Traci and Marc’s Transformation
A Guest Post written by Alexis A. Goring
Today, I want to write about the transformation that Traci and Marc experienced. Traci and Marc are not real people, though their story is true to real life situations and stories.
Traci is the heroine and Marc is the hero of my new novella, A Second Chance. When the reader first meets Traci, they see that she is bitter and cynical about love because her fiancé left her at the altar on their Wedding Day. He ran off with her Maid of Honor who she thought was her best friend, leaving Traci with a broken heart and a pile of debt from the expenses for their wedding that didn’t happen.
The reader gets to see Traci at her most vulnerable moments and witness her private struggles. They get to see the highs and lows on her faith journey with God. Most of all, they get to see how she learns how to trust again as God uses Marc to strengthen her faith and win her heart.
When the reader meets Marc, they see that he is smitten with Traci at first sight, but he’s also very wary because of his pattern with women. All of Marc’s ex-girlfriends said that he was too nice to keep. So they dumped him for someone more dashing and daring. They broke up with him with the line, “Let’s just be friends.” Marc is tired of being in the friend zone and due to these patterns, he has trouble trusting women in romantic relationships. But that may change when he meets Traci. However, falling in love with Traci is not a carefree stroll in a flower garden because of the obstacles that stand in the way of their happily ever after.
As they read Traci and Marc’s budding romance, the reader will see how God works everything together for their good. God even uses Marc’s sister Gina who is a bestselling romance novelist, to gently encourage Marc and Traci’s romance toward the altar.
You’ll have to read the story to find out if Traci and Marc make it to the altar and if their love lasts.
I hope that if you buy my book, A Second Chance, that you will be inspired and encouraged by its message. May the God of Universe who loves you, transform your life with His love.
God bless you!
Alexis A. Goring
Author of A Second Chance
Connect with Alexis:
“God is Love” blog: http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com
Book blurb for A Second Chance: 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.
Traci 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.
Purchase link for A Second Chance (book):
Amazon.com – http://amzn.to/2kAP4HX
Author Bio: 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.
My latest book, BROKEN TRUST, uses a butterfly to symbolize the spiritual aspect of the story. When we see a beautiful butterfly most of us don’t think about the caterpillar and what it went through to become that butterfly.
As it was hidden in the cocoon, it might have been thinking it was the end of the world, but it wasn’t. It was actually being protected so it could become what God created it to be. We often have those same “cocoon” times in our life—a time to learn and grow so that we can become all that God created us to be.
Certainly childhood and young adulthood would be examples of that. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be other cocoon times in our life. A time when we need to step back and let God protect us as we change into yet another butterfly.
For the past five years I’ve been dealing with brain tumors and their aftermath of which some are still evolving and are permanent—such as a significant hearing loss and balance issues. It’s certainly been a cocoon time for me but I’m more than ready to transform into that butterfly.
One of the changes is that my writing is also in the process of transforming. Even though my books have always had a spiritual message, the message has deepened as my health issues have changed me.
BROKEN TRUST is an example of that change. The main character is Chrysalis better known as Chryssie. A chrysalis is another name for a cocoon and a cocoon is one of the necessary steps for a caterpillar to become a butterfly.
Chryssie wants to soar like a butterfly but because of a lifetime of bad choices she seems to be stuck in the caterpillar stage. She knows good choices can propel her forward but it’s not always easy to make the good choices.
Chryssie is only days away from graduating when she witnesses a murder. Common sense would tell her to call the police, but she’s so focused on taking her final exam for nursing school, she decides to take the easy way out—again.
Chryssie makes a bad choice—and even worse consequences follow! Her easy way out not only puts everything she’s worked so hard for in jeopardy but her very life!
Each day we make hundreds of choices—they may not be life and death choices like Chryssie, faces in BROKEN TRUST, but they will either move us toward our goals or away from our goals. It’s not easy to break patterns and bad habits but it can be done—one choice at a time and with God guiding us in our choices.
To celebrate the release of BROKEN TRUST, I’m giving away Amazon Gift Cards. All you have to do is hop over to my blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com and leave a comment under one of the Broken Trust posts and you’re entered. Easy Peasy!
Life is all about choices…and consequences. Chryssie Mason longs to soar like a butterfly, but a lifetime of bad choices has kept her in the caterpillar stage. After years of struggling, her dreams are finally within her grasp. Her only goal is to graduate from nursing school so she can have a better life—so she can morph into a butterfly. With her final exam only days away, she witnesses a murder. A butterfly would call the police, but she decides to take the easy way out…once again. Life has taught her to never trust anyone, especially herself. With her freedom and her very life at risk, it’s time to trust. And that choice changes everything.
Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.
Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.
