Friday, November 30, 2018

Christmas on My Heart: The Introduction by Alexis A. Goring


Merry Christmas!


'Tis the season of happiness, joy, and gifts from the heart! 

Speaking of the heart, I'm hosting a NEW holiday series on my blog this December. The series is called "Christmas on My Heart."

Four times a week (Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday), I will feature a new holiday story and its author as part of Christmas on My Heart. This series will start on Saturday, December 1 and end on Tuesday, Dec. 25.

Visit my blog to read author interviews, character interviews, devotionals based on a theme from the featured books, personal essays by the authors that show the story behind the story, and book review features that include an excerpt from the author's holiday story.

Best of all, the authors have promised to give gifts! At the end of each Christmas on My Heart blog post, you will have the opportunity to enter their giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of their featured book!

Sound exciting?

Praying that this holiday series will bring happiness to your heart!

God bless you.

Love,

Alexis

Devotionals for the Heart: The Struggle is REAL, but so is GOD!


The Struggle is REAL
A devotional by Glynis Becker

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10 (NASB)

A few years ago a phrase became popular as a sort of punchline to funny pictures or ridiculous, first-world problems: “The struggle is real.” You can laugh when it’s attached to a picture of a puppy that can’t quite make it up the stairs or a toddler in a high chair asleep with food on his face.

But the truth is, sometimes the struggles are very real and sometimes they are not at all funny. At different points in our lives, each of us must deal with things we’d rather not. Some are a result of choices we’ve made. Sometimes they are simply circumstances of life in this world.

No one I know has ever asked for more struggles. I know I certainly never have. I think human nature is to make our lives as comfortable as possible. Just like water and electricity find the path of least resistance when flowing from point A to point B, we humans aren’t much different.

People try all sorts of things to make their lives easier. Some manipulate others into doing their work for them. Some use alcohol or drugs to make their lives feel smoother, even if that really creates more problems in the long run. Some pour their hearts into things that don’t really matter to avoid doing the more important, but harder, things.

God knows this. God created human nature, just like He created water and electricity. He knew how it would all turn out. Our laziness, our struggles, our dysfunction, our choices are never a surprise to Him.

But what He does with those things can definitely surprise us. God can use the struggle of an addict to show His power and strength and compassion. God can show the world His provision to one who can’t make ends meet. God can show grace through someone and to someone struggling with a family relationship.

As believers, we need to be open in sharing our struggles with each other and with people seeking the faith. When others see how God steps into our hardships with us and carries us through, we have the most powerful testimony there is.

Our weakness, our difficulties, prove to ourselves and others that God is near and that He cares about our lives. Often in those times, our faith becomes real. Why wouldn’t we want more of that?

I’m certainly not saying that I’m ready to pray for more difficulty in my life. But when the hardships come, and they will, I pray that I see them less as a punishment and more as a journey to a new glimpse of God’s power in my life.

My Prayer: Father God, help me to bear my struggles with confidence and peace, knowing that You are in them with me. Help me to be vulnerable with others, sharing my testimony of Your goodness to me through all the circumstances of my life. Show me how to help carry someone else’s burdens, to encourage others, and to love the people You’ve placed in my path. Thank You for Your faithfulness, love, and care for me. Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:
Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume.

She has co-written several screenplays, including Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming. 

Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two teenage children. 

When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting. 

You can find her at www.glynisbecker.com.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Fear Not!


Fear Not!
A devotional by Ginger Solomon


“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?”
~Psalm 56:3-4 (NLT)

I’ve been dealing with a lot of fear lately. I’m not sure why. Crazy hormones? Bad eating habits? Too much stress? A teen with a learner’s license?

Two years ago, I also dealt with fear, but then I had a specific reason. I was facing brain surgery. My neurosurgeon was confident in his abilities, but any little thing could have gone wrong and caused my death.

At the time, I took out a notebook and searched for verses about fear. I wrote a bunch of them down. Not every verse applied to me, but many did. And God buoyed my faith in Him at that critical time.

Today, I struggle.

And, sadly, I have not yet overcome. I wallow instead of praying. *Shrug* What can I say? I’m human. I forget God’s promises.

I’m sure you’ve heard, but I’ll tell you again, in case you didn’t know and to remind myself. “Fear not” is in the Bible 365 times. (Someone else says 366 to account for leap year, but I didn’t check it out.) Every day, God has given us a verse to fight against the fear.

And yet, here I am, living my life afraid.

What am I afraid of? In essence, it boils down to one thing—getting hurt. I don’t like to be in pain. But then who does? And I find this utterly amusing because for the last seven years, I have lived with chronic back pain.

I’m not afraid of heights. I’m afraid of falling, or more accurately, of landing. I’m not afraid of cars. I’m afraid of car accidents (people are crazy drivers). I’m not afraid of writing stories. I’m afraid of disappointing God by not writing the right story. Do you see where I’m going?

But my fear is holding me back. And, more importantly, it’s starting to affect my family.

I’ve taught five children to drive (that’s scary, in and of itself). I should have this whole sitting in the passenger seat down, but I don’t. I still get nervous. My inexperienced child is behind the wheel of a four-thousand-pound vehicle. And there are IDIOTS on the streets (and no, I don’t apologize for that word because it is absolutely accurate). Anything could happen.

And therein lies the rub.

I’m scared of what could happen. It steals my joy of the right now. It makes my child think I don’t trust his driving abilities, and really, it’s not him so much as it is what the other people are doing.

What I need to remember, and yes, I’m still working on it, is that GOD is in control. My fear is in direct opposition to trusting Him. If I trusted Him like I should, I don’t need to be afraid.

I learned that lesson during the month before my surgery. I trusted Him like I never had before. It was a supernatural faith. And I want it back. I want to look at life through the lens of faith.

My Prayer: Dear God, whatever comes my way today, help me have faith. Help me to trust in Your divine plan and if pain is a part of that plan then help me rely on You to get through it.

~*~
Author Bio:
Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer—in that order (mostly).

She writes or reads inspirational romance of any genre, and if she’s busy homeschooling, doing laundry, or fixing dinner, books are on her mind.

