Friday, January 23, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature-Sarah Varland-God Works in Funny Ways

Today we welcome author: 
Sarah Varland

To win a copy
of Sarah's new release:
Tundra Threat

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.

Sarah is the middle of one of those moves. The kind where you move across country and have to change everything. Wow. I've done that twice and can say, hold on, Sarah--there is a light at the end of this huge tunnel!! From her hotel, she is hopping in to visit with us.  I asked Sarah to share how God has led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:

God Works in Funny Ways

I had been writing seriously for almost a decade by the time I got married and had kids. This dream I’d been chasing, that logically it seemed would have been better accomplished by my younger, single self, still hadn’t seen it’s end. I wrestled with it, probably cried over it. Then finally I realized that my family was an even greater dream, and that even if I never saw a book with my name on the cover, I really would be content and still consider myself so blessed beyond anything I could describe.

And then the call came.

It seemed like the craziest timing—in a good way. I’d just left my part-time teaching job so it was amazing that God had brought another job right to me. It also seemed crazy in a….well, crazy way. I was 38 weeks pregnant with my second son, my oldest was not quite 2 ½.

But God really does know what He is doing. Ever since the timing for writing projects has been obviously something God has His hand in, and even now as I keep working and waiting (hoping!) that contract #3 is around the corner somewhere, knowing how He has worked so far, knowing that He has done things in a way I never would have but that has been perfect, helps as I wait. And hopefully if you’re waiting for something, writing related or not, you’ll remember what God has done in the past and have some peace in the waiting too.


Sarah Varland lives with her husband John, their two boys, and their dogs. Her passion for books comes from her mom, her love for suspense comes from her dad who has spent a career in law enforcement. Her love for romance comes from the relationship she has with her husband and from watching too many chick flicks. When she’s not writing or chasing her boys around, she’s often found reading, baking, kayaking, or hiking. 

For more information about Sarah, please visit 

Twitter: @sarahvarland


Two murdered men are the last thing wildlife trooper McKenna Clark expected to find in the stark Alaskan wilderness. As the only law enforcement in the area, the responsibility for the case rests on her shoulders—along with the danger. Hunting guide and pilot Will Harrison wants to ease the load, but McKenna balks at the thought of letting him close enough to break her heart again. When McKenna's investigations put her in harm's way, Will must race against the clock to save his second chance at love from becoming the killer's final victim    


It's been five years since Shiloh Evans encountered the murderous gold hunters seeking Blackbeard's hidden stash. After they killed her policewoman cousin, Shiloh left town to regroup, and earn her own police badge. Because she would see this case solved—someday. She just didn't expect the killers to attack her new home in Treasure Point, Georgia…on the same day her ex-fiancé arrived in town. Adam Cole has tried to overcome his love for Shiloh. But he won't just sit by when she's in danger. Working together, they plan a trap. But springing it requires getting to centuries-buried treasure before the killers get to them.

To enter the contest for a copy of 
Sarah's  new release: 
"Tundra Threat"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this blog, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry US or Canada only

The winner will be announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Sarah, for Joining us This Weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, hey, or ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How to Focus 2015 Into One-Word

Last week we discussed choosing one words for this year. Last year I chose:

I think God gave me many opportunities to practice. Opportunities I'm thankful for.

For any of you who put your word in the comment section last week or in the weeks to come, I will send you a copy of the One-Word certificate below with your name and word for you to print out as long as you include your email address. 

Here is my one word for 2015:

I chose the word driven because I've been feeling rather lazy lately. It's cold. Great ideas pop in my head, I make plans and at the end of the day, only a few have happen. I want to be driven to serve God. 

Okay, time for some God shine driven. I really don't want to waste a single day that God has blessed me with or a single task. The Bible says our time is like a breath. That means I need to do better with each day serving Him the best I can.

Am I off to a perfect start? Nope. Is God helping me? Yep.

Here are some ways I hope to be working on this year's one-word

Driven to being a good mom.
Driven to being a good wife.
Driven to clean my house.
Driven to spend a daily personal time with God.
Driven to write a quality posts on this site.
Driven to writing/editing my manuscripts the best they can be.
Driven to completing one new manuscript this year.
Driven to learn more about the writing craft.

LOL-The more I listed, the more I thought of to add to my list.

So, now it's your turn.

