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For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.� ~ Romans 8:15

2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

The Premier Magazine for.... Lovers of the Written Word! ~Est. October 2011~

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


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Hello & Welcome to the June, 2012 issue of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine! We certainly hope your Summer has gotten off to a wonderful start. If you’re looking for great new books to read over the next couple of months, check out those featured in our magazine! Be sure and read our Guest Editorial by William Burt and check out the history of Father’s Day. Now, I’d like to share a simple poem I wrote to honor my father, Joseph Randall Sonnier and father’s everywhere...... A Father’s Love A father’s love is hard to describe, it’s far and deep, strong and wide. Maybe the ocean or mountains high, can compare to a father’s pride. Strong as a lion but gentle as a lamb are two ways to describe the tenderness of a daddy’s hands Only the Love of our Father above Can hold a candle to a daddy’s love.

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 A Schulte Author Interviews: Donita K Paul Donna Fitts Jocelyn Green Judith Hugg Book Reviews: When Shadows Fall by Tina Pinson Devotion by Marianne Evans The Lost Scrolls by Michael J Scott A Love Story: How God Pursued Me and Found Me An Impossibly True Story by Samantha Ryan Chandler

©2007 Pamela S Thibodeaux

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Book Store: Feature Books Author Pages: Mary Manners Kathi Macias Michelle Sutton JM Hochstetler Feature Publisher: Revell Books

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YA Perspective with Sarah Heath: Featuring Author Melody Carlson's True Color Series!

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When Shadows Fall Tina Pinson ISBN: 978-1-61252-165-7 As the Civil War rages, Rebekah fights to keep her world intact. But loss and sorrow has seeped into her heart and mind. She sets her sights on Oregon, praying this new Eden will allow her a place of peace and a place to put her life, and that of her son's, back together again. She travels to Independence, Missouri ready to take the train west, but is denied the opportunity to join the train because she is woman alone. Matthew battles his way through one fight after another, all the while thinking of Rebekah. The woman who holds his heart. He longs to help her west, but fears his biggest battle lies ahead of him. Will Rebekah open up her heart to him and allow him to be the one to hold her When the Shadows Fall? Review of When Shadows Fall by: Kim Ford “Your stubbornness put you on a dangerous road. God’s grace got you home.” (Olivia to Rebekah) Oh what truth was spoken to Rebekah that day! Tina Pinson’s novel, When Shadows Fall, takes the reader on an emotional and spiritual journey during the Civil War. Rebekah’s journey begins as she tries to have her husband set free from a Confederate prison. Little did she suspect that her life would intersect with someone from her childhood – Matthew - and that moment by moment they would be called to a similar path.

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As Rebekah tries to save her husband and their farm, Matthew is working to as a scout to discover a Mole in the government that is trying to debilitate the Yankee’s progress against the Rebel forces. He is also trying to keep a friend safe and return him to his family whole. When he sees Rebekah and realizes he is as drawn to her in the present as strongly as in the past, he determines to be a true friend to her as much as possible. Matthew cannot imagine that he will have a true opportunity to draw closer to Rebekah, so he does all in his power to lighten her burden. Pinson has written a compelling piece of historical fiction, and I was drawn in and held captive from beginning to end. I enjoyed all of the layers of the story, and the many friendships and relationships that swirl about the main characters. I loved the fact that Rebekah is so passionate about the people she cares about, and that she is so fearless and courageous as she plans to protect and care for those she loves. I loved the way Matthew was a complete gentleman regardless of his circumstance. I loved the way that Pinson placed a faithful believer in the paths of her main characters who pointed them toward their only source of survival. Pinson doesn’t shy away from many of the brutalities of the Civil War, and she realistically moves the characters from one event to another. She leaves the readers hungry to see what trials and joys await the main characters in the second book of the trilogy! When Shadows Fall is a great beginning to what promises to be a memorable historical trilogy!

Kim Ford has been a resident of Alabama for more than ten years. Originally

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from Georgia, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Brenau Women’s College.

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Savings will be calculated at checkout when you enter the following coupon code: FALLPREVIEW2012 Review of Devotion by: Linda Attaway Kellen Rossiter is at the top of his game, representing an elite roster of recording artists, many of whom share his Christian faith. Married to the love of his life, Juliet, he gives 110% to his job, never suspecting he's about to give more than he ever bargained for.

Devotion Marianne Evans ISBN: 978-1-61116-164-9 From This Day Forward Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now. Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that's what she thinks. For Better or Worse But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation? How does love survive when its foundation is shaken? 'Til Death Do Us Part When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion. Devotion is part of the special Pelican Book Group 2012 Fall Preview! Pre-order and you'll receive a 30% discount. The book will be shipped the day of release.

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Juliet Rossiter adores her husband and is his number-one supporter, but attending the continual stream of evening social events required by his job is exhausting, especially considering her involvement at the local homeless center, and she has begun to stay home rather than accompany Kellen to the numerous gatherings. When a fresh young talent with an amazing voice is presented to Kellen, he knows she has just what it takes to make it big. He is mesmerized by her compelling, unaffected personality and unmatched voice but though drawn to her, he has no intention of betraying his wedding vows. Reading this book was a bit like watching an accident happen in slow motion. You know what's about to happen and can't look away, but you are powerless to change the course of events. Marianne Evans has written a story that is the song of too many marriages today which are stuck in the same refrain. Evans effectively shows the pricks of conscience/nudges of the Holy Spirit that Kellen experiences and ignores as he edges closer to forbidden territory. For those concerned about the degree to which adultery is portrayed in a Christian novel, nothing occurs beyond a kiss. Yet it is clear by the fallout, both within Kellen spiritually and emotionally as well as within the marriage, that this is indeed a serious betrayal.

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While God's forgiveness and redemption are immediately received upon repentance, the consequences are not so quickly repaired, and Kellen and Juliet must decide whether and how to repair their marriage and what Devotion truly means. Devotion is not an easy read but an important one. Those who have suffered the pain of infidelity may either find it hits too close to home or find encouragement and help in healing within its pages. For those who have not been scarred or flippantly think "I would never," this is a cautionary tale and should be considered a wake-up call to place boundaries and nurture their marriages.

Linda Attaway has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember and is passionate about promoting Christian books and authors.

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A Love Story: How God Pursued Me and Found Me An Impossibly True Story Samantha Ryan Chandler ISBN-13: 978-1615077588 The tale of Samantha Ryan Chandler's life is evocatively portrayed in her book: A Love Story, How God Pursued Me and Found Me. It tells of a life that is as disturbing and ŠThe Wordsmith Journal Magazine

unsettling as it is uplifting and, in the end, gratifying. How "A girl from Nowhere, Louisiana" finds her way from such humble beginnings to live and walk amongst presidents and the supremely rich, only to find her trust and faith betrayed by those that she loved and trusted the most. She would be tested to the point where she began to doubt her own sanity and, at the moment of her greatest desperation and doubt, she was found by God and brought back from the brink of hopeless despair. Blessed with an almost unquenchable optimism and a unique sense of humor, she relates the story of a life that will speak to those who have encountered abuse, unfairness and anguish. Her love for her children and her faith in God carried her through a crucible of fire and in the end, made her a better, stronger person, ready to carry on with a life that is again filled with love, joy and laughter. A Love Story, How God Pursued Me and Found Me will both inspire you and touch your heart. Review of A Love Story: How God Pursued Me and Found Me An Impossibly True Story By: Kim Ford A Love Story: How God Pursued Me and Found Me An Impossibly True Story is a book written by Samantha Ryan Chandler about her life and the trials God used to draw her closer to Himself. It is not an easy story to read, especially if you have experienced similar circumstances in your own life relationships. In fact, you may find it a bit painful to read if your faith and trust in God is in a vulnerable place right now. However, if you are in the midst of a particularly trying time, I would encourage you not to shy away from this story, but to read it and be encouraged! Chandler shares a lot of the truths contained in Scripture that ministered to her heart during every phase of her journey, and my heart was encouraged and challenged as I read her story. God does indeed use His children as a tool in the hearts and lives of other believers, and Chandler’s story will be a powerful tool that will minister to others.

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Tools can always be sharpened, and while I found this book to be a spiritual encouragement and challenge in my own life, I would really like to see it put in a more coherent time frame of events. The author was often skipping about between current and past events with little or no warning, and that presented a challenge to me because I often had to flip to another part of the book to find out what she was making reference to. And while I know this is a true story, and I don’t want to take anything away from that…I think this would be a GREAT foundation for a fictional series! Fleshed out with details, names, and fully developed characters….man! It would be awesome! But maybe that’s just my love of fiction talking. Chandler has opened her heart and shared life lessons all believers can learn from.

The Lost Scrolls Michael J Scott ISBN - 9781937844905 When Dr. Jonathan Munro’s house is broken into, and his former best friend and colleague, archaeologist Stephen Kaufman, is knifed in the streets of Ankara, he is thrust into a world of international criminals who will stop at nothing to claim the priceless artifact Dr. Kaufman unearthed - a scroll revealing the location of the missing autographs of the New Testament. But is it the find of the century, or a costly fraud?

Kim Ford has been a resident of Alabama for more than ten years. Originally from Georgia, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Brenau Women’s College.