She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), president of her local writing group, and blogs regularly for InspyRomance.com and at gingersolomon.com.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Book Review: Together with Christ


My Review of Together with Christ: A Dating Couple’s Devotional
(The author of this book is Chelsea Damon)

This book contains 52 devotions and Bible studies to nurture the reader’s relationship with their significant other. It is an easy read that offers answers for life’s challenges and doesn’t shy away from tough topics.

The author encourages the reader to, in the author’s words: build a strong foundation on mutual love, faith, and understanding before saying “I Do.” It’s definitely a field guide for relationships from the dating stage to the wedding day and beyond. This book is filled with nuggets of wisdom from a young woman (Chelsea Damon) who has learned a lifetime of lessons on love and is willing to share it with the world.

Chelsea is a blogger at Living the Sweet Wife where she shares advice on marriage and family to an audience of 100,000 each month. In this book, she shares her heart with sweet stories about how she met her husband Josh. But she doesn’t shy away from giving the reader a real glimpse into the conflict that they have experienced in their relationship.

The way that Chelsea offers advice to readers is honest, relevant and captivating. I read this book in one sitting. She knows how to catch your attention in the start of this book with situations that everyone experiences (the first chapter is about open communication) and she smoothly segues the reader from one page to the next. Before the reader knows it, they would have consumed 157 pages of valuable information and may want more.

For the reader who wants more, there is an option of revisiting the chapters and delving deep into the advice for your prayer life that Chelsea has included for enrichment. Revisit the chapters and seriously make those prayers your own and if that still isn’t enough then read Chelsea’s blog.

I enjoyed reading this book and found it to be something to treasure. If you are a woman who wants to get married and have a Christ-centered marriage or you’re already married but having struggles, this book is for you!

Together with Christ is worth every bit of a five-star rating. Bravo to the author for creating content that inspires the heart and encourages the reader.


*I, (Alexis A. Goring), received a complimentary copy of this book (Together with Christ: A Dating Couple’s Devotional) from the author’s publisher for me to read. My opinions in this book review are my own.

~*~
Author Bio:

Chelsea Damon is the owner and creator of the blog, Living the Sweet Wife, where over 100,000 people read her advice on marriage and family each month. She also works as a content marketer for the New York City tech startup Scouted

She, her husband, Josh, and their two children spend their time looking for new places to hike and explore beautiful Washington State. Chelsea and Josh met while attending Liberty University, where they grew in their faith and dated for three years. They were married on the windy coast of Washington in 2013. Six months later they found out they were pregnant with their son.

Throughout their dating and marriage relationship and into parenthood, they’ve been learning what it means to live loving God and loving others in a self-love world. 

For advice on marriage and family, read her blog or follow Chelsea and her family on Instagram @chelsealeighdamon.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Dana's thoughts on thankfulness


Thoughts on Thankfulness
A devotional by Dana McNeely

As a child, one of the first movies I watched on our new 12-inch TV was Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I laughed at “Grumpy,” with his crossed arms, frowns, and for whom nothing seemed to go right, but I wanted to BE like “Happy,” with his irrepressible cheer.

Happy, Happy, Happy

The next day, I resolved to emulate Happy, but a series of events conspired against me. Before school, my sister scribbled with purple crayon on my prized Breyer horse. Later, my best friend Shari ignored me at recess. That afternoon, one of my lock-onto-your-shoes roller skates flipped off as I raced down our driveway, and I skinned up both knees. Later, as I settled with bandaged knees in front of the TV, my mother insisted I come to come to dinner right now, despite pleas that my favorite program, Mickey Mouse Club, was starting.

Smarting from the unfairness of it all, I announced I was running away to live with Shari. Her family also had a TV, and I planned to catch part of my program there. Having forgotten her snit, my friend was glad to see me, but Mickey Mouse Club was over, and so was dinner at her house. As we sat on her bedroom floor playing with dolls, I heard her dad talking on the phone. Was he calling my mom? Did she miss me? My knees smarted and my stomach growled.

Shari sympathized over my scraped knees and said she was getting skates soon so we could race together. Her little brother pranced into the room, grabbed one of the dolls, and ran out whooping.

My little sister wasn’t so bad—cute, really. I was lucky to have roller skates, and next time I’d tighten them better. I wondered what Mom had cooked for dinner. It didn’t really matter—my mom was the best cook in the world.

I asked Shari’s dad to ask if I could come home. In minutes, my dad picked me up. When I said my prayers that night, I thanked God for roller skates, my parents, my little sister, and the Mickey Mouse Club.

Lesson learned?


Sadly the tendency to channel “Grumpy” instead of “Happy” has plagued me throughout life. But I did begin to learn I can choose to look at circumstances in two ways. I can see unfairness, difficulty, and pain. This is the path of resistance, leading to resentment and anger. Or I can see blessing, potential, and God’s leading. This is the path of acceptance, leading to thankfulness and peace.

Easy-peasy choice? Not! The only way to keep our focus on the path of thankfulness and peace is to constantly bolster our spirits with God’s wisdom. When I first wake, I think, “This is the day which the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it! Yay!” My version of Psalm 118:24 starts my day right.

When we face difficulty, we can thank God if we remember Psalm 138:8 (CSB) which says, “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me. LORD, your faithful love endures forever; do not abandon the work of your hands.”

When we pray, each prayer can incorporate thankfulness. God gave instructions for thanksgiving and praise at certain times. 1 Chronicles 23:30 (NIV) says, “They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening…”

He also tells us to praise him at all times. Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV) says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Good Manners


Remember the ten lepers who Jesus healed?

Luke 17:15,16 (NIV) says: “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.”

This both shames and encourages me. I’m encouraged that a Samaritan, an “outsider” like me, could please Jesus by doing the right thing. I’m ashamed when I think how many blessings I take for granted without thanking the giver of all good gifts. Don’t be like the nine who went away amazed but never thanked the Healer.

A Challenge for you

Pick one activity below and practice it this week:

· A day without complaining. Don’t complain for twenty-four hours. Not once. If you grumble, ask forgiveness, and reset the clock!

