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Thanksgiving & Praise by Brenda B. Taylor +#GIVEAWAY

Thanksgiving and Praise

 

Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His name. Psalm 100:4

 

November is a beautiful month in East Texas. The trees begin to sport their fall colors in full. Autumn comes to our area a month later than in the northern states. Thanksgiving is a colorful time. Many years we have spent Thanksgiving with our family at our camp in the pretty woods near Lake Sam Rayburn. The day holds promises of good food, too much to eat, watching parades on television, and great fellowship. It will be a good day, and I will praise the Lord for His many blessings in my life.

 

The Psalmist said when you praise God, giving thanks to Him for His goodness, you enter His gates and are ushered into His presence. What a wonderful place to be, in the presence of God. He listens to the praise of His people and you bless Him. Blessing means to make happy. Praising God is something you do for Him out of the fullness of your heart, because He has blessed you.

 

Praise is a sacrifice to God. It is a sweet aroma in His holy nostrils. The ancient Jews burned incense on the temple altar daily. The incense was made from a specific formula given to Moses by God. The sweet odor traveled heavenward, reaching the very presence of the Lord. Knowing His children were obediently carrying out His command pleased God. Their obedience meant they were thinking about Him.  God is blessed by your praise, because you are obedient, and He is taking first place in your thoughts and mind. He tells you to praise Him and be thankful in all circumstances.

 

Revelation 5:8 says your prayers are incense offered to God. He keeps them close and is reminded of your petitions, answering each request in His own time and way. Your prayers never leave His presence. They are a sweet aroma that He loves. Praise is a type of prayer we offer to our Lord. Thanksgiving is a type of praise. Be thankful and praise Him in all circumstances of life, because He is there with you, keeping you close and listening to your prayers. Hold tightly.

 

Cornbread Dressing with Chicken

3 packages of cornbread mix, prepared as directed

3 chicken breasts, boiled and chopped

3 cups chicken broth from the boiled breasts or from a can

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 bunch green onion, chopped

½ package Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing

4 large eggs, boiled and chopped

4 slices of white bread, toasted, cooled, crumbled

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Sage to taste

 

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare cornbread mix as directed. When cool, crumble in a large pan along with toasted bread. Add seasonings and mix well.

Sauté celery and onions together in a small amount of oil, and then add to mixture.

Add chopped eggs, chopped chicken, and then chicken broth. More broth may be added to make a moist mixture. Mix well.

Spray a 9*12 baking pan or large casserole dish with cooking spray. Put dressing mixture in the pan and bake at 350 until top is brown – about ½ hour.

Dressing may be frozen until needed.

 

May be served with baked turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner, or with a salad and green peas and rolls for another meal.

 

Praise the Lord this Thanksgiving and thank Him for all His blessings.

 

A Highland Emerald

 

I will give away an ebook copy of A Highland Emerald to a commenter.

 

Blurb:

Aine MacLean is forced into an arranged marriage with Sir William, Chief of Clan Munro, yet her heart belongs to a handsome young warrior in her father’s guard. She must leave Durant Castle, the home of her birth on the Isle of Mull, and travel across Scotland in a perilous journey to her husband’s home on Cromarty Firth. William agrees to a year and day of handfasting, giving Aine an opportunity to accept him and his clan. He promises her the protection of Clan Munro, however, Aine experiences kidnapping, pirates, and almost loses her life in the River Moriston. She doubts the sincerity of William’s promises and decides to return to Durant Castle when the handfasting ends. William determines to win Aine’s heart. Will the brave knight triumph in his fight for the bonnie lass?

 

A Highland Emerald is the third book in the award-winning Highland Treasures series. It tells the story of Aine MacLean and William Munro, and is the prequel to A Highland Pearl.

 

Excerpt:

Isle of Mull

Scotland, 1486

 

My father sat in his usual chair in front of the crackling fire, staring at the flame with dim eyes and a fur robe wrapped around his broad shoulders, the deerhound curled at his feet.

“Where are you going, Aine?” he asked with his back turned toward the stone, spiral staircase where I stood. “Come, sit with me for awhile.”

I pushed the arisaid from my shoulders, letting it drop to the floor, then stepped over the wrap. Making my way to the stool where my mother’s embroidery frame stood, I took a seat and watched the flame.

Without turning his head, my father, Lachlan Og MacLean, eighth chief and fourth Laird of Durant Castle, asked, “Where are you going?”

“How did you ken ’twas I?” He never ceased to amaze me with his uncanny knowledge of events  around him although his eyes, so dimmed by injury, saw very little.

“I heard the rustle of your skirts.” He extended his hand for me, so I rose and hugged his neck.

He smiled, embracing my arms. “And I ken your scent, lass. ‘Tis so like your mither’s. You use the same scented soap as she.”

“Aye, but from so far away and with the smell of burning wood and dog in your nostril’s?”

“Your odor is a different pleasantry among the usual burning wood and dog. It stands out in my memory as does the pleasant odor of your mither.” He smiled broadly, showing still straight, white teeth beneath a greying beard. I could almost feel his penetrating gaze upon me as in the days before his sight was taken in battle. He asked, “Where are you going this dreary night?”

