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2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

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

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

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Welcome to the September 2012 issue of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine!

SR Perspective ... Just Saying by Barb Shelton

TWJM welcomes our new sponsor, Kevin Zimmerman

Book Store Featured Books Featured Trailers

Readers, this month it's all about you! We have four brand new stories for your reading pleasure, Samantha Gray advises readers on how to set up a book club in our Guest Editorial, and we're having a Basket of Books Contest - details on the For Readers page!

In This Month's Issue Columns & Blogs The Proactive Author by W. Terry Whalin For a Thousand Generations by Scott Higginbotham You Are Not Alone by Dawn Kidd Behind the Mystery by Ellen Kennedy Michele's Musings by Michele Abshire Faith & Fitness by Kellye Davis The Power of Positive Faith by LaSharnda Beckwith Consider This by Rita Schulte Book Reviews: Wind Over Marshdale ~ Tracy Krauss The Wisdom Tree ~ Mary Manners The Dragon and the Turtle ~ Donita K Paul & Evangeline Denmark As We Forgive ~ June Foster Short Stories A Small Sacrifice by Mike Lynch Graffitied Door by Amanda Borenstadt Roll Back the Clouds by Liz Flaherty The Heir by Chelsea Miller YA Perspective with Sarah Heath: Featuring Author Melody Carlson's True Colors Series!

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Featured Publisher Revell Books Author Pages Mary Manners Kathi Macias Michelle Sutton JM Hochstetler Shawna K Williams Delia Latham Tracy Krauss

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******** The History of Labor Day Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. June 28 1894, Congress passed an act

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making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. By a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

******** Want to purchase a title you see advertised here in TWJM? Simply click on the cover image, ISBN# or Title (if highlighted)!

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Wind Over Marshdale Tracy Krauss ASIN: B008ARYQPA

Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens. A perfect place to start over‌ or get lost. There is definitely more to this prairie town than meets the eye. Once the meeting place of aboriginal tribes for miles around, some say the land itself was cursed because of the people’s sin. But its history goes farther back than even indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition? Review of Wind Over Marshdale By Michelle Sutton

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There are a lot of good books to choose from these days, but not many intrigue me as much as this one managed to do. The story started out a bit slow, but once the foundation was laid the plot grabbed me I couldn't stop reading. The characters were realistic and the conflict was palpable. And romantic tension? This book was loaded with it as well as convincing inner dialog that showed how the mind and heart are often affected by the past...and not often in good way. I appreciated how there were more points of view than just the hero and heroine's. My favorite part of this novel, however, was the spiritual journey of each character and how the author showed that a little compromising can create a whole lot of heartache. She also did a fabulous job showing how someone goes from stepping over the line for a few seconds to being quickly enslaved to sin and feeling defeated by it to the point that your spiritual life becomes a sham. A solid message in this story was that we need to be there for each other to help pull the other person out of the pit when they are too weak to climb out themselves. Setting our prejudices aside and allowing God to use us to minister to others is key, whether the prejudice has to do with race, religion, or a feeling of spiritual superiority. Well done! My heart was engaged by this novel in a way that will leave me thinking about the story for some time. In a way, this book felt like a high concept novel to me in that it subtly delved into areas that make you think about your own life and how the spiritual realm works. The author managed to create a story with spiritual warfare in it, yet there was no obvious thread or plot there, which made it that much more convincing to me. Much like real life, in fact. I loved Con and Rachel and appreciated their struggles. I also enjoyed how they learned from each other despite their rocky beginning. Their honesty was refreshing.

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There were a lot of things to love about this book, but I don't want to say too much. There is plenty of intrigue and mystery to keep any reader's attention, but for lovers of romance, this one will make your heart pound. The author delves deep, and because her characters all have pasts, the story is that much more convincing. I loved it! Wind Over Marshdale was published by Astraea Press and released June 11, 2012.

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The Dragon and the Turtle Donita K Paul & Evangeline Denmark ISBN: 0307446441

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

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This is a cute children's book. I enjoyed the friendship theme and how the dragon, Padraig, stuck with the turtle, Roger, and continued to help him until he found his way back home. I can see children enjoying this book because of the adventure and sensory input like the crunchy bugs Padraig was eating. The facial expressions the dragon makes are just precious. The fact that the turtle is lost will touch heartstrings, and his friend's effort to help him is quite touching. Because the way the turtle describes his home keeps building in the details, the mystery needing to be solved also builds from a suspense-like drive to find answers. I can easily see a child turning the pages to find out what happens next. The illustrations are beautiful and eyecatching and I can see this book becoming a child's favorite request, like a "read this to me over and over" type story. I would have enjoyed this story for the pictures alone when I was reading a lot of children's books in elementary school. Plus, there are great discussion questions at the end that will inspire talks between parents and their children, Sunday School teachers, and the story include a bible verse. There is a bonus recipe for chocolate chip cookies for moms at the end.

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The Wisdom Tree Mary Manners

ISBN-13: 978-1611161663

Sometimes the last thing we think we need is exactly what God has planned.

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September 2012 After the death of his parents, Jake Samuels has enough on his plate—including a fledgling church to lead and a mischievous younger brother to raise. The last thing he needs is a rambunctious woman to contend with. Carin O'Malley is dealing with the death of her brother and a new job as an English teacher at East Ridge Middle School where Corey Samuels reigns as King of Chaos. The last thing she needs is to fall in love with a man...especially a handsome and complicated preacher like Corey’s brother Jake. But when Corey's antics toss Carin and Jake together, the two must draw from God’s wisdom to find refuge in His perfect plan for them. Review of The Wisdom Tree by Deena Peterson "The Wisdom Tree" by Mary Manners is an extremely enjoyable reading experience. Mary knows how to sprinkle the literary breadcrumbs to keep you turning page after page until the tale she has spun concludes. Jake Samuels has his hands full, pastoring a congregation and raising his kid brother. Corey used to be so different: happier, more lively and able to laugh easily. Losing their parents in a tragic accident has robbed Jake of both his parents and his younger brother. Can anything break through the wall of defiance Corey's built up?

4 Will Carin's secret past be a stumbling block to finding love, or will Pastor Jake be able to help her find faith in God once again? Mary has crafted a novel that's rich with faith and filled with delightful characters. Even though Corey is an obvious handful, it doesn't take long for his pain to reach you through the words on the page, and Jake's evident love for his brother and for God are easy to spot as well. You'll be curious about Carin's past and urging her to unburden herself and to lean into God...and to fall in love with Jake along the way! As a bonus, Mary includes a 31-day journal. Since it was good for Corey (and he's fictional) it's good for us to! I enjoyed reading through the daily devotions, and each day's reading includes easy to respond to questions, a passage from Scripture, and a prayer for you to guide you as you speak to God about what you've read. This is the first of Mary's novels for me, and I'm eager to read more. I received an electronic galley of "The Wisdom Tree" in exchange for an honest review, and I can honestly tell you "The Wisdom Tree" is highly recommended reading. "The Wisdom Tree" is published by White Rose Publishing and is available at Amazon.com and other online book sellers.

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Enter new middle school English teacher Carin O'Malley, eager to teach and more strict than expected. When she and Corey butt heads over his outrageous behavior and lack of effort, Carin has no choice but to conference with his older brother. When a case of mistaken identity gets Jake and Carin off on the wrong footing, a disagreeable introduction quickly turns into a joint task force on helping Corey for the better. Can cooperation lead to romance?

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As We Forgive June Foster

ASIN: B0094HQDI8

Tim Garrett saw Jess Colton back to health in Give Us This Day but can't control his

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September 2012 own life. Tim wants nothing more than to serve God as a pastoral counselor, but first must prove to the staff and elders at Bellewood Fellowship he can handle the job he was hired to do -- work with the senior high youth. Roxanne Ratner’s father abandoned her when she was ten, and now she doesn’t trust men. They’ll only hurt her like her parent did. She fills the empty place in her heart with shopping for designer clothes. Though the perky young hairstylist falls in love with the Tim, she must keep her distance from the handsome pastor. Despite Tim’s efforts to prove himself on the job, everything works against him bringing him closer to dismissal. Tim has one last chance at Camp Solid Rock. When Tim learns a frightening secret from his youthful adversary, can Tim make a difference? Can Roxanne risk giving her heart to Tim? Review of As We Forgive By Deborah Picurrelli This is the second book by June Foster I’ve read, and I have to say that although I liked A Hometown Fourth of July, this one is even better. June’s writing was already solid and excellent, but it’s gotten even better. In As We Forgive, Tim Garrett is a youth pastor at Bellewood Fellowship Church, until he can realize his dream of becoming a pastoral counselor. But the senior high youth in his charge give him a rough time. Why? Because Tim has a reputation for struggling with anger issues in the past. Although he’s seemingly gotten his problem under control, some people won’t let him forget it. Roxanne Ratner was abandoned by her father when she was a little girl, and now she doesn’t trust men. To compensate for what’s missing in her life, she has become a shopaholic. But when she meets Tim, she feels like she’s finally met a man she can trust—until she finds herself on the

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5 receiving end of one of his tantrums. Can Tim overcome his anger issues for good? Will Roxanne be able to control her impulsive shopping? Will they turn to the only One who can help them before both their hearts are broken again? June Foster has done a wonderful job of creating 3-D characters that immediately make the reader care about them from page one. The circumstances of the story are believable, as are the characters. I especially liked the unexpected twist toward the end. Never saw it coming, but it fit fabulously into the story line, and helped create more tension. If you like romance with a bit of raw reality, you’ll surely enjoy As We Forgive.

******* When Love Goes Wrong Nothing Goes Right by Rita A Schulte, LPC ©Sept 2012 Cindy was an addict. She was addicted to fixing, rescuing and controlling. She was codependent---and she was miserable. What is co-dependency? According to Melody Beattie a co-dependent is a person who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior. That was Cindy’s problem when she came to my office for help. Se had spent the better part of a 15 year relationship trying to fix and rescue her husband. Cindy knew she had allowed him to become an idol in her life, but she hadn’t been able to take him off the throne. She became so enmeshed in his life that she lost her own. She found herself obsessing over his behavior, checking on him, making excuses for his addictions, and bailing him out of trouble. Cindy was the “hero.”

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September 2012 Scripture is clear about God occupying first place in our hearts. When we are overly focused on meeting another person’s needs and controlling their behavior we are misplacing our dependency. This causes unhealthy attachment and sets us up for dysfunctional relationships. Cindy’s story illustrates a powerful principle in co-dependent relationships--- the dance of the weak and the strong. The weak person needs the love and attention of others to be filled, and the strong person is usually the “hero” type who needs to be needed.

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Most co-dependents believe that if they keep on trying, loving, and controlling, the people in their lives will eventually come around. It doesn’t usually happen. What’s the solution? A shift in dependence. Trusting Christ alone as your source of value and worth is the most important first step in breaking free from co-dependency. Here are some other suggestions: 

How can you tell if you are co-dependent, and what can you do about it? The first thing is to notice you patterns and belief systems. Here are some red flags of codependency:       

Feeling responsible for the needs of others Fixing, rescuing or caretaking to the detriment of your own well-being Feeling angry when help isn’t received with appreciation Feeling angry when others don’t reciprocate Looking for value in others Denying your own feelings and needs Attraction to needy people

Co-dependents like Cindy often have low self-worth causing them to get into dysfunctional relationships. They feel:         

Guilty when they get angry at others Afraid to make others angry They need people more than they want them Needy Inadequate to care for themselves They must tolerate abuse to keep people loving them Trapped in bad relationships Desperate for love Others are never there for them

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Bored and empty They must please others at their own expense

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Remove others from the altar of your life Own your own feelings Trust your ability to make decisions Ask for what YOU need Stop making others your source for happiness Take care of YOU Say what you mean Stop enabling Learn to say no

Tackling your co-dependent patterns may seem overwhelming. Start by choosing one behavior to focus on at a time. Restoring balance to your life won’t happen over night, but it is possible. That’s what recovery is all about.

******* Meet our New Sponsor Kevin Zimmerman!

Kevin was born and raised in Toledo, OH. He joined the United States Army in

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November 1980. He retired a highly decorated soldier in January 2000. During his 20 year tenure he became a multiple recipient of the Soldiers Medal. The Soldiers Medal is the highest award given by congress for an act of bravery while our nation is not declared at war. While serving is Bosnia-Herzegovina, on a peace keeping exercise, Kevin walked through two heavily infested land mine fields to save the lives of others. He credits his actions to having faith in God the Father, Jesus Christ and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. His book A Time For Everything; The Kevin Zimmerman Story was released in May of 2008. The Second edition of the book was released in January 2012. Due to the Bosnian experience, he now has a life-long commitment to help provide hope and inspiration to all, and to provide support for the family members of our Wounded Warriors and disabled American veterans. Proceeds raised from both the book and show are donated to Wounded Warriors Support Organizations. You can purchase the book today by logging onto any major bookstore to include Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and BooksAMillion.com. You can also purchase the book at a 20% discounted rate by logging onto ATFEKZ.com. Kevin hosts a 1 hr. radio show every week on Artist First Radio Thursdays @ 10PM Eastern / 7PM Pacific / 7PM Central. The Kevin Zimmerman Show is the place where you will connect with soldiers and authors, entrepreneurs and artist and everyone who has a story.

