Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Books & Writing -- The Real Leslie Gould

I'm excited to have Leslie Gould as my guest! 
Welcome Leslie.

Leslie Gould is the award-winning author of fifteen novels, including the #1 bestseller, The Amish Midwife (CBA & ECPA) co-written with Mindy Starns Clark. The novel, the first to be written in the Women of Lancaster County series, was a 2012 Christy award winner.  

Leslie received her master of fine arts in creative writing at Portland State University and has taught fiction as an adjunct professor at Multnomah University. She also teaches workshops at public and private schools and writer's conferences. 

She is an Army Reserve wife who has supported her husband, Peter, through many years of service, including a deployment to Afghanistan as the commander of a field hospital. Leslie and her husband live in Oregon with their four children.

Just to give us a peek into the "real" Leslie Gould can you tell us about the craziest thing you've ever done?

The "real" Leslie Gould might be pretty boring--or else forgetful. I'm not sure this is the craziest thing I've ever done, but it's what comes to mind. 

When our first baby was four months old, my husband and I took him on a trip around the U.S. in a VW bus. As it turned out our traveling 8,000 miles with an infant is probably a lot easier than taking a toddler or even a teenager on a trip, but we didn't know it at the time. It was an amazing experience though. I'm a history major and my husband is a Civil War buff so we enjoyed nearly every minute of the trip. Our son turned out to love traveling as a boy, so I don't think it did him any long-term harm. The good thing about traveling with an infant is that you stop . . . a lot.

Taking an infant on a cross-country trip is courageous. 

Now, on to writing. What did the path to full-time writing look like for you?

It was definitely a sloooow journey.  I started writing fiction in 1991 when I was in my late 20's and it wasn't until 2001 that I signed my first contract. During those ten years I wrote short stories and then novels. I wrote and wrote and wrote, encouraged by my writing group members, the sale of one short story, and winning second place in a writers' contest.

Most people don't realize how many years of work go into making that first book sale. I'm so glad you persevered.

You've published sixteen books (including three co-authored novels and eight Guideposts novels). That's a lot of work. When you make time for fun what do you like to do? 

I spend a lot of time at soccer and lacrosse games watching my daughters play and our family also goes to a lot of Portland Timbers' (MLS) matches. But what I like to do most is travel with my hubby and kids. My husband spent 2011 in Afghanistan, commanding a field hospital. After he came home last spring, we were able to go to Hawaii for a week. It was a wonderful family adventure. Most of our traveling is closer to home, but no matter where we go I get an idea for a story!

What a great way to find stories.

Your earlier books were a good fit for women's fiction. Can you share how you came to write Amish romance?

My agent, Chip MacGregor, suggested I collaborate with Mindy Starns Clark because she needed a co-writer and he'd determined that our voices were very similar. He was right. We can write a novel and no one can tell which of us wrote  what--sometimes not even me. It turned out to be an amazing experience. Once I started researching the Amish and spending time with families in Pennsylvania and Indiana, I decided to branch out on my own along with co-writing with Mindy.

Leslie's new release!

When Addie Cramer's mutter and daed decide Phillip Eicher is the man for her to marrry, they claim she must honor them by obeying their wishes. But then she falls in love with Jonathan Mosier--part of a family with whom the Cramers have a long-held grudge.

With the help of others in her community who long to see the quarrel healed, Jonathan and Addie struggle to continue their relationship against both sets of parents'  wishes. But when one of Addie's vengeful brothers harms a member of the Mosier family, Jonathan intervenes and is banished from Lancaster County.

A distraught Addie determines to find the true reason for the grudge between the two families, hoping to tear down the animosity of the past. Can their love for each other bridge the divide between their families? Or are they destined to remain apart forever?

This sounds like a good story. And I love the cover!

What kind of books do you see yourself writing in the future?

I have another idea for an Amish series that I'm playing around with, an idea for a stand-alone Biblical novel, and an idea for a historical series set in the 1800's in the U.S.A. I also have a few ideas for contemporary women's novels. So  many ideas . . . so little time!

True--so many stories and so little time. I'll never be able to write all the stories I have rattling around in my head.

Where can readers contact you online?

I'd love to have you visit me at http://www.lesliegould.com/.
I blog and include the following regular features: Writerly Wednesdays, Flashback Fridays, Fun Facts, Simple Recipes and Recently Read (Okay, honestly I just started being timely about blogging but I'm really excited to be doing it!). I'd love to hear your comments. 
You can also find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lesliegouldauthor 
I also spend time on Twitter at @lesliejeangould.

