw God moving powerfully in Asia and yet there were so few stories coming from there especially in the Christian romance genre.

In Asia, Christianity is seen very much as a Western culture. Yet so many Asians have had powerful encounters with Jesus Christ. Then there is the struggle to validate their faith in the midst of culture, tradition, loss of identity, social stigma and so on.

There alone you have so much material for backdrop, tension, drama, conflict and final resolution.

An example of what I mean can be seen in my short story Finding Enlightenmentthat was awarded second place at faithwriters.com. It can be read here:http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article-level3-previous.php?id=54362

Talk a little about your unique setting.

When I read novels I am drawn to the backdrop and setting. A great description of the setting subtly woven into the story is what makes the difference between being a narrator who takes a person on a journey through his “telling” and a facilitator who steps out of the way altogether to allow the reader to explore the journey on his own. The writer should aim to be the facilitator and not the narrator.There is nothing like a great setting to make the reader feel like they are there with the characters. It is like the difference between watching a 2D and 3D movie.

Unfortunately, many formulaic romance novels that are churned out in quick production-line succession fails to capture this allure of setting because it takes research and time. It is also not easy to write setting discreetly in the background and that is the only way to write it. Otherwise it will seem like reading lecture notes instead of a story.

I read one review of a multi-cultural romance set in an Asian country where the reviewer said she felt like she was reading a tour company’s brochure and that is the wrong emotion to invoke.

So another reason I wrote Child of Dust was to give romance readers a chance to explore unique settings and backdrops not normally experienced by a reader in the current trend of romance novels available out there.

We’d love to hear a little about the historical background for your novel. Will you talk about that?
The main character, Bryan, Kim’s chauffeur has been deeply affected by the Vietnam war in the sense that he is the illegitimate child of an American GI and a Vietnamese woman. This historical background sets a different dimension to the story and adds intrigue and authenticity.

Who would you say is the audience for this novel?

Child of Dust is an appealing read for anyone. As I have also written for the secular press, I am able to write in a manner that appeals to all walks of life both Christian and non-Christian. I have had non-Christians tell me they were so engrossed in the story that they didn’t not notice the message of the gospel woven into the story. Yet that message is undoubtedly there.

I am an inspirational writer and everyone loves a good inspirational story just as they love watching a Hallmark movie.

What readers have to say about the novel:
“Make sure when getting ready to read Child of Dust that you don’t have anything else planned for the day, you won’t be able to put this book down. I could go on and on about this book. Highly and strongly recommend it. Is it possible to give a book 10 stars?” — Debra Dunson, reviewer at The Edgier Christian Fiction Fan

“I found the writing of this story to be close to excellent…. I found this book to be one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. It was interesting, the story kept moving along, and I learned a lot as I read this story. I found myself intrigued with the constant difficulties faced by the protagonists – and their stories were presented so much more like real life stories than any other book I have read in a long, long time.” — Marina, Community Writer, California

“This novel has a consistent rhythm, adding surprise after surprise, twisting our emotions at each new difficulty Kim faces. I couldn’t put this book down, waiting to see if any or all the ends would be tired up. I would actually like to see the novel transcend into a movie. An amazing read.” — Brices Mice Christian Book Reviews

About Child of Dust: 

Beautiful but spoilt Vietnamese socialite, Cao Kim Lye, learns of her parents shocking death from the dashing Amerasian family chauffeur, Bryan Nguyen.

Kim steps out of a world of crystal and chandelier to enter the dust and chaos of working-class Hanoi. She finds herself living under the roof of a shop cum living quarters with Bryan and his adoptive family.

Ever conscious of the privileged class, Kim struggles against the emotional ties she forms towards Bryan, the reluctant saviour, who considers her an unnecessary hitch to his already complicated life.

He still bears the scars of abandonment by his mother and his American GI father when U.S. troops pulled out of Vietnam.

Eventually Bryan and Kim’s powerful attraction to each other begins to break down the wall between them.

About the author: 
Shoba Sadler has been a journalist for 20 years and founder of Agape magazine in Malaysia. She is a versatile inspirational author that likes to write in multiple genres. She has pioneered a new genre in Christian multi-cultural writing with her novel Child of Dust and her many award-winning short stories can be read here http://shobasadler.com/?page_id=250

Her passion for writing is matched only by her passion for cooking with farm fresh produce. She lives a healthy lifestyle on a farm with her husband, Kevin, a talented musician, who also loves to surf and ski. They grow their own vegetables and fruits and share their home with a multitude of animals and wildlife. They are passionate about buying directly from local farmers who practice organic farming.