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As he flees with Isabel, Kaufman’s beguiling sister, Dr. Munro finds himself pursued by relentless mercenaries intent on seizing this incalculable treasure for themselves. Through some of Christianity’s most revered historical sites, he and Isabel must race to unravel the clues and find the autographs before they fall into the wrong hands. Advanced Purchase Link for The Lost Scrolls Review of The Lost Scrolls By: Kelly Klepfer Michael J. Scott has penned a page turner full of mystery, intrigue and rough characters. A legendary lost scroll may have been found, and since Jon Munro is an expert and his university has been involved in seeking this text, he is sent to Turkey to verify and obtain the ancient writings. His former roommate who had ruined his own reputation and had a hand in rocking

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Munro’s world is the finder of this document. Full of distrust and disbelief…Munroe doesn’t even believe that the document is real…he heads out to clean up this ridiculous rumor. Unfortunately, Munro is the only skeptical one and the believers are fanatical. Munro finds himself in a cat and mouse game with some who play for keeps. The simple academic time-waster-of-a-job turns into a blood bath, a test of faith and a battle of wits. His former girlfriend joins forces with him and turns his world upside down emotionally. I’m not a fan of lots of characters to keep track of, but Scott did a good job managing many characters and keeping them from becoming overly confusing. Some of his writing gets poetic and descriptive, other times the action whips along at a head twisting pace. There are twists and turns that take the characters across the map. Scott even tossed a bit of a love story in for those who like a wee bit of tragic love with their suspense. Opportunities arise for Munro to share his beliefs and his knowledge about the Bible and it’s historical significance. Adventure or ancient history lovers should find much to like, or information to debate in Lost Scrolls. Those who like a little apologetics in their literature might like the teaching moments, however, those same folks might be put off by language, violence, or the actions of characters. I wouldn’t recommend it for children unless a parent gives it a look through as language, though not vulgar, is peppered throughout. One character in particular is creepy and violent, others are fueled by anger and revenge and that could be unsettling for sensitive or inspirational readers as well. Tidied-up endings lovers might struggle with the more bittersweet open-ending. Those looking for a quick moving beach or plane read could find that this novel is just the ticket to keeping them at the edge of their seats or toes dug into the sand.

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Kelly Klepfer reads books and writes book reviews. Amazon has tagged her as a top 1000 reviewer and she manages Novel Reviews blog spot.

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Christian Book Marketing is a division of Awesome God Publications, located in South Western, Pennsylvania. Awesome God Publications has been actively serving the Christian community since 1998. Through our sales of Christian Books and Bibles we have developed a strong customer base of active Christian readers and Churches. Because of the committed relationships we have developed through Awesome God Publications, we can easily promote your Christian book to a very targeted market of Christian readers.

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Interview with Donita K Paul by Mary Nichelson

Author Donita K. Paul is about as versatile as a writer can get. She has successfully secured an audience through her two allegorical fiction series, The Chiril Chronicles and The Dragon Keeper Chronicles, while appealing to readers of romance and children’s books. Satisfying such a diverse audience takes talent, a strong connection to readers, a bit of heavenly inspiration, as well as a divergent personality. This is evident on Paul’s website where she incorporates art, photography, homeschool helps and yes, her favorite books. Her circle of (author) friends include Lori Copeland, Lauraine Snelling, Brandilyn Collins, and Lynn Austin. With such a broad range of input and inspiration, Paul is able to reach an expansive audience seemingly effortlessly as she endeavors to entertain, and in the case of her recent book Taming the Wild Wind, reveal a practical application for the Christian journey. MN-Writing about Indians in your book Taming the Wild Wind is not just a side bar of research. Tell us about your Cherokee heritage. DP-My grandfather died with one of his sons in a drowning accident. My mother barely remembers him, but she remembers her mother’s side of the family had little to do with her father’s side. Her mother never invited both sides of the family to the house at the same time. That was curious but didn’t bother her too much. She was an outdoorsy gal and roamed the banks of the Wabash, particularly the woods near by.

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There she would play that she was an Indian princess. After she was grown she found out why the two sides of her family were antagonistic toward each other. Her mother had married a half-breed. Back then there was much prejudice and not much tolerance. My mom was thrilled to learn she was a quarter Cherokee. Years later she taught me an Indian dance in the living room of our house in Houston. Jump years ahead again and I was at a Native American Powwow and I saw some Cherokee tribesmen dance that same dance. I guess she knew what she was talking about. It all came from books, though. She never got to know the family that quit coming to visit after her dad died. MN-The saying goes that there is truth in fiction. What is the basis of truth found in Taming the Wild Wind? DP-Ida is casual Christian. All her life, she has followed her own path, and there is nothing overtly wrong with her choices. She knows Christ as her Savior, God as her Father, and the Holy Spirit as her Comforter. But she hasn’t grasped that God is also her Lord. She doesn’t consider herself disobedient to her parents because she avoids the conflict and doesn’t act out an obnoxious rebellion. She has not taken to heart that God sees the attitude that is behind the action. I Samuel 16:7 “for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (NASB) And when a Christian doesn’t seek God’s wisdom, he can be caught up in sin without being aware. Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (NASB) In her new situation, she is draws closer to God and realizes that going against her parents’ wishes was rebellion whether she was caught or not. MN-Ida is an influential main character. She is rebellious in the best of ways, standing up for the very ones she is expected to shun. Do you think women a

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hundred years ago were stronger in that aspect than we are today? DP-I guess it depends on what history book you read or which historical females you have researched. I believe we have a mix of people now much like the ones who lived then. You have Harriet Tubman and all the people who helped her with the Underground Railroad. But you also have seriously selfish New York debutantes. Also you have to take into account what culture influenced these people. I had a friend whose great grandmother was a nice enough woman, but she was from the farming south. She used derogatory terms for any race but her own. I think that arrogant, obnoxious attitude was taught to her and those who were raised in a similar background. No baby comes out of the womb with a desire to wear a white sheet and burn crosses in someone’s yard. I think we could find a woman from a hundred years ago who was stronger in protecting the underprivileged just as we could go out and find a woman in our own neighborhood who would stand up for what is right. MN-Ida represents the wild, carefree characteristics many women hide and even deny. Not in that she wanted to live life without responsibility, but that she wanted to live on her terms. She developed her talents in spite of the restrictions of her society. Is it safe for women to unleash this wild side? DP-Actually, Ida’s formative years were spent in getting away with what she could without any consideration as to God’s will. Her mother set high standards, but Ida dismissed them. Self-absorbed, Ida did what she wanted, like visiting the Irish family, and carefully kept the action from coming to her parents’ attention. We can look at Ida’s wild side and realize that the actions were not necessarily evil, but the attitude was an encumbrance that kept her from running the race in her life. When the Lord worked with her spirit in the lonely mission house, He tamed her wild wind. It is safe for women to explore their gifts, challenge

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ungodly behavior, stand up for the downhearted as long as the women are grounded in God’s Word and submissive to God’s will. MN-You have mentioned your struggle to becoming a Christian and trying to act the part prior to it becoming an authentic lifestyle. How would you describe your life as a Christian now? DP-I’m a very easy-going Christian. I admit to being a bit of a zealot after conversion. But God softened me. Do you know much about Brother Lawrence? He took praying without ceasing literally and every conversation, every task was done in the awareness that God is a participant, not a distant god, but a Present God. About eight years ago, one of my friends wrote a book that helps to explain. Practicing God's Presence: Brother Lawrence for Today's Reader (Quiet Times for the Heart) by Robert Elmer and Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection I have very strong convictions about what the Bible says, what God wants us to do and what He wants us to be. But I’m not called to be a street corner preacher. God has given me specific talents and helped me develop them. I’m a storyteller as are many in my family. I know from the emails I get that God has used this to change hearts and move His children. DragonSpell has sold close to 150,000 copies. If one little nugget of truth came through to a troubled mind with each book, the effect is astounding. And I chuckle, because it isn’t me, it’s Him. MN-As a proponent of literacy, what are some steps that you suggest parents can take to encourage their children to read? DP-The first would be to model reading. Children who see their parents sitting with a good book will want to get the same pleasure from their books. Read to the child and be enthusiastic. The parent who has to be coerced to read a bedtime story isn’t sending positive messages about the joy of reading. Discuss books. Ask the children

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questions in the car, at breakfast, during dinner, and make observations about the books they read. “I liked that book we read last night. The one about the lost mouse. What was the title? Shall we read it again tonight? What would you do if a big mean cat was between you and mommy?” Make books available and model treating books with respect. Get excited when they get a book as a gift. Help them shop for books as gifts to relatives. This grandma loves to get books. I’ve found that the bargain books at Barnes and Noble are fantastic. The children are drawn to the bigness and the flashy colors and the unusual topics of the coffee table books. What grandpa doesn’t want a huge thick book with glossy pictures of Spanish castles? You might want to suggest to Grandpa to demonstrate his enthusiasm. MN-You have written children's books, historical fiction, romance, and contemporary fiction. In which genre is it the easiest for you to write? DP-The easiest book I’ve written recently was Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball. This is a contemporary romance with a touch of fantasy. I was tired of the same old same old, and rested by writing this delightful “Made for TV-type” light tale. It took me less than six weeks. It was fun. I want to go back to Sage Street and revisit the modern matchmaking wizards who live there. MN-Your favorite Bible verse? DP-Right now: I Corinthians 15:58 “With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don't hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (The Message) Isn’t that a beautiful message for anyone in the mission field? Whether you are a preacher in the Sunday pulpit, a missionary calming the fears of new believers in Iraq, a medical missionary performing surgery in Africa, or a writer,

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stand your ground! Don’t hold back. Nothing you do for HIM is wasted. Author Bio: Donita K. Paul retired early from teaching school, but soon got bored! The result: a determination to start a new career. Now she is an award-winning novelist writing Christian Romance and Fantasy. She mentors all ages, teaching teenagers and weekly adult writing workshops. You can read more about author Donita Paul at her website.

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. Taming the Wild Wind is Available At...... Amazon Barnes & Noble Smashwords Lulu.com

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Interview with Donna Fitts by Mary Nichelson

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spent three wonderful years there, at Wheelus Air Force base. We also were able to travel in the area and see a number of different Roman ruins. I was actually baptized in the Mediterranean Sea while we were there. MN-Let's talk about your new book, An Unexpected Romance. It didn't always have that title. Why was in changed from Prodigals?