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TWJM Partner Christian Fiction Book Reviews Where Readers Can Find Great Christian Fiction!

******* Interview with Michael J Scott By Mary Nichelson

Although Michael J. Scott specializes in action thrillers and suspense, his real forte is how quickly his novels are being written and released. His first book, Jefferson’s Road was released in 2011 with three more debuting in the same year. He is actively engaged in bringing four more novels to print this year, making the last twenty-four months industrious as a writer. Scott’s readers appreciate and reciprocate the passion for his work by using such phrases as “If Michael Scott didn't write in paragraph form, I would forget to breathe” in their reviews. As busy as Scott is with his writing, he generously took time out to talk with me regarding his novels and another passion of his, freestyle Kendo. MN-Before I could finish reading the prologue, I was intrigued and already looking forward to the way the plot would play out. How did you write The Lost Scrolls; per outline, starting at the ending and working backwards, or did it just develop as you went along? MS-I wrote The Lost Scrolls with an outline. I had just finished my first novel, The Coppersmith, and I’d started several others, but nothing really “sparked” my interest. My family and I went on vacation, visiting my in-laws in North

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September 2012 Carolina. We were staying in a nearby motel room, and when the inspiration hit me, it was after 10 pm. Since we were all staying in a single room, I took a chair and went and hid in the bathroom so I could write with the light on without disturbing anybody. I outlined the entire novel in one sitting. MN-I like the way that the format of the book is reader friendly. The way it is broken up into small, readable passages actually keeps the reader moving along, as opposed to looking for the next stopping point. Was this intentional on your part-a niche of sorts for you as an author? MS-Yes, this is entirely intentional. I’ve read numerous other thrillers and adventure books, and decided that shorter chapters would help keep the pages turning. Of course, I try to keep the action up as well. MN-In a review by Christianbookstoday.com, it says "(The Lost Scrolls is a) spy vs. spy meets James Bond meets Indiana Jones quest." Do you believe this is a fair and accurate assessment? MS-Perhaps. I can’t say there’s any “spy” in it, though there is plenty of intrigue and mystery. It may be that they’re referring to the Catholic priest who used to be a CIA operative, or the Orthodox monk who once served in the Romanian Securitate. There is definitely a bit of the Indiana Jones in it, though. MN-The Lost Scrolls has been described as "edgy" and "not your mother's Christian fiction". Do you think modern readers are looking for more than what traditional authors have offered? How can a Christian writer cater to readers without crossing over a line that would appear secular? MS-Like many fiction authors today, I cut my teeth when Christian fiction was just being reborn here in the States. There was an attempt by publishers, early on, to keep Christian fiction “safe.” The result was that no Christians were ever portrayed in a

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8 negative light. They ceased to be real. At the same time, the antagonists tended to be painted in very dark colors. The books I read reminded me a bit of the old spaghetti westerns, where all the good guys wore white hats and all the bad guys wore black hats. I try to mix it up a bit more. I want to show that the Christians in my novels are still sinners saved by grace and not by any virtue they possess. I also want to show that even my bad guys are still made in the image of God. This has the effect of making the characters—and therefore the story— that much more real and relatable to the average reader. The challenge for Christian writers today is to write what the story demands. Christian fiction should not be characterized so much by what it avoids as by what it presents. In other words, what makes a fiction book “Christian” is not the absence of sin per se, but rather the Presence of Christ in the story. Does it present Jesus? Does it present grace? And does it do so in a way that is organic to the story, rather than tacked on? MN-Would you like to see The Lost Scrolls on the big screen and if so, who would you choose to play Dr. Jonathan Munro? MS-I would love to see The Lost Scrolls on the big screen. As for Jonathan Munro… he’s tough to cast because he’s not your typical action star. He shouldn’t be someone too attractive or buff or anything like that. See, now having said that, how can I possibly suggest an actor without insulting his physique? MN-You have written several books-six with several to be released in the near future. Considering the many characters you have developed, which is your favorite? MS-Wow. That’s a tough one. There’s a little bit of me in each of them (even more frightening when you consider that some of my characters are psychotic killers. Yikes!). I think I like the characters best who

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September 2012 surprise me, who take on a life of their own and sometimes take over the plot. Certainly Izzy did that. I had a completely different ending written for The Lost Scrolls, but when I came to it, she wouldn’t play the part I’d laid out for her. She was determined to do something so unexpected, it threw me off for a week and left me wondering how I’d ever finish the book. So in that sense, I like Izzy quite a bit, which is why we’ll see her again. Special Agent David Wisenhauer in The Coppersmith also surprised me – mostly with some of the things he says. But I can honestly say that Peter Baird from the Jefferson’s Road series is the character I know the best – if only because I’ve written the most about him. He’s like Jon in the sense that he tries hard to do the right thing, but unlike Jon, he compromises a lot more, and it gets him into serious trouble. MN-I noticed in your author's biography that you are active in Freestyle Kendo. Can you explain what that is? MS-Freestyle Kendo isn’t really Kendo at all, though it’s loosely based on it. Essentially, it is fencing with a doublehanded bamboo shinai (a Kendo practice sword), and very little body armor. Unlike typical fencing, which relies on thrusting techniques, Freestyle Kendo relies on cutting and blocking techniques. It’s similar in style to what you would see in most sword movies—Highlander, Braveheart, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, the Star Wars saga, and other films. My sparring partner is a six foot six inch tall, 580 lb gorilla of a man who usually beats me six out of ten times. It’s a lot of fun, and sometimes we get a little bruised, but it’s also an amazing stress reliever. MN-The Christian worldview and how it influences daily interactions is one of your passions. Is it possible to maintain a faithbased, stable worldview as it relates to morals and ethics when society is constantly changing her standards?

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9 MS-Dean William R. Inge once said, “Whoever marries the spirit of this age will find himself a widower in the next.” And Simone Weil said, “To be always relevant, you have to say things which are eternal.” Society is an ocean. She’s always shifting about this way and that—utterly unstable and prone to make you seasick if you try to stand firmly on her surface. I find great comfort in the solidity of God’s Word—the Bible. It doesn’t change. I know right and wrong are whatever God says they are, and since He is eternal, I know that right and wrong won’t change just because someone comes along with a clever argument. That being said, I very much consider myself a truth-seeker, and not a dogmatist. My opinions have changed as I’ve grown, but they remain anchored in God’s Word. I don’t always interpret it as I used to, but my aim is always to interpret it correctly—to understand what was meant when it was written within the context in which it was written. There are essentials of the faith that are so crystal clear in Scripture that I have no doubt of them whatsoever. There are non-essentials and mysteries of the faith that aren’t as clear, and I learn and grow as I study and press deeper into God for greater understanding—which is why I think God left the mysteries there, so that we would seek Him rather than simply pat ourselves on the back for having all the answers clearly spelled out. I know this: God is, and Jesus is the Godman who died for my sins, rose again bodily from the dead, and is coming back to take home those who trust Him for salvation. I am not perfect and I don’t have it all figured out, but I do know that Jesus loves me, and that His mercy is the only reason any are saved. So yeah, it’s entirely possible to maintain a stable, faith-based worldview in the face of this world’s changing standards. In fact, not only is it possible, it’s essential. The Lost Scrolls is available @ Amazon in Ebook & Print!

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Author Bio-Michael J. Scott specializes in action/adventure thrillers and suspense. He released four novels between 2010 and 2011, and is expecting to release as many in 2012. Michael is currently working on a sequel to The Coppersmith entitled Topheth, about a serial arsonist torching churches, the next installment of the Jefferson's Road series: The Tree of Liberty, and a dystopian teen novel called In The Widening Gyre. He has a sequel to The Lost Scrolls entitled The Elixir of Life coming from Ellechor Publishing House in 2013. Michael lives outside of Rochester, NY with his wife and three children. You can visit Michael J. Scott at his website as well as following him on Twitter@AuthorMichaelJS

******* Featured Author~ J. M. Hochstetler!

The daughter of Mennonite farmers, Joan Hochstetler grew up on a farm in central Indiana. She is a direct descendent of Jacob Hochstetler, who immigrated to this country from Europe in 1738 with his wife and two small children seeking religious freedom. Joan was an editor with The United Methodist Publishing House for many years. She is currently the publisher and editorial director of Sheaf House Publishers, a Nashville, Tennessee, area small press, which she founded in 2006. Her latest book, Crucible of War is available this month! Find out more about Joan by visiting her website or her author page @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine!

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******* Writer’s Yard Sale By EE Kennedy © 8/15/2012 HERE IT IS! TODAY ONLY! WRITER’S YARD SALE! Slightly used author’s items available at bargain prices! Welcome! Did you see my sign? Is it close enough to the road? Good. Well, yes, we do have a lot of stuff here. Let me show you what I have. You can get some great buys. Just take a look around. For instance, over here, I have a large, slightly shop-worn ego. No, I don’t have the original box, but it’s still in working order. It took a lot of hits over the past year. I regret that I put it out where it was so vulnerable to the elements. Even in this condition, it’ll give you quite a few more good years. It’s yours, if the price is right. That table over there? Those are the hats I’ve worn. This publicist’s hat, for instance. I had to wear it a lot this year. It was pretty expensive, let me tell you. Oh, that eyeshade? That’s my editor’s hat. It’s gotten a lot of use. That pointy hat? No, it’s not Harry Potter’s. It’s my thinking cap. I used that as much as my editor’s shade. It kept slipping over my eyes so I couldn’t see the clock. I missed a lot of deadlines that way. But it works. Boy, does it work! This coffee can here? Give me a reasonable price and you can have everything that’s in it: almost a pound of miscellaneous adverbs. They’re perfectly good, just superfluous. I cleaned them out of my most recent story. Too many of those things and the work is done for, you know. They’d work perfectly well for a story that needs them. That box of grandiose adjectives? Those are free for the taking. They’re really pretty, but

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a little too fancy for me. I tend to be a little more plain when it comes to writing. Sure, it’s yours; just put the carton in your trunk. Well, I’d like to get something for those used similes. They’re a little worn around the edges, but serviceable. So are those idioms. Colorful, aren’t they? Pretty decorative when you use ‘em right. That’s the garbage can. It’s where I threw the double negatives, dangling participles and wasted time. I couldn’t give them to charity in good conscience. You can’t use ‘em. That? I’m giving that away, too. No, it’s not a footstool or a door stop. It’s a giant economy size writer’s block. So far, I haven’t had any takers. You want it? No? Well, anyway, it was good of you to stop by. Tell your friends! E E Kennedy, author of IRREGARDLESS OF MURDER (available now in ebook & print!) and its sequel, DEATH DANGLES A PARTICIPLE (August '13) grew up in far northern New York State, where these mysteries are set. She is a graduate of Huntingdon College and studied counseling and guidance at the University of Alabama. Find out more about Mrs. Kennedy by visiting her website, MissPrenticeCozyMystery.com

******* Featured Author ~ Kathi Macias!

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored more than 30

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books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association). Her latest release, The Deliver (book 3 in the Freedom series) is available now in Ebook & Print! Find out more about Kathi by visiting her website or author page @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine.

******* Roll Back the Clouds by Liz Flaherty Sticky. Moss didn’t want to wake up yet, but the pervasive sense of lying in a puddle of molasses forced the issue. And someone was watching him. It felt like when he was on morphine, when there was always someone else in the room. Even when there wasn’t. Angels, Lucy said. “Lucy?” He forced his eyes open. And remembered. If Lucy was watching him, it was from a cloud. It wasn’t daylight yet. Not even the grayness of dawn peeked through the blinds that were supposed to be opaque but weren’t. Lucy bought them when he was taking chemo and having trouble sleeping. She hung them herself, standing on a kitchen chair and muttering prayers mixed with some of the words to “It Is Well With My Soul” while she measured, hammered, and drilled. Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! He’d lain in a half-stupor of medication and grueling nausea and thought he could survive anything as long as he had her.

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In the end, the blinds hung a little crooked. Their son Scott offered to straighten them, but Moss told him to leave them alone. He liked them the way they were.

“There’s something on my back. Can you see what it is?”

In the pre-dawn darkness, he closed his eyes again. Remembered.

“Fudge?” He closed his eyes one more time, felt the skin on his back twitch against the stickiness.

