I’ve always been inspired by those who are willing to give their all for the cause of Christ.—missionaries who give up home and family to live in foreign lands in less than comfortable places, men, women, even children who stand by their convictions regardless of the consequences. These people have counted the cost and surrendered their lives to God anyway.
Surrendering our lives to God never comes easily. If you’re like me, you can give a situation to the Lord only to take it back again and again in a tug-of-war for control. I suppose that’s why I wrote about the theme of total surrender in my debut novel, Under This Same Sky.
My heroine, Becky Hollister, doesn’t willingly choose to surrender her will to God; instead, adverse circumstances compel her to choose between entrusting her life to Him or turning her back on her faith. It’s touch and go for a while. After enduring great suffering and loss, Becky questions how a loving God can allow such hurtful events to happen.
Under This Same Sky takes readers on a journey alongside Becky as she works through her resentment toward God and seeks to determine what His will for her might be. But just as in real life, it takes the wisdom of God’s word and the love of friends (and in Becky’s case, a godly man) to pull her through.
Becky’s story is a tale of friendship and love, but even more so, it’s a quest for wholeness and deeper understanding of a God who longs to hold the deepest desires of her heart. Fully surrendering to the Lord is something I believe we all struggle to achieve. I hope you’ll be encouraged by Becky’s story and the message of surrender it conveys.
Under This Same Sky Book Blurb:
~ She thought she’d lost everything ~ Instead she found what she needed most. ~
Illinois ~ 1854
Becky Hollister wants nothing more than to live out her days on the prairie, building a life for herself alongside her future husband. But when a tornado rips through her parents’ farm, killing her mother and sister, she must leave the only home she’s ever known and the man she’s begun to love to accompany her injured father to St. Louis.
Catapulted into a world of unknowns, Becky finds solace in corresponding with Matthew Brody, the handsome pastor back home. But when word comes that he is all but engaged to someone else, she must call upon her faith to decipher her future.
Cynthia Roemer is an award-winning inspirational writer with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the 1800s prairie. She writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband and their two college-aged sons. Under This Same Sky is her debut novel.
At its heart, Cinderella Boot is a story about second chances, and change is the engine creating that chance.
“Cinderella,” Cynthia Ellen Cooper, left her fiancé at the altar four years ago—to work on a sheep station in Australia. She wanted to spread her wings before marriage tied her down forever.
Keith never recovered from the deep wound Cynthia dealt him. After graduation from vet school, he returns home to work in his father’s practice—where Cynthia now works as a pet groomer and vet assistant.
The former couple forms an uneasy working truce. Cynthia soon realizes she loves Keith more than ever and wonders if she can win back his truck. Her pastor suggests she study the life of John Mark. the gospel writer and companion to the apostles Peter and Paul.
Mark ran away from his responsibilities, too—he left Paul and Barnabas in a lurch during their first missionary journey. Paul refused to have anything further to do with the young man. Years later, however, Paul described Mark as his companion in the ministry, and at the end of his life, asked for Mark specifically because he was helpful to him.
Cynthia starts at that point: she makes herself helpful to Keith. Not only in the office, but even in his social life. She takes him to new, local restaurants for him to decide on the location for his date with of their patients.
Since Cinderella’s Boot is a romance, the answer to “will they?” is a given. I’ll let you read the book to discover the answer to “how will they?”
My point is—Keith and Cindy’s second chance at love came as they changed. When his attitude changed. When she became a servant.
My second chance at better physical health started with my attitude. I decided to work, whether or not it hurt, whether or not I thought I could. If the therapist challenged me to try, I did. Now I can walk, at least until my lungs give out. I can lift my arms higher than in five years. I can sit up from a laying down position and get into a car.
Believe it or not, those aren’t as simple as they seem for someone in a wheelchair.
One of the many things I praise God for—every day is a new beginning. Today I don’t have to repeat yesterday’s failures!
Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. This year she expects to reach fifty unique titles in print and she’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in four monthly magazines. Her most recent titles are Capturing the Rancher’s Heart, Romancing the Ranger, and Cinderella’s Boot.
Cynthia Ellen Cooper—known affectionately as “Cinderella”—left her wedding boot in the dust when she ran away from her wedding to work on a sheep station in Australia. Four years later, she’s back home—and so is her ex-fiancé, now a DVM from Oklahoma State University. They reach a truce and work side by side in his father’s animal clinic. Cyn soon discovers she wants more—but she has to battle bad history and a demanding pet owner for Keith’s attention. How can Cinderella find a second chance at love?