Leslie will be giving away one copy of her
new book Adoring Addie!

All you have to do to win is leave a message
along with your email address.
I'll be drawing the winners name one week from today!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quiet Moments With God -- New Beginnings

Do you know who this memorable character is? I'll bet you do. The precocious Anne Shirley of Green Gables.

I love family movies and one of my favorites is Anne of Green Gables. There is a scene in the movie where Anne has an epiphany and says, "Each day is new with no mistakes in it." (At least that's close to what she said.).

This week has me thinking about new days with no mistakes in them and new beginnings. My daughter Sarah was married over the weekend. It's not her first marriage, but it is a day to celebrate, a joyous new beginning. It's a marriage without any mistakes in it . . . yet. The mistakes will come because that's life and she and her new husband are just folks. But what a blessed time when a new family begins, a blend of his and hers. There is so much hope and expectation. And there is opportunity for God to do the unexpected and the exceptional through this unique and loving family.

There is another excellent event expected tomorrow. My dear daughter-in-law and my son will enter their local hospital where Brandi's labor will be induced. Prayerfully in a matter of hours the newest member of our family, Cy, will be born. What a grand new beginning for Cy--his first look at the world. For Paul and Brandi -- life will never be the same.

As is often the case, God uses the daily events in my life to whisper His truths to me. My thoughts returned to the day I first believed--the day I met my Lord. Oh, what a day! It is like no other! It was a new beginning. I became a new creation.

How amazing it is to be brand new with no mistakes, clean, pure and unblemished. It's nearly impossible to imagine such a state after so many years of mistakes, heartaches, survival. But God promises if we seek Him we will become more like Him. And His mercies are new every morning.

The blood of Jesus washes away our sins. And we are "White As Snow." Because of His mercy the blemishes of this life will not be carried into the next.

How incredible it is that we are given new beginnings. It is only because of the love of a merciful God.

Kelly and Sarah, cherish the opportunity. "Be all you can be." And baby Cy, I am giddy with anticipation at your new beginning. I am already praying for you.

There are all sorts of places in life where we get to begin again. Is there one that comes to your mind? Think on it. Cherish it. Be thankful for it. And then . . . share it, if not here then with someone who is dear to you.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, April 26, 2013

Thoughts For Today -- Farewells & Other Stuff

Life can feel like a whirlwind sometimes. That's what it's like in our household right now. So much has happened in the past week and there's still lots to come.

I've had family here (Which means fun!) and there are more folks on their way. My mother had cataract surgery. Sorrowful news arrived in the mail. A friend received a diagnosis of cancer. There's another family wedding, And my grandson is supposed to arrive in four days!

I can hardly wait to meet my new grand-baby.  : )

With all that's been going on, I feel like I'm in the middle of a squall of swirling events and emotions. I'm a bit overwhelmed.

Plus right smack dab in the middle of all of this I had to say good-bye to my sister. She's heading back to Alaska and I'm hating that she has to leave. She used to live a mile from my home and I could see her whenever I wanted. I was so blessed back then and didn't even know it. Now, two visits a year is a good year.

I know she needs to go. She has a bunch of people in Alaska who are counting on her to be there. I understand that God has a plan for her life. And I know that it's not about me. But I still don't like it. And tonight I'm feeling kind of sad.

Thank goodness God doesn't waste anything. Nothing comes into our lives that He doesn't allow. And so I've decided to change my perspective and try to see things from His point of view.

  • The only reason I have to say good-bye to my Sis is because she came for a visit in the first place. How awesome that she could be here. And I'm thrilled about the amazing life she has in Alaska. God's plans are so much greater than our own. Thank you Lord! 
  • Sorrowful news can stagger us, but it draws family and friends closer. We lean on one another and on the Lord. We grow stronger. We have an awesome God!
  • Mom's surgery was a success, restoring her sight--a priceless gift. What an amazing God we have!
  • Weddings bind couples and families together. They are a new beginning, a new adventure. I am so thankful for the gift of marriage.
  • And new life -- a miracle.  Amen!

Thanking God for all of His blessings.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Books & Writing -- This Week's Winner

Many thanks to Darlene Franklin for being my 
guest on Books & Writing.  