Romans 12:2 talks about being transformed by the renewing of our minds to discern God’s good, pleasing and perfect will. My guest today, Drew McKinley, has lived through that transformation, but it didn’t come easy, did it?
Drew (shaking his head, eyes looking toward the ceiling): Oh, man, it was awful. God had to drag me through the muck, even blood, to get it done. But as I look back, it was the only way He could have transformed me.
What were you like before?
Drew: I had a perfect life. All the perks of a wealthy family with access to the best education. I married a wonderful woman who, to be honest, was a better person than me; she had a deep faith. My father intended me to inherit the family’s academic kingdom. He’s provost of graduate school education at UConn, and my grandfather taught economics there. Since my older brother is a psychologist, it was up to me to carry on the academic hood. I was okay with it. At first. I got my master’s in academic administration and set out to get my Ph.D. But my wife, Kendra, saw something in me that I didn’t. She encouraged me—strong-armed is more accurate—into taking a deanship at a Christian university in Omaha, Nebraska. I arrogantly assumed I would eventually be president there. But the Lord had other ideas. (Eyes mist, he clears his throat.) The transformation began when Kendra died—suddenly, needlessly. Losing her crushed my heart; crushed my ambition; crushed my faith.
I can’t imagine going through such a loss. How did you cope?
Drew (running a hand through his dark brown wavy hair): Barely. But God sent people to walk me through the grief and anger. My pastor challenged me to go after hope, not just wish for it or sit around waiting for something better. He insisted that hope was tangible and I had to pursue it. I rejected that concept many times. How can I pursue something that doesn’t exist? (sighs) I tried to focused on work, but failed. The Christmas after Kendra died was torture. My family tried to cocoon me from the hurt. I ended up insulting my dad, brushed aside my mother’s compassion, wanted to slug my brother, and kicked my Ph.D. work to the curb. I hated my job; hated the world.
(Slight smile) In the meantime, God placed a remarkable woman, Allison, in my life who could relate to what I was going through. Her father had died suddenly, which like me, crushed her heart and her future. But she was determined to get an education by working two, even three jobs at a time to pay her tuition and expenses. Allison had the hope I rejected; it was tangible, a decision, action. She began to challenge and inspire me.
Did you ever think of giving up?
Drew (snicker): Almost every day. I won’t lie to you; my anger was ugly. And I inflicted it on others. I actually told God that I hated Him. I’m surprised I wasn’t struck by lightning for that. I was so despondent at one point that … (voice lowers to a whisper) well, I won’t go into the details.
How did you turn the corner toward transformation?
I lived the verse in First Peter about being tested by fire to be refined like gold. God painfully opened my eyes to the harshness and unfairness of life, not just to me and the people I loved, but those outside my realm of experience. He showed me ways to alleviate the suffering of the “least, last and lost”; to give them hope, which in turn gave me a glimpse of hope. He also gave me the strength to dig deep in my heart and take steps to forgive people who hurt me, and forgive God for taking my wife. And my faith grew, my hope grew, my mind was renewed and finally, I experienced His good, pleasing and perfect will.
And what is His perfect will for you today?
Drew (a growing smile): I’m still in higher education, but not day-to-day administration. I’ve heard it called God’s Administration. I also jump-started my Ph.D. work. I don’t know all the details of what lies ahead, but I’m where God wants me to be for now—living the Big Three of First Corinthians Thirteen: Faith, Hope and Love.
Love? For a woman, as well?
Drew (eyes again misting): Yes.
“Embracing Hope” Book blurb
Christian college dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring. He stumbles on a desperate journey to understand God’s motives for her tragic death. Crossing his perilous path is Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office. Even as she deals with financial hardships, she recognizes Drew’s unresolved grief from her own loss. Putting up a roadblock is Chris Whitney, the handsome but egotistical student senate president. He carries the secret burden of a dysfunctional family and a below-the-surface temper. The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart, substance and domestic abuse, a violent assault, and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares, and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?
Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. It’s no surprise that she has spent her entire 30-year career in writing, including journalism, Christian higher education public relations, and local government public information. She is a freelance writer/editor, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Janell and her husband, Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota.
Tags: author, character interview, contemporary romance, Embracing Hope, fiction, guest blogger, Janell Butler Wojtowicz, Julie Arduini, s Drew McKinley, transformation, Transformation Interview: Embracing Hope
Julie’s Note: Every once in awhile I try to introduce you to a group of authors and their new books. This month Robin Bayne has a new release, REUNION AT CRANE LAKE. I hope you check it out!
REUNION AT CRANE LAKE—Robin Bayne
Colt’s memory is returning after the accident that ended his career. Now he wants to take over his family’s inn, but he’ll have to partner with his former fiancée to be able to afford it. He’ll need forgiveness to make that happen. Tia’s goal is clear: to return the inn to its former grandeur. And she’ll even work with Colt to do so. But like the inn, their relationship needs a lot of work. He broke her heart…can she ever trust him again?
