Crushed, Shattered, Growing

The year isn’t even half over and I’m ready for it to be done already. Nothing terrible is happening, yet, it’s draining all the same. I call it the crushing season, for me, a time I’ve discerned is God’s doing to grow me. Take me to the new place in Him.

But it will crush and shatter me in the process.

It feels like you’re in a vise and the handle keeps turning. Everything that can be squeezed out of me is. Although a good thing—I definitely want less of my selfishness and more of Christ, it’s hard.

You’ve been there.

The crushing for me has been a constant onslaught on my mind. Things that I know are lies, but they are before me, running through my imagination, on a loop. It is draining. I’ve had to increase every step I take in my normal faith journey and even add more. I listen to Christian music all night just to combat it. It’s hard.

Growing times for me always involve increased rejection and loneliness. I don’t have a squad like Taylor Swift, and that’s okay with me. The precious few in my life are trusted and invested not in what I can do for them, but how we can encourage each other together. When I’m hurting, it is twice the fight when I only hear from folks who only think of me as their prayer connection. It is an honor, don’t get me wrong, but there is nothing in their thinking that says I am a friend. I don’t hear about their good news, nor am I contacted just because. I’ve joked before I am their prayer Pez Dispenser. And it hurts.

The good news about these things is they are a season. I’ve been through enough of them to know I come out better on the other side. Usually there is crazy God favor that defies definition. Good stuff just happens, and I know it’s from Him. There is a new level of faith. I’m learning and applying what He’s showing me. It is worth every tear, and trust me, I shed many.

I share all this to say this month I’ve focused on the crushing process in my weekly e mail called Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate. It’s a brief encouragement to start your week right, and I always include a chocolate mention. If you’re feeling the pain of crushing that includes rejection and loneliness, I pray these issues help you.

Let Sunday's Surrender and Chocolate Encourage You During the Surrender Process.

Let Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate Encourage You as You’re Being Crushed, Shattered and Growing.

Subscription is free and separate from my other free resources, my monthly newsletter filled with updates, surrender tips, Reader of the Month profile, contests and more, and the as needed book release/discount e mail alert.

I’d love for you to subscribe and tell others. Let’s get through the surrender journey together.

Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate Weekly E Mail

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COTT: New Clash Needs Your Vote!

 

New Clash Needs Your Vote!

Welcome back to our arena! The following authors are stepping onto our sands, ready to wield their mighty pens. Please look at each of their covers and descriptions and choose a favorite. Which would go on the top of your to-be-read pile? Be sure to make your choice in the actual survey, as those in the comments section alone won’t be calculated into the results. (web link provided below for those devices which don’t display the embedded survey. We’re thoughtful like that.)

