Monday, October 28, 2013

WHAT DO YOU SEE---by Valerie Comer

When I look in the mirror I see a middle-aged woman with a too sharp chin—and sometimes a too sharp tongue to match. I see a little too much pudge—and that goes for my motivation many days as well as my body.

I have three young granddaughters, age three and younger. What do they see when they look at me? Do they see the same flaws? No. They know any sharp words coming from my mouth are for their own good. "Hot!" I say when they reach for the fireplace. "Gentle!" I say when they squeeze the kitties exuberantly. What I see as flab, they see as snuggly.

Not too much snuggly, though. They're independent, busy little girls!

In the eyes of these little ones, I am a delight. I read to them, I dress the dollies for them (again and again), I bounce on the trampoline with them, I tickle them. They love me unconditionally and enthusiastically because of who I am: their grandmother, who loves them fiercely because they are mine. Not because they are adorable or precocious—though of course they are—but because they belong.

How can I ever doubt God's love for me?

Yes, I have flaws. I've sinned, and it seems I keep doing it. God should shake His head and give up on me, but He doesn't. He doesn't see what I see in the mirror. He doesn't even see what my granddaughters see. He sees someone He's redeemed through the death of His son. He sees me washed clean, the done deal He's already declared and will be revealed.

He is the daddy heart that responds to His child. It doesn’t depend on my track record or whether I’ve performed eighteen good deeds today. It’s reliant totally in my identity as His creation. I belong.

Love isn't performance based. God's love is identity based.

"The Lord will take delight in you, and in His love He will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you." Zephaniah 3:17 (GNT)

Can you imagine? God delights in me—in you. He sings love songs over us. Loving us brings Him joy.

I know these words, but I still struggle with them. As they swirl around me, seeping into the core of my being, the characters in my novels search for belonging, too. They struggle with their identity in Christ along with the other problems I throw their way.

Josephine Shaw in Raspberries and Vinegar is no exception. She's looking for a place to belong. She thinks it is a physical place, but discovers, as I have, that it is so much more. So much deeper. So much more real.

Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance

Sweet like Raspberries. Tart like Vinegar

Josephine Shaw: complex, yet singleminded. A tiny woman with big ideas and, some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her two friends are new to farming.

Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helpless females have taken up residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble. But a mouse invasion proves Jo has everything under control. Is there anything she can't handle? And surely there's something sweet beneath all that tart.

About Valerie:
Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her characters enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie writes Farm Lit with the voice of experience laced with humor. Raspberries and Vinegar, first in her series A Farm Fresh Romance, released August 1, 2013. Visit her at

Buy through Choose NOW Publishing: (includes various links)

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Thursday, October 24, 2013


I hope you enjoy the short excerpt from Heavenly Haven below. This is my latest release, a short, inspirational, romantic, Christmas story---Christine Lindsay

Avalanches happen to other people, not us. Marital problems
happen to other people, not us, especially nine days before Christmas. At least that’s what Jack and Shaina Burke thought. Married for ten years, avalanche control expert Jack, and Shaina, only wanted to celebrate their December anniversary in a romantic way, until the shifting snows on the mountain bring havoc tumbling down upon them. Can they find renewed love in a heavenly haven of snow?

 Eighteen-month-old Zoey knew a smattering of words, but hung on to everything Scottie said, as if she considered his commentary with all judiciousness. She adored her big brother, and he basked in that adoration. But his one-sided conversation on Ninjas possibly repelling down the mountainside and attacking their vehicle grew boring after a while. Soon Scottie was asking to stop for something to drink.

Waving her hands encased in scarlet mittens, Zoey added her own request in a jumble of words which Scottie translated. “She wants a coffee break, Mama.”   

“It won’t be much longer, kids. Daddy’s camp is about two miles aw—”

Shaina’s words were cut off by the muffled echo of a rifle shot.

The sensation of ice trickled down her spine. Dear God, surely she wasn’t in the area that Jack was actually working!

The snow on each side of the Jeep was a foot deep, nothing the vehicle couldn’t handle. Still, she craned her neck to stare out and upward through the windshield.

At the first sign of the white cloud wafting over the treetops, her heart and soul froze. Sickening knowledge filled her mind with cold clarity. It was happening.

Any second now.

Stay in the car. Stay in the car.

The snow landed on the vehicle’s hard top and from the front, engulfing them in a heartbeat. Cutting off all light. Something slammed into her face. She couldn’t breathe.

The Jeep rocked. Then came to a solid stop. Her befuddled mind took in Zoey’s screeching, Scottie whimpering, “Mama?” and the pain in her face.