“Here, Da. To sit beside you and talk of the feast on the morrow.”

“Don’t try to deceive me, lass. I heard the sound of your arisaid dropping to the floor. You are planning a tryst, I feel certain.” His dimmed gaze pierced through to the depths of my soul. “I could see the turn of your head toward him each time he spoke at the evening meal.” A line formed between his brows and a shadow darkened his face. “You are to marry the Munro.”

“I dinna love William Munro.” My voice began to rise, and I struggled to control the cry climbing from the depths of my heart. “I wanna marry him, Da. You promised I could wed for love, not convenience.” The cry emerged from my lips. I buried my head on his shoulder and sobbed.

 

Book Trailer:  https://youtu.be/5-mYnAJd_Hc

 

Buy Links:

Historical Heartbeats

Amazon

Apple iTunes

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

 

Author Bio:

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

 

Author Contact Information:

Historical Heartbeats

Book Bub Author Page

Amazon Author’s Page

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Goodreads

Tumblr

Google +

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New Release: Finding Freedom Through Surrender

Posted by Julie on February 28, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

It was one of those God taps that I wanted to ignore. Late last year I felt I was supposed to write a devotional using the surrender themes explored in my contemporary romance series, Surrendering Time. Not only that, but write it from the characters point of view. I’d never heard of such a thing, and by obeying, I knew I was delaying book 3, ENGAGED, even more.

But obey I did. It took longer than I thought with unexpected travel and child sickness, but it’s done.

Finding Freedom Through Surrender-A 30 Day Devotional available on Amazon.

FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER-A 30 Day Devotional, features short readings on surrendering fear, loss, change, regret, and the future. If you’ve read ENTRUSTED or ENTANGLED, you will visit with beloved characters like Ben, Jenna, Carla, Will, Sara, and more. If the series is new to you, no worries. The devotional will introduce you to the characters without spoilers. Then, once ENGAGED is released this spring, you will be ready to jump in.

It’s in eBook format, so download the free Kindle app and you can read on your phone, tablet, desktop, laptop, and of course, Kindle. It’s only available on Amazon.

I’d love for you to spread the word. Early feedback showed that many of the readings were exactly what readers were struggling with at that time. That’s God, and I’m grateful He allows me to write for Him.

Take a look!

FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER HERE

 

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New Kindle or Echo? ENTRUSTED Free eBook December 26-28

Posted by Julie on December 26, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Writing |

If your Christmas was like mine, you’re overstuffed on fudge but hungry for books to put on your new tablet or Kindle. I’ve heard many talk about their new Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, and guess what? Alexa can read books to you.

I wanted to end this crazy but amazing year by celebrating. I never thought 2016 would have me publishing books through my new writing and speaking ministry, Surrendered Scribe Media. In May I re released ENTRUSTED and released ENTANGLED. The reviews for Carla’s story on surrendering regret are more than I could have hoped for. That was a HARD book to write, and now I get it. I’m thankful God is using it to help people let go of their past.

So to celebrate these things AND put some FREE reading on your new device, ENTRUSTED eBook is FREE December 26, 27, and 28. Wait, I’m not done. ENTANGLED will be FREE December 29 and 30. Both books are compatible with Alexa.

(Check price first.)

ENTRUSTEDJenna Anderson leaves her Ohio hometown for the unknown in Speculator Falls. She’s determined to make her new job as senior center work and become one of the locals.

Ben Regan’s family is the backbone of Speculator Falls and he’s made a vow to protect the rural village. When his grandfather passes away and his former girlfriend leaves without even saying goodbye, Ben’s determined to prevent further transition in his life.

But Jenna produces a lot of change for Ben in a book about surrendering the present fears we have about change and wanting to belong.

ENTANGLED:Carla Rowling has been given her dream of attending cosmetology school. The gift is so generous she feels unworthy because of choices she made as a teen. The pressure mounts as Carla juggles school, is a single mom, helps her best friend Jenna plan her wedding, spends time with boyfriend Will Marshall, and deals with the fact that her son’s father is back in their lives.

Will Marshall is the one Speculator Falls resident everyone can count on. His truck deliveries are reliable. He’s the first to help friends like Ben Regan with boat work or be a card partner with Bart Davis. Will’s ready to settle down with Carla, loving her is natural. He’s bonded with her son, Noah. But when Carla starts cosmetology school, she puts emotional distance between her and Will.

Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or, will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?

Thank you for being loyal readers. Here’s believing 2017 will be full of exceptional blessings!

 

Feel free to share this with your favorite readers!

 

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Book Club Launches Tuesday

Posted by Julie on October 10, 2016 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

fall-book-club-1_edited

When I was sent to the assistant principal’s office in middle school it wasn’t for mouthing off or fighting. Nope, I got in trouble for reading ahead.

Story of my life.

Reading remains my favorite relaxation. Although most of my time is invested in writing, I love sitting down with a good book. I long to talk to people about it.