She graciously offered a free copy of
her book, Hidden Dreams. 

And the winner is . . .


Darlene will contact you soon.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Books & Writing -- Welcome Darlene Franklin

Hello to Darlene Franklin. 
What a pleasure to have this 
gifted and prolific author with us today.

(Make sure to read to the bottom to find out how to be 
included in a drawing for a free book)

Award-winning author and speaker, Darlene Franklin, lives in Cowboy county, Oklahoma. Oklahoma has the benefit of being the home of her son, his wife and their four beautiful children. 

Darlene loves music, needle-work, reading and reality-tv. She currently resides  in a nursing home, which has become a blessing. Darlene is the author of twenty-five novels and novellas. She has also written 250 devotionals and personal experience pieces  for various publications, including her soon to release book, It is Well With My Soul.

You live in Cowboy, Oklahoma. Can you tell us  a little about what it's like to live in that part of the country? What do you like most about it?

Actually, I say I live in "cowboy country" since Cowboy is the  mascot for the OSU teams. The OU Sooners wear crimson. Since I didn't grow up here I am neutral about the annual "bedlam" battles.

There are many things I love about Oklahoma. The weather and countryside aren't among them; for that I left my heart in Maine and Colorado. But Oklahoma has some of the best people in the country and has a wonderfully diverse, rich heritage that I have grown to love. It's also a great place to raise a family, which my son and his wife are doing.

What do I like best about Oklahoma? Six words: Jaran, Shelley, Savannah, Shannon, Jordan and Isaiah.

I admit that since watching the Wizard of Oz as a child I've had trouble getting the desolate, tornado-ridden image out of my mind. How nice to hear there's another side to Oklahoma. And 
I agree with you, people are the best reason to love a place.

I went online to see what you've been up to. My goodness, you've been busy! You've written a plethora of books--historical fiction, romances, novellas, and even a devotional called It is Well With My Soul. Do you have a favorite genre and time period?

My favorite genre to read is mystery, but I do enjoy writing historical romance. I'm just finishing a 3-book series in the early 20th century. That's been a lot of fun, since I'm writing about my grandmother and mother's generations.

Of All the books you've written, do you have a favorite? Why?

You're asking me to choose among my children. How can I do that? I am fond of my first book, Romanian Rhapsody, for obvious reasons. I am proud of A Ranger's Trail for its hard look at range wars and vigilante justice. I have fallen in love with the fictional town of Maple Notch, Vermont, since it's the setting for six historical books and hopefully a few contemporary books as well.

I apologize for the question. I should know better. Just wanted to know.  ; )
I love the name Maple Notch! Makes me want to visit.

You have a new book releasing in May called Hidden Dreams. Can you tell us about it? And how can we get a copy?

Hidden Dreams is book #4 in the Maple Notch Series. Here's the blurb:

Mary Anne is on the run.

Her father's been murdered, and now the mob's after her too. Leaving New York City behind is the only way to stay alive. Yet Mary Anne Lamont finds herself stuck in Maple Notch Vermont, when her car crashes straight into Wallace Tuttle's truck. Wallace and his family offer her warmth and welcome, no questions asked, but she doesn't dare give them her real name--not without 
risking their safety too.

At first, Wallace chides himself for being distracted by the glamorous flapper. Mary Anne certainly doesn't fit his image of a future wife. But underneath the bleached bob and big-city ways is a courageous, caring woman. When the danger she's been running from draws close,Wallace must risk everything to prove his faith in Mary Anne, in God's plan, and the dreams 
they've come to share.

This sounds good!

You can pre-order a print or electronic copy of the book from amazon.com.

So, what's up next? Do you have another book in the works?

Actually, I have a couple of other books coming out in May. I have one novella in the Texas Brides collection. Six outlaws and four Texas Rangers lock horns in the stories.

I'm very excited about another new venture. A couple of years, I teamed up with Susan Page Davis, Janelle Mowery and Lynette Sowell to write a Christmas anthology called Christmas at Barncastle Inn. The Barncastle is a cross between Fantasy island and time travel, where the guest gets to celebrate the holiday in the time period of their choice. That book is still for sale in print and electronic forms.

