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Marti Pieper

Cheri Cowell

Greetings from Mount Dora, Florida, where we’ve had lots of rain every day this week. And we’re not complaining, since drought conditions have led to increased fire danger. The subject of today’s interview, Cheri Cowell, has also had extra rain in her area. Since she’s one of my fellow Orlando-area CAN authors, when my home has rain, hers usually does, too!

Welcome, Cheri! I’m so glad to share this time together. My first question is one every author loves: Would you please tell us about your latest book, One Story, One Mission, One God?

This workbook-style Bible study is an overview of the whole Bible in two six-week studies. The Old Testament and the New Testament studies help readers see how the Bible is one story about the same God with a single mission from the beginning to the end.

I love that! So what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve heard people say they’ve gotten bits and pieces of the Bible but have a difficult time pulling it all together. I’ve also heard some say there appears to be an angry God in the Old Testament and a grace-filled God in the New. I wanted to help people see how all those stories come together to tell a story about God’s mission of grace, from the opening scenes in Genesis to the closing one predicted in Revelation.

That’s fabulous. And what was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

I think most people struggle with God’s instructions in the Old Testament to destroy whole groups of people. I discovered an answer to why that’s in there that stays true to the Scriptures and true to who we know God to be.

And to find out, we’ll have to dig into your book, won’t we? Cheri, how has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?

I love sharing what I’ve learned as I have sought answers and struggled with difficult Scriptures. I think a lot of people think those of us with seminary degrees have all of the answers, but we don’t. We struggle just like they do, and some of us are privileged to write about it.

Exactly. So what’s one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?

It’s a discipline. When some people hear I work from home, they think that means I am always available, but my husband says I work harder than most people he knows.

I know that’s true! Do you have an unfulfilled dream?

My husband and were born and raised in Florida, and it has always been our dream to move to the mountains of Tennessee. Well, that dream just came true, and so we will be snowbirds, living winters in our Florida home and summers in the Smoky Mountains.

I’m so happy for you. Congratulations! Cheri, what ministries are you involved in, and why?

I operate a publishing company that helps others get the words God has given to them out into the world. The profits from EABooks Publishing go to fund microloans through my 501c2, Living Parables, for start-up funding of Christian nonprofits. Our goal is to expand our reach by helping others succeed.

That’s amazing. Can you share with us your hobbies, activities, or passions outside of writing?

I don’t have much spare time, but I love nature, so we hike and travel to national parks. I also do scrapbooking to preserve those family memories.

You’re such a well-rounded person, Cheri. I know that’s part of what makes you such a wonderful author and friend. Can you tell us about your next book?

On my blog, I’m giving a sneak peek of my new Bible study: Wow! Women of the Word.

The title alone sounds intriguing, Cheri. Thanks so much taking time to share with our readers. Blessings!

Learn more about Cheri at her website and her blog.

 

For His Glory,

Marti Pieper

Marti’s website

 

 

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Marti Pieper

         Lori Wildenberg

Greetings from beautiful and moving-toward-summer Mount Dora, Florida! I’m newly returned from the beautiful state of Colorado and a time of service and teaching at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. And guess what? Lori Wildenberg, the lovely subject of today’s interview, also served on faculty there. I’m delighted to have this opportunity to share her work and wisdom with you.

Welcome, Lori! Please tell us about your most recent book.

Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home is for parents with a wayward child. My daughter and I, along with other parents and prodigals, share our stories. The book offers practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating life with a detoured child.

I love the title. And what inspired you to write this book?

This is a book I didn’t want to write. Having a child who has gone astray not only causes heartache, but it can be isolating and shaming. No one wants the hurt, the pain that a prodigal brings. But as only God can do, in my grief He tenderized me and moved me to reach out to bring comfort and encouragement to other families facing major struggles with their child. So I guess my inspiration is my daughter, our journey, and the hope that others will be encouraged.

How beautiful that God allowed you to use your pain as a vehicle to bless and encourage others. So what would you say is your book’s primary focus?

The primary focus of my book is to encourage the relationship between the prodigal, the parent, and God. I hope to provide some peace and direction to the parents who are wounded by the way in which their child is living. It’s tough to navigate life when belief and behavior collide. When one is the parent of a prodigal, living in the tension of grace and truth while holding fast to convictions is a challenging task.

I love your voice of experience. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

I pray that the moms and dads reading this book feel encouraged and less alone. My hope is that by reading the stories of others and implementing the suggestions presented, they will feel empowered to get through the day and to never give up.

Lori, I know you’ve been writing for a while. Would you tell us about your funniest moment with a reader?

One reader, a mom with little ones, mentioned to me she keeps my first book: EMPOWERED PARENTS: Putting Faith First in her bathroom, “So I can multitask.” One afternoon, her little one, who was being potty-trained, wanted to do a science experiment and tossed the book into the toilet and gave it a flush. Needless to say, I gave her a new book!

I guess you can say you have some very young readers in your audience! Now, please tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.

Messy Journey moves people, some to tears, and touches their hearts. These readers will often express this to me. I feel blessed because I know God is using my messy journey to help them through theirs. These individuals know they’re not alone. One mom told me I gave words to feelings she had never articulated. Now I was the one moved to tears.

