Fascinating Friday Feature – Glory in the Ordinary

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by Cheryl Schuermann I never entertained the thought of writing a devotional book. That is, until I met the church doors. We discovered them in a lonely metal shed on The Farm, the recreational land my in-laws purchased many years prior. Amid flying dust and a thick curtain of cobwebs, my husband and I cleaned the doors with rags just enough to reveal the arched glass panels and heavy brass handles and hinges. Though the doors were not ornate, we found them to be extraordinary. Before he passed, my father-in-law mentioned how he rescued several doors from the old church…

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Fascinating Friday Feature – Standing in My Settings

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Research is one of my favorite parts of writing, and I took to traveling, if at all possible, to the locations of my novels in the past few years. Actually standing in the place where my story happens has made my writing richer and deeper, as I can weave in the sights, smells, and sounds of a place along with the emotions it stirs up. For my most recent release, What I Promise You, I traveled to Barcelona and Southwest France, and along the way, I picked up quite a few interesting tidbits. First of all was the geography. When…

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Fascinating Friday Feature – The Hidden Stories Behind the Writing Journey

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by Lee Ann Mancini In the world of writing, each author has their own story behind the scenes, often hidden in theirdaily routines and unexpected sparks of inspiration. For me, it all starts bright and early at 5 am,with a hot cup of coffee, a conversation with God, my Bible in hand, and a deep dive intoresearch. Looking back on how it all began, my Sea Kids children’s books were born from the stories Imade up and told my kids to help them understand how God wanted them to deal with everydaysituations in life. Back then, I had no idea…

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Fascinating Friday Feature – Who Do I Serve?

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As a writer, I often beat my head against the blank screen of procrastination and perfection. There is nothing like a tight deadline to make me wonder exactly what it is that I’m hoping to accomplish. One would think such a looming deadline would translate to a well-written story that appears magically on demand. Not true. At times like this, I really need to know the truth. Why do I write? Aside from the lofty goals of fame and fortune – (insert giggle snort) – why do I write? Seriously, this is a question all writers must ask ourselves so…

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The Fascinating (Condensed) History of Alaska

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By Donna Schlachter In keeping with celebrating my second Switchboard Sisterhood book, Morgana, I thought I’d sharesome history of Alaska this month. While the area was likely settled thousands of years ago by emigrants from Asia and Eastern Europewho perhaps crossed a land passage, few details are available about these early settlers. They eventuallyestablished themselves and spread out over the area, becoming unique in their language and culture.In 1728. Vitus Bering from Denmark traveled into the area and discovered the strait now namedafter him. He returned in 1741 and explored the North American coastline. In 1776, the year the United…

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Seen and Heard – April and May Happenings

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Many among our Christian Authors Network have been seen and heard, caught out and about spreading the word on their books, their message, and most importantly, the love and provision of our precious Father. Here’s where you may catch them: Susan Neal, CEO of Christian Authors Network (CAN) and Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA), was a featured speaker at The Well Conference for Creatives in Hudsonville, Michigan in April. In addition to her faculty sessions, Susan announced the winners of the Christian Indie Awards and the CAN Marketing Awards with a live presentation for the first time during their awards…

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Book Review: Reflections on the Names of God: 180 Devotions to Know God More Fully

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Every name God calls Himself and every name His people have called Him holds clues to who He is, how He relates to His children, and the promises He has made—and kept. This devotional offers you a wonderful opportunity to spend time each day getting to know God more intimately by exploring His names and attributes. Perfect for both new Christians and longtime believers, these life-changing devotions will help you discover something new about who God is, who you are, and how you relate to others.   *  *  *   Any book that helps me draw closer to the…

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Book Review: Always Before Me

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  Are you a busy woman seeking intimacy with God? Do you long for His peace in a hectic schedule, or do you feel you’re not important enough to warrant His attention?  Always Before Me by Davalynn Spencer provides ninety daily story-devotions with examples of how God uses our ordinary surroundings and circumstances to carry His extraordinary voice straight to our hearts.  At the end of these brief, day-warming inspirations, you will find a final how-to chapter with step-by-step encouragement for discovering the miracle of God’s voice in your own life.  A brief moment of insight is sometimes all it takes…

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God Uses Unusual Teachers!

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by Ava Pennington We always had dogs during our forty-year marriage. And every dog had a very distinctive personality, much like people. My current dog is no exception. But ever since my husband died several years ago, Daisy has raised her antics to a whole new level. Daisy is an eight-year-old boxer who is both a blessing to my writing and a curse. Well, maybe not a curse, but she can definitely be a trial. Don’t get me wrong, I love her and her antics. But there have been times when I’m in the middle of writing and the words are flowing…

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