The airbag deflated and she could breathe. That was what had punched her in the face. “It’s all right, babies, we’re going to be okay—don’t be scared.” Thank God they’d remained upright on the road, and the avalanche hadn’t sent them careening down the mountainside.

She wiped a smear of blood from her nose and reached behind to check the kids. Their car seats had kept them safe. They seemed fine, but Zoey cried out, “Dadda! Dadda!”

Had the slide fully ended? She prayed it had. Suffocation was the major reason for death during an avalanche. Her brain clicked into the list of procedures Jack had gone over with her time and again. Conserve air and energy. Don’t jeopardize your air pocket.

The remaining air inside the closed Jeep would keep them alive for a while. But how deeply were they buried? They were now at the mercy of others to rescue them.

Was anyone nearby? Don’t shout. Shouting wastes your air supply.

Heavenly Haven, an Ebook is available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Kobo.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Author Pamela Thibodeaux

When Christine invited me to blog today on something the Lord did to inspire my faith, I thought… There is SO much He’s done in SO many ways, how can I condense these into one blog post!?

Then I got to thinking….what could I share that the majority of people in all walks of life could identify with and be encouraged and blessed by? Then it dawned on me – the one thing we all have in common is money! Whether we are pondering the need for, abundance of, or the lack thereof, money is one issue folks deal with on a monthly (sometimes daily) basis.

I read stories in the Bible like the widow whose oil didn’t run dry until she stopped pouring, and the widow who baked a cake for the prophet out of her last shred of provision and yet, her needs were miraculously met, and then there’s the one about the widow’s mite where Jesus said her gift was greatest because she gave out of her need. Still…. Money has always been one of those areas of faith I struggle with.

What I’ve come to learn over the years though is it isn’t money per se’, but my perception of money that’s a challenge. After all, my Father owns all of the silver and gold and the cattle upon a thousand hills….

Let me share with you these instances in my life where my belief in money and God’s provision were challenged and how He came through….

Christmas 1993…My husband’s boss decided to take an extended holiday from Thanksgiving through New Years without paying his employees. We were waiting on my check the day before Christmas Eve so that we could pick up a few things for our 4 children. Hearing of these circumstances, a nurse in the facility where I worked gifted me with $100 asking only that I do the same for someone else some day in return. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but we managed a very nice Christmas.

Although my faith in God’s provision was jump started in 1993, we always managed to barely get by. 

“Where’s the abundance?” I asked. All it would take was a measly $125,000 and we could pay off all debt and set ourselves up so that I could stay home and write!

No miracle occurred in our finances in answer to that constant plea, then in 2005 my husband suffered congestive heart failure. He needed a defibrillator/pacemaker and we had neither insurance nor any savings to speak of…how on earth would we get through this? I wondered, but God had it covered…..

The company (Medtronics) donated the $25,000 device, the doctor donated his services for the surgery and 1 year after until my husband could get on Medicaid (no idea actual cost here but I’m sure it was well over $25,000), and the hospital forgave the $80,000+ bill!  One night while praying and thanking HIM, God spoke to my heart… “You got your $125,000 just not in the way you thought.”

If this wasn’t proof enough that God’s plan and provision is far greater (even though sometimes much different than we imagine), get a load of this….2 days before my husband was admitted into the hospital we signed papers to refinance our house, an agreement that afforded us credit life/disability insurance on him. An $80,000 note of which we never paid a dime during his illness, and upon his death, left me with a home free and clear of debt!

Now, believe me when I say I’d take on every penny of that debt to have my husband back and this journey through grief is an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, but God’s provision through all of this has impacted my faith in ways I can never define.

There are still times I wish for a financial miracle but then all I have to do is look back and remember….My God supplies all my needs according to HIS riches in glory….
….in HIS timing and HIS perfect way….

Bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Connect with Pam by visiting her Website  

Blurb: Music is the magical entry into the spirit world; the golden gate into the Kingdom of God. But we mustn’t be of the mindset that God only uses Christian music to reach out and touch our mind, heart and spirit. God uses any and every means available to speak to His children.

Our job is to be open and receptive.

In this devotional, Pamela S Thibodeaux shares how God opened her spirit to a deeper understanding of the abundance of His grace and mercy through the words of the song, The Rose sung by Country & Western artist Conway Twitty.

Pamela offers Seeds to Ponder and a prayer as she parallels the love of God and the Christian life to each verse of the song.

Love is a Rose is available in print, on Kindle, Nook, and through Smashwords for all other e-reader devices.