· A day of extravagant gratitude. Thank God for everything that comes into your life today. Take notice of little things – a tender leaf, a butterfly spiraling in flight. Look for ways to thank God for even those things that unsettle your soul, like the driver who suddenly dives in front of you and slams on his brakes!

· A gratitude journal. As a writer, I love this one! Start with your Bible’s concordance. Find verses under the topics of thankfulness, praise, gratitude, and blessing. A few to get you started: Acts 3:7-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10. Copy these into your gratitude journal to re-read on days when “Grumpy” wants to take control. Draw pictures or make lists of people, things, and circumstances you’re thankful for.

Please share your ideas and verses in the comments section. I’ll be checking in to read your responses and chat. Thank you for reading my post!

Love,

Dana

~*~
Author Bio:

Inspired by the Bible story of Elijah and the widow’s son, Dana McNeely wondered why the prophet had come to stay with these two. Who were they? What was their life, before? And how did the boy change after dying, seeing the other world … and coming back? 



Dana began research for her novel, Rain, which tells the story of the three-and-a-half-year drought from the boy’s perspective.

No stranger to drought, Dana lives in an Arizona oasis with her hubby the constant gardener, two good dogs, an antisocial cat, and migrating butterflies. She writes biblical fiction, cozy mysteries, and has written for magazines and newspapers. Her short story “Death in the Butterfly Garden” appears in SoWest: Killer Nights (2017).

Connect with Dana on Facebook, Twitter, or DanaMcNeely.com
.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Thoughts on the Christmas season and preparation for Heaven


Preparing for Heaven
A devotional by Alexis A. Goring

American author Hamilton Wright Mabie is famous for this saying that truly encapsulates the Christmas season. He said, “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

While preparing the house for Christmas this year, my Mom and I scurried about, setting up the traditional Christmas tree (ours is not real), filling the house with festive decorations, bright lights and Christmas items throughout all while playing her Christmas music that was popular in the 70’s and still resonates today, a thought occurred to me: Are we preparing for Heaven?

Just like people around the world prepare for this Christmas season weeks and sometimes months in advance and they take it seriously, are we as Christ-followers serious about preparing for The Second Coming of Jesus Christ? Are we looking forward to going home to Heaven when He returns to take us there? Are we playing songs that show our hope for something better than Christmas (an eternity spent with our Creator, free of pain and sin)? Songs like “When We All Get to Heaven” (a church hymn) come to mind and I realize that while Christmas is such a wonderful season to anticipate, Christ’s Second Coming takes the cake!

It is an event that we all must take seriously because there is no other option than heaven or hell. You’re either accepting Christ’s gift of salvation then choosing to follow Him which means you’re going to Heaven OR you’re allowing the temporary trappings of this world to indulge you and you’re being led astray by the enemy of Christ whose only intention is to lead you to hell. The enemy knows how beautiful Heaven is. He also knows how much God loves you and wants you to be there. The enemy is aware that when his time is up, he’s bound to hell and he wants to take you there with him. Don’t be fooled by the guises of the devil. Don’t allow him to distract you from your destiny.

Remember that there is a loving God who created you and wants you to be reconciled to Him. Reject the ways of the world that are against God and embrace His plan for your life. God’s plan for you includes restoration and eternal life. You can trust that it’s filled with more than this world in its sin-affected state can offer. The Bible says that no eye has seen nor ear has heard nor has the mind imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9)! God’s way may look strict when you compare it with the ways of this world, but if you remember that He wants to protect you and save your soul—and that in the end, He WINS—then the future is brighter than Christmas lights. You will be okay if you stay within the boundaries that He set to keep you safe and saved!

Years ago, I saw cartoon about a man who was racing toward the end of a cliff, only he didn’t know it was a cliff. If he kept going full speed ahead, he would fall to his death. His friend, who saw the life-threatening danger ahead, was chasing after him shouting at him to stop, warning him that he was going to die if he kept on going. The illustration was to show that this is us! It’s our human condition. We race for the things in life we think that we want. We are mesmerized by the glamorization of sin. We think that our own way is the best, but the Bible says in Proverbs 14:12 (KJV), “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” But often, all we can see with our finite minds is the glamour and the allure of sin so we keep pursuing it because we want more but what we don’t realize is that at the end of that pursuit of worldly happiness is death.

Salvation is pretty simple: Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins (a physical death and spiritual death in the form of the separation from God) so that WE would NOT have to pay it! We were all destined to eternal death because the wages of sin IS death! But thanks to Christ, we have HOPE! The Bible says in Romans 6:23 (KJV), “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Our hope lies in the fact that after Christ had gone to the grave for three days, He rose again! God’s NOT dead! He is alive and Jesus Christ is in Heaven interceding on our behalf. He is our Mediator. A bridge between God and mankind. He’s working hard to give us every opportunity to be saved. He’s chasing after us as we’re running full speed ahead to the edge of that cliff. He’s doing everything that He can to show us that the ways of the world and indulgence of sin lead to eternal death and that He wants us to reject the devil’s plans for our life and choose His life, eternal life.

I encourage you to slow down and let Jesus Christ catch you! Let Him prevent you from plummeting to your destruction. Let Him save you. Falling in love with Jesus is better than falling in love with this Christmas season. Because unlike the holidays, a life with Christ in the center of it is something you can take from earth to Heaven. His love for you spans eternity. Won’t you choose Him this Christmas? Salvation given by Jesus Christ is the BEST gift you’ll ever have because it will result in eternal life!

Yes, blessed is this beautiful holiday season but greater is God’s unconditional, eternal love for you. Seek Him! He’s already chasing after you.

Falling for Books: Gail's book


The Story Behind the Story Kiss Me Once Again by Gail Kittleson:

When Glenora Carson’s story began to build in my mind, I really didn’t anticipate writing a romance. This World War II story evolved into just that, however.

Never a big fan of the genre, I’ve always wanted stories to be more complicated. What’s there to figure out if you know from the outset that the guy gets the girl in the end? Well, maybe I had a thing or two to learn.

During World War II, everything was complicated. When you’re worried that a brother, sister, or parent may not return from battle, that’s complicated. The whole setting burgeons with complications.

