Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Steadfast - Blogging Guest Carole Brown

It's hard to believe it's February already. And it's Wednesday. Welcome to Carol Brown, this week's guest. 

Brown not only has her award winning (Nominated for an Epic Award, RWA International Digital Awards finalist in Inspiration, Laurel Award finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel.

November, 2013, the first book in her mystery series, Hog Insane, released. It’s a fun, lighthearted novel introducing the characters, Denton and Alex Davies. Look for the second book, Bat Crazy, late 2014 winter.

Released November 1, 2014, is the first book in a new WWII romantic suspense series: With Music In Their Hearts. Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Connect with her here:
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/browncarole212
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

Carole is also am part of several other blogs:
Stitches in Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/

Some good advice from Carole -

No, she couldn’t leave the boarding house to Papa and her sisters to run. She would have to stick it out. ~~from With Music in Their Hearts

Discontented? Discouraged? Facing more than you think you can handle?

I was feeling stressed out, tired and over anxious about nothing and everything. Snappish at the one person I adore in this world--my husband, offended at the slightest provocation at others’ supposed slights, and trying to hide the impatience I felt at my friend’s “unimportant” complaints. 

Couldn’t they see how overworked I was?
How could they ask me to do another task?
Why couldn’t I get this long list completed?

Ever feel like you were the proverbial camel eyeing that last straw a big hand was getting ready to lay on your back?

No matter whether you’re an author/writer or a fellow-laborer for the God we serve, at times we take on too much, we try to be super-human, when what we really need to do is:

  • Say no. We are not the only person who can coordinate that needed project! Pick and choose what’s right for you, what interests you, and/or what will benefit you or you feel is really important. You will sometimes be made to feel you are failing because you won’t or can’t do the project being handed you. Don’t let anyone control you like that. When a project interferes with your happiness and peace, or your family time or God’s time, then it’s wrong for you. Say no.
  • Remember that the list will still be here tomorrow. If you cross off one or two items, you’re an accomplished person. Lots of people ask more of themselves than they can reasonably accomplish. Don’t do that. Set accomplishable goals.
  • Take time to relax.
This past weekend we took a few days to go camping with family and friends. We invited our two-year-old grandson to go along. There’s not a lot of things that can get me to relax as well as the presence of family and friends. Yes, I’ll have to admit I worked all the way down the interstate with occasional glances up to see the scenery my husband and son were pointing out and enjoying.

But once there, I turned off the laptop, saw I had NO reception to my cell phone, and gave in to a time of fun and laughter.  

How did it go?

I came away more relaxed. On the way home, I joined in with my husband and grandson as we worked to see who could find the next bridge or the next horse. My husband and I discussed and talked and laughed and snacked together all the way home. 

How to relax?

  • Take a vacation. An hour, a day, a week. Whatever you can work into your budget--do it! Go to local amusements or parks or museums. (We took the grand boys to our local Airforce Museum--free, and good bonding time! And we‘ve also put down the deposit for our summer time at the beach!)
  • Choose a hobby or something you’ve always wanted to do, and begin. Don’t put it off untill tomorrow for as the old saying goes, it never comes. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a master at it or not. If it gives you a sense of peace and satisfaction, it’s well worth it. (I’ve just recently picked up a new hobby: fairy gardens. Can’t wait to get started!)
  • Spend time with those you love. Take a walk. Play with the kids or dogs. Do something really, really silly - ride down the slide, swing, skip, climb a tree. Take a day to pass out some extra hugs. (Feed the animals with the kids and watch their faces light up!)
  • Soak in a bubble-filled tub. Read a book. Eat some chocolate or your favorite dessert. Splurge on a drink you love. (Hot tub time!)
  • Invite a friend or your hubby out to dinner. Doesn’t have to be expensive. Relax and forget your problems. They’ll be there to solve later! (looking forward to hubby’s annual birthday dinner with his brother and his wife)
  • Take time out for communion with God. Think. Pray. Study. It gives one a sense of strength and encouragement.

I’m sure you can find five minutes, thirty, or even an hour to squeeze in time to do something to pep your spirits! 

As the excerpt from my recently released novel says, Emma Jaine wanted to escape her problems, but realized she couldn’t. And we can’t always escape. But we can schedule a much-needed retreat for however long.

Jesus went up in the mountains to commune with God and become stronger. He and his disciples went out in the boat to get away for a bit. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to take needed time for yourself. For however long, for whenever, for whatever, do it! Your body -and your family and friends - will thank you!

Great advice, Carol. I needed to hear it.

Carol's New Book

Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.

He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.

While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.

As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?

Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?

With Music in Their Heart
Kindle Link:   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OVFWA5S?pldnSite=1
Print Link:    http://www.amazon.com/Music-Their-Hearts-Spies-World/dp/1941622038/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415113865&sr=1-1&keywords=With+Music+in+Their+Hearts

You could win a FREE copy of Music in Their Heart. Just leave a comment and your email address and your name may be drawn. I'll announce the winner Wednesday, February 11th.

Our winner from last week is ... Ruth Ann Dell. Congratulations!

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon


  1. Oh man, I soooo needed that paragraph you wrote about saying no---I will be reading it over 'n over 'n over again as I must, just have to, simply gotta say no both on Wed. night and Thurs morn to a group, and it's been killing me and my soul--but this will enable me to do it for the peace in my own heart 'n home. Thank you so much. God is great when He uses someone we don't even know--Bonnie I do know and love already! I'm thankful to her for sharing you!

  2. Sweet Patti, it's one of the hardest things in the world for me too, to say no! But I've learned it's much harder to suffer through all the yes-es I've said. We HAVE to say no. Love you and will be praying God continues to give you the strength you need to say the needed "nos."

  3. Loved what Carole shared. I am at the stage in my life where I am finding it a lot easier to say no, but also where I do have more time to enjoy those special times. There is something to be said for being a little older.

  4. Anonymous5:44 PM

    I appreciate the "mini vacation" advice. This is so important in times of emotional stress emotionally! Even an hour can rejuvenate a weary soul.

  5. So true, Jayne! I find it relaxing to practice that myself. For awhile I got away from it and felt the stress building each day. It's so much better to take a little time out. thanks much for stopping by!

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  7. Ann, you sweetheart, you don't know what a blessing you are to others! Thank God you have time for that.

  8. Sound advice, Carol. Thank you for sharing. I haven't had a vacation, mini or otherwise in so long I can't remember the last one. Pathetic, huh? But since my move from Vegas back to northern Wisconsin, I feel as if I'm on my own permanent retreat. I've become a bit of a recluse, and that has it's own rewards. It's quiet, peaceful, and a perfect place for this aging septuagenarian. Love ya!

  9. Thanks for stopping by, Peggy! So nice to hear from you! And sounds like you have a permanent vacation right where you line. :) Nice!

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