There is nothing more pleasing than A/C in Florida in July. Makes me wonder how people survived without it back in the day. Nevertheless, we’re sitting on the front porch. The ceiling fan is spinning. The lemonade is sweating in the pitcher. And the breeze only blows when a storm is brewing. So have a seat. The rocking chairs are a plenty, and help me welcome fellow author Shelly Beach!

Hello, Shelly! Please tell us about your latest book you co-authored with Wanda Sanchez, Love Letters from the Edge: Meditations for Those Suffering from Brokenness, Trauma, and the Pain of Life. 

Love Letters from the Edge offers hope to anyone who’s been so hurt by life that they’ve wondered if God is fair or loving. It asks tough questions we ask when we feel broken and alone. More importantly, each devotional/meditation includes a love letter to the reader from God, based on God’s Word.

Why did you write this book?

Shelly Beach

I think everyone comes to a point in life where they experience a crisis or a number of crises that are so painful, so soul-searing, that they question whether or not God is really in control, whether He cares, and whether He loves us and takes care of us. People often reject God based on a response to suffering. I wrestled with these questions after a sexual assault when I was 19 and standing by and comforting one of my children after their sexual assault. I’ve also learned a great deal about how trauma and PTSD influence our healing, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Love Letters is a lament for sorrow and pain, but it is also an affirmation of God’s love for us in suffering.

What is the primary focus of your book?

God offers hope for healing from trauma and brokenness. You are not the asterisk in the Bible. God’s heart is broken for your pain, and He loves you beyond comprehension. God is at work for you in all things.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Hope in God. Hope that God has a future for them and that they are His unique, irreplaceable creation, gifted to the world to fulfill a heavenly mission.

How do you share Christ in your writing?

Most of my writing is drawn from experiences in my life and my walk with God. I’ve written 5 books about caregiving because that’s been a central focus of my life. I’ve also battled with some of the “Why, God?” questions stemming from painful issues like abandonment, abuse, illness, regret, and other universal topics. Life is hard, but God brings peace, purpose, and perspective to everything.

What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?

Shelly and Wanda Sanchez

Life is tough, but God is good. Suffering is an inevitable part of a sin-infested world, but Jesus carries us in our weakness and pain. Abiding in Jesus brings comfort and peace.

What ministries are you involved in, and why?

I am a national speaker with Daughters of Destiny women’s prison ministry. Daughters of Destiny is an outreach of Prison Fellowship. I present seminars and inspirational sessions on Love Letters from the Edge and PTSD in prisons across the nation.

I’m also a board member for Music for the Soul (www.musicforthesoul.org), a Christian ministry using the power of songs and stories as a bridge to hope and healing for those facing life’s most difficult issues. I was privileged to serve in an advisory role for Dignity, a caregiver project, as well as writing devotional material for MFTS.

I serve with each of these ministries because they serve people who often feel they are unfixable, unlovable, or forgotten by God. God has given me a passion for hurting people—particularly women.

Do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?

I worked as a junior high and high school English teacher for thirty years, then transitioned into teaching college writing. I gave up work to care for parents in failing health with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other illnesses. My family caregiving, as well as helping care for students, church family, and friends has greatly influenced my writing, as well as my own health battles.

Shelly, it’s been a pleasure having you here on my Florida front porch! If readers wish to get in touch with you or find out more about you and your writing ministry, how they may do it?

They can visit my website @ shellybeachonline.com or my blog @ shellybeachonline.wordpress.com.

Thank you, readers, for dropping by! And thank you, Shelly, for spending some time with us.

Until next time, may God bless you all, and may you bless God.

 

Kevin

www.ckevinthompson.com

 

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Lena Nelson Dooley
Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in blistering hot California! Today I have the joy of chatting with multi-published novelist Lena Nelson Dooley. Lena is well known in the Christian writing world for how she gives back to writers through mentoring and through her excellent blog. I know you’ll enjoy our chat today!

Lena Nelson Dooley

Lena Nelson Dooley

Lena, welcome! Please tell us about your novel, A Heart’s Gift.

Because of an earlier betrayal, Franklin vows never to open his heart to another woman. But he desires an heir. Lorinda promises herself she will never allow a man to control her again. How can she provide for her infant son? A marriage of convenience seems perfect until two people from Franklin’s past endanger Lorinda. Read More →

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ALT="Davalynn Spencer"
Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the joy of interviewing best-selling, award-winning novelist Davalynn Spencer! Since Davalynn conducts many of our interviews here on the CAN blog, it’s fun to turn the tables on her! Davalynn doesn’t just write about life on the frontier—this rodeo wife/rodeo mom lives it. Plus, she’s a whole lot of fun. I hope you enjoy our chat together.

Davalynn Spencer

Davalynn Spencer

Davalynn, please tell us about your new novel, An Improper Proposal (Front Range Brides–Book 1)—which releases today!

Widowed before she says “I do,” mail order bride Mae Ann Remington asks rancher Cade Parker to take her groom’s place and ends up a cattleman’s wife facing snakes, scoundrels, and second chances. Read More →

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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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Elizabeth Ludwig
Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today we have the pleasure of chatting with multi-published, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Ludwig! Her mysteries and historical romances thrill her readers, and I know you’ll love getting to know her better.

Welcome, Elizabeth! Please tell us about your book, A Tempting Taste of Mystery.

Cheryl Cooper is excited when the town of Sugarcreek holds a pie contest fundraiser and she is invited to judge. But when contestants start dropping from the competition like flies and rumors of foul play arise, Cheryl is compelled to expose the culprit.

Elizabeth Ludwig

Elizabeth Ludwig

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