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2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Pamela S Thibodeaux CEO/Editor/Ad Sales Director http://thewordsmithjournalmagazine.com


August 2012

As Summer heats up, so does The Wordsmith Journal Magazine! Welcome to our August 2012 issue....This month we welcome author, Tracy Krauss and our newest Reviewer, Barb Shelton with her column, A SR Moment...Just Saying to the TWJM family! As promised, we have four brand new stories for you and be sure to check out our Guest Editorial by Donita K Paul! In This Month's Issue Columns & Blogs The Proactive Author by W. Terry Whalin For a Thousand Generations by Scott Higginbotham You Are Not Alone by Dawn Kidd Behind the Mystery by Ellen Kennedy Michele's Musings by Michele Abshire Faith & Fitness by Kellye Davis The Power of Positive Faith by LaSharnda Beckwith Consider This by Rita Schulte Book Reviews: The Mercy Seat ~ Alvetta Rolle Hearts Key ~ Marianne Evans The King of Trees ~ William D Burt Irregardless of Murder ~ EE Kennedy

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Colors Series! SR Perspective ~ A SR Moment...Just Saying by Barb Shelton Book Store Featured Books Featured Trailers Featured Publisher Revell Books Author Pages Mary Manners Kathi Macias Michelle Sutton JM Hochstetler Shawna K Williams Delia Latham Tracy Krauss Meet our Sponsor John Poche' Arts

Abba Father; A Simple Prayer

ISBN-13: 978-1450749336

Author Interviews: Donita K Paul & Evangeline Denmark Alvetta Rolle Cortney Davis Julianne Donaldson

Meet our Sponsor Christian Bookmarketing.com TWJM is proud to partner with Christian Fiction Book Reviews

Short Stories Eyes on the Hilltop by Kat Heckenbach Matters of the Heart by Linda Robinson Sisters by Deborah Malone Spring Frost by Nikole Hahn YA Perspective with Sarah Heath: Featuring Author Melody Carlson's True

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Sophia's emotional problems to her adoptive mother's issues. Ruth was a great influence and a solid example of how spiritual mentoring should occur. The spiritual and emotional insight was deep and for the spiritual application alone it was worth reading. The Mercy Seat Alvetta Rolle

ISBN # 9780982624234

Going from raunchy to redeemed is not easy. When 19 year old prostitute Sofia Douglas walks into Freedom Baptist to reconcile with her mentally abusive foster mother Julia Aaron, she is met with much more than she bargained for. Although befriended by an elderly church mother by the name of Ruth Stills, she begins to fall for Ruth’s son Xavier who is handsome, caring, a minister… and married. Sofia begins an endless cycle of trying to stifle mutual feelings for a married man of God, and combat the bitterness of a mother who has her own issues, both spiritually and psychologically. With the arrival of the mysterious Sofia walks at the last night of revival, Xavier Stills and Felecia's already troubled marriage takes a tumultuous turn for the worst. Felecia and Xavier now have to fight to save their diminishing relationship, even as they try to ward off the temptation of yielding to outside influences.

I loved the honesty in this story. The author clearly knows how to communicate emotion on the page. The delivery of it could use a little polishing regarding point of view, but honestly, it didn't take away from the value of the story as a whole. I would definitely recommend it to couples who feel an emotional distance developing between them so they can see the consequences of not dealing with things early on. Lovers of Urban Christian Fiction will enjoy The Mercy Seat. In some ways this story was deeper than just focusing on the church drama, and I appreciated that. The Mercy Seat was published by Ellechor Publishing House and released in July 2012. Michelle Sutton has written well over a dozen Christian novels. She is also a book reviewer, an avid blogger, the mother of two college students, a wife of over 21 years, a social worker by trade, and follower of Jesus Christ. Michelle has been reviewing books since 2007 and is a top 1000 Amazon reviewer as well as the Number One review contributor on Christianbook.com. ***********

Review of The Mercy Seat by Michelle Sutton The Mercy Seat was a good story of redemption and the importance of not letting yourself stray emotionally in marriage by getting close to someone who is not your spouse. I liked the pacing of the story and how realistic the author was regarding temptation and the characters' emotions. I also loved the way she tied

©August 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Hearts Key Marianne Evans

ISBN # 978-1611160901

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A Chorus of faith, sung in the key of second chances. Once the effervescent leader of the pack, Amy Maxwell’s marriage should have been perfect. Instead, she escaped with nothing but the clothes on her back and her daughter, Pyper. Once the shy teen, Tyler Brock has evolved into a powerhouse in Christian music, and when he returns to Woodland for a benefit concert, Amy can’t believe he is as faithful and tender as ever. He even manages to touch the heart of a doubtful Pyper. But, Amy can’t escape her own self-doubt, and she questions the wisdom of her heart when it comes to the charismatic musician who is so different now, yet so much the same. Can the key to their hearts unlock a lifetime of love? Review of Hearts Key by Kim Ford

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sincerity and faithfulness of his intentions toward both Amy and her precious daughter Pyper. There are many emotional and spiritual battles to be overcome in both Amy and Tyler’s lives, and it’s a very sweet, tender journey of growth and discovery as these two become reacquainted. All of the characters in this story will become very dear to your heart as this story develops. Their pain and joy are very real, and your heart will be deeply touched by the time you spend together. I’m very glad to discover that there are more books in this series! Kim Ford has been a resident of Alabama for more than ten years. She has spent the past 11 years in sales and marketing and has been an avid reader of Christian Fiction for more than 20 years. ***********

“Faith is a risk. Faith always requires trust. Faith requires vulnerability and absolute belief that, despite everything, God leads you to goodness.” These are words that Amy Maxwell really needs to believe and embrace with her entire heart. She has almost been able to receive the truth of these words, but her past is holding her captive. Rather than believe God is blessing her with second chances in many areas of her life, the pain of her past continues to whisper lies into her present, casting doubt and shadows over relationships that will move her boldly forward in her faith and every other aspect of her life. Tyler Brock has overcome his shyness and embraced all that God has gifted him with, and when his life intersects with Amy more than a decade after they shared a high school mission trip, he must prove the

©August 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

The King of Trees William D Burt

ISBN # 978-1579210908

Book I in the "King of the Trees" fantasy series What do an old wooden box, a jeweled pendant and some mysterious, greengarbed strangers share in common? When Rolin son of Gannon sets out to solve this riddle, his adventures take him worlds beyond the walls of his little log cabin in the mountains. With the help of some grumpy griffins and a long-lost prophecy, Rolin and his friends battle a fiendish foe and his underworld army; deadly snake-trees;

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dragons, and other mythological creatures. On their perilous quest for the fabled Isle of Luralin and the Tree of Life, they must trust the King with their very lives. In the end, they learn that "The greatest help oft comes in harm's disguise to those with trusting hearts and open eyes." Review of The King of Trees by Kim Ford “The greatest help oft comes in harm’s disguise to those with trusting heart and open eyes.” (Bembor to Rolin on his reentrance to Thalmos) William Burt has created a host of memorable characters in The King of the Trees! Rolin appears as the son of the Beekeeper, and then, in the midst of accompanying his father to market, he is introduced to a new world, a new sense of wonder and amazement, and the realization that his life has just taken on a whole new dimension. Through a series of discoveries, confrontations and trials Rolin learns much about Lucambra and its inhabitants. He learns about the link between Earth (or Thalmos) and Lucambra and the hidden passages that are known only to a few and guarded for the safety of all who live beyond the opening. He learns that his past holds great significance to the Lucambrians and he must be convinced that the son of a beekeeper can hold such a place in either world. Shortly after all of this is revealed to Rolin, (time is kind of irrelevant in the grand scheme of things in this story) he and his new acquaintances are engaged in the beginning of a fierce battle, and the outcome….well, remember the saying… “The greatest help oft comes in harm’s disguise to those with trusting heart and open eyes.” The outcome is something every reader will thrill to discover! It is hard for me to read fantasy and truly enjoy it most of the time, because I get tend to lost in the descriptions and histories of

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the different life forms. However, William Burt has created such vivid word pictures that the reader (and I was so amazed at this!) is easily drawn from Earth’s realm into the Lucambrian realm with ease. The story unfolds with effortless charm and the characters, regardless of their race or resident world, are believable and very likable. I am so glad to learn that The King of the Trees is the first in a series of books so I can read more. I am genuinely excited to recommend this book to you! Kim Ford has been a resident of Alabama for more than ten years. She has spent the past 11 years in sales and marketing and has been an avid reader of Christian Fiction for more than 20 years. ***********

Irregardless of Murder EE Kennedy ISBN# 978-1936438181

Amelia Prentice, a forty-something high school English teacher comfortable in her predictable routine, regains consciousness after tripping over the corpse of a former student in the safest of places, the public library. Returning to the classroom, she tries to pretend nothing happened. But when it becomes obvious that the victim’s death wasn’t an accident and she is now a murder suspect, she realizes that her cozy small-town life in New York’s Adirondack region will never be the same. Crazy things begin to happen: The victim’s mother disappears. Amelia’s friend Lily is thrown overboard from the Lake Champlain

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ferryboat. A mysterious millionaire from Montreal seems determined to buy Amelia’s house. The school nurse is viciously attacked by a student. Amelia’s old beau Gil suddenly seems determined to rekindle their romance. Amelia is carjacked, and, of course, there’s the Lake Champlain Monster ... It will take all Amelia’s wisdom, humor, and faith to figure out what’s going on and embrace the new life that lies ahead. If she survives . . . Review of Irregardless of Murder by Deborah Piccurelli

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younger set would like it, too. For those who like a cute, quick, entertaining read, this book is perfect. Deborah M. Piccurelli is an advocate for sanctity of life, and tackles such issues in her novels, weaving them into compelling stories. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, and now loves writing reviews for the works of her fellow authors. *********** Interview with Donita K Paul & Evangeline Denmark By Mary Nichelson

I’ve never read a “cozy” mystery before, and I’m supposing Irregardless of Murder is one such book. I could be wrong, though. The word “cozy” does seem to describe the feel of this novel. I was delighted with the story and characters. In Irregardless of Murder, Marguerite LeBow had been murdered in the copy room at the public library, and Amelia Prentice is the one to find her. Well, she trips over her upon entering the room, then falls and hits her head. So, she really never sees Marguerite’s corpse at all. As a teacher, Amelia had many of the citizens of her small town as students through the years, such as Marguerite. She had liked Marguerite, and thought her a good student. But Marguerite leaves something behind for Amelia, and her murderer is after it, willing to go to any lengths for it. Amelia has no idea what it is, or how to obtain it herself, so she could give it to the police as evidence. She has some friends to help her along the way: Her best friend, Lily Burns; Marguerite’s mother, Marie; Vern Thomas; Gil Dickensen, Vern’s uncle, and Amelia’s high school sweetheart, among a few others. Will Amelia and her friends discover this evidence before the killer makes Amelia victim #2? Most of the characters in this novel are of middle age, so that group of readers is its target. Although, I’m willing to bet the

©August 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Recently, author Donita K Paul spoke candidly with me regarding her new book, Taming the Wild Wind. This month, I wanted to introduce another project Paul has successfully completed with her daughter, Evangeline Denmark. The Dragon and the Turtle was a collaboration between family members written for the strengthening of Christian families everywhere. With the help of animated and memorable characters, central truths regarding friendship emerge to teach your children that adventure can be found even when some things are lost. As if a tempting storyline isn’t motivation enough, Paul and Denmark seal the deal with a recipe for Chocolate Chip Snappers, something no child can resist. MN-Collaborating with a family member on this book made the process-

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ED-More pajama friendly! You don’t have to dress professionally for the woman who changed your diapers. DP-More fun and it wasn’t just one family member. We have two boys who contributed advice and enthusiasm. MN-We decided to write a children's book becauseED-Roger got lost! No, really. We had a character who had a problem. The obvious solution was to give him a story and another character, a friendly dragon, to help him solve his problem. DP-I’ve always wanted to write a picture book. I made them when I was in elementary school. I took an excellent correspondence course from Institute for Children’s Literature as a young mom. I think picture books are special and am designing a blog called “Anatomy of a Picture Book.” MN-I believe readers will love Roger because heED-has the heart of an adventurer. Turtles are often portrayed in children’s literature as cautious and fearful because of their ability to withdraw into their shells. No, no, no. Turtles are nature’s tanks, and tanks are meant for rough and tumble, off-road activities. DP-His imagination is vivid, and he throws himself into his make-believe. In the first book, he plays being a pirate to the hilt. In the second, he and Padraig even talk like British explorers. Readers will enjoy identifying with a small red dragon with a big heart. Padraig knows friendship includes putting aside his own wants. The dragon is hungry, and he interrupts his scavenging for buggy snacks in order to help his new friend. Friends help us try new things like strawberries.

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MN-Proverbs 17:17 represents our story perfectly becauseED-Hard times are the true test of friendship. Even though they’ve just met, Padraig sticks with Roger like a brother. He refuses to give up on helping his friend even when the task of finding Roger’s home becomes increasingly difficult. DP-It’s easy to be a friend when your friend has a party, and there are cookies and games. It is harder to be a friend when an onerous task, like packing and moving, is the activity for the day. A good friend helps in both circumstances. MN-After reading The Dragon and the Turtle, we would like the dialogue between parents and children to beED-focused on the friendship-building skills even young children can learn. How to talk to a new friend. How to ask them questions and share your own likes and dislikes. How to take those first baby steps into a “Putting Others First” mentality. DP-spontaneous and guided. The parent should zero in on what interests the child, but also, take advantage of the teachable moment. No matter what the child latches onto in the story, there is always something to say about patience, kindness, perseverance, and relationships. MN-The best part of Chocolate Chip Snappers isED-not telling people about the ginger flavor and watching them try to figure out what that extra “snap” is. DP-making them together. We are about to have a new contest at the website where parent and child will submit a dump cake recipe that they make up. The prize will be a safari hat. Author bio: Donita K. Paul retired early from teaching school, but soon got bored!