Consider the one word you'd chose. Your homework: make a list of ways your one word can be morphed into every area of your life.

Remember the purpose of the one-word is to bring growth to your life. MISTAKES ARE ALLOWED. God is more than happy to help us all year long. Be persistent. If you make a mistake….try again. 

Your turn: 
How can your one-word be used in random situations (like my list above). Your suggestion could help someone else, so please comment.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Feature-Naomi Rawlings-God's Blessings through Tragedy

Today we welcome author: 
Naomi Rawlings

To win a copy
of Naomi's new release:
Falling for the Enemy

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.

Talk about a small world. As Naomi and I were chatting about this weekend's visit, we found out we grew up close to each other, have visited the same places (and these were obscure locations), and had many of the same interests. Isn't it awesome when God brings people together to learn they had so much to share?  I simply had to ask her to join us and share how God has led her on her writing journey, knowing it would be exciting. Here is what she said:

God's Blessings through Tragedy

I’ve always been an insanely big book lover. My mom used to kick me out of the house in the summer and tell me I’d spent too long reading and I needed to go outside and do something. (Um, like reading wasn’t doing something? I still don’t understand that logic.) ;-). 

Being the obedient girl that I was, I took my book, grabbed a blanket, and laid in our backyard under the tree while I read. After an hour or so, my mom would poke her head out the back door and say, “Naomi! That is NOT what I meant when I told you to go outside!”

Fast forward twenty years, and that burning desire to read, read, read, somehow translated into both a talent and determination to write, write, write. I’ve spent the past six years of my life writing, and I’ve been published for the last three of them, but the idea of writing my own book never really occurred to me until tragedy struck my life.

It’s amazing how God works, isn’t it? Romans chapter eight tells us that God works everything out for good for those who love Him, but when we’re going through heartbreak, tragedy, or struggles, it can be very hard to see God’s goodness and plan amid our pain and suffering.

For me, God cultivated a desire to write shortly after I suffered a miscarriage. This miscarriage was particularly hard on me for reasons I won’t go into publically, but please understand that I had an extremely difficult time with it. Once my tears and emotions settled a bit, I found myself rather bored. I stayed at home and had one child, and I was planning on spending my days caring for a new baby. Suddenly I had just one child who took really long naps in the afternoon and went to bed several hours before I did. I needed something to do.

So I read. I read, and read, and read some more, until I exhausted my friends’ libraries. My problem was that the more I read, the pickier I got about the books. I liked certain authors, sure, but not all authors. In fact, half the time I was rewriting the ending to books in my head, or adding scenes to the middle, or wondering what would have happened if Author A had made her characters say Y instead of Z. I soon found myself dragging my eight-year-old computer out and starting my first manuscript.

During the ensuing years, I’ve often looked back at that time period and wondered whether I’d be writing today had I not lost that baby. I honestly don’t think I would. I’d probably be reading. I’d maybe even have a book blog. But I really doubt I’d be writing. I needed that fallow period in my life, that time of struggle and sorrow, for God to take away my plan and show me His.

While writing novels is far from a perfect, easy job, it has its blessings and rewards. I know it’s what God has for me right now, and God has continued to use my writing through tragedies. My oldest son has chronic Lyme disease, which is very hard and expensive to treat. Nearly all of my writing income for the past two years has gone toward his treatment. So I can look back at how and why I started writing and see the blessings, see why God’s plan was better than my plan to have a baby in 2008, and see how God is ultimately working everything out for good, just like He promises to do in Romans 8.

Whether you’re a writer or a reader or something in between, I hope my story encourages you to look to God through the hard times and trust His leadership. He really does know better than we do.

So very true, Naomi. Thank you so much for sharing from such a deep wound.


A mother of two young boys, Naomi Rawlings spends her days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. Her husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where her family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. Naomi and her family live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter. Her fourth novel, Falling for the Enemy is available now, and her fifth novel, Love’s Unfading Light releases in March 2015. 

For more information about Naomi, please visit her website at


Click here to buy or see
Falling for the Enemy
Falling for the Enemy:

Betrayed and stranded in France at the height of war, Lord Gregory Halston has few options. After rescuing his ailing brother from jail, they struggle to survive in hostile territory without outing themselves as Englishmen. Gregory hopes the feisty French peasant woman he meets is willing to guide them to safety. 

