Friday, October 31, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Laurie Tomlinson

    





Today I welcome author: 
Laurie Tomlinson






Laurie has become such a great friend. She is a fellow Alley Cat on the Writer's Alley. I had chatted with her lots of times on line, and was thrilled to finally met her in person at the ACFW conference in September. What a lovely lady. :)  At the Gala this year, Laurie won the Genesis award for her book in the Romance category. I'm so happy for her! She is bound to be published soon. So let's hop on board, get to know her, and be able to say, we knew her when!  I asked Laurie to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:


In A Dusty Corner, Out of Site


Thank you to my lovely Mary for letting me share my writing testimony! Hope it's encouraging!

My journey begins like many other writers' journeys did: devouring paperbacks by flashlight and filling spiral-bound notebooks with characters and stream-of-consciousness stories. I knew I wanted to be an author when I grew up. Nothing else made sense. But somewhere along the way, the Realists got to me. Dreams were replaced with "But what are you going to do to make a living?" and "Do you know how many books are actually published?" So I combed my mind for career possibilities I might enjoy. Teaching about books? Writing in some kind of editorial capacity?

Nothing fit. Not really. I settled on book publicity and loved doing it along with a few professional writing and copyediting jobs on the side.

But then three things happened that changed everything for the hard and while sometimes broken, always good.

My husband and I welcomed our first child in 2011. I'd rock my daughter in the dim hours of the morning and wonder how I could possibly tell her to go after her dreams if I'd left the story of my heart in some dusty corner out of sight. That nudging plus the need to maintain some semblance of myself in the long days of writing press releases with one hand and changing diapers with the other led me to spend one night a week at a coffee shop working on what I was now willing to call a novel. (Thank you, husband!)

We started attending a new church, and as we got to know more people, everyone kept telling me I needed to meet Kathleen Y'Barbo Turner, a published novelist. "So, you're a writer?" she asked me after the pleasantries were exchanged. And I kind of twiddled my thumbs about the whole thing. "Um, well, I just finished my first novel."

"Then you're a writer."



On that day, I stopped hiding my computer screen whenever someone walked by at the coffee shop. I stopped being ridiculously vague when people asked what I write. I let Kathleen talk me into joining ACFW and entering the Genesis contest (especially with a second push from my now-critique partner, Kara Isaac). And it happened in perfect timing because soon thereafter, I got laid off from my full-time job. Even though it was hard, it happened when my head and heart were in the best possible place. I started a freelance business so I could focus on my writing, won a contest, signed with my agent, and have learned a lot in the process.



                When you see a door God has opened for you, don't turn the other way. While I believe I was always taken care of and don't like "what-ifs", I wonder how many opportunities I passed up because I wasn't ready or brave enough to go for them. When I won the Genesis with my first book, I told my critique partners I felt like God had opened a door for me and, when I dawdled at the entryway, He dropkicked me through it :) I'm okay with this.


                That said, there are lots of things standing in the way between you and your dreams, but sometimes those things are of your own invention. Time? Money? Energy? There will always be an excuse or a naysayer trying to drill reality into your skull. They're right. In my case, it wasn't practical to quit my job or make rash ultimatums with myself. But I learned it's important to just go for it anyway and make it work when Something That Keeps You Up At Night is at stake.

                An extra hour a morning a few days a week really adds up over time. When it's God whispering this dream in your ear, you won't be able to ignore it. And He has this weird way of changing the currency of hours and the productivity that fits into them so things just happen.


Speaking of time, everything takes a lot of it, ESPECIALLY in publishing. Dreams may not happen the way you expect them to, and that's okay. Just be patient, work hard, enjoy doing what you love doing, and don't let over thinking steal one ounce of joy from the journey. I know it could be a long time before I get "the call", but I'm going to try to enjoy the art of writing along what's been one of the hardest, most enriching journeys of my life!

