Friday, November 29, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Sherri Langton




Today I welcome 
Sherri Langton,
associate editor for Bible Advocate. 

She has a Thanksgiving story to tell!

And to show appreciation for you, oh reader who has worked tirelessly over Thanksgiving dishes and shopping, I am having a book giveaway. The winning commenter will be able to choose one book from a selection of five from my stack of great author books.

     Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.



I am honored to have Sherri Langton as my guest. She probably doesn't remember the first time we met, but I sure do. I attended the Write to Publish Conference one year and requested one of my teen articles to be crit. Sherri Langton crit that article. She wrote such supportive words AND sought me out to encourage me more. I've never forgotten her kindness. 

This past year, Sherri has experienced some difficulties with her health. Knowing her love for God, I asked Sherri to tell us how God led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:



God Assures Me


I’ve always been one of those writers who can’t not write. You know, “I write because I have to.” As far back as grade school, I’ve been compelled to record my thoughts on paper and share them with others. It’s in my DNA.

That compulsion to write progressed through public school, college, and the workforce. Several months after being mercifully laid off a banking job, I landed an editorial position at the Bible Advocate magazine. Bingo! God led a word lover to a word lover’s job!

At the same time, I was freelancing in the Christian market and attending Christian writer’s conferences, both as a conferee and an editor. Like a sponge, I soaked up the knowledge shared by professional writers and editors.

What a journey with God! With His guidance, I wrote about all kinds of experiences: the layoff, office conflicts at my previous employer, my difficult step-grandfather, and other subjects.

Over the years as I matured in my writing, God led me to record the darker stuff of life: my sister’s depression, a Columbine mother trying to make sense of her son’s slaughter, another mother finding lessons in her adult daughter’s murder.

These dark topics inspired me to make my articles and stories accurately reflect the reality of pain. A chapter titled “The Literature of Personal Disaster,” in Nancy Mairs’ book Voice Lessons: On Becoming a (Woman) Writer, especially helped me. Mairs observed that too much of what’s written about tragedy is mediocre. Her challenge: Don’t just record horrific events, but make those events real through description. Make them redemptive by showing how people changed through their suffering.

This approach to writing the dark paid off. Doors providentially swung open to major magazine markets, such as Decision, Focus on the Family, In Touch, and Discipleship Journal. I marveled at God’s ability to create good out of people’s heartache and touch readers through the printed page.

But in late 2012, I hit a wall. On October 31 a doctor removed a growth that had wrapped around my thyroid. The pre-surgery biopsy showed atypical cells, but the post-surgery biopsy showed lymphoma. “It’s treatable with chemo,” the doctor said. He made it sound as uneventful as having a cavity filled.

It wasn’t. The diagnosis upended my life. Most of November was given to tests, visiting the oncologist, and dealing with shock. It was all so frightening, so . . . dark. Like so many of the suffering people I’d written about, I cried. I sank into depression. I spewed my anger.

Once chemo started in December, the one who can’t not write couldn’t write at all. Treatments required six five-day hospital stays, three weeks apart. While working to save my life, this regimen also distanced me from writing. I didn’t even feel like a writer. I was a patient banished to a foreign country called Oncology, where every creative cell was being destroyed along with cancer cells.

Following each treatment, I spent days fighting fatigue. “Give into it,” people urged me, and I did. Resting worked toward my healing but moved me even farther from writing. I looked longingly at boxes of contributor’s copies that contained my stories and articles from years past. Those were the days, I lamented.

In her book The Story Within Laura Oliver quotes Octavia Butler: “I have this theory that anything that happens to you that leaves you alive and intact can be used somewhere in your writing.” I believe that. Thanks to God’s gentle nudges, I have tiptoed into my dark place and produced articles and a devotional. Editors have readily received them, affirming that God is bringing good from my bad situation (Romans 8:28).

However, even today, eight months removed from treatments and enjoying good health again, I avoid writing in depth about my journey. I’m “alive and intact” all right, but to make good literature out of my disaster, I must be real. I must unpack memories placed in mothballs, explore emotions, and express lessons learned. I don’t know all of them yet. It’s too soon, too fresh.

Exploring the deep things of darkness — the unknowns of disease, the unfairness of life upside down — will have to wait. I need time and a cooling distance to gain perspective from something so personally painful.