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The result: a determination to start a new career. Now she is an award-winning novelist writing Christian Romance and Fantasy. She says, “I feel blessed to be doing what I like best.” She mentors all ages, teaching teenagers and weekly adult writing workshops. “God must have imprinted 'teacher' on me clear down to the bone. I taught in public school, then home schooled my children, and worked in private schools. Now my writing week isn’t very productive unless I include some time with kids.” Her two grown children make her proud, and her two grandsons make her laugh. Author bio-Evangeline Denmark is a children’s book author, novelist, blogger, and pajama enthusiast. She co-wrote The Dragon and the Turtle (Waterbrook Press, 2010) and The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari with her mom, CBA best-selling author Donita K. Paul. Evangeline’s Blog, Breathe In Breathe Out is filled with sympathetic humor for women who don’t have time to breathe in and breathe out. If you’re breathless and overwhelmed, this is the place for you! Although she spends most of her time in PJs, Evangeline doesn’t have a single picture of her pink paisleys, electric blue jaguar print, stripes, solids, butterflies, moons and stars, or XOX tic-tac-toes. That’s probably for the best.

The Dragon and the Turtle Donita K Paul & Evangeline Denmark ISBN-13: 978-0307446442

Friends come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Sometimes they’re even dragons. Roger loves adventure. Today he’s playing pirate, sailing the high seas, dancing to the hornpipe, and catching fish. But the wind’s blown him off course and he’s . . . well . . . lost. When Padraig, a kitten-sized, bug-eating dragon, encounters the lost turtle, he offers to help Roger find his way home. Roger’s directions take some time to follow—his house looks brown, sounds like singing, smells like baking, feels like sand, and tastes like strawberries—and along the way, Roger and Padraig become friends. And friendship always yields unexpected rewards. Like cookies. *********** Featured Trailers!

You can learn more about the authors of The Dragon and the Turtle by visiting the book’s website and blog ***********

Deadly Chase Wendy Davy

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Wisdom Tree Mary Manners

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Shadows Michael Duncan

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The Visionary Pamela S Thibodeaux

*********** Interview with Cortney Davis By Mary Nichelson

“I write to honor my patients and the moments we share, and also to keep harm away—not with medicine but with memory. In my writing, nursing becomes a metaphor for how we care or fail to care for one another—our families, our neighbors, our lovers. For me nursing, like writing, is that human place in which nurturing and mystery meet.” Author Cortney Davis takes her readers on this journey through the course of eleven books; some poetry, others fiction, and then there is her testimony written in booklet format. No matter what her writing style is labeled, she connects with her readers through true to life experiences and a relativity that any reader can associate with. MN-You wrote your testimony (Is It A Baby, Or Just Some Cells) in 2007 and followed it with To Begin Again, a fictionalized medical novel based on your testimony, in 2010. What prompted you to write the fictionalized version as well?

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CD-I wanted to give readers a more detailed picture of how healthcare professionals might deal with the topic of abortion, including giving graphic images of how abortions are performed, and especially relating how difficult it is to be a pro-life caregiver in today’s society. In the booklet, Is It a Baby or Just Some Cells, I spoke of my own conversion from being a pro-choice nurse practitioner working in women’s health to being a pro-life nurse practitioner—but at some level I felt that my personal story didn’t give enough information. In To Begin Again, I relate the story not only of Martha, who undergoes a conversion as I did, but also of other characters, some who are staunchly prochoice. I wanted to give both sides of the abortion debate, as seen by caregivers, letting readers travel the journey alongside Martha as she experienced her conversion to life. MN-Do you think readers—especially those that aren’t attached to a certain church or religious doctrine—will be open to your message in To Begin Again since it is not preachy or overly religious? CD-Although I am Catholic and, in the book, Martha eventually returns to her Catholic roots, I wanted the book to be applicable to everyone—religious or not. For me, the question of abortion transcends religion, and I very much wanted to avoid preaching or pushing any particular religion’s point of view. The practice of abortion is one that we must examine personally, humanly, and in the depths of our beings, regardless of what our particular faith allows or forbids. The study questions at the back of the book are designed to bring everyone into the discussion, no matter their religion or their current belief regarding abortion. I’m not naïve enough to believe that reading To Begin Again will bring everyone to instant conversion— although that did happen to one reader. I’ll be happy if reading the book introduces the subject of abortion to readers in a more personal and realistic way. I think it’s easier

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to be pro-choice if you’ve never been in the room watching an abortion, performing an abortion, or speaking in the exam room to a woman whose grief after abortion is overwhelming. MN-The main character, Martha, finds that medical personnel that perform abortions aren’t necessarily bad people. In fact, they believe they are offering a much needed service to women. Have you found that ideology prevalent in healthcare facilities that you have worked in? CD-Indeed. Most caregivers who perform abortions fall into one of several categories, I’ve found. The first category believes strongly that abortion is a woman’s right, that it is not ethically wrong, and that they are serving women by doing abortions. A second category is made up of caregivers who believe that performing abortions is part of their duty as gynecologists and that women do have the right to choose. Although these practitioners do not necessarily like to perform abortions, they will. They often try to help women chose alternatives to abortion, and they do not necessarily believe in abortion on demand. A third group believes that while women have the right to chose, abortion is generally “wrong.” These folks, like so many others, think that abortion is not for them but may be okay for others. They more of less take a deep breath and do abortions when required to do so. Other caregivers might engage in performing abortions initially but ultimately have to stop. Some residents feel obligated to do abortions in training but decide they will not do them in private practice. Some very brave residents refuse to perform abortions under any circumstances. MN-Do healthcare providers become numb to what they are doing? Using terms such as “medical procedure” as opposed to “abortion” has to influence those giving, as well as receiving, abortions. CD-I think that often providers become numb to what they are doing and, in some

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cases, this is necessary. It’s difficult for an oncologist to witness how chemotherapy can sicken a patient, and yet the doctor must order the chemotherapy in order to save lives. Abortion is a different matter. Most providers—not all, but most— have to distance themselves from what they are doing and seeing during an abortion. I think that only the staunchest supporters of abortion can perform one without having some emotional reaction. I’ve seen medical students and residents find all sorts of ways to convince themselves that “it’s not a baby.” And I’ve heard nurses tell patients “it’s not a baby; it’s only a tangle of cells,” and I wonder if this is to lessen the patient’s guilt or the nurses discomfort. I find that pre-abortion counseling is often aimed at giving the least amount of information necessary. Before any operation, a patient is given—or should be—specific information about what will be done, including full disclosure of risks, side effects and a detailed description of why the operation is needed. Women who choose abortion are too often given very superficial information—I had many patients who came back post-abortion angry that they were not told the details of fetal development or about all the risks of abortion. In one job situation, I was actually told not to give a woman any information that might lead her to change her mind about having the abortion! MN-What is the bigger challenge; persuading women not to end their pregnancy prematurely through abortion, or persuading medical facilities not to offer the procedure in the first place? CD-The reality is that it will be almost if not totally impossible to stop medical facilities from offering abortions, whether it’s Planned Parenthood, free-standing clinics, hospitals or doctors’ offices—our society is too deeply entrenched in the belief that abortion is a “right” and that we have no business imposing our beliefs on others. I think that the challenge we might better embrace is to educate women, one by one if

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necessary, about their bodies, the gift of their fertility, how their cycles reflect their health, how to know when they are fertile and when they are not fertile, how a pregnancy begins and develops, how the woman and the child are uniquely bonded, how abortion harms a woman both emotionally and physically, and how to effectively avoid or achieve pregnancy, and so on. We need to revision our sex education and begin treating fertility as a wonder and not a disease that needs to be eradicated. I do this myself by teaching women and couples the Creighton Model of FertilityCare, a well-researched method of avoiding or achieving pregnancy that is based on a woman’s individual cycle and is highly effective. If only I had know about this method when I worked in traditional OB-GYN! The key to reaching women and teaching our society about the sanctity of life is not through shouting or, I’m afraid, even through marching. The key is educating women and men, and that is a slower process than we might like. MN-Having, expressing and living by moral convictions is tough in a society that demands political correctness. How do we stand by moral convictions when faced with those that believe having a choice should be an option? CD-I believe that the personal, honest approach is always best. I can only relate my experience, my conversion, my beliefs and let them be accepted or rejected by another. I do not believe in force feeding either religion or beliefs—I know from personal experience that conversion occurs as it will, guided by the Holy Spirit, and in God’s good time. All I can do is sew seeds, gently and kindly, and trust that those seeds might grow. I remember very casual prolife remarks that were made to me when I was still wearing a “Keep your hands off my body” button or attaching “Pro-choice” bumper stickers to my car. At the time, I shrugged those remarks off—but they played around the edges of my mind and did their work. I now have a “Choose Life”

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bumper sticker on my car. Who knows how many idling behind me at a stop light or passing me on the highway will remember those words, and days, weeks or years from now find themselves choosing life? We change others by our lived examples, much more than through argument. MN-In addition to penning your testimony and medical fiction, you’ve written poetry. What comes most natural for you to write? CD-I think that for many years poetry came more naturally to me, not that poems don’t require much revision and work. But the impetus of my writing more often took poetic form. I find now that prose comes to me a bit more easily, and yet my prose is often leaning toward the poetic. Now I find that one genre influences the other, and I can happily go back and forth between the two. Although I do find that if I’m working on a poetry collection, I don’t write any prose during those weeks, and vice versa. MN-Your single most important passion in life would be...... CD-Just one?! I have many important passions, among them my family, my writing, my work with women. But the most important? I think that for me the most important passion is, as I age, to continue to discover who I am, what I am called to do, how I am called to serve, how I can rightly praise, and how I can become holy within the confines of my earthly life. You can learn more about author Cortney Davis by visiting her website. To order any one of Davis’ books click on the title! To Begin Again Conversion / Return (poems) The Heart's Truth: Essays on the Art of Nursing Between the Heartbeats: Poetry and Prose by Nurses

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Intensive Care: More Poetry and Prose by Nurses Note: As you research the work of Cortney Davis, please verify the spelling of Cortney as there is an Irish author by the same name but spelled as Courtney. *********** Meet our Sr. Reviewer, Barb Shelton!

day. A Senior Moment...Just Saying... by Barb Shelton When you get to be my age, you want a story with truth and substance because life is too short to be merely entertained. I want to be involved in the matter of the story and relate to the events and characters. I like being ministered to by God working his love and miracles through the struggles and problems in their lives. I need much more than Snow White and Cinderella gets the prince stories. “Writing on the edge!” What does that mean? Never hearing that term before referred to Christian writing, I was curious and began to investigate. Boy, did I ever get enlightened!

Barb is married to Jack Shelton, a retired military officer and lives in Arlington, Texas. Having been married for thirty seven years, Barb and Jack share eight children between them, (His, Mine, Ours); 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Barb was born and raised in Enterprise, Kansas. She is musically inclined and is a retired church music director. A former Weight Watcher lecturer, she has had many interesting and unusual jobs, including working for a private detective, defense attorney, office manager for a video production company and administrative assistant to two different pastors. She is involved in volunteer and church activities, and describes herself as creative, friendly and can talk with anyone . "I am a Christian and love to spread God's love and enjoy making others smile and lift up their day." She wishes to write a book one day. "I've been through several soap operas in my lifetime and lived to tell about them." Barb is the writer of two blogs, Passing it Forward and Barbjan10's Blog, both of which she invites you to drop by to visit one

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Christian writers talk about THAT and THAT in their books? “On the edge,” a term I’ve grown to understand and respect that could shock and repel some Christian readers. About that time in my life, I met Michelle Sutton’s edgy style of writing. I was drawn to read the first book in the “Sacred Vows” series, Never Without Hope. My eyes were opened wide on edginess. My curiosity hungered for more, because I could relate to the subjects and characters she created especially Hope. I read the second book Their Separate Ways that seasoned my taste for more “on the edge” reading and Michelle wrote the third and best book of this series, Decision to Love. All three books are exceptional in their quality of writing truth as it really is in our world today. All the human struggles with sin and its consequences; how it spills over to hurt and affect the lives of others is written realistically with grit and grace. Michelle knows how to produce words that many can relate to their lives.

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My own life has been hurled about, stepped on, abused, and emotionally damaged that touched the lives of all 8 of my children. Trauma and drama aren’t new to me, although I felt so alone. Three of my children are adopted, four are step children and one was born to me, through God’s gracious blessings. Married twice; tragic deaths, serious complicated illnesses, and unusual circumstances, drugs and overdoses, alcoholism, defiant children, illegitimate births, many of the horrible social ills have been responsible for events during my lifetime that I so easily identify with Michelle’s characters and their lives. God has been my partner through it all. My family has been given much in blessings and miracles. Michelle’s relationship with our Lord comes through her writing with such finesse’ and skill. God is alive and well in her authoring. Her creative and imaginative stories bring tears of remembering our own moments of joy and dismay. Decision to Love is right up there at the top of my list with Gone With The Wind and other classics that are well loved. However, I relate to the happenings in Michelle’s writings much easier because they are more current and the other I mentioned is history. I'm so impressed with how far out on the edge Michelle takes Decision to Love, yet binds the story well within the limits of acceptability and decency. Her writing offers so much about the grace of God and his gentle mercies and never disappoints me. If she offered to teach a writing course, I'd be the first to enroll. As you can see I have many a tale to tell. Her books always leave me with another spiritual awakening. Each story brings me to tears, cheers, laughter and prayer. I’ve learned that I’m never too old to identify with current events and share my past

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experiences to help others. Sin and redemption know no age. With that, I can identify. I made the decision to love years ago, so all the shock and awe I might experience over edgy stories has gone along with the 73 years behind me.

