Monday, October 26, 2015


My guest today, Carol McClain, is offering you a chance to win a copy of her latest release Waters of Separation. Leave a comment about how God blessed you in the little things, and you will be entered in a drawing to win a copy. Winner will be announced on this blog on Sunday. Please leave your email address spelled out in the comment. 


God spoke to Job out of the whirlwind, and that’s generally where I try to hear His voice. In truth, God more often speaks to me like he did to Elijah, subtly. His blessings flow in the little things like a hummingbird wavering in front of me, daring me to nab him, in the challenge of Words With Friends from my adolescent granddaughter whom I could swear hates all adults or in a glorious sunset.
Lately, I’ve been ruminating on God’s blessings. My mind stretched to the whirlwind times. 

However, they were all long ago. God surely had to be blessing me now. And then I saw the munificence.

We’d just moved to East Tennessee from northern New York. I knew no one, had no church support, and no social contacts.

Neil and I asked for direction, and this is how God answered (in no particular hierarchy of order):
A wonderful church
We had a wonderful church in Malone, and missed them. We explored a few churches here, but none were home. In the end, our quest didn’t take long. With the first song of our third church, we knew we had a home.

And it’s proved to be everything we needed and everything we loved. Living here fewer than three months, we now find ourselves immersed in ministry and burgeoning friendships.

2.      Wonderful friends
I’m introverted (I’m an author, so no surprise there), so friends are hard for me to create. Instantly, Wilma took me under her wing and introduced me to Dixie who loves books, Annie who loves hiking, and Celebrate Recovery where I’m training to minister. My social calendar is now filled with more than doctor or vet appointments.

3.      Writing friends
ACFW offers a wealth of writing help. I inquired about writing groups in Knoxville. Paula had been trying to start one. My post rallied the ladies, and this week we will meet for the third time in what hopes to be a long commitment.

4.      Some of the most glorious scenery in the country.

Our home faces the Cumberland Mountains. Every day, the scene changes as fog roll in, the sun sets or clouds play tag on the mountain tops. The flowers blossom in abundance—and now, in September, I have irises blooming again! I reach out to a tree I didn’t plant and pluck more pears than I can count. I watch chipmunks and deer and walk along the jade green shores of Lake Norris and rivers that smoke in warm sunshine.

5.      Etc.
I call it etc. because my blessings are too many to count: a surprise fire pit from a husband who adores me, friends and family who make the two day journey to visit, a chance to teach at a community college...

Blogs have to end somewhere. I’ll end it here. Thank you, Jesus, for your gentle voice.


Africa’s secrets resurrect the despair physician assistant Anna Haas buried in America. Her pregnancy and the discovery of boys bound by slavery in the cacao sector of the Côte d’Ivoire revive her childhood guilt. Her mother’s suicide claimed the lives of the two small sisters Anna had vowed to protect. 

Her failure to save them was unforgiveable. 

It will not happen with these boys. 

Her interference prompts a corrupt government to threaten the thriving mission and the lives of Anna and her friends. Her action also threaten her marriage. 

However, doing nothing will destroy her. 

WHERE YOU CAN CONTACT Carol McClain and purchase Waters of Separation

Barnes and Noble:

Monday, October 19, 2015


When we’re most vulnerable, the devil will pounce. It has nothing to do with how close we are to the Lord. In fact, doing God’s will is usually an incentive for Satan to move in with his darkness. He clouds our vision with self pity, or what I call, failure-ism.

I teach a Bible study for compulsive overeaters on Tuesday nights at my church. After two years of every Tuesday without a break and no back-up, I found myself burned out. Other classes and studies took a summer break, so I did, too. We began a new study on September 15.

The week after our first class stress moved in and settled into my life with a super busy mostly out-of-town schedule, health problems, and computer malfunctions. My baby daughter had been laid off. We feared for her emotions and for our finances if she was off work for long. (Praise God for blessing her with a new job in only a month’s time. He is faithful.) I was overly tired and tremendously overwhelmed.