But that’s OK. God waits patiently and assures me that when I revisit the dark, I will not do it alone. His “ever present help” (Psalm 46:1) stands ready to work His good in yet another way.



Sherri Langton, associate editor of the Bible Advocate magazine  and of Now What? e-zine, has worked over 20 years in Christian publishing. She is an award-winning freelance writer whose work has appeared in Focus on the Family, In Touch, Upper Room, Today’s Christian Woman, Marriage Partnership, and other publications. Sherri also has contributed her writing to Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parenthood, My Turn to Care, Teatime Stories for Women, Becoming a Godly Man, Faces of Faith, and Hurray God! In addition, she teaches worrkshops at several Christian writers conferences. Sherri lives in Denver, Colorado, where she enjoys playing drums and percussion at her church.

To enter the contest for Mary's book give away
from a stack of great author books
leave a comment (and email address)
and become a follower of this site if you aren't already.

Sorry  US  only

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Sherri, for Joining us This Weekend!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Blessings



May the Lord Bless you and 
Give you a wonderful time of celebration

Photo courtesy

Happy Thanksgiving! 
See you Friday

Monday, November 25, 2013

To Those We Love

photo courtesy


I think the Great Orchestrator plans events tailored to each of us.

God knows what sounds, sights, smells, textures, tastes bring the perfect affect to stir our hearts, or yank us away from someplace we should not be.

God is so good, kind, loving, and caring.

Happy November 25th! Whenever I see "25" as part of the date, my mind immediately leaps to thoughts of my favorite holiday. I love Christmas. Celebrating Jesus' birthday is an event I am willing to spend months in preparation. 

This year, my extra efforts to celebrate and honor the One who came to save me involved making a unique Christmas card using an online company. I wrote a special message focused on Jesus, inserted special photos of my family and tailored cards for hubby's side of the family and cards for my side. It took two days on the computer to make them perfect. I can't wait to receive them in the mail then send them out to family and friends. 

I kinda feel like the kindergartner who made a special picture for Daddy, stuffed it in my pocket, fell into the puddle on the way home, and pulled the soggy remains out to show Him. I know what His loving eyes will say. "Well done, Mary. This picture is absolutely stunning." He will then place it on the refrigerator using a magnet and proudly point it out to all walking by. "This was made by my daughter, Mary." God is so understanding.

I must admit, I will not be pressing through crowds on black Friday. This is not what Christmas is to me. But I will walk through the malls, city streets, and event halls many days between Thanksgiving and Christmas listening, watching, touching, tasting, and smelling--absorbing the gifts God has given us.  

I spoke with a young mom last week. She shared her enthusiasm about Christmas, pointing out her desire to teach her children this was Jesus Birthday. She also said she didn't like the whole Christmas tree thing. Her children wanted a big tree and the lights, but she thought it was just a holiday tradition.

This brought an aha moment for me to share. "Did you know Martin Luther was the first to bring a tree into his home and set candles on the branches to demonstrate Jesus is the light of the world?" 

She stopped and pondered the idea then said, "I didn't know that." 

Maybe there will be a fully decorated tree for her children to enjoy this year. 

Yes, this is Thanksgiving week and many feel Christmas moments need to wait.  Sorry, gang. I am a balloon buster on this one. I think of Christmas all year long! That is my story, and my quirk. (Can you guess what music I am listening to while writing this post?)

But I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with you all this week. I'll try to be more Thanksgivingish on Wednesday. :)

What stirs your heart? No matter the season your heart feels like hot chocolate by a fireplace or a sunny beach by the ocean every time this event happens. What is your story? C'mon…I confessed….your turn.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature- Karen Barnett




Today I welcome 
Karen Barnett,
a tall, sweet-spirited gal who loves to write good stories. 

Enter to win Karen's 2013 release,
Mistaken or her soon to be released Out of the Ruins

Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.



 I'm so happy to share with you a piece of my conversation with Karen at the ACFW conference  She is such a sweet and Christ-like spirit. I asked Karen to tell us how God led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:




OUR DREAMS--GOD'S HEART


My husband and I were enjoying a quiet dinner out on the town without the kids—a rare occurrence. He eyed me across the table. “So, what’s going on with that book you wanted to write? The one about the San Francisco earthquake?”

I swallowed, the food sticking in my throat. My life-long dream of writing a novel had fizzled after a few weeks of trying. “I don’t know. I started, but…” How could I tell him the very idea terrified me? If I tried and failed, the dream would be forever lost.