Egotistical commanders may make haphazard decisions that lead to needless deaths. The enemy may flip his tactics and surprise a unit counting on him to act like he always does. This occurred in North Africa when Rommel shocked American commanders by reversing his course.

On the home front, wild things can happen, as well. In Glenora’s case, just when she thought she had most things managed, her father’s health began to decline. Worry about her brother Red’s ship being struck by a typhoon in Nakagusuku Wan, or Buckner Bay, near Okinawa Island, most likely had something to do with that.

Time has dragged on since then, with no word about Red. Is he still alive? If he ever comes home, will he be able to marry his high school sweetheart and take Glenora’s place at their father’s garage? That was his plan before December 7, 1941, but so much has happened in the interval.

For one thing, Glenora has been filling his spot there...will she have to continue wielding her wrench and pliers for the rest of her life? She’s already sacrificed her college scholarship and dreams of teaching home economics to keep the garage open.

Then, out of the blue, a convalescing soldier named Hank returns to town. With his bent for mechanics, his uncle volunteers him to help out at the garage. Thankful she can now devote her time to organizing the books, Glenora attempts to add more figures to the “paid” column.

Relieved of crawling under broken-down tractors and farm trucks to diagnose and fix problems, Glenora can now pay more attention to her other tasks such as housekeeping, gardening, and contributing to the war effort in every way possible. When her mother died a few years ago, all of these responsibilities fell to her—there simply aren’t enough hours in a day.

Hank brings relief with him, but also another complication. Back in 1941, when her beau went down with the USS Arizona, Glenora buried her dreams of romance and having a family of her own. Hank’s presence in the shop urges those dreams back to the surface, but he seems bent on his own dream of studying under the G.I. Bill as soon as the war comes to an end.

On top of that, he’s kind, honest, tenderhearted, and a good worker. If that weren’t enough, he also has a way with her dad.

This is where my plot led me...right into the complications of romance! 


I hope you like this old-fashioned World War II story.

~*~
Author Bio:
Writing from northern Iowa, Gail delves into World War II, such an intriguing era. 

When she’s not researching, writing, or editing, she facilitates writing workshops and classes or hangs out with her husband and grandchildren. 

While she normally writes historical women’s fiction, her latest release (officially available for purchase on December 7, 2018) takes readers into the world of romance.

~*~
Book Blurb for Kiss Me Once Again:

Glenora keeps her heart under lock and key.

No one ever accused Glenora Carson of being a breathtaking beauty. Her talk, gangly figure and angular face are more solid midwestern stock than Hollywood glamour. But Joe liked her. He even told her, “You’re the one for me.”

He gave her a locket with his picture inside, to remind her of him while he was away, serving his country on the USS Arizona.

After December 7, 1941, Glenora shelves her dreams of attending college on the scholarship she was offered by Iowa State University, locks her heart away and focuses on holding down the home front by helping out the family business – Carson’s Garage. 

The grease-stained overalls didn’t do much to compliment her female figure, but they cover her female heart well enough. That is, until Hank Anderson, a wounded warrior back from battle, walks into the garage and into Glenora’s life.

Is an old maid’s future Glenora’s fate, or will Cupid throw a wrench in her plans? 

~*~
Buy Gail's book on Amazon

~*~
Connect with Gail:
Website - http://www.gailkittleson.com/
Facebook - www.facebook.com/GailKittlesonAuthor
Amazon Author Page - http://amazon.com/author/gailkittleson
Twitter - www.twitter.com/GailGkittleson

~*~
Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 


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Friday, November 23, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: The Light


Choosing The Light

A devotional by Gail Kittleson

“Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” ~Luke 1:78-79 (NKJV)

My middle school English teacher would have diagrammed this complicated sentence with ease. She’d point out, “The meat of the statement, subject and verb, are in the second phrase and the other segments answer our questions—how, who, when, and why. But the writer begins with the source of what is to come...the heartfelt mercies of our God. Do you see how the author carefully arranged everything for clarity and purpose?”

Some of us saw—some of us didn’t. But today, we can focus on those “How and why,” which are questions that every journalist subscribes to answering.

How will the sunrise break? 

Through God’s heartfelt mercies. 

Upon whom will the light shine? 

Us—we who sit in darkness and death’s shadow. 

Why? (For what purpose?)

To enlighten our steps and bring us into peace. 

Allow me to illustrate my point using the Bible story about Zachariah.

Zachariah, slow to believe the angel’s prophecy that his wife would bear a son in her old age, spoke these words after his first and only child John entered the world. For nine long months, he had suffered the imposition of silence, and for decades before that, had mourned the lack of children to leave behind him when he died.

Perhaps this history helped his neighbors and friends to see how momentous his visitation had been, but still, it must’ve been difficult for Zachariah. Finally, God’s angel promised him a son, his wife had conceived in her old age, and he couldn’t express his excitement and joy. Bummer!

Once Zachariah agreed that his newborn son’s name would be John, his tongue was loosed. At long last, it was Zachariah’s turn to speak. Well aware of his imperfect faith, he’d had plenty of time to ponder what he might say at this long-awaited opportunity.

At this significant moment, a message inspired by the Holy Spirit poured forth. And what a message it was, pure poetry—pure exaltation! We might well take heed to this tale of mercy and light, drawing us from our gloomy outlook and assuring us of guidance and serenity.

My Prayer: Sometimes it’s easier to fall back into familiar negativity than to embrace Your fresh light, Father. Grant us hearts to listen to your words through Zachariah and entrust our lives to You. Deliver us from falling back from your promises in unbelief.

~*~
Author Bio:
When Gail Kittleson's not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit of her 1940’s novels, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors.

She also facilitates writing and creativity workshops, both in Iowa and Arizona, where she and her husband like to spend part of the winter in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim.

Favorites: spending time with grandchildren, walking, reading, meeting new people, and hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Joy


Gratitude Cultivates Joy
A devotional by Paula Moldenhauer

“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 
~ Ephesians 5:20 (NLT)

Grandpa and Grandma’s little brown house in the country boasted a big front porch and a big heart. On Thanksgiving, there wasn’t room for everyone at the table. This was not a fine china and crystal affair. Our extended family would spill all over the house and yard, our ample feast filling sturdy paper plates held on knees.