Decision to Love Michelle Sutton

ISBN # 978-0983883685 Book 3 in the Sacred Vows Series Eight years after Tony and Hope's affair ended, new problems arise. Jimmy has gone off to college, but returns home with a startling revelation that devastates his father and causes his final heart attack. Now Hope is grieving the loss of both her husband and their son. She tries to make sense of everything, and in the end she decides to love her son through the grief. More than that, she makes the decision to love whoever her son chooses to love, whether she agrees with his choices or not. Tony's life has its own disaster tearing through it. First, he is accused of killing his ex-wife, but he is soon released once the authorities realize he had nothing to do with it. The tragedy with his ex led to some major changes in his life, however, and some soul-searching that ultimately turns Tony's life around. While he is still adjusting to his new perspective on life, his long-lost daughter Nina contacts him and has some secrets of her own. He is overjoyed to be reunited with his daughter, but with their relationship comes an entirely new set of challenges. Jimmy is confused about his faith, his life, and ultimately, whom he should love. After some severe trials knock him off what he thought was the right course for his life, he makes the decision to love himself enough not to be used by someone again. But will his decision protect him in the end?

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*********** Interview with Julianne Donaldson By Mary Nichelson

JD- I think she would be shocked at what can be written and published in a novel today, considering the innocent nature of her novels. I also think she would surprised that her writing sparked an entire genre of literature. And-this is strictly my own opinion, of course-I imagine she would wish for more elevating love stories and less of a focus on lust in today’s romance novels. MN- What were your biggest obstacles in writing this story?

Shadow Mountain Publishing recently announced a new brand of romance appropriately called Proper Romance. “I think the pendulum has swung as far as it can in the erotica direction. What was once exciting for readers is getting a little old, and a lot of readers are ready for something different” explains author Julianne Donaldson. “I am not saying that every romance should be like mine, but I am saying that there should be room for a variety, and before now, that was very difficult to find outside of the inspirational category. The fact that Jane Austen continues to be a favorite among both readers and movie-goers gives me hope that readers will embrace this new brand of proper romance.” The first book in Shadow Mountain’s proper romance genre is Donaldson’s new book, Edenbrooke. Although not a faith based novel that includes a spiritual dilemma of sorts, Edenbrooke is perfect for readers who love the Jane Austen experience minus the gratuitous sexual situations or language, and Donaldson delivers without layering the plot with sugarcoated wording or characters. Edenbrooke is a step in the right direction for Proper Romance, and one that Shadow Mountain can be proud to offer readers that are, in fact, “looking for something different.” MN-What do you think Jane Austen would say about the romance genre today?

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JD- The hardest part about writing this story was making it fresh while keeping it believably Regency. It was a very restrictive time to live in, especially for a young lady. I had to consider everything from language to geography to social customs to class distinctions to chaperones. There were many times I dreamed of writing a fantasy instead so I could shape an imagined world around my plot instead of trying to work my plot into the tight box of a Regency world. MN-What made you interested in writing a romance set in the Regency period? JD- When I seventeen, I contracted pneumonia and spent a month in bed. A good friend saved me from boredom by giving me a stack of Georgette Heyer novels. I devoured each one, and then read them again and again. I have been in love with the Regency period ever since. I studied British literature in college, watched every movie produced that features the Regency time period, and dreamed of men dressed in breeches. When I decided to try my hand at writing a novel, my mind automatically went to the Regency period and refused to leave. It was like the hometown of my imagination. MN-If Edenbrooke were made into a movie, who could you see playing Marianne and Philip? JD- There is a young British actress named Imogen Poots who I can totally see as Marianne. My favorite leading men right

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now are Jake Gyllenhaal and James McAvoy. I would pay good money to see either of them play dreamy Philip. MN- Where is your favorite place to write? JD- Next to a window, preferably some place where no one will interrupt me. You can usually find me in my local library, but I would love to have a quiet writing room at home. MN- Can you give us a hint concerning what your next story is going to be about? JD- My next story, which is also set in the Regency period. is about a young lady who dreams of going to India. There is also a grand estate with too many secrets, a smuggler, a gentleman, and a bargain. Author bio-Julianne Donaldson grew up as the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. She learned how to ski in the Italian Alps, visited East Berlin before the wall came down, and spent three years living next to a 500-year-old castle. After earning a degree in English, she turned her attention to writing about distant times and places. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children. Edenbrooke is her first novel.

member of 'American Christian Fiction Writers', 'Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship', and ‘The Word Guild’ as well as several writing related social networking groups. Originally from a small prairie town, Tracy received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Sask. with majors in Art, and minors in History and English. She teaches High School English, Drama and Art. Apart from her many personal creative pursuits, she also directs an amateur theatre group and leads worship at her local church. She and her husband, an ordained minister with the PAOC, have lived in many remote and unique places in Canada's north, including Churchill Manitoba - the 'polar bear capital of the world', the Yukon, and the NWT. They raised four children and were active advocates of the homeschooling movement for many years. They currently reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC, known for its waterfalls. Find out more about Tracy by visiting her website or blog. Connect with her on FaceBook and Twitter!

You can learn more about author Julianne Donaldson by visiting her website or connecting through Facebook *********** Featured Author ~ Tracy Krauss! Wind Over Marshdale Tracy Krauss ASIN: B008ARYQPA

Tracy Krauss is a best-selling author, playwright, artist and teacher. She is a

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Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has

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chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty - prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace. *********** Interview with Alvetta Rolle By Mary Nichelson

Author Alvetta Rolle is not afraid to tackle tough social issues as they relate to women. She effortlessly confronts controversial themes such as infidelity and prostitution in her new novel The Mercy Seat. She is a harmonious author, in touch with the psyche of women and the challenges they face, and knows how to articulate those emotions in an entertaining format. Although Rolle’s first book, it is also the first in her Freedom Baptist Trilogy that will allow the reader to stay in touch with their beloved characters in every book; the very characters that became the focal point of our recent interview. MN-The Mercy Seat is set in Las Vegas. It brings to mind the saying "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas", but there is also a lot

©August 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

of symbolism there. Did you have a specific reason for using this particular city for your setting? AR-I used Las Vegas, because we know it as Sin City. Whenever, someone hears of Las Vegas, they think of someone living in debauchery, and doing something that is far beyond redemption. This symbolized how Sofia felt about herself and her relationship with Julia, and it is also how Xavier and Felecia felt about their marriage. I used this to show that no matter who you are, you are never "too far gone." MN-Sofia, the main character, gets caught in several social predicaments that are personal to women that I would like to address. The first being prostitution. Women of faith can be very critical when it comes to women of the night, but I have found that they end up doing so not by choice but rather they are pushed into it by necessity. Did your research for the book lead you to the same conclusion? AR-It did. I have found that most women are cautious. I think one of the misconceptions about prostitutes is that they perform this act because they enjoy sex and the act of being promiscuous. So, although a woman of faith would not want to be cautious she feels because of a man (particularly her man) may now be a target for this woman-she has to be. This caution will lead a woman to thinks she is protecting her marriage and her family. However, the truth of the matter is that these women usually, like Sofia, are recovering from scars from their pasts and/or are forced into this situation and are not promiscuous at all. MN-Another area women are slow to talk about is in regards to emotional affairs, yet research shows they are as common as the physical affairs that men are tempted to engage in. Do you think women understand what an emotional affair is and more important, how to avoid having one?

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AR-That is interesting, because some people say that as long as they have not physically engaged in the act, then they are not cheating. This would mean that people don't even define emotional affairs, as affairs. Felecia didn't think she was doing anything wrong by having dinner with Latimore. And in the beginning it wasn't a problem until she started having problems in her own marriage. I think that women do understand what an emotional affair is, but they don't understand the severity of it. For instance, because of our nurturing nature we may not think its a problem for that male coworker to offer us advice on our relationship, or meet him for an meal. Thus we really don't know how to avoid one because we think there is no harm in doing this. And there is no harm in it as long as we are whole. In order to avoid emotional affairs, however, we must not reach out and engage in this type of conduct when we are going through a struggle, or through a transition in life because 99% of the time it will lead to emotional infidelity. MN-What can a woman do today to stop the progression of a troubled marriage she may find herself a part of? AR-I know that this is something that is said a lot, but communicate. I will go even further to say to limit the communication between you and your spouse, and if need be some type of spiritual counsel. I think the problem that most marriages have is that they communicate their issues to their family and their friends, and then finally bring that advice along with their own notions to the table when they are going to talk to their spouse. This means that the communication is not even pure anymore, because its been watered down with the thoughts of outside parties. So to stop a mole hill from growing into a mountain, address it as quickly as possible and limit the access you give others to your marriage. MN-Every woman needs to have a Ruth Stills in her life. Have you ever had a mentor

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like Ruth helping you along your faith journey? AR-Wow! The character of Ruth Linda Stills, was created in honor of the first spiritual mother I ever had, the late Evangelist Linda Ruth McNeill. She was the embodiment of what Ruth stood for. She knew how to love me and chastise me in one sentence, she introduced me to God's love. Today God has blessed me with many strong women in the faith who love, nurture and counsel me. MN-Why do you believe the message of forgiveness and redemption is crucial for women to hear? AR-I believe that this message is crucial for women, because many of us struggle to be whole, and self accepting. This aspect makes it hard for us to believe that there is a God who can redeem, forgive, and love us regardless of our past, and even regardless of our present state. When women, and even men can embrace this and even extend this to others, I truly believe that they can step into another realm of freedom. . MN-The Mercy Seat does have a happy ending. Do you believe with God, no matter where a woman finds herself today, there will always be a happy ending? AR-Of course! According to Romans 8:28, which states "All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose, and Jeremiah 29:11 states that God's plans for us is to give us an expected hope, and a future. This means that the ultimate and final plan for our lives as long as God is in charge can only end in happiness and fulfillment. MN-Are there any more writing projects in the near future for your readers to be watching for? AR-Yes! The Mercy Seat is the first book in the Freedom Baptist Trilogy. It will be followed by Potiphar's Wife which will be

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released next year, and then finally Go Tell Pharaoh. You will see all of the character's making appearances in each work, with insight on their individual lives. For instance Potiphar's Wife gives more insight into the life of Trent Watkins, Sofia's emerging love interest. Author bio- Alvetta Y. Rolle is a poet, author, and above all else a child of God. Born in Dunn, North Carolina, she graduated cum laude from Kaplan University with a Bachelor's of Science in Organizational Communications in 2010. She has been happily married for seven and half years to her husband, Elrod and has four beautiful children ranging in ages from twelve to two. Alvetta currently resides in North Carolina. In her spare time she likes to volunteer with local organizations and persons in needs, as well as working on sequels to her debut novel, The Mercy Seat.

With the arrival of the mysterious Sofia walks at the last night of revival, Xavier Stills and Felecia's already troubled marriage takes a tumultuous turn for the worst. Felecia and Xavier now have to fight to save their diminishing relationship, even as they try to ward off the temptation of yielding to outside influences. ************ TWJ Journalist Mary Nichelson is an avid reader, writer, editor and selfproclaimed advocate for the authors that make Christian publishing the great industry it is. She supports publishers by interviewing authors and promoting their new releases, as well as upholding a standard of ethics that defines the word “Christian”. Her passion is to see the publishing business excel by promoting literature that speaks to our generation without compromise. She is the host of Marysworld Internet radio talk show, maintains a website affiliated with several publishers, and is a member of the Evangelical Press Association. (EPA) ************

The Mercy Seat Alvetta Rolle

A YA Perspective with Sarah Heath

ISBN # 9780982624234

Going from raunchy to redeemed is not easy. When 19 year old prostitute Sofia Douglas walks into Freedom Baptist to reconcile with her mentally abusive foster mother Julia Aaron, she is met with much more than she bargained for. Although befriended by an elderly church mother by the name of Ruth Stills, she begins to fall for Ruth’s son Xavier who is handsome, caring, a minister… and married. Sofia begins an endless cycle of trying to stifle mutual feelings for a married man of God, and combat the bitterness of a mother who has her own issues, both spiritually and psychologically.

©August 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Blade Silver: Color Me Scarred Book 7 in Melody Carlson’s True Colors Series ISBN #: 978-1576835357

Ruth Wallace knows she can only hide the scars on her arms for so long. Who wears long sleeves

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August 2012 all summer long? Cutting herself doesn't make Ruth's problems disappear, but at least it helps her cope. Her dad is a nightmare, her mother seems lost in a medicated dreamland, and her brother Caleb can't handle their family life any more than she can. Abby, one of Ruth's good friends, is getting suspicious. Fortunately, Glen Collins hasn't noticed yet. But then again, he's a new student and probably doesn't want to sound mean. Ruth needs to find someway, any way, to heal her scars-the ones she hides and the ones she can't-before something terrible happens.