Laurie Tomlinson is a wife and mom from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who enjoys stories of grace in the beautiful mess. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and received the Genesis Award in 2013 (Contemporary) and 2014 (Romance). Her work is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary.

You can connect with Laurie here:

Twitter - @LaurieTomlinson






Thank you, Laurie, for Joining us This Weekend!


Reader, I still turn my computer screen when someone walks near in a coffee shop. I need to take some of Laurie's advice and get bold. How about you, are you timid or shy about trying something, something God is calling you to do? 

If you don't have an answer, that's okay, just say write an encouragement for Laurie or a howdy-do in the comment section. I love chatting with you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Someday Laurie will be back--with a published book. 
When she returns, we'll do a book give away.

Don't forget to comment!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

20 Things You May Not Know About Me



This new game has given those of us who are playing a fun way to get to know each other. And now I am inviting you to play, too!

What is the game?  Answer as many of the questions below as you want. Fun answers are definitely permitted, serious ones allowed, and cornier than ever ones preferred. Ready to get started?

First, I must credit my friends Casey Herringshaw and Jill Kemerer for tagging me in this game which started this round.


1. How tall are you? 

5'4" The perfect height to be too short to reach anything above the second shelf in my cupboard. But, I am wise...I have a step stool. Hah!

2. Do you have a hidden talent?

Yes (hiding face in sleeve) I love to act like a kid when around kids. Have even been know to slip into this mode when around adults. I think that is why I was asked to be the K-2nd grade teacher in AWANA. Last Wednesday I even had the adults laughing with the kids. It's amazing how a dab of fun can do that.

3. What's your biggest blogger pet-peeve?

I've always had a sight problem. So when bloggers use flashing features, or odd colors like blue on black, or small fonts, I have trouble reading the posts.

4. What's your biggest non blogger pet-peeve?

Unkept promisses. When someone says they will do something they need to do it...or let someone know right away if an issue is preventing her from doing the task. Since this is my own issue, I work really hard to always keep my word.

5. What's your favorite song?
Click the links to hear these great song:As Time Goes By by Jimmy Durante - His voice isn't great, he just knows how to make a great song. As Time Goes By b Jimmy Durante (used in Sleepless in Seattle)
Your Song (How Wonderful Life is When You're in the World) by Elton John Your Song by Elton John
Happy by Pharrell Williams - the video is so cool: Happy by Pharrell Williams

6. What's your favorite Etsy shop that isn't yours?

Well, I don't have a shop, which means any of them are game. I prefer to shop country home interior. 
Mt. Lemmon, Tucson AZ

7. What is your favorite way to spend time when you are alone?

Depending on the time of day and season I would go for a walk in the woods or on a mountain trail; work on a project; exercise; anything doing.

8. What is your favorite junk food?

Fresh, hot, bread products that are not sweet.

9. Do you have a pet/s? If so, what kind and what are their names?

I have two cats in my care, passed on to me when my kids went to college. One is named Gato (Spanish for cat) and the other is a girl named Peter (because my daughter who was very young loved Peter Pan)

10. What are you #1 favorite fiction and non-fiction books?

Truth be told, I haven't read many non fiction books since college except when researching for my writings
The first non-fiction title that comes to mind, which has meant a lot to me is anything by A.W. Tozer. 
For fiction, I really like anything by Lynn Austin.

11. What is your favorite beauty product?

Moisturizers for dry skin. 

12. When were you last embarrassed? What happened?

Ah hah, a truth or dare question.  We have one all-purpose store chain in my state. All of them have the bathrooms by the entrance on the left side. Inside the entrance are bathrooms to the right. After your turn right, all of them--except one--have the women's room to the left and the men's room to the right. I happened to shop at the one store. Need I say more? Thank God there weren't any men in there when I walked inside.

13. If you could drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Tea. No specific kind. At Christmas time I love Peppermint tea, at night I like Sleepy Bear Time, in the day, I like English breakfast. And for a real change I love Lithuanian tea. Here is the recipe: 1 heaping teaspoon of homemade jam in one cup of boiling hot water. 