Grandma baked for days. Pies were her specialty. She also made homemade rolls, cornbread, and biscuits. She served at least three kinds of potatoes so everyone got his or her favorite—mashed, fried, stewed. The aunts and cousins brought more food. We never ran out of turkey. The family respected my dad’s status as preacher, so he usually gave the blessing.

My Grandpa and uncles were storytellers, and I loved to listen to them spin their tales of the old days. Our family had its issues, but this was family at its best. Good food and plenty of it, lots of teasing and laughter, and extra hands to wash the dishes at the end of the day.

It’s good to take a day to focus on being thankful, but daily gratitude is more powerful than most of us understand. In Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, she encourages people to journal gratitudes every day for a year. If you write three things a day, you’ll have a thousand! 

When I read that book, I had a hallway in desperate need of paint and a heart in desperate need of gratitude. It took me a year and a half to get to one thousand. I didn’t write every day, but when I did, I dated the entry and wrote in brightly colored sharpies until my mood lifted. I wrote of big things and small. Like the fragrance of baking bread, my son’s home run, and the joy of my daughter’s marriage. When I studied that wall, it never ceased to amaze me how much good there is in this life. We don’t notice the half of it.

A friend going through a hard time said God told her to “Cultivate a capacity for joy.”

I love that. He didn’t tell her to get over the grief, just to make space for joy. Focusing on God’s good gifts and thanking Him helps me cultivate a capacity for joy.

I no longer have a gratitude wall. (We won’t talk about how many coats of paint it took to cover that sharpie list!) But I seek to write gratitudes on my heart and His. To pause and notice the gifts in each day and to make time for good things. Sometimes it’s as simple as grabbing my cell-phone and taking a picture of the sunrise or lighting a fragrant candle.

I’m not a huge football fan, but I thank God for the Broncos! The community my family has fostered around those “stupid” games (doesn’t football last forever?) blesses me. There aren’t too many things more joyful than the deep-throated roar of celebration that explodes in my basement when the Broncos score.

This is the time of year I can buy my favorite apples. The fragrance of someone’s fireplace often fills the evening air. I love sunsets and long walks and even old bananas make banana bread.

Sweet friend, do you see it? The good all around us?

I challenge you to cultivate a capacity for joy. Notice your good God and His good gifts. Maybe it would help to write out things you’re grateful for. Put them in a jar on the kitchen table and read them aloud to yourself. Write notes of gratitude in your journal. Maybe, like me, you need to do it even bigger, and so you write the thank you list in big, bright letters with red and purple and yellow sharpies.

My Prayer: I give thanks to You, God, for You are good and every good gift comes from Your hand. Help me cultivate a capacity for joy, noticing the beauty around me and embracing the good moments of life.

~*~
Author Bio:
Author, speaker, and mom of four, Paula Moldenhauer encourages others to live free to flourish. She shares this message when speaking at women’s events, and it permeates her written work. 

Paula has published over 300 times in non-fiction markets and has a devotional book series, Soul Scents. Her first published novella was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards, and she now has six published works of fiction

Paula and her husband, Jerry, are adjusting to a sometimes-empty nest in Colorado. Today’s devotion was adapted from her devotional book, Soul Scents: Flourish

Visit her at www.paulamoldenhauer.com where you can sign-up for her newsletter to get a weekly Flourishing Moments and periodic updates on free days for her books. 

For daily Flourishing Moments “like” Paula’s author/speaker page.

For a *free* Autumn novelette, Charisa’s Chance, sign-up for Paula’s newsletter: http://paulamoldenhauer.com/contact/newsletter-signup

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Read with Audra blog tour featuring "Into the Deep" by Lauren Gaskill

Welcome to my blog's stop on Lauren Gaskill's book tour!

Here's my review of her book: 


Into the Deep: Diving into a Life of Courageous Faith is a wonderful book written by a very brave woman (Lauren Gaskill). 

She writes candidly about her real-life experience with a debilitating disease and shares how with God's help and her determination to never quit, she continues to overcome. Gaskill challenges the reader to go deep into their faith journey with God and trust Him to help you walk on water with Him as only He can carry you through the storms of life. 

The author's stories from her life journey prove that she doesn't just write about choosing joy and having a fearless faith in God, she lives it

This is truly an inspirational book filled with hope that can brighten your day and renew your outlook on life with a Bible-based perspective that shows that no matter what this life may throw at you, with Jesus Christ on your side, you can have the victory!

*I, (Alexis A. Goring), received a complimentary copy of this book (
Into the Deep: Diving into a Life of Courageous Faith ) from the author’s publisher for me to read. My opinions in this book review are my own.

Read on for an interview with Lauren Gaskill that her PR people produced: 

An interview with Lauren Gaskill,
Author of Into the Deep

When Lauren Gaskill started feeling pain in her shoulders while she was in high school, she attributed it to her swim team workouts. In college, as her health issues continued to escalate, she began to feel lost in a sea of anxiety, depression and unexplained chronic pain that was ripping apart her faith. Every week she would hear sermons about a God who delivers his people from their problems, but words only left her more frustrated and confused.

Gaskill admits she somehow missed the explanation that following Jesus doesn’t guarantee sunny skies and smooth sailing. In fact, the waters of life are often tumultuous, crashing over us. Sometimes we can feel we’re drowning in a sea of confusion, division, frustration, complacency, or disillusionment. We need more than a shallow faith to survive these deep waters. In her new book, Into the Deep: Diving Into a Life of Courageous Faith (Abingdon Press), Gaskill invites readers to dive headfirst into a life of courageous faith.

Q: What inspired you to write your new book, Into the Deep: Diving into a Life of Courageous Faith?

I should have drowned years ago. When the waves of anxiety, depression and chronic pain came crashing over me, the “faith” I’d been raised to practice couldn’t keep my head above the waves. But I didn’t drown. I’m still here. Because by God’s grace, in the undertow I discovered a deep faith in Jesus that saved me from sinking into the depths and catapulted me straight into His rescuing arms.

