Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: New Year 2019 edition with new writers!


Happy New Year, dear reader friends!

I am excited to announce that this year, we have 11 NEW writers contributing to my blog's tri-weekly series, "Devotionals for the Heart!"

This is the introduction post! Scroll down to see pictures of my new writers and read their author bios then starting tomorrow, read the first NEW devotional for this year! :)

Note: Three of my original writers from last year have returned for this year's devotional writing journey, you may recognize their familiar faces as you scroll through this post! Also, we have a few backup writers (not pictured here) who will only contribute in emergency cases when my regular writers for this year cannot meet their deadline. A new devotional will be published every Monday/Wednesday/Friday of every week for all of this New Year 2019.

I hope and pray that God blesses you this New Year beyond your wildest dreams! May this devotional series bless your heart too.

Love,

Alexis 



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Read on for the author bios and photos of my devotional writers for this year...

Author Bio for Jessica Brodie:

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian journalist, author, editor, blogger, and writing coach who currently serves as the managing editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. 



She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel, The Memory Garden, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest.

Married to the photographer Matt Brodie, they have a blended family of four children and stepchildren and make their home in Lexington, South Carolina. She holds a master’s degree in English Literature and a bachelor’s in communications, both from Florida International University in her hometown of Miami.

Jessica has a popular faith blog at http://jessicabrodie.com/shiningthelight and is active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Author Bio for Mirachelle Canada:

Mirachelle Canada is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director/producer from Northern Virginia, where she teaches television production at her high school alma mater. She spent some time learning and developing her talents in Hollywood as an art director and production assistant on various TV shows. 


She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University and is a member of Act One: Hollywood Film & Television Writing Program, American Fiction Christian Writers, American Fiction Writers Virginia Chapter, The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and Your Novel Blueprint.

Mirachelle is passionate about awakening creativity and the gifts of God in everyone. She is currently working on her first historical fiction novel set during WWII, inspired by her time studying theatre education in London, England. In her spare time, she also writes and directs Christmas and Easter passion plays, and sings in the choir and praise & worship team at Christ Chapel Assembles of God in Woodbridge, VA.

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Author Bio for Heather Martin:

Heather Martin was born, the last of six siblings in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was raised by an amazing single mother (Rebecca Trotter) and was taught at an early age to love God and how to sing! She graduated from Oakwood University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Language Arts Education and later received a Master’s Degree in Education from Kaplan University. 


Shortly after graduating she followed God’s call to minister. She joined the Stellar, Dove, and Grammy nominated gospel group Virtue, which was founded by her two older sisters Ebony Holland and Karima Kibble several years prior. Virtue has used their talents to spread the love of God across the world! They have recorded 7 studio albums and have been the recipients of numerous awards.

God has not only blessed Heather professionally, but personally. She met her husband, Dr. Colin Martin, and they have been married for 14 years. They have 4 children: Colin Jr. 11, Harper 10, Clark, 7, and Charleston 5. In 2016, Heather started an online blog and vegan and allergen-friendly cooking channel called “Chef Mommy.” Heather (Chef Mommy) has cooked with numerous celebrities and top chefs to spread the news of healthy cooking and lifestyle.

In addition to this busy schedule, Heather enjoys, running, reading, writing and spending time with her family.

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Author Bio for Temeka Borden:


Temeka Borden, better known by her pen name “Positivity Inspires,” is an author, speaker, minister, and servant of the Lord. She was introduced to Christ at a very early age and was raised in the church. Her ministry focuses on encouraging Christians to love God first, to love all people, to continually strengthen their bond with Christ, and to study His Word, and live His Word daily. 


After recently experiencing what she describes as the "lowest point in her life", Positivity Inspires wrote the following about herself to serve as an encouragement and reminder of who she is in Christ:

"I am a child of God. He loves me unconditionally. Although I have my shortcomings, He has blessed me with a desire to do what is right. I have been blessed with many natural and spiritual gifts. I am an author. I am a speaker. I am a teacher. I am a runner. I am a drummer. I am a singer (when I’m in the mood), and I have a strong 'fashion sense'. I am loved. My family and friends are my heart, and I know they will support me no matter what. I am educated. I currently have two degrees (one of them a doctorate), and with God’s help, I will complete a third degree soon. I am a multi-state licensed medical professional who completed a specialty residency, which prepared me for the workforce (and made me a FORCE to be reckoned with). I am a leader. I have served in administrative roles and was successful in those positions because I made a difference (with God’s help). I am ambitious, and I know that with God, all things are possible. I know He is going to do great things through me."

Positivity Inspires loves God and she loves people. She strongly encourages others to show kindness, respect, and love to everyone. Positivity Inspires loves and welcomes diversity and flourishes in culturally diverse environments. She also is passionate about giving back to the community, and her favorite mantras are: "Speak Up!" and "Watch God Work!"

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Author Bio for Amanda Wen:

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of contemporary inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. A first place winner in the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, she also placed first in the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, the 2017 Great Expectations Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. In addition, she was a finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest. 


She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She’s also been spotted onstage with the worship team at recent ACFW conferences. Amanda is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

In addition to her writing, Amanda maintains an active and rewarding career as a freelance cellist, frequently performing with symphony orchestras, string quartets, and her church’s worship team. She lives in the Midwest with her amazing husband and their three adorable and hilarious Wenlets.

