Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Safety

Safe in God’s Love
A devotional by Christa MacDonald

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

I am a worrier. In fact, if there were an Olympic Games of Anxiety, I would medal in every event. It can seem helpful in some ways (I’m a great manager, seeing threats in advance and planning around them). But, the toll it takes on my peace of mind can be extreme.

When searching for a way to return to that peace, the usual Bible verses about fear often bring little comfort. In fact, sometimes they make me feel like a failure. Why do I find it so difficult to not worry?

Years ago my two-month old son, Ben, broke out in a fever. It’s not a good thing for a baby that young to have a fever. At the ER, the doctor we saw was nice, but serious, almost stern. Ben was fighting an infection and it was bad. They’d need to do a spinal tap because the kind of bad it looked like was meningitis. A positive test would mean an airlift to Boston.

They asked me to leave the room, the nurse assuring me that it would be easier on everyone involved if I waited in the lobby. I texted my husband at home with our two older children and spent the next 30 minutes in the lobby completely overcome. While on the surface I was sitting calmly, inside I was in a panic spiral.

Ben is our rainbow baby, a term used for the child carried to term following a pregnancy loss. Like a lot of women who give birth after a miscarriage, I developed postpartum anxiety. So sitting in the ER that night with my emotional reserves already depleted, I had little left to face the dread that consumed me. Heart and mind in tatters, I prayed.

My prayers were pretty incoherent, but God heard them anyway. I was allowed back into the exam room, and the moment the doctor walked in, I knew the test was negative. The grim determination in her expression was gone, she was even smiling! They’d be admitting my baby to watch overnight, but his vitals were strong, and his fever was responding to the meds.

It's absolutely no fun to lay on a cot next to your son’s crib and watch him try to sleep while being wired up to machines. But it sure beats being MedFlighted to an uncertain fate. The doctors never could figure out what it was, but it resolved on its own, and we were just glad he was okay.

Anxiety and I have a long history. The vague, ever-present sort; the unexplained “Am I crazy?” kind; the sharp and all-consuming variety; the existential kind; the kind that invades your dreams, and also the type that keeps you awake … I am well-acquainted with them all. The words of Scripture should be a comfort to me in times like these, but again, I find many verses on fear hard to internalize when my mind is ravaged by anxiety. God's Providence is genuine, but it’s hard to feel when a panic spiral of “what ifs” derail my thoughts and try to rob me of any peace.

Romans is my favorite book in the Bible, and these verses especially. Some believe that these verses are the pinnacle of the Bible’s message of the Good News. I can genuinely feel that truth when I am at my lowest, at the point when all my human resources are exhausted, and I am like David in the Bible book of Psalm, crying out to God for deliverance. Paul’s words remind me that, regardless of the outcome, God has me in His hands. There's true peace in that. Not the kind the world offers, which is paper-thin; it's God's peace. Whatever road I am walking, it's His road. No trial, however difficult or fear-inducing, can separate me from His love in Christ Jesus.

When we repent and place our faith in Jesus, we receive His Grace in salvation and are made new. Do we suddenly lose our anxiety, or depression? Rarely. We still need to persevere through them, but we're no longer a slave to them. We're not alone in them; He is now there with us.

We belong to God. We have been saved by Grace and are children of God. That doesn't spare us from the trials in this life, but it is where we can draw strength and where we can set our hearts when we're struggling.

Remember: The road we are walking ends in God's presence, and nothing on this earth can compare to that beautiful reality. Just like the song by Mack Brock says, "Your Presence is A Promise."

Author Bio:

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

She began her writing career at the age of eleven, filling a sketchbook with poems and short stories. After publishing a few short pieces in her college’s literary magazine she took a long hiatus during which she embarked on a few different careers, got married, had three kids, and renovated an old barn masquerading as a house. 

Her most recent work, The Redemption Road, finished the Sweet River Redemption series published by Mountain Brook Ink.

When not working or writing Christa can be found ferrying her kids around, reading, or attempting something crafty. She and her family live along the coast of New England.

Connect with Christa:
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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

My most recent podcast interview

Hope*Writer Laura Conrad interviewed me about my devotional book that I wrote! 