Unlike many authors, Donna Fitts had no aspirations to become a writer. “I have always been a starter but not much of a finisher. I never, ever dreamed of writing a book. Certainly not a romance novel!” But that is exactly what she has successfully accomplished in her novel, An Unexpected Romance. While the word unexpected defines her journey to writing, it also embraces the concept of her book; surprises can happen to anyone, at anytime. Why would the mother of two children, grandmother of five grandchildren who loves Snickers candy bars, strawberries and snorkeling in coral reefs, tackle a writing project pertaining to romance in the twilight years? I quickly learned to expect the unexpected when it came to interviewing this energetic woman of faith. MN-As a Navy mom, I am surprised by how many military families I encounter daily. Your father was in the Air Force, which I am sure stamped your passport several times. Can you name a few of the places you have been and which one was your favorite? DF-We lived in a number of different states, including Missouri, Michigan, Texas, Illinois, and California, but my favorite place was Tripoli, Libya. While we were there, we lived in a couple of cool places before my dad was able to get base housing. One of those was a farm where the long private drive was lined by almond trees. When there were almond on the trees, we kids were known to reach out the windows as Daddy drove down the driveway and try to grab the green almonds off the trees. We

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DF-When I first titled the book, my husband didn't like the title. At first I was convinced that Prodigals was the right name for it, but later developed mixed feelings about it. The publisher found that when women were asked about that name, they were not favorable. Most thought it was a self-help book. The publishing team put their heads together, several titles were suggested, and we kind of bogged down for a bit. Then, while discussing the content of the book with someone, I used the phrase, "an unexpected romance," and we decided that was the perfect title for the book. So, my husband was right, after all! MN-In writing the book, you found a need and filled it. You stated there were no novels written that targeted the mature woman. I think it is brilliant and certainly God inspired. How hard was it to write for a target audience from the beginning instead of writing and then figuring out who your audience is? DF-It really wasn't difficult. I honestly did not think about the audience. I just wrote about the characters. I know it probably sounds a bit strange, but I didn't even know how the story would unfold or how it would end. I felt inspired by God to write it, and it almost seemed to write itself once I got started. I would sit down at the computer, and start typing and the next thing I knew, another chapter was finished. I think the most difficult part was letting go of the idea that the cover had to feature a senior citizen couple. I actually didn't let go of that idea until I realized that the book really could

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appeal to readers who are not senior citizens. MN-Even though Elizabeth is a senior citizen, I have to admit that I could relate to her character on many levels. Don't you think that proves that whether we read about a fictional character set in the 1700's or a contemporary senior citizen, we are basically the same at heart making it necessary to not discredit our ability to learn from others just because they are different? DF-I absolutely agree that we can learn from reading about people who are, on the surface, very different from ourselves. We learn from Jesus' parables, and they are definitely different from us in many, many ways. The important thing is the ways they are like us. When I first started writing this book, my husband said he just didn't see why I would feel that writing a novel could be something that might help others. I reminded him that Jesus used parables-which are kind of like mini novels--and that sometimes it is easier for people to learn from stories than direct teaching, because stories are less threatening. MN-Is there a little bit of Donna in Elizabeth? DF-A little bit. Elizabeth is very concerned about the environment and conservation. She enjoys helping others. She still believes that there are absolutes in God's commandments, regardless of what the current culture thinks. MN-You were certified through seminary to teach which led to your current position, Director of a preschool academy. That takes a lot of patience. Is that a virtue of yours? DF-Actually, I only studied religious education in general at seminary. It was my experience as a teacher and a principal in elementary school that really prepared me for this position. The things I learned not only about teaching, but also about budgets and administration are very instrumental in

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being a successful director of a preschool. I think being an elementary school principal took more patience than being a director of a preschool. Being a director of a preschool is such a daily joy! There is nothing better than going to "work" every day at church and "work" being the joy of being around God's precious little ones! MN-Will there be a sequel to An Unexpected Romance and are there any other writing projects on your agenda? DF-I have started a sequel, featuring one of Elizabeth's younger sisters, a very angry and sad woman who trusts virtually no one. I do have several other ideas for books, but enjoy my daytime job so much, I must admit I am not doing a lot of writing. The second book is certainly not moving along as quickly as the first one did! Author Bio: Donna Fitts has a wealth of different life experiences to draw on for her work, including overcoming abuse as a child, traveling the world with her Air Force dad, being a single mother on welfare to marrying and graduating college Magna Cum Laude.Donna's easy writing style allows the reader to see herself and her friends in her writing, but also directs the reader back to the ultimate authority: God's Holy Bible. You can learn more about author Donna Fitts by visiting her website.

An Unexpected Romance... When Mark Crandall returns to Greenville to sell his mother's home, he leaves his construction business, expecting to be back to work in two weeks. A chance meeting with an old friend leads him to Elizabeth Parker and turns his

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world, and hers, upside down! Elizabeth, widowed for two years, finds herself faced with an unexpected attraction to Mark. To add to her stress level, her income as realtor and her retirement funds have been impacted by the downturn in the economy and her oldest son is begging for money to launch his career as a rock star.

Interview with Jocelyn Green by Mary Nichelson

...At an Unexpected time Frightened and confused by the emotions Mark has awakened, Elizabeth is afraid her attraction to this man is tantamount to being unfaithful. Her deceased husband, Edward, owned over 40 years of her life, and she never imagined she could fall in love again. Has God brought these two together for an unexpected chance at love. 

Advanced Purchase Link: http://buychristianbooks.3dcarts tores.com/An-UnexpectedRomance_p_24.html

~~~~~ Feature Sponsor John Poche’ Arts

John Poche' is a Christian businessman, an author and a pen, ink and watercolor artist. An active member of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana, he has served as Senior Warden of the Vestry, and continues serving as Eucharistic Minister and Lector. Visit his website and check out his crab art!

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Readers and fans of historical fiction are in for a treat when Jocelyn Green’s book Wedded to War is released in July, which is the first in a four-part series focusing on “real women who actually lived and made a difference in the (civil) war”. Who better to tackle the enormous project than one who has already written about-and for-military families. The only challenge to writing Wedded to War was crossing over from fiction to nonfiction, Green claims. You’ve heard ‘truth is stranger than fiction’, but in this novel, truth and fiction intercept and run parallel, giving credibility to the narrative, and likability to the history behind the story. Green cleverly balances Biblical truths with historical accuracy, and admits that is the basis behind the Heroines Behind the Lines series. MN-You wrote four non-fiction books prior to writing your first novel, Wedded to War. Although all of your books are related to the military, it must have been challenging to go from writing non-fiction to fiction. Did you have any difficulties while tackling your first piece of non-fiction? JG-I had a huge learning curve ahead of me when I decided to make the switch! I have so much more respect for novelists now than I ever did before. I literally went to Barnes & Noble and bought all the books on writing a novel I could find. Then I went to the Writer’s Digest Web site and bought more. I have books on character, plot & structure, the different types of scenes, voice, setting, etc. (You can see a list of my eleven favorites here.) I also joined American Christian Fiction Writers right ~All Rights Reserved


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away and downloaded their workshop handouts to help me map out the characters and plot. I probably spent months learning the craft of writing a novel before I actually started writing. And then of course, I would go back to my mini-library on novel writing all along the way to make sure I was on track, or to make course corrections. But you can only learn so much about great novel writing from a how-to book. So I also spent lots of time reading really good novels for all the little things that are “caught, not taught.” Reading award-winning novels became the most enjoyable part of my research. By the time I was done researching my time period for the novel, and how to write a novel, I only had about two months to actually write the book. The hardest part of the entire process was just that time crunch. MN-Tell us about the Heroines Behind the Lines series. JG-There are four books in this series, each one focusing on a different aspect of the Civil War. Each of the books are inspired by real women who actually lived and made a difference in the war—but have been mostly unsung heroes. Rather than following the same characters throughout the series, readers will find new people and stories to fall in love with in each book. The first book takes place in New York City, Washington and the Virginia Peninsula. The second book takes place in Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and a few sea islands in the South. The third is set in and around Atlanta, and the fourth is in Richmond, Virginia. The series is historically accurate but rest assured, the books won’t read like a history text book. There is enough drama and conflicted characters for anyone who just wants an emotionally absorbing novel. MN-The first in the series, Wedded to War, focuses on The United States Sanitary

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Commission and it’s affect on The Civil War. Comprised of nurses, The Sanitary Commission single handedly promoted sterile conditions necessary for medical treatment both in the field and make shift hospitals. It also provided kind hearted individuals to minister to dying soldiers. These nurses are true heroes. Explain some of the restrictions they had to meet to enter the nursing program and later, the obstacles they would face in caregiving. JG-Many women eventually just showed up to volunteer at the hospitals. But if they wanted to be trained in a nursing program, like my main character and the person who inspired her, she had to complete a written application, provide references as to her character, be interviewed by two committees, and prove she was in general good health. These nurses also could not wear jewelry, hoops under their skirts, or ruffles or ribbons on their dress. They had to be older than 30 (with few exceptions granted and then regretted), preferably married or widowed. Also, the Superintendent of Female Nurses, Miss Dorothea Dix, required that they be homely in appearance, so as not to arouse the “frustrated desires” of the male patients. So for a beautiful, single 28-year-old to break into this field was a challenge, to say the least. The obstacles they faced in care giving, once they were accepted as nurses, were many. Usually the male doctors they worked with didn’t want them there in the first place because hospitals had been in the male domain up until then. So many doctors made life absolutely miserable for the nurses in order to get them to give up. Women nurses who were trained to be in supervisory roles were made to do the most menial, disgusting chores in the hospitals (think no running water, no water closets in the building). They were also given a terrible diet of food, not much better than a soldier’s rations, and made to sleep in extremely uncomfortable places. Sexual harassment

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was also present in some cases. There were more challenges than this—you’ll have to read Wedded to War to find out what they were! J MN-Ruby’s character is fascinating. She represents a lot of women who walk around in undeserved shame. How can we, as women, shed that identity when it’s wrongly thrust upon us? JG-I love Ruby’s character, too. I think we can all sympathize with her, or even relate to her. To answer your question, we can reject lies about ourselves, whether they form in our own minds, or are spoken by others, when “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). What does that mean, exactly? It means we make a habit of lining up our thoughts against the truth of Scripture. For example, we’re all sinners, aren’t we? We make mistakes. We do wrong. Satan wants us to believe we are irreparably damaged by those sins, and that those sins absolutely define us. But here’s where we take that thought captive and obedient to Christ—what does God say about our sin? 1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” So there you have it. We need to choose to believe God’s opinion of us rather than anyone else’s. And we can learn God’s perspective only from being rooted in the Bible and by prayer. MN-Charlotte is a strong woman who understands her identity and is not afraid to be authentic to that identity. What would you say to the reader who is struggling with knowing who they are, but are afraid to counter social or familial expectations to become that person? JG-I would remind them of Galatians 1:10: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please

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people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” To me, this verse calls us to do what we believe God wants us to with our lives, even if others don’t understand it. Very often, doing the right thing is not the popular thing. But as long as you seek after God’s will for your life with all your heart and mind, you’ll be doing the right thing. That means you have to really search, with more than just your emotions. Study the Bible. Pray. Talk to your pastor and other trusted Christians. “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). One more caution here— sometimes we think we have our plan or our identity all figured out before consulting God about it. Be open to the idea that God may surprise you with a different path for your life than the one you’ve chosen. Now, having said that, if you do have peace that you’re following God’s will for your life and purpose, go for it with full confidence, and if others don’t agree with you, let God work on their hearts. You just do what God wants from you. MN-There are many one-liners that cause the reader to pause and think. For instance, at one point, Alice says to her sister Charlotte, “Sometimes the people who most need our help are the ones God has already placed in our lives.” What did you want conveyed most through that statement? JG-I hope that readers will simply think about who they already have influence over in their lives, and ask God to show them how to minister to them. There are many people with needs, and God has given each of us certain gifts and abilities to meet those needs. It’s wonderful to reach out and try to reach the world for Christ—but we are not indispensable to everyone out there. We are indispensable to a few people, though, and those people we should not neglect. For example, I have a ministry to military wives through my books and a Web site and Facebook page. I believe God has called me to that—but I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my biggest ministry is my

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family. That means I turn down some opportunities to travel and speak to military wives because with my kids being so young, they need me home right now. And I know there are dozens of other qualified Christian military wife speakers who could fill a speaking slot and bless their listeners. But no one else can take my place as “mommy” so I really try to limit the number of trips I take per year. I also want to emphasize the word “sometimes” in the line you quoted. Please use discretion when you are reading this, because there will be times that God does call us to leave everything and everyone we are familiar with to go serve him somewhere else. My brother and sister-in-law, for example, are missionaries to France. He’s the only brother I have, and no one can replace him in that role, but God has clearly called him out to go serve Christ half way around the world. So my intention is not to tell people what to do or what not to do, but simply to prompt a little thinking. MN-The idea of being free or set free is a strong element throughout Wedded to War. What does the word freedom mean to you? JG-Yes, it is. Freedom often conjures up the idea of democracy, liberty, and rights. But the other side of freedom is internal. Even if I live in the “land of the free,” if my heart, spirit, or mind is bound up by sin or deception, I’m not truly free. Ruby’s character illustrates this—she wasn’t really free for a long time. She was enslaved to guilt, shame, and lies. But Jesus sets the captives free. MN-You have stated on your website that you aren’t a blogger because you don’t want to “become an overcommitted crazy person.” Being present and available for your family is important to you, isn’t it? JG-It is. I do blog a little bit, but if you visit my blog for military wives

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faithdeployed.com you’ll notice that most of the posts are written from other military wives. I’m happy to delegate both to give me more time to be with my family, and also because there is so much wisdom that other women have to share. I’m happy to give them an outlet for it through my blog. And I never take a book contract lightly, because I know when I sign the dotted line, it affects my whole family because I’ll be spending time on the book, away from them. Thankfully, my parents live close by and they are wonderful to watch the kids when I need some more time. My husband is really supportive in that way, too. So I do pray for a long time before going into any negotiations for a new book. As I mentioned earlier, my family is my number one ministry. I’m blessed that they are flexible so I can write books, too. I tend to write in spurts, so it’s not like I’m always holed away up in my office. For example, I spent nine months researching Wedded to War, and then three months writing it. While I research, I can still be with the kids, in the same room with them while I read and take notes, and take breaks to take them to the park or play Candyland. Then for the three months of writing, it’s sort of like cramming, and I try to find 4-6 hours a day of uninterrupted writing time. It looks like this will be the pattern for my second novel, The Widow of Gettysburg, too! Author Bio: Jocelyn Green, the wife of a former Coast Guard officer, is an awardwinning author, freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody 2008), along with contributing writers, and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody 2011). She is also co-author of Battlefields & Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq/Afghanistan (AMG Publishers 2009). Jocelyn's debut novel, Wedded to War, releases in July 2012 from River North

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Fiction. You can learn more about Jocelyn Green at her website and through Facebook.