Danielle Belanger doesn't wish to protect any man from the same country responsible for her brother's demise. But there's something about the determined Englishman that makes her willing to try. Though a match between Danielle and Gregory is impossible, their attraction can't be denied. 

The only thing more dangerous than aiding the enemy…is falling in love with him.

Click here to buy or see
 Love's Unfading Light
Love’s Unfading Light:
Tressa Danell is finished with men—from the wastrel who left her a widow, to the smelly trapper who keeps proposing, to the banker who wants to repossess her bakery. Every hour is spent working to pay off her late husband’s debt and keep a roof over her son’s head, though it’s doubtful she can do both for very long. But one thing’s certain—she’ll never be beholden to a man again.

Tired of living in a small town that blames him for actions his father committed ten years ago, Mac Oakton is scheduled to leave Eagle Harbor. So why does the pretty widow at the bakery keep tugging at his heart? He can’t get involved in her predicament when he’ll only be around for two more weeks. 

But when Tressa’s burdens overwhelm her, they both face a decision. Can Mac set his own plans aside to help? And can Tressa accept his support if that means giving up her independence ... and being obligated to a man again?

To enter the contest for a copy of 
Naomi's  new release: 
"Falling for the Enemy"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this blog, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry US only

The winner will be announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Naomi, for Joining us This Weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, hey, or ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Celebrating over 600 likes on my 
Facebook MaryVeeWriter page
Happy New Year!

So much to talk about today!

How are those New Year's resolutions coming?  I didn't even try this year. Doesn't mean I don't have tasks I'd like to get done...I just have chosen a different way to set this goal.

Last year I introduced to many of you the concept of a one-word. The purpose is to choose one word to be your theme for the year. Post the word in a prominent place. Use this word as your goal word for the year. 

For example: If I chose "trust" I might see my goal as learning to trust others or I might see my goal as wanting others to trust me. So each day I would pray that God would help me grow in this area. During the day, I might say I need to trust God to get me to work on time, to help me do my best, to let my spouse complete a task without reminders/nagging, to still love me even when I sin, etc. During the night, I might say I need to trust God to protect my children, my home, etc.

For this reason, choose wisely. Pray about your one word choice for this year. The goal is not to "succeed" but to improve that area of your life . . .  mistakes ARE allowed!

Here are a few idea words for you to choose from. This is not an all-inclusive list. You may think of a word not listed here.  As I mentioned above, each word can have many definitions. The word you choose will have the definition you need.

Adventurous          Delight                 First              Noble               Resistant
Apprentice             Dependable         Giver            Organize          Responder
Brave                     Devoted               Heartfelt       Patient             Serious
Builder                   Disciplines           Helpful          Peace              Spunk
Care-ful                  Disciple               Hope            Praiseworthy    Still
Change                  Driven                 Humble         Prayer              Thankful
Cheerful                 Empower            Include          Productive        Trust
Childlike                 Encourager         Joy                Purify
Compassionate      Endure               Listen            Quiet
Concern                 Engage              Lovely            Rejuvenate
Courage                 Enjoy                 Manager        Relax
Crystal                   Faithful               Motivated       Release

Are you ready to give the One Word Challenge a try? I will tell you mine next Tuesday.

Now the Party!

Photo Courtesy
Today through Thursday, US residents may enter to win books from the list of authors below. We are celebrating over 600 likes on my MaryVeeWriter Facebook page. Yeah!!!

Five winners will be chosen. 

Books by the following authors and others will be given away: 

Stacy Hawkins Adams, Jennifer A. Davids, Vannetta Chapman, Mindy Starns Clark/Leslie Gould, Billy Coffey, Dale Cramer, Sue Duffy, Mary Ellis, Ann H. Gabhart, Robin Hatcher, Sally John, Max Lucado, Susan Meissner, Lauraine Snelling, Beth Vogt, J.M. Windle--and more including The Voice New Testament

How to enter:
You may enter more than once by:

1. Become a follower of this blog: (third box down in the right column)
2. Sign up to receive posts by email-be sure to follow the email instructions. This has 2 simple steps. (second box down in the right column)
3. Become a Twitter follower: @MaryVeeWriter
4. Like my FB page for MaryVeeWriter:  Mary Vee Writer Facebook page
5. Like my FB mystery writer author's page:  Mary Vee Mystery/Adventure Writer Page
6. Follow my God Loves Kids Bible Ministry Blog: God Loves Kids
7. Sign up to receive posts by email for my Bible ministry blog: God Loves Kids email sign up in the right column
8. Like my FB page for my God Loves Kids Bible ministry God Loves Kids Facebook Page
9. Leave a comment-as many as you like.