Listen below...

Romantic Reads: Hope's Promise

Interview with Mary Manners about her book, Hope’s Promise:

Why did you write this book?

Mary: I wrote Hope’s Promise because I wanted to help share hope in the face of what seem to be hopeless situations.

Alexis: What or who inspired your story’s title?

Mary: Since the heroine’s name is Hope, I thought the title Hope’s Promise had a nice double-edged significance.

Alexis: What is the theme of this novel?

Mary: That’s an easy one! The theme is…hope. Hope in the face of a hopeless situation.

Alexis: Hope Donnelly is the heroine of your story. Describe her looks, personality and heart. What makes her special?

Mary: Hope is a dark-haired thirty-year-old widow who is a fighter mired in a period of depression following her husband’s death. She has a huge faith and a great heart that just needs a little polishing.

Alexis: Jace Callahan is the hero of your story. Describe his looks, personality, strengths and weaknesses. What is his motivation?

Mary: Jace is a tough and tender cowboy with a plan that’s quickly derailed when he’s faced with putting Hope’s needs ahead of his own. She’s his weakness, and he’s not at all sorry for that!

Alexis: Hope has survived heartbreak. What can you tell me about her loss?

Mary: Hope’s husband died merely a month or so following their cross-country move from the city to a remote slice of open land. She knows nothing about ranching, and is now faced with raising her teenage son, alone.

Alexis: Paint a picture of words to describe how Hope’s country dream house looks.

Mary: Oh, wow…I’m not sure I’d say the house is Hope’s dream, at least not at first. It’s a sweeping whitewashed two-story with a somewhat dilapidated wrap-around porch. Missing shingles give the look of a bad case of chicken pox, while a drooping shutter or two add a touch of sleepiness. Let’s just say the house is a sort of diamond in the rough, with potential to become a home. Readers will just have to wait and see if the country dream house finds its happily-ever-after!

Alexis: Where is this story set? What makes the setting special to your characters?

Mary: Hope’s Promise is set in Atascosa County, Texas. This area is special because it’s fairly remote compared to Chicago, which is Hope’s hometown. The contrast provides for some interesting conflicts.

Alexis: What gave Jace a love for the rodeo?

Mary: Jace is a bit of a daredevil. He likes to think out of the box and felt constrained by the responsibility of his family’s ranch, so the rodeo was his way of bucking (both literally and figuratively) that responsibility.

Alexis: Why did Jace leave the rodeo to work on his family’s ranch? What’s next for him? Does he have a game plan?

Mary: Jace left the rodeo when an accident made it to dangerous for him to compete any longer. His game plan is to head home and expand his family’s ranch by snatching up the land of his new neighbor, Hope. But things don’t quite go as planned.

Alexis: What were Jace’s first thoughts about Hope?

Mary: When Jace first met Hope, he honestly thought she might be a little crazy. She was muttering to herself as she got into her car to head to school to pick up her son who’d gotten into trouble, and she had on two different shoes!

Alexis: What was Hope’s first impression of Jace?

Mary: Well, to say Hope wasn’t impressed with him is sort of an understatement. Jace had his work cut out for him!

Alexis: How do Jace and Hope form a friendship? Does anything or anyone stand in their way as their friendship blossoms into a romance? Explain.

Mary: Jace and Hope’s friendship is forged through Hope’s teenage son, Garrett. Garrett’s sort of a wayward mess following the death of his father, and Jace takes him under his wing. But trust doesn’t come easily for either Garrett or Hope, so the path to romance is winding and full of ruts.

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about this story?

Mary: I would like readers to remember to trust God even in the darkest time. His plan is perfect, and His love never fails.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Mary! God bless you.

Author Bio:

Mary Manners lives on a mini-farm in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and their rescue dog Axel, cats Colby and Jack, a flock of chickens, and an aquarium teeming with fish.

Mary writes small-town family romances laced with faith, hope, and humor. Her books have earned multiple accolades including two Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, the Aspen Gold, the Heart of Excellence, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.

Mary loves long sunrise runs, Smoky Mountain sunsets, flavored coffee, and chocolate…lots of chocolate.