~~~~~ Interview with Judith Hugg by Mary Nichelson

incredible power of God’s presence and His hilarious grace in my life! I’ve written articles and poetry for years, but it was time to finally assemble the stories of God showing up in my life and make them a book, my thanks to Him for never letting me go! MN-Your dialogue is very theatrical and can I say, delicious in an artistic sense. You write with an intuitive accuracy. Have you always been connected with the world as effortlessly as you write about your experiences?

While To See the Sky is hailed as “a great gift for those who are not perfect in their faith and who struggle with meaning and purpose”, it is also for readers that have a grasp on their relationship with God, but long for a refreshing reminder of what that relationship is, and more importantly, isn’t. Hugg invites the reader to trade their complacency for wonder, as they realize there is purpose in every experience, even if the meaning isn’t clearly illustrated. “To See The Sky is about seeing with the heart, finding a healthy way through the losses of life, and about having a wellexercised funny bone. I think God's grace involves more letting go than The Epic Struggle to find God.” Perhaps fully embracing God's grace is what motivates Hugg to write for her readers and then donate proceeds from her book to places like the Community Soup Kitchen. She exemplifies in word and deed the proverb ‘Let go and let God’ and is not ashamed to explain how she came to this place in her spiritual journey. MN-You have said that your book, To See The Sky, is your love note to God. Explain what you mean by that. JH-My life is surrendered to being Christ’s light in the world, and “To See the Sky: Vignettes of Grace” is my homage to the

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JH-Since I was a child, I’ve always felt that connection—and maybe this is a universally childlike link—to a Power in the universe who was manifest in the beauty of nature. That’s where my faith in Christ started. That’s what still heals me when the world is out to turn my heart into mulch. My faith has matured with a foundation in Scripture and an active membership in a great church with brothers and sisters who keep me in line (or they at least try!), plus a very active prayer and meditation life, but when I’m hurting or tired or stressed, an hour in a quiet field, or on a swing, or by some water restores my soul because God is waiting there for me. There is spiritual nourishment in the first scent of the lilacs blooming on a warm spring day that is like no other tonic on earth! When I was in high school, I wrote a letter to Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles) who I was just discovering at the time, and I asked him if he was always so aware--if, when he was a child, he was really so sensitive to nature and to the vibrancy of life as his young characters were. (It was a school assignment, but I really wanted to know, as I was struggling to leave my own childhood behind.) His response (which I am able to pull off a shelf in my living room as I write this; I am a major fan!), in his own handwriting, was “YES, YES, YES! I ALWAYS KNEW!” Well, it turns out, I did too!

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MN-I love your honesty. At one point, when writing about unanswered prayers for the sick, you admit “I don’t know what to do with that fact in my life of faith.” How were you able to make peace with not knowing or fully understanding everything regarding God? JH-In chapter 13 of Job, he says “though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” (KJV) Now there’s some FAITH! (Though the next line has to do with Job arguing his case with God…) Before my father died, I would’ve said something bold like that; I thought I could take anything, with Christ strengthening me. But then Dad died, and my faith was laid bare. I had begged God to heal my father, and the answer was no. My trust in God was an open, festering wound for a while. I couldn’t pray; I couldn’t go to church. I was a follower of Christ, but I couldn’t find Him anywhere, as I say in the book. I was in unbearable pain, and I found myself drawn to our town’s soup kitchen. And I went there, looking for Christ. Every Sunday, I would go and join whatever team was there, and I would chop vegetables and stir soup, and then I would stand in the line where the local working poor and homeless and mentally ill would come past, and I would literally hand them a cup of cold water, or a bowl of soup, or some bread and butter, and I would find Christ there in their eyes, in their faces. It was the only thing that began to heal my heart. There were no answers to my questions; there was no bright light and the hand of God saying “everything’s okay now.” Dad didn’t come back; the loss was still epic in my life. But Christ showed up and showed that His love could give me a handle on the loss. And my ability to trust God slowly came back. I don’t know as I’ve so much made peace with all of that as much as Christ stepped in and withdrew the intense pain and installed His peace. It was a long road. I have a hard time with Christians who just stick with the “though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” Sounds really good, and it

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makes you look like a super-servant. But until you’ve had to fall flat on your face in front of God in total despair and defeat— and find Christ with His arms around you, waiting at the end of your rope—then it’s not helpful to brag about how you would never fall apart because your faith is the brandname, heaven-certified real Christian one. You have no idea until you are neardrowning what the fresh air of real gritty Christ-love is. MN-The chapter titled “This is the Day That the Lord Hath Made” literally took my breath away. You so eloquently parallel living in the moment with the vision of a child on a swing as the sun sets, and all that matters is the crickets and the screech of the swing chains. It took me right back to my trusted, old swing and I realized how much we don’t experience living in the present. Do you think it is the responsibility of adulthood or a world spinning out of control that is to blame? JH- God only gives us today, this moment! I know that, yet I forget that memo a hundred times a day. My pining for or regretting yesterday, or projecting and fretting about tomorrow, is to miss the point of following Christ. Children get that; children can be so totally absorbed in a project—or a dandelion—that they are oblivious to any other fact. My moments as a child on the swing set at home—I can still feel it and hear it and smell the garden scents—were totally present and full of joy. When I remember to just be where my feet are at this moment, life is good! But I’m usually wandering off to the weekend schedule, the phone calls I have to make, the arrangements and plans and agendas. I can psychoanalyze that it’s having more responsibility as an adult, or the world putting a thousand demands on me, or having overextended myself so that I can feel superior to you, or because I’m the second child in the birth order and need to prove myself—or something. But I have the choice—right now—if I want to hold God’s hand in the now and dwell in humble peace,