14. What is your favorite movie?

Beauty and the Beast, Disney's award winning animation. The music is superb, the plot and characters amazing, the voices spectacular.

15. What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?
11,000 ft, Rocky Mountains
August and chilly

Band geek, totally. I played the flute in the concert and marching bands. We especially enjoyed treating our flutes like batons and loved marching on the muddy fields. In my senior year, I had a piccolo solo during the piece we played at the state competition. My solo and the trumpet solo were the only portions that received specific kudos. We earned all one's that year!

16. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

No where. I prefer to travel. The more I see of God's creation, the more I love it.

17. PC or Mac?

Mac. (I had to say that because that is what I am using right now and I don't want my computer to get upset)
Summit of the Eiffel Tower
August and warm

18. Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?

Hubby took me to the summit of the Eiffle Tower

19.  Favorite celebrity?

Harrison Ford, Matt Damon, Chris Pine, Helen Mirren,

20. What blogger do you secretly want to be friends with?

Grammar Girl, I love reading the posts and actually remember the techniques.



It's your turn. Pick as many of the questions above and share your answer. 
Tag-you're it!

Monday, October 27, 2014

We Did It!



Each year our family has a goal to not turn on the furnace before October 20th. Here in the north that can be quite a challenge, and one we have failed in the past. 

We've piled on blankets at night, layered up in sweaters during the day, and have chosen something to make for dinner that helps to warm the house. Last night we had chili. Love that word, so ironic.

To prepare for the golden moment when the furnace would be given the go-ahead, we changed the filter and tested the equipment. Good thing we did. The blower wouldn't come on. The repairman replaced the switch and told us we were good to go. I turned the thermostat off after he left and went back to our routine. 

This morning I got up and felt so proud of our house. Outside temperatures-- thirty degrees. Inside fifty-five. Yeah, house! We made it past October 20th. I must confess, I treated our family to a warm morning. As the only early bird in the house, I turned the thermostat to sixty, took my hot shower, made a hot cup of coffee, and can now chat with you in comfort while my lazybones family sleeps.


God sets goals, too. One of His biggest goals to me, is showing us His love. He knew we would fail in any attempt to get to heaven. We simply cannot do it on our own. He sent His Son, Jesus to take care of all the details. What a loving gift to us. When Jesus returned to heaven, the work began to prepare a place just for those who accepted His gift.

I can't begin to imagine what He has prepared for me. Will it be woodsy? I love woods. Will it be mountainous? I love mountains. Will there be an ocean, lakes, rivers? I love water. 

The one great component that I know will be there is--God. The one who loves us more than anyone ever could. Just the way we are.

Reader-what goal does your family have? God is very goal oriented and loves to see us imitate Him.
Are you saving for a special trip?
Waiting to retire?
Hoping to get married?
Wanting children?
Ready to paint a room in your house (we are currently painting the bathroom)
Working to finish a book (perhaps the Bible?)

Have you reached a goal? We want to rejoice with you--please share.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Bethany Jett




Today I welcome author: 
Bethany Jett


To win a copy
of 
The Cinderella Rule

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



Bethany has such a fun spirit and is dedicated to her calling.  I asked Bethany to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:


Fairy God-the-Father Wishes


I sobbed in front of the open pink trunk I’d stolen borrowed from my sister. The dinged silver edges and worn interior matched the beating I’d verbally given myself. The cold kitchen tile seeped through my thin pajamas. With muster, I kicked the side of the case.

I needed to quit crying.

I needed to buck up.

I needed a shower.

“God—answer me,” I cried in my head…not wanting to distract my toddlers who were happily ignoring me with Legos. “I’m in the depths of despair.”

When you start quoting Anne of Green Gables in your prayers, there may be a problem.

My quest for fulfillment wove through three beautiful baby boys, a husband I adored, his youth ministry that I lived vicariously through him as a sponsor, an eight-year stint in one direct sales company and a two-year stretch in another.