Book Blurb for Hope's Promise:

Can a broken promise be restored? 

Hope Donnelly lost her husband only months after moving into their country dream house on his promise of working the two-hundred-acre plot of land into a profitable future. Left alone to raise her teenage son, Hope’s heart is barren and raw as the unworked earth that surrounds her.

Jace Callahan gave up his quest for the perfect eight-second ride after a rodeo accident nearly claimed his life. Now, Jace works his family’s ranch with the intent to acquire rich and untapped land from elusive new neighbor Hope Donnelly.

An unexpected turn of events leads Jace to Hope's doorstep, where he's forced to choose between turning his back on her or bypassing the lucrative sale he desires. Will a troubling secret draw them closer, or shatter any hope they might have for a future, together?

Buy Mary's book on Amazon

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Mourning

Joy Comes in the “Mourning”

A devotional by Angela Anderson

“This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.” 
–Lamentations 3:21 (NKJV)

Jeremiah is one of the major prophets in the Bible. Some Bible scholars refer to him as the “weeping prophet” as well as the “prophet of judgment.” He authored three books in the Old Testament: Jeremiah, Kings and Lamentations … and all three books exude gloom and doom.

The prophecies of Jeremiah are among the most pessimistic in all Biblical literature. There is vivid imagery of death and dispersion. In that day, the Jews had turned their backs on God and given way to idolatry and faithlessness. Jeremiah warned the Jews about the impending destruction that was coming if they did not repent of their sins and turn from their evil ways.

There was a lot going on that warranted Jeremiah to be sorrowful. He lived during the time of the destruction of the First Temple and the Jews were taken captive by the Babylonians. In addition, when Jeremiah preached, he was beaten, arrested, left in a pit, and imprisoned by King Zedekiah.

Jeremiah’s life reminds me of here and now. We are living in a time that is full of uncertainty. There is so much going on in this world that it makes you want to weep. Not too long ago, this COVID-19 virus reared its ugly head and turned this world upside down in just a matter of days. Life as we know it is vastly different. People have fallen ill, and many have lost their lives. If you have not encountered the virus yourself, you many know someone who has. And let us not forget those who are still experiencing the awful effects of the virus.

The economy has shifted, people are out of jobs, out of money, out of food, and out of their minds! Social distancing has taken its toll on the mental health of not only adults, but our children who are experiencing things that we have never had to undergo in our childhood, such as distance learning, wearing masks, or being “extra” careful. This virus is just one instance of chaos in our society. If we had more time, we could discuss the hostile political climate, inequality in all forms, social unrest, wars and rumors of wars, and the list is continuous. There is a lot to be sorrowful about, just like Jeremiah!

Even though Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet,” and the “prophet of judgement,” he was also known as the “prophet of hope.” Within the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations, in the middle of despair, desperation, doubt, destruction, impending doom, and even death, there are rays of hope sprinkled throughout the chapters. 

Some of the texts are the most inspiring and hope-filled of all time:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV):
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’”

Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV):
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV): “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Lamentations 3:21-26 (NKJV): “This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

In times like these we must hold on to hope! Listen to this song “In Times Like These” performed by The Cadet Sisters and be encouraged.

Remember: We have to fill our minds with God’s truth and His promises found in His Word (The Holy Bible). In the face of overwhelming situations, we must retain our faith as though our lives depend on it. In this world we will have tribulation; but remember, God has overcome the world (John 16:33)!

Author Bio:

Angela Anderson was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was raised in a Christian home in New Jersey. Angela dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized at the age of 12.

As a child in elementary school, she developed a penchant for writing book reports and entering writing contests. By high school, she was taking advanced placement courses in English and Speech & Creative Writing. Angela’s love for journaling also had its beginnings in high school and it evolved into prayers journals and detailed notes for prospective book ideas. As a result, Angela is the author of a published 40-day devotional book titled Just When I Thought I Knew God. She also wrote a children’s book that is not yet published.