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or race off towards next Tuesday’s shenanigans. I’m still learning. MN-No matter where the reader is in their faith journey, they will be able to relate completely with your stories in To See The Sky. The umbrella message is one of grace. Why did you choose that concept to write about? JH-The articles and poetry that I’ve written for magazines over the years were always about God’s grace in my life, whether I was overtly focusing on grace or just alluding to it, or even if I was oblivious to it. I’ve always wanted to write a book, and I was always told to write what I know! And since I am a fallible, ill-tempered, depressive, skeptical, cynical late-bloomer/person of faith/child of God who is, nevertheless, loved to pieces by God, it was a natural direction! I don’t know as I chose it so much as it chose me. MN-You have a gift of bringing a sense of closure to the open ended experiences and questions everyone struggles with. Is there a personal message you have for readers that are confused by God’s silence and are lacking peace? JH-That place where God is hard to find, where everything you’ve believed in is being refined in the fire, where losses are so deep that it seems like even God can’t fill the void, are terrible places to be. I’ve had perfectly well-meaning Christians say to me “well, don’t you think you should be over that by now?” or “God doesn’t want you depressed,” or the ever-popular “It was God’s will that (fill-in-the-blank).” I’ve been told that I don’t have enough faith, and now I can proclaim for an absolute fact: yes, that’s absolutely true. I do not have enough faith to explain away why my father died too young, or why my mother is a paranoid schizophrenic, or why terrible things happen to the dearest of people. I don’t know why you’re suffering what you’re suffering right now, and no one’s holysounding explanation is going to help your heart. The comfort is this: there is a God in

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the universe who is personally involved with you. (Love makes Him pretty involved.) You and I aren’t entitled to have all the explanations for the pain on a silver platter. What we do--and sometimes it’s enduring for one minute at a time--is to stay where our feet are, cry our hearts out, and wait for God to show up. In my experience, there is always a healing, a shift in the pain, a way out. It is a hard road, this faith thing. I used to think I had it all sewn up: God loved me and had a wonderful plan for my life, and that was all I needed. But life gets convoluted, and God doesn’t always take you where you think He will. He is bigger than any concept I could possibly have of Him. And who or what else do I have to trust in on this planet? I’ve leaned into His grace, and He always comes through. Eventually. And He is always worth the wait. Author Bio: Judith Hugg was brought up in New Jersey in the 1950’s. She has been writing since she was ten when her mother let her use the family’s ancient, dusty Royal typewriter. She can still remember the sour smell of that oil and the ink-ribbon. (You could only type in black or red then, and mistakes were forever.) Judith was writing seriously at 17 when she had her first poem published in The Sunday School Times. She has written for a number of Christian magazines since then. This is her first book.

~~~~~ TWJM Journalist Mary Nichelson

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Mary Nichelson is an avid reader, writer, editor and self-proclaimed advocate for the authors that make Christian publishing the great industry it is.

as a virgin. When good girl Casey Renwick befriends Zoë, she might just find out that there is more to sex than just what she’s heard in the locker room.

She supports publishers by interviewing authors and promoting their new releases, as well as upholding a standard of ethics that defines the word “Christian”.

In the third novel of Melody Carlson’s True Colors Series, that one topic that plagues mind of so many teens – the dreaded S-E-X word - is tackled. Melody Carlson handles this often troubling subject with sensitivity and finesse. One major concern I had when I first started reading this book was about how graphic the details would get. I definitely did not want end up reading about too many personal details! However, Carlson tells Zoë's story masterfully, never giving her readers more information than necessary, but still allowing real life details to make Torch Red authentic.

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) Mary's World Website & Blog Friend Mary on FB

~~~~~ Welcome to our YA Perspective page! Here, our young adult

reader/reviewer, Sarah Heath will be reviewing Award-Winning Author, Melody Carlson's True Color series! Review of Torch Red: Color Me Torn By Sarah Heath

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. That being said, Torch Red is a Christian book, written by a Christian author, and is published by a Christian company. Readers from different backgrounds may or may not agree with the book’s conclusions regarding sex. Melody writes about many diverse viewpoints on sex, but Torch Red encourages girls to maintain their virginity until they are married. This book will certainly be reassuring to young girls who have dedicated to save themselves until marriage. To those girls, Melody Carlson shares the message that you are definitely not alone!

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Review of Pitch Black: Color me Lost By Sarah Heath

Torch Red; Color Me Torn Book three in the True Colors Series by Melody Carlson Zoë, a junior in high school, feels like she is the absolute, honest-to-goodness, last virgin on earth. With the pressure building from both her girlfriends and her new, more experienced boyfriend, Zoë considers making a choice that will change her status ©The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Pitch Black: Color Me Lost, Book four in the True Colors Series by Melody Carlson

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Morgan Bergstrom has reached rock bottom, the absolute darkest point in her life. It’s not just that her preoccupied mom left her home alone for the week while she goes off to elope with her (much younger) boyfriend. Or that her brother is a drug addict who skips out on his family. Morgan also receives the shocking news that one of her best friends, Jason, took his own life. Rocked to the core, and unable to understand why someone who seemed so perfect could be so desperate, Morgan must grapple with her new reality. Should she give up on life too? Or is there another way? Melody Carlson boldly takes on a very difficult subject in Pitch Black-teen suicide. Though Pitch Black is a fictional story about the results of a suicide, Carlson writes of very real and sobering facts about suicides. Melody Carlson gave me a better understanding of accidental suicides, suicide pacts and suicides assisted by normal, everyday household products. Morgan is by far the most desperate of all of the true colors characters, yet she is extremely relatable. She feels guilty about Jason’s death, thinking that if she had only been a better friend, maybe he wouldn’t have been so desperate. She understandably questions whether God will truly be there for her, through her seemingly endless pain and darkness. I think Pitch Black conveys Melody’s strongest message yet. Morgan finds that her life is absolutely, without a doubt, worth living, and not something that should be given up on easily. In the end, she finds that God is her greatest reason to live her life, and it is only through dying for Him, that she can really live for Him.

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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.

~~~~~ Guest Editorial by William Burt! BACK-STORY EDITORIAL: THE KING OF THE TREES (BOOK I in the “King of the Trees” series) AUTHOR: WILLIAM D. BURT PUBLICATION DATE (1st EDITION): 1998, WINEPRESS PUBLISHING PUBLICATION DATE (2ND EDITION): 2004, WINEPRESS PUBLISHING The King of the Trees was some twenty years in the making. As a teenager without Christ in my life, I was first introduced to the world of fantasy literature through Tolkien’s novels and short stories. Those works—along with Thoreau’s Walden—were my guiding lights until a serious bout with anorexia nervosa in college brought me to my knees and ultimately compelled me to reexamine the claims of Christ. After I committed my life to Him, He completely healed me of the disease. Not long afterwards, God awakened in me the desire to write for Him, although I had never previously considered becoming an author. I dabbled in a few fantasy plots, but it was not until I read C.S. Lewis’s works

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that my God-given aspirations crystallized into a single burning desire: to create a fantasy series with the cosmological depth and realism of Middle Earth and the allegorical richness of C.S. Lewis. In doing so, I also wished to avoid the kind of heavyhanded symbolism that is more apt to deter readers than inspire them. Whether I have succeeded in fulfilling those goals I leave for my readers to decide. As happens with most aspiring authors, I was forced to put my writing project on hold for many years to care for my family as I pursued a ministry and a career as a signlanguage interpreter. During my snippets of free time, however, I continued to write free-flowing plot narratives, usually in spiral-bound notebooks. After my family and I completed a missions stint in Romania with YWAM, I realized that I needed to return to my original calling and complete my book project. This time, I used a computer! That project became The King of the Trees, a book into which I poured many of my boyhood experiences and interests. For example, just as my father and I kept honeybees, so do Rolin and his father, Gannon. Just as I learned to gather and identify wild mushrooms at a young age, so does Rolin. The book’s setting reflects the geography, flora and fauna of my native Northwest, although I also create a number of fantasy plants and animals—all gifted with the power of speech.

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their adventures in The King of the Trees and its sequels. My greatest hope, however, is that these books will spur readers to embark upon the Everlasting Adventure—a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

The King of Trees William D Burt 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. With the help of some grumpy griffins and a longlost prophecy, Rolin and his friends battle a sorcerer and his underworld army; deadly snake-trees; dragons and other mythical creatures. On their perilous quest for the fabled Isle of Luralin, 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." The King of the Trees will enchant readers of all ages, especially those who love trees and the Tree-Maker.

Chief among these creations is the “torsil tree,” a kind of gateway between worlds. The “torsil principle” serves as the primary allegorical device in the series, since a unique type of torsil tree enables mortals to reach heaven—but not without this tree’s ultimate sacrifice. Younger readers will grasp the salient Biblical symbolism in this book, while more experienced readers will appreciate the subtler allegorical allusions. I hope all my readers will enjoy my unique characters and

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A Welsh-American whose forefathers mined copper in Cardiganshire, William Burt spent nearly 30 years in the field of deafness

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as a nationally-certified American Sign Language interpreter, interpreter educator, grant-writer and program coordinator before writing The King of the Trees and its sequels. His ancestral language appears in the King of the Trees series as Llwcymraeg, the language of the fantasy world of Llwcymru (Lucambra). The author has also served in Slavic ministries, both at home and abroad. Currently, he lives in Hubbard, Oregon with his wife, Johnnie, and two children, Rebecca and Evan. http://www.greencloaks.com/home.html

