As I was talking with a women’s ministry director at a church training conference, I hoped she would invite me to speak at her women’s retreat. I enjoyed one of the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies set before us while we sat in the lounge of the convention center. When she asked my opinion on some important issues, I spoke with confident tones. I was thrilled to see her staring at my mouth, obviously eager to hear my every word. Surely, I was impressing her. All I have to do is say the right things, I assured myself, as I anxiously tried to think of what those “right things” might be.
After we concluded, I headed for the restroom feeling content with the open door God had given me. I walked through the restroom door and saw my reflection in the mirror. What’s that dark thing on my lip? I went closer and realized chocolate was dripping down my lip and chin. Oh, no, how long has that been there? I realized the mess had decorated my face during most of our conversation. For whatever reason, she had not felt comfortable telling me.
Oh, Lord, what have you done to me? What about my pithy statements and wise admonitions? How foolish I must have looked. How humiliating!
In a flash of truth, I recognized my dissatisfaction with God’s plan. And I started laughing. Oh, Lord, you do have a sense of humor. Please forgive me for my pride and self-importance. I fell into that trap again. But I also acknowledged God’s power because rather than being discontent with myself for the next five days (like other times), the reflection in the bathroom mirror brought immediate joy. I started laughing! My heart rejoiced! I thought, I have grown in this area!
Kathy Collard Miller is an international speaker and author of over 55 books including Heart Wisdom: Daughters of the King Bible Study Series, a women’s Bible study on Proverbs. www.KathyCollardMiller.com
This is Catherine Finger bringing you an interview with today’s featured author: Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. In addition to to being an award-winning author, speaker, leader, coach, and beloved family matriarch, MaryAnn finds time to graciously leads our CAN reviewers—a great service to our authors. Thank you for joining us today, MaryAnn!
Catherine: What are your passions?
MaryAnn: Worshipping God, loving my family, sharing the Gospel, writing fiction. painting—especially in oils.
Catherine: Where do you volunteer your spare time giving you a more rounded life?
MaryAnn: I spend my spare time discipling women and ministering to my six adopted grandchildren.
Catherine: How do you use this experience in your writing? MaryAnn: Ministering to women has made me more aware of the many challenges women face in an increasingly stressful world. I draw on these challenges as I create the heroines of my stories.
Catherine: What humorous thing would your readers want to know about you or your writing life?
MaryAnn: The first sale I made was to The Saturday Evening Post for a humorous poem about an argument between my then small children. This sale was humorous in that I am not a funny person by nature, and I had no clue what I was doing when I submitted to this major magazine. I was like the bumblebee who does not know that, aerodynamically, it cannot fly but flies anyway. The Lord used this sale to confirm His call on my life to write for Him.
Catherine: Do you have a funny story relating to your writing or an event? MaryAnn: Yes. My husband and I met through a newspaper article I’d submitted (at my mother’s request) to my local paper about my earning my Master’s degree. My husband will tell you that my article was really a want-ad for a husband. We just celebrated our 50thwedding anniversary.
Catherine: Did you find a fascinating fact/story while doing research for your book? MaryAnn: Yes. While researching my latest novel, In Black and White, I was quite surprised and chagrined to discover that the seven suburban communities named “Levittown” and built during the late 1940s and 1950s were racially segregated communities, as stipulated in their sales agreements. This sad fact gave me a backdrop for a portion of my story
Catherine: What are you currently working on and what attracted you to this project?
MaryAnn: I am currently working on two projects. The first is a compilation of the poems I have written over the last 40 years. The book will be called Poems for All Seasons, as the poetry deals not only with every chronological season of life, but also with the spiritual seasons of our lives.
The second project is a historical novel titled The Urchin of Naples and based on a story my late mother told me when I was a child. My mother was born and raised in Naples, and I have visited the city several times.
Catherine: What’s one thing you want our readers to hear from you today? MaryAnn: I would like our readers to know that Jesus loves them just as they are and just where they are, and that He is the answer to their every need.
Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is an award-winning author who writes riveting fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. Her latest novel, IN BLACK AND WHITE, a love story about racism, released in November 2019.
MaryAnn has also written THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES trilogy, a page-turning, family saga revolving around the life of Maria Landro, a woman torn between two worlds, and who must choose between them. MaryAnn’s books for children include five picture books: WHO IS JESUS?, TOBY TOO SMALL, CANDLE LOVE, THE DANDELION PATCH, and POEMS FOR WEE ONES and one chapter book: DO ANGELS RIDE PONIES?
MaryAnn lives in New Jersey with her husband Dom. They’ve been married 50 years and are the blessed parents of two wonderful daughters, a very smart son-in-law, and six rambunctious grandchildren. When not writing, MaryAnn loves to paint, play the piano, and make up silly songs with her grandchildren. You can learn more about MaryAnn at maryanndiorio.com.
