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Devotional

You Never Know Who’s Listening

You Never Know Who’s Listening

by Susan G Mathis

In August, I had the blessing of being part of the book talk and signing at the Cornwall Brothers Museum in the Thousand Islands, NY. With COVID, I wasn’t sure if anyone would come, but I was shocked that fifty people filled the room and many more were turned away because of the number restrictions in place. I sold sixty books that day.

While that was great, I was surprised by grace not once but three times! Three women asked me to sign their books, and while they did, each one of them confessed that my stories brought them closer to Christ. One had been far from the Lord for decades; two others were unbelievers, but because I write about the Thousand Islands that they love, they read my novels and came to Christ!

My novels are fictional stories of broken people who found healing and hope, but they don’t overtly share the Gospel message or give an altar call. Somehow, they touched hearts and drew them to the One I write for.

Yet I guess that’s the way with many things we do. We care. We’re kind. We give. We love. We share God’s love and people are touched, changed, and sometimes redeemed by what we say or do. I imagine a little bit of heaven will include the unfolding of those moments where we have touched a life for eternity, whether it’s through a word, a deed, or through our writing. And won’t that be fun?

Reagans Reward Book Cover
Reagan’s Reward

In my sixth Gilded Age story, Reagan’s Reward, it’s 1912. Reagan Kennedy assumes the position of governess to the

Bernheim family’s twin nephews, and her life at Cherry Island’s Casa Blanca

becomes frustratingly complicated. Service to a Jewish family when she is a Gentile and tending to eight-year-old, mischievous boys yields challenges galore.

Daniel Lovitz serves as the island’s caretaker and boatman. He tries to help the alluring Reagan make sense of her new world, but she calls into question his own faith background and forces him to face the hurts of his past. Then there’s the jealous lady’s maid who seems intent on wedging herself between them. Can he and Reagan ever find common ground on such a small island?

Reagan’s winsome spirit and faith-filled life touches not only the Bernheims but also Daniel. Her journey reminds us that following Christ can make an eternal difference in the lives of others.

Susan G. Mathis
Susan G. Mathis

Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family LegacyChristmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Susan’s books have won numerous awards, including the Illumination Book Award, the American Fiction Award, and the Indie Excellence Book Award

Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.
Categories
Devotional

How Do You Spell L.O.V.E.?

With Valentine’s Day season upon us, you might wonder how spell L.O.V.E.  In our  book, The First Five Years, we explain how to create a memorable romantic encounter for your spouse no matter how many years you are married. (And we will adapt this for those who are single and dating).  Keep this acrostic for LOVE in mind as you make plans to wow the one you love:

 

Listen

Observe

Vary

Extract

 

Listen

Your spouse will drop hints about the things he or she loves and you can use these hints to create more romance and sizzle in your relationship. For example, if you listen to Bill and me in a casual lunch conversation, you would  discern  that Bill loves things like: Football, fishing, cooking, joke telling, and the Bible.  If you listen to Pam you’d discover she loves travel, biking, swimming, tennis, laughing, and helping women—and the spa!

It doesn’t take much imagination then to know that if I (Pam) give Bill a day of ocean fishing or if he gave me a day at the spa, we would be more interested in each other at the end of that day. But it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Kayaking is on both our lists, so we have a goal to have a kayak date in every state we travel to for business. Walking and biking are also on both of our lists, so an evening stroll, or a leisurely cycle around a lake near us is apt to also put us in the mood. Bill and I keep a running list of “loves” we discover about one another while listening.

Observe

On the TV show Sherlock (and in the classic books with this character),  Sherlock Holmes wows the audience by his keen detective skills of observation. You can become a detective and easily observe what will bless and ignite your spouse:

  • What raises stress in your partner?—then make a plan to lower it
  • What lifts the spirit?—then make a plan to repeat it
  • What calms the atmosphere?—then recreate it
  • What things are collectible?—then add to it
  • When he or she sighs and relaxes?—then repeat it
  • What draws him/her to you?—then protect it

 Vary

For married couples, when it comes to intimacy, don’t get in a rut.  Vary the romance. In our book, Red Hot Monogamy, inspired by Song of Songs, we give over 200 Red Hot Romance ideas. The King and the Bride in song of Songs model for couples simple romantic inspirations. And they make time together a priority, “My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,” {Song of Songs 2:10)

One of the easiest ways to vary the experience is to keep the five senses in mind. Vary the places you date, mix the style from dressy to down to earth. Or try adding new sounds/music, scents, textures, or tastes.  If you go to dinner each Thursday, next week eat it on the rooftop, or on a blanket at the park. If you usually work out as a couple, then make the next date a payoff- get some new athletic wear and try out a new activity.