“No.” The voice was small but decisive, and he had no choice but to search for its source even though it meant waking up for real this time, facing another day without Lucy. “No what?” he asked the solemn-faced child who stood beside the bed. Her eyes were big and brown like her mother’s. “I’m not Lucy. I’m Carmody Ellen Brown and I’m hungry. I’d like some breakfast.” She seemed to consider what she’d said and added, “Please.” “Where’s your mother?” “Asleep.” “Scott?” “He went walking. He says sometimes he finds sermons by the side of the road. I don’t know why anyone would leave them there, do you?” “Why don’t you wake your mother?” And leave me alone. “That new baby makes her sick. She says I did, too, but I don’t remember that.” A chuckle, dry and unwilling, rose in his throat. “It was before you were born. Go on out, child, and I’ll get up.” “He started to swing his pajama-clad legs over the side of the bed, then stopped. “Little girl?” He never called her by name, this stepchild of Scott’s. The name was too pretentious to use. “Yes, sir.” She had the best manners he’d seen on a seven-year-old in a long time.

©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

She came back to the bed. “It’s fudge.”

“Daddy…Scott has hair on his back like you do. One time Mama put sticky stuff on it to make the hair come off and they laughed a lot.” Carmody laid a hand on his knee. “I thought maybe it would make you laugh, too. You never do, you know.” “I laugh.” “No. Sometimes your mouth does, but your cheeks don’t.” “Oh.” He made a shooing motion. “Go on to the kitchen. I’ll be right along.” She obeyed, and he got into the shower to wash the gooey fudge off his back. Where had the child found the stuff anyway? There hadn’t been any in the house since Lucy died. Died. It startled him that he could think the word. He’d grown so accustomed to the euphemisms—passed, left us, went to be with the Lord—that he never actually came out and said the words, dying, died, death. It wasn’t that he was a non-believer—he wasn’t. It was just that he was mad at God right now. He’d been a little irritated when Scott, the army reserve officer and genius-of-an-engineer in Moss’s firm, came back from a tour in Afghanistan and enrolled in the seminary. Well, more than a little irritated—he’d been downright ticked off, though not at God. At Scott. Didn’t the boy know he could serve the Lord as an engineer as well as he could as a minister? Moss hadn’t been angry at God when he was sick, either, had in fact prayed for, depended on, and been thankful for the strength to get through the surgery and all the treatment that

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September 2012 followed. But when he was better, his hair growing back—including a healthy flock of it on his back, where it had never been before— when he was starting each day with praise in his heart, Lucy didn’t wake up one morning. Her heart, which had never in her life—at least so far as they knew—so much as skipped a beat, simply stopped. While Moss was still reeling from the loss of his wife of thirty-some years, Scott brought home a bride. A waitress and single mom whose child slept while her mother worked, Naomi read aloud for Scott when she wasn’t busy and his eyes hurt from too much studying.

13 “Come here,” he said to Carmody. “Look” He lifted her so she could see through the big window over the sink. “Isn’t that a pretty way to start the day?” “Yes.” She seemed rapt by the changing painting in the eastern sky, so he held her there for a little while. Hard to beat the combined comfort of sunrise and a nice little girl. The anger was leaving him, though he wasn’t at all sure he was ready for it to go. “Where did you get the fudge?” he asked, when the panorama subsided and he lifted her down.

“She has a good reading voice,” Scott explained to his father, “and she laughs at my jokes. Carmody just added incentive to the equation. What else could I do but marry them?”

“Da…Scott says his mother’s fudge was the best ever and you loved it, so Mama tried to make it for you only it got all gooey. Did it pull the hair out of your back?”

Moss had no one left. Oh, his son was a good one, a devoted one, but his first loyalty now lay with his new family, not his widowed father. Which was as it should be, but it left Moss lonely. And angry.

He felt the chuckle rise up again, and was powerless to stop it. “No, but it sure tried. Do you want bacon and eggs?”

Six months after his marriage, Scott was hired as the associate pastor of the church where he’d grown up, and he and his family were staying with Moss until their new house was finished. Naomi cooked for all of them, cleaned the house—though not like Lucy had—and did laundry. She was sick until noon every day, and sometimes had to run to the bathroom in the middle of preparing breakfast. The child with the ostentatious name stayed out of the way, for the most part. She left the room when Moss came into it and never said anything to him unless he spoke to her first. Until this morning, when she’d said No.

“I can.”

With the last of the fudge rinsed down the drain, Moss dressed and went into the kitchen. Carmody sat at the table, her nose buried in Lucy’s dog-eared copy of Understood Betsy. The sun, big and red, was making its appearance over the wheat field east of the house, and Moss stopped to watch its ascent. No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life, Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

“Can you make the eggs runny in the middle?”

“I’d like two, please.” “All right.” He’d just filled their plates when Scott came in the back door. Delight crossed Carmody’s face when she looked up. “Hi, Daddy.” “Morning, Roscoe.” Scott bent to give her a smacking kiss on her cheek, then straightened. “Hi, Pop. She hasn’t been any trouble, has she? Naomi worries. She wants to be family, but she’s not pushy.” Roscoe. Moss had called Scott that for so long he’d wanted to write his name that way when he went to school. “No trouble. You hungry?”

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September 2012 “I’ll fix it.” Scott went to the stove, stopping on the way to get the eggs and bacon out of the refrigerator. “Did you find a sermon by the road?” asked Carmody. Scott smiled at her, the expression tender. “A piece of one. We’ll talk to your mom. Maybe she’ll find the rest.” Naomi slept for another hour. She looked pale when she came into the kitchen, but rested, too. She hugged Carmody, kissed the top of Scott’s head where he sat at the table with his laptop, and smiled uncertainly at Moss. “I’m sorry I overslept,” she said. “Did you have to cook breakfast?” “I had good help.” He gestured to the small girl sitting on a tall stool beside him. “There’s oatmeal on the back burner for you. It will sit better on your stomach than the fried food we had, even if it doesn’t taste as good.” He met the young woman’s eyes. “Lucy and I always wanted a daughter, though we felt blessed just by having Scott. A sticky sensation this morning made me think you were the other child we were meant to have. Will that be all right with you?” “Oh, yes.” Her eyes teared right up, reminding him of Lucy—she’d cried at every whipstitch the entire time she was pregnant. “But I do need to know why you gave this delicate little girl a name like Carmody.”

14 did. That way, you’ll be able to make it for your dad and granddad every time you visit.” It is well, it is well, with my soul. Author Bio: Life is new and wonderful for writer Liz Flaherty these days. She retired from the post office in 2011, promptly gained 15 pounds—she swears it was overnight—and promised her grandchildren, The Magnificent Seven, that she would make each of them a bed-size quilt. She also planned to write all day, every day. What was she thinking? She’s learned to write when she feels like it, sew when she feels like it, and maybe even to eat a little less. She’s learned to share the house and sometimes even the kitchen with Duane, her husband of, oh, lots of years. And she’s having a Very, Very Good Time. Her fifth book ONE MORE SUMMER, has been released to exciting reviews by Carina Press. She is thrilled to the point everyone she knows rolls their eyes as soon as she opens her mouth. JAR OF DREAMS will be out in January, followed shortly by her first inspirational romance—A SOFT PLACE TO FALL will be released by Harbourlight Books—and she hasn’t annoyed hardly anyone about that yet. Visit Liz at http://lizflaherty.com or email her at lizkflaherty@gmail.com —she’d love to hear from you and the coffeepot’s always on!

******* Featured Author ~ Mary Manners!

Naomi didn’t hesitate. “So she’d always have something pretty that no one could take away from her.” He was a little nonplused by the answer, but nodded in recognition of a love he could well understand. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way…okay, Lucy, I get it. He cleared his throat. “Well then, Carmody Roscoe, pay attention.” He tapped the end of her nose and grinned at her, feeling his cheeks move. “I’m about to show you and your mama how to make fudge just the way your grandma

©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Mary Manners is an award-winning writer of romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone. To date, Mary has eleven books in print, with a half-dozen more under contract with White Rose Publishing. Her book, Wounded Faith is available now for only $0.99!

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Learn more about Mary Manners at her website or her author page @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine!

******* No Longer a Stigma By Scott Higginbotham © Sept 2012 Let’s face the facts for a moment or two. Traditional publishing would have aspiring authors seek an agent, who would then submit the manuscript to publishers. And then the hand-wringing and waiting game begins. But wait…to enter in an agreement with an agent, oftentimes, those same agents require that an author have a platform, that they have sold a certain number of books, and in light of all that, wouldn’t an author already have an agent and a publisher at this point? Such are the trials of those that feel the fire in their hearts to write what God has placed on their lives. So what’s left? Do you give up and tell God that His calling is invalid? Did the apostles go back to their nets after the Great Commission when trials and difficulties stood in their way? In Matthew 28: 18-20 it reads, “18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (KJV) These men were not men with platforms, agents, or great means. Moreover, they were average fellows, cast-offs even, but ones who were chosen for a specific task. Note that Jesus did not give them conditions, such as “Only if it’s easy” or “Only if you have nothing better to do.” They fulfilled their roles to the best of their abilities as the Bible makes clear, teaching, healing, writing epistles, and suffering. Their words and actions were canonized, eventually being collected in an

©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

International Bestseller known as the Holy Bible. The point I am making for aspiring authors is to write your books as though you were writing an International Bestseller. Edit, refine, revise, and have others review your work as though you are already that “well-known someone” signing your name to books in those everdwindling bookstores. If God has given you a voice, obey what He has given you. Is there a stigma associated with self-publishing though? Yes, there is. However, the trend toward self-publishing is growing, because the traditional publishers are running scared as eBooks have surpassed physical book sales on Amazon. A good friend of mine turned down Random House, because they wanted her historical male protagonist to be a female figure – historical fiction should not take liberties that far! Furthermore, she had other publishers completely forget about her, owing to the fact that her book series was too large, the budget would not support the publishing process, and her editors transitioned elsewhere. She chose the self-publishing avenue, which has yielded her better success and complete control over her content. With her contacts, she truly had no need to choose this path, but her success speaks volumes - four of them to be exact. This is not an angry diatribe against traditional publishers, of which there are some great companies out there; rather, this is a quick word of encouragement to be free to share what God has given you. If you can secure a traditional publisher, then make best use of their potential. If not, then maximize what the self-publishing world has to offer – most, if not all eBook distributors have a free publishing program. Share your voice without fear. Write your book or novel as though the entire world will read it and that you will sign thousands of copies in bookstores and coffee shops, physically or digitally – yes, there is a way to sign eBooks!

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Most importantly, write to please God and in such a fashion that He will give you those 5 stars.

Interview with Delia Latham By Mary Nichelson

Scott Higginbotham is the author of A Soul’s Ransom, a novel set in the fourteenth century where William de Courtenay’s mettle is tested, weighed, and refined, and For A Thousand Generations, where Edward Leaver navigates a world where his purpose is defined with an eye to the future.

******* Featured Author ~ Michelle Sutton!

Michelle Sutton has written well over a dozen Christian novels. She is also a book reviewer, an avid blogger, the mother of two college students, a wife of over 21 years, a social worker by trade, and follower of Jesus Christ. Michelle is the founder of Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers. Her new book, Out of Time is available now! Find out more about Michelle by visiting her website or author page @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine!

******* Want to purchase a title you see advertised here in TWJM? Simply click on the cover image, ISBN# or Title (if highlighted)!

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©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Author Delia Latham’s goal as a writer is straight forward; “To be used of God to touch the hearts of others through my writing.” Why through writing? “Writing has been my passion since third grade, when I won an essay writing contest and took home the coveted prize: a beautiful bed doll with a pink quilted satin skirt. Winning that contest made a profound impact on my young psyche - enough so that I never stopped writing.” She is credited with writing songs, poems, greeting cards, articles, short stories, and yes, novels. Her audience is as diverse as the genres that she covers, encompassing young readers as well as adult lovers of historical and contemporary Christian fiction. Although on the surface Latham appears to be a multitalented successful author, she gauges true success by the way her writing impacts readers. “Hearing that a fellow Christian pilgrim has been encouraged and uplifted through words I have written is among life's sweetest moments. To know that someone has been stirred to renew a relationship with Christ through those words would be a source of immeasurable joy!" Her recent release Gypsy’s Game hit book stores earlier this year, rounding out her Solomon’s Gate series. She settled into our interview regarding the series, answering questions pertaining to her characters and the issues they faced as well as freely sharing why she loves being a princess daughter.