I began the new week on Monday by studying and preparing for my Bible study. I was gone most of the day on Tuesday then stopped for a review of the lesson and a prayer before class. I arrived early and waited and waited … No one came.

At our Bible study on Wednesday night, our teacher focused on encouraging and supporting fellow Christians. One lady told how she took food to a family who’d suffered a death. Another talked about visiting some in the hospital.

Right there in church, the devil pounced on me.

He whispered, “You’re a failure. You do nothing but sit and write your little stories and then have the nerve to try and sell them. You rarely visit anyone. You’re not a cook. In fact, you’re doing nothing to encourage and help others.”

Since then, I have prayed. My husband has prayed. Like when I weighed 250 lbs, and felt lost and empty, I couldn’t fix myself. But, God …

Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
                               I John 4:4b KJV

The devil may pounce, but God reigns supreme. By today, the Lord is clearing the darkness. The light breaks through like my jonquils in early spring. God’s hope wins, the devil loses.

If the devil jumps on your shoulder and tells you that Christian writing isn’t a ministry that helps, pray for the joy of the Lord. He blesses Christian fiction and non-fiction alike and uses it in places we can only imagine and may never know about. He blesses our willingness to teach even when no one shows up for class. Thank you, Jesus, for using the strengths you gave me, not those you gave someone else.

How can a woman who gives to everyone but herself accept God’s love and healing when she believes she’s fat, unworthy, and unfixable? Can she be Worth Her Weight?

 LACEY CHANDLER helps her mother, her sister, her friend, and then she binges on food and wonders is there really a God?

BETTY CHANDLER hates being handicapped and useless, so she lashes out at the daughter that helps, and the God who doesn’t seem to care.

TOBY WHEELER loves being police chief in Wharton Rock, but when the devil invades the small town, he can’t release control.

This inspirational women’s fiction is available now at

And on Amazon:

ABOUT Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. Writing became
her second career after retiring from medical coding.

Worth Her Weight is the author’s first inspirational women’s fiction, but it makes a perfect companion to her previously released, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Both books encompass her passion for diet, fitness, and God’s Word.

Worth Her Weight marks Brown’s third book. Who knew she had a penchant for teens and ghosts? She released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012.

Janet and her husband love to travel with their RV, work in their church, and visit their three daughters, two sons-in-law and three perfect grandchildren.

Janet teaches workshops on writing, weight loss, and the historical settings of her teen books.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Today's guest, Alice K. Arenz is doing a giveaway of her trade-size paperback to a commenter from the lower 48 states.  If you are from the lower 48 states please leave a comment below and your email spelled out to enter the draw. I will draw the winning name on the Sunday after this blog posting.

A fall down a flight of 13-15 stairs, permanent/partial disability, and a warning of a lifetime of pain and whatever future manifestations that might occur as a result of the fall . . .        

Fast-forward twenty years. The development of excruciating pain in my hands, fingers and especially fingertips, left me wondering what kind of life I’d have. Sometimes I couldn’t touch my skin, let alone anything else! Prayer, support, time . . . My dream of writing was about to come true, when a headache of monumental proportions overtook me. In the four months it took to write The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, I was in and out of doctors’ offices and the ER. An MRI found no answers . . . but God showed me how to continue writing. Much of Grandma and The Case of the Mystified M.D. were typed using pencil erasers instead of my fingertips. HE blessed me with three books in three years—each finalists in ACFW’s Carol Awards, with Mystified winning in 2010.
The next years were spent in strange cycles of sickness. In January 2013 I awoke strangely dizzy and with the odd sound of motors in my head. Within 24 hours, I was intolerant to light and sound, and so dizzy I couldn’t be left alone during the next four days. The only time I left my recliner was when my husband helped me to the bathroom. It was three months before I was “well enough” to tolerate the MRI my doctor wanted. There were no abnormalities—no answers. Specialists insisted I’d “lost” my hearing, wouldn’t listen when I described my “over hearing” or “hypersensitive” hearing.  Their solution: hearing aids—my refusal—not wanting to hear even MORE—confounded them. So instead of being poked and prodded, I turned it all over to God.
I have almost normal days—though not without noise in my head—it is better. I can finally spend more than a couple minutes at my computer desk. I didn’t think writing would be a part of my life again. But God had a different plan in mind.