Review of Blade Sliver By Sarah Heath Ruth has a dark secret. She’s a cutter, and if anyone saw the scars she tries so desperately to hide, it would disrupt her entire life. Not that it’s that great of a life, anyway. Her mom is completely emotionally absent, stuck in a cloud of meds , and her dad takes out his anger in cruel words directed towards Ruth and her brother. Her life may be a mess, but at least she has control over one thing. When Ruth’s problems seem too overwhelming, her ritual of taking a razor blade to her skin helps her to cope. Cutting is the only thing that eases her pain, at least temporarily. She can quit whenever she feels like it, and the scars will fade. Right? Melody Carlson’s Blade Silver deals with the topic of self-mutilation in teens. While I haven’t personally had to face this addiction, I know it is something that many teens have struggled with and some will continue to battle for years. Melody Carlson handled the topic in such way that, I believe, will both discourage readers away from starting a cutting addiction, but also encourage those who are struggling to turn to someone for help. Cutting is a serious addiction, just as serious as alcohol and drug addictions can become for teens. Melody shows that selfmutilation is not always something that can be overcome easily or conquered on one’s own. Ruth is admitted to a rehab facility, and during her stay at the Promise House,

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she learns to lean on God, instead of relying on a blade to help her through her pain. She also begins open up about her feelings though journals and her true love - art. Though Blade Silver doesn’t wrap perfectly, it is realistic. Ruth is still is on the road to recovery from her addiction, but Carlson gives the reader hope that Ruth can overcome cutting by relying on God’s healing power. ************

Bitter Rose: Color Me Crushed Book 8 in Melody Carlson’s True Colors Series ISBN #: 978-1576835364

Maggie's parents suddenly split up after twenty-five years of marriage. The whole situation has Maggie feeling hurt, distraught, and most of all, violently bitter. She's nearly desperate for someone who can restore her confidence in love. Maggie blames her mom for the family's disintegration. "She's driven him away with her constant nagging and complaining and arguing. Honestly, who could stand to live with that woman?" she vents to her friend Claire. However, there's more to the story, and Maggie desperately wants to know the truth—something nobody seems willing to tell her. Review of Bitter Rose By Sarah Heath After a final (and major) blow up fight, Magdala’s parents have announced that they are separating, and it looks as if they’re even on their way to a divorce. Maggie is

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crushed, and begins to question what she always thought was certain. Were her parents no longer good Christians? Did they not think their marriage - and family - was worth fighting for anymore? She thinks her father moved out because of her mother’s constant nagging and bickering, but maybe there is something more, a secret no one is willing to spill to Maggie. Maggie doesn’t know which parent, if either, deserves her trust and respect anymore. Feeling torn between her parents, her life seems to be slowly spinning out of control. Melody Carlson’s portrayal of a family in crisis is heart wrenchingly accurate. The impending divorce of her parents causes Maggie to make decisions without really thinking what might be the consequences. Maggie, through the help of her aunt and God, ultimately comes to realize that no matter what the state of her family may be, or how many mistakes her parents have made, it is solely up to her to choose how to live her own life. She is the only one who can answer for how she will live. She can’t merely blame poor parenting or the separation of her parents for her rebellion. Learning to forgive others is the main lesson in this Bitter Rose. Many teens will be able to relate to the Maggie’s circumstances. Divorce is sadly very prevalent in American culture, and countless young people face the destruction of their families by divorce. Maggie learns that she must come to terms with her parents’ divorce. It isn’t something that she can control or prevent. She finally makes the decision to forgive her parents, with God’s help, and chooses to move forward in her life. Sarah Heath is a 19 year old college student from Dallas, Texas. She has written reviews for publishers such as, Navpress, Thomas Nelson, and Bethany House. She is a member of FIRST Wild Card book review Bloggers. Her reviews can be found at Reviews by Sarah Katie.

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************ Eyes on the Hilltop by Kat Heckenbach There must have been thousands of us. I could barely see the top of the hill from where we stood. It loomed so far away. How were we all going to make it up that narrow path? I was shoved from side to side, elbows poking into me. Groaning from hot and tired people echoed from everywhere. The sun baked my clothing and the heat soaked straight through to my skin. A voice called from the top of the hill. I recognized it, but couldn’t quite place from where. I only knew that the source of the voice was my goal, as was everyone else’s. I could tell by the frenzied faces around me the voice stirred in them the same thirst it stirred in me. A thirst that could only be quenched by reaching the top of the hill, the source of the calling. I strained to focus on the voice and found myself farther forward in the crowd. It felt wonderful—as though someone had allowed me a dribble of water after days in the desert. It warmed me and settled the beating of my heart. My goal seemed suddenly attainable. My feet carried me on, but I soon became distracted by a woman lying on the ground, nearly getting trampled. She cried out, “I’ve lost him! Where is the voice? I can’t hear it anymore!” “Quiet!” someone shouted, “neither can we, and you’re not helping with all your carrying on.” The woman burst into tears. I reached out my hand.

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“Here, let me help you,” I said. She smiled gratefully at me, clasped my hand, and pulled herself up. “Thank you, my boy. I can’t find my way. Can you help me?” I shook my head. “I don’t know the way either. I’m only following...” The words caught in my throat and I frowned. Following what? I still didn’t know the source; only the drive that pushed me on. “Me, too,” she said, and released my hand. “Me, too…’’ She drifted off into the crowd. People milled around me, and I realized I had stepped forward, but not by much. I closed my eyes. The voice…I need to find it again. I heard it then, calling. The words were indistinguishable, but it was the voice. I closed my eyes and concentrated, stepping toward it. When my eyes opened, I was at the base of the hill. Several people cried out in joy and began running up the hill, but many of them faltered after only a few steps. They clung to each other, and only faltered more, and then tumbled down. They waved their fists at the ones who made it to the top. More people moved forward to take the places of the fallen. As some dashed up the path, I noticed that many others carried sticks. They bore down on their crutches, gripping them with white knuckles, their eyes set firmly on the path before them. Despite their vigil, they tripped over unnoticed rocks, twigs, and other obstacles. They too stumbled and fell. Most never took their eyes from their crutches long enough to witness the ones who had succeeded. I moved forward with the next group, my heart pounding. So many people…I stared in wonder that there was room enough for us. The path seemed impossibly thin only moments before. There were people walking, running, bearing down on crutches, and as in the other groups, most of them tripped and fell and disappeared back

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into the crowd at the base of the hill. Their disappointment leached into me. Why was this so hard? As my eyes wandered from person to person, my own feet slid out from under me. I dropped to my stomach and grabbed at the earth. “No!” I cried. “I have come too far!” Tears of frustration stung my eyes. My fingers dug into the dirt. It made no sense; this should not be difficult. But the need itself, the very thing that swelled my heart with hope, also squeezed it with fear and misunderstanding. I closed my eyes again, gritting my teeth with determination. This is what I want. With all my heart, mind and soul. The voice boomed in my ear. I lifted my head, trying to absorb my surroundings, while keening my ears. That’s when I finally saw it—the common thread among the people who didn’t falter in their climb. Their eyes stayed locked on the top of the hill. They didn’t mimic the attempts of those around them, nor lean on crutches, nor stare at their own footing. They held their heads high and focused on the source of the voice. I took a deep breath and stood. Blocking all distraction, I raised my gaze to the hilltop. There he stood, the man whose voice had called me, and I could finally make out the words. The dribble of joy I had felt became a flood, quenching my thirst more fully than anything before. With my eyes fixed on him, I smiled and rushed forward. My feet gripped the ground with ease until, finally, I stood before him. My thirst was vanquished. Psalm 121:1-3 I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—

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Author Bio: Kat Heckenbach is a Florida native and graduate of the University of Tampa. When she’s not homeschooling her two kids or bumping around theme parks with her family, she enjoys sharing the ways God has touched her life through personal essays. Several of her essays are scheduled for publication in various Sunday school periodicals and devotionals throughout 2009 and 2010. Her passion for writing began with a desire to author a young adult fantasy novel, which she has completed. As all fantasy novels tend to do, hers has turned into a trilogy and she is now working on the second book. Enter her world at www.findingangel.com or www.katfindingangel.blogspot.com *********** Featured Author ~ Delia Latham

Gypsy’s Game Delia Latham

ISBN-13: 978-1611161595

Gypsy Lovell stands to inherit an enormous amount of money from a father who never gave her anything but a ridiculous name. Even now, he doesn’t make it easy. A stipulation in the man’s will demands that Gypsy be married in order to claim what is hers. Desperate for the monetary windfall that could save her ailing mother’s life, Gypsy visits a Christian dating agency, hoping to find a temporary husband. Someone easy to handle for the required six months, and easy to get rid of when she no longer needs him. Jal Garridan is neither of those things, but he's willing to take on the challenge presented by the beautiful stranger—on his own terms.

Delia Latham is a born-and-bred California gal, currently living in Oklahoma with her husband Johnny. She’s a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend— but above all, she treasures her role as child of the King and heir to the throne of God. A former newspaper Staff Writer and frequent contributor to her hometown’s regional publication, Bakersfield Magazine, she has also freelanced projects to a public relations firm and various magazines; has compiled, edited, and designed cover art for various Kindness Incorporated projects; and sold greeting card verse. Many of her short stories, articles, and devotions can be found online. Find out more about this author on her website or blog.

©August 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

*********** Matters of the Heart by Linda Robinson ©2012 In the north Orlando suburbs, the skies were a cobalt-blue backdrop for the tufts of cotton candy hanging overhead, drifting in no distinct direction. It was a typical hot, sunny Florida day—Lily Shaw’s kind of day—one that calms the spirit and evokes the feeling of well-being, of contentment. Lily and her husband, Stuart, were on their way to their favorite pizza restaurant for a late lunch.

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“Look, Stu…that cloud up there is a poodle. See his long ears and nose, and short, fluffy tail?” Lily pointed straight upwards. “Yeah. I see him. He’s standing on his back feet and his front ones are in the begging position.” “He is! Oh, look over there—at about 5 o’clock—it’s a dragon!” Lily loved using her imagination to conjure up images in the clouds. “Wait a second. Remember I’m driving, too.” A few seconds later, he added, “I see. It does resemble a dragon.” Suddenly, like a playful kitten, one dark cloud seemed to pounce out of nowhere to chase the sun away, and the world around them faded into shadow as though some unseen force turned a dimmer. A few claps of thunder rumbled, and the skies opened to release pelting droplets of cool, refreshing rain. The never-leave-home-without-yourumbrella rule in Florida was established for good reason. Those five-minute-visits from surprise thunder clouds happened often. She thought of them as heavenly moisture moments. Minutes later, the cloud moved on, and they arrived at the restaurant. They selected a cozy booth by one of the windows facing the parking lot where they people-watched and discussed their day while they waited for their order. Several times during their conversation, Lila noticed an older gentleman, who was apparently waiting for his order to go. He kept making hurried trips—as fast as his obviously arthritic limbs were capable—to a spot near their booth to glance out at an older model, black Cadillac parked just outside their window. Lily noticed that inside the car, a small, fluffy white cloud with a black nose and black eyes bounced from the driver’s side to the passenger window and back again. It stopped at intervals to turn its nose upward and pucker its mouth. She could imagine it

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was howling to the heavens, displeased that it had been left alone. When the man came back to look outside toward the car again, Lily studied him closer. In addition to his obvious anxiety, she thought he looked deeply downcast. She felt drawn to engage him in a little conversation. “That must be your puppy. It looks like a Maltese breed.” “Yeah, it is. It was my wife’s dog. She just passed away, and Sassy is lost without her.” His voice cracked at the end, and when he glanced up, his faded blue eyes were floating in fluid, emphasizing his already sad countenance. Abruptly, he turned away and walked back to wait by the take out window, and Lily didn’t have a chance to offer her condolences. Lily felt sure he was embarrassed for her to see him cry. She couldn’t help thinking Sassy wasn’t the only one…the sad man also looked lost without his wife, as evidenced by his quick tears. He reminded her of a wrecked sailboat with a twisted mast and tattered sail, and it was obvious that he was quite concerned about the pet. It’s probably a good thing he has Sassy as a companion to help him through his grief. Stuart and Lily ate their lunch and returned home, but Lily couldn’t get Sad Man and Sassy off her mind. “Stu, why didn’t I ask the man his name, maybe invite him to come visit or to eat Sunday dinner? I’m worried about him. He must need someone to talk to. He probably doesn’t have any family left, and we should have befriended him.” “Lily, I’ve often thought the same thing, but, regretfully, it’s too late. We can’t do anything about it now.” Still, Lily couldn’t stop thinking about him, and she vowed she wouldn’t make that mistake twice, if she ever met anyone like

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that again. She would at least ask their name. Two weeks later, they went to the same restaurant for dinner, sat in their usual booth, and watched the patrons who came and went. Unbidden, the image of the old man with teary blue eyes entered Lily’s head. Like the infamous giant Florida mosquito waiting for bare skin, it came back to bite her—to nibble her conscience. Would she ever be able to erase the imprint—the rueful reminder of her failure to reach out to someone she felt needed a friend? Small knots of people and a few singles kept entering from the parking lot, some going to tables and others to the bar area. A tall, too thin young lady with long, black hair hurried in behind a family of four. In tight jeans, a tube top, and four inch heels—all of which accentuated her thinness—she headed to the take out window. “Now, that’s Twiggy-type skinny,” Lily remarked to Stuart. “Are you talking about the walking cue stick wearing a wig?” Lily laughed. “One and the same, Stu.” After the waitress took their order and left, Stuart asked Lily if she’d ever heard from their good friends, Ted and Jeanie, since they’d returned from their cruise. Lily had commented several times that she was concerned about them, and it wasn’t like Jeanie not to answer her emails. “Yes. I got so worried, I resorted to calling her. They are fine, and they had a wonderful cruise to Alaska. Jeanie said she did send me a long email, and she even checked her “Sent” folder and told me the date. She resent it, and I got it just fine the second time.” “But you never got the first one, huh?”

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“No, isn’t that odd? But I don’t understand all this cyberspace business anyway—the bits, bytes, and bauds jargon—or how an email can just float around like debris up there in outer space and get lost!” “Hah! Yeah…I can see it now. There’s an endless assembly line of cyber-gremlins, or maybe it could be ewoks. They’re busy slinging emails like frisbees from hand to hand almost faster than the eye can see, sending them on to their destination. Quick as a lightning strike, one creature drops an email and it floats off, bounces around from planet to planet like a rubber ball until it finally hits a moon rock and goes up in smoke—never to be seen again!” “Oh, Stu, stop it!” Lily said, chuckling. When she needed a good laugh, she could always depend on Stuart’s southern-fried humor, which was often marinated in sarcasm. While they waited for their food, a fiesta-red Pontiac Firebird in a black bra with a bass booming radio drove much too fast into the parking space in front of their window. For a second it startled Lily because she thought it was going to hit the curb, become a flying saucer, and catapult right through the glass. Her mind shrieked, stop, stop! Whew! It braked. The car door opened, the music stopped, and a young man jumped out. Lily noticed there wasn’t a spot on the lanky lad’s arms where another bizarre work of questionable art etched in ink could possibly fit. She and Stuart both stared at the walking tattoo in a Mohawk and earrings be-bopping and strutting toward the door, as though the music still reverberated in his head—a good possibility since the woofer was still echoing in her own ears. Stuart rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Hmm…speaking of outer space! The only thing he doesn’t have yet is a ring in his nose! What’s the world coming to? I hope

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none of our kids and grandkids ever become a loser like—” “Hey, Grandpappy, I’m sorry I’m late!” The ’tooed teen said to a table several feet away. Lily looked back in that direction to see who was there. Lo and behold, Sad Man was sitting at a table behind the longer one next to hers and Stuart’s booth, which was filled with people who had blocked her view of the old man when they’d arrived. “Hello, Teddy. I was beginning to think you had forgotten your old greatgrandfather…thought you forgot we had a date,” Sad Man replied. “I tried to call you on your cell phone to tell you I was running a few minutes late. Is your phone on?” “Heck, I don’t know, Teddy. I tried to tell your mother when she bought it that I didn’t want to own anything smarter than I am,” he said, laughing. He reached into his pocket and handed the gadget to the teenager. “Oh, it’s really easy, Grandpappy. I’ll teach you how to use it.” Lily looked at Stuart for his reaction. Owleyed, his mouth stood open like a gaping gator and displayed a piece of pizza he’d stopped chewing. He raised his eyebrows, but he was speechless—for once. They finished their meal without much conversation, each deep in his own thoughts. As they stood to leave, they both took one last look at the strange scene—the stooped, world-weary warrior with the lifeweathered face and the alien from outer space huddled together, laughing and talking, oblivious to the attention they garnered. The long table had since become vacant, affording Lily and Stuart privy to the conversation at the odd pair’s table.