Overwhelmed – How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory #OverwhelmedBook #BYNR

Overwhelmed - How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore your Sanity by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory
Overwhelmed – How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore your Sanity by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory

Are you overwhelmed? If so, you need Overwhelmed – How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory! Below you’ll see my review, but first, don’t miss the freebies you can get when you purchase the book. Offer expires tonight, December 31st! Click here to find out about the freebies: 

My thoughts:

In the last few days, I bet you’ve said at least once, “I’m overwhelmed.” If you ever feel like you’re in a state of perpetual crisis, you’re always running late to wherever you go, or something always tends to happen right before you leave the house, this book is what you need!

When I first started reading Overwhelmed, I didn’t think I was very overwhelmed with life. I’m an empty-nester. I work from home and earn a partial living from my favorite hobby, which is writing. Life is good. As I started making my way through the book, however, I discovered things in my life that did indeed overwhelm me. And I learned a few vital things which have already put me on a road to recovering from being overwhelmed.

  1. Know what causes chaos in your life so you can work to remove it.

Women are often overwhelmed with taking care of children, working full-time jobs, trying to live on a budget, making sure everybody is healthy and happy. But there are other things that overwhelm us. Sometimes our past decisions make us feel like we’re trapped and that we can’t change our futures. But that’s not true. No poor decision or bad mistake can stop us from moving forward in our lives. If something is causing chaos in your life and it’s not vital for life, kick it out!

  1. You must get yourself out of the way.

You can’t make changes in your life or big decisions until you move out of the way, and it’s hard to deal with other peoples’ mess (the chaos makers) if you’ve got mess of your own.

When you’re facing a tough situation, like in a relationship with someone who causes havoc every time you see them, Kathi and Cheri say that pre-deciding what you’re going to do if a bad situation comes about can make all the difference. It definitely can!

  1. We set ourselves up for overwhelming failure when we place unrealistic expectations on our future selves.

Author Kathi Lipp explains that you must take care of your future self by realizing now that you’re just one person and you can’t overcommit yourself to things. If you decide ahead of time what you can and cannot handle, you may say no to more things, but you’ll say yes to the right things.

Life is always going to throw unexpected circumstances at us, but when we have a plan in place, we can be prepared for them.

  1. “Overwhelmed” is something that tries to steal our joy, but we can outwit this thief when we trade bitterness for hope.

Sometimes we’ve lived through so many disappointments, we can’t let ourselves hope for something better or experience joy. Kathi says when we protect ourselves from feelings of disappointment and rejection, we also insulate ourselves from joy and connection. It’s important that we deal with all the feelings that cause us to be overwhelmed so we can experience true joy. And of course, true joy is found only in Christ.

  1. Making a plan for your life and using a calendar for things you do on a regular basis is a must.

I started doing this at the beginning of 2016 and at first, I felt like it would overwhelm me to get reminders of what I needed to do. But after a year of using my Google calendar, I’ve grown to love knowing what I’ve got coming up each day and what time I need to do it. It helps me manage my time, and I don’t feel overwhelmed like I used to.

When you use a digital calendar, you see there are only so many hours in a day and only so many tasks you can accomplish as a human being. To-do lists which have 20 to 30 items on them are crazy! A digital calendar, however, makes more sense and helps you see your limitations.

I’m not a morning person, but I’ve started doing some things in the evening to prepare for the next morning even though I work from home. I pick out my clothes for the next day and have them in the bathroom ready for me to slip into. I put the water for my tea in my teapot so all I have to do is plug it in and turn it on. I study my Bible every morning before I turn the computer on because once I start work, I won’t get around to studying.

Something I want to do for 2017 is get up a little bit earlier and do some of my writing after I do my Bible study before I do my work. I’m naturally a night owl and I’m more creative after 9:00 p.m., so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to write then, but I’m at least going to try.

Having a plan in place each day helps you be more successful because no plan means no goals and that can equal chaos.

  1. Self-care is important and we often neglect it.

A lot of women find it hard to take time to pamper themselves because we’re so busy taking care of our families and our homes. We almost feel guilty if we take time for ourselves. Now that I’m an empty-nester and my life is a little bit slower, I can tell you that I wish I had followed this principle years ago. If I had set up a routine at the end of the day for myself to relax or gotten up a little earlier in the morning before the kids got up, I think I would have been a much nicer mom.

  1. Fewer relationships in life isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Too many relationships cause us to feel overwhelmed when we try to keep up with what’s going on with everybody and we try to meet everybody’s expectations. You can’t be close friends or best friends with everybody you know.

  1. Make sure you keep safe people in your life.

If you’re going to put your trust in somebody it needs to be somebody who is trustworthy.