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September 2012 MN-Tell us a little about the Solomon's Gate series and what exactly, Solomon's Gate is. DL-Solomon's Gate is the name of a Christian dating agency founded by Destiny May - the heroine in the first novel of this 3book series. Destiny's dream of owning an agency where Christian "Seekers" can find true love comes to fruition - with the help of an attractive investment guru and an angel named Solomon. In the first book, Destiny finds not only a dream come true...but a love of her own. In the two books that follow, other Seekers walk through the Gate...and create stories of their own. MN-Book Three in the series, Gypsy's Game, was just released. Is this the last in the series? DL-For the moment, it seems so...but now and then I think I hear the creaking of a pair of huge hinges.... Solomon's Gate doesn't follow the rules of earthly plans and schedules - it is operated by Divine hands. So who knows when it might swing open yet again? MN-You write so accurately regarding issues near and dear to women that your novels become a connecting point with your readers. Are your characters based on personal life experience or divine intervention from God during the writing process? DL-The Solomon's Gate books were definitely inspired by Someone other than me. God took the "wheel" and steered these characters down paths I didn't even know about. He was working in and on me as I wrote. The entire experience was a blessing. MN-Your bio states that you "especially love being a princess daughter to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords." I love that! Can you elaborate on what that means to you? DL-Oh, yes! I've never been wealthy - don't expect that to change in this life. And yet I am rich. My Father is a KING! I may never own a mansion in this world. I may never

ŠSeptember 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

17 wear royal robes while I breathe earthly air. But I know the plans my Father the King has for me...plans to prosper me, to give me hope, and a future. Every day He loads me with benefits. He chases me down to pour blessings out on me. I am indeed the petted and pampered princess daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! MN-Playing piano, enjoying nature and designing are just a few projects you are involved in. Do you relate to God in an artistic manner-more through expression than contemplation? DL-Very much so. Through music, in particular, I find that special bond to Christ. But He's there in every part of my life, every day. MN-What books are on your to read list? What are some of your all time favorites? DL-White Rose Publishing (a division of the Pelican Book Group) has so many wonderful books, and many of them are on my TBR list. I also love Mary Conneally and Vickie McDonough. But my all-time favorites are not books you'd expect me to name. They are The Stand, by Stephen King, and Swan Song, by Robert R. McCammon. Both are epic accounts of good vs. evil in a postapocalyptic world. MN-In a perfect world, where standards and belief systems are universal, what would "faith based" mean to you? DL-Based on God's leading and direction. Founded on spiritual concepts and Rocksolid salvation. MN-Describe your ideal writing spot. DL-I haven't found it yet. But I never stop looking. I move from place to place with my laptop, and end up writing in the same ol' humdrum places. But that's just boring reality. In a perfect world, I'd have a pristine clean and awesomely organized office in a glass-walled room overlooking the ocean. Hey, a gal's gotta dream!

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Author Bio-Born and raised in a place called Weedpatch, Delia Latham moved from California to Oklahoma in 2008, making her a self-proclaimed California Okie. She loves to read and write in her simple country home, and gets a kick out of watching her husband play Farmer John. The author enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. She loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her through her website or send an e-mail to delia@delialatham.net. Be sure and check out Delia’s author page at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine!

******* I’m Not Who I Was By Dawn Kidd © 8/17/12 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" 2 Corinthians 5:17 As we taped up the remainder of the boxes, I stood in our empty living room and thought of all the memories that were made there. The games we played and the devotions we read as a family. The children wrestling on the floor and of course, our dog joining in. Although they were wonderful moments that I cherished, I was anticipating the times of joy that would be met in our new house.

©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

We began to load the boxes onto the truck and an overwhelming feeling of excitement consumed me. I thought about the bigger kitchen, the tiled floors, the neighborhood with all the new friends our children would meet. We were moving into a new home. As I drove the first load to our new residence, I was in prayer that God would keep all of us safe and prevent any damage or breakage to our belongings but especially to the friends that were helping us. This scripture came to mind. Old things are passed away and behold all things are become new. Just as I was anxiously awaiting our move from the old house to the new, I began to think about how my faith became new in my salvation with Jesus. It was amazing to think of how ruined my life could have been if he had not lovingly reached down and accepted the brokenness that I had to offer. I then thought about our babies....Nathan and Haylee. I pondered the many ways in which I am different today than I was before I felt their precious bodies within me. I am definitely not the same person. Although I can see similarities, I am certain that my life has taken a completely different direction because God chose that I met, and overcame, the losses. I stopped questioning a long time ago, I don't need to know the reasons, I trust. I have heard a song on The Message, a favorite station I listen to, by Brandon Heath. It is called, "I'm Not Who I Was". I am attaching it hoping you will think about the many ways God has made you a new creature. In your salvation, in your trials, in the times that you may not even realize. For this I am certain....I'm not who I was. 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. Dawn enjoys her position on the board of TCF of Northeast Arkansas. (The Compassionate Friends is an International

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Organization that assists families with grief, who have lost a child, at any age)

******* Featured Sponsor ~ John Poche’

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. His book, Abba Father; A Simple Prayer is available in Ebook & Print @ Amazon.com and other online retailers. Find out more about Mr. Poche’ by visiting his website (be sure and check out his crab art!) or his sponsor page at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine.

******* The Heir by Chelsea Miller Celeste cupped snow in her hands and waited as it melted slowly into a pool. She washed the cool water over her mocha skinned face and felt instantly refreshed and awake after their long journey. The family was travelling North to Isendale along with the rest of the village, as they awaited the birth of the new heir. “Celeste, time to start moving!” her father called from the other side of the makeshift camp. Celeste shivered and wrapped her grey wolf pelt tighter around her shoulders, rising to join the rest of her family.

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“Are we almost there?” she asked, impatient. Her father sighed and took her in his arms, placing a kiss in her windblown hair. He whisked her up onto his shoulder as if she were a little girl again. “Soon, darling. Soon you’ll witness a princess being born and we’ll have a real ruler again.” Celeste felt butterflies in her stomach at the prospect of seeing a true castle. She had dreamed of it ever since she could remember. In her dreams she rode up on her white mare, reining several hundred yards away as she caught her breath and took in the sight of the castle that loomed ahead. She pictured ice blue towers flanking a keep adorned with icicles and fluffy snow along every ledge that could hold it. She sighed deeply, imagining what it would be like to live in such a palace. Citizens of Isendale would bow before her, and the Winter Crown, as they called it, would fit snuggly atop her head. Celeste had never seen the crown, but they said it was made to look like blue ice, a glass circlet tinted to match the colour of the castle itself. Four sapphires were affixed to mark the places on a compass, the largest gem representing the North was to be worn above the forehead. A snowball to the back shook Celeste from her daydreams and she wriggled from her father’s grasp to chase after her younger brother, Harold. “Don’t go too far!” her father called after them, but only giggles flowed back to him as the children scampered. Celeste followed Harold into the woods, and was keeping up with him until they reached the edge of a road that seemed unfamiliar. She wasn’t watching where she was going and stopped dead when she collided with something metallic that rang in her ears as she hit the ground. While trying to regain her composure, Celeste looked up to see what she had hit, and was surprised to find two Royal iron-clad guards. The shorter guard had Harold by the scruff of his pelt; the other was staring down at her. Celeste pushed herself back from the guards and tried to climb to her feet.

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September 2012 The guard that wasn’t holding Harold took her shoulder and turned her to face him, chain mailed fingers swiped the hairs from her face and he turned to face his partner. “This the girl?” he asked, husky voice muffled by his helm. The other guard nodded and released Harold to help his partner pick up Celeste between them. Too scared to speak, she turned to stare at her brother who looked on in horror as his big sister was being taken away. ~~~~~ Harold watched, wide-eyed until Celeste was out of view. She must have found her voice as she was screaming his name before she disappeared. He willed his feet to move back in the direction he had come. Once he glimpsed his people, he spotted his father and told him what had happened. Harold’s father scooped him in his arms and went to speak to their Chief. “Saddle a horse and ride ahead, find your daughter and bring her back.” Their father nodded stiffly and did as he was told. Still clutching Harold to his chest, they climbed on the horse and galloped off ahead of the pack. “I wish Mother was still with us,” Harold whispered into his father’s furs as they rode. Father held him tighter and said, “Your Mother had to fulfill her destiny, whatever that may be.” They were a day’s ride from the Kingdom, and apart from a few questions here and there from Harold, it was ridden in silence. When the castle was in sight, they finally slowed to a trot, both humans and horse drenched in sweat.

20 standing next to a woman of whom she was the spitting image. “Father! Harold!” The two looked around for Celeste’s voice and saw the little girl on the stage waving and running toward them, the woman following shortly after her. Awestricken, Father knelt down to catch Celeste in a bear hug; she was dressed in sky blue silks and a royal blue velvet cloak, the Winter Crown atop her head. “Mother left us to be the Winter Queen!” Celeste exclaimed. “I’m the heir! I’m the Winter Princess! I got my wish Father!” He kissed her cheek and rose to meet the glistening eyes of the woman who was now in front of him. “So this is where you’ve been,” he said, smiling. “My destiny,” she answered matching his expression. A single tear rolled down her cheek at the sight of her husband after long last. “This kingdom is now our home.” She swept her arm in a great gesture to encompass the land behind her. Celeste’s depiction of the castle was quite accurate, as if she were meant to see it in her dreams. The Queen turned back to face the stage and the family followed as they took their rightful thrones. Author Bio: Chelsea S. Miller is the author of the short story The Heir. Her passion for literature has driven her to write several short stories, as well as a full-length novel currently in the works. She lives and writes in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband and son. Find out more about Chelsea by visiting her website.

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As they approached, Father could see there was some sort of ceremony happening, a crowning. “Are we not awaiting a birth?” he thought aloud. When they were close enough to view the stage, Father and Harold needed to do a double take for they thought they saw Celeste

©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

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******* Featured Author ~ Shawna Williams!

Having never considered becoming a writer, Shawna K. Williams' path changed in a single night all because of a dream. She is an editor for Desert Breeze Publishing and Solstice Publishing, a speaker and teacher on writing techniques, the social media expert for The Wordsmith Journal Magazine, homeschooling mom and multi-published author of historical fiction. Her book, Orphaned Hearts is just one of her novels published by Desert Breeze Publishing. Find out more about Shawna by visiting her website or author page at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine.

******* SR Perspective…Just Sayin Barb Shelton comments on The Visionary by Pamela S Thibodeaux © Sept 2012 The Visionary is a story very detailed about all types of love, and particularly those identified in the Bible. From my younger memory, I can recall four – Agape, selfless or unconditional love; Phileo, love of friends; Eros, erotic love and Storge, family love. Of course, love can be described in a variety of ways, from fierce, intense and blazing to gentle, tender and soft. While some of the characters in this story want to be controlling in their own right, author Pamela S. Thibodeaux’s emphasis in her story is on God’s unconditional love proving HE is in control. Emotions ebb and flow as far heavenward and as far downward as can be humanly expressed. Familiar emotions are expertly articulated; while other emotions

©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

unknown by some human souls are eloquently voiced for a deeper understanding. The moment I began reading of The Visionary, my mind, which usually doesn't respond "speechless" too much of anything...was in complete awe to Pamela’s writing. Immediately I became deeply infatuated with her clever use of words. She caused sparks to flit around my mind and tickled my fancy for easy recall of what my eyes read. There's that age thing creeping into my reading enjoyment – folks at my age are inclined to blank minds and memory loss, well forgetfulness! LOL I was filled with wonder at how adept author Thibodeaux is in the “show and tell” method of writing, like it is a natural thing for her. I admire her wonderful descriptive power and can feel the aura of each personality by her use of words. Pam Thibodeaux can show an instantaneous mood or inner physical feeling as though you are “seeing, hearing and feeling” every movement and thought of the characters. The Visionary is indeed a novel written “on the edge.” But then again….wasn’t the Bible? I was not offended or thrown off with the manner in which this story was written. Within each sentence flows God’s truth and grace emphatically within the structure of decency and refinement. Having said that, I’m positive you would like to know a bit about the story and the characters that live it. Twenty-seven year old twins, Taylor and Trevor Forrestier are the main characters and both suffered evil in their childhood. They are as close as Siamese twins in their dependence and attachment to one another. Both have been endowed by God with beautiful physical appearances from their thick honey colored hair, green and gold flecks in topaz eyes, trim firm frames, right down to gold hoop earrings dangling from perfectly shaped earlobes (on the girl, of course). One very basic difference between the twins is that one believes in God; yet the other is like Thomas or Thomasina in the Bible…a doubter that Jesus is