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“Grandpappy, Mom told me to remind you she’ll pick you up at five-thirty tomorrow evening for your weekend with us. She said to tell you to be sure you don’t forget Sassy’s leash this time.” “I didn’t forget. I’m packed already, and I didn’t forget Sassy’s favorite toy this time, either.” “Oh, and one more thing…don’t forget that Saturday morning I have to work, but when I get home in the afternoon, I’m taking you to the lake fishing again. I’ve got to catch more than you this time. You won last time….” “Son, did I ever tell you about the time your Great-granny and I went out west to Jackson Hole fishing and your granny…” The last thing Stuart and Lily heard as they went out the door was the old man’s jovial laughter. Lily could only imagine the numerous lessons he’d learned traveling the mountains and valleys of his long life— lessons he could relate to his greatgrandson. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to witness this scene. Lily felt greatly humbled. When they settled into their car, Lily noticed Stuart sat in deep thought for a moment before he spoke. “I suppose that was God’s way of telling me to be less critical. To see that hip teenager take the time to spend with his greatgrandfather was heartwarming, and I doubt if there are many kids today who would sacrifice their time to do that. I’m sorry I judged the young man without even knowing him.” “Yes, we are all guilty of quick opinions and criticism at times. We have to remind ourselves that it’s not the outward appearance that matters. It’s the heart that speaks of a person’s worth, isn’t it Stu?”

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“Yes, indeed. It’s a lesson well-learned— judge not, lest we be judged ourselves.” Author Bio: Linda Robinson is the author of two novels: When Love Abounds, published 18 months ago, and Rails of Freedom, which should be available in August, 2012. Her Fiction/Family/Christian novels depict the people, lifestyles, and music of the 1940's, 50's and 60's in the deep south with an underlying message of "that little word that makes the world go 'round--love." Linda's hobbies include reading, writing, and flower gardening. She resides in Alabama with her husband and spoiled Maltese baby, Joy. She is a member of the local Writers' Forum and ACFW and is currently writing her third manuscript, in addition to writing fiction and non-fiction humorous short stories for magazines and contests. Find out more about Linda by visiting her website. *********** Featured Author ~ Shawna K Williams!

Having never considered becoming a writer, Shawna K. Williams' path changed in a single night all because of a dream. Her early writings were a mere attempt to fill in gaps within the dream and satisfy her curiosity, but later became the inspiration for her first two novels. She is an editor for Desert Breeze Publishing and Solstice Publishing, speaker and teacher on writing techniques, homeschooling mom and multipublished author of historical fiction. Shawna enjoys books in almost any genre as long as they contain strong characters tackling real-life grit -- even if the book is

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sci-fi/fantasy. She also has a thing for dogs and pygmy goats, and believes the world would be a better place if people aspired to be the person their pet believes them to be. Find out more about Shawna by visiting her website or blog and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter!

No Other Shawna K Williams

ISBN-13: 978-1468164930

In the aftermath of WWII all Jakob Wilheimer wants is to get over his pain, get on with life, and if at all possible, forgive those who've wronged his family -including himself. But it's hard to do when there are constant reminders. One of them being his former schoolmate, now teacher, Meri Parker -- Miss Port Delamar Pearl, Mayor's daughter, Belle of the town -- Meri Parker. After enduring the stigma and isolation associated with the internment camp, the awkwardness of going back to school should've been a cake walk. But Jakob didn't expect to find himself inexplicably drawn to Meri. Or to discover that the pain and loneliness of her life surpassed his own. She needed to be rescued from the wretched people seeking to control her life. And more than anything, he needed to be the one to save her. ***********

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Sisters by Deborah Malone

satisfies the child and she returns to her play as if the conversation never took place.

The pounding rain mixed the scenery into a passing blur. I strained to see the yellow and white lines on the road. The desire to pull over was intense, but the need to continue to my destination pulled me forward. Time was precious.

A pot hole in the road jarred me back to the present. The darkness surrounded me as the misty rain continued to fall. Exhaustion racked my body. Although I’d driven all night, I still had hours to go before I reached my destination.

I longed for the warmth and safety of my home. It was not to be. “Nellie, you must come now. There’s not much time.” As soon as I received the phone call I knew the only choice was to leave as soon as possible. The danger of driving in the rain would not change my mind.

I spoke out loud to no one. “Why did this happen now? It wasn’t supposed to happen; they said there was more time. Why had I believed them in the first place?” The silence, in answer to my questions, was deafening.

The dreary day matched my mood. The bitterness I’d carried for years evaporated as if washed away by the rain. What had I gained by harboring anger all these years? Nothing. And over a boy? I hadn’t dated Joe for months when he asked Patty out. I hoped it wasn’t too late to make amends. A couple of hours passed and the rain subsided enough for me to relax. I felt the tension begin to flow from my body. The rhythmic sound of the windshield wipers took me back to a time in my childhood where I’d heard a similar sound. The sound of Mother’s rocking chair. It’s summer time, and a young child is outside on the porch playing with her doll. Her mother is rocking in her favorite rocker. Her father’s gift to her mother. Suddenly the young child looks up from her play and gives her mother a long look. “Mama, why is your tummy getting so fat?” Her mother offers her a smile and motions for the curious child to come stand beside her. “Nellie, this is where your baby brother or sister is growing. Pretty soon you’ll have someone to play with.” She takes the child’s hand and places it on her fat, round stomach. She then gives her a big hug and tells her how much she loves her. This

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It was almost daylight when I turned into Mercy General Hospital. I parked my car, grabbed my ticket stub and headed to the entrance, wondering if I’d made it in time. I hurried into the open lobby where several ladies dressed in pink, standing behind the counter, met me with smiles. “May we help you?” they asked in unison. I’d raced to reach the hospital, now I slowly made my way to the elevator. I looked around at the unfamiliar territory, and noticed the walls painted in bright, cheerful colors. A façade to put those who entered at ease. I remembered the first time I visited a hospital. I was the tender age of five. Her father tells her she is going to the hospital to visit her mother and baby sister. She’s sitting in the waiting room when the nurse comes and tells them they can go look at her baby sister. As they point her out among the other babies she thinks how beautiful she is. Now she will have a real baby doll to play with. There was a slight bump when the elevator stopped at the designated floor. The doors slid open and I stepped out. All the cheerfulness of the childhood memory vanished as an air of sickness engulfed me.

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I found the room number, but hesitated at the door. Mixed feelings flooded my soul. I wanted to go in, but was afraid of what awaited me on the other side. I reached for the handle, and the door suddenly opened. “Come on in Nellie. I’ve been waiting for you. I’m so glad you’ve come.” I looked up to see my brother-in-law, Joe. I walked cautiously to the bed placed in the middle of the room. I looked down at the emaciated woman in the bed. I didn’t recognize my baby sister, Patty. This woman was skin and bones and had little hair. “Oh God, why did I wait?” I spoke out loud not expecting an answer. Why had I let something come between us for ten long years? These years were lost, and there would be no more to replace them. I longed to tell Patty I was sorry I’d let my stubbornness come between us. I took Patty’s lifeless hand into my own. “Patty. This is Nellie. I’m so sorry I didn’t come sooner. I’m sorry for all the lost years.” My mind drifts to another time and another place.

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I looked at Patty in hopes her eyes would open and she would respond to me. They remained closed. The squeeze would have to be enough. I sat with my sister for the next few hours, and held her hand as she took her last breath. Her pain was gone, but so were the chances to make up for lost time. A bittersweet taste filled my mouth. Author Bio: Deborah Malone’s first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Category Five writing contest! Deborah was also nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year in First Novel category. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, for the historic magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published, and her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails,” edited by Olin Jackson. She is a member of the Georgia Writer’s Association. As a current member of the American Christian Fiction Writer she has established a blog where she reviews Christian Fiction. **********

“Mama, is she going to be all right?” “Yes, dear. She just has a fever. When it breaks she’ll be able to talk to you.” Relief floods through Nellie as she dotes on her younger sister. She sits on the bed beside Patty and washes her forehead with a cool cloth trying to make the fever come down. Her mother tells her she is doing a good job and reassures her Patty will be better in no time at all. I looked down at Patty. How could I have let something so petty come between us? Remorse rocked me to the core. I realized I still held Patty’s hand. “Patty, if you can hear me I want you to know I love you. I forgive you and understand now that you never meant to hurt me. Please forgive me for not telling you sooner.” I sucked in a deep breath when I felt a firm grip clasp my hand.

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Spring Frost By Nikole Hahn Dawn Plaster could still feel the water from yesterday’s amazing moment. Baptized! Born again! All words foreign to her before she began attending Singing Springs Christian Church. Yesterday she took her vow to follow Christ as she nodded to the pastor’s words. Today the excitement felt more like the drips coming off of her hair onto the floor than a spiritual moment, especially as the customer with the bad skin stood in line, indecisive and glowering at Dawn as if it’s somehow her fault. The customer rubbed his gray and black goatee. “What’s the soup taste like?” “You mean, the Southwest Roasted Red Pepper?”

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“Yeah, that one.” He put both hands on the counter. Dawn could see the dirt crusted beneath his chipped nails. “I hear it’s good.” The man cocked his head. “You mean you haven’t tried it yet?” And he was just the first customer! The other customers were also brisk. As the lunch crowd dissipated Dawn took a damp, warm rag and went to wipe the tables in the dining area. Another customer had left a clutter of dishes on one of the tables. There’s a bin by the front door for dishes. How inconsiderate! This is a coffee shop. We don't buss tables like a restaurant! Dawn picked up the dishes as she muttered to herself and brought them to the kitchen, slamming them into the sink. Matt continued chopping vegetables. His knife thudded against the cutting board, and he kept his eyes averted. Dawn rinsed her rag and went back out to the tables and scrubbed until each table shined in the dining room. She paused by the front window. The sun shone through the smudges. There were buds on the trees. The last frost of winter would freeze those buds like it did last year. To the left in the street, she could see the fringes of a farmer’s market that had been set up earlier. Dawn tried to resurrect that feeling of peace and excitement again. I’m a Christian! I’m a child of God! I’m special. It failed to rise within her and that glow didn’t return. Her boss, Carol walked up beside her and smiled. “The tree is going to be beautiful if the frost doesn’t kill it.” Dawn gathered the rag and stood up straight. “I should clean those windows.” “Didn’t you have some sort of baptism or something yesterday?” Carol followed Dawn into the kitchen. “I seem to remember you talking about it last week.”

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Dawn rinsed the rag and carefully spread it out to dry on the counter. “Yeah. It was great.” Carol shrugged. “Well, good for you. You know, you need to learn to hurry along those customers. I got a few complaints.” Dawn nodded. She picked up a wooden spoon and stirred the soup simmering on the stove. Matt kept chopping. His eyes were watering. Dawn noticed a pile of onions nearby. He hadn't said much today. “A group of women are coming in.” Carol pointed as she headed towards the stairs that led to the upstairs office. “I’ll get it.” Dawn put the spoon aside and walked over to the cash register. There were three of them, all senior citizens and giggling like school girls. The short gray and black haired woman with the blue eyes smiled at Dawn. “The soup and a half of the ham and swiss with it. Please no mayo. Just mustard, and a tea—make it an English breakfast.” Dawn stabbed the keys of the cash register. The others gave their orders, too. They were talking about Singing Springs Christian Church. Dawn listened in as some of their faces looked familiar. She didn’t know everyone at church yet. “I can’t believe the pastor asked for everyone’s testimony.” The woman with a halo of white hair drew a line through the tip section and signed, 'Isabelle Jollie.' Isabelle dug into her purse and put a couple of dollars into the tip jar. “Like we would know what to say as the microphone is being passed when we’re all sitting and listening.” The blue-eyed woman drew a line through the tip section and signed her name, 'Jessica Freeload.' Jessica handed the receipt back to Dawn.

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“It went on too long,” the third complained. She signed the receipt, 'Sonny Smith,' and dropped a small tip into the tip jar. “Where will you be sitting?” Dawn put the receipts together and tucked them under the drawer. “Over there.” Jessica nodded, the fine lines in her face deepening. The three women found a seat and continued their complaints. Dawn went to the kitchen and began preparing their order with Carol’s help. Fifteen minutes later, Dawn balanced a tray of food on her hand and carried it out to the women’s table. Carol rang up more orders. The front door squeaked and slammed repeatedly as the pre-dinner afternoon crowd entered and began to line up. As Dawn handed the ladies their food and drinks she listened. “That baptism was great.” Jessica moved her purse out of the way of her dish. “So sweet. But I would have rather heard Mr. Boyer sing another song. I mean, it was only one baptism. Not like we’ve really had a whole lot of baptisms. Plus, Mr. Boyer has such an amazing voice!” Dawn dropped Sonny's silverware. “Sorry. I’ll get you a new one.” Sonny frowned and silently shook her head at Dawn. A little later, Dawn watched as Jessica gathered her and her friend's dishes and moved them to a nearby empty table. The bin with the sign above it that said, 'Place Empty Dishes Here' sat empty near the front door not more than a couple feet away from the three ladies. Dawn's shoulders tensed. Jessica went up to the counter and ordered a dessert to share. “Three forks and three extra small plates, please. Dawn, right?” She made a point to look at Dawn's name tag. “You look familiar.”