Let the game… BEGIN!
~~~

Book ImageThe Gilded Curse by Marilyn Turk:
Responding to a cryptic telegram, Lexie Smithfield returns to Jekyll Island to sell her family’s abandoned vacation cottage in the Millionaire’s Club. Because tragic events in her family convinced her mother the island was cursed, it’s been ten years since her last visit to the island. Lexie’s trip is prolonged when suspicious incidents cause her to stay and discover the cottage’s hidden secrets. Just offshore the presence of nearby Nazi U-boats threaten the coast and endanger the island’s residents. While the management of the Millionaire’s Club attempts to keep members unaware of the danger, Lexie discovers the real threat that lurks within this closed community and learns that her destiny is not determined by curses or her family’s mistakes, but by the choices she makes.

Book ImageBitterroot Bride (American State Flower) by Angela Breidenbach:
No one knows the real Emmalee Warren, just what they want from the infamous prostitute. Men are coming out of the woodwork to stake a claim on the miner’s widow. They wanted her body before. Now they want her money. Hiring a lawyer, Richard Lewis, to save her from financial ruin might let her start over where no one knows Miss Ellie. Becoming an unknown is the only way to freedom…or is it? Can she leave her past and build a new future?

Book ImageBreaking Free by Jennifer Slattery:
Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters. Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?

Book Image

Dressed for Death (A Drew Farthering Mystery) by Julianna Deering:
A Regency-Era Costume Party Should Have Been an Amusing Diversion, But it Seems Wherever Drew Farthering Goes, Mystery–and Murder–Are on the Guest List.

Vote below or follow this link to vote if box is not displayed: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VPNJMRX

 

 

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Book Review: The Amish Firefighter by Laura V. Hilton

The Amish Firefighter by Laura Hilton.

The Amish Firefighter by Laura Hilton.

This is the second part of my Don’t Miss This feature. Yesterday I shared that Laura and I are in the same critique group, so I’m able to see her work firsthand. She’s such a master at Amish romance that what you read as a finished product is pretty much what I see in the critique group.

The Amish Firefighter is available for pre-order, and my review is based on my critique experience.

 

 

 

The Amish Firefighter

Can they overcome their past?

Abigail Stutzman’s life is about to change – whether she wants it to or not. Her mamm is getting remarried to a widower with a large family. Abigail is sent to live with her aenti and onkle in Jamesport because she and her new step-brother had dated and their parents anticipate problems. (Her step-brother is needed on the farm.) Abigail launches a full-scale plan to return home to her family—and Mark—when she finds herself in over her head…and heart. When Abigail and her new “wrong crowd” get into significant trouble, her punishment includes helping a collection of crazy old maids with housekeeping. In the midst of her atonement, Abigail uncovers family secrets that run deep, and realizes she’s not the only one with a pain-filled past. Abigail must decide if she’ll continue her messed-up legacy or embrace a new beginning with the man who’s stolen her heart.

Sam Miller has trouble of his own. When Sam and his close friend Ezra Weiss are in a drug/alcohol-related car accident in Pennsylvania, Ezra is killed. Though Sam survives, he is deeply affected by the tragedy and vows to help other victims. Now a new Christian, Sam is a volunteer firefighter and a college student working to earn his EMT and paramedic license. But Sam has a past. When it comes time to confess his crimes, he finds that the truth may set him free—but it might also land him in some uncomfortably hot water. Will Sam and Abigail be able to find a future together? 

 

As always, Laura delivers a page turner of an Amish romance for readers. The Amish Firefighter is a standout to me thanks to Sam and Abigail’s chemistry. Their conflict starts immediately and between circumstances and attraction, they can’t stay away from each other. Yet, both have their issues that keep the two at arm’s length. I love how Sam calls Abigail “firebug,” and Abigail is a strong character in her own right. There is also the fire aspect, and that only adds to the page turning. All the dynamics are here for a satisfying read. I think this is a must read for summer.

 

10628159_10208001517851690_2507809979360088405_nAward winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

 

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as the Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard,  and The Birdhouse. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series. Laura is contracted for another three

book Amish series set in the Jamesport area, with the first book, The Amish Firefighter releasing in May 2016, followed by two more Amish books and a Christmas story releasing in Fall 2016, Spring 2017 and Fall 2017 respectively.

 

She has self-published a Christmas novella, Christmas Mittens.

 

Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer and blogs for Putting on the New and Seriously Write.

To Purchase:

Amazon

CBD

Barnes and Noble

Deeper Shopping

Don’t Miss This: The Amish Firefighter by Laura V. Hilton

Julie’s note:

I’m happy to introduce you to another author and book in my “Don’t Miss This” feature. This month I’m excited to highlight Laura Hilton. She’s best known for her Amish romances, and I’ve known her for a few years as we are in the same critique group.  Her writing is always full of romance, conflict, and a dash of humor. Look for tomorrow’s post where I review Laura’s latest, The Amish Firefighter.

 

If you could have dinner with one person from today or history (except Jesus) who would it be? Why? 

My mom. I’d like to ask her questions about things I don’t remember and ask her advice about things. I really miss her.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

I have so many favorite Bible verses, it is hard to pick just one. But for today, the one that is coming to my mind is “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

What do you enjoy most about writing? 

Almost everything. I love the creating process, getting to know new friends (in my mind) and learning their story.

What can your readers expect from you next? T

he Amish Firefighter is releasing in May and it will be followed by three more Amish books.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Review on your favorite online retail sites, tell your friends, libraries, and book clubs, and others about it. Word of mouth is the best way to support an author. 

Please tell us a little about your novel, The Amish Firefighter.

The Amish Firefighter by Laura Hilton.

The Amish Firefighter by Laura Hilton.

Can they overcome their past?

Abigail Stutzman’s life is about to change – whether she wants it to or not. Her mamm is getting remarried to a widower with a large family. Abigail is sent to live with her aenti and onkle in Jamesport because she and her new step-brother had dated and their parents anticipate problems. (Her step-brother is needed on the farm.) Abigail launches a full-scale plan to return home to her family—and Mark—when she finds herself in over her head…and heart. When Abigail and her new “wrong crowd” get into significant trouble, her punishment includes helping a collection of crazy old maids with housekeeping. In the midst of her atonement, Abigail uncovers family secrets that run deep, and realizes she’s not the only one with a pain-filled past. Abigail must decide if she’ll continue her messed-up legacy or embrace a new beginning with the man who’s stolen her heart.