Starting Tuesday, I’m combining writing and reading by launching my Fall Book Club. My plan is to connect with fellow readers and start reading and discussing my first contemporary romance, ENTRUSTED. We will discuss the chapters, and I’ll share behind-the-scenes features with characters, chapters, plot, and the Adirondacks. I’ll talk about the writing process. Some weeks will feature other authors and an interview with them, as well as “free surprises.” Once we finish ENTRUSTED, we’ll move onto ENTANGLED. Hopefully, ENGAGED will be after that. If not, we will read the third installment of the Surrendering Time series. I also look forward to reading books from my favorite authors.

Tuesday’s meeting is a kick-off with no reading required. I want us to get to know each other and I’ll release the reading schedule. After that, we’ll meet weekly.

Here’s more information:

The Surrendering Time series is an entertaining yet reflective adventure to the Adirondack Mountains. Each book takes an element of time (past, present, future) and explores through flawed and humorous characters what a surrender journey looks like.

In ENTRUSTED, Jenna Anderson leaves her Ohio hometown for the unknown in Speculator Falls. She’s determined to make her new job as senior center work and become one of the locals.

Ben Regan’s family is the backbone of Speculator Falls and he’s made a vow to protect the rural village. When his grandfather passes away and his former girlfriend leaves without even saying goodbye, Ben’s determined to prevent further transition in his life.

But Jenna produces a lot of change for Ben in a book about surrendering the present fears we have about change and wanting to belong.

BOOK CLUB KICK-OFF:

Tuesday, October 11, 8pm, EDT
Julie Arduini’s Facebook Author Page
Format: I’ll paste a graphic a few minutes ahead of time saying that all our discussion will take place under the picture. You might need to refresh, if so, hit F5.

To purchase ENTRUSTED: click HERE.

 

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My eBooks are FREE Friday and Saturday!

Posted by Julie on September 23, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

My eBooks are FREE Friday and Saturday!

There are writing moments I ask why.

  • Why am I writing when life is pulling me so many directions?
  • Why write if the words are hard to come by?
  • Why write when it is so lonely?
  • Why write if it feels like no one knows or seems to care?

Well, I write because I was created to write stories that show readers there is freedom through surrender. I’m so passionate about the message that I often do the opposite of what markets advise.

Like I enjoy offering eBooks for free.

And that’s just what I’m doing.

On Friday, September 23 (check price first, the sale tends to start after 3am Eastern,) and Saturday, September 24 (again, check price first,) ENTRUSTED and ENTANGLED will be FREE eBooks.

I want these books to reach as many readers as possible.

Not only do I want readers to experience the freedom through surrender by reading my fiction, I also am starting a book club on my Facebook Author Page in October. I’d love readers to join me as I discuss assigned chapters. I’ll also be sharing the writing process AND secrets behind the chapters. I love doing events like this, and again, the best way to get started is to offer you these eBooks for free so you can join me.

My eBooks are FREE Friday and Saturday!

My eBooks are FREE Friday and Saturday!

Spread the word, won’t you?

 

Like my Author Page and in October, we’ll have the Book Club there—http://facebook.com/JulieArduiniAuthor

Grab ENTRUSTED as a FREE eBook Friday 9/23 and Saturday 9/24 (check price first)

https://www.amazon.com/Entrusted-Surrendering-Present-Time/dp/B01FGC1Z8W/

Grab ENTANGLED as a FREE eBook Friday, 9/23 and Saturday, 9/24 (check price first)

https://www.amazon.com/Entangled-Surrendering-Past-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B01FG7JALG/

Both eBooks are also FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

I’ll be offering this same eBook sale October 7-9.

The private feedback and the Amazon reviews are confirming that these books have purpose. Readers are finding friends in the characters and they are finding the courage to surrender fear, loss, change, and regret.

Join me on the journey, won’t you?

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Video of the Week: Escape to Big Fork Lake by Mary L. Ball

Posted by Julie on March 25, 2014 in ACFW, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

This week’s video of the week on my right sidebar is Mary L. Ball’s Escape to Fork Lake.

Book Description:

Will an inheritance bring new happiness or a trap for murder? 

Bad luck seems to follow Sam Blacker. She loses her job and faces daily struggles keeping her drunken neighbor away from her. 

When an unexpected inheritance gives her a chance for a new beginning, Sam, a city girl at heart, is hesitant. However, after a brutal attack she has no choice. 

Making a decision that will forever change her life she flees to the small fishing town of Big 
Fork Lake, Alabama and soon finds herself in the arms of Noah Frye. A tumultuous relationship with Noah sparks buried desires of the heart, even if he is a Christian, surely, she can get around that little problem. 

As Sam and Noah’s passion grows trouble lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching. Inescapable, Sam’s bad luck returns when she stumbles upon a murder and becomes the only suspect. Will she have to run again, this time to stay out of prison? Worse, will she lose the best man she’s ever found? And what about the newfound hunger in heart to know God—can she truly trust in Him?

To purchase Escape to Big Fork Lake, click here.



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