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Dawn carefully scooped a large slice of pie out of the pie dish and slid it on one plate. She kept her eyes fixed on the plate. Don't ask what church I go to, Oh Lord, please don't let them ask! “I get that all the time.” Faking a smile, Dawn gathered three forks, plates and extra napkins. Then, she handed them to Jessica. Jessica paused before going back to her table. “I'm sure I've seen you someplace.” You did...yesterday. I was the one being baptized. You don't really care about me. Dawn didn't have the courage to say those words out loud and instead smiled. “I do work two jobs.” “We are a small town.” Jessica went to sit with her friends. Another family entered the coffee house. The husband saw the dishes on the table and picked them up to bring them to the bin by the door. Jessica glanced up, but did nothing. The ladies continued their conversations. These are Christians? Dawn went over to the bin and pointedly picked it up walking past the three ladies. Dawn even gave the bin a shake causing the silverware and dishes to clank together, but the ladies ladled compliments about the dessert to each other, pulling the pieces of pie from the fork between their teeth as if it was a first kiss, and ignored Dawn. A little while later, the three ladies left. Dawn stood over their table, her mouth forming a frown as she saw the dishes abandoned there. The new bin by the door was still empty. Carol walked over and patted her on the back. “What’s wrong?” “Nothing.” Dawn took the dishes to the kitchen. Carol followed her to the kitchen. “I thought being Christian meant you were happy now. Anyway, I know it’s been a tough day, but

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your day is nearly over. I hope the tree out front blooms in spite of the last frost. Not like last year, when half of it looked bald.” Carol left the room. Matt was wiping off the work stations. He threw the rag into the sink and walked over to Dawn. “You know, I was baptized five years ago as a teenager.” Dawn blinked. She used her fingers to carefully wipe the tears from her eyes without smudging her make-up. “I didn’t know you were a Christian.” “I stopped going to church for a few years. I didn’t feel like I mattered until last year when my friend got into an accident. For the first time, I prayed. She got well. Her bones healed, and she came to know Christ. What’s more I returned to church and realized how much I had kept to myself and didn’t get involved in fellowship.” Matt shrugged. He pointed towards the tree. “There are going to be bad seasons.” Author bio: Nikole Hahn is a recovering perfectionist blogging and living 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. She reviews books, writes short stories, and blogs on living the transparent Christian life at The Hahn Hunting Lodge. Nikole has been published in small presses and is a member of ACFW and Word Weavers. ************ Guest Editorial - Donita K Paul Sailing into Uncharted Waters I don’t know how other authors begin, work through, and polish off a novel. I start with the characters waking up in my head and clamoring for attention. Or a scene intrigues me, and I sort of keep an eye on it until characters have walked in and out of the picture. Then I choose which ones belong. One thing I never do is start with a lesson, a point, a moral, an agenda. That sinks my creativity as affectively as an uncharted reef.

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The power of story to reveal, explain, and encourage is the root of why we write. There is something to be learned when we examine the human condition through a tale. When I’ve discovered something important, I want to write in such a way that others can consider this revelation. Each story has a specific place in my heart. The truth examined, the encouragement to stand strong in my beliefs, and crystallization of an important concept make the writing of the narrative priceless. But I just said that I don’t zero in on a lesson and I write without an agenda. It’s true! I don’t focus on a moral or carry an agenda. I start with the characters or scene and dive in. During the writing of fiction, my life goes on. I deal with reality: disappointments, failure, frustration, regret, and all the other setbacks of life. And also all the joys, rewards, and blessings. But God is certainly working on me. And these things seep into the fabric of my narrative. Whatever God has impressed upon me in the process of creating a story is what that story brings to mind whenever I think about it. I see the cover of Dragons of Chiril, and I remember my missionary friend telling me how offensive Christians can be when they infiltrate a culture with the intent of destroying traditions and beliefs of a thousand years. The method sounds like: We know the truth. You’re trapped in a lie. Of course, that’s not what we propose to do. We offer something that nobody else can offer. We are passing on to these foreigners the gift given to us. It’s a free gift, man. Go ahead. Take it. That sounds like a slippery salesman. Dragons of Chiril reminds me of the importance of the individual. If I don’t love the person receiving the Gospel from my

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lips, I cannot be demonstrating the love of Christ. If I have my spiel memorized, my focus is on the message, not the one who needs to be saved. Putting down this person’s beliefs will never lift him to the way of salvation. No pushing from behind will accomplish what coming alongside and pulling together does.

Taming the Wild Wind was special on several levels. I wrote it for my mother, who has since passed away. Her love of Native Americans and understanding of their history was an integral part of my growing up. I was taught not to be prejudiced because my mother had seen the ugly side of prejudice in her own family.

By the time I turned in that manuscript, my personal thinking about missions had matured tremendously.

The lesson that came out during the writing of that novel dealt with being outwardly compliant and inwardly defiant. I won’t go into why that was such an important lesson at the time, but I was learning it, and so were my two teenagers. Yikes! Let’s not do that one again.

This is true of every book. During the writing of book, something emerges that means a great deal to the way I walk with God. I believe most authors have on their shelves, or on the hard drive, manuscripts God used to polish the chaff off their beliefs. I have plenty. And the problem is that I grew more spiritually during the writing of those tales than I did as a writer. Spiritual substance: golden. Delivery of message: is there such a thing as tarnished tin? Any editor who turned down those manuscripts did the world a favor. But now I know a lot more about writing than I did ten years ago. And those scruffy ramblings still have a kernel of wisdom that God planted in my heart. Each book has a special significance to me, but not to editors who are struggling to keep their heads above water. The whole publishing industry is desperately treading water until the storm blows over and the new currents are established. Out of this turmoil has arisen a brand new ship to sail into the trade routes. Published on Demand, eBooks, and the Nooks, Kindles, and iPads are all on the horizon. An author can now publish a novel that is dear to her heart.

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As with all my books, I fell in love with the characters. I wanted readers to fall in love with them too. I wanted others to witness their growth and identify with someone (a fictional someone) who personified another step in the Christian walk. I took the manuscript from the shelf, dusted it off, and polished it with what I know now that I didn’t know then about writing techniques. Actually, I opened the file on my PC, but writers like to write metaphorically, thus the shelf and dust. The next step was to find out as much as possible about the self-publishing—POD world. The community of Christian writers is phenomenal. I learned from my online groups. I learned from books bought and borrowed and shared. I learned from my local ACFW group. And out of that group, five banded together to support and give practical help as we sailed the uncharted sea. All five have launched their e-Books. It is important to realize that this was not an act of defiance against the wonderful publishers we’ve worked for. We understand that they have a lot more to consider than individual authors do. Also, they are a business with commitments to many people to be responsible and profitable. But we have these lovely stories that need to be in the hands of book lovers searching for

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a good read. And so we decided to test the waters.

Revell's Featured Author Irene Hannon!

We chose two different companies in order to be able to compare the process of one with the other. Quite frankly, we had pleasant experiences with both. The whole encounter with this new way of getting our work into the hands of readers has been encouraging. I’m already eyeing the next old manuscript to follow in the footsteps of Taming the Wild Wind. Just in case you want to know, the other books from our ebook support group are: Out of Her Hands by Megan DiMaria Titanic: Voyage of Intent by Mary Davis Titanic: Legacy of Betrayal by Kathleen Kovach and Paula Moldenhauer

Two-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon is the author of more than 35 novels, including the bestselling Heroes of Quantico series and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have also been honored with a Carol Award, a HOLT Medallion, a Daphne du Maurier award, and two Reviewers’ Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. She lives in Missouri.

Taming the Wild Wind Donita K Paul ASIN: B005IIRB1K

Ida has always gone her own way like a gentle breeze, drifting through social barriers as if they weren't even there. Like the breeze, her comings and goings are hard to keep track of, and her family assumes Ida's activities are the same as the other society debutantes of Pittsburgh. When she responds to the wilder wind of the Oklahoma prairie, she recognizes the untamed quality in her personality. She also comes to realize that even the wild wind has a Master. She submits to the hand of her Creator, her loving Heavenly Father, and allows Him to tame her willful nature. ***********

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Lethal Legacy Guardians of Justice Series ISBN-13: 978-0800734589

A determined daughter… A skeptical detective… A deadly secret… The police say her father’s death was suicide. Kelly Warren says it was murder— and she has new evidence to prove it. Detective Cole Taylor doesn’t put much credence in her claim, and nothing in his case review suggests foul play. But when he digs deeper (delete dash) and discovers startling information linking her to a longburied secret, the danger escalates. Is history repeating itself? And who wants Kelly silenced?

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Lethal Legacy is available now at: Amazon Barnes and Noble Christian Book *********** Greg Johnson - A Success Story! by Kellye Davis Williams © 2012

One of the most fulfilling things about my job as a personal trainer is seeing my clients reach their goals that they set for themselves. It is even more fulfilling to see the quality of their life change and become enjoyable and exciting. My client, Greg Johnson, will celebrate his one year anniversary on his fitness journey this month! I have been in awe at his determination and drive to get healthy, lose weight, and enjoy life! I am so very proud of him! I am proud to be his trainer and his friend! Here is his story in his words….. “My name is Greg Johnson, and I have been struggling with my weight since I was about 16 years old. As a young pre-teen and early teen, I was in excellent shape and was about the fastest kid in my elementary school when we had races. I played backyard baseball and football with my friends virtually year round and I played youth Dixie league baseball where I excelled. I played 3rd base and I batted first because I almost always got a hit or walked. Once I got on base, being the fastest person on the team, I was readily able to steal bases or advance when the next batters got hits. Also, I worked out regularly with weights and could pick up 110 pounds on a barbell and

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lift it over my head with just one arm. I was in pretty good shape. I wanted a motorcycle more than anything in life and, although I was just 14, I was constantly going up to the Yamaha motorcycle dealership 2 miles from my house to look at them. My mother was divorced, so I was rather mature for my age, having stayed home alone since about 10. I hated going to a sitter and often I would watch my younger brother and sisters. So, at age 13, thinking I was grown I guess, I went to work part time at Pete’s #5, which is a fast food place. I saved every penny I made. With the money I saved I bought a Yamaha 360 Enduro, an on and off road bike. It turned out that working that job and getting to eat all the burgers, hot dogs, fries, cokes, etc. that I wanted for free, and riding that motorcycle rather than a bicycle, I started to gradually pick up weight. Then, on the day I went in the hospital to have a hernia operation, I wrecked my motorcycle and broke my ankle. So, I sat around for a few weeks doing nothing but eating and watching TV and kept gaining weight. I was overweight through high school but managed to lose it all my freshman year at Clemson University. Thankfully, Clemson had more students than housing, so I was assigned “temporary” housing in a “prefab” unit, which was basically an aluminum 4 room house that was close to a mile from campus and didn’t have air conditioning. We used fans and just about burned up! Walking that far to class every day and sometimes multiple times a day, and going to the gym with friends and roommates, I lost it all and got down to a rock solid 160 ponds. As I got into my career with World Acceptance, I worked inside at a desk, and I worked a lot of hours. I also ate out every day and fell in love with Chinese buffets which I ate 2-4 times a week. I surely got my money’s worth every time. I ballooned up to over 350 pounds. I tried multiple diets. I tried everything from protein diets

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to weight watchers. I also tried formal programs through Physicians Weight Loss, which was medically supervised, in which I got down to about 240 pounds. But I put it back on. I even tried the Liquid Diet supervised through the hospital in Columbia, SC. Again, I lost weight but put it back on. I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1990, and started taking pills to help control it. I still didn’t control what I ate and I didn’t exercise so I didn’t control it very well. Eventually, I ended up on insulin shots, which I hated. In 2004, my weight about 365 pounds. I knew I had to do something or I was going to die very prematurely. So, I had bariatric surgery. Also, I exercised 5 days a week in my basement for over a year. I would do various exercises on the weight machine and I worked up to 45 minutes on the exercise bike. Then, I ordered a commercial quality elliptical machine. I could only do 5 minutes on it when I first started, but worked up to where I could do a steady 30 minutes (arms and legs combined). I got all the way down to about 195 and was in tremendous shape. Then, I gradually stopped the exercise and started eating a little more often and was eating a little more food. (Even though I was pretty limited in how much I could eat at one time because of the surgery.) I ended up gaining about 35 pounds back over the next 6 years (2005-2011). But, it wasn’t just the weight. By not exercising, I lost much of my muscle and gained a lot of fat. My body fat composition changed drastically for the worse. Then I started seeing Kellye’s Facebook posts about exercises and I started to think about exercising myself. Finally, after seeing the video of her flipping a big, heavy tire, I got up the nerve to ask her about training me. I knew I was not in great shape and I was really nervous about working out in front of people, but she was very positive so I made an appointment to consult with her. I decided on the spot that I wanted to do it. I wrote her a check and on August 29, 2011 I

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had my first workout with her. Although I knew I wasn’t in great shape, I didn’t realize how out of shape I was until my first workout. I did simple stretches and leg lifts as warm ups and I was out of breath 2 minutes into those. Then she started the workout routine which was mostly legs. In my mind I was thinking she would have me do a couple of reps of this and a couple of reps of that and a few of those, etc.. Lol! Boy was I wrong! It was a real workout and, although I was too ashamed to tell her, I almost threw up a time or two and I kept watching the clock wishing my time would hurry up and be over! I was so sore I could barely walk the next day (Tuesday). I didn’t come back until Thursday and I was hurting even worse then. My butt and legs hurt so much I was walking very gingerly. I thought about texting and telling her I didn’t think I could do this, but I KNEW I NEEDED IT! So I came back Thursday and I told her how bad I hurt. I also told her I didn’t think I could do any leg exercises because I was hurting. She explained that we would work the soreness out. When she asked me to do the leg exercises, I did. I surprised myself that I could work through the pain. Needless to say, the next day I started to feel better. At the time I didn’t think she took it easy on me, but looking back, I know now it was just baby stuff we did back then. The reason I hurt so bad and was so sick feeling during the initial workouts was because I was in such horrible shape. But, Kellye’s positive attitude and “you can do it Greg” encouragements got me through those early days when I didn’t think I had it in me! Her positive encouragement, even in tonight’s workout, gets me through it. I was 365 at my heaviest and now I'm 203 with my shoes off! Medically, after the Bariatric surgery I came off insulin and now use oral medication only. Also, since starting my fitness program, my blood sugar control has been MUCH better and I have eliminated one of my diabetes medications!