  1. It’s important to take a weekly Sabbath.

This is something I’ve known about my entire life, having grown up in a Southern Baptist church, but it’s something I haven’t practiced fully. Especially not since I’ve been an adult. It’s super difficult to turn everything off for a day.

One of my favorite lines in the book is this: God is still at work even when we are not.

God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. We should be able to do our important things in six days and take a seventh day for rest as well.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve practiced setting aside Sundays after church and the whole rest of the day for a time of no computer and no work. I was amazed at how quickly I grew bored. I’m so used to being connected to work, my novels, and to people that it just felt strange to kick back and do nothing but read or decorate my Christmas tree or just sit and pet my dog. But I think the more I do it, I’ll grow to cherish that time. I wonder how this will work once I start writing my next novel, but I’m sure if I commit that time to the Lord, he will give me all the time I need to write.

Sometimes when we become overwhelmed, we throw ourselves a pity party. Author Cheri Gregory says the only problems with pity parties are that nobody brings us gifts, and the entertainment is terrible. That’s so true!

I hope you will RUSH and purchase this book tonight so you can receive the freebies, but even if you don’t do it tonight, please check it out and make it your next read of 2017!

Where Did Author Barbara M. Britton Find Her Muse? #COTT

 

http://clashofthetitles.com

It’s common knowledge that authors find their muse in many different places, but one author found her muse while teaching Sunday school.

Author Barbara M. Britton recently was featured on the Books of the Month TV program. Today we host the episode, now available online, on demand, courtesy of Preach the Word Worldwide TV Network. Learn how teaching Sunday school to children helped to spur Barbara’s story ideas for her now-popular Biblical fiction series “Tribes of Israel.”

(if you can’t see the video, click here to visit the Preach the Word Worldwide Network TV station page.

Purchase Providence: Hannah’s Journey today
Pre-order Building Benjamin: Naomi’s Journey

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=barbara+m+britton+tribes+of+israel

October November Clash Champion! #COTT #amreading

Congratulations to Kara Isaac, with 

Can’t Help Falling

29430781 

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Barnes and Noble

A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a

wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a

snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.

Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But

deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there’s a nerdy

Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check

for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic

results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends

for the damage she has caused.

Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best

rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s

determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent

disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one

person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.

When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction

is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can

the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of

the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an

aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with curious a wardrobe bring the

world of Narnia to life in Kara Isaac’s inspiring and romantic story about

second chances.

What Voters Had to Say:

These authors are all a blessing! Please keep writing…You encourage us all!

The cover alone makes me want to read the book, which sounds

like a wonderful read. 🙂

Loved Can’t Help Falling. More please! 🙂

Keep writing, Kara! Love your books!

Kara Isaac, I have just discovered your books and love them.

Keep it up!

I loved Kara Isaac’s first book, Close to You, so am really

looking forward to reading Can’t Help Falling. I enjoy her style of writing. I

recommended Close to You to my book club, so hopefully we’ll be reading and

discussing it sometime in 2017.

I have read, and enjoyed, Can’t Help Falling. As far as the

covers, I have to vote for this one because what little you see of the guy’s

face, it looks like my son!!

I won Kara Isaac’s Can’t Help Falling on a Facebook giveaway

and was wonderfully surprised at how much I loved this book! The cover is

amazing and it really catches the eye!

Kara has a zany unique writing style that combines substance

with heartfelt laughter

I’m not familiar with some of these authors but really like

some of them!  Keep up the good work!

Kara Isaac, you have such a gift bringing comedy, romance,

and meaning to your stories. I love them!!

Wish I could have picked two books here, because Can’t Help Falling caught me

just by the description. I’ll be looking for this one!

 

About the Author:

 

Kara Isaac

Kara Isaac lives in Wellington, New Zealand. When she’s not

working her day job as a public servant, chasing around a ninja preschooler and

his feisty toddler sister, she spends her time writing horribly bad first

drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in New Zealand. Her debut

romantic comedy, Close To You, released April 2016. Her sophomore novel, Can’t

Help Falling, releases in October 2016 and is an RT Reviews Top Pick. She loves

to connect with readers on GoodReads, Twitter, Facebook and through her

website.

 

 

 

Clash of the Titles Oct-Nov 2016 #COTT

It’s the end of our CLASH year, and we’ve lined up some awesome holiday reading (and gift ideas!) for this month’s Clash of the Titles.
Vote for your Ideal curl up in front of a fire read!

Scroll through these releases and cast your vote for your perfect idea of a next read.

It’s a tough choice, but it’s up to you to determine our Clash Champion!