Goes on Sale March 10.
Prequel to CHRISTMAS FOREVER
About Robin Bayne:
Robin is the author of Christian and “sweet” romance, including the Carol Award winning “The Artist’s Granddaughter.” She compiled a collection of devotionals for writers, “Words to Write By,” featuring work by many well-known Christian authors including Robin Lee Hatcher and Cecil Murphy. She lives in Maryland with her husband of 26 years, and works a day job in community bank lending.
Remember when I said things were pretty busy behind the scenes?
- I told you about my interview with Blog Talk Radio host Patti Shene and her show, Step Into the Light.
- I announced a new release, FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER-A 30 Day Devotional.
- Now—I have a FREE novella available right here on juliearduini.com.
MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN was something I included as a thank you to newsletter subscribers who signed up. It’s a contemporary romance about surrendering relationships. What I love about it is it was the first romance I wrote after becoming a Christian. I re worked it a couple years ago and hopefully you will enjoy it. I also am excited because it features the Finger Lakes area, the beautiful region where I grew up in Upstate NY.
How do you access it? Visit the right sidebar of my site (if you are receiving this via email) and it should be right there to click and download. If you have trouble, send me an email at email@example.com, or find me across social media @JulieArduini.
I have one more announcement coming this week, so stay tuned!
Author Spotlight: Liz Tolsma
1. How did you get your start as an author?
I always loved writing and wanted to be an author since my 5thgrade teacher encouraged me that way. But practicality won out, and I became an elementary school teacher instead. After 9/11, I realized that my life could end any moment. I didn’t want to get to the end of it and have regrets about not trying to write. It took nine years after that, but my dream came true!
2. What is the title of your book and what is it about?
My story is title A Match Made in Heaven in the novella collection Matchmaker Brides. Len Montgomery is a young Iowa pastor who receives a letter from a widowed farmer asking if there are any young women in the congregation who would be interested in marrying him. The town’s newspaperman gets a hold of the letter, publishes it, and it gets picked up by several big city papers. Letters requesting matches pour in. But the match he most wants to make, the one with the town’s sweet, charming, and Shakespeare-quoting postmistress, may be out of his reach.
3. What was your favorite part about writing this book? Hardest part?
I loved the break from my usual WWII stories to write something lighter. It was fun to give my characters permission to laugh. I loved looking up Shakespeare quotes for my heroine and baffling the hero as to what she was saying. The hardest part was keeping tension in the story. WWII is naturally filled with suspense. I learned a lot about using tension even in a light-hearted story.
4. What are you hoping readers will take away from your story?
I hope they have fun with the story while remembering that God is a God who forgives and heals.
5. Is there another vocation you have besides writing?
Yes, I’m also a freelance fiction editor and I run a writer’s retreat and an online writer’s academy. It keeps my fingers in writing and publishing, but supplements my income. I love helping new writers learn how to write better and get published.
6. What is something readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I talk to myself. All. The. Time. It helps to keep me focused, so especially if I have a hard or busy day, I find myself talking out loud with no one but the dog and cat to hear me.
7. If you were having a chocolate craving, what would you want to satisfy it?
Um, chocolate LOL! Seriously, good European-style chocolate. Lindt, Ghirardelli, something along those lines. Sometimes dark, sometimes milk, depending on my mood.
8. Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 28 years. We have three children. Brian is about to turn 22. We adopted him from Vietnam when he was 5 months old. He’s currently serving as a U.S. Marine in North Carolina. Alyssa is 17 and came home from Korea at 3 months old. She’s a junior in high school, as well as a lifeguard and class president. We never see her! She hopes to major in International Studies with an emphasis in Arabic and counterterrorism. Our youngest, Jonalyn, is 14. We adopted her from the Philippines when she was 5. She has a host of cognitive and physical disabilities, as well as a sunny disposition and a fondness for Olaf from Frozen.
9. What has been your biggest achievement as an author?
My first full-length novel, Snow on the Tulips, was a Carol Award finalist and a Selah Award finalist in 2013.
10.How can readers find this book? How can they connect with you?
Barnes and Noble
Blurb: Pastor Len Montgomery receives an unusual letter from an Omaha farmer that turns him into the matchmaker he never wanted to be. But the match he most wants to make, the one with the town’s sweet, charming, and Shakespeare-quoting postmistress, may be out of his reach.
Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels and prairie romance novellas. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their two daughters. She enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her blog, The Story behind the Story, at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter(@LizTolsma), and LinkedIn. She is also a regular contributor to the Pencildancer blog and the Midwest Almanac blog.
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