Although Angela wanted to somehow incorporate writing in her life, she is currently a Certified Human Resources Professional. Angela graduated from Rutgers University in NJ with a double bachelor’s degree in Labor/Employment Relations & Sociology. She also has an MBA from Strayer University.

Angela founded a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization called Head to the Sky, Inc. It was formed in order to assist those in prison with their transition into society and to reduce the rate of recidivism in the community. During this venture, Angela received a certification in grant writing from The Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College. Angela was very passionate about teaching, training, and sharing the love of Christ in this ministry; but she had to refocus her passion when she and her husband decided to start their family.

Angela has been married to the love of her life, Duane Anderson for 16 years. Together they have two sons: Thomas (age 8) and Ryan (age 3). Angela’s favorite pastime is journaling and she also enjoys spending quality time with her family. Her personal mission is to empower others to achieve their goals and dreams.

Connect with Angela:
Facebook fan page for her devotional book, Just When I Thought I Knew God:

Friday, January 15, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Stones

Stones of Remembrance
A devotional by Jessica Collazo

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” –1 Samuel 7:12 (NIV)

I don’t know how many times I heard someone say that 2020 needed to end.

Interestingly enough, January 1st has always brought about a lot of high hopes for many. An opportunity for a fresh start, a chance for a do-over, a time to reset, or the ability to put things behind us. Considering this past year in particular, 2021 could not come fast enough.

For many, 2020 felt like a boxing ring where one hit after another kept coming and the round never seemed to end. The desire to feel like the end was in sight was heightened by the blows that kept coming and the lack of interference from a referee. The fight felt heavy and unfair.

But I wonder, does the Lord truly want us to forget 2020? Are we supposed to hit the reset button and pretend like one of the most pivotal years in our history never happened?

I am starting to think maybe not.

Could it be that 2020 was actually an Ebenezer year for you and for me? A year where we look back and say “The Lord has helped us.” It is clear that 2020 was a year where no one was exempt from pain, heartache or suffering. It was a year that really tested our faith, but friend, I want to remind you that we made it through. The Lord did not withhold His hand from us. He walked beside us and before us the entire time.

The Israelites experienced God’s faithfulness in their battle at Mizpah. The Israelites had turned back to the Lord, and as they assembled before the Lord, the Philistines came to attack. The Lord heard Samuel’s plea and helped them win the battle.

The reason Samuel put the stone there was because it was to serve as a remembrance every time the Israelites looked at the stone. Why would the stone be needed? Simply put, because in our humanity we seem to forget that the Lord is with us. We forget that if He did it once, He will do it again. Or maybe we didn’t forget what He did, we just feel like whatever we are going through at the moment is so much bigger than what we went through the last time, and we may wonder, “Does He even want to help me again?”

The answer is yes! God absolutely wants to help us and He wants us to remember that He is always with us.

2020 will forever be a year marked in our history for generations to come. An Ebenezer year where we can look back and remember how the Lord does not cease to help us. Now, let’s walk through 2021 with the confidence of knowing that we walk with the Lord, our ever present help. 

May we always remember that our help cometh from the Lord! 

Listen to this song by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and be encouraged. 

Let’s Pray:
Father in Heaven, we come to you with open hearts. Acknowledging that 2020 was not the easiest year. Many of us are tired and worn down. We are hurting or simply have become apathetic. However, in the midst of all those feelings, we are choosing to lay down Ebenezer Stones in remembrance of your ever present help. We know that despite our feelings, you my God have never left us or forsaken us. We thank you for the grace and mercy you extend to us daily. In Jesus name. Amen.

Author Bio:

Jessica Collazo is a Chicago native with a heart that beats for Jesus. Her passion is to challenge women to think differently, gain a new perspective and live confidently. Because she knows it’s possible.

Using God’s Word, a little bit of humor, along with a strategic way of thinking and sharing personal stories, Jessica offers a fresh take on where to go when women feel stuck, overlooked or overwhelmed.

Jessica’s greatest passion is to help women take off the identities they have been given by the world and realize who they are in Christ: known, dearly loved, set apart, and chosen.

Jessica is the customer experience manager at Proverbs 31 Ministries who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, Jerry, two sons and dog, Sawyer. Prior to working at Proverbs 31 Ministries, Jessica has over 10 years of experience working in women’s ministry, marriage ministry and outreach.