Lori, let’s learn a bit more about you. What ministries are you involved in and why?

The ministries I’m involved in revolve around faith, family, and mentoring. My heart is to help families build relationships that last a lifetime. You can find me mentoring at MOMS Together (www.facebook.com/momstogether), supporting and relating to parents over at 1Corinthians13Parenting.com,  and ministering to moms and dads via my blog loriwildenberg.blogpsot.com . I love speaking to various parent groups, women’s groups, and mom groups on the topics of parenting and mothering.

Fantastic. And what are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?

We live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Just out our back door are trails that stretch for miles. A perfect day in my world is time spent hiking with my husband, four kids (plus one daughter-in-love), and Murphy (the family labradoodle).

Anytime in or near the Rockies sounds wonderful to me, too. What can you tell us about your next project?

My upcoming project is in its infancy stage. I will be focusing on how to create a relationship between family members that lasts a lifetime.

That sounds like one that will meet a definite need. Thanks so much for taking time to share your life and your work with us, Lori. I know our readers will appreciate your thoughtful encouragement.

To learn more about Lori Wildenberg, please visit Lori’s website or her blog.

For His glory,

 

Marti

Marti’s website

 

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Marti Pieper

Liz Tolsma

Greetings from charming Mount Dora, Florida, where we haven’t quite decided if we’re ready for warm weather or not. I do, however, have a warm conversation to offer you today with delightful novelist Liz Tolsma. Welcome back, Liz, to our CAN blog. Let’s get started with the official interview.

How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

I have six. My most recent are “World’s Greatest Love” in the Rails to Love novella collection, and “A Match Made in Heaven” in the Matchmaker Brides novella collection.

Congratulations! You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2013. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?

Writing has its ups and downs, its busy seasons and its lean times. You don’t know when you’ll get your next contract, and sometimes, even having a contract is no guarantee your book will get published. But God is faithful, and He provides

That’s a great reminder for every writer—and every Christ-follower. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about promotion since then?

That I know very little about promotion. The landscape is always changing. There’s always something new out there, and it’s next to impossible to keep up with all the trends. I’m working on focusing on a couple of things and doing them well, and trying not to stress about all I don’t know. Read More →

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Greetings from central Florida and the lovely town of Mount Dora. Although we’re not snowed in like some parts of the country, we’ve had colder nights this week than we have during much of the winter. (I don’t want to inspire coveting, so we won’t mention how “low” our temperatures have dropped).

I have the privilege today of introducing you to experienced author and journalist Ginny McCabe. Ginny has lots to share, so let’s get started.

Welcome, Ginny! How did you get into writing?

From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I have spent much of my professional career in full-time positions in news, marketing and media relations with news organizations, in radio and publishing. I earned a journalism degree from Cincinnati Christian University and had some tremendous mentors, but I learned early on the value of being a go-getter and a disciplined, well-rounded writer.

In becoming a best-selling author and an award-winning journalist, it comes down to my faith, God’s hand on my life, the unconditional love and support of my family and friends mixed with hard work, talent, dedication and perseverance.

How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

I have authored five books and collaborated on four additional titles. Secrets Young Women Keep (Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins), a CBA bestseller and an ECPA Silver Medallion winner, and Rich Chick (Amazon) are a few of the latest titles.

How did your first book come about?

Some Kind of Journey: On the Road with Audio Adrenaline (Standard Publishing) was the first book project I had the privilege of being a part of. It was an MTV Real World kind of an experience from a Christian worldview. A group of us—an editor, myself as an author/journalist and several photographers/videographers—went on a road trip with Audio Adrenaline. We also took a handful of college students from across the country—Chad, David, John, Lisa, Rachel, Scotia and Vicki—and talked about real-life issues like the church, dating and more, which are covered in the book. We went from a golf course in Columbus to the inner-city streets of Chicago and onstage in Minneapolis—and experienced a week of what’s it’s like to be in a popular Christian band.

The editor, Dale Reeves, knew I had experience writing about the arts, entertainment and music, so he asked me to be a part of it. A lot of book projects have come about as a result of relationships as well as my talent and level of experience. Dale was also my youth minister when I was a teenager. He introduced me to Christian artists like Keith Green and Michael W. Smith. Christian music has been instrumental in my faith journey, so this book is deeply meaningful to me on many levels.   Read More →

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Marti Pieper

February greetings! I’m back again this week with another CAN encore interview from yet another author friend. Kathy and I were “online-only” sisters until we met in person just before the 2015 International Christian Retail Show in Orlando. I’m honored to host Kathy today and to present some of her hard-earned wisdom.

Kathy Collard Miller

Welcome, Kathy. Let’s get started right away. How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles? 

I have 52 published books. Some of my latest include: Whispers of My Heart, Daughters of the King Bible Study Series; Never Ever be the Same: A New You Starts Today (co-authored with my husband, Larry); and Choices of the Heart, Daughters of the King Bible Study Series.

Great titles! You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2013. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?

Persevere. You never know what open doors the Lord might give. Shortly after that time in 2013, it seemed as though every door closed. I honestly thought the Lord was shutting down my writing and speaking ministry. Then I knocked at a door I didn’t think would yield results, but God opened it wide. Read More →

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