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September 2012 real. The story takes place in Lake Charles, Louisiana where Taylor and Trevor are the owners of T & T Enterprises. Taylor is an interior designer and Trevor is an architect and landscape architect for urban planning and design – in less Ivy League terms….a builder. Taylor has received magnificent reviews as the designer with vision. I don’t intend to give away any of the interesting secrets regarding Taylor's gift….you will need to discover them on your own. On the down side, Trevor is extremely over protective of Taylor, which causes jealousy of anything or anyone that interferes personally with their closeness. Enters Alex Broussard, a financial analyst, who currently bought a large piece of historical real estate called The LeBleu Estate which dates back to the original settlers of the area. It was rumored to have been a favorite visiting spot of Jean LaFitte during his excursions in and out of the area. There is much curiosity over the rumor that he left his initials carved on a board inside the barn where he slept at times. Alex is a very sensitive man and is stunned upon his first meeting with the twins, but all I will tell you here is that he went seeking their company to restore The LeBleu Estate. Pam LeBlanc, secretary to Taylor and Trevor is a sweet, vivacious young woman, highly skilled in dealing with the office scenarios; on top of everything else to make the twins jobs easier. Pam is also a love interest to a main male character in this story. No secrets now! I must admit my curiosity as to Pamela Thibodeaux giving a main player in this story her first name. Perhaps she will clue us in to that one day. Just asking, Pamela! I felt such emotion and prayed for all the characters often…not that I could have changed Pamela’s story…but perhaps God heard them as for someone else to bless. One of my favorite tv channels to watch is HGTV – which made my visions of the estate purchasing and refurbishing so much fun. Working jigsaw puzzles is another pleasure of mine….and there are many puzzles of mystery

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22 in Pamela’s story to engage your curiosity. Some scenes raised my ire and others made me sniffle and sob. This book may very well bring someone from riding the fence to making a decision to follow Christ. The Visionary is one of the better books I have read. I vehemently recommend that you acquire a copy of this novel to meet and enjoy the story yourself. Some parts of this book I've wanted to read over and over and didn't want the story to end. Pamela, I sincerely hope you'll be writing more about this rare and wonderful community of people. I will remember and recall this story for a long time because it meant so much to me. I could relate to the evil things written about, as well as the healing and redemption. There has been grief and tragedy also, as in others' lives, which brought about memories of sadness. I can also say honestly….that my wisdom of life and scripture has grown and I’m much wiser now. I hope in my old age I can remember that! I want to thank our Abba father for Pamela. She is indeed guided by His Holy Spirit that indwells her. What a holy imagination she uses to write God’s word! This is some of my perception of Pamela S. Thibodeaux. May our Creator’s grace and creative power be with you always. Barb Shelton is married to Jack Shelton, a retired military officer and lives in Arlington, Texas. Having been married for thirty seven years, Barb and Jack share eight children between them, (His, Mine, Ours); 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Barb was born and raised in Enterprise, Kansas. She is musically inclined and is a retired church music director. A former Weight Watcher lecturer, she has had many interesting and unusual jobs, including working for a private detective, defense attorney, office manager for a video production company and administrative assistant to two different pastors. She is involved in volunteer and church activities, and describes herself as creative, friendly and can talk with anyone. Barb is the writer of two blogs, Passing it

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Forward and Barbjan10's Blog and she wishes to write a book one day.

The Visionary Pamela S Thibodeaux ISBN#978-1432825492

******* Interview with Charles Drew By Mary Nichelson

It is hard to dismiss the obvious; 2012 is an election year. Although taking your opinion to the polls is recommended and encouraged, many voters wonder where their morals and theology belong in the matter. Red letter Christians pour over the four gospels looking for answers, while others ask “How would Jesus vote?” Many wonder if politics and religion should intersect while others commit to turning a deaf ear, convinced their vote bears little weight in the election results. In his new book, Body Broken, author Charles Drew asks, “Can Republicans and Democrats sit in the same pew?” His passion for the church to remain united despite its political differences is apparent. “Jesus wants us to. He prays for it in John 17 and, according to Ephesians 2, he died to unite Jews and Gentiles (the most deeply hostile social groups in the ancient world),

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creating in them ‘one new man’. If, therefore, Christians cannot find a way to live together in harmony (even when they disagree politically), they deny the power both of Jesus’ prayers and his cross. The credibility of the Christian story is at stake.” Here, in his own words, Drew openly shares why he felt committed to write-and then revise-an important faith-based political commentary. “Indivisible under God” means something to Drew and he wants it to mean something to the church body, as well. Why not make peace in the church by withdrawing from all political discussion and involvement? I can think of two reasons. First, Jesus commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” We are his hands, voice, and feet, called to make him tangible in this world. We cannot be these things if we withdraw from political and social life. Second, we misrepresent Jesus if we withdraw from public life. He is not about to withdraw from the world he died to renew. Neither can Christians. Should we legislate morality? Everybody legislates morality: laws are the instrument we use to enforce or promote what we value—and values are an expression of morality. The important and interesting question is a different one: “Which morality should be legislated and why?” Which morals should we seek to enforce by law? Sorting this question out is difficult and we need to be patient with each other as we seek to do so. Some of the following distinctions can be helpful:  The distinction between theocracy

and influence.

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September 2012  The distinction between moral

principle and political strategy  The distinction between the calling of the church and the callings of individual Christians. Should there be an American flag displayed in a church sanctuary? If so, where? This is a good question—it makes us think hard about the relative importance of our allegiance to Jesus Christ and our allegiance to America. We should be patient with each other as we try to sort it out.  Jesus says, “Give to Caesar what is

Caesar’s’—which suggests that we obey Jesus by honoring our country. Displaying an American flag in a worship space in the United States might for this reason make sense.  Jesus also says, “Give to God’s what is God’s”—which demands that our allegiance to our country must never be absolute. Displaying an American flag in such a way as to suggest that God and America speak with one voice would for this reason be problematic. Should the church support foreign wars, encouraging its members to fight in them? This is another good question aimed at pressing us to sort out our dual allegiance to God and to our country. Once again we need to be patient with one another as we try to sort it out, guarding each other’s consciences in areas where the Bible is not explicit.  Some (pacifists) will say, “Never. For

the state to ask me to use force against another human being is for the state to step beyond its proper limits. Jesus says to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5).

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24  Others (positivists) will say, “Of

course. The state is put in place by God and we obey God, therefore, by exercising loyalty to the state, even if it means putting ourselves in harms way” (see Romans 13)  Still others (normativists) will say, “It depends on the war (is it a just war—a necessity brought about by a great evil that must be resisted) and upon what particular deeds I am asked to perform (What happens if my commander orders me to shoot or maltreat prisoners of war?). What do you do when you deeply disagree with a fellow Christian about politics?  Think biblically about what is going

on, about what is at stake: o The disagreement is a chance for you to grow in love and faith. o Jesus is praying for unity in the church Jesus died to make you one with this person. o Your relationship with this person will outlast the end of every political strategy and disagreement.  Pray for yourself and this fellow Christian  Talk honestly and openly, looking for common ground in hopes that you can do something together  Sit together in the same pew. Author Bio: Charles D. Drew received his education at Harvard (BA in English) and Westminster Seminary(M. Div.). He has pastored for thirty years in Virginia, Long Island and New York, all in university settings. He presently serves as the senior minister of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, which he founded in 2000 near Columbia University. Drew speaks frequently to universities and churches and is also the

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author of A Public Faith: Bringing Personal Faith to Public Issues, An Ancient Love Song: Finding Christ in the Old Testament and A Journey Worth Taking: Finding Your Purpose in This World. He and his wife Jean, a science teacher at the Brearly School in Manhattan, have two married children and two grandchildren. Sailing and music are two of Charles’ great loves. You can learn more about the intersection of church and politics by visiting Drew’s blog To purchase a copy of Body Broken, visit New Growth Press. Also available at Amazon in Ebook & Print.

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******* Life Isn’t Always Wonderful, but Our Attitudes Can… By Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith © Sept 2012 Are you the type person that always seems to think the worst? I mean when things are going great, are you always waiting for the other shoe to drop? You say “Yes” you do because that’s how things seem to happen in your life; nothing ever goes right and when it does go right, BAMM!!!! You get hit in the face out of nowhere! Hey I get the frustration you may feel yet I recently watched this happen to a person as she went from one bad thing happening in her life to another. She was hit with bad all around. She had no idea why this was happening to her but I never heard her blame anyone. She did ask the question, “When will I get a break-through?” She said “this is getting to me and some days I feel really bad.” Yet I noticed that she kept smiling even when she was ready to give up! I am sure she heard all the Christian comments, “wait on the Lord; trust the Lord; give and it will be given back to you; God is getting ready to bless you”? And then there were the other comments: “why did you do this?” or “why didn’t you do that?” only to make her feel worse than she already felt. Yet every time I saw her, she maintained a positive attitude even when she wanted to fall apart. I learned from watching her. We can all learn from watching her. When we face our seasons of turmoil it is very easy to get negative; we can easily become discouraged and wonder why we have been put into these unfavorable situations. We think that God is mad at us or that we are being punished; No He’s not and no you’re not. Life happens. If someone tries to convince you otherwise, don’t buy it. Now is the time to watch yourself so that you don’t become negative and cynical. 1 Peter 3 tells us to “Be sympathetic, love one another, and be

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compassionate and humble. Do not repay insult with insult---bless those who hurt you & you will be truly blessed.” We’re all human and we all, at one time or another, have said the wrong thing. When that happens to you, forgive and find a way of drawing positive energy to yourself. This season will past, just like all the other seasons you have experienced in your life. Life isn’t always great; it isn’t always wonderful like in the movies, but in spite of our challenges, disappointments and setbacks, our attitudes can be. Who we believe in isn’t just the flavor of the month; He is real and He says that He will never leave us alone. I take comfort in that each and every day. When I think of God’s grace, mercy and goodness my attitude changes; I think that’s the key. When we face trouble, if we focus on Him rather than the obstacle, the obstacle becomes so much smaller. It may still be there, but we now know with certainty that “Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world” (John 4:4). 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. She is a retired executive of more than 26 years with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. She retired as Vice President of Eastern Operations. She is currently a Professor in the School of Management at Texas Woman’s University. She is an author and talk show host. Find out more by visiting her website and listening to “Living Happy Every Day with Dr. LaSharnda” on www.LATalkradio.com, channel 1.

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******* Feature Publisher ~ Revell Books! Revell’s Featured Author this month is Laura Frantz.

Laura Frantz is the author of The Frontiersman’s Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, and The Colonel’s Lady. A two-time Carol Award finalist, she is a Kentuckian living in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons. She enjoys connecting with readers at LauraFrantz.net.

******* Graffitied Door by Amanda Borenstadt Madeline tensed when she heard the doorbell buzz. She wiped her sweaty palms on her jeans and remained standing in the kitchen doorway. Sid stabbed his cigarette into the empty soda can beside his beer bottle and crossed his combat boot-clad feet. His legs were stretched out their full length in front of him as he lounged on his moth-eaten easy chair. "Just tell Mom what you have to say. She'll chew your head off, then it'll be over."

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September 2012 Madeline nodded. "Right. I can stand up to her." She took slow deliberate steps toward the front door, but paused. The doorbell buzzed twice more, long buzzes, like somebody mashing on the doorbell button. Madeline glanced at Sid with wide, alarmed eyes. "Made her wait. Now she's angry," he growled with a half-grin. Madeline frowned, but Sid merely chuckled and shook his shaven head. He could be such a jerk sometimes. Madeline again started walking toward the door, such a cruddy door, like the rest of Sid's place. It was gouged and graffitied by his band friends, though, some drawings and phrases were clever. Madeline had warned he'd never get his cleaning deposit back. "Never in a giga-billion years," she had told him.

27 Madeline drew in a sharp breath. With a sigh, Sid hauled himself out of the sagging and stained easy chair and moved to Madeline's side. She looked up into his face. "S-S-id, I-I have the flyer from Small Hope Agency," she began, with her fists balled up and trembling with desperation. "It says they can find a couple to adopt--" He put a finger to her lips. "Shh. You don't have to yell at me. I'm already listening. Don't worry, little sister. We'll just tell Mom this baby's gonna be born. If she don't like it, we'll just tell her to stick it--" His words were cut off as Madeline tossed her arms around him, tears spilling, soaking into Sid's Black Flag T-shirt.

"I'll never live that long," he'd said. "So, it doesn't matter."

Knock-knock. "Sidney, open this door at once," came their mother's pinched voice.

"Nothing matters to you, Sid. You have absolutely no romance in your soul."

Sid took a breath, puffing out his cheeks, and let it out slowly before muttering, "Yeah, well, you can always live here."