The four of us decided to continue the holiday theme with new novellas, set during other holidays Spring Comes to the Barncastle Inn by Lynette Sowell, released on march 24th, and Revolution Comes to the Barncastle (in honor of Patriot's Day) by Susan Page Davis released on April 1st. My book, Barncastle Memorial, will release on May 1st. In it, a family throws a "This is your life" for a lonely widow, which turns into romance (of course).

What a great idea! These books sound fun!

I stopped by your blog, My Daily Nibble,

 (http://mydailynibble.blogspot.com) and found it to be a thoughtful, deep look into God's Word. I like that you don't shy away from the tough stuff. What inspired you to begin writing this type of blog?

As I jumped into the middle of a "Read through the Bible in a Year" plan on line, I kept running into verses that struck me in new and unseen ways. I sent them on to a good friend. She would always come back to me and ask, "And now what?" In other words, she wanted me to take the first spark of an idea, to explore it, and to see what application it might have in my own life.

After several months of this, and encouraged by God to get a little more into nonfiction, I decided to put them into a blog. So each day, whatever the reading is about, I write a blog about that. I look at things that my writer's mind notices, like characters and timing. I look at odd choices of phrases and repetitions. And yes, I make a point to write  about the hard things. Because we all question them. I don't pretend to have the answers, but I at least look at them.

Can you tell I'm passionate about this? I am struggling to accept my qualifications (intelligence, Bible college and seminary, years of study and reading), my calling (can a divorced woman claim to have a gift of wisdom?), etc. etc. etc. Writing the blog challenges me and rewards me in a multitude of ways.

Thank you for your courage and dedication.

Where can readers find you online?

twitter: @darlenefranklin

Darlene is giving away a free copy of her new book Hidden Dreams! For a chance to win all you have to do is leave a comment along with your email address.

I'll be drawing for the winner one week from today!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Quiet Moments With God -- Are You Seeking?

Have you ever found yourself at your end and wondering how you were going to go one step further? Or have you ever felt a goal slip away and could see no possibility of its ever being fulfilled? And what about illness that sets you back to such a degree that you wonder is this all there is?

My guess is we've all had those kinds of moments, or years, when there seemed to be no hope and life felt too difficult to bear. I've been known to say, "Stop the world. I want to get off."

Sadly, as we saw today in Boston, that can happen--unimaginable heartache and paralyzing fear. We are left to pray, to trust and to help one another.

When we find ourselves in the midst of what we thought was impossible, it's hard to keep hold of the truth-- that God has everything worked out and He holds out his arms to offer rest and peace to His children. Sometimes, when I need to be strong that's when my faith feels limp and skimpy, kind of like a salad that's been left sitting out too long. And then I am left to wonder why? I love His Word. I love Him. But sometimes my faith does not express those feelings. I guess it might have something to do with the fact that faith can't be just an emotion. It's a gift, but even the most powerful runner must work to build his strength and endurance. Pressure helps build faith muscles and the unexpected teaches us to be flexible.

I've had what feels like a lot of faith-training. Generally it's not much fun but there is no room for whining, especially when I look at someone like the apostle Paul. He paid dearly for his faith, but the rewards were huge. Paul said, "To die is gain." How many of us can say we feel that way? Powerful training produced this kind of faith  Paul loved the Lord with his whole heart and he submitted himself fully to God.

I want to have faith like Paul, but it comes at a cost. Am I willing? Paul saw beyond his present condition, to a greater calling. His vision was clear. Would it have been so if he hadn't learned to trust God in the worst of circumstances? It wasn't an easy road to fully understand that God always does what He says He'll do-to know God never lies.

His Word is alight with precious promises we can believe in. When we look back at the trials of our lives we can see His hand in it all.

He is our refuge
He will sustain us
Those who mourn will be comforted
He will not forget us.
He is faithful.
    He turns darkness into light.
           He gives strength to the weary.
                          He works all things to the good for those who love Him.

                    All who believe in the Son shall have eternal life.

These are only some of God's promises. There are many more. To know them . . . to know Him we must seek Him. Another promise says, "If you seek Him, He will be found by you."  

God offers no conditions. His promise is not complicated. It is clear and it is certain.

So, the only question you need to ask is, "Am I seeking?"

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, April 12, 2013

Thoughts For Today -- Country Living

Yesterday my husband and I were heading home from town and when I looked out at the highway it seemed crowded and I said, "There are sure a lot of cars on the road today." My  husband laughed. "Yep. Six cars on a four lane highway."