Experience an intimate connection to your heavenly Father with the Daily Wisdom for Women devotional collection. Featuring a powerful devotional reading and prayer for every day of 2018,this beautiful volume provides inspiration and encouragement for your soul. In these pages you’ll find comfort, challenge, and spiritual blessing as you experience an intimate connection with the Savior all 365 days of 2018.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: Newly ordained, Michael Spurlock’s first assignment is to pastor All Saints, a struggling church with twenty-five devoted members and a mortgage well beyond its means. The best option appears to be closing the church and selling the property. But when All Saints hesitantly risks welcoming a community of Karen refugees from Burma, the coming together of two groups from opposite sides of the planet into one community under God ultimately becomes the salvation of both and the true miracle of All Saints. Discover the true story that inspired the Sony Affirm movie.
About the author:
Jeanette Windle, an award-winning novelist and investigative journalist, has lived in six countries and traveled in thirty-five-plus. Those experiences birthed 16 fiction titles, including bestselling Veiled Freedom (ECPA Christian Book Award/Christy Award finalist) and Freedom’s Stand, (ECPA Christian Book Award/Carol Award finalist), and such non-fiction titles as ECPA Christian Book Award/Christian Retailing Best Awards finalist Forgiven: The Amish Schoolhouse Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace and All Saints.
About the book: Hope for Happy Endings Is Renewed in Nine Historical Romances. Meet nine women from history spanning from 1776 to 1944 feel the sting of having lost out on love. Can their hope for experiencing romance again be renewed?
Fanned Embers by Angela Breidenbach shares the true history of the largest fire in US History. Will love be consumed or blaze into an amazing future?
About the author:
Angela Breidenbach is a best-selling author of romance through the ages and host of Historically Speaking on Along Came a Writer Network (Blogtalk Radio) and Lit Up! (https://toginet.com/shows/litup/). Angela is the Christian Author Network’s president. Always family-friendly — Always good for your heart.
Communication is a key tool in life. We interact with words, gestures, and movements. The devotions in Girl Talk Guy Talk give insights that focus on different aspects of teen life to help both guys and girls better understand and communicate with the opposite sex. Various styles of devotions, including stories, checklists, quizzes, fact-based news, text messages, and skill-building tips will encourage and equip young girls and guys to understand how the opposite sex is wired and how to best relate with them.
About the authors
Jesse Florea has worked at Focus on the Family for nearly twenty years. For more than fifteen, he’s been the editor of Focus on the Family Clubhouse (for boys and girls ages eight to twelve). He earned bachelor and master’s degrees in communications from Wheaton College, Ill. Additionally, Jesse has written or co-written seven books (including The One Year Sports Devotions for Kids, Adventures of Average Boy: Growing Up Super Average, The One-Year Devos for Sports Fans and The One-Year Everyday Devotions with Tyndale House Publishers). He lives with his wife, Stephanie, and has two married children Nate and Amber, in Colorado Springs.
Karen Whiting is an author and speaker with twenty-five published books, and 700 articles and
short pieces for more than seventy publishers including Focus on the Family Magazine and Christian Parenting Today. She was a contributing writer for Focus on Your Child 2008-2009, writes for Leading Hearts Magazine and The Kid’s Ark. Whiting has also been the community producer and host of the television series, Puppets On Parade, for Miami educational TV. Whiting has a heart for families and encourages families to connect and live more fully for God. She is a mother of five, and a grandmother.
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.
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.
Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! For some reason, I feel I should use Elizabethan English, but I’d fail so I won’t try. Today I’m pleased to interview Bob Hostetler, multi-published author of many classic titles you’ll recognize. His most recent book delves into Shakespeare and the King James Version—and today he’s sharing some of the delightful ways he’s used his topic to connect with readers.
Bob, how many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?
The Bard and the Bible: A Shakespeare Devotional is my 45th book. It’s a one-year devotional that draws from the two greatest works of English literature—the King James Version of the Bible and the works of Shakespeare (which, by the way, were created in the same period, same country, same city, and just a few miles from each other). Each day’s devotion pairs a quote from Shakespeare with a verse from the Bible, offers a short reading based on the pairing, and finally a question to help the reader apply that day’s truth. Each reading concludes with one or two “factoids” about the Bible, Shakespeare, the Bible, the Elizabethan and Jacobean ages, and more.
My recent releases also include The Red Letter Life (17 Words from Jesus to Inspire Simple, Practical, Purposeful Living), The Red Letter Prayer Life (17 Words from Jesus to Inspire Practical, Purposeful, Powerful Prayer), and the historical novel, Northkill (which is based on an incident in my family’s history and was coauthored with a distant cousin, novelist J. M. Hochstetler).