"Like that a-hole who knocked you up and took off? What were you thinking, Madeline, dating a twenty-year-old?" Yeah, he'd said it just like that. That was Sid. If nothing else, he was blunt, like a cannon ball. Knock-knock. "Madeline, I know you're in there. Sid, I know your sister's in there. Open the door." Their mother's voice on the other side of that grimy door brought Madeline back into the present moment. She turned to face her brother. The brother who had checked under her bed for monsters when she was five, who stood up for her against the kid who swiped her Hello Kitty backpack in fourth grade, who fished her lost charm bracelet out of the storm drain when she was twelve. Now at seventeen the stakes were so much higher. She wouldn't go to the clinic with Craig and she sure as heck wouldn't go with Mom.

Madeline wiped her eyes on the sleeve of her navy hoodie and nodded. Sid smiled gently and ruffled her hair as she turned toward the door. Author Bio: Amanda Borenstadt lives, writes, and homeschools in California with her husband and twin daughters. You may visit her at her blog.

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Knock-knock.

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******* Featured Author ~ Tracy Krauss!

Tracy Krauss is a best-selling author, playwright, artist and teacher. She is a member of 'American Christian Fiction Writers', 'Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship', and ‘The Word Guild’ as well as several writing related social networking groups. Originally from a small prairie town, Tracy received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Sask. with majors in Art, and minors in History and English. She teaches High School English, Drama and Art. Apart from her many personal creative pursuits, she also directs an amateur theatre group and leads worship at her local church. Tracy’s latest release, Wind Over Marshdale is available now @ Amazon.com!

******* The Shark By Michele LeDoux Abshire © November 2011 (Revised August 2012) On March 30, 2011 the American Press of Lake Charles, LA ran an Associated Press article entitled 375-pound Shark Leaps into Fisherman’s Boat. The story relays that three fishermen were about 50 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico fishing for red snapper, dumping fish guts into the water. As the crew was doing this they heard two big splashes and suddenly something hit the side of the boat and landed on the back of the boat. It was a mako shark that appeared as if it was in a rush to feed. The crew was

©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

not able to get close enough to the huge fish to toss it back in the water. The shark damaged the boat before dying several hours later. When the crew arrived back at the dock they had to get a forklift to hoist the shark out of the boat. As the crew did not have a permit to catch sharks, they contacted federal fisheries officials who said there was no violation because the death of the shark was an accident. (American Press, Lake Charles, LA: Date: Mar 30, 2011; Section: Weather; Page: D8) This story immediately caught my attention. There had to be a story within the story. The men were fishing for red snapper and I am sure having a grand time. Apparently they had a good catch because they were dumping the fish guts into the waters of the Gulf. The fishermen had no idea that this day would be any different than other fishing trips; but this particular day they had unknowingly enticed a shark. In its feeding frenzy the shark ended up out of its natural environment and into a foreign environment where it did not belong. In its voracity for easy prey, the shark was drawn into a bad situation and eventually died in an environment where it could never have survived. The three fishermen on the boat tried to save the shark but they were unable to get near to help. The ride back to shore was long and the shark died before reaching shore. In its panicked state, the shark caused great damage to the boat. The sharks last hours were spent thrashing about trying to keep the only people able to help at bay while at the same time gasping for every last breath. This story did not have a happy ending for the fishermen and certainly not for the shark. The boat was damaged and the shark died. Thankfully, the fishermen were not hurt and were not fined for “catching” a shark without a permit. These were the only saving graces for the fishermen. However, the story has hidden lessons for us tucked within.

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September 2012 Life is often like this fishing expedition. We are going along in life seemingly carefree with things going well. Then suddenly something comes out of nowhere and blindsides us. Something big and out of the ordinary lands itself in our little circle of comfort and causes our day, week, month or year to change for the worse in one moment. The fishermen had a choice: jump out of the boat in fear or stay and do whatever they could to save the fish and their boat. When hard times come in our lives what do we do? Do we jump ship? Do we stay onboard and do all we can to make the best of a bad situation? Do we offer a helping hand to those who are with us in our ship? Do we offer a helping hand to those who have disrupted our lives? Do we react or respond? The three fishermen reacted in a positive manner in the face of danger. They did what they could to try and save the lost shark even though it was unwilling to accept the help. The fishermen tried to help despite the havoc that the shark caused in their lives and the destruction it brought to their boat. This reminded me that we, as Christians, are called to reach out to the lost. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (2nd Peter 3:9b). We are to be “fishers of men” (Mark 4:17). As Christians, we must be like the three fishermen who did their best to try and help the lost shark. We must reach out to help the lost and broken. The shark also reminded me that people are often like that shark. We chase after things that lead us into bad situations. We leap into situations that bring us out of a safe environment and into an unfamiliar environment that slowly takes our life. We thrash around in life where our choices have led us. Often times, we reject the helping hands of those who reach out to us. We don’t understand that those hands are filled with love and a desire to lead us out of circumstances that are certain to cause hurt

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29 and destruction. Hopefully, we learn to accept assistance from those trying to help us and lead us back to a safe environment. The shark refused all help which led to its demise. Had the shark trusted that the fishermen intended it no harm, it would likely be swimming free in the great expanse of ocean blue; its safe environment. Like the shark, we too must remember that ultimately our choices in life will either bring blessings or curses; life or death. Beloved of God, when you are in trouble, flailing around in your boat, Jesus is there with a ready hand, reaching out to help. Unlike the fishermen who were limited in their ability to help, Jesus can make THE difference. He can turn things around and bring your life back to a place of normalcy. Will you trust Him with whatever life throws at you? Will you reach out and accept God’s touch in your situation? He is reaching out to you with helping hands full of love and care. Jesus is the greatest of all fishermen for those not saved. The Bible tells us that the patience of our Lord is salvation (2 Peter 3:15a). He waits patiently to save each one of us. He loves all with an everlasting love. Have you accepted His free gift? Will you trust Him with your life? I have heard this saying many times, “As long as there is breath there is hope.” The shark waited until he had no breath. Don’t flail about refusing salvation as the shark did. While you still have breath, reach out and accept God’s touch. He stands at the helm of your boat waiting for you to accept His free gift of salvation. Love in Christ ~ Michele LeDoux Abshire Michele Abshire is a housewife, mother, grandmother, and full time legal assistant. She has been published in Lake Charles, Louisiana publications, Christian Star Newspaper and Gumbeaux Magazine. Michele began writing notes of

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encouragement to people God put on her heart which led her in the direction of writing short encouraging stories, letters, essays and analogies. This quickly became a ministry for her.

******* Want to purchase a title you see advertised here in TWJM? Simply click on the cover image, ISBN# or Title (if highlighted)!

******* YA Perspective Review of Faded Denim By Sarah Heath

Although Emily’s desire to become healthy isn’t an entirely bad thing, she unfortunately decides to take drastic measures to achieve her goal of becoming thin. Her so-called “diet” is actually a dangerous mixture of bulimia and anorexia nervosa. She first attempts binge eating, then rids her body of the food by “purging,” or forcing herself to throw it all up. After discovering that her bulimia can be hard to hide from others, she decides to barely eat anything while exercising as much as she can. Even though this book focuses specifically on the health consequences of eating disorders, it also explores the dangers of cosmetic surgery. When two of Emily’s model friends, Leah and Becca, must struggle with the damage they have caused their bodies, Emily realizes that she must stop before it is too late. Emily soon discovers that eating disorders are not only physical battles over the body, they are also internal, spiritual battles. She can only conquer it when she realizes that she doesn’t need to rely on herself alone, but can trust in God’s help, and find her self confidence in Him. When she finally comes clean about her addiction to extreme and harmful dieting, she can truly begin to heal.

Faded Denim: Color Me Trapped Melody Carlson ISBN-13: 978-1576835371

Emily Foster is a bit overweight, and she is painfully aware of it. Though her mom is seemingly oblivious to her weight problems, her dad teases Emily about her “baby fat,” and looks disapprovingly on whatever she chooses eat. To make matters even worse, her best friend is an aspiring model, which only causes Emily to feel more selfconscious. Leah has what Emily considers a perfect body, exactly what Emily wishes she could be - tall and thin. Tired of her insecurity, Emily decides that is it time for a change. Her “swan project,” meant to be a way to boost her “ugly duckling” body image, may actually end up causing her more damage than good.

©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Sarah Heath is a 20 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. Check out Sarah’s page, YA Perspective in The Wordsmith Journal Magazine!

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******* Interview with Murray Pura By Mary Nichelson

Many writers admit to stumbling upon the craft as a second career choice or, in some cases, never intended on penning a bestseller. While the aspiring author might wince upon hearing those admissions made by other authors, Murray Pura can not make the same claim. “Murray Andrew Pura was born on Bobby Burns Day, hence his first two names, and one of the reasons, no doubt, that he was writing stories by the time he was eight. His first work of fiction was published when he was fourteen, his first award in a writing contest came at seventeen.” Although Pura has been a successful author from a young age, his life experiences have not been confined to the key board. As an ordained minister, he has pastored churches in Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Alberta. This endearing quality-remaining connected to humanity at its worst and possibly very best-is magnified in the characters he creates. In his latest series, Snapshots in History, love and war play out in the reader’s hand but as Pura makes clear, the series is not intended to be read as a history textbook; he has something much bigger in mind. MN-Before the first chapter, there is a short disclaimer of sorts stating that The Face of Heaven "is not a history of the Civil War. Nor is it a history of...the Iron Brigade, or of the 19th Indiana." Why was it important to you to make this statement in the beginning of the book?

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MP-The Civil War remains one of the most hotly debated topics in American culture. People still argue about what might have happened if various battles had gone differently, if Stonewall Jackson had not died before Gettysburg, if Grant faced Lee in 1862 instead of 1864, etc., etc. I wanted Civil War buffs to know from the outset that although I researched the war meticulously, and have been reading about it since I was a boy, I was not out to write a textbook - I was there to tell a story to which the war was a backdrop. MN-Until I read your book, I had not seen very much in the market related to The Civil War and The Amish. The two rarely intersect in novels. Yet, I noticed that later this year, several more Civil War/Amish books are set to be released. I believe you will be considered a trail blazer of sorts by default by releasing your title first. What about this storyline interested you? MP-The American Civil War has always fascinated me and troubled me . It fascinated because of the high drama of brothers fighting brothers, families fighting families, Americans fighting Americans. But it troubled me for the same reason - a nation turning on itself in fury so that there were more than 700,000 dead, almost twice as many as World War 2. I wondered - what did the Amish think of all this? So I decided to have young Amish men question their church's stance on avoidance of conflict when the nation itself was at stake and whether that nation would be slave or free. MN-There are critics who say a male author can not adequately express female emotions in print. I am going to be very honest with you by saying I had to verify that a male wrote the book because you not only adequately captured female emotions, you capitalized on them. What life experiences have you experienced that helped form this writing quality? MP-Women are endlessly fascinating to me for their combination of beauty, intelligence, strength, and compassion. I did

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September 2012 not marry until I was 29 so obviously I had many years of dating and had relationships with many different women. Then of course I married my love. All of these factors combined to make me see and listen and take in what women expressed with or without words. I became much more than a casual observer. I wanted to understand. MN-Which gave you the most trouble in writing The Face of Heaven; the love story or the war story? MP-It is so pleasant to do the love scenes I've decided to do more of that in the novels to come. Love scenes are not hard to do. Battle scenes are harder because you are working with death and violence. Characters you have created and loved get killed - this can be more upsetting for the writer than many readers might suppose. Death is not a fiction any more than love is. So while love scenes remind you of your personal experiences with regards to romance the war scenes remind you of your personal experiences with regards not only to death in and of itself but violent death. It's not a pleasant stroll down memory lane. MN-Tell our readers about your Snapshots in History series. MP-It was envisaged as a series that touched on the watersheds of American history and how those watersheds were experienced by people who embraced the Christian faith - ordinary people who were caught up in extraordinary times. The series was meant to put people right there, not as observers, but as participants having to make life and death decisions in the flash of an eye and with the swift utterance of a brief prayer. Each book was meant to stand alone though from time to time we may bring certain characters back in another story. (That is actually happening with Number 3 in the series, Whispers of a New Dawn, where the characters of The Wings of Morning return.) We hope to see the series run to six or seven volumes, depending on how our readership grows and how it expresses interest in new titles.