PURCHASE CINDERELLA’S BOOT HERE
I’m so glad to be here today. I wanted to talk about transformation, specifically the ones we experience in relationships. If you’ve been in a relationship, you realize being in a relationship is a transformation all on its own. When two people decide to become one, there’s a growing process that HAS to happen. Not because we want it to happen, but because you can’t put two unique people in a relationship and stay the same. It’s not going to happen.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. God created man and woman so that we would not go through life alone. We comfort one another, lift one up when the other is weak. Everything we do should be to help the other be better.
Of course, it doesn’t always happen the way we like. We don’t always see changes in our spouse that we want. But reading about relationship transformation in a fictional book, is highly entertaining and oftentimes, offers us an example for real life. In A Proxy Wedding my story in A Spring of Weddings Collections, Carly James and Damien Nichols discover you have to change in order to be in a relationship. There’s a give and take that must occur in order for it to be successful.
But it’s so hard to do and that’s where God comes in. Without His guidance, His direction, and of course His ability to make us better, relationships would be impossible. It is when our relationship with God is at its best, that our relationship with others improve.
How has being in a relationship with God transformed you?
“A Proxy Wedding” releasing in A Spring of Weddings Collection May 3rd!
Blurb: Carly James values loyalty and friendship above all. So when her best friend calls asking her to be a proxy bride, she says, ‘yes.’ How hard can it be to say ‘I do’ so that her best friend can be with the one she loves? Only, Carly never counted on the feelings that began to swirl around with the proxy groom.
Damien Nichols likes life lined up from A to Z, but when his best friend calls in a favor, disorder begins to reign. Instead of taking a quick flight to the proxy wedding, he has to take a road trip with the proxy bride. Carly’s free-spirit attitude bumps heads with his meticulous approach to life. As Damien discovers the woman underneath the carefree façade, his emotions become involved.
Will love become real at A Proxy Wedding?
Bio: Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.
She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.
You can find her on her website at http://tonishiloh.weebly.com.
Transformed by Hope
By Tamera Lynn Kraft
In my Easter novella, my main character Vivian Klein had a life changing transformation happen in her life. I decided to interview her so she could tell you about it.
Vivian, what was your life like before you married Henry?
It’s a time in my life I really don’t like to talk about. The best was to describe it would be hopeless. My fiancée, the only man I’ve ever loved, was killed in the Great War. Then my parents and sister died of influenza. If that wasn’t bad enough, soon after they died, I found out that my father had gambled away our farm. One month after I buried them, the sheriff showed up with a foreclosure notice and told me I had one hour to gather my belongings and leave. I had to take a job at a hotel owned by the man who led my father to ruin.
That does sound hard. How did you handle the situation?
I wish I could tell you I trusted in God through it all, but I didn’t. The only thing I could manage to believe was God was angry at me. I felt He had deserted me. I decided my only option was to end it all, but before I did, I prayed one last prayer. I said, “Please, Lord, if there’s another way.”
You obviously didn’t kill yourself. What happened?
God sent me Henry. Henry was my fiancée’s best friend, and I always liked him. He showed up out of nowhere and offered to marry me. At first, I was shocked, but he assured me it would be a marriage of convenience only. I was going to say no. The whole idea was preposterous. I didn’t love him, but I couldn’t help but say yes. Hope began to shuffle back in my life. I can’t tell you how God transformed me through home because I don’t want to give anything away. You’ll have to read my story, Resurrection of Hope, to find out.
Resurrection of Hope
She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?
After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.
Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. Her first full length novel is due to be released in April. She’s been married for 38 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren. You can purchase her latest novella, Resurrection of Hope at most online stores including Desert Breeze. Join Tamera on her website at http://tameralynnkraft.net, her blog at http://tameralynnkraft.com, Facebook http://facebook.com/tameralynnkraft or Twitter http://twitter.com/tamerakraft.
Every year nearly 10 million Americans go blind due to AMD or Age-related Macular Degeneration. The exciting news is that a cure is in sight! The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a non-profit organization, has provided funding for research on cures for blindness, specifically AMD, since 1971. In fact, with the research FFB has already made possible, treatments to stop and in some cases even reverse retinal disease is a reality. This is great news for people over 55 and their families. With AMD it is nearly impossible for grandparents to enjoy the little things in life such as playing games, watching movies and reading to their grandchildren. However, due to innovative research, those things are once again possible for many people…but, we need to continue this outreach, support additional research and find cures.
With your help and your reach into the digital world we can continue with our important work of helping the blind to see.
FREE educational pamphlet on AMD from the Foundation Fighting Blindness, FFB. Download HERE.
To watch the video, click HERE.
To help spread the word, click HERE.
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.
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