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The mental effect of participating in a fitness program may be even more positive. While I know I'm not a model by any stretch of the imagination, I'm now much more happy with and confident in my appearance. I now have the confidence and ability to go for walks. I even go on long walks/jogs with Brandi, my 33 year old administrative assistant who is in great shape! When I went with her a couple years ago I could barely walk it. I would make many stops and I was so sick when I got back to the office I showered and went home. Now, I shower and keep working. I have the confidence that I can do just about anything and I absolutely love getting compliments from people on how much weight I’ve lost and how much better I look. Another huge benefit of working out is stress relief. Exercise truly is a huge stress reliever. I relieve so much stress in the gym that I am a much more patient person. I'm simply in a better state of mind physically and mentally. Now, I am in better shape than I have been since I was a young man and Kellye continues to raise the bar and challenge me to do even more. Kellye, I appreciate it more than you can ever imagine! You are a very special person and you spend a lot of time planning our workouts and you provide a very positive role model for us, both with your fitness level and exercise routines you do personally. I truly enjoy working out with the group I work out with (Kathryn, Lindsay, Kristen, and yes, even you Johnny)! THANK GOD for you flipping that tire and posting the video of it! Maybe that was the catalyst I needed to push me into coming to see you and beginning a fitness routine that I am convinced will add years to my life and keep me healthier, longer!” “…..you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” I Corinthians 6:20 *Permission granted to use Photos & Story

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Kellye Davis Williams is a personal trainer who focuses on the health and well being of her clients as well as coaching them to make positive changes that will impact the rest of their lives. *********** Featured Author ~ Mary Manners!

Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband, Tim, their daughter, Danni, and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus. Mary’s debut novel, Mended Heart, was nominated Best Inspirational Romance 2010, and was a finalist for the Bookseller’s Best Award. Her follow-up, Tender Mercies, was awarded an outstanding 4 ½ star rating from The Romantic Times Book Reviews and was also a finalist for the Readers Choice Award. Learn more about Mary Manners at her website.

Love in Love Creek Mary Manners

ISBN: 978-1-61116-182-3

Tanner Merrill returns home from Afghanistan bearing scars, both inside and out. If only the people of Lone Creek, who

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hail him as a hometown hero, knew his secret... Baylee Cameron harbors heartache of her own, which Tanner's sudden return forces her to face. She longs to share, but can she trust Tanner with her heart? Will the Legend of Lone Creek, which captured Tanner's three older brothers, claim Tanner and Baylee, as well? *********** A Wing and a Prayer Michele Abshire © 2012 This past week my husband worked on a shrimp boat as a deck hand. One of the nights they went out to shrimp the captain got lost and they were forced to anchor out for the night instead of dragging for shrimp. Tim had slept most of the day so he was not tired. While everyone else was sleeping he got up and went out on the deck. He was enjoying the night breeze when he spotted a small fluorescent yellow and green bird flying around the boat. Tim enjoyed watching the bird for a time as it flew in, out and around the shrimp nets. Several times he tried to approach the bird to get a better look at its unique colors but the bird would hastily fly away. After a while the little bird flew in a tight spot and got caught in one of the nets. Tim tried to think of ways to help the little bird but was unable to help it escape due to the wind, height and placement of where the little bird was caught. Tim concluded there was nothing he could do to help so he decided to pray. He prayed a simple little heartfelt prayer, Lord, please help the little bird out of that net. Tim then went to bed and the little bird slipped from his mind. The next morning Tim was the first one up and he was sitting up on the back deck enjoying the beauty of the morning’s dawning. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the fluttering of wings and realized it was the little bird from the night before flying near him. He sat extremely still so as to not frighten the bird and much to Tim’s surprise the beautiful little bird landed on his leg. The little bird turned its

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head up and looked straight into Tim’s eyes, chirped and as quickly as it came, turned and flew away. It was as if the little bird was thanking Tim for the prayer and helping it to escape. Tim was amazed. It reminded him that prayers work. He thought about the fact that before he prayed the bird would not allow him to approach it but after he prayed the bird came to meet him. Thoughts of how awesome God is filled Tim’s mind throughout the morning hours. This incident was abundantly full of little tiny miracles threaded throughout the tapestry of the evening and the morning. First of all, my husband prayed. This is something he seldom does in this kind of circumstance. The second miracle was that the bird escaped safely out of its predicament. Third, the little bird came back the following morning to thank Tim. I learned later that this bird is a painted bunting which is an extremely shy species so for this little fellow to land on Tim’s leg was a real miracle. The fourth miracle was that my husband was thrown into a state of wonder and amazement about the answered prayer for the entire morning. The fifth miracle was that Tim was assured that God does answer prayer. And sixth, Tim considered that he should pray more often. When Tim shared this story with me thoughts of the goodness, grace and mercy of God overwhelmed me. Thankfulness filled my heart and tears threatened to spill forth because of how good God was to my husband when he decided to pray. It revealed to me that God is ever willing to listen and act if we will just turn our heart toward Him and pray. It taught me that we should never be afraid to pray even for the smallest of needs and that God’s ear is open to those who cry out to Him from the heart. 1 Peter 3:12a ‘For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.’ I knew and believed these truths in my heart for myself but for God to answer this prayer for my husband was a blessing to me. I knew it was

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God’s grace working on my husband’s heart. I was overwhelmed with the work I saw God doing in my husband through a tiny little helpless bird. God not only answered Tim’s prayer but God showed me that He was behind the scenes answering my prayers concerning my husband. Another amazing fact in this story was that the little bird seemed to purposely come back to thank Tim for the prayer. God has a unique way of letting us know that He has heard our prayers and shows us in amazing ways how He answers our prayers. Tim spent that morning in a wondrous state of mind due to the way God answered his prayer. There are lessons hidden within the fibers of these facts. The first lesson is that we should always be ready to thank God and those that have prayed for us. Prayer is a beautiful gift that is freely given on behalf of another often requiring a price to be paid by the person who prays for them. It takes dedication, time and effort to pray; therefore, we should always be thankful for prayer. The second lesson is that we should understand that God answers prayer in His timing and in His way. When Tim prayed he had no idea how God was going to answer. God answered by freeing the helpless little bird. Then God showed Tim He answered in a nothing-less-than miraculous way. Nine times out of ten prayer will not be answered in a way that we can even imagine but we should still trust God with the answers. We should thank God for every answered prayer. We should let His answers change our outlook. His answers should be accepted with a thankful heart and an awed sense of appreciation that fills our being everyday. I also thought about the little bird getting caught in the net. Sometimes we are in places we shouldn’t be and we get caught up in difficult places like the tiny bird. We find ourselves in difficult circumstances that we can’t seem to find our way out of. We desperately look for any way out only to find our way barred by the circumstances that life has placed in our path or that we have

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indirectly chosen due to our bad choices. I thank God that He has appointed people to pray for us just as I believe that God put compassion in my husband’s heart and prompted him to pray for that little bird. Prayer to God on behalf of others is a powerful force. God will set us free just as He freed the little bird from the net as a result of a simple heartfelt prayer. Sometimes the people we love and care about are caught up in places they don’t belong. They are lost in the circumstances of the choices they have made in their life. Those choices have led them into dark, destructive and dangerous places. They are caught in a net of their own making. No matter how hard we try we can’t always bail them out and we shouldn’t. Had Tim tried to help the little bird on his own both he and the bird could have been hurt in the process. When we take things into our own hands we make mistakes and situations escalate out of control. Everyone involved ends up being hurt. It is only God’s intervention that can free someone’s heart, soul, mind and body from the difficult places they find themselves. Therefore, our first response should be to turn to God. We should always be ready and willing to pray. Finally, before the prayer the bird would not let Tim get close but after the prayer the bird came directly to him. When we turn our hearts to God, trust Him with our situations and pray, He answers. In His perfect timing He turns our situations around for our good and His glory. He sets captives free and heals broken relationships so that reconciliation can take place. Will you trust God today? Will you let God handle those situations that need His intervention? Will you pray today? Yes, trust and pray for your “little bird caught in the net” situations and watch God work miracles on your or your loved ones behalf! He answers prayer and causes all things to work together for good! Love in Christ, Michele

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© September 2011 ~ Michele LeDoux Abshire Michele Abshire is a housewife, mother, grandmother, and full time legal assistant. She has been published in Lake Charles, Louisiana publications, Christian Star Newspaper and Gumbeaux Magazine. *********** Never Say Never by Terry Whalin © August 2012 If you haven’t said it, I don’t doubt that you’ve thought the words: “I will never ______.” Some of my professional writer friends proclaimed about blogging: “I will never blog because you are simply giving away your writing craft for free. Why should I give away my storytelling when I can sell it to a magazine or be writing a book?” I’ve heard other writers say, “I will never do a work made for hire. There is no reason to give away all of my rights to a publisher.” They have committed to never signing that type of agreement. Other writers have an aversion to doing anything in the marketing and sales area. They proudly say, “I’m a writer and I write. I never want to be selling myself and my books.” From my years in publishing, I’ve learned there is little point in using the word “never.” Let’s tackle the different areas I mentioned as “never” statements. First I have become a blogger. I run in seasons of consistency. If I’m traveling or consumed with a project, then my blogging takes less of a priority. Yet I continue to blog. Instead of seeing it as giving away my writing, there are ways to monetize and

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make money from your blog. Every writer needs to have a presence in the marketplace and blogging is a terrific way to build your presence. I have over 1,000 searchable entries in my blog. Also I’ve learned to monetize my blog and it’s even something I’ve been able to pass on to others through my Ebook, The 31 Day Guide to Blogging for Bucks. If you have not read this valuable resource, I recommend you get it “risk free” and read it for 60 days. If you don't find it valuable, then send me an email and I will refund your money. That's what I mean by risk free. My Rights to My Work. Many authors do not want to sign work made for hire agreements which give a publisher or individual the right to your creative work. In the case of work made for hire, these writers have limited their own potential through their use of the word “never.” My literary attorney has told me that I’ve signed more Work Made for Hire agreements than anyone she knows—yet I’ve been a working writer for years. Work Made for Hire comes with the territory in my view. Several years ago I wrote two devotional books for a book packager as a Work Made for Hire. I wrote the books in a two month period and was well-compensated for my work. Each of these books sold over 60,000 copies (which is a good book sale credit for any author). I would not have had the opportunity if I had said “never.” Writing or Marketing? Finally I want to address the writers who say they never want to sell or market their books. I understand the reluctance to enter into the marketing and selling process. It would be great to delegate this process to someone else but it is not realistic thinking. Every writer has to learn to market to sell their work and get it into print. They also have to be involved in the marketing and promotion of their work

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when it gets into print. The savvy writers understand this process and lean into it rather than resist it. My recommendation is to wipe the word “never” out of your vocabulary. Instead approach your writing looking for open doors of opportunity. As I look over the publishing world, I believe there are many opportunities for every writer. It is your responsibility to be submitting your work and regularly knocking on doors to see which one will open for you and your work. As you attempt new things, you will be surprised which ones will open for you. W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Irvine, California. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called: Write a Book Proposal *********** Featured Author ~ Kathi Macias!

(Advanced Writers and Speakers Association). Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al. Find out more about Kathi by visiting her website.