~~~~~ The Power of Spiritual Transformation By Kellye Davis Williams ©June 2012

I often tell people the two most powerful forces I have ever witnessed are the power of health and fitness, and the truth of God’s word. I have seen the power of fitness change people’s lives by giving them confidence and discipline, and I have also seen countless people change dramatically by accepting the truth of God’s word into their life. The motivation behind someone making a decision to become involved in a fitness plan usually stems from health problems and/or being overweight. Typically people do not approach a fitness plan as a preventive measure for their health and well being. As they begin the process of their “fitness journey” they are very apprehensive and unsure about what they are going to experience. They know what their goals are. Their goals are that their health issues will resolve and they will lose weight and feel better. I have had clients come to me who are on high blood pressure medication, medication for high cholesterol, medication for diabetes, medication for depression, medication for pain, and many other ailments. As well as being on these medications, they are usually uncomfortably overweight. Some clients who come in for

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training are on all of the above medications at once! They are desperate for change. They know that they are headed for destruction if they don’t do something to get healthy! I have watched client after client start the process with their personal fitness and struggle in agony during every workout. But, they continue because they know their life depends on it. From one workout to the next they see that they can do more and more and they become stronger and stronger. From one workout to the next they feel a difference from the inside out. They feel a difference in their energy level. They feel a difference in their endurance and strength. They feel a difference in their motivation and confidence. Then, they get to a point where their doctor begins to lower the dosage on their medications until they eventually don’t even need it! They get to a point where they have lost weight. They not only feel better physically but they like they way they look! They find themselves in a place where they are medication free, energetic, confident, and looking wonderful! Client after client starts the process feeling horribly physically, mentally, and emotionally. They begin their fitness journey intimidated, reserved, quiet and having horrible self esteem. The transformation is nothing less than amazing for those who persist through the hard work and pain of their exercise and fitness program! I have witnessed almost every one of my clients become not only physically healthy but “come out of their shell” and welcome the world in a way they never have! They face each day with a new outlook! Their lives have been drastically changed! Spiritual transformation is even more powerful than this! Coming to Christ asking for forgiveness of sin and surrendering hearts to Him is a miracle and gift from God. But there are so many situations in life where we are spiritually transformed. This can happen over and over again. A spiritual

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transformation is wonderful and powerful and life changing but the process isn’t always pleasant. People approach it with apprehension at times because of uncertainty of what they will experience. Recently I have experienced this in my own life. A few weeks ago God began to” press in on me” about some things I needed to change. I was comfortable with these things in my life. Initially I didn’t want to change them. I knew that if I did it would hurt. It would be uncomfortable. I knew it was for the best, but I knew that it would be hard and somewhat painful initially. But, God knew I needed to quit “masking the problems with medication,” so to speak, and change what I needed to change to get spiritually healthy. You see, this is just like starting a fitness plan. Most people are aware that they could change their deteriorating physical status by working out and eating right. But, most people don’t want to do that because it is very hard and somewhat painful initially and requires a lot of self discipline. They are more comfortable not putting their bodies through the hard work and pain to achieve a healthy body. They don’t want to push through that tough period of discomfort. Maybe they just don’t realize that it will be hard at first but it doesn’t stay that way. They end up feeling miserable when they don’t do anything to make the needed changes. Eventually, if they allow themselves the opportunity, it becomes better, easier and even enjoyable. Eventually they feel healthy and energetic. The same applied to me spiritually in my situation. I didn’t want to experience that initial pain and self discipline that was required to become spiritually healthy. But, God would not back down. He knows what is best for His children. He made me so restless and uncomfortable with my deteriorating spiritual condition that I became miserable. Just as people with a health crisis desperately seek me out for help as a personal trainer to help them

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because they are desperate to regain their health, I desperately went to God out of my misery and asked for His help to become spiritually healthy again. Wow!!! From the minute I asked, God has helped me transform! Has it been easy? No! Not at all! Have I had to push through and persist through the initial discomfort of the changes? Yes, I have! But, in my spirit I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can see hope! I feel myself becoming stronger daily! I feel confident knowing I am doing what is right! I feel energetic and free! God is showing me things every day and opening doors of opportunity that weren’t there before I sought this spiritual transformation. I know that spiritually, I will continue to “workout” to maintain my spiritual health. But, I will also run with an energy and an endurance that comes only from Him towards the things He has for me! I face each new day with a new outlook on my life. I even like the way I look “spiritually”… which is pure before God! The power of physical health and the power of the truth of God’s word active and alive in our lives are two mighty forces to be reckoned with! I encourage you to seek both!

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. She helps them to achieve their health and fitness goals as well as encourages them to strive for and achieve their " life" goals with her message of hope. As a model, Kellye exemplifies the essence of artistic beauty while proving the power of a woman is more than superficial ~All Rights Reserved


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refinement. Catch Kellye’s bi-monthly column, Faith & Fitness @ The Wordsmith Journal’s website!

~~~~~ Feature Author JM Hochstetler

New Release! Native Son (Book 2 in American Patriot Series) ISBN: 978-1936438099 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.

~~~~~ What Success Looks Like By Scott Higginbotham ©June 2012

Fiction comes in many shapes and sizes and a quick perusal of Barnes and Noble or Amazon turns up countless genres under this umbrella. It is a difficult business, especially when there are so many similar books to your own. How do you stand out? Do you have to be that person that pulls “so and so”, who

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happens to be disgustingly famous, from a burning vehicle? Or do you have to be outlandish and then capitalize on your 60 seconds of fame? Are you even supposed to try? I thought God was doing all the work? There are a host of questions and I am of the opinion that there is not a “one size fits all” approach to writing success. God may have other measures of accomplishment too. What? Not me! How many times have you thought that you were the “one” to stand above the earthly crowd and be the next big thing and that the “others” would be the ones who would receive their heavenly accolades with small worldly success? This is a bitter pill to swallow, owing to the fact that your writing is borne out of sweat, tears, passion, sleepless nights, and countless editing sessions where you view your work as garbage not fit to be read. “Just one more thorough threshing and then God will open the gates of heaven – I’ll give God the glory when I hit the New York Times #1 spot!” How many times have you said that? It happens for some, but for others they are left wondering why they even went down that dark path of writing when sales are slack and their confidence is at an all time low. How can you promote your work when you just don’t “feel it” any longer? Observations of interactions on social networking, specifically, Facebook, provides some answers. I have seen that some relentlessly promote their books, give glory to God when they hit a bestseller list, and share their strategies for victory, often pointing to how the Lord opened a certain door through which they obediently walked. There is nothing wrong with this. Others have taken a different approach when it comes to their books and how they cope with the scrapings – they speak of how much God has blessed them with the ability even to write a book and the tenacity to keep pressing onward.

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Obedience seems to be a common thread. In Exodus 3-4 Moses was reluctant to the Lord’s call emanating from the burning bush, but after a few signs and wonders, he eventually chose obedience. Though Moses had faults, God used him to lead His people out of Egypt and Moses’ place in biblical history has few equals. He saw the fruits of his obedience. But what about those seemingly unsung heroes? They never received much notice at first glance, though one in particular stands out – the woman who anointed Jesus at Bethany before his crucifixion. Matthew 26: 6-13 speaks of the disciples’ indignation at such a costly waste of fragrant oil, yet Jesus has the final word when he says in verses 10-13, “When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, ‘Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. 11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. 12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. 13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.’” The two examples display obedience, but the One who matters remembers both. Be steadfast in whatever God has placed on your life and let Him determine what success truly looks like.

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Marketing and an MBA, and is finishing an MA in Apologetics at Luther Rice Seminary. Visit his blog and find him on Facebook Check out Scott’s Amazon Author Page and get his monthly column, For a Thousand Generations at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website!

~~~~~ Featured Author Kathi Macias

Special Delivery (Book 2 in Freedom Series) ISBN: 978-1596693074 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. Find out more about Kathi by visiting her website.

~~~~~ You May Not Believe this... By Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith ©June 2012

Scott Higginbotham has a passion for fiction that goes beyond simple entertainment. His writing informs, instructs, and encourages readers with his signature style. He holds a B.S. in ©The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Sometimes it is impossible to be thankful for believing parents or grandparents. I know that there are those who will read this and say that they were not fortunate enough to have parents or grandparents who were Believers; they did not grow up in homes where faith was important or even an issue. That’s okay. God still has a plan and

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purpose for you too that’s why you are a Believer today. So you may say that you are not a Believer, well you are curious and that’s good too; it’s His Holy Spirit drawing you to Him. Why not just trust Him; why not try positive faith? When I was little, I hated living with my grandparents. I wondered why God took my mother so young and I resented that I had to grow up in that Holy Roller environment. I grew up Pentecostal; have been Pentecostal since the day I was born and I hated that too. As I grew older you could tell those who wondered why since I was such an educated executive, none of my friends were Pentecostals; they were Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Unitarian, Lutheran or one of those more sophisticated denominations. As I look back over my life my comment is: so what? I am a Believer. I love God, I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit; I believe in miracles ---look at me! I am the result of the Believers that laid the foundation early in my life. Like me, if you had Believers in your family as you grew up, you may not have appreciated them or their faith back then. In fact I think back on how embarrassed I was about how my grandma & grandpa spoke and how they acted; really weird! All of a sudden I grew up and I was them! The things that have made me the woman I am; the determined, disciplined, positive and yes even the successful woman, are all attributed to them. They were people of faith. I would hear my grandpa sing to himself "I'm going to trust in the Lord until I die." I think of those words now and I think that I never knew how deeply those words would mean to me one day. Yet I hold onto them. In sickness, I will trust; during times of chaos, I will trust; in hard times, I will trust; when I face extreme challenges, I will trust; when I feel lonely and afraid, I will trust.

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song, I know it was the Blood, I know it was the blood; I know it was the blood that saved me. Yeah, I know this sounds so weird to you, but these songs and this type of positive faith of my grandparents to trust Jesus and to trust the power of the blood of Jesus made me the woman I am today Go ahead, laugh if you will; but faith is built by learning to trust God one day at a time. So I am going to trust in the Lord no matter what; no matter what others say or try and judge. I have learned to trust Him at work, at home, for healing, for promotion, for challenges & for opportunities, I am going to trust in the Lord, no matter how hard it gets. So what’s the problem? Us. We have grown to believe that this old-time thinking is too weird and too old-fashioned. Okay. You want to build your faith? Try it anyway…

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. One cannot be or think negatively and expect positive results. In addition, she loves to interact where she can encourage, enable, empower and energize others. Read Dr. Beckwith’s column, The Power of Positive Faith @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s Website!