Leave a comment to let me know each one you did. 

Grand Prize winner- 1st to choose three books from the stack
2nd place winner -   2nd to choose two books from the remaining books
3rd place winner -    3rd to choose two books from the remaining books
4th place winner -    4th to choose one from the remaining books
5th place winner -    5th to choose one from the remaining books

Winners will be chosen using the Random.Org website. Winners will be able to choose from my great author's book stack, many have been a guest on my blog. Winner's names and the book/s they chose will be announced on my Facebook page: Mary.Vee.Writer

Sorry-only United States addresses can win for this contest
There are times when contests are open to international, but not this one.

May the Lord greatly bless you in this coming year. 
May your trials be manageable, 
and your joys a pinnacle experience.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature-Sarah Ladd-Where God Guides, God Provides

Today we welcome author: 
Sarah Ladd

To win a copy
of Sarah's new release:
A Lady at Willowgrove Hall

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.

Wow, after this week's snowstorm, I really appreciated Sarah sending a summer picture for this post. I met Sarah in person, finally, at the last ACFW conference. She has such a contagious smile that surely carries through her works. She told me over lunch one day that she would have a new release. I simply had to ask her to join us and share how God has led her on her writing journey, knowing it would be exciting. Here is what she said:

Where God Guides, God Provides...

Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog and giving me the opportunity to share a bit about my story.

You are so welcome! We're excited to have you.

Several months before I started writing my debut novel, The Heiress of Winterwood, I was really struggling with the decision of whether or not I should try my hand at writing a book. I had dabbled in writing short stories and poetry, but had never really attempted a full-length novel before. After all, writing a book takes a lot of time, and I had a family. A job. Responsibilities. I knew that writing a book would be a big commitment, and I just wasn’t sure the timing was right.

But in quiet, still moments, I would have this nudging. The story idea would play out in my mind like a movie, and the idea of writing a book would not leave me alone. So I started to pray about it … I prayed for God to either make it clear that I was supposed to write a novel or to remove the desire from me.

One day, as I was driving in an area I had never been before, I passed a church. Outside that church there was a sign:

“Where God guides, God provides.”

I was so struck by the words that I nearly stopped my car then and there! To me, those words were an answer to a prayer that had been on my heart for a while.

If God was guiding me to write a novel, he would provide the time. The energy. The enthusiasm. The support. And do you know what? He did! I found a writer’s group. Made some writer friends who understood the journey. Found energy to stay up late into the wee hours of the morning crafting my story. I attended meetings. Entered contests. Signed with an agent. Eventually I held my finished, printed book in my hands.

I no longer remember which church it was that had the sign. I don’t remember what day of the week it was, where I was going on that drive, or what song was playing on the radio. But I do remember those words, and they still burn brightly in my heart. God is faithful. He is the giver of dreams.

Amen to that, Sarah!

What dream is God placing on your heart?  Pray about it. And I hope you will find the same encouragement in these words that I found:  Where God guides, God provides.

A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. Proverbs 16:9

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6


I love meeting other writers!
Mary Vee and Sarah Ladd at the ACFW conference

Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. “The Heiress of Winterwoodwas the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance and a finalist in the Debut Author category of the 2014 Carol Awards. The second book in the series, “The Headmistress of Rosemere” (2013), was on the ECPA best-seller list for several months.  

Sarah would love to connect with you! 
Please join her online: 
Website |  Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


Click here to buy or see A Lady at Willowgrove Hall
Her secret cloaks her in isolation and loneliness. His secret traps him in a life that is not his own.
Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could expose her disgrace. But soon after becoming a lady’s companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years.
Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own—one that has haunted him for years and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove Hall. To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breathe a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to find his own way in the world. He’ll never be free to fall in love.

When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and fight for a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long kept?

To enter the contest for a copy of 
Sarah's  new release: 
"A Lady at Willowgrove Hall"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this blog, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry US only

The winner will be announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Sarah, for Joining us This Weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, hey, or ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!