Marti Pieper

Marti Pieper

Greetings from Marti Pieper in beautiful Florina! In case you don’t recognize that place, it’s my coined word for “in between Florida and South Carolina,” which is where I find myself this week as my husband and I are “in between” our former home in Mount Dora, Florida, and our new one in Seneca, South Carolina. But no matter where my home is, I’m thrilled to welcome my friend Michelle S. Lazurek to our CAN blog.

Welcome, Michelle. Can you please tell our readers about your book?

Michelle Lazurek

Michelle Lazurek

In The Best Gift of All, Paige receives two special gifts for Christmas—a homemade bear made by Mom and her favorite doll she wanted more than anything. When Paige disregards her other gifts, Mom wants to show her where real gift-giving originates—from the heart. Through serving at a homeless shelter, Paige learns the best gifts are not those wrapped in beautiful bows or packages—but ones from the heart. Read More →

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For fourteen years our home in Florida allowed me to escape the bitter Midwest winters. But due to a health crisis, my husband and I are now back in the Midwest, bracing ourselves for some bitter temps.

When I look out my kitchen window, I no longer see palm trees standing tall against a clear blue sky. I see a blanket of white on the ground and pine needles laced with snow crystals. I no longer see lizards scurrying across the backyard patio. Instead, I see squirrels gathering nuts for the long months ahead.

My environment has changed dramatically, but what hasn’t changed is my awareness of God’s presence and revelation through his creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).

No matter where I am in God’s Universe, his power and glory surround me. Whether it’s mountains or oceans, sunny skies or storm clouds, or a flock of noisy geese flying south, God’s handiwork is on display. He made all things and sustains all things—including you and me.

God is everywhere and his love follows us wherever we go. As all of creation praises him, let’s join the chorus and honor our Creator today.

“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy” Psalm 96:11-12 (NIV).

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children. She’s also written three books for women, including Mothers in Waiting–Healing and Hope for those with Empty Arms. She is a speaker and mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at writers’ conferences throughout the U.S. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

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Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the joy of interviewing one of CAN’s newest members, Michelle Medlock Adams. Michelle has written over eighty books for children and for adults. With her award-winning background in journalism, she’s written many biographies for celebrities as well. I think you’ll enjoy what she has to share!

Welcome, Michelle! Please tell us about your new book, Platinum Faith.

Michelle Medlock Adams

Michelle Medlock Adams

Platinum exemplifies some of the most rare, useful qualities of all metals. In Platinum Faith, we highlight twelve platinum properties and how they relate to our walk of faith. More specifically, we delve into how they parallel our divine calling, our eternal value, and the unlimited love God has for us. Read More →

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I hate conflict. I hate getting into disagreements with my husband. I don’t like having a spat with a friend. As a parent, I hated the constant conflict resolution that was needed when my two kids didn’t get along.

As a teacher, I sure didn’t enjoy being the one who had to break up the many tiffs between pubescent girls. And as a Grandma? Well, let’s just say that conflict’s not in the grandma cards.

So when I began writing fiction, I knew that conflict is a main ingredient to a good story. To write good, compelling fiction, I had to have compelling conflict that would hold the reader’s attention. But how was I going to address the very thing that tempted me to run? I had to settle that question—and quick!

Although conflict is often present in almost every day of our lives, we may overlook or ignore it. When confronted with conflict, I tend to self-talk, fret, stew, worry, and struggle with sleepless nights. But those ways of dealing with conflict won’t make a good story.

Conflict is uncomfortable, and most conflict just plain hurts. But that’s what keeps readers reading. Like you and me, readers want to know how others deal with conflict, how characters try and fail and try again and finally succeed.

Because it’s hard for me to invent conflict when I want to avoid it, I had to be aware of this weakness. So when doing rewrites and editing, I often have to add an element of conflict or deepen it.

In Sara’s Surprise, there’s a lot of conflict going on—conflict I drew on from personal experience.

Have you ever been harassed by an employer? I have, and it’s pretty traumatizing. In this “Me Too” movement, lots of women are speaking up about their trials and tribulations in the workplace, so I decided to explore the topic.

In Sara’s Surprise, Sara struggles to work as a pastry chef, navigating abuse and harassment by her volatile French boss, as was all-too common in 1873. Women had no recourse and often feared they’d be blamed and dismissed from their jobs, so they kept silent. Back then, women were often devalued and unappreciated, under-paid and treated poorly. And men took advantage of the cultural norms of the day.

As a single mom in the early 1990s, I was treated poorly, too. And I regret that I was afraid to speak up and expose the nasty man who threatened, teased, and tormented me. As a leader in the organization, that should never have occurred, but it did. Thankfully, today’s climate is more open to reporting such abuse.

Sara’s Surprise explores this problem from several angles. But in the midst of Sara’s trials, she falls in love and learns a lot about the art of baking French pastries. And the lovely Christmas surprise will delight you this holiday season. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and enjoy the story.

Susan G. Mathis is a multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Katelyn’s Choice, the first in The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, is available now, and book two, Devyn’s Dilemma, releases in April, 2020. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family LegacyChristmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are available now. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.

 

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Rebecca Ondov Back Cover Photo
Davalynn Spencer

Davalynn Spencer

Davalynn Spencer here, wondering how November showed up so soon. I don’t think I’m ready, but author Rebecca Ondov is with her featured book today, Great Horse Stories for Girls.

Welcome, Rebecca, give us the back-cover copy for this book that I would have loved to read growing up. (Okay, still would.)

Girls love horses! Horsewoman Rebecca Ondov invites tweens (ages 8 to 12) to enjoy these true horse stories that will help them build confidence in God’s love, make wiser choices, and create stronger friendships, as well as encounter life-changing truths that will help them grow strong spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

Rebecca Ondov Back Cover Photo

Rebecca Ondov

Wow – what a great introduction. What inspired you to write this book?

My heart aches for the generation of children that are being raised today. So often, through the media and culture, kids get the impression that they have no value. When in reality they are a one-of-a-kind treasure created by God Himself. My goal with this book is to help them see themselves as a priceless gift from God. Read More →

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