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There were other things planted in me; the

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Featured Author Mary Manners

New Release! Love in Lone Creek (Book 4 in Lone Creek Ranch Series) ISBN: 978-1-61116-182-3 Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee. Mary writes romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone. To date, Mary has eleven books in print, with a halfdozen more under contract with White Rose Publishing. Learn more about Mary Manners at her website.

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Get To A Writer’s Conference By W. Terry Whalin ©June 2012

It's a personal investment to attend a writer's conference. Whether you attend for a full day or spend several days in another state, it will involve investing your time, energy and money. In this article, I explore some of the reasons to attend these meetings. The proactive author needs to learn attending these conferences can be a huge boost to their own writing life and book sales. Like many other kinds of businesses, the writing business is relational. Talent, craft and skill does enter the consideration but it's also who you know. Possibly you are new to this field and you are crying, "I don't

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know anyone." That's OK. Everyone has to begin somewhere in this journey. You don't have to stay in that situation. Through writer's conferences, you can begin to form some editor relationships. Over twenty years ago, I began attending these specialized meetings. I worked on a magazine staff and we understood the benefits and accordingly we used our slim financial resources to send staff members to meetings. It helped their professional development and also helped improve their ability to work on our magazine. I've attended conferences for my own personal development and professionalism. In recent years, I've represented publishing houses as an acquisitions editor at these gatherings. As an editor and an agent, the experience has been eye-opening to me and changed some of my perspectives. I've got some amazing stories about pushy conferees trying to convince me to purchase a particular manuscript. A pushy attitude usually backfires and makes the editor or agent want to run instead of listen carefully to your idea. Always remember that you want to make a good impression on the editor or the agent. Even as an acquisitions editor, I continue to select at least one conference a year that I attend as a regular conferee--i.e. a paying participant and not someone who attends to represent a publisher or magazine and teach workshops. One conference that I regularly attend for my own development is the annual conference for the American Society of Journalists and Authors in New York City. The schedule is posted on their website and it is a broad reaching event. I've met editors at Ladies Home Journal, Woman's Day, Modern Maturity, Money magazine, and numerous mainstream book editors. Several years ago at the ASJA member meeting, President and Mrs. Carter came to the session. One of the ASJA members wrote a book with Mrs. Carter and they were invited. I managed to give President Carter a copy of my then new book, Lessons From the Pit. Such a connection came from

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attending a conference. Conferences have been a large part of my writing career. Often at these conferences, editors and agents are inundated with the wrong material because writers haven't done their homework. So often writers will send the wrong material to the wrong place and wasted everyone time--the writer and the editor or the agent. At a writer's conference, you meet the editors face to face and realize that they are also real people. This process begins to form your relationship. Then when you send in your material, they recall your name (or you can recall it to their attention saying, "It was great to meet you at ______ conference..." Three Pieces of Advice 1. Do your homework. Know who will be attending the conference and reading advance what a particular editor needs and acquires (even the Writer's Market Guide is a good place to start). Then craft an idea, a proposal or something to start the conversation with this editor. Give them something they need. Editors read lots of stuff that they don't need at these conferences. Why? Because they are looking for the jewel in the stack, then they can publish that manuscript. It could be your writing if you do your homework. 2. Make a point to get to know different editors--even outside of your particular genre. What you write this year may change next year. Even if you've never written a book, get to know the book editors. Sit at their tables and talk with them about your dreams and hopes. And throughout the week, make little notes of things which strike you--then read your notes when you get home and follow through. You would be surprised how few people actually execute the necessary follow through work. 3. Learn your craft but also look to expand your writing horizon. This advice would be for newcomers but also for the veteran. I'd encourage everyone to take a class outside

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of what they normally take. If you don't write for children, take a children's workshop. If you have never written a personal experience article then take a one hour workshop on this topic. It might open a new door of opportunity in your writing life. I've made some dear friends at writer's conferences and that's why I look forward to going to various conferences. It's my opportunity to help others and give back. I'm constantly learning new things as a writer--and a writer's conference is a place to soak it in. Also I teach at conferences on a regular basis. Here’s where I maintain my personal schedule. I’d love to meet with you face to face at one of these forthcoming events. From my perspective, writer's conferences have been life-changing events and have been critical in my professional and personal development. I recommend you take the time, energy and resources to get to a conference.

W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. 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 Find out more about Terry by visiting his website . The Proactive Author can be read monthly @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website!

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Featured Author Michelle Sutton

New Release! It’s Not About Her ISBN 9780983883661 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. Find out more about Michelle by visiting her website or Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers.

~~~~~ Spider Webs Everywhere By Michele Abshire ©June 2012

One morning in February I was driving to work. It was a cloud covered, gray, foggy morning without a glimpse of the sun. As I got closer to my destination the fog began to lift. As I drove I noticed the fence lines had silvery spider webs on them. Then I began to notice the fields that lay just beyond and the tall brown grass was filled with them. There must have been thousands upon thousands of these soft delicate spider webs almost as far as the eye could see. Some were perfectly formed and others torn with long strands softly blowing in the wind. I had never noticed this phenomenon before in my entire life. Verses from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s sonnet from The Portuguese popped into my head as awe captured my heart at the scene which lay before me.

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Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries, And daub their natural faces unaware. As Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s thoughts in the sonnet express, we don’t often take the time to notice the beauty of this earth laid out in array before us. Why had I never noticed this before? Why were the webs visible to me this morning? Was it because they were wet with dew? The very next morning as I was driving to work not a single spider web could be seen. I thought about the rare thing I had observed the day before. If we are not careful we can miss so much. I couldn’t get the spider webs out of my mind. I thought about them every morning on my drive to work. I thought about them during the day at times. Every day for weeks I continued my search for the spider webs but still I did not see a single spider web on a fence or in the grass of the fields. I began to wonder if I had imagined this sight I had seen. I had indeed seen something unique and unusual if but for a fleeting moment in time. What did it mean? I wanted to “take off my shoes” and remember because I knew that there had to be a story wrapped up in what I had seen. Finally, almost three weeks later as I was on my way to work I began to see the spider webs on the fence lines again. It was another foggy morning. They were not as plentiful and I did not see as many in the grass atop like lacy doilies on table tops as I did that initial day but they were there. It was then that I realized that the conditions had to be right to see them at all. As months passed I noticed the spider webs on those hazy dew filled mornings filling the fields and softly strung on the fence lines. However, as time went on the memories, questions and thoughts of that first morning the spider webs had danced before my eyes with their lacy beauty filling the landscape quietly slipped from my mind.

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It was now spring and I had never seen the sight on a sunshiny day. The webs always seemed to be visible only on gray, dreary, foggy days. Then yesterday morning I was on my way to work and as I went around some curves the sun’s rays were kissing the field that lay before me. Tall, green, dew covered grass was softly blowing in the breeze and atop almost every blade were the webs sparkling in the brilliant glorious morning sun. I stopped and sat there taking in the sight before me. The photographs I took could not even begin to capture the beauty of the sight that lay before me. It was a scene of absolute inexpressible beauty. Tears sprang to my eyes. In those initial fleeting moments thoughts of how good God was enveloped my mind. He had painted this very picture just for me on this very day. My heart had been heavy that morning but in a moment’s time, through the beauty of God’s creation, God had lifted the burden. Thoughts played through my mind about the scene, spiders and webs as I continued my drive to work. The worry that just moments before consumed my thoughts was replaced with an assurance that everything was going to be all right; God was going to take care of me despite circumstances that had befallen me just the day before. Experiencing God’s beauty and handiwork through the spider webs led me to think about spiders. Spiders, so industrious, are always rebuilding their webs. I was reminded of a spider building its web in my porch doorway once. Every morning for about three weeks I would walk through the web which would freak me out and in alarm, with flailing arms, I would tear the web down. I could never seem to remember the web was there and the very next morning I would walk through the rebuilt web yet again. My husband assured me that eventually the spider would give up building in that particular spot and sure enough one day my path was finally clear. The spider finally packed his bags and moved on to a new location that was less frequented.

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Spiders are persistent. They don’t quit. They don’t give up. They are hard at work spinning their webs faithfully day after day despite circumstances that cause their webs to be weakened or destroyed. I was reminded that I need to be like the spider. Life might want to try and knock me down but I must persist. I must not quit or give up. I must be faithful to get back up and “rebuild my web’ always trusting that God is on my side. I must remember that God is always working on my behalf to set my feet back on solid ground no matter the circumstances that have come to bring havoc in my life. As I trust God will cause all things to work together for good, I will become more like His Son in the process as I allow His work to be done in my life. “And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, to them that are called according to His purpose. For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:” Romans 8:28-29 Life is fragile but God is a solid rock on which to stand and build our house upon. He is indeed on our side. He is indeed working on our behalf. He is indeed speaking to us and encouraging us everyday if we will just open our eyes, “take off our shoes” and notice. Romans 8:28-29 is His promise to each and every one of us and it is for the express purpose of making us more like his Son. He wants our lives to be conformed to the image of His Son. He wants our lives to shine with the light of Christ so much that people stop and take notice of the beauty that Christ has woven into the very fabric of our being. No matter what circumstance might come in our life to steal, kill and destroy, like the spider, we can overcome all of life’s roadblocks by trusting and faithfully building a solid relationship with God.

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“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1 “For thou wilt light my lamp: Jehovah my God will lighten my darkness.” Psalms 18:28 Love in Christ, Michele

presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.

~~~~~ What’s Your Opening Line? By EE Kennedy ©May 2012

And no, I don’t mean, “What’s your sign?” or “Haven’t we met before?”