30901142

Risking Love

Brenda S. Anderson

A play-it-safe bank employee falls for a down-on-his-luck, risk-taking widower.

Can she risk loving a man whose home she may have to take away?

32574171

An Unexpected Role

Leslea Wahl

Josie’s island getaway becomes the summer of her dreams as friendships grow,

romance blossoms and a series of thefts surround her with excitement. But as

she sets out to solve the mystery she has become entangled in, she not only

realizes the importance of relying on her faith but along the way also

discovers her true self.

26001111

Forest Child

Heather Day Gilbert

Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable,

conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life and is Book Two in the

bestselling Vikings of the New World Saga.

29430781 

Can’t Help Falling

Kara Isaac

A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a

mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and

picturesque Oxford, England.

29885744

The Cautious Maiden

Dawn Crandall

In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with

a taciturn acquaintance; Vance Everstone. With danger stalking her and a new

fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust

and who to leave behind.

25062497

The Thorn Healer

Pepper D. Basham

A wounded nurse battles resentment against a German prisoner as the two work together to save an Appalachian town from deception and disease in the wake of World War 1.

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October Clash of the Titles. Vote Now! #COTT via @ClashofTitles

 

 

Autumn leaves are falling from the
trees, and we’ve raked in some great books for this month’s Clash of the
Titles!

Vote for your Fave!
Scroll through these releases and cast your vote for your fave.
It’s a tough choice, but it’s up to you to determine our Clash
Champion!
https://www.amazon.com/Loves-Faithful-Promise-Courage-Dream/dp/0764217267/ref=sr_1_1
Love’s Faithful Promise  by
Susan Anne Mason
Widower Dr. Matthew Clayborne is devoted to two things: his work with
wounded soldiers and his four-year-old daughter, Phoebe. When Deirdre
O’Leary, a feisty New Yorker, arrives requesting he use his skills to
help her stricken mother, he has no idea how his life is about to
change.
~~~~~~

https://www.amazon.com/Feta-Freeways-Susan-M-Baganz/dp/1537366041/ref=sr_1_1


Feta and Freeways by Susan M.
Baganz


Nikolos Action is the lead singer of the band and doesn’t
realize love is right in front of him until their manager, Tia, is
almost killed trying to save his life. After years of ignoring her is it
too late to earn her trust…and her love?

~~~~~~
https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Alternative-Kelli-Hughett-ebook/dp/B01LGF1IYE/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1
Dangerous Alternative by Kelli
Hughett

Hollywood grip, Levi Boulter unknowingly puts himself in
the crosshairs of a murder plot. Now, he’ll do anything to keep the
woman he loves safe, even if it means losing her forever.
~~~~~~
https://www.amazon.com/Inconceived-Spinstered-Book-Sharyn-Kopf-ebook/dp/B01LZ4ON59/ref=sr_1_2
Inconceived by Sharyn Kopf

Realizing you’re a spinster is one thing; understanding what that means
and how to handle it is another. And, it would seem, Jolene, Uli and
Catie still have a ways to go before they truly comprehend what God is
trying to show them not only in their desire to marry but in their
longing to have children of their own.

~~~~~~
https://www.amazon.com/Child-Dust-Romance-Contemporary-Christian-ebook/dp/B01LVW167W/ref=sr_1_1
Child of Dust by Shoba Sadler

After the sudden death of her parents, Vietnamese
socialite Cao Kim Lye steps out of a world of crystal and chandelier to
enter the dust and chaos of working-class Hanoi when she goes to live
with her Amerasian chauffeur and his adoptive family at a shop cum
living quarters.
VOTE
HERE!

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Working For Yourself

work from home, self-employed, freelance, virtual assistant, writer

I’m a writervirtual assistant, and a speaker. And sometimes, I’m a coach/cheerleader/counselor.

As a writer, I’ve written five Inspirational novels and am writing my sixth now. I also have a few resources for homeschoolers.

As a virtual assistant, I have nine clients who use me on a daily or weekly basis and seven who use me on occasion when they have special projects.

As a speaker, I make myself available for whatever doors God opens up. Entertaining people is probably one of my favorite pastimes other than writing, but public speaking isn’t where my efforts are most focused on at this stage in my life. But I’m always open.  😉

The fourth wheel to this crazy work-from-home life I live involves helping others who are both ahead and behind me in this journey. Sometimes I’m off the clock and sometimes I’m on it, but I find myself many times helping authors and speakers process their next step.

I’m most blessed when it comes to my method of earning an income. Yes, my job. I just hate to call it that because it doesn’t always feel like WORK. I love my clients, and I love the things I do. So I kind of feel guilty sometimes when I think about my little pot of gold at the end of my rainbow.