I immediately recognized my inaccurate perception. I've grown too accustomed to country living. We left the city thirty-three years ago to experience a different kind of life and to offer something special to our children. I am so glad we did . . . most days.

I'm thankful for the four-lane highway between town and the hamlet I live in. Of course it was built back in the timber days when logging companies were making money, which meant a hay-day for the county coffers. There was plenty of cash to build roads for the log trucks that made their way down from the mountains to the mills. That was then, this is now, but the highway remains.

I got to thinking about our family's change from city life to country life all those years ago. We had all sorts of plans for our new place nestled in the forest. But we had no clue what country living was really all about. My husband and I didn't know how damaging a two mile gravel road could be on cars. We'd given no thought to the amount of mud it could splash up on our rear window in a winter. And in all the places we'd lived prior to our move water came out of the tap . . . every time you turned it on. Here, we had to drill and pray for water. God was gracious and we managed to hit a productive enough well, but it took a lot of trial and error to figure out how to remove the iron in it before it reached our home. Living in the country means there's always work to be done--driveways need rock, outbuildings need repair, firewood must be cut and stacked, and fences must be built . . . and the list goes on.

We were young and even with all the surprises and hard work we were happy to be here. I used to drive to town praising God all the way as green hills rolled by with lambs skipping and cattle grazing. And then somewhere along the way I got used to all the specialness and for a while I didn't see it. I was in too big a hurry to look.

These days, I see the beauty. And days like yesterday remind me how lucky I am.

This winter brought gorgeous white landscapes, blustering winds and enough rain to create fertile ground for the spring bloom.

And there are as many deer as there are people here. I never tire of watching these beautiful animals.

We can still climb on a motorcycle and be on a trail in thirty seconds. My hens are plump and happy, ranging our property and producing more eggs than we can eat. Wild flowers are blooming and the wind is sighing, carrying the sweet fragrance of fruit tree blossoms. And I am once again praising God for giving me the gift of living in this place.

The road is still hard on my car, and this time of year there's lots of mud. There is always work waiting to be done and the trip into town sometimes feels too long, but none of that really matters because nature rests all around me, reminding me of God's kindness to me.

The years have flown by and I'm no longer a young woman, looking down what feels like an endless road of precious country days, but I am a gal who is thankful that all those years ago I decided to be a country girl.

No two of us are exactly the same, and that goes for where we like to live. Some of you reading this could not abide leaving the vitality of the city or the culture of the suburbs. You might find country living a bit too quiet or too slow and most of the culture here comes in a more natural format. I'd love to hear what you like most about the place you call home.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Books & Writing -- Today's Winner!

Many thanks to Pamela Meyers for being my guest and for offering a free book to you just for stopping in.



Pamela will be getting in touch with you soon.


Friday, April 05, 2013

Thoughts For Today -- Perfect Brows

Isn't this a gorgeous eyebrow? I admire perfect brows. I've always wished they could be mine. I know, weird huh. But I'll bet there's something about you that you wish was just exactly right.

I was born with skimpy brows and the older I get the skimpier they get.

In truth, perfection is not something we should strive for. If we're always chasing after it I fear we'll fall into the deep ditch called vanity. Imperfection is healthier anyway, don't you think? At least while we are here on earth where pride can run amuck.

However, I do believe we ought to have firsts in our lives, even when we are old. And yesterday was a first for me. I decided to do something about my scrawny brows. I went into my local beauty salon and had my eyesbrows shaped, waxed and dyed. I'm tired of using brown eye shadow to fill mine in. And my touch is unreliable. Some days I look like Groucho Marx and other days I end up with a line so faint and thin I shouldn't have bothererd. It was time for help.

When I sat in the chair while the dye was administered, I envisioned satiny brown shapely brows that would flawlessly frame my eyes. But after the coloring was done I looked in the mirror and was greatly disappointed. I could barely see my brows. We tried again--still nearly invisible. After that, the technician shaped them with hot wax, which made them look nicer, but this morning I had to pull out my brown eye shadow. I thought -- Only me.

I'm disappointed, but I'm glad I did it. It's always good to try something new, especially after the age of sixty. When I think about it, I wonder why it took me so long, even if it was unsuccessful.

Have you tried something new recently? Tell us about it. We need to encourage one another to be more adventurous. So, here's to new adventures . . . even if they are something simple like shaping a brow.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Books & Writing -- Hello From Pamela Meyers

Welcome Pamela.
It's a pleasure to have you with us 
here at Books & Writing.