I was proudly a WAHM – Work at Home Mom – but somehow it wasn’t enough, and that left gaping ugly guilt holes in my heart.

I’d waited for answers—searching for what God wanted from me.

Desperate to stretch my brain and implement our income, my husband and I made the heart-wrenching bittersweet decision that I would go back to work full-time…for a short while.

The temp agency placed me quickly, and while I enjoyed recognition for my own work, slipping out of the house so as to not wake sleeping babies and occasionally dragging myself in after an evening direct sales presentation took its toll.

For nine long months, I watched my one-year-old grow rapidly before my eyes…my three year-old talk more and more…my five-year-old start kindergarten.

I was missing it.

That pathetic Saturday morning on the kitchen floor was the last straw. I didn’t know how to pray for direction without feeling guilty, and I felt like I’d followed God’s direction in each job I’d taken.

So I wept, and let the Holy Spirit pray for me (Romans 8:26).

My sweet husband stopped short when he saw me—red-eyed, greasy-haired, pajama-heap.

“You really should start writing.” He spouted his favorite advice to me whenever in the last five years I mentioned needing something more.

I rolled my eyes as negativity swooshed through my mind.

My mom’s success with writing the previous year was hardly an achievement I could imitate. Yet, she echoed Justin. With a promise to do a preliminary edit, she gave me a virtual kiss, told me to start a blog, and to apply for a scholarship to the Florida Christian Writers Conference.

My years of experience working with teenage and college-age girls made my topic easy, and with our biggest group of girls getting ready to graduate, I started blogging the dating advice I wanted them to have access to.

I worked my full-time job.

I built my part-time direct sales business.

I applied for the scholarship.

…and got it.

Two weeks before the conference, I begin transforming the blog articles into a couple of chapters of a book. I researched proposals and how to write them. I created my bio and one sheet. I took selfie-headshots. I printed my own business cards on cardstock.

At the conference, I attended class-after-class, drinking in the advice, rules, lessons, and wisdom until my overloaded brain could hardly think. In the midst of a small campus, I felt God cupping me in His hands, and I felt peace.

Meeting with editor #1: “Send this to me, and anything else you’ve written.”

Meeting with editor #2: “This is good, but I don’t think it’s ready.” 

Meeting with editor #3: “This is really great. I want this.”

Cloud nine.

Meeting with agent #1: “I’ll send you a contract in the mail after the conference.”

Meeting with agent #2: “I’d represent you, but it seems like since you’ve got publishers interested, you really don’t need me.”

Meeting with agent #3: “Send me an email after the conference. Let’s talk.”

WHAT??????

I did what any girl would do. I called my mom.

“I made a “deal” with God,” I joked. “If I win the “Nonfiction” award, I think I should spend some time dedicated to writing. Maybe this is affirmation that you and Justin have been right…maybe I should be writing.”


I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be at exactly the time I was supposed to be there.

I didn’t win “Best Non-fiction,” yet I still felt like I had a new path laid before me. I sat in my seat as the awards continued. This was enough. I didn’t need God to prove anything to me. Who was I to even ask?

Yet there are times when God is crystal clear.

I won the $200 grand prize “Writer of the Year” award.

I signed contracts with agent #3 and editor #2 (who had originally said “no”).

I gave my two-weeks notice.

The conference was my fairy-tale ball, except instead of fairy godmothers, I have the God of the universe on my side—the Creator of life, and the Father who gave me gifts and talents and wants me to succeed for His glory.

The Cinderella Rule: a Young Woman’s Guide to Happily Ever After published and the connections from the Florida Christian Writers Conference led to multiple writing gigs, publications, speaking engagements and a life that I’d always been afraid to dream of.

When you’re on the path that God has set for you, things click. Following God’s direction with a talent I was dismissing meant I traded in kitchen-floor-trunk-kicking-crying for coffee-filled nights and overflowing piles of laundry.