Sam Miller has trouble of his own. When Sam and his close friend Ezra Weiss are in a drug/alcohol-related car accident in Pennsylvania, Ezra is killed. Though Sam survives, he is deeply affected by the tragedy and vows to help other victims. Now a new Christian, Sam is a volunteer firefighter and a college student working to earn his EMT and paramedic license. But Sam has a past. When it comes time to confess his crimes, he finds that the truth may set him free—but it might also land him in some uncomfortably hot water. Will Sam and Abigail be able to find a future together?

Where can readers find you online?

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

visit my blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/  & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/ 

twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

 

Where can readers purchase The Amish Firefighter?

Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=laura+hilton&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton

Deeper Shopping http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX

 

10628159_10208001517851690_2507809979360088405_nAward winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

 

Her publishing credits include Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories),  Promised to Another, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards), Surrendered Love and Awakened Love, A White Christmas in Webster County, The Snow Globe, The Postcard, The Birdhouse, Swept Away, Christmas Mittens, and The Amish Firefighter.

 

Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, a professional book reviewer and blogs for Putting on the New and Seriously Write.

 

 

 

ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past

So many of you were kind enough to read the original ENTRUSTED and have been so patient. You’ve asked when is the next book coming out? Well, hold on. We are so close to release.

Today, I give you the cover.

ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past is coming soon!

ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past is coming soon!

ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past is Carla’s story and I’m excited to share it with you. The story dropped in my lap as I prayed about the end of ENTRUSTED. It’s a theme I know well, and I think you might, too. Carla’s been given everything she could possibly want, but she feels she’s unworthy because of a rebellious choice she made years ago.

Carla’s been given her dream, to leave her job as sheriff and attend cosmetology school. The gift is so overwhelming that she struggles with feeling unworthy, especially since she still feels guilty for becoming a mom as a teenager. When Wayne Peterson reenters her and their son Noah’s life, Carla creates some tangles between her and her steadfast boyfriend, the flannel-wearing, truck driver Will Marshall. Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or, will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?

My hope is to have ENTANGLED available next month, along with the re release of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present. ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, Trish’s story, should be ready by year’s end.

The critique groups and beta readers who went through ENTANGLED had a hard time trying to guess the ending and how Carla would find freedom through surrender. There were definitely “Team Will” and “Team Wayne” fans, and I look forward to seeing what YOU think.

My hope is to release the  ENTRUSTED e version for free for awhile and do so as ENTANGLED: Releasing the Past releases. Do me a favor and grab both copies. Read them, and if you enjoy them, leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Reviews are vital for authors, and I can’t encourage audiences to find freedom through surrender if they don’t know what resources I have for them. I truly believe through fiction readers will relate to characters and their surrender journey, and take that next step toward freedom for themselves. Partnering with me by spreading the word and leaving reviews will make all the difference.

FREE resources available now:

Surrender Issues and Chocolate: This is my monthly newsletter filled with encouragement, writing updates, recipes, Reader of the Month profiles, contests and more.

Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate: This is a brief, weekly email designed to give you encouragement as you start your week. Each issue also includes a chocolate mention.

Surrendered Scribe Media Promotions: When I have a new release, discounts, or any other promotions, I’ll send an alert. This will only be sent when there is a need for you to know.

Entrusted: Surrendering the Present

EntrustedFinalCover2

Entrusted: Surrendering the Present will be re released soon along with Entangled: Surrendering the Past.

Yesterday I announced that Surrendered Scribe Media is now official. My first business related venture is re branding the Adirondack Surrender Romance series into Surrendering Time. Although readers might be familiar with Entrusted, I changed the cover and tweaked the title to reflect the series. So be on the lookout for ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present.

Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl from Youngstown, Ohio, plows–literally–into Adirondack village, Speculator Falls, with a busted GPS and the goal to belong as she becomes the new senior center director. Town councilman Ben Regan is as broken as the flower box Jenna demolished. He’s grieving and wants to shut down the center before there’s too much change and heartbreak. They work on community projects and build a slow relationship, but the council needs to vote on the senior center’s future. Can Jenna show Ben both her and the center are worth trusting?

I love Ben and Jenna’s story because it tackles themes I think we can relate to. Fear. Change. Loss. Their story is over 20 years in the making and they are precious characters to me. Reviews for the original ENTRUSTED were very strong, and I need YOUR help to spread the word.

My hope is to release the e version for free for awhile and do so as ENTANGLED: Releasing the Past releases. Do me a favor and grab both copies. Read them, and if you enjoy them, leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Reviews are vital for authors, and I can’t encourage audiences to find freedom through surrender if they don’t know what resources I have for them. I truly believe through fiction readers will relate to characters and their surrender journey, and take that next step toward freedom for themselves. Partnering with me by spreading the word and leaving reviews will make all the difference.

FREE resources available now:

Surrender Issues and Chocolate: This is my monthly newsletter filled with encouragement, writing updates, recipes, Reader of the Month profiles, contests and more.

Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate: This is a brief, weekly email designed to give you encouragement as you start your week. Each issue also includes a chocolate mention.

Surrendered Scribe Media Promotions: When I have a new release, discounts, or any other promotions, I’ll send an alert. This will only be sent when there is a need for you to know.

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