Pamela is a native of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and now lives in suburban Chicago. She served on the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) operating board for five years and has also served her local ACFW chapter in various leadership roles.

Her debut novel Thyme for Love released November 2011 and its sequel Love Will Find a Way released March 2013. Her historical romance that is set in her hometown, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva Wisconsin releases in April 2013. She has published many magazine articles and is a contributor in a non-fiction compilation book.

You can often find her nosing around Midwestern small towns looking for story ideas or coordinating the ACFW Genesis writing contest. She leads a women's life group in her church and enjoys reading and cooking. 

If you could use one word to describe yourself what would it be?


A trait I highly admire.  : )

You've stepped into a variety of different writing genres--magazine articles, non-fiction books and more recently novels. You have two novels releasing this year (You've been busy). How did you find your way to novel writing? Is it something you've always wanted to do? And do you prefer one genre over another?

I wasn't called to write in early childhood like some, although I always had to write in a journal and did some editorials for a church newsletter for singles. I returned to college in my forties to get my elusive bachelors degree and ended up taking quite a few writing courses as electives. My prof put a bug in my ear that I could be paid for my words. I began dabbling in short stories and took one to the Write to Publish Writer's Conference that takes place in my area every year. Author Gayle Roper read the story and suggested I turn it into a book. I was stunned. Me? Write a novel? But she put the bug in my ear and I gave it a shot.

I started out writing contemporaries and it was only when the editor at Summerside suggested I write a historical for my Lake Geneva setting that I ventured into the historical genre. Writing in the 1930's was really fun and I'd like to write more stories in the 30's and 40's. Right now, I'm drafting a novel in the 1870's, but contemporaries are fun to write too. I can have characters use cell phones and computers and I don't have to worry whether or not they had peanut butter back then. (Note: They did have peanut butter in 1933.)

Yay for peanut butter!

Your bio said that you served as a sign language interpreter in your church. That's special. Can you tell us about the ministry and how you became involved?

When I first came to the church, I presently attend, I took a membership class and the members included several deaf attendees. I became fascinated watching the interpreter. I decided to take a sign language class to learn how to speak to the deaf. One thing led to another and I ended up in an interpreter training program. When the church interpreter had to step down I became it. 

That was eons ago and I was the main Sunday morning interpreter for over twenty years. My church no longer has a deaf ministry as we lost our deaf members through death and attrition, but right about the same time the interpreting ended I was getting more and more involved in other things, including fiction publication. My season as a sign language interpreter was over, but I never have missed it, except for signing music. That, I love to do.

Years ago, I attended a church that had an interpreter. 
I always felt it added depth to the worship. I loved it.

It is clear that you're a busy woman, but even the busiest among us need down time. What do you like to do for fun?

Hah! Down time? What's that? You're asking me this at a very busy time of year. I oversee the ACFW Genesis writing contest for unpublished authors, and we are in the midst of judging the first round. At the same time, I'm full-speed ahead on marketing and presentations related to Love Finds You In Lake Geneva Wisconsin. But when I do have down time, I enjoy reading, cooking and going to rodeos with good friends who introduced me to the sport.

Can you tell us a little about the new book, Love Finds You In Lake Geneva Wisconsin? And how you came up with the story idea?

I grew up in Lake Geneva, a very special small town in Southeastern Wisconsin. Geneva Lake is a rather large spring-fed lake that has drawn visitors and summer residents from the Chicago area since the time of the Great Chicago Fire. It's known both for its beauty and its clear waters. 

When Rachel Meisel from Summer Press spoke at my local ACFW chapter meeting about three or so years ago, she mentioned they were looking for resort areas for their Love Finds You line and I piped up, saying I had been raised in Lake Geneva. Her eyes lit up and she wanted to hear more. I soon brainstormed my story and spent most of the summer camped out at the Lake Geneva library pouring over microfilms from 1933 when the town's recreational building and ballroom were built next to the water. The building still stands today and is a historical landmark and an icon of the town. Through my research on the town I came to love it even more and am blessed to have had the opportunity to write the story.

Will she lose her heart to the man who stole her job?