Extract

To extract love, take an old idea and give it a new spin. Personalize it, shake it up, add to it. For example, because we are relationship communicators, we are usually pretty busy around Valentine’s Day. Often we have to be at the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) conference. No offense to those in Christian radio, but the NRB isn’t the most romantic place to be around on Valentine’s Day. We have decided, however, to make it romantic the years we need to be there. One year, Bill scanned the covers of all the books we have written and made a series of greeting cards with personal love messages that used the titles as a part of a pun, like “It has been “Pure Pleasure” being married to you”.  Every hour all day, he gave me a card with a new message and tiny gift.Bill & Pam Farrel Valentine

 

L.O.V.E: Listen, observe, vary and extract to create a love to look forward to living. It is possible to keep love as red hot as those candy hearts you munch on each Valentine’s Day—it just takes a little creativity and some L.O.V.E.

 

Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship specialists, international speakers and best selling authors of Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti, Red Hot Monogamy and The First Five Years: Make the Love Investment (www.Love-Wise.com) When they are not traveling to speak on marriage or family, you will find them at home on their live aboard boat in Southern California.

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New Releases

New Releases, New Awards, and New Opportunities!

Author Susan K. Marlow has two new releases to celebrate!

Stepping Stones #5: Andi Dreams of Gold
When news of a gold strike spreads through town, Andi is sure there’s gold in the creek by her special spot. But she and her friend Cory get more than they bargain for when they set out to pan for the glittery metal.

Stepping Stones #6: Andi Far from Home
An outbreak of scarlet fever prompts Mother into sending Andi to San Francisco for safekeeping. But the noisy city and Aunt Rebecca’s bossy ways may be worse to Andi than catching the dreaded disease.

Check out all of the charming Circle C Adventure books here.


Susan G Mathis’ debut novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy is a National Indie Excellence Award Finalist!


Davalynn Spencer’s An Improper Proposal, Book 1 in her Front Range Brides series, is
a finalist for Short Historical in the Reader’s Choice Awards sponsored by Romance
Writers of America inspy chapter, Faith, Hope & Love. The book recently won the 2018
Christian Indie Award for Romance.

An Improper Proposal by Davalynn Spencer


Kimberly Rose Johnson is excited to announce the release of The Sleuth’s Miscalculation, a romantic mystery set in small-town Oregon. Read more about it here.


Lena Nelson Dooley will be the speaker for the June meeting of the ACFW DFW local chapter. She was asked to speak on “Agents and Editors.” The author will have books and DVDs for sale. Meetings are at 10:30 am, on the second Saturday of the month at the Arlington Community Church, 1715 W. Randol Mill Road, Arlington, Texas. Everyone is invited to go out to eat with the chapter members, Dutch Treat, after the meeting.

Lena Nelson Dooley
Lena Nelson Dooley
Categories
New Releases

CAN Authors Have Much to Offer!

Your CAN authors are award winning, prolific, and sharing what’s on their hearts! Check out this weeks’ round up of good news and happenings in our writing community.

Davalynn Spencer’s 2017 Western romance, An Improper Proposal, won the
2018 Christian Indie Award for Romance. An Improper Proposal is Book 1
in the Front Range Brides series. Book 2, An Unexpected Redemption,
released April 26.