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Author Bio for Carrie Del Pizzo:


In this world of texts, memes, and emojis, slowing down to truly communicate can feel like straining a muscle you haven’t exercised in far too long. 


Seventeen years of business experience across a variety of industries has taught Carrie Del Pizzo the fine art of professional communications. Partnering with corporate executives and entry-level employees alike, she has written and edited major project proposals, direct marketing pieces, sensitive client communications, employee handbooks, and user manuals.

Carrie’s love of literature and story has led her to develop and exercise her fiction writing skills as well. Aside from her personal creative efforts, she also edits for self- and traditionally-published authors and enjoys writing short dramas for church presentation.

Carrie is a wife, mom of three Americans and host-mom to numerous exchange students. Italian-by-marriage means she loves to cook and eat. She lives in Spokane, WA, with her hilarious family, who keeps her in stitches and provides piles of material for great stories.

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Author Bio for Victoria Bylin:

Victoria Bylin is the author of 18 traditionally published romances. Known for tackling difficult subjects with great compassion, she delights in stories that shine the spotlight of God’s love on ordinary men and women facing realistic challenges.


Writing has always been a part of Victoria’s life. As a child, she wrote hundreds of letters and scribbled in journals. As an adult, she worked as a freelance journalist and editor before taking on the challenge of fiction.

She had one goal when she started her first novel: to finish a book-length manuscript, good or bad. That first effort will never see the light of day, but it led to a second manuscript and a sale to Harlequin Historical. Since then, she has written westerns and contemporary romances for both mainstream and Christian publishers, with Together With You winning the 2016 Inspirational Readers Choice Award for Best Contemporary.

Writing is a joy and a challenge for Victoria, but faith, friends and family matter to her far more. She’s a wife, mom, proud grandmother, and a dog-mom to a wacky Jack Russell Terrier. Originally from California, she and her husband currently make their home in Lexington, Kentucky. When she’s not writing, Victoria enjoys long walks, travel, and dark chocolate.

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Author Bio for Chaplain Paul Anderson:

Chaplain Anderson served for 20 years as a U.S. Navy chaplain. Over 26 years of active duty, he was promoted through the ranks from Seaman Apprentice (E2) to his final rank as Commander (O5) in the Chaplain’s Corps.


Prior to his Naval career, Chaplain Anderson pastored in the Allegheny East and Potomac Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. His undergraduate preparation for ministry was completed at Washington Adventist University (WAU) in Takoma Park, Maryland. He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees–a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland and a Masters of Sacred Theology in Religion and Culture from Boston University. His Doctor of Ministry degree was conferred by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Chaplain Anderson also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds certifications in Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Civil Mediation, Alternative Workplace Dispute Resolution, Temperament Analysis, Marriage Enrichment, Workforce Diversity, and is a certified Life Coach.

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Author Bio for Sharon Musgrove:

Sharon Musgrove is a self-proclaimed sociologist. The opportunities opened to her, over the years, have led her on a fascinating journey observing human behavior. She has a diverse background in business, fitness and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both recovery programs served women primarily from the homeless community.


Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She's been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. These annual camps have a mission of encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young Maasai girls.

Easily identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she's served, Sharon now sees all people as needing more encouragement regardless of cultural or socioeconomic status. Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.

In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, make their home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They have two grown children. Currently, Sharon is writing her first Christian historical fiction novel utilizing her study, experience, and understanding of self-destructive behaviors.

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Author Bio for Christa MacDonald:

Christa MacDonald is a 2017 ACFW Carol Award finalist for contemporary Christian fiction. 


A native New Englander, she was inspired by her travels through the north woods of Maine to write The Broken Trail, which would become the first in the Sweet River Redemption series published by Mountain Brook Ink.

Christa's writing focuses on the real-life challenges of the modern world; love’s sometimes crooked path, and the redemptive power of Grace.

When not working or writing Christa can be found ferrying her kids around, reading, or attempting something crafty.

She and her husband live with their three kids, two cats, and one dog along the coast of New England.

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Author Bio for Nanci Rubin:


Nanci is a poet and short story writer published in Cypress News, Family Times E-Zine, Free Verse and the Commonwealth of Poetry.


She belongs to RWA, ACFW, and Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild where she’s enrolled in his novel writing program.

Nanci lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and cats, Romeo and Julliette, along with their newest member of the family, Roni, a seven-month-old Goldendoodle.

Recently, Nanci completed her debut novel, A Betrayal in Cross Keys, an Amish romance and has placed it in her agents capable hands. The rest is up to God.

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Author Bio for Voni Harris:

Voni Harris writes from her family’s home on the rain forest island of Kodiak, Alaska. 


A legal-eagle husband, a breathtaking daughter, an adventurous grandson, and two enthusiastic dogs all conspire to keep her from spending too much time at the computer.

She holds a Radio-TV degree from Drake University, and her short story “The Wedding” was published in Heart-Stirring Stories of Romance. Her novel Nothing Hidden won the 2013 ACFW’s First Impressions contest and the 2015 Daphne DuMaurier unpublished inspy suspense category. It was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis finalist.

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Author Bio for Allison M. Wilson:

A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth. 


She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals. 


Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.

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Author Bio for Glynis Becker:

Glynis Becker writes fiction, devotions, and screenplays. 


She is a wife, mother of teenagers and a part-time administrative assistant.

In her spare time she likes to read, try new recipes, crochet, and cheer on the Minnesota Vikings. You can find her at www.glynisbecker.com.

~ The End ~

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