Connect with Jessica:

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Walking dusty roads and loving people

Walking a Dusty Road
A devotional by Kay Pflueger

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 
–1 John 3:16-18 (NIV)

I am plagued with wide feet and as such, I have a difficult time finding shoes that fit and that I actually like. A few years ago, I bought a pair of bright pink athletic shoes that were wide enough and were comfortable. I was so excited to find them. My thoughts were that they would be perfect for my daily walks and would help motivate me to exercise more since they would be so much fun to wear. I envisioned taking leisurely walks and counting my steps on my Fitbit.

I am sure you are familiar with the saying, “The pathway to Heaven is paved with good intentions.” I had good intentions when I bought those shoes but they have spent more time on the floor of my closet than they have walking the sidewalks of my neighborhood. Funny thing is that unless I take the time to put the shoes on and lace them up, they will still sit in my closet. They will not walk those sidewalks unless they are on my feet.

Those pink shoes are much like our good intentions. We have good thoughts about reaching out…about offering to help...but unless we put those thoughts into action, they sit idle. Loving others is not a passive thing … it involves walking the walk, not just talking the talk. It takes putting on those shoes, lacing them up and getting out and moving. Do you have shoes of good intentions? Hopefully they are not still sitting in the closet like my pink shoes.

Jesus Christ spent His time walking the dusty roads of the Holy Land. He encountered people on those roads…people who heard His words or felt His touch and were healed. His feet were calloused and dirty but that did not stop Him from His mission. He put on his sandals every day and went out into the world.

The most well-known parable told by Jesus is the story of the selfless love of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37). It is interesting to me that even those who do not know the Lord are familiar with this story. It happened that the Samaritan, as he was walking, came upon a man who had been beaten and robbed. Even though this man was a stranger to him, he made certain the injured man was taken care of and his wounds tended to. He lived out the words found in the verse above from 1 John 3:16-18. His actions showed the love of God.

To come upon a such a scene as the Samaritan did may not be likely in your own neighborhood. But then, when have you driven by someone who needs a meal, or neglected to call a friend whom you know could use some encouragement, or failed to reach out to welcome a visitor to your church because of how they look?

God wants us to “walk the dusty roads” in our own neighborhoods. Just think how you might meet someone who needs a “good Samaritan” in their life today.

I encourage you to ponder on this…How dusty are you willing to get your shoes?

Author Bio:
Learning to read as a young child opened a world of adventure for Kay Pflueger. She came to realize that words can have a unique power and beauty.

Choosing to share those words in her devotional writings has become a joyful and rewarding experience for her. As a widow, she feels a special affinity towards those who are grieving or experiencing loss.

When she is not spending time with her married son and three grandchildren, she is either reading, cooking, writing, or working on pursuing her Copyediting Certification.

Kay is an avid baseball fan who looks forward every summer to following her favorite team, the Chicago Cubs. 

Kay is an active member of Victory Lutheran Church in her hometown of San Diego California.

She enjoys writing devotions to be shared on her church’s website and personal social media.

Connect with Kay:

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Romantic Reads: A Heart's Gift

Interview with Lena Nelson Dooley about her book, 
A Heart's Gift: A Love's Road Home Novel

Alexis: Congratulations on writing the first book in your new series “A Love’s Road Home.” What is this series about? How many books are in it?

Lena: There are five novels in the series. Each book is a standalone story that has a link to at least one other book in the series. In each of the stories, the hero, the heroine – or both –experienced something serious happen in their past so they don’t feel loved.

Alexis: A Heart’s Gift is the first book in this series. What inspired you to write it?

Lena: God created me with both the ability to write and an imagination that He uses to help show how He works through people’s lives. I’m not an author who preaches to readers. I just show the situations to them through what is going on in the characters’ lives. I pray a lot while I’m writing, and God gives me discernment and ideas.

Alexis: Describe your story’s hero Franklin Vine. What does he look like? Sound like? Act like? What are his greatest goals and worst faults?

