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Encouragement General Inspiration for Writers

A Season with a Different Harvest

I used to enjoy public speaking. I was thrilled when, during my senior year in high school, I was chosen to emcee our school Homecoming festivities. Although I must admit it wasn’t for a particularly good reason. According to Mrs. Monroe, who was my high school English teacher, my voice carried across the classroom. Even when I was trying not to be heard. Apparently, that made me a good choice for Homecoming emcee, because the sound system hadn’t yet been installed in our new high school gymnasium. Soon after that, I was emceeing at music festivals and churches across three states when our gospel group sang on weekends, and I was in my happy place.

Not surprisingly, one of my favorite classes in college was Oral Communications. I remember rehearsing the timing and inflection of every word of John Donne’s No Man Is an Island, which appears at the beginning of Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. With little prompting, I think I could recite those timeless verses today with almost the same intonation and rhythm.

But I couldn’t do that in front of an audience.

Somewhere between college graduation and the new Millennium, I lost my confidence for public speaking, something my first publisher found out when they set me in front of a video camera for a taped interview to promote my first book. I was shaking so badly, in body and voice, the tape was later deemed to be technically unstable. I still shudder when I think about that interview.

In the years since, I have wondered how my mass communication skills could have plummeted so far and without an inciting incident. Somehow, it just happened.

Or did it?

Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. Maybe I’m in a new season of life. A season with a different harvest. A season of writing and not of speaking. God knows that I still have a lot to say. And it is, perhaps, that pent-up need that now propels my words onto paper.

Three books after that fateful interview fail, the words are still coming, but on paper. I can now say that I’m a storyteller, a novel writer, a woman with a testimony. But I’m not a speaker, and that’s okay. The seasons have changed but there is still a harvest.

How has God changed you through the years? To what end has He changed your ‘purpose under heaven?’

Kathy Harris is an author by way of “divine detour” into the Nashville entertainment business where she works as a marketing director. For several years, she freelanced entertainer biographies and wrote, as well as ghost wrote, news stories and columns for various music publications. She sold her first Christian nonfiction story in 2007. Her debut novel released in 2021.

Categories
Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Delores Topliff

Delores Topliff
Delores Topliff

Warm near-Thanksgiving greetings from Marti Pieper in Seneca, South Carolina, where we had our first frost of the season last night. Although I haven’t met Delores Topliff in person, I am so excited to share this author interview. That’s especially true because her upcoming book fits into the “most wonderful time of the year,” which happens to be my favorite season—and my favorite novel-season as well! So without further ado—let’s get started with today’s interview.

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Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Susan U. Neal

Susan U. Neal
Susan U. Neal

Warm greetings on this Veteran’s Day. Davalynn Spencer here, welcoming CAN author, Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS, with her featured book, Eat God’s Food: A Kid’s Guide to Healthy Eating.

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Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Susan G. Mathis

Susan G. Mathis
Susan G. Mathis

Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the pleasure of interviewing CAN vice president Susan G. Mathis, an award-winning nonfiction author who has also become an award-winning novelist! Susan is here to share about her newest historical novel.

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Book reviews

Book Review: Queen of the Rockies: Book 1, by Angela Breidenbach

Queen of the Rockies-book 1Queen of the Rockies, Book 1:

What will her courage cost? As Montana emerges into statehood, one woman must decide if social pressure will prevail when she hides an endangered child, risking her own future happiness. Queen of the Rockies — Book 1 of 6, opens this delightful series of Gilded Age historical romances peppered with genealogical tidbits. 

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Check out this review:

“Queen of the Rockies, Book 1 by Angela Breidenbach, delighted this reader with the true details added about Montana history. Living in the present day I never considered that in 1889 Helena, Montana would have even considered the need to make the city a tourist attraction. Calista Blythe, while not a real person, is a very believable character… Then there’s the funny moments and a love that Calista doesn’t even notice. I’m excited about reading more of this series.”

Book review by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, excerpt from Bookbub

To read the full book review, follow this link: https://www.bookbub.com/reviews/193357003?email_like=true

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Angela Breidenbach, CAN presidentAbout the Author:  Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, bestselling author, and screenwriter. She’s also the Christian Authors Network president. Angie lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angie can also. Catch her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach!

http://AngelaBreidenbach.com

To follow Angela Breidenbach on Bookbub: @AngBreidenbach or click this link: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/angela-breidenbach

Categories
Encouragement General Humor Inspiration for Writers

Finding a Balance That’s Just Right

Goldilocks had the right idea: neither extreme worked for her—she chose the one that was just right. 

The same is true of social and civic commitments. Too many commitments cause us anxiety and stress and result in poor performance in one or more areas of our lives. Often, that’s the area that affects our family. We might wish we could be a superwoman and do it all, but we can’t. 

Something will suffer—our health or our family’s well-being, a relationship with a friend, or maybe even our position at work. Saying yes too frequently can lead to anger and resentment, if that yes causes us unnecessary stress or makes us put our family in second place. 

Before giving an automatic yes to a request, we women need to learn to first say, “Let me pray about that decision.” Sometimes saying yes is the easy way to keep peace or get the job done. 

But at times, saying yes means robbing someone else of the blessing of taking on that role or responsibility.

We need to pray diligently, read God’s Word, and seek counsel from mentors, if necessary, before making a decision that might over-commit us. And to abide in his will, we just might have to learn to say no more often.

On the flip-side, too few commitments don’t benefit us, either. God commands us to serve others. Even if we’re busy with work and family, we need to seek a balance so that we can still find ways to bless and serve those around us in some manner. Volunteering at places like a women’s shelter, homeless shelter, fostering organization, our child’s classroom, or church takes our mind off the stresses in our lives and brings a peace that comes from obedience to God’s instructions. Helping others helps us even more. 

Be like Goldilocks (aside from the breaking and entering, of course) and find a balance that is “just right” for you. 

Julie Lavender is the author of 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories (Revell) and Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime (Z Kids/Penguin Random House). She’s had seasons of balance, and seasons of chaos, but she’s happiest when she allows the God of peace to reign in her love, equipping her with everything GOOD for doing his will. The above story is an excerpt from Be Still and Take a Bubblebath, a devotional she co-wrote with Michelle Sauter Cox. 

Categories
Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Kathy Harris

Kathy Harris
Kathy Harris

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I’m visiting with my Tennessee friend, multi-published author Kathy Harris, who made a “divine detour” from her career in the music industry to writing novels. Come and see how her fascinating background plays out in her writing!

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Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Karen Whiting

Karen Whiting
Karen Whiting

Greetings from Marti Pieper amid the lovely fall weather of Seneca, South Carolina! I haven’t met all of our CAN authors in person, but the one I have the privilege of interviewing today is a special friend. Karen Whiting and I have many things in common, including, the fact that we both have five adult children. Karen is a prolific writer who has much to share, so let’s get started with our interview.

Welcome, Karen! Please tell us about your book, 52 Weekly Devotions for Family Prayer.

Categories
Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Liz Tolsma

Liz Tolsma
Liz Tolsma

Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the joy of interviewing a dear friend, Liz Tolsma. Liz’s popular novels include historical suspense, novellas, and something near and dear to my heart—World War II fiction. She’s also the host of the excellent Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

Categories
Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Jeanne Dennis

Jeanne Dennis
Jeanne Dennis

Happy fall! Davalynn Spencer here, reveling in Colorado’s colors and welcoming this week’s featured author, Jeanne Dennis.