An Improper Proposal by Davalynn Spencer
An Improper Proposal by Davalynn Spencer

***

New Release: No Safe Place by H. L. Wegley Releases May 21
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Trinity Press International
ISBN-13:   978-0-9964937-6-5
About the book: A young man returning from the far country trying to regain his honor, and a young woman with a heart broken by her parents’ rejection because of her faith, each have what the other needs. But will the assassin who put them on his hit list give them enough time to discover what they have in each other?
No Safe Place, modern-day, prodigal story that races from the scenic beaches of the Olympic National Park to the beauty of Lake Chelan in Central Washington State, a story of courage, honor, faith, forgiveness, and love.
Preorder: https://amzn.to/2vchkea

About the Author:
H. L. Wegley served as an Air Force Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life, he worked as a research scientist, publishing in the scientific literature, then developed Boeing computing systems for twenty years before he and his wife retired near Seattle. He is an award-winning author of inspirational thrillers and high-action romantic-suspense novels.

H.L. Wegley
             H.L. Wegley

***

Cindi McMenamin will be the keynote speaker for the South Mountain Community Church (Draper, UT) women’s retreat May 4-6, 2018, speaking on her newest release Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You (Harvest House Publishers).

           Cindi McMenamin
Categories
New Releases

NEW RELEASE- AN ENCORE FOR ESTELLE BY KIMBERLY ROSE JOHNSON

An Encore for Estelle

by Kimberly Rose Johnson

Sweet Rose Press

Released May 29th

ISBN 978-0998431512

About the Book: 

The theater ties them together but a painful past could pull them apart.

A former A-list actress seeks to redeem herself in the most unlikely of places—a children’s theater. The writer/director didn’t anticipate a famous actress would ever show interest in his musical much less him. Will their pasts pull them apart or join them together?

About the Author:

Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Christian Authors Network. You can find out more about Kimberly and her books at her website:  http://kimberlyrjohnson.com

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In The News

Along Came A Writer on BlogTalk Radio and iTunes

CAN members Linda Kozar, Lena Nelson Dooley, and Angela Breidenbach host shows on the Along Came A Writer Network.

Along Came A Writer Network 

2017/2016

Chat Noir Mystery and Suspense, with host Linda Kozar on the Along Came A Writer Network

The Lena Nelson Dooley Show, with host Lena Nelson Dooley on the Along Came A Writer Network

Historically Speaking, with host Angela Breidenbach on the Along Came A Writer Network

Categories
Writing Business

The Challenge! Red Hot Marketing Idea

One of the ways of multiplying sales is to develop a challenge that the “everyday” man or woman can fit into his or her already full and responsible schedule. This is one reason books like: The Love Dare or Purpose Driven Life (and other 40 Day challenges) have done well in helping books fly off the book shelf. My friend, Arlene Pellicane, has several 30 Days to books (30 Days to Younger You; Happy Husband, etc.) My new book, Red Hot Romance Tips for Women is a 26 Day challenge to help women become a more loving wife. It is an A to Z look at the 26 traits husbands find most desirable in a wife. (I had the wives set goals using my “K.I’S.S.” method which I walk women through in my Red Hot Romance Tips for Women book).

Each wife buys the book, (paperback or ebook) then there is a short reading of a few pages each day in Red Hot Romance Tips for Women  (where she will select the idea she wants to implement). I encourage whole Bible studies, women’s ministries, or friendship circles do the challenge together. I also offer a daily email for 28 days (26 daily challenge “extras” and encouragements plus a day before and after as introduction/ reminder and a wrap up/ follow up (with ideas of the next book to use to enrich her marriage).

I also created a Red Hot Wives private facebook group that is an optional meeting place for these motivated wives. The facebook group, along with my blog, had additional reach to feature books by other authors , as well as our own (like Red Hot Monogamy couple’s study), that touch other books and resources which impact marriage. I also had a daily graphic that was reposted, tweeted and shared by many members.

There were also giveaways of romantic items and books during the challenge to keep women connecting to the several times a day.

So far several thousand women have done this simple Red Hot Wives Challenge, and many of them have seen their marriages rescued and most all of them have seen their marriage improved or enriched. Even the few who have serious marriage issues have found a safe place to receive prayer and support during a difficult season in their marriage. To pull this off, I teamed with a talented graphics person, who automated as much of the contact as possible, however she also did the hard work to invite women into the private facebook group and did trouble shooting with the women who might not be as techie.