I’ve never liked sounding fearful, so I went for selfless, instead. “It would take too much time away from the family. The kids are so young. Also, I’d need to fly to California and do some research. Then there are those writing conferences everyone suggests. It seems selfish to spend all that time and money on me.”

He reached for the water glass. “Have you prayed about it?”

Had I? I pushed my plate back. “No. I can’t imagine God cares much about my silly dream.” I regretted the words the moment they left my mouth. Was my faith so weak?

He stared me in the eye. “Ask Him. I’ll pray, too, and we’ll see what He says.”

I nodded, embarrassed.  Sure, I’d pray. Later.

The opening chapters of my story waited at home—a young woman blames God for her sister’s death and vows to never again trust Him with her prayers. Was I so different? Did I trust Him with this prayer?

I’d already decided “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” worked well in the story, and I had considered using it as a framework for the novel. As we drove home from the restaurant, I flipped on the contemporary Christian radio station. Instead of Toby Mac or the Newsboys, the age-old hymn rang out. In church the next morning, the band struck up, “Come Thou Fount”—something we’d never sung in our contemporary worship style.

I hadn’t even prayed, yet. Is this God, or is my mind playing tricks? Father, I’ve got this dream…

Over the next week, the hymn followed me like a stray puppy. The music appeared in unlikely places: the background of television commercials, in stores, and every time I turned on the radio. I probably heard it a couple dozen times. It was as if He were looking down and winking. You listening yet? Are you ready to trust me?

I hear you, Lord.

I wish I could say I got right to work, and I finished the book in a flash. It actually took five years of writing and rewriting.

I wish I could say now I always trust God with my dreams and prayers. I’m still what writers call a WIP—a work-in-progress.

What I can say is God remained faithful, walking beside me every day. My first novel, Mistaken (a 1920s-era romantic suspense), hit the shelves in July. And the earthquake book? Out of the Ruins, Book 1 of the Golden Gate Chronicles series, releases May 2014.


Does God care about our silly dreams? You bet. Are you ready to trust Him with yours?

Karen Barnett is the author of Mistaken and several articles printed by Guideposts and other national magazines. She and her husband Steve live in Oregon with their two kids, three cats, and small attention-hound (a.k.a. Mystery the dachshund). Karen loves trying her hand at anything creative, including writing, cake decorating, photography, and playing various instruments.


Mistaken

Since booze and prohibition have made criminals out of every man in her world, Laurie Burke resolves to find at least one honorable man to fill her life. Convinced that handsome newcomer Daniel Shepherd is connected with her brother’s rum-running gang, Laurie quickly scratches his name off her list. Federal Agent Samuel Brown might be the answer to her prayers—or he could be her worst nightmare.

Out of the Ruins (May 2014)

While her sister lies on her deathbed, Abby Fischer prays for a miracle. What Abby doesn’t expect, however, is for God’s answer to come in the form of the handsome Dr. Robert King, whose experimental treatment is risky at best.

As they work together toward a cure, Abby’s feelings for Robert become hopelessly entangled. Separated by the tragedy of the mighty San Francisco earthquake, their relationship suddenly takes a back seat to survival. With fires raging throughout the city, Abby fears for her life as she flees alone through burning streets. Where is God now? Will Robert find Abby, even as the world burns around them? Or has their love fallen with the ruins of the city?

To learn more about Karen go to:
To enter the contest for an autographed copy of 
Karen's book: "Mistaken" or Out of Ruins:
leave a comment (and email address)
and become a follower of this site if you aren't already.

Sorry  US  only

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Karen, for Joining us This Weekend!

From Karen:  I’d love to give away a copy of Mistaken or Out of the Ruins (your choice—but you’ll have to wait until May for the second one) to one blog reader. To enter, leave a comment below and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Tell me, what’s a dream of yours? It can be big or small, serious or silly. I’d love to hear it!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Crazy in Grandma's Recipe



'Tis the season for all closet cooks to play in the kitchen.

I am convinced play inspired some of the methods, my mother-in-law, aka Mama to my children, used in her cooking.

As a seasoned European cook, my mother-in-law never used a recipe. When my husband first said he wanted a dish his mother made I quickly learned the futility of asking for the recipe. I brought a notepad and pen to each visit and followed her every move in the kitchen to record the dump and hope measurements used to craft the family's delicious meals.