A young woman wants to work in a man's world. It's 1933, the height of the Big-Band era, and beautiful Lake Geneva is already well established as a summertime playground for Chicago's elite. Local girl, Meg Alden, works at the town newspaper, but she aspires to be a reporter--a job given only to men. When a position opens up, Meg spies an opportunity to break into the business. That is until Jack Wallace, the son of a big-city newspaper magnate, is hired instead. Jack is drawn to Meg and suggests they combine forces to uncover a local scandal. But how will Meg be able to work with the man who stole her job . . . and makes her pulse race?

This sounds like fun and a great read. 
I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Is there anything you'd like to share with readers?

My cup overflows. A week or so before LFY in Lake Geneva released, the sequel to my debut novel, Love Will Find a Way, released. Both of these books are from Oak Tara Publishing and are contemporary romantic mysteries. The stories are also set in southeastern Wisconsin in a fictional small town, a place about ten minutes east of Lake Geneva. A 180 degree turn from historical fiction, the stories are somewhat humorous, but also serious. The heroine's name is April Love. April is a chef and I had a blast testing recipes for her to make in the story. The book contains three recipes for my readers to try out.

What fun!

Where can we find you online?

My blog: http://www.pamelasmeyers.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.compamelameyers
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pamelameyers
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/531929

Pamela has offered to give away one FREE copy of her new book, Love Finds You In Lake Geneva!

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Monday, April 01, 2013

Quiet Moments With God -- Dare To Be A Disciple

Easter weekend has come and gone, but so many images of Jesus life and death remain with me. I watched the Passion of the Christ, as I always do this time of year, as well as the mini series on the history channel, The Bible. There were many thoughtful posts on Facebook. And images from Easter Sunday church are still with me.

It is Monday, but I haven't left Easter behind. And my mind is captivated by Jesus' disciples.  

Last night after watching the final episode of The Bible I was glad to see that they didn't exclude what followed the resurrection of Christ. The disciples who were closest to Christ suffered greatly. Many were killed for their faith.

When speaking to the disciples in John chapter fifteen, verses18-21 this is what Jesus said. If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? A slave is not greater than the master. Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And me, for they have rejected the One who sent me.

The disciples didn't fully understand what was in their future or their Lord's future, but they followed. When the Holy Spirit came to them after Jesus' death, they knew what they were meant to do and they did it, understanding that they would be persecuted and that some of them would die.

I don't know what is ahead for Christians here in the United States. It seems persecution toward Christians is on the rise. In places around the globe Christians are dying because of their faith. Even so, we are called to share God's truth with the world, with our neighbors, and even with those we know only via the internet. In that case, what a beautiful gift technology is.

Sadly, too many believers have decided that their own salvation is enough. They are wrong--it is not. Oh, heaven is waiting for all believers, but God has asked us to be His disciples.

It's scary to step out. We ask -- What can I do? Who am I, to tell others? I'm no one special. I'm not a great speaker. I'm not a theologian or a teacher.

And so I ask, who did Jesus choose? A tax collector, fishermen, everyday fellows, not learned scholars. As a brand new believer I was filled with the joy of my new life and I was compelled to tell everyone about Jesus and what He had done for me. I didn't know much, except that my heart was filled with joy and hope instead of despair. And I knew God loved me. And so armed with very little knowledge but much zeal I told anyone who would listen, about Jesus. Not everyone appreciated my fervor.  :-)

I never imagined that one day I would teach Bible studies, speak to women's groups or write books. All that mattered then was that I wanted others to know Jesus and how beautiful it felt to belong to Him. And that they could know joy and be assured that one day they would live with God in heaven. All they had to do was believe.

Discipleship is a risk. But if we begin first with our love of God and if we believe and then step out, God will do the rest. He will open the doors, and then we must step through them. Like newborn colts, we may stand on wobbly legs but the Lord will help us walk and the Holy Spirit will guide and teach.

I do not know what the future holds. Life is uncertain and the world is a scary place. But this world is not our home. We are only passing through. How wonderful would it be if while we are here we help others know the One True God so they may also spend eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom.

I will be forever grateful for the first band of disciples. Without their faith and courage I would never have known my Savior. And I am grateful for the men and women who have come alongside me to help me along on my journey. Thank you, Kathy, Alice, Lois, Ed and . . . well there is too long a list, but I am not the same because of those who were willing to step out of their comfort zones and reach out to me.

Do you have someone you'd like to thank or tell us about? I'd love to hear!

Go, therefore, and tell the world!

Grace and peace to you from God,