He saved me from drowning, and my hope in writing this book is that He might use my story to help save others who feel like they are drowning too.

Q: You’ve been a swimmer for most of your life. How were you able to relate that experience to the message you wanted to share in this book?

There is something beautiful and mysterious about water. It’s elemental to our existence, but depending on the environment, it can also be a threat. When I was little and didn’t know how to swim, the water terrified me. But once I mastered the strokes, deep waters became a place of freedom and adventure. These experiences on the swim team are very similar to the experiences I’ve lived through in my faith journey, and that’s why I chose the water illustration. Fear can hold us back from learning how to swim, but it can also hinder us from stepping out courageously in faith. There are so many parallels and biblical illustrations (I mean right there in Genesis 1:2), I knew this was the lens I had to write the book through.

Q: In the first chapter, you share your passion for helping people learn how to exercise faith. Have you always felt that way?

No, because I didn’t always realize that faith was the answer — the thing that could and would keep me from drowning. It took a long time for me to finally reach out to Jesus and trust Him to pull me up, but when I did, my life was forever changed. Faith in Jesus saved me from a life of despair, and that’s why I intend to spend the rest of my life helping others fight for faith too. I help others learn how to press on in faith and lead lives of joy through blogging, hosting a bimonthly podcast and speaking at conferences around the country.

Q: When did you first experience bouts of anxiety? What were some of the situations that brought on the feelings of anxiousness?

I started experiencing anxiety in high school, after a traumatic event triggered panic attacks.

Q: You are very open about your struggle with chronic pain and the recurrent anxiety and depression that come along with it. How did your physical issues cause you to lose faith? Tell us about how you’ve learned to overcome these challenges.

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos is a nasty disorder — I truly wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. One day, you can wake up feeling like you’ve been hit by a bag of bricks or two semis. Other days, you can’t move without being in pain or risking injury from loose joints making bones pop out everywhere. Having unstable joints means arthritic pain is a constant companion and makes it hard to do “normal” tasks like lifting bags, exercising or evening cutting vegetables for dinner some days. These difficult physical challenges made it hard to keep faith in the beginning because I didn’t understand why God wasn’t healing me. When I finally opened my heart to the possibility of healing, bad turned to worst, and it made me question everything I believed in.

After years of diving deeper with Jesus, at the end of the day, no matter what pain I experience, I know in the deepest parts of my soul that I will be OK. Not because of who I am, but because of who God is. He is a good, good Father. He is always with us and always for us, just like His Word says He is. He cannot not be faithful and His Spirit — the very hope of Christ — lives in me.

When I think about all of those things, I find everything I need to overcome because the Jesus in me is stronger than the waves of darkness that try to overtake me. In Him, I have nothing to fear.

Q: After college, you sought out the help of a Christian counselor. What did you learn about the connection between your struggles with your faith alongside your battles with anxiety and depression?

I learned that God wasn’t punishing me with anxiety and depression, instead, He was allowing it as an opportunity to deepen my relationship with Him. I also learned that having anxiety and depression didn’t make me any less of a Christian, it just meant I had different areas I had to learn to trust God with. In this case, that involved areas of mental health.

Q: You write that faith is the answer we’re all looking for — the solution to all of our hurts, pain and sorrows. Why do you think women reach for other solutions often before they reach for Jesus?

Faith in Jesus can be a hard thing. It’s like navigating a ship through a high seas storm. The passengers can’t see what lies ahead, they just have to trust the captain knows what he is doing and will get them safely to the other side. If we don’t trust God, that makes it hard to have faith in Him and easy to turn to earthly solutions that are more immediate and absolute.

The other thing we must consider is the world we are living in. Our world is becoming increasingly faithless. We’ve lost faith in the things we can see, so it’s no wonder we’ve lost faith in the things we can’t see.

Q: One of the chapters is entitled “Six Things You Need to Know.” What are the six things you want to make sure readers will take away from this chapter?

I believe words have immeasurable power. That’s why I’m a writer. That’s why I strive to think long and hard about the words I choose before I write or say them. That’s why I fight daily to speak life, love, hope, and truth over myself in order to drown out the cruel, untruthful things others have spoken over me. Words are powerful no matter what we are going through, but they are even more powerful when our faith is tested.

I wish I could forget some of the things people said to me when the waves of life came crashing in. “You’re never going to get over this,” they told me. “This is going to haunt you for the rest of your life.” Or my personal favorite, “Do you have unresolved sin in your life? Maybe God is punishing you for something.”

When we feel like we are drowning, we are susceptible to believing the lies and hurtful things we hear from the outside world. What I want women to know more than anything, is that in their hurt:

1. God is not punishing you.

2. You are not alone.

3. You are going to be OK

4. Darkness does not define.

5. You were made for the deep.

6. God’s love will carry you.

Q: You write, “We have to deeply know and trust God if we are ever going to fully have faith and experience freedom in Him.” How have you learned to trust God on a deeper level over the years and what have you learned on that journey?

One of the biggest obstacles I had to face was giving up control because I used to be a control freak. I had to have everything planned out and go a certain way in order to feel at ease. Once I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Hypermobility, however, God began to do a work in my heart. I began to see that it’s futile to try and control everything because in the end, God is the one in control — not me. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Q: Hebrews 11 is often called the Hall of Faith. Why is it important to study the faith of our ancestors? What can we learn from them?

The stories of our biblical ancestors aren’t perfect, tidy stories. Many of them lived complicated, messy and wounded lives, just like us. But they also had a choice to keep the faith and press on. The same choice is available to each of us today, and by studying Abraham, David, Esther and all of the others in the Hall of Faith, we can learn how to overcome our unbelief by resting in God’s promises, asking for provision and resolving to persevere just like they did.

Q: What does life look like when we make it a priority to actively pursue God?

When we actively pursue God, our perspective on and attitude toward life changes. We realize that this life never really was about us anyway. It’s about getting to know our Creator and enjoying life with Him. Our eyes become open to the things that truly matter: loving God and loving others.

Q: What does it mean to “faith suit up” every day? Why is it important and what does it look like practically in daily life?