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32 MN-In The Romantic Times review of The Wings of Morning, they noted, "Pura has created one of the finest stories in Amish fiction I have ever read." What a compliment considering the Amish genre is saturated with excellent writers. Was that a milestone for you as an author to know your work was considered not only competitive but superior in a popular category? MP-For sure it was a strong shot in the arm - after all, I'd never put the Amish and historical fiction together in one story before. When you are branching out as a writer and trying something new it is an enormous encouragement and affirmation to receive a positive review like that. Publishers Weekly also gave a thumbs up review so put together I was very excited and very grateful. It keeps you going. MN-You've occupied several career titles including reporter, editor, ski equipment salesman, emergency medical orderly, camp director, security officer, book store clerk and advocate. It is obvious that you love people. How can we improve on the way we form relationships with each other, especially as it relates to connecting with those that aren't like minded? MP-I really think good fiction helps with that because it can put you in those other people's shoes. You hear their stories and you indirectly experience what they have gone through and all of a sudden you see them as people, not enemies or oddballs. You develop empathy and compassion because a story engages you heart and your imagination. It really is a matter of experiencing them as humans with a story, sometimes a story not unlike yours. Fiction in book form or in TV and film or on stage helps us arrive at a point of humanizing those we and others have dehumanized or even demonized. We're all people and God made us all - that's where we have to arrive at and that's were we have to start from eventually. MN-"Christianity was not meant to be a weapon or an argument or a show of force

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or a political tool. Or an act of aggression or coercion. It was never meant to be a cause or a prop for a cause. Or something to pacify and make thousands go to bed happy and unthinking. It was meant to be a challenge, yes, but that challenge to a second life was meant to be laced with kindness. If someone forces you to choose between God is holy and God is love choose God is love because holiness without love translates into tyranny." This is your life philosophy, I am presuming, and one that needs to be shared worldwide. God really is love. How can readers come to know the God of love as opposed to God of judgment only, or God of condemnation?

in 1986, Pura has served five churches in Canada and headlined numerous speaking engagements in Canada and the United States. He has five books published, was a contributor to the Life With God Bible, has been a finalist for The Paraclete Fiction Award, The Dartmouth Book Award, and The John Spencer Hill Literary Award, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2010 Kobzar Literary Award of Canada.

MP-To me it is really a matter of reading the gospels. All of the Bible is significant, of course, but the gospels tell us the story of Jesus and therefore they need to be read more often and more closely. When we do we realize many things churches do and many ways Christians act in and out of church have little or nothing to do with Jesus. Reading any of the gospels in any translation is always a wake up call to me because the rest of the Bible and Christianity and my personal life has to go through him. So many times people lunge at verses that Jesus altered (eye for eye = love your enemies) and act on them as if he never came - they live lives under the law and not under grace. So many times the gap between Jesus and people of the Christian faith is so huge the rest of the world might be pardoned for asking, "Does Jesus have anything to do with your faith - your business - your persona life - your church? At all?" Jesus is the Word. You can't say you're following the Bible and do things he transformed when he walked among us n the body. "What would Jesus do?" is still one of the best antidotes to preventing the Christian faith from running off the rails that I know of.

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Author Bio-Murray Andrew Pura was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and has traveled extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Ordained as a Baptist minister

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You can connect with Murray Pura on facebook () and by visiting his website.You can also read excerpts from his books and order through his website.

******* Is Giving Away Content Valuable? By W. Terry Whalin Š Sept 2012 It is completely counter-intuitive to give away valuable content. Often new or unpublished writers will ask whether they lose their rights or will be hurt or hindered if they give away their written material online. While I understand their fears of their idea being stolen, I reassure them from my personal experience of years in publishing, I have never seen it happen. Yes, I've seen people pitch similar ideas but I've never had one of my exact ideas stolen from either my work online or my printed writing. I've actually been too busy writing and producing new material to spend a lot of time thinking about it, guarding my work and even worrying about it. In many ways, it's the complete wrong focus for a would-be writer.

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September 2012

Instead, I'd encourage them to be focused on learning the craft of storytelling and how to shape their words into compelling prose. It's a better use of their time and energy. If you have written something that is excellent and valuable--whether fiction or nonfiction, you can give that information away--and attract readers. For example, I'm giving away my Straight Talk From the Editor Ebook in exchange for giving me your first name and email address. Or I'm giving away a 90 page Ebook about book proposal creation with the same exchange. Or maybe you've written an excellent novel and are trying to figure out how to get attention for it. Could you achieve that attention through giving it away? Book Marketing Expert John Kremer tells the story of Brazilian author Paulo Coelho who for years has been an apostle of free Internet distribution. "He figures they sell more books this way. In 1999, best-selling author Paulo Coelho, who wrote The Alchemist, was failing in Russia. That year he sold only about 1,000 books, and his Russian publisher dropped him. But after he found another, Coelho took a radical step. On his own website, launched in 1996, he posted a digital Russian copy of The Alchemist." "With no additional promotion, print sales picked up immediately. Within a year he sold 10,000 copies; the next year around 100,000. By 2002 he was selling a total of a million copies of multiple titles. Today, Coelho's sales in Russian are over 10 million and growing. "I'm convinced it was putting it up for free on the Internet that made the difference," he said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos." "Coelho explained why he thinks giving books away online leads to selling more copies in print: "It's very difficult to read a book on your computer. People start printing out their own copies. But if they like the book, after reading 30-40 pages

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34 they just go out and buy it." By last year Coelho's total print sales worldwide surpassed 100 million books. "Publishing is in a kind of Jurassic age," Coelho continues. "Publishers see free downloads as threatening the sales of the book. But this should make them rethink their entire business model." Now Coelho is a convert to the Internet way of doing things. His online e-mail newsletter, published since 2000, has 200,000 subscribers." While this story about Coelho is a great success story in the publishing world, make sure you see one of the keys--brilliant storytelling is foundational and understanding the needs of the audience or market--then meeting that need with excellent writing. All too often, I've seen people attempt to give away material which does not fall into this excellent category and does little to help them in their audience building intent. I want to include several practical resources for you in this process of giving away content. First, I use Pop up Domination . Yes, no one likes pop ups, but they are effective and work. You can see an example on my affiliate sign-up site at: Terry Info. If you use Word Press then you need WP Easy Optin Plugin. This inexpensive plugin installs in minutes—and comes with Private Label Rights—which means you can sell it to others. Finally I have more information about List Building in The List Building Tycoon Ebook. These final two products come risk-free because they come with my no-question’s asked 60 day guarantee. Every author (whether much published or unpublished) needs to be taking daily active steps to build an audience. You can take the first step as a proactive author to select some valuable content which you begin to give away—for the exchange of a first name and email address. I hope you will get started on this important aspect right away. W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Irvine, California.

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A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He 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. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com.

******* YA Perspective Review of Bright Purple By Sarah Heath

Bright Purple: Color Me Confused Melody Carlson ISBN-13: 978-1576839508

Ramie Grant’s best friend Jess, just broke some big news to her, in the middle of the food court. She is a lesbian. Ramie, the only Christian in her family, believes that homosexuality is a sin. She is adamant that Jess must be mistaken and needs to be sent away to be “fixed.” Scared that their all-girls basketball team will find out and assume that she is gay too, Ramie decides to completely shut Jess out of her life. She turns to Mitch, her new boyfriend, to reassure herself and everyone in her school that she is nothing like Jess. I liked that this novel, instead of focusing on a character struggling with her homosexuality, it was focused on the struggle of the main character to come to grasps with the sexuality of her best friend. Ramie’s initial gut reaction is to turn her back on Jess entirely, so that she wouldn’t be considered homosexual by association. I think many Christians struggle with this when they are told this kind of news. Many

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common questions regarding homosexuality come up in this book. Can you be gay and a Christian? Does loving someone mean you are supposed to condone everything they do? Quite honestly, I was hesitant to begin reading Bright Purple. Homosexuality is commonly a heated topic on which many people simply just cannot see eye to eye. Not even all Christians can agree completely on one particular stance. Carlson is one brave woman for being willing to tackle a subject such as this! Like many of the other books in the True Colors series, Melody handled the topic with an abundance of grace. Although I may not entirely agree with everything Melody has to say on this topic, she hits on a profound statement of acceptance and love. Accepting and unconditionally loving an individual is exactly what a Christian is called to do. It’s not up to any one of us to convict, judge, or change anyone. Bright Purple will most likely be hit or miss for some readers, but I do think the book would be an excellent conversation starter for an often confusing subject. Sarah Heath is a 20 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. Check out Sarah’s page, YA Perspective in The Wordsmith Journal Magazine!

******* Want to purchase a title you see advertised here in TWJM? Simply click on the cover image, ISBN# or Title (if highlighted)!

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Featured Books!

“Blue sky,” he repeated. “What planet am I on?” A series of clicks and beeps preceded the comset’s response. “Accessing. Earth—third planet in the Sol System. Presently inhabited by an indigenous species known as humans. Their population now stands at—”

******* A Small Sacrifice Mike Lynch A flash of light discharged in the sky, followed by multiple explosions so strong, every window within a twenty-block radius of McEnery Park lay shattered. Errant bolts of electricity darted out columns of smoke as they rose above patches of lawn now covered by a thin layer of black. A soft breeze carried the ashen plumes away, leaving a lone figure—Kelsic 5—standing before a grove of box elder trees. “Systems check,” he said into his headset display, his weapon at the ready. “Working at optimal preset limits,” came the reply. He looked down at his arm and checked the energy gauge affixed to his sleeve. Seventyone terra-quads of power left. Less than expected, but just enough to defeat his foe, and still leave him with a sufficient amount of energy for a successful jump off the planet. The contrails from an airliner drew his attention upward. A blue sky set before a solitary moon. It had been a long time since he landed on a planet with a blue sky.

©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

“Cease report.” Humans. A survey study made of them some time back came to mind. Kelsic 5 made a three hundred and sixty-degree sweep of the area. Arboreal class life forms, terrestrial access ways, dwelling units. A most primitive and inferior species, he concluded. Not worthy of restrictive engagement protocols. The air around him suddenly became still. Subtly at first, but it grew in intensity, to the point where his poly-phasic suit compensated for the pressure differential. His senses heightened. An ion blast shot through the air, detonating a short distance away. Kelsic 5 dove behind a stand of trees and returned fire. Multiple explosions from his pulse cannon lit up the sky, and then faded. Despite a modicum of protection offered by the thick foliage, he still felt exposed. He bolted for one of the human transportation devices and crouched down behind it. “Full directional scan,” he said into his headset. “Locate enemy combatant.” As the comset implemented the directive given it, the distinct sounds of people’s screams came at him from multiple directions. Committed to his mission above all else, he ignored the distraction. “Unable to locate combatant,” the comset replied. “Zero energy signature readings detected within operational range.” Kelsic 5 slammed his fist into the side of the transportation device, causing a significant dent. “That Simeran must be using a

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September 2012 reflective holo-field.” He checked his energy readings. “Tricky to track, but not impossible.” “Non-sequitur. Please repeat command.” “Disregard.” He lifted his head just enough to view the open area. Where had his opponent hidden himself? Better the Simeran was invisible, he mused. They were the ugliest species in the galaxy anyway. The air became still, like before. Kelsic 5 held his place and listened. Another ion blast came out of nowhere and slammed into his poly-phasic suit, hurtling him into an adjacent transportation device. He brought up his weapon and fired blind. Several discharges struck a dwelling unit across from him, causing it to erupt in flames. He watched as a number of humans stumbled out of the smoke-filled entrance. Not much he could do for those creatures. He jumped to his feet and took cover behind another vehicle. Kelsic 5 flicked a glance at his energy gauge. Sixty-one terra quads. If he didn’t terminate his opponent soon, he wouldn’t have enough energy to make a successful jump off this wretched planet. Kelsic 5 made a quick scan of the area, his attention drawn towards the plume of smoke as it drifted away. A physiological principle came to mind. An object, even an invisible one, became visible when it passed through the particulate matter. Only one problem. How to get his opponent to pass through it? He looked down at his pulse cannon and studied it a moment. Perhaps with the right kind of bait. A quiet whimper sounded behind him. Kelsic 5 spun around and pointed his weapon at the source, a human cowering on the ground. Dressed in strange clothes, wavy shoulder-length hair partially covered the creature’s face. The female of their species, he concluded. Though she didn’t

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37 move a muscle, he sensed she was terrified beyond description. As he studied her more closely, he noticed a smaller human clutched in her arms. “Please, don’t hurt us,” the female pleaded. He lowered his weapon until it rested against her temple. All at once her eyes hardened, and she rose to her feet. “If you harm my child, so help me…” She pushed the nuzzle of his pulse cannon off to one side and slowly backed away. Curious, Kelsic 5 thought. He had the ability to disintegrate them both without a second thought, yet a protective need to save its offspring superceded her fears, even at the cost of her own life. When another blast struck the dwelling unit behind him, the ensuing shock wave knocked him back a step. He cursed himself. His momentary lapse had almost gotten him killed. Kelsic 5 brushed past the creature and headed back towards the open area, to the spot where he had first been fired upon. Black smoke continued billowing into the sky, just as he had hoped. He ducked down behind several large boulders not far from where he planned to lure in his prey. As he looked about, Kelsic 5 observed other humans carrying little ones away from the battlefield, using their own bodies to protect them. He hadn’t expected this. In his experiences as a soldier, he had never once witnessed a semi-advanced species willingly sacrifice itself for one of their own. Such nobility only existed within his own kind, or so he thought. Kelsic 5 accessed the informational database. “Amend assessment of human class life forms.”