Gotta check the dryer.

National speaker Bethany Jett is an award-winning writer, whose first attempt at writing a book proposal landed her Writer of the Year at the 2012 Florida Christian Writers Conference, a contract with the MacGregor Literary Agency, and a publishing deal. Her book, The Cinderella Rule, was a finalist for the 2014 Selah Awards.

Bethany is a video contributor for ChristianMingle.com, web editor for Splickety magazine, a featured columnist with Choose NOW Ministries, and has been interviewed on radio stations nationwide and internationally. Her writing can be found in Gospel Roads magazine, SonomaChristianHome.com, ChristianityToday.com, SpiritLedWoman.com, Crosswalk.com, along with other magazines and sites.

When she’s not writing or speaking, Bethany enjoys cooking, spending time with her husband and sons, coaching cheerleading, and rooting for her favorite football team, the Florida State Seminoles.
 
Bethany blogs on girly topics, godly perspective at BethanyJett.com.

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Of all the fairytale princesses we know and love, Cinderella is the one who got it right. She knew the spell was about to break, and ran out of the castle just in time to keep her mysterious identity a secret. Prince Charming couldn't help himself! He had to pursue her, to track her down and invite her to be his queen.

The Cinderella Rule is your guide to letting your prince do the work. Whether he knows it or not, the man God has for you longs to experience the thrill of the chase . . . and that means running out of the castle before you give away all your secrets! Find out how to be a woman of mystery who lets herself be pursued, knowing you are worth every ounce of effort. The Cinderella Rule will show you how to be the queen your prince is already looking for.

Click Here to buy The Cinderella Rule


To enter the contest for a copy of 
Bethany Jett's book: "The Cinderella Rule"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.


International readers are invited to enter for the eBook
US may choose eBook or paperback


Winner announced on my facebook page.


Thank you, Bethany, for Joining us This Weekend!


Reader, wasn't this a fun post to read? I can see why God called Bethany to work and write for young women. Do you know any young mom's, young married women, or single young women who might benefit from Bethany's book? I remember how I struggled. My mom wasn't around and my mother-in-law didn't feel she should say anything. But I needed advice so many times. I have a feeling older moms and mom-in-laws could benefit from this as well. :)

If you don't have an answer, that's okay, just say howdy-do in the comment section. I love chatting with you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Childlike Question



Photo Courtesy
Kids have such a purity to their comments. The filter isn't there for them, so sometimes the words may come out harsh or too silly to be sincere.

What I love is to hear their questions. Especially when the question is blurted out while others are talking. Sure the child should have waited, but in truth, his mind is so busy, he might have forgotten what he wanted to say.

Last Wednesday, I told the story of Hannah and baby Samuel. Kids love stories about heroes and they love stories about babies. We lullabied the baby doll to sleep so I could finish the story. Their sweet young voices showed a genuine sincerity to help the baby rest. 

The hero of this story? Well, Hannah, of course. She asked God for a child, groaning from the depths of her soul. Eli, the priest mistook her sincerity for drunkenness. Hannah boldly told him about her prayer requesting a child and her promise to give the child back to God to serve Him. In faith, Hannah believed God would answer her prayer.

I told the children God spoke to Hannah and let her know He would give her a child.

A kindergarten boy who sat in the front row blurted out, "How did He do that?"

Wow! What a great question!

"Well, let's say you had a spelling test at school. You practiced with your mom at home and prayed for God to help you do your best. But when the teacher said, spell cat you couldn't remember the letters. You closed your eyes and suddenly the letter "c" popped in your head. You wrote down the "c" and closed your eyes again. Suddenly the letter "a" popped in your head. So you wrote down the letter "a" and closed your eyes again. Then the letter "t" popped in your head. You wrote down the letter "t" and looked at your work. God is the one who told you the correct letters to write."

He looked to the side as if thinking about what I said. Then twirled his fingers and said, "Oh." 

Whether he fully understood, I don't know, but I hope he keeps asking questions.