The Deliverer Kathi Macias

ISBN-13: 9781596693081

The Deliverer the final book in the Freedom Series, picks up six months after Special Delivery leaves off, with Mara struggling to deal with her past bitterness and anger as well as her attraction to Bible college student Jonathan Flannery. Jonathan also struggles with his feelings for Mara, knowing she has spent the majority of her life as a sex slave. And then there’s young Lawan, fresh from a brothel inThailand, trying to adapt to her new life in the United States and the family that has adopted her, even as she wrestles with the shame of her past. Each must release personal demons and yield to the faithful wooing of The Deliverer if ever they are to find peace and joy as they press into the future. ***********

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored more than 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA

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Do You Know that God Loves Every Single One of Us? by Dr. LaShardna Beckwith © August 2012 Sometimes we have to think back on scriptures that we heard about and learned as children. They help us stay grounded; don’t you think? I grew up hearing stories of the parables Jesus told. Those stories are

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ones I have heard over & over again. For example, the story of the lost sheep is one that is familiar; I can hear it & say, yeah, ok & move right beyond it if I am not careful. But I don’t know that’s what God wants me to do; move right beyond it. I believe that He wants me to really understand what He is trying to convey and not take these scriptures for granted. These scriptures are so important to our walk of faith and if we are not careful, we can lose sight of why they are there & what we should be doing every day as we seek to live a positive life of faith. That story of the lost sheep is really important and it reminds us that every single person in this world is a person with value & worth. We are only told to love them, tell them about Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to draw them. Why do we as Believers behave in a manner we have been cautioned how not to behave? Why do we still determine a person’s value based on their status or lack of it? We look at their clothes and the material things they have acquired and say, Yeah they fit. If our attitudes are such, shame on us. Remember the Pharisee who stood and prayed? “The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: “I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. I don't cheat, I don't sin, and I don't commit adultery. I'm certainly not like that tax collector!” (Luke 18:11). Just think about it, the Bible clearly tells us...“It does not matter who people are, where they came from or what lifestyle they have that we may not approve of. It matters not what their political views are, what skin color or what religion; God loves us all." I think sometimes we get real high-minded like the Pharisee and forget that the Bible says, “…See that you do not look down on one of these little ones” (Matthew 18:10). You do know that “one of these little ones" is

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hyperbole, right? Love everyone even when they may not be lovable. Trust me, that’s a command. Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith, PhD, MBAA, MA, BPS, is an Empowerment Advocate, personal life coach, motivational speaker & leadership expert. She knows that in order for anyone to experience success in their personal or professional lives, there must be a fundamental change in attitude. She is currently a Professor in the School of Management at Texas Woman’s University. She is an author and talk show host. *********** How to Chill Out When Your Anger is Hot by Rita A Schulte, LPC © August 2012 Have you ever freaked out on someone, only to ask yourself later what the heck happened? The offense just didn’t seem to warrant the kind of emotion you displayed, but you can’t quite understand why you got so upset. Here’s your problem; you’re carrying around a card file on the person you blew up at. What’s a card file? It’s a list of hurts you carry that build up over time, giving you messages about a person’s emotional safety. Think of it like this: I go to the soda machine at work to get a drink. I put in my dollar, push the button, and no soda comes out. I report it to the manager. She assures me that although the machine is broken, the repairman is coming tomorrow to fix it. I don’t get my money back, but I leave content the problem will be solved. The next day, I return again for a much needed refreshment. I put in my dollar; push the button, no soda. Now I’m irritated. I can feel the tension in my gut. I go back to the manager and express my concern. She informs me the repairman was ill, but will

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certainly be there tomorrow to fix the machine. Merciful person that I am, I left feeling bad I got irritated. Believing the third time is a charm I went back at lunch the following week for a drink. Went through the same drill, and guess what? NO COKE! I didn’t have to notice my anger ---I could feel it physically. My heart was pounding, I was holding my breath, and I was really hot. Thinking I needed to chill out before I did something rash, I headed back to my office, vowing never to visit a soda machine again. A month later, one of my colleagues asked me to get a soda after work. I cautiously agreed. Once again I found myself in front of the dreaded machine. My friend put in her money, out came her drink. Figuring we were on a roll, I did the same. Guess what? NO COKE! I started ranting, raving, and totally freaking out. My friend looked at me and calmly said, “Rita, it’s only a dollar.” But what she didn’t know was that machine had beaten me out of $10 over the last month. I wasn’t simply reacting to the situation, but to the meaning I attached to it. The card file I had on the machine told me: *I can’t trust you *You’ll disappoint me *You’re not safe These are the types of beliefs we form about the people in our lives that hurt us. With those beliefs percolating under the conscious surface, it’s easy to see how a seemingly small interaction with someone can cause us to explode. How can we chill out when our anger is hot? Here are a few tips:

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Address it. Your anger is your responsibility Notice your anger signals Calm yourself through relaxation breathing. See if you’re making any thinking errors. Forgive. Don’t let your anger get the best of you, learn the skills necessary to manage it so you can keep your cool---then go have a soda. Rita A. Schulte is a licensed professional counselor in the Northern Virginia/DC area. She is the host of Heartline Podcast and Consider This. *********** A Windless and Wordless Sea by Scott Higginbotham ©August 2012 Ever sail through the doldrums of your writing life? Is inspiration elusive? Is the fire you once had for putting pen to paper a dwindling flicker? Many go through a period of writer’s block where nothing seems to inspire and they just want to give in and rest on their laurels, never to post a blog or finish a work in progress. The reasons are many and this list is not conclusive – a lack of confidence, fear of a scathing review, unsure if it is God’s will, or better things to do. All of these author “sicknesses” have a remedy. If it is confidence, then perhaps reading others’ books and unlocking their authorial voice can help your own craft. You don’t learn and grow unless your teacher has skills and experience that surpasses yours. Consider a dull knife for a moment - the knife will grow dull if it’s used to whittle a piece of wood over a period of time. However, it is sharpened using a whetstone or a piece of steel stronger that itself. We learn best from those that are farther along

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in their spiritual or author walks. I am reminded that Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (KJV) A mountain-sized negative review can cause us to shudder and crawl back into our writing cave or flee in terror. If it is constructive in nature, then work through the issue and then go back to spinning your written gold. If it’s destructive and pointless and draws you down, then overcome this obstacle with Scripture. This does not mean that brimstone and fiery torrents ensuing from the heavens are at your spiritual command, rather, it is a mindset that can set you apart. Answer your critics with grace, polish, and with well-reasoned responses. Proverbs 15:1 states, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (KJV) An author friend has a handful of vehement detractors because of the informed speculation she uses in her novels, but her answers are gracious and full of reminders that her books are fictional in nature. Her words do tend to soften the ridicule, and, they have boosted her sales! There is an object lesson here. The Apostle Paul begins 1 Corinthians by affirming, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God…(KJV). These are heady words and it is certain that by the world’s standards that he had better things to do besides the trials he had endured. He could have chosen the easy life of a Pharisaical ruler and scholar, persecuting Christians, and gaining stature in the eyes of his peers, but God had other plans for him. And, he constantly affirmed that his calling was God’s will.

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wordless sea, try writing about it; you may find that inspiration is more than just a feeling. Scott Higginbotham is the author of A Soul’s Ransom, a novel set in the fourteenth century where William de Courtenay’s mettle is tested, weighed, and refined, and For A Thousand Generations, where Edward Leaver navigates a world where his purpose is defined with an eye to the future. ************* Feature Author ~ J.M. Hochstetler

The daughter of Mennonite farmers, Joan Hochstetler grew up on a farm in central Indiana. She is a direct descendent of Jacob Hochstetler, who immigrated to this country from Europe in 1738 with his wife and two small children seeking religious freedom. Joan was an editor with The United Methodist Publishing House for many years. She is currently the publisher and editorial director of Sheaf House Publishers, a Nashville, Tennessee, area small press, which she founded in 2006. She lives in the Nashville area with her husband and enjoys researching and writing historical novels, gardening, traveling, crafts, reading, and spending time with her family. Find out more about Joan by visiting her website.

The point is that if you are called to a specific task in your fulfillment of the Great Commission, then perform to the best of your God-given abilities, pray through the difficult times, and let your responses always be Christ like and full of grace. If you find yourself adrift on a windless and

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Be Who You Are by EE Kennedy © 2012

Crucible of War J. M. Hochstetler

ISBN-13: 978-1936438075

Brigadier General Jonathan Carleton rejoins General George Washington’s army to find the patriot cause on the verge of extinction. Against all odds, in a daring gamble the American force crosses the Delaware River during a raging nor’easter to attack the Hessian outpost at Trenton. While Elizabeth Howard anxiously waits for news of the outcome, the American force wins a stunning victory, then fights the British to a draw at Princeton before vanishing into the mountain bastions around Morristown. Returning to New York, Elizabeth is drawn ever deeper into the dangerous intrigues that swirl around General William Howe— and the increasingly passionate attentions of Dr. Pieter Vander Groot, who has given his allegiance to the rebels. When Carleton is forced to take the doctor prisoner, Elizabeth and her aunt move to Philadelphia to wait for Howe’s attack on the city. With the Americans digging in at Brandywine Creek, Carleton is betrayed by a trusted aide and comes within a hair’s breadth of being captured. Washington orders him to the upper Hudson Valley, where a force commanded by British General John Burgoyne closes in on Saratoga. With decisive battles looming on all fronts, Elizabeth and Carleton are once again torn from each other’s arms, and this time they will face a crucible of war and trial that will test their mettle and their love to the very limits. *************

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It was the sort of moment when one is struck dumb. “I liked your book,” a woman told me at a book signing in DC. “I wasn’t sure I’d like it when I read that you were a ‘born-again Christian,’ but it was surprisingly good.” Hours after that moment, I still couldn’t decide on a witty rejoinder. Or even if I should have made one. What had she expected, snake handling? Was I glad that the Christian content of my book didn’t offend this woman? Not really. I’d rather be found guilty of honoring God than not. Or perhaps it gave her a better opinion of Christians. Who knows? Others were more approving of the religious aspect. A reviewer in The Drood Review of Mystery had actually made note of the fact that my heroine prayed when she was in mortal danger. “There are no atheists in foxholes,” they asserted. In David Copperfield, a strange, eccentric (though kindly) character named “Mr. Dick” is perpetually writing an autobiography and perpetually complaining that “King Charles’ head” keeps popping up in his text. (King Charles I, the English sovereign, was beheaded in 1649.) As with King Charles’ head, two things seem to pop up in my writing: my sense of humor and my sense of God. That’s not to say that both didn’t come from the same Source. I was one of those children who would get the giggles at solemn occasions and have to struggle to keep from guffawing out loud. As with Mr. Dick and King Charles, I can’t seem to keep humor out of the most dire of situations in my writing. For instance, in the unpublished novel, Another Think Coming, my character Esther interrupts the villain, Beatrice, in a hospital room in the act of poisoning a patient. Beatrice pulls a gun on

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Esther. Even in the midst of a dangerous scene, I get a case of author’s giggles: “Quickly, Beatrice tucked the gun under her jacket and glared at me. It was easy to read that glare: Keep your mouth shut, or else. She carefully spread a wide, fake grin across her face. For some reason, it did my heart good to see that she had lipstick on her teeth.” Sometimes, the characters themselves insist on expressing my themes. When she returns home after having fallen over a corpse in the public library, Amelia Prentice (the main character in Irregardless of Murder) does what comes naturally to her; she prays: “I began to tell Sam [her cat] about the night's events and to express my shock at the tragedy, but as my monologue progressed, it gradually turned into a prayer. Sitting on the scratchy wool rug in the entryway, clutching an unusually meek Sam to my breast, I told God how I felt about things.” Good writing, in my opinion, is opening one’s heart to the world, expressing who and what you are and what you think about things. It’s both a solitary and a public art. IWriting may take courage or egotisim, or a hefty helping of both, but it’s important to be who you are in what you write. What are your themes? What events of your life do you best remember? Are they tragic or humorous? Bitter or joyous? I suspect William Faulkner had a sad life, and I know for sure that P.G. Wodehouse had the kind of personality that found the funny in everything, even being held under house arrest by the Nazis.

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magazines and produced radio/TV commercials and print ads. She substitute taught in junior high school (without hazardous duty pay), read aloud newspapers on closed-circuit radio for the blind, and has lectured around the region on the subject of writing. She is a graduate of Huntingdon College and studied counseling and guidance at the University of Alabama. ************ God’s Choice by Dawn Kidd ©6/23/2012 "Then Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Can I do what only God can do? You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done. So don't be afraid. I will take care of you and your children." So Joseph comforted his brothers and spoke kind words to them." Genesis 50:19-21 As I helped during a fundraiser for a local organization this week, I had the pleasure of meeting "Jackie". As we talked, she asked for prayer concerning her teenage daughter. "Misty", her fourteen year old daughter, had entered a rebellious stage and Jackie was at her wits end. She cried as she talked about her youngest daughter and how she just did not have it within herself to face another heartache. Misty was her youngest of four children.

Do a brave thing today. Put a few words on paper. It might make people understand you better.

My heart ached for her. I tried to comfort her the best I could. All of a sudden the words that were once told to me came flowing out of my mouth. I told her that God must have thought that she was the only mother in the world that could raise Misty. Of all the millions of women, God chose her and he would not leave her.

EE Kennedy is the author of Irregardless of Murder. As an advertising copywriter, she wrote interview articles for art

The more I have thought about this conversation this week, the more God has moved on MY heart. There are times in my

©August 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

~ All Rights Reserved


August 2012

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life that I have felt that I have failed God, my family...even myself miserably. Not in a small way, but I have felt as if I blew it...big time. God has walked with me this week and has shown me that of all the women in the world, he chose me to walk this path. He knew millions of years ago all the mistakes I would make, all the hurtful feelings I would cause (unintentionally) and the restless nights of sleep others would endure from my actions. He knows that I will make mistakes and I know he will test me. Of all the women in the world, God chose me to do what I do, to help in the ways that I can and to be the child of God that I am. I am not perfect. I make mistakes, but by God's grace, I am forgiven. You are not perfect, you make mistakes and by God's grace, you are forgiven. We should be more like Joseph and grant forgiveness to those that ask and to those who do not ask. His brothers, selling him to slavery, facing him years later ~ received nothing but grace. Forgive others, forgive yourself. Of all the women or men in the world....God chose YOU!!!

Disclaimer Our goal at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine is to introduce readers to authors of books with a strong moral message. Primarily Christian based, we do not adhere to any particular denomination, nor do we question the integrity or worship of our readers, interview candidates, sponsors, columnists, reviewers, or authors who advertise with us. We understand reading is subjective and what one person deems sweet, clean, cozy or inspirational, another will not. Please know we do not read nor endorse every book advertised in our magazine but trust that the author understands our goal and his or her work fits the desires of our readers. **************

"You Are Not Alone" that chronicles the loss of her two infant children. Along with her column at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine, she is a weekend columnist for The Paragould Daily Press. Dawn enjoys her position on the board of TCF of Northeast Arkansas. (The Compassionate Friends is an International Organization that assists families with grief, who have lost a child, at any age) **************

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We sincerely hope you enjoy this month's issue as we strive to....

Š The Wordsmith Journal Magazine ~ All Rights Reserved Pamela S. Thibodeaux Editor, CEO, Ad Sales Director The Wordsmith Journal Magazine http://thewordsmithjournalmagazine.com 2/1/2012

Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. ~ Psalms 96:3

http://pamelathibodeaux.com

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ŠAugust 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

~ All Rights Reserved


The Wordsmith Journal Magazine  

Established October 2011, The Wordsmith Journal is an online magazine geared to serve readers of Christian literature. Every month you'll fi...

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