To expand the reach, next time I will team more with Christian counselors or writers who are also counselors. The challenge was especially popular during the Valentine season (and was a great godly, Biblical rebuttal to the “Shades ” attack on marriage as my tag line was, “Never settle for Mr. Grey when God’s Plan for Love is Red Hot!” Over all, the vast majority felt the challenge enriched and enhanced their marital strength, and for those with already healthy marriages, the challenge created many positive romantic memories and gave them an opportunity to be a bright light of God’s love in a world desperate to see if any couple has the real deal of a happily ever after marriage.

The wives have the option of staying in the Red Hot Wife private facebook group and I have seen women (and myself) share helps and resources and encouragements there between challenges, so a true community of wives who care about their marriages is growing organically). This group will receive marketing on future romance and marriage enrichment like invitations to our speaking, webinars, teleseminars, as well as video or new book release emails. A challenge is a way to really locate then minister to your target audience.

Click for details on the Red Hot Wives Challenge that our ministry runs. We are also working on connecting to churches that might want us to run a Red Hot Challenge for their local community, or speak on Red Hot Monogamy, Red Hot Romance Tips for Wives, or a Wow Wife Night featuring 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband: Put a Smile on His Face.

Some church leaders might want to target a time of year, like “Make Your Summer Sizzle” or “Make Every Day Valentine’s Day” . For more information about how the Farrels can team with your local church or community, contact us through Love-Wise.com website contact page.

Bill and Pam Farrel
Bill and Pam Farrel

The Farrels are relationship specialists, international speakers, and ministry leaders who have written 40 books and have been happily married 35 years. www.Love-Wise.com .  Red Hot Romance Tips for Women (and most of the books by the Farrels) are available at most of the Christian Retailers bookstores, as well as online at CBD or Vyrso (ebook by Logos)

 

Categories
New Releases

Amelia’s Journey By Martha Rogers – A New Release

Rogers,AmeliasJourneyFIN(1)Amelia’s Journey by Martha Rogers

For Ben Haynes it is love at first sight, but can a Boston socialite find true happiness with a cowboy from Kansas?

Once childhood friends, Ben Haynes is taken with Amelia Carlyle when he runs into her at her sister’s wedding. Although he will be returning to Kansas and life on his father’s ranch, Ben calls on Amelia several times, and they find they have more in common than they first realized. As he leaves for Kansas, they promise to write.

Back in Kansas, Ben begins to save money toward a home for Amelia even though he has not made his intentions known. He’s relying on God to make a way. Meanwhile, Amelia is presented to society and has several young men vying for her attention.

Although Ben has captured Amelia’s heart, her parents make every effort to discourage the relationship, even forbidding Amelia to correspond with him. Amelia tells Ben that she will wait for him as long as it takes, but will the love and loss they experience along the way bring them closer or drive them apart forever?

 

Bio

Martha Rogers is the author of Becoming Lucy; Morning for Dove; Finding Becky; Caroline’s Choice; Not on the Menu, a part of a novella collection with DiAnn Mills, Janice Thompson, and Kathleen Y’Barbo; and River Walk Christmas, a novella collection with Beth Goddard, Lynette Sowell, and Kathleen Y’Barbo. The Her new series, Seasons of the Heart includes Summer Dream and Autumn Song. A former schoolteacher and English instructor, she has a master’s degree in education and lives with her husband in Houston, Texas.

This new release information was uploaded by Cecelia Dowdy. Happy reading!

Categories
Book reviews

CAN Book Feature: Finally a Bride by Vickie McDonough

 

FinallyABride_Final
Title: Finally A Bride – book 3 in the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series
Author: Vickie McDonough
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
ISBN: 978-1602606494
Keep your eyes wide open for romance in Lookout, Texas. Noah Jeffers enters town determined to make up for past misdeeds. Reporter Jacqueline Davis is determined to nail her story. Will she uncover Noah’s secret before he can capture her heart? With nowhere else to go, ex-con Carly Payton returns to the Lookout boardinghouse. Garret Corbett is looking for an upstanding wife, not some jailbird. What will he do when overpowered by Carly’s unassuming appeal? Does love deserve a second look?