For your entertainment, here are a few time proven crazy tips:

The key step in making poppyseed cake
"Mary" think strong German accent as you read "you must put the can of condensed milk out in the snow before starting the cake."
"Why?" I scribbled this important step on my notepaper.
"It will become the proper temperature for the frosting."
"What if there isn't snow?"
She raised a crooked finger near her eye and said, "Then you can't make it."

For purple cabbage salad:
"Mary, you need a rolling pin to make the cabbage taste."
"What do I do with it?"
 She spilled chopped red cabbage onto the counter. Next she took the end of the rolling  pin and pounded all the pieces. 
"This brings out the flavor."

For cheesecake:
"Mary, you need to put some salt in the batter."
"How much?"
"Just pour a little puddle into the palm of your hand." She curved her hand and poured a little salt into her hand. 
This precise measurement was used for several dishes.

For stuffing:
"Mary don't forget to add the parsley."
"How much should I chop?"
"One rounded handful." She scooped up the parsley in her cupped hand and added more until the pile looked rounded. She dumped the parsley into the bowl. 

My last treat for you is courtesy of my grandmother.

For German chocolate cake:
Always go to the store, pick up a bar of German chocolate. Open package until recipe is exposed. Look at ingredients then purchase any you don't have at home. Take the opened chocolate bar with other purchases to check out. When cashier calls the open bar to your attention and asks if you want a new bar politely say, "No, thank you." Many, many German chocolate cakes have been made in my house using this method, and they have all turned out perfect and delicious. 

It is wise to not mess with Grandma and mother-in-law recipes. If you do--you will ruins it, precious!

What fantastic, crazy cooking tips have you learned?

Monday, November 18, 2013

You Are Beautiful


You do realize how very wonderful you are, right?
You're created in God's image.


Today let's take a needed moment--before all the rush of the holidays, programs, gift finding, wrapping, Christmas cards, parties, house cleaning, baking, etc. and give ourselves a mental Calgon moment (a time when you can focus--in a good way--on you)

Your Father
You are loved by the only perfect Father. This Father likes to give hugs in many forms and always delivers them at the perfect time. This Father loves to sing to you (Zephaniah 3:17). Can you hear his voice this morning? Look for his voice in your surroundings. Listen. Enjoy the sweet music and enjoy the comfort it brings.


Air
Take a deep cleansing breath. Clear, fresh air. Raise your arms above your head and swing them gently down to your hips. Purposely take three full breaths. Moments after creation, God breathed (Gen 2:7) the breath of life into mankind. Taking a deep breath helps to draw our attention away from issues, freeing us to focus on the One who loved us enough to create us in His own image.

Water
Pour a glass of water and work to drink the entire amount. Use only clear, fresh water. Water is designed to cleanse the impurities from our body. Jesus is a spring of living water (Jeremiah 2:13) He offers us living water (John 4:14). The living water Jesus gives will cleanse the impurities from our soul. Drink. Allow the impurities to be cleansed.

Shelter
Sit in the most comfortable place in your home. Is it the chair in the living room? The sofa in the family room? Where do you love to sit when you can have time to relax on your own. God is a strong tower. No enemy can break down the walls.(Proverbs 18:10)  You are safe, relax. Is the weather outside frightful? God will be your shelter. (Psalms 61:3)

Sweet Thoughts
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things. (Philippines 4:8)

Yes, You are Beautiful

Your challenge: share something beautiful about you (remember God gave it to you, so you are praising Him.)

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sometimes Life Doesn't Go The Way We Want


Yes, Friends. There is a book giveaway today!!

Montana.photo by Mary Vee

Sometime Life doesn't go the way we want. 

Little pebbles tumble in the way and create road blocks. 

Tires go flat, accidents happen, sickness strikes.

Still at these moments, God shows His lovingkindness by letting the sun rise, freshening the air, and letting the water flow.

We all know someone who has had something fall into their path. I think of a little girl at my church who was recovering from leukemia, but recently had a relapse. Our church family is very concerned about her.

I think of the people in the Philippines for their lose of life and damage from the typhoon.

You may know someone who can't find their smile at work today.

Let's reach out and bless those whose are working through issues.

Share a blessing with those in your community.

And praise God for His presence.

Please share a comfort verse in the comment section.