God LOVES when we ask questions. He will always answer in the perfect way for us to understand. The more we ask, the more we show Him we are listening, learning, and interested in HIm.

So, let's ask some questions today. Maybe someone from our group will know the answer. Maybe God will show you the answer in another way.

Let's see. I'll start with my latest question I have been pondering. During the years David was running from Saul, he kept hidden with his band of sympathizers. This was no small group of men. What did they do with their days? They couldn't stay in one place and grow crops or Saul would have found them. What were they doing when not battling against the Israelite enemies.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Inviting Others to Our Table



Photo Courtesy

In the hotel breakfast area a young woman ate her breakfast. She stood to get a cup of coffee and saw someone. She called out to the person. 

Immediately, anyone listening could tell this woman was not a native English speaking person. Her dark brown hair, medium skin complexion, and eastern European accent made me think she might be Romanian or from some country close to there.

She used her arms to invite the person to her table. Although, I didn't hear him say anything he must have communicated "no". She didn't quit, in fact her enthusiasm bubbled. She picked up her breakfast plate and set it on a table located between them. "We come here?" She moved her arm in a circle over the table. "Big table?"

He came from around the corner carrying his laptop and books. He smiled warmly at her. The two set their materials on the table. It took a few minutes to hear what the lesson was about to be. He first mentioned a math problem, but then helped her with English pronunciation and vocabulary.

The teacher and student proceeded with their one-on-one lesson.

While watching them work I though of a setting quite the opposite. Two thousand years ago, God knew we could not go to Him to learn His ways. We all had sin. There had to be a different place for us to meet. So God sent His Son Jesus to come here. He patiently taught a godly language, godly ways, the culture of God, and so much more. He took His time and patiently used many means to communicate thoroughly and completely to each individual He taught.

For those of us who are living after Jesus' physical visit, He chose writers to record the events and words exactly as He wanted them so we too could have His instruction at any time.

Jesus smiled and laughed. He cried and was tired. He understands what we feel and longs to help those who want to learn to understand Him.

We all are like the foreign woman I saw. We all need to learn God's language in order to survive in His world. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to learn.

As I am typing this I am looking at the student and teacher. The woman put on her glasses, has her hand on her chin and is intently listening. The teacher is dramatizing sounds with his lips and drinking coffee. She looks at him as he explains. His spirit is gentle and kind. Repeating his message often.

Jesus is willing to do all of this and more for us.

Like the woman in the story above we should invite Jesus to our table.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Gail Gaymer Martin




Today I welcome author: 
Gail Gaymer Martin


To win a copy
of Gail's book
Treasure of her Heart or 
By the Firefighter

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



Gail is a fellow Michigan writer. I've enjoyed getting to know Gail recently and simply had to asked her to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:


The Lord's Path to Publication


I’ve learned an important lesson in my writing journey, and that is the Lord sometime has to knock me in the head before I realize what He’s trying to tell me. Perhaps you are the same kind of person. Facts have to drop into your lap and then you say, “Oh, could this be God telling me something?”

I didn’t start writing for publication until many years after I had been told I had a writing talent. My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Blackburn, wrote a note about it on my report card (and yes, I still have the card.) I’ve always written poetry as a child and then short stories, which I called novels. I created my own Nancy Drew type series with a girl named Cathy Lake and her three girlfriends. They had mysteries like the Mystery of the Rag Doll and the Mystery at Moon Lake. I still have those little notebooks too. I’m a packrat.

Later I wrote skits and plays for church and for our education staff for holiday programs, and naturally professional writing for my career as a counselor. But it wasn’t until I decided to retire from counseling and took another position as a college instructor that I began to think about writing for publication.

With my expertise in counseling and the educational credentials, I wrote parenting and teen issue articles for magazines, and for some reason found a home in Christian periodicals. From there I also added short stories and articles for Christian Sunday school papers and kids magazines. I wrote poetry for devotional booklets and devotionals.