Lena: Franklin Vine owns the Rocking V ranch in Summit County, Colorado. He is tall with ebony eyes and thick wavy hair that often curled over his collar. I used actor Dale Midkiff for my inspiration for how he looks. He interacts well with the other ranchers in the area. He’s compassionate and respected in the town of Breckenridge. He has shut down his heart against romance and marriage, but he worries about an heir.

Alexis: Tell me about Franklin’s ranch. Why is it special to him?

Lena: He has grown the ranch he inherited into one of the premier ranches in that area. He’s a good boss. He understands that he’s responsible for the livelihood of the people who work for him.

Alexis: The Colorado mountains are beautiful in real-life. Paint a picture with words of how this setting looks in your fiction story. What makes it memorable to the fictional people who live and work there?

Lena: One of the hallmarks of my historical novels is that I make them as authentic to the place and time period as I can. I do a lot of research. With this one I bought books that had the history of the area and a book with historical photographs, so most of the businesses I mention were actually in Breckenridge. I use the names of the rivers that are there, and I make the descriptions in the books fit the pictures. Actually, I’ve been to Summit County a couple of times—one in summer and one in winter. I took photographs then, too.

Alexis: What can you tell me about Franklin’s romantic relationship history that left him closed off to love, without spoiling the story?

Lena: His fiancé ran away with his best friend a few days before their scheduled wedding.

Alexis: Let’s talk about your story’s heroine Lorinda Sullivan. What does she look like? Sound like? Act like? What are her deepest desires and greatest fears?

Lena: Lorinda Sullivan is a petite blonde who came from poor family in Oklahoma. She has blue eyes. When the book starts, she’s married and living with her husband near their gold mine, which is also near the Rocking V ranch. She never wants to see her father or uncle again.

Alexis: Why does Lorinda believe that the men in her life are controlling and how does she break free from their control?

Lena: Her mother died when she was five-years old. She lived with her father and uncle until her first husband rescued her from them. They were controlling and abusive.

Alexis: What is it about Franklin that makes Lorinda feel like she can trust him?

Lena: At the time, she has no other option.

Alexis: What is it about a marriage of convenience that Lorinda and Franklin like?

Lena: She will be able to provide for her newborn son, and he will have an heir without giving away his heart.

Alexis: What do you want your readers to remember most about this story?

Lena: How God intervenes to save her life.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Lena! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

Lena: Thank you for having me here, Alexis. I want all your readers to know that I love readers, and as I write a book, I have them in mind. I love to hear from fans.

Author Bio:

Multi-published, award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley has had more than 950,000 copies of her 50 book releases sold. Her books have appeared on the CBA, Publisher’s Weekly, and ECPA bestseller lists, as well as Amazon bestseller lists. She has won a dozen awards. 

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the local chapter, ACFW - DFW. She’s a member of Christian Authors’ Network, and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

She has experience in screenwriting, acting, directing, and voice-overs. She is on the Board of Directors for Higher Ground Films and is one of the screenwriters for their upcoming film Abducted to Kill. She has been featured in articles in Christian Retailing, ACFW Journal, Charisma Magazine, and Christian Fiction Online Magazine in which her article was the cover story.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She also wrote and teaches Dynamic Writing Workshops.

Lena has an active web presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books.

Blurb for A Heart’s Gift:

Is a marriage of convenience the answer? 

Franklin Vine has worked hard to build the ranch he inherited into one of the most successful in the majestic Colorado mountains. If only he had an heir to one day inherit the legacy he's building. But he was burned once in the worst way, and he doesn't plan to open his heart to another woman. Even if that means he'll eventually have to divide up his spread among the most loyal of his hired hands.

When Lorinda Sullivan is finally out from under the control of men who made all the decisions in her life, she promises herself she'll never allow a man to make choices for her again. But without a home in the midst of a hard Rocky Mountain winter, she has to do something to provide for her infant son.

A marriage of convenience seems like the perfect arrangement, yet the stakes quickly become much higher than either of them ever planned. When hearts become entangled, the increasing danger may change their lives forever.

Buy Lena’s book “A Heart’s Gift”:
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Amazon Author Page:

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