I will have a book give away this weekend, choosing from recent author books to give to one commenter. You may enter as often as you like on this post. We love seeing the Bible verses.

PLEASE REMEMBER you must be a follower of this website and U.S. only to enter (sorry-postage is too high otherwise)


I will give the winner a choice of five books to choose one from. 



Michigan photo by Mary Vee

Blessings on all of you. And should you be experiencing a time of trial:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord lift His face to shine upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-25

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review Day-When the Clouds Roll By by Myra Johnson




So fitting for this week as we celebrate Veterans Day!




The book I am reviewing today, When the Clouds Roll By, by Myra Johnson, is a compelling story that will keep you away from watching TV and keep you awake past midnight turning pages. 

Set in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Lt. Gilbert Ballard dreads going home. His fiancĂ© deserves to marry someone who has not been injured. Angry with his disability, Gilbert begs his friend, Sam, to take care of Annemarie. Although tempted by her beauty, Sam refuses, knowing one day Gilbert will heal mentally and learn to deal with his physical disability. 

Annemarie loves Gilbert with all her heart. She begs to see him in the hospital, but he refuses to see her for weeks. Determined to let him know she still loves him, Annemarie talks Sam into helping her visit Gilbert. Her disappointment turns to hurt when Gilbert breaks off their engagement.

As chaplain for the suffering soldiers, Sam complies with Gilbert's wishes by insuring Annemarie has what she needs. Spending time with someone as kind and lovely as Annemarie, though, becomes difficult. He admits he is attracted to her. 

The affects of war toy with Gilbert's healing, with Sam's battle scars chiseling away at his faith in God, and with Annemarie's desires to be faithful to what God wants her to do. 

Myra Johnson's story draws us back to the days after World War I, but the compassionate and heart riveting truths woven in the words are applicable today. Walk the streets of Hot Springs with those who are learning to survive and adapt to civilian life. 

What I especially appreciated about Myra's book is her choice to paint the picture as it really is with word choices that help us understand the trauma without writing a horror story. I wanted to feel the issues and yet turn pages. Myra did this.

I also especially appreciated her strength to give the reader the ending we knew should be written, yet thought wouldn't be--as opposed to the initial predictable one. 


You'll view Veterans Day with a new mind and heart
after reading When the Clouds Roll By.

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader, know that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. 


Friends, 
1. Do you like historical fiction? If so, why?
2. Is there a period of time you prefer to read for historical fiction?
3. Did you do something special for Veteran's Day?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans and Sacrifice


Today we give honor to our veterans


photo courtesy of morguefile.com


I'm sitting in a hotel restaurant eating breakfast. The employees for the hotel and restaurant walk about doing their job. A custodian walks through with ear buds in and a bright smile on his face, clearly enjoying his music. Another stops when an animated movie on the central TV catches his eye. 

Life walks by. 

And it can.




Thankfully thousands of soldiers starting from the American Revolution to military issues today have and are giving their lives to protect us.

Not everyone enters the military with the intent to give their life for their country, yet many have found themselves in this position. Bullet whiz by, land mine explodes. One soldier sees another injured and helps him. Another signals danger.

There is nothing glamorous about war. The soldiers didn't know me personally.

Yet the result of their service is a gift to us. One that allows us to go about our daily lives in peace.

Years ago, God sent his Son, Jesus, to go to battle to rescue us. We'd fallen into a mire with no hope or way of rescue. Jesus fought the fierce battle but clearly had the edge. His victory gave us the freedom to choose heaven.

Jesus understands the hardships experienced in battle. He knows the meaning of sacrifice and loss of life. He listens and helps. Warns and protects. Comforts and encourages.

How did we start our day today? The alarm rang, we showered, dressed in clean clothes, ate breakfast and went to work.

All the while the earth continued to turn, gravity functioned, the sun kept the temperature at a level we need, the water cycle, web of life, and other necessary functions for survival worked as it should. 

To all the men and women who have and are serving in the United States military: Thank you for the freedoms you have insured for us.

To God, Thank you for taking care of us, listening, and providing the way for eternal life.


Let's talk. Name one benefit you have that you did not directly provide.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature- Patty Smith Hall




Today I welcome 
Patty Smith Hill,
a Georgian gal who loves to write good stories. 

Enter to win Patty's recent 2013 release,
The Doctor's Bride

Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.