From the moment we get up we have an important choice to make: Do we live the day in a frenzied, selfish state, or do we live the day with a holy intentionality? One choice leads to chaos, the other leads to confidence in Christ. As God continues to deepen my faith, I’ve learned that joy, hope, courage and faith are found when I choose to live the day with a holy intentionality from the moment I open my eyes. What that looks like is praying to God and surrender the day to Him; seeking His presence throughout the day; and reading His Word and declaring His truths over my life.

Here’s a real, practical example: Let’s say I have a speaking event I’m preparing for. I know I have to “faith suit up” to protect myself from the arrows of the enemy and also prepare my heart for what I need to do. If I don’t suit up, I am more vulnerable to being taken aback by any tidal waves that come up, however big or small they may be.

Q: The book ends with a series of stories about warriors of the deep. What can women learn from these stories? What makes a woman a warrior?

This is one of my favorite chapters of the book. There is nothing more powerful and inspiring than a testimony! These women are warriors because they chose to give God a chance and take Him at His Word. Every day, they choose to place their past, present and future into His hands, and because of that choice, their deep despair has been replaced with a deep faith and faith to overcome anything that comes their way. They are warriors because they have learned to let go and let God. And that? That is true faith.

~*~
About the Book:

Develop enduring faith for the turbulent waters of life.


Following Jesus doesn’t guarantee sunny skies and smooth sailing. In fact, the waters of life are often tumultuous, crashing over us. Sometimes we can feel that we’re drowning in a sea of confusion, division, frustration, complacency, or disillusionment. We need more than a shallow faith to survive these deep waters.

Into the Deep is an invitation to dive headfirst into a life of courageous faith. With endearing warmth and authenticity, Lauren Gaskill shares how she and others have learned to swim with Jesus in the deep waters of life—facing challenges such as anxiety, depression, and chronic illness—only to discover a more authentic, enduring faith that cannot be shaken by circumstances. In addition to examining the character of God and the lives of women and men of the Bible who chose to dive deeper with God, she provides practical examples and tools that help us take our faith to the next level by learning to make decisions by faith alone, control our reactions to overwhelming situations, and live a life rooted in love.

Get ready to exchange fear and frustration for the boldness, courage, and holy confidence that lead to a life of deep faith and joy!

~*~
About the Author:
Lauren Gaskill is an author, speaker and host of the Finding Joy podcast and Finding Joy Ladies Night Out events. 

After being diagnosed with an incurable connective tissue disorder, Lauren made it her life mission to encourage others to fight for faith and find joy — no matter what life’s circumstances might bring.

Gaskill is a storyteller who believes stories are powerful and loves how God uses them for His good. She writes and speaks to motivate and inspire others to experience abundant life in Christ. 

She is particularly passionate about encouraging women to fight for faith and go deeper in their relationship with Jesus. Gaskill also writes and speaks about what it looks like to walk with Jesus through pain and suffering.

She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Find her online at LaurenGaskillInspires.com or on Facebook (lauren.gaskill.inspires), Twitter (lauren_inspires) and Instagram (lauren_inspires).

Monday, November 19, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: God Cares


God Cares
A devotional by Nanci Rubin

“Does God Care?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked that question. 
But I can unequivocally say, “Yes, He does!"

When you’re hurting and you can’t see beyond your pain, His Word brings hope. But the times when our pain is constant and unrelenting, then the assembling of ourselves with one another becomes a healing balm. When our church family is interceding on our behalf, healing can begin. There is no family like the family of God. We need one another.

“Not forsaking the assembling of yourself together, as the manner some is; but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” 
~Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)

I have so many friends who have been wounded and silently sit on the sidelines no longer willing to enter a church. Their reasons are their own. I have survived two church splits in my lifetime, neither was pretty and they left wounds that lasted a long time. Healing comes but as with all things, it came in God’s time.

I’m grateful that I didn’t become bitter. I have a couple of friends who never entered a church again. They have chosen to embrace their pain, to nurse it and rehearse it. The past holds them frozen in time. They no longer trust any ministry. It saddens me to see the wounded remain victims. God created a family and we complete each other. I pray my friends will trust again and allow God to bring them to an area in which they are willing to be healed. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus. Men will fail, He never will.

I was reading a book recently that was conveying how many born-again Christians who are the children of God but have never become acquainted with our Father. An interesting topic and one I have never considered.

I think a lot of us don’t realize how interested He is in each of us individually (not just as a group, or a body, or a church). He is interested in each of His children, and He loves every single one with the same love. I’ve also read that often our relationship with our earthly fathers creates an atmosphere of how we perceive our Heavenly Father. It is difficult for those of us who have had absentee fathers, abusive fathers, or harsh and cold fathers to see our Heavenly Father as the loving, caring Father He is.

In the Old Testament, after the tabernacle was built first and the temple second, they didn’t know Him as Father God. They knew Him as Elohim, or Jehovah. They did not know Him personally.

The enemy doesn’t want you to know God’s love. He wants to beat you down and tell you, your sin is too great and you can’t be forgiven. He calls to remembrance the ugliness of our sinful past before coming to Jesus.

God is not mad at you, He is mad about you! 
His love for you is so great there is nothing on earth to compare it to. God is love. When we’ve committed sins and remain in isolation from our guilt will eventually cause us to feel He’s not here or He doesn’t care. 

The ruse of the enemy is to alienate us from our Father, but all we have to do is repent, confess we’ve missed the mark, ask for forgiveness and move on. We’re all sinners saved by grace. 

God is not holding a big stick to wield across your back. Jesus made a way for us to cross the chasm of sin and come back to fellowship with our Heavenly Father. We must learn to see ourselves as God does. He sees us as the finished product of love, complete and whole. 

Don’t be down on yourself, God loves you just the way you are. He’ll hide you under the shadow of His wings when you need healing, He’ll carry you when you can’t walk, He’ll fight your battles for you, and He’ll never leave nor forsake you.

It is a privilege to be in service to the King. Blessings to you all.

~*~
Author Bio:
Nanci writes Inspy Amish romance. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two fur kids, Romeo and Juliet, rescue cats. She is working on her debut novel, Plain Justice.