One day, I looked at the hundreds of articles, poems, devotionals and short stories I’d sold, and I stopped cold. Could the Lord be giving me a “hint” that I should pursue my childhood dream to write books? I loved the elements of story and have always been a voracious reader.

So God finally guided me in the direction He wanted me to go, and I began writing fiction. I wrote about three full novels in one year, and began submitting way too early. I’m grateful I learned from rejection (or their kinder word: pass), and I looked for ways to improve my novels. In mid 1998, one year after I started writing fiction, I was asked by a publisher if I had another novel ready. Their concern was that the novel I had submitted might be too controversial for the very conservative readership. I said yes, even though I only had my very first novel that had been rejected so many times I couldn’t count. 

I worked on it for two weeks, using all the skills I had learned since I’d started the novel in 1997. I edited, cut scenes, added new scenes, made sure the dialogue moved the story forward. I sent the manuscript to them and received a phone call eleven days later that they wanted to contract the novel. I was thrilled.

That day I knew the Lord has His way and that my wants were heard but not acted on unless He saw a value in the direction I’d chosen. From that time, I always think of the Bible verse that says, “In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” I still use that verse to guide me as I write. I know that my wants and hopes will only come to fruition in God’s good time and not my own.

Wishing you God’s amazing “determined steps” for your writing hopes and dreams.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Multi-award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin is the author of Christian contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction with 55 published novels and four million books in print. CBS local news listed Gail as one of the four best writers in the Detroit area. She is a cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers where she serves on the Executive Board and a member of Advanced Speakers and Writers and Christian Authors Network. Gail is a keynote speaker at churches, civic and business organizations and enjoys presenting workshops at conferences across the U.S. She is a lifetime resident of Michigan    
You can connect with Gail at: 
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Treasures Of Her Heart, romantic mystery
A fashion-buyer, looking for a life with deeper meaning, leaves her career for a small town in northern Michigan to assist running her ailing great-aunt’s floundering antique business. Caught in a mystery while searching for her aunt’s missing fortune, she faces an investment company in pursuit of her aunt’s property. While saving her long-distance romance with her faithful friend, she struggles to escape her attraction to a smooth-talking womanizer. Can she overcome temptation, locate the fortune, find love and the truth to the treasures of her heart? Click here to Read an Excerpt and Reviews

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An Old-Fashioned Christmas, including my short novel, Yuletide Treasures

Many of us have a secret picture of Christmases past—a time when windows shimmered with lacy frost and candlelight, fireplaces kept a home warm and snug, ladies’ skirts swirled and gracefully skimmed the floor, and gentlemen were gallant and true. Experience Christmases spanning over one hundred years through nine inspiring historical romances, beautifully and economically packaged for you and all your gift-giving needs.

This collection includes Yuletide Treasures, a short novel:
Arriving at the wealthy Mandalay home in Grand Rapids, Michigan shortly before Christmas, 1875, Livy is charged with her young nephew’s safekeeping and to slip Helen Mandalay a mysterious package from Livy’s brother.  A spinster, Livy is drawn to the handsome Mandalay son, Andrew, home from the lumber camps.  But Andrew has other thoughts.  Ignoring his mother’s urging to court a woman from the church — someone like Livy, Andrew prefers more earthly woman.  Despite their attempts to oppose God’s will, Livy and Andrew are led ‘on a path they had not planned to travel.

To enter the contest for either of these books by
Gail Gaymer Martin: "Treasures of Her Heart
"By the Firefighter"
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US only winners may choose Kindle or paperback
International winners will win a Kindle copy


Winner announced on my facebook page.


Thank you, Gail, for Joining us This Weekend!

Don't forget to comment!



Reader, Please leave an encouraging word for Gail in the comment section. Have you experienced the same uncertainty of what God wants you to do?

If you don't have an answer, that's okay, just say howdy-do in the comment section to enter the contest. I love chatting with you.

Thanks so much for joining our chat today.