95% of my work is done from home. That doesn’t mean I’m all sad and lonely in an isolated room. I have meetings via Skype or GoToMeeting. I’ve met almost all of my clients either in person or via video chat, and I feel like I have family all over the United States.

I’m blessed because I can take my work on the road and go wherever I need to go. This has come in handy when I’ve traveled or when I’ve had to sit in waiting rooms while a family member had a medical procedure. Everything I need is in my computer or my client folders (yes, I’m still old school sometimes and I use file folders).

I felt it was time to share some of the things that can help you get started in your own business, either a work-from-home set up or a freelance career.

There is a difference. Some work requires us to get outside of our little nests and interact with people, but we can still be our own bosses.

Here’s what I feel are some of the important How-To’s for starting, running, and making your business work.

Remember That Even Though You’re the Boss, Someone Else Pays You

You may be self-employed, but you need clients (or customers) or your job will end as quickly as it started. So while you may hold the reins, without your clients, there wouldn’t be any fields to plow. This means that you need to respect, value, appreciate, and affirm your clients as often as possible.

Know Your Stuff

That’s right! Before you can work for yourself in any capacity, you have to know what you know how to do.

My first client came to me by accident. She is an author who had a new book release. I interviewed her here on my blog. Then she asked me to be a guest blogger twice a month on her blog. Eventually, her hectic life created a need for an assistant, and she asked me to be it. I began by uploading posts to her blog, scheduling them, and then sharing them on social media. All of this was new to me, but I learned it. And I enjoyed it. More importantly, I added these skills to my know-how list.

This client introduced me to my second client, who has introduced me to several more. With each new client, I have brought more to the table than I had before they came into my life. Now, when someone new inquires, I can hand them a list of things I know how to do and things I know how but DON’T do.

If you don’t know what you know how to do, then your clients or customers won’t have confidence in you that you can do the job well.

Be Teachable

While the tasks for my clients vary greatly from blog admin to payroll to managing their inboxes, handling their events, and more, some of what I do for them, I didn’t know how to do when this all began. I watched what they did. I figured things out on my own. I asked a lot of questions. I was willing to do something in a new and different way. I was and still am trying to be on a daily basis TEACHABLE.

Drop the Entitlement Mentality and Be Willing to Work for a Living

This is huge! Unless you come from a family who has handed you a trust fund or you’ve won the lottery and saved well, this life requires work. And you know what? I’m glad it does. If it didn’t, I think my brain would be a big pile of mush by now. I enjoy working and learning. It helps me be a well-rounded person. It helps me see the world outside of my narrow view. How?

Because when you have to please clients and customers and that requires you to get up off the couch and leave your television behind, your world opens up. You see all the possibilities that are out there. You see the struggles other people go through. You see that this life isn’t all about you.

You also become way less entitled. You begin to value the dollar.

working hard, money

I’m far less likely to blow money on frivolous things when I think about how hard I had to work to earn it. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a night out for dinner and a movie. But when I consider the fact that I just spent three hours of earnings on that night, I’m much more discerning next time around.

Set Boundaries

While being willing to work is a big part of working for yourself, you also have to set boundaries. I generally tell inquiring clients that I work Monday-Thursday and save the weekends for my family, church and writing. I have clients on the West Coast and the East Coast so that can get tricky sometimes with timezone differences, but overall, it works nicely for me because I have set boundaries. Very rarely do I let a client’s lack of preparation constitute an emergency on my part. I’m always here to help, but a client might have to wait in line behind another client. Boundaries. They are good for all things in life.

Return the Favor

When someone teaches you, turn around and teach someone else who is coming along behind you. When someone gives you their time, give of your time to someone else. The same goes for your resources.

One of my clients gifted me a writers conference this summer. There’s no way I could have worked it out this year to go, but she wanted me there. So she made it happen. It was God, really. I told her that I didn’t know how I’d ever repay her. She said to keep my eyes open for someone that I could help one day. And then to be ready to help. How awesome is that?

Use Your Knowledge and Talents to Help Your Clients

My first two novels were published by a small publisher. After several years, I decided to regain my rights and publish them and their sequels on Amazon. That process took a lot of brain power, but I eventually learned how to do everything. I had a lot of help from friends who had walked that path before me. Since then, I’ve been able to help many of my clients with everything from editing, formatting, and even publishing their books. I believe that if God gives us the opportunity to learn something, we should pass that knowledge along to others when they need it.

Working for yourself is both easier AND harder than a regular 9 to 5 job, but it’s so worth it!

Photo credit: Bigstock Photos

Hands with money

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