 I'm so happy to share with you a piece of my conversation with Patty. She is such a sweet and Christ-like spirit. I asked Patty to tell us how God led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:




Be Still

My writing journey began in the darkest hour of the night.

I’ve always had terrible insomnia. Even from the time I was about eight years old, I would walk the halls, my bed just a place where I’d toss and turn, unable to find any real comfort there. I become our family’s night watchman--checking the doors and windows, looking in on my siblings just to make sure that they could sleep even if I couldn’t.

As I grew up and got married, the insomnia came in lulls. I took a graveyard position as an RN because I figured if I wasn’t going to sleep, I might as well be earning a living. Then children came along and well, every one knows kids wear you out, right?

So in the late ’90‘s, my life was incredibly full with Girl Scouts and teaching Sunday School and taking Bible classes and helping my mother care for my grandparents and a million other things that filled my days. For the first time in my life, I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow. I had a blessed life that totally exhausted me.

But one night after another day filled with busyness, I woke up from a dead sleep. I slammed my eyes shut, hopeful I could simply fall back to sleep but failed. The old pattern of tossing and turning had my bedclothes in knots before I finally flipped over on my back, stared up at the ceiling and prayed.

Be Still.

I glanced over at my husband, Danny, his soft snore proof that he had not called out to me. But I had heard it, a voice, masculine yet so very tender.

Be Still.

I’d studied the Bible enough to know that God uses His word to communicate with His people, but had He woken me just to tell me to be still? And why? The commitments I had were all good, Godly activities. People depended on me. How could I just stop to ‘be still?’

After putting the girls to bed the next evening, I sat down with Danny and told him what had happened the night before, how God had used His Word to tell me to be still. “What do you think I should do?” I asked when I’d finished.

Without missing a beat, he replied. “Be still.”

“But. . .”

“Patty,” he started. “There’s no question that what you’re doing is good, but maybe God has something more for you, something you might never discover because you’re always in constant motion. So why not take some time and see what He has in store?”

I couldn’t argue with Danny’s logic. Over the next few months, I began to pull back from my commitments. I studied my Bible and began writing in a prayer journal. It wasn’t easy writing to the Lord--I think my first entry was a 1/2 page long--but the more I wrote, the more I wanted to write. Even after I closed the journal, the desire to write stayed with me and I found myself writing down little stories I’d come up with or observations I’d made about people I saw in my everyday life. I wrote about a man who handed out tracts at the local Walmart or the things I learned after becoming disabled.

After reading them, Danny thought I should send some of my true life stories to a publisher. I balked at the idea at first, but my husband is a very persuasive man and convinced me to try. When I glued the stamp to the envelope, I figured God would have to be in it for me to have any chance of getting published.

I had 2 contracts on my short stories within 6 weeks.

Now, 13 years, and countless articles and 4 books later, I look back and am so thankful I had a husband who encouraged me to step out in faith and discover God’s bigger plan for me. 

For me, writing has become a time of worship, another way God ministers to me as well as providing me a mission field. In being still, I found that God had bigger dreams for me than I had for myself. 


Patty Smith Hall has made up stories to keep herself occupied since she was forced on boring Sunday drives into the Georgia countryside when she was too young to stay home. Now she's happy to share her wild imagination and love of history with others, including her husband, Danny, two smart and gorgeous daughters, and a Yorkie she spoils like a baby. She resides in North Georgia.


The Doctor’s Bride

Dr. Joshua McClain is headed west
First stop: Hillsdale, Michigan, to break the marriage contract his late mother arranged between him and Katie Clark. Years ago, Katie left him behind in Charleston. But after a train crash, he comes face-to-face with Dr. Kathleen Clark, his childhood friend all grown up.
When Josh shows up in town, claiming they're betrothed, Katie refuses to consider an arranged marriage. She'll marry for love or not at all. Besides, he's headed for Kansas Territory; her practice is here in Hillsdale. So why are they both finding it hard to break their betrothal and say goodbye.
To learn more about Patty go to:

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of 
Patty's book: "The Doctor's Bride":
leave a comment (and email address)
and become a follower of this site if you aren't already.

Sorry  US  only

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Patty, for Joining us This Weekend!


Friends, Oft times we need to do as God told Patty. Be Still. We don't necessarily have to stop doing anything, but often we have free moments that could be spent thinking of God. 

So today, let's share a special verse that God has given you.

Blessings on all of you, 
Mary