She retired earlier than planned from nursing to care for her mother, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Her mom passed last year at the age of ninety-nine and Nanci has delved more into her writing.

She is active in an intercessory prayer ministry in her church, belongs to The Woman’s Club, a service-oriented volunteer organization dedicated to the welfare and enrichment of the community and volunteers two days a week at the Mary Washington Museum.

Currently, she's enrolled in Rhema Bible College’s correspondence Bible studies. She belongs to ACFW and RWA. When she’s not working, reading or writing she’s hiking with her husband at Shenandoah National Park.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Falling for Books: Mary's book


Story Excerpt from A Pocketful of Wishes by Mary Manners:

SUNLIGHT FILTERED THROUGH THE WILLOWY branches of elm trees that lined the road, warming Jenna as Carter loaded her suitcase into the trunk of the car. The street was quiet, almost as if it had gone down for a nap, with the exception of Old Man Corker’s Bassett Hound who yowled in protest of his confinement to the yard three houses down.

Jenna felt like yowling, too. Maybe she’d trod over to Old Man Corker’s yard, throw herself into the grass beside Buster, and sob until no more tears came.

Sadness squeezed her heart. She could barely breathe.

Life as she knew it was going to end right here in the driveway of the modest ranch home she’d lived in since the day she was born. Literally, her mom had given birth to her right there in the living room, when Jenna decided to come into the world too quickly for her mom and dad to make it to the hospital. She’d heard the story so many times she knew it by heart, and her parents joked that she still had only one speed—fast.

Everything she’d ever known in her whole life was in this house, yet her parents were still bent on taking her from it. The moving truck that had left before the sun winked over the horizon was proof. And the jam-packed car didn’t help matters, either. There was hardly room in the backseat for her to squeeze in when the time came.

Which would be soon…way too soon. She winced at the pinch of disappointment.

Maybe she could stay behind. She was thirteen now—almost fourteen—and old enough to take care of herself, right? She’d stay in the house, make her own meals and get herself to school when summer came to an end. Maybe she couldn’t drive herself yet, but she had her bike and the bus also stopped by every morning, in case of rain. She could make it work, couldn’t she?

Except for the fact that the house had already sold. She and her parents had to be out today, because the closing was over and the new people planned to move in that evening. By nightfall Jenna would no longer be in Tennessee. She wouldn’t live right next door to Carter anymore, either.

Did that mean they couldn’t still be best friends?

Her breath hitched once more. Jenna couldn’t imagine ever laughing again as she romped along the water’s edge to find the best swimming hole in Maple Ridge or raced through a field of tall grass with the wind at her back and a kiss of sunlight tickling her cheeks. Not without Carter at her side to share in her adventures. Not while he remained here in Maple Ridge while her family relocated clear across the country to Leavenworth, Washington—exactly two thousand, four hundred and eighty-one miles away. She’d studied the map Dad had given her, and had memorized every nuance of the route. So she knew. And it was awful.

Leavenworth.

It sounded like one of the bad words Mom and Dad forbade her to use. How ironic that this new town her parents were determined to drag her to shared the same name as a prison. Because Jenna might as well be going to prison. Her parents were ruining her life.

Especially her dad, with his new job. That’s all he’d talked about for weeks now. He didn’t even have time to talk about school anymore, or come to her softball games.

When she was still playing softball. Which she couldn’t do anymore, because they were moving to Leavenworth.

Just for spite she rolled the word around on her tongue and muttered.

Leavenworth…Leavenworth…


Tears welled in her eyes as she lifted her gaze to find Carter. Dark, shaggy hair spilled over his forehead, highlighting the dusky pallor of his cheeks. In another month his skin would glow bronze from hours spent in the sun while he helped his dad with their lawn care business. He’d worked beside his father since the summer he’d turned nine. He was fourteen now—nearly four months older than Jenna.

Carter swiped the tumble of hair away, revealing eyes the color of rain-slicked river rock—gray with specks of russet along the edges. She’d always loved his eyes. They were one-of-a-kind.

Carter closed the trunk and turned to face her.

~*~
Author Bio:

Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus. 

She loves swimming, running, flavored coffee and Smoky Mountain sunsets.

Mary believes everyone has a story to tell, and she loves to share hers. She writes inspirational romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone.

Learn more about Mary Manners at her website: www.MaryMannersRomance.com.

~*~
Book Blurb for A Pocketful of Wishes:

When a job transfer causes Jenna Palmer’s family to relocate across the country, Jenna moves away from her best friend and first love Carter Stevens. 

She promises to find him again. But as the years slip away and she dives into a career in pediatric trauma surgery, all that is left of her one time love are the memories—and a wish on the lucky penny Carter gave her.

Carter Stevens never forgot his first love. On their final morning together he gave her a special token along with his promise to love her forever. 

Though years have passed as he’s climbed the ranks of the Maple Ridge Police Department, he still longs for another glimpse of the smiling, green-eyed beauty who stole his heart and shared his love of adventure.

When an accident brings the pair together once again, memories and reality collide. Will their promise stand, or will time crush their promise…and their love?

~*~
Buy Mary's book on Amazon

~*~
Connect with Mary:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MarysReaderPage/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/marymanners1/


~*~
Review by Amy Strickland (friend of Mary):

A Pocketful of Wishes is a very good book. I enjoyed reading it. 

It was interesting to see the friendship Jenna and Carter shared from a very young age turn into love even after years apart. 

The story begins when Jenna's father has a new job and they are moving away. Jenna is very sad because she is leaving her best friend Carter. Carter gives her his favorite penny and promises they will keep in touch. But as life goes on and they get older they grow apart. 

Jenna is busy with her life as a pediatric surgeon and so is Carter. When she’s offered a residency, Jenna moves back to the hometown that she has always missed. There, she runs into Carter, who is now a police officer, when he stops her for speeding. Soon, their friendship is rekindled. 

What a super story of teenage friendship being separated by moving and what happens years later. Very well written and I was engaged from the beginning. I really liked this story and would highly recommend it.

~*~
Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below:

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