The encouragement of a dear friend led me to a fellow colleague who had an e-book publishing company. She agreed to take a chance on me. With my husband and daughters’ support, and constant prayer, An American Gothic was published in August. The re-issues of The Case of the Bouncing Grandma and The Case of the Mystified M.D. followed. Mirrored Image will be out soon as well. I’m contracted for two more books—and though this message is the longest thing I’ve written in five years, I have faith that God will be at my side when I begin writing again.  He is my strength, my hope, my life . . . my Savior.

And He tells me over and over again that ALL things are possible with Him at my side


Her books can be found at under Alice K. Arenz.  

NEW!!!! An American Gothic,, Forget Me Not Romances, a division of Winged Publications
NEW RE-ISSUE & COVER!!!! 2015 The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, Amazon--2009 ACFW BOTY Finalist
NEW RE-ISSUE & COVER!!!! 2015 The Case of the Mystified M.D., Amazon--Winner 2010 Carol Award for 

Monday, October 05, 2015


I am not what you’d call a prayer warrior. Five minutes in prayer is more than enough time for my mind to wander to the day’s activities, last week’s blunder, or even a hurt that occurred years ago. I’m in awe of brothers and sisters in the faith who have learned to spend hours in prayer, communing with our Lord. Their ministry is vital, and can provide encouragement like no other.

A year after my mother passed away, her death had me reflecting on things I wished I’d said and done while she was still alive. Distance had kept me from seeing her more than once a year, and her condition during her last several months had prevented me from even communicating with her by phone. I missed her deeply. While mourning her absence in my life, I received word that my sister’s ovarian cancer had come out of remission. Again, distance would keep me from spending time with her and I wondered how soon I’d be mourning another loss.

In the midst of those days of heartache and dread, I received a note from a precious prayer warrior saying the Lord had laid me on her heart to pray for me. I’ve never met this woman in person; I only know her from her Facebook presence. She’s a prayer warrior, though we’d never exchanged prayer requests. When I received her note, I explained the heaviness in my heart. She’d sensed it was something other than our common writing interest.

Suddenly, I felt like Hagar in the desert. Alone in my grief and fear of the future, I’d met Jehovah Roi, the God Who Sees. Not only did He see my inner turmoil, but He laid it on someone else’s heart to intercede for me, and to let me know that He cared. He was watching. More than anything else, that thought lifted me above my sorrow and grief. The Creator of all that exists, the One who spoke the universe into being, saw my hurting heart and communicated His care for me.

What an inspiration! What a joy to remember in dark days that we have a God Who Sees, even when we can’t find our way. The memory still brings me to tears, but they are tears of joy, knowing how deeply my Father in heaven loves me and watches over me.

Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, including serving as a camp counselor for a week. Once was enough.

About SEE NO EVIL by Mary Hamilton 

Steven Miller guards a dark secret.

Dad drilled into Steven that his blindness should never be used as an excuse. So when Steven finds an old triathlon medallion among Dad's belongings, he's inspired to follow in his footsteps. Maybe it'll quiet the guilt he's carried since Dad's death three years ago.

While Steven continues his triathlon training during his final summer at camp, a serious illness keeps Rustic Knoll's beloved Nurse Willie from managing her clinic. When Steven teams up with his friend Claire to encourage Willie's recovery, his feelings for Claire grow beyond friendship.

But his buddy, Dillon, has started down a dangerous path that Steven knows all too well. Can he keep his friend from falling into that sin without exposing his own past?

Mary Hamilton is a graduate of Long Ridge Writer’s Group and a member of ACFW. Her writing has won recognition in several contests including the Genesis and Selah contests.

When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors watching sunsets. She and her husband live in Texas.

Connect with Mary: