Count Your Blessings ♦ Elle E. Kay
Lately my world is crazy. We moved to a new home in October and a couple of weeks later my son moved in with his family of four, soon to be five (c-section scheduled for December 27th). Many things have fallen through the cracks and although I had this guest post scheduled and on my calendar, I forgot all about it.
God didn’t forget. The past week has been filled with not-so-subtle reminders of why I should count my blessings. We sung Count Your Blessings at church this past Sunday. I listened to two Sermon Audio sermons from David Peacock about gratitude and recognizing the blessings that are more difficult to accept. My struggles with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome are a blessing. My son’s difficulties and move home were blessings. Even the things that are hard and seem to be more of a curse than a blessing are often blessings.
Where would we learn patience if it weren’t for the trying of our faith?
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”
How would the power of Christ rest upon us, if we weren’t weak?
2 Corinthians 12:9
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
I’m not suggesting that I immediately recognize my adversities as blessings, but with God’s help and guidance, I usually find my way around to that point of view.
So, this past week as we left Thanksgiving behind and started looking forward to Christmas celebrations, God reminded me of the importance of giving thanks and recognizing the blessings He has bestowed on me and my family. One of those blessings is my latest novella release, Holly’s Noel, which will release on December 1, 2017 as part of the Under the Mistletoe anthology (it’s available now for pre-order). I hope you’ll check it out. It’s a romantic comedy with its share of both difficult and joyful blessings.
Elle E. Kay lives on a farmette in the Back Mountain region of Pennsylvania. She is a born-again Bible believing Christian.
Stella was her debut novel. Claudia, the next book in the Endless Mountain Series, releases on December 15, 2017, with Sofie following shortly after. Holly’s Noel will release on December 1, 2017 as part of the Under the Mistletoe anthology.
Elle writes children’s books under the pen name, Ellie Mae Kay.
Her website is updated with the latest information about her upcoming books. http://www.elleekay.com/. She also has a blog, where she writes mostly devotional posts based on traditional hymns http://www.elleekay.com/blog/.
Elle is on most social media platforms.
Holly’s Noel (part of the Under the Mistletoe Anthology of eight novella)
Forced to rent out her childhood home next door to make ends meet, Holly Ewing finds herself battling an aggravating new renter.
Best-selling author, Noel Ryan, rents a home on Lake Bethel, a three month escape from the distractions of home. He soon discovers that Holly is a distraction in her own right.
When difficult situations bring them together, will they stop battling long enough to discover the truth before Christmas separates them?
Under the Mistletoe is available for preorder for only .99 at https://www.amazon.com/Under-Mistletoe-Inspirational-stories-Christmas-ebook/dp/B075F7LKCC/.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me across social media @JulieArduini.
I have one more announcement coming this week, so stay tuned!
How Veggie Tales Inspired a Biblical Novella
It was a summer evening, I was in the kitchen making dinner while my little siblings (for some odd reason) were watching The Toy That Saved Christmas, a Veggie-Tales movie. My publisher had asked me to write a Christmas story and I was deep in thought wondering what I should write when I suddenly tuned in to what was playing on the screen.
Grandpa George was reading a scripture to Bob, Larry and Buzz-saw Louie. “And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him in baby clothes and laid him in a manger.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute, the passage didn’t say baby clothes. In the King James it says swaddling clothes. That got me to thinking, what exactly are swaddling clothes? Are they just baby clothes? Or is there another meaning to them?
I looked up the passage in Luke chapter two and noted that it was mentioned not only once, but twice that Mary wrapped her first-born son in swaddling clothes. So I began my research.
I found out that swaddling clothes did not necessarily mean that Mary and Joseph were poor or destitute. Swaddling clothes were used by people of all classes to wrap a newborn in hopes that it would help their limbs grow straight, as well as calm the babe. But if swaddling clothes were so common during that era, why was it specifically mentioned as a sign to the shepherds of who the Messiah would be? So I searched some more.
Another source said that in the eastern countries they would use a cloth to put between the yoke of an ox, and the ox’s shoulders. When Mary and Joseph were in the barn, they had nothing else to use, so they used this ox’s cloth that was translated as swaddling cloth to wrap the Messiah that would carry the yoke of our sin and bondage.
Many hours and websites later, I emerged armed with a ton of information, four different theories, and a story forming inside my head. So, I guess you could say that my new book The Swaddling Clothes was inspired by a Veggie Tales movie.
The things that inspire people, or give them an idea is very interesting to me.
What are some odd things that have given you an idea or inspiration?
The Swaddling Clothes Synopsis:
Through the ages, many stories have been told about Mary, Joseph and the birth of the Messiah. Stories of shepherds and sheep, kings, angels, and stables. But there is one story that has never been told. One story that has remained hidden in the fabric of time. The story of The Swaddling Clothes.
Mentioned not once, but several times in the Scriptural text, what is the significance of these special cloths? And how did they make their way into a stable in Bethlehem? From the author that brought you the Days of Messiah series comes a whole new adventure critics are calling “intriguing…thought provoking… a fresh twist on an age old story.”
“I get tired of Bible stories sometimes, but The Swaddling Clothes brings the story to life.”
“Heartwarming…truly inspired. A story you will want to read again and again. Rich details and a suspenseful plot will keep you reading while giving you a glimpse of God’s wonderful power and His amazing love.”
Purchase Swaddling Clothes HERE
Author of over half a dozen books, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Visit her online at www.AmberSchamel.com/ and download a FREE story by subscribing to her Newsletter!
Tags: Amber Schamel, Amber Schamel: How Veggie Tales Inspired a Biblical Novella, author, baby clothes, Bible, Christmas, Jesus, Julie Arduini, novella, swaddling clothes, The Toy that Saved Christmas, Veggie Tales
love. The author, Jessica R Patch, sucked me in on the first page. I
couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for her next book to be released.
Wonderful writer. Highly recommended read, especially around Christmas
time, but could be read anytime. It’s that good.~fan review
About the book:
A rowdy bar owner. A widowed pastor’s wife. And Christmas hope that brings
After widower Eden Snow’s church almost burns to the ground, she’s
compelled to find a temporary place to hold services and Christmas cantata
Has-been hockey player, Knox Everhart, has a reputation for being fast on
the ice and with women. Except Eden. She’s always been a fascinating
mystery to him, which is why he agrees to let her use the back room of his
bar—with one rule: No converting his customers.
But when Eden brings the church to the bar, it offers something the bottle
can’t. Hope. And he finds himself falling in love with a woman and a Savior
he feels unworthy to pursue.
–Jessica’s my favorite! She is an awesome writer and a firecracker of a
–Jessica, your book sounds so hopeful for a season built on hope! Just
what we need in these times. I look forward to reading your book.
–I throughly enjoyed Jessica Patch’s “Under the Mistletoe” so my vote is
for that! Can’t wait for more in the series 🙂
–Hope Under Mistletoe by Jessical Patch has an intriguing fresh
–Hope Under Mistletoe was a wonderful book! I loved how the story dealt
with people getting through their hardships with the help of God. And as I
told Jessica..it had the perfect romantic ending…And they lived happily
–inspiring way to spread the message of Christ.
I loved Hope Under the Mistletoe! Jessica R. Patch created an inviting
town, swoonworthy characters and just enough spice for this inspirational
–A church in a bar? Really? Gotta read it…
Don’t miss the free novella Jessica is offering!
Jessica hangs out on Facebook and
Twitter so stop in
and join the daily conversations. Also, don’t forget to stop by her Hope
Under Mistletoe Pinterest board and meet the characters and take a peek at some of the scenes
in the book!
About the free novella, Just the Way You Are:
When Pastor Gabe asks Audrey Gilbraith to use her mad florist skills
to help him design a prayer garden, she’s all in, especially since it helps
take her mind off the fact she’s about to lose her job and her apartment.
But working closely with Gabe and not falling for him is complicated. She’s
not pastor’s wife material, and she has the past to prove it.
Gabriel Brookson wants out of Audrey’s friend-zone, but when he pursues
her romantically, he ruffles more than a few feathers in his congregation.
How much is he willing to give up for this wonderful, quirky woman, and
will Audrey accept him if he risks it all?
About the author: Jessica R. Patch
lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance
and romantic suspense novels. When she’s not hunched over her laptop or
going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends,
you can find her sneaking off to movies with her husband, watching way too
much Netflix with her daughter, dominating her son at board games, and
collecting recipes to amazing dishes she’ll probably never cook. Her debut
novel with Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense will release in January 2016.
She is represented by Rachel Kent of Books
& Such Literary Management
Last year I offered monthly installments of Match Made in Heaven, a contemporary romance based in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. It was my way of thanking newsletter subscribers for joining me on the journey. It was a fun novella and well received.
When I asked what readers wanted this year, they asked for a sequel. Earlier this week I unveiled the first installment of Crumbs and Embers, the follow-up to Match Made in Heaven.
Although Crumbs and Embers can stand alone, new subscribers receive Match Made in Heaven as my thanks for signing up, and all subscribers receive the monthly installments of Crumbs and Embers.
Wendy Bass is the Hammondsport Senior Complex director and she’s good at what she does. She’s organized and looking out for the seniors and their future. When a curve ball comes, it leaves her reeling.
Derek Spencer arrives in Hammondsport with his work cut out for him. He’s ready to make changes when he sees something familiar in Wendy’s reaction to his presence. He wants to reach out, but to do so, he’s got to share his past. And that’s something he vowed to keep hidden.
Can Wendy let go of her control and allow Derek in? Will Derek push past his skeletons to show Wendy a path to freedom?
Curious? I’d love for you to read more. To receive Crumbs and Embers, subscribe for free to my newsletter by completing the form in the left sidebar of my website. Make sure you watch for activation in your inbox and all folders.
If you’ve read the first installment, what did you think?
Crumbs and Embers is on Pinterest, as is all my writing. Check everything out here.
Wife. Mom. Author. Reader. Blogger. Amateur nature photographer. Chocolate eater. Encouraging you to surrender the good, the bad, and---maybe one day---the chocolate.
Find me across social media @JulieArduini, and follow me on my Amazon Author Page.
Where Else You Can Find Me
Surrendering Time Series & Recent Releases
Join the Fun