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. Her vision is to reach people with encouraging messages that will lift their heart and bring joy for sorrow and hope for discouragement. Check out Michele’s Musings @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website!

~~~~~ The History of Father’s Day

Thanks to the hard work and struggle of Ms Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Washington, Spokane celebrated it’s first Father's Day on June 19, 1910. President Woodrow Wilson approved of this idea in 1916 followed by President Calvin Coolidge in 1924. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a

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I’m referring to the first sentences in your writing. There’s a saying in the publishing business: if you don’t catch an editor’s attention with the first sentence, they won’t read further. To tell the truth, I’m pretty sure most editors will give you a paragraph or two to impress them, but who wants to take that chance? In the nineteenth century, an author could rhapsodize for pages and pages before getting to the point of their story, but readers today are much more impatient. Such meandering is a sure sign of either a) you’ve only read things written 100+ years ago or b) you’re a ‘green’ beginner. (Which has nothing to do with the environment.) I can say this, because I made that very same greeny-green-green-green mistake. In the opening lines of the first version of Irregardless of Murder, I had my character walking down the street as she headed to the public library at dusk. As she walked, she lovingly (and at length) re-lived her childhood memories of each house, baking cookies there, playing hide-n-goseek here. I thought it was a charming way to meet Amelia. Then I submitted my creation to an online editor who would critique your first chapter for free. He hated, hated, hated it. It seemed ~All Rights Reserved


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a little harsh, but it gave me the cold splash of water in the face I needed to perform a first chapter-ectomy. I replaced it with a prologue in which the victim dies, thereby starting out with the main conflict in the story. There’s a Latin term, in medias res, that simply means, “in the middle of the action.” That’s the way many readers, particularly mystery and thriller fans, seem to like their stories to begin. I have tried to make the beginnings of the several books I’ve written start in this way, but—confession time here—I do cheat a bit. I am fond of prologues. Lots of readers skip them, and that’s all right. However, a prologue enables me to plant an idea that will come back with significance later in the story. In the Irregardless prologue, Marguerite recalls how handsome someone is and how he was going to meet her later. Remember that. But I opened the body of my story with Amelia awakening from unconsciousness. She has fallen over a dead body. In medias res. In Death Dangles a Participle, my prologue involves two of Amelia’s high school students, getting into trouble. From the beginning, you can tell what their attitude is: “Christmas vacation was coming to an end and the Rousseau brothers were determined to savor every second of freedom before the public school system once more took them prisoner.” In the prologue for the third in the Miss Prentice series, Murder in the Past Tense, I introduce a character apparently unrelated to Amelia, Gil and their friends, an Adirondack hermit: “Nimrod Rabideau held his finger under his nose to stop a sneeze. It wouldn’t do for those yahoos over there to know that he was watching them from a thicket. They were up

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to something. He wanted nothing to do with it, but if he tried to leave now, they’d see him, and something told him that he wouldn’t like their reaction.” Later in the story, we learn that Nimrod plays a vital role in the mystery. In my as-yet-unpublished Another Think Coming, I don’t bother with a prologue. It seems too prissy for my down-to-earth heroine. In the very first line, she tells the reader, “The call I’d been dreading came right after church.” Now, (I hope) the reader wonders, “What is she dreading? What did the caller say?” The sequel, Burning Daylight, begins with a line that immediately tells us a little bit about the personality of Esther MacBride, “If I’ve learned one thing in seventyfour years of living, it’s that you just can’t paddle somebody else’s young ‘un.” Clearly, you don’t have to introduce your story with the nail-biting intensity of the opening of say, Saving Private Ryan. But you do need to get your reader involved right away; involved in the action, involved in the humor, involved in the character. Then, you’ve got ‘em hooked!

E E Kennedy (author of the soon-to-be published IRREGARDLESS OF MURDER and its sequel, DEATH DANGLES A PARTICIPLE) was born in Alabama and grew up in far northern New York State, where these mysteries are set. As an advertising copywriter, she wrote interview articles for art magazines and produced ~All Rights Reserved


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radio/TV commercials and print ads. Check out her mystery website where you'll find fun info, previews and an exciting serial. Check out Ellen’s column, Behind the Mystery @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website!

of swirling emotion and trying to make some difficult decisions. The more I tried to face into the overwhelming issues, the more I realized that my perception was obscured.

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As I softly sobbed, I felt God's presence with me. The problems that once felt so powerful were disappearing. The clouds that were looming over my head were actually leaving. I was able to see the answer with clarity and as I prayed and sought wisdom, God opened a new window of opportunity. The very things I feared, had been the very things God used to teach me.

Featured Publisher Revell Books This month Revell is featuring three books by author, Eva Marie Everson!

Waiting for Sunrise

Chasing Sunsets

Things Left Unspoken

I sunk into my chair and cried.

I believe we all have storms that enter our lives that bring fear. We feel a lack of confidence and basically feel abandoned. Perhaps by our loved ones, through the death and grief process, the loss of a job or maybe just like I, a pile of decisions sitting on our chest rendering us emotionally incapable of even breathing. Storms can enter our lives and bring blessings. Blessings? The greatest blessings come when we weather those storms with God. When we place our faith and trust in the one source that never fails. Weathering the storms alone will bring frustration, but with God, we feel peace and guidance. What storms are on your horizon today?

~~~~~ Weathering the Storms By Dawn Kidd ©May 2012

"For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall" ~ Isaiah 25:4 A tornado ~ that is the best way to describe the way I had felt. I felt caught in the middle ©The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Dawn Kidd is the author of "You Are Not Alone" that chronicles the loss of her two infant children. Along with her daily column at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine, she is a weekend columnist for The Paragould Daily Press. ~All Rights Reserved


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~~~~~ Discouragement Busters By Rita A Schulte, LPC © June 2012 Have you ever wondered why we get so upset when things don’t go as we painstakingly plan in life? You may be thinking, that’s a stupid question, it’s normal to be upset when things don’t turn out like we want them to; end of story. But is it? It’s true that disappointment is an inevitable part of life, but if it’s stealing your joy or leading to discouragement, maybe it’s time to take a look at what could be driving it. Disappointment is the result of a blocked goal, a hurt; or perceived loss of some kind. Loss usually gives rise to feelings of anger, hurt, rejection or sadness. I wanted something to happen that didn’t, or I didn’t want something to happen that did. The most important thing to consider is the message your disappointment is trying to convey. Each of us has attached a meaning to the situations and events in life that have caused us pain or disappointment. When those add up it’s easy for discouragement to set in. How do you know if you’re discouraged? Let’s take a look:     

Chronic feelings of anger or depression Focus is on the obstacles Divided heart and mind Feelings of worthlessness Feelings of failure

Our beliefs provide clues as to why we struggle with discouragement. So we need to notice what we’re telling ourselves that’s causing our joy to be stolen. Here are some examples-- see if any fit for you. If things don’t go as I plan, I tend to believe

©The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

the following about myself:    

I’m a failure I’m inadequate I’m not good enough I won’t be happy unless…….

Most of our discouragement comes from judgments we make about our performance or our intrinsic worth. If you said yes to any of the above statements, you’re forgetting a very important truth. You are full and complete exactly as you are---apart from your performance! How do I know that? Because Jesus said we have been given fullness in Christ (Colossians 2:9). In I Peter 1:3 he said, “His divine power has given us everything for life. The word everything here means everything! So whether you feel like it or not, the truth is, you are totally complete, adequate, acceptable, valued, and secure in Christ. That’s the best discouragement buster I know. Looking through a different lens. King Solomon was disappointed with life too. He received fame and became greater than all who went before him. He obsessed about success and every worldly pursuit. His conclusion: “Vanity of vanities.” This word means “emptiness, futility, or meaninglessness.” Solomon decided there was only momentary pleasure for all his toil, and each time he repeated it, he got less enjoyment from it. Solomon counted the cost for success and concluded that nothing would satisfy. No amount of fame, fortune or pleasure. We too must ask ourselves if all the “chasing after the wind” will ultimately satisfy our souls. The point of Ecclesiastes is that God intends for us to have joy, but real joy comes from His hand and begins with accepting that He is in charge of our lives no matter what circumstances or disappointments we face. When we understand that, we can view discouragement through a different lens, one that assures us that God is still up to

~All Rights Reserved


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something even though we’ve been let down. When we look through the lens of possibilities we can change or modify our beliefs about success and failure. Here are a few discouragement busters to consider:     

Focus on the bigger picture Watch for negative self talk Place your faith in God not in your circumstances Appropriate your identity in Christ Cultivate an attitude of gratefulness

What disappointments are you facing today? What beliefs are robbing you of the joy that is already yours in Christ? Begin today to cultivate an attitude of gratefulness by refusing to let life’s disappointments steal your joy.

Rita A. Schulte is a licensed professional counselor in the Northern Virginia/DC area. She is the host of Heartline Podcast and Consider This. Her shows can be heard on 90.9 FM in Lynchburg, Va. and 90.5 FM in NC, and soon to launch on Christian Life Internet Radio. Her book, Sifted As Wheat: Finding Hope and Healing Through the Losses of Life is currently with Hartline Literary Agency. Check out Rita’s column, Consider This @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website!

~~~~~

©The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Attention Readers! You spoke and we listened! The over-whelming response on our poll was YES to featuring short stories & book/novel trailers on the site and in the magazine! Short stories will appear beginning with the JULY issue. Email your submissions to: Shawna Williams at: twjmsubmissions@gmail.com Authors - for details on featuring your book/novel trailer email me, Pamela Thibodeaux at: twjadsales@gmail.com (see sample trailer ads here) Thank you for participating in our poll and helping us to grow!

~~~~~ We sincerely hope you enjoyed this edition of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine! Be sure and subscribe at our website so you can stay informed of all the great things happening @ TWJ as we strive to.... Publish His glorious deeds among nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. ~Psalms 96:3 Pamela S. Thibodeaux Editor, CEO, Ad Sales Director The Wordsmith Journal Magazine Disclaimer Our goal at The Wordsmith Journal 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, columnists, sponsors, 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.

~All Rights Reserved

The Wordsmith Journal Magazine; June 2012 Issue  

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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