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September 2012 “Proceed when ready.” “Abort sanctioned elimination of planet. Contamination to culture is reversible.” Several clicks and bleeps sounded before the comset responded. “Amended assessment has been recorded.” “Good.” He peered past the boulder. A problem still remained, however. How to get the Simeran where he wanted him. Kelsic 5 brought up his weapon and studied it a moment before checking his energy gauge. Fifty-two terra quads remaining. If power levels dipped below fifty, he could be marooned on this planet for a very long time. Worse yet, the mission would be deemed a failure, and his superiors would almost certainly invalidate his recommendation. From what little he’d already seen in this species, he couldn’t let that happen. Kelsic 5 had to make a choice. If he jumped now, the Simeran would still be out there, committed to more destruction. If he didn’t make the jump, his superiors would destroy the planet without hesitation. Either way, it didn’t bode well for Earth. When the power cell at the base of his pulse cannon caught his eye, a solution presented itself. Not the one he anticipated before his arrival, but it was the only outcome that made sense. “A small sacrifice,” he whispered, and then jumped to his feet and headed straight for the plumes of smoke. Ion fire erupted all around him, nipping at his feet after every step.

38 Enraged he had been discovered, the gangly creature twice Kelsic 5’s size came charging at him. The Simeran attempted to fire his weapon, but it must have been damaged by the explosion. Kelsic 5 brought up his pulse cannon to finish him off, but he waited too long. The hulking creature tackled him, and the two soldiers became entangled in a fight for their lives. They rolled back and forth, grunting and hammering against each other. When he finally managed to pin his opponent with a full body lock, Kelsic 5 saw his energy gauge amidst the Simeran’s tentacles flailing about. It read forty-nine terra quads. Too late. But it wasn’t too late. Kelsic 5 looked his enemy in his bulbous eyes and smiled. “This ends here and now.” He flipped a switch on his weapon and set the power cells on overload. A high-pitched whistle filled the air. It grew in intensity, until a flash of light discharged in the park, and the two were gone. Author Bio: Mike Lynch's first book, Dublin, came out in 2007, followed by When the Sky Fell, American Midnight, The Crystal Portal, and After the Cross. His next novel, Love’s Second Chance, is scheduled to be released by Ellechor Publishing in 2013. He has also published numerous short stories and articles in various magazines. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.

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He took note of the direction each one came from until an arcing trajectory formed in his head. Kelsic 5 counted to three, and then let off a volley of plasma bursts just to the right of the nearest smoke column. His shot hit dead center, and the Simeran’s mirror technology faltered, exposing him to the light of day.

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******* Featured Trailers!

******* Healthy Recipes By Kellye Davis Williams © Sept 2012 If you’re like me you lead a very busy lifestyle. Between work, school, church, and extra curricular activities it is hard to serve your family home cooked, healthy meals every night of the week. I lead a very busy life as a personal fitness trainer, mother of 4 girls, writer, radio show co-host, women’s ministry director of my church….not to mention being a friend, a daughter, a sister, a wife, and trying to squeeze in a little “down time” for myself occasionally! I am constantly looking for healthy recipes that are easy and require very little preparation time. It is important to me to feed my family healthy foods and at the same time teach my children the importance eating healthy as well. I am going to share with you some basic nutritional information that will help you in making wise food decisions for your family as well as help you in putting together healthy meals. I am also going to include some recipes that I have tried that are quick and packed with vital nutrients that your family needs. What makes a recipe healthy? I've been looking through cookbooks and on the internet, trying to pull together my definition of healthy foods. To me, healthy eating means consuming a wide variety of whole foods, eating lots of fruits and

©September 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

vegetables, limiting fat and sodium intake, trying to exceed the minimum Daily Value (DV) vitamin and mineral recommendations set by the USDA. And because we are busy people, we need healthy recipes in a hurry! Because my education is grounded in physical fitness and nutrition, I'm sticking with the American Dietetic Association's stance that eating based on the USDA the Food Pyramid is still the healthiest plan. I know there has been lots of criticism of this plan, with some suggesting that since Americans have actually gotten more obese since the Food Pyramid has been published, it is a failure. But that criticism assumes people are following the government's guidelines! My observation is that most people don't follow the Food Pyramid's recommendations. In fact, most children and adolescents are not eating the minimum daily requirements of fruit and vegetables. People are not following the Pyramid. Only a study following people who actually base their diet on this eating plan would give us an accurate answer as to its credibility and health effects. Carbohydrates have been painted as the enemy. But complex carbohydrates, including whole grains, cereal, whole grain pasta, and brown rice, are good for you. They provide fiber, B vitamins, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that your body needs to stay healthy. In fact, you can only get plant fiber from grains, fruits, and vegetables. If you are reducing carbohydrates, by all means cut back or eliminate white breads, white rice, sugar and other sweets, highly processed foods, even pasta. But don't eliminate whole grain breads, legumes, cereals, whole grain pastas, vegetables, fruits, or brown rice. Whole carbohydrate foods are good carbs, which can help stabilize blood sugar and make you feel satisfied longer. Since many of us do use processed foods to cut down on time spent in the kitchen, learn to read nutrition labels. Processed food are harmful to your family’s health. Make

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September 2012 special note of the number of servings in each package, and the serving size. Most people eat far more than the recommended serving size of most foods. When you look at the Daily Value (DV) percentage of nutrients in the foods, remember that if a food contains 20% or more of any nutrient, that food is considered high in that nutrient. Be wary of words like 'lite' or 'improved'. These can be marketing terms, not nutrition claims. Some words do have a particular meaning. For instance, 'free' means the food contains an amount so tiny that it won't affect your body. Also pay attention to 'use by' and 'sell by' dates, to keep you and your family safe. The following recipes were selected because they are nutrient dense. This means that one serving provides at least 30% of the recommended USDA DV of important nutrients like calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and the B Vitamin complex. I also looked for recipes with a low percentage of fat, lots of fiber, cruciferous vegetables, and fruits, and a wide variety of ingredients. And all of these recipes will be ready in 30 minutes or less, or have a preparation time of 20 minutes or less. Try some of these recipes this week and feel good about the food you're feeding your family. Old Fashioned Goulash This simple and old fashioned, five ingredient recipe is delicious and quick to make. Remember, the ingredient count does not include water, salt, pepper, spices, or condiments like vinegar or oil. Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes Yield: 6 servings Ingredients: 1 pound ground turkey 2 onions, chopped 1 (10-ounce) can condensed tomato soup 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with garlic, undrained 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 1 packet Stevia or other sweetener 1-3 teaspoons paprika, to taste 1/2 teaspoon salt

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40 1/8 teaspoon pepper 3/4 cup water 3 cups whole grain rotini pasta 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, if desired Preparation: In very large skillet, cook ground turkey and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender, stirring to break up meat. Drain well. Add soup, diced tomatoes with their liquid, vinegar, sweetener, paprika, salt, pepper, and water and cook for 8-10 minutes until mixture starts to boil, stirring frequently. Add pasta and bring back to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until pasta is tender, about 12-18 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, if using, and serve. Tomato and Feta Chicken This simple five ingredient grilled chicken breast recipe is packed full of flavor and nutrition. The last time I made this I used 1 cup of grape tomatoes, cut in half, in place of the large tomatoes. Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes Yield: 4 servings Ingredients: 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 2 Tbsp. zesty Italian salad dressing 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning 1/8 tsp. pepper 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped or 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese 1 green onion, chopped Preparation: Heat oven to broil setting. Brush chicken breasts with dressing and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and pepper; let stand for 10 minutes. Grill or broil the chicken for 1012 minutes, turning once, until chicken is almost done. Remove chicken from grill or oven and arrange tomato, cheese, and green onion on each chicken breast. Return to grill or oven and grill or broil for 2-3 minutes until cheese softens. Serve immediately. Tex Mex Chicken Pasta This super easy and quick recipe is packed

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September 2012 full of wonderful flavors of the Southwest. Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes Yield: 6 servings Ingredients: 3 cups whole grain ziti pasta 2 tsp. chopped jalapeno or serrano peppers 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1/3 cup sliced ripe olives 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto 1/2 cup evaporated milk 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1-1/2 lbs. chicken breast tenders 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 green bell pepper, sliced 1 red bell pepper, sliced Preparation: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In small bowl combine jalapeno peppers, cilantro, olives, pesto, milk, and cheese; set aside. Melt olive oil in large skillet and add chicken. Stir fry over medium high heat until light brown. Add onion, garlic, and peppers and stir fry until chicken is thoroughly cooked and peppers are crisp tender. When you start cooking the chicken, start cooking the pasta in the boiling water. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid. Add cooked and drained pasta along with pesto mixture and enough pasta cooking liquid to make a sauce. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes until heated through. Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Veggies Believe it or not, this creamy crockpot entree recipe is low in fat. Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 7 hours, 30 minutes Total Time: 7 hours, 50 minutes Yield: 8 servings Ingredients: 4 pound chicken, cut into serving pieces 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 pounds small red potatoes, halved

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41 1 (16-ounce) package baby carrots 1 onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 14-ounce can low sodium chicken broth 1 cup light sour cream 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard 3 tablespoons honey 3 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves Preparation: Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in large skillet and brown chicken, skin side down, until skin is brown. In 4-5 quart slow cooker, place potatoes, carrots and onion. Top with chicken. Pour chicken broth over all. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 8-9 hours until chicken is thoroughly cooked and vegetables are tender. In small bowl, stir together light sour cream, mustard, honey, flour, pepper, and thyme until well blended. Stir into mixture in crockpot and turn heat to high. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Make a conscious effort to make healthy food choices for your family. Find cookbooks, search the web, and ask friends to share recipes that are quick, healthy, and delicious! “So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” ~ I Corinthians 10:31

******* Featured Trailers

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September 2012

Guest Editorial ~ Samantha Gray 4 Steps to Creating your Own Book Club

No matter your title— career woman, housewife, or student—there are tons of daily obstacles that can prevent you from doing the thing you find most enjoyable: leisure reading. But finding time to read for fun is important. It can help keep your mind sharp, help unleash your creativity (which may benefit you in your studies or work duties), and it can help you unwind and escape for a little bit after a long day. An easy way to make sure you remember to make time is to join a book club with fellow avid book lovers. This is because book clubs assign deadlines, which means that you'll be more motivated to read a couple of pages each and every day so you'll be finished with the book just in time for "discussion." If there are no local book clubs to join, you can opt to create your own with a small select group of friends. While it's not exactly rocket science, below are a few pointers to help kick-start your very own book club. Choose a Theme. Before you invite others to join your book club, you need to first establish what kind of book club you're going to have—what type of literature will your group focus on? Some book clubs are really specific and target a niche such as suspense, autobiographies, or our favorite— romance. Other book clubs focus exclusively on a single author. For example, Jane Austen book clubs are starting to get really popular—there was even a fictional movie made about them. Of course, you can also create a book club that has no restrictions—anything and everything can be up for consideration. Invite Members. Once you have a better idea of what type of book club you want to have, you can start sending out the word about your new club. Calling close friends, neighbors, and family members is a good start. Make sure to invite any close coworkers as well. If it doesn’t seem like too

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42 many are interested, you could create a "blast invite" and alert your Facebook or Twitter "friends" about your new club. Surely someone will bite and this will give you a chance to reconnect with old friends or get to know someone better altogether. Even if there are only three or four people in your club, you're sure to have a good time. Schedule Meetings Times/Deadlines. Once you have a few people that are interested, collectively you need to decide when the club will meet. Everyone's schedules are different, so try to come up with a time and day that works for just about everyone. If it conflicts with only one or two club members, then they might just have to skip the first meeting and attend the rest. Typically members should have about a month to complete a book, although this may vary depending on the length of the book that is selected for that month, which leads us to our last tip-Choose Books. Since you are the host, it might be easier if you just choose the first book your club will read for the first meeting. If you're not sure how to go about this (meaning you have no clue what book you should propose) then naturally you can refer to this blog and tune into the "Spotlight" feature. Or you can check out some other resources like The New York Times Best Sellers List. In the future, members can write down selections that they would like to read and then place them in a cup where a single title can be drawn randomly during the end of each meeting. Whatever is chosen will be the book discussed during the following meeting. Author Bio: Samantha Gray is a freelance education writer for Bachelorsdegreeonline.com, a website that focuses on both traditional and online education. In her free time she likes to help fellow writers perfect their craft as well as help readers get more in tune with their literature. Samantha welcomes your comments@ samanthagray024@gmail.com

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Attention Authors! John Riddle, Founder of I Love to Write Day, has a special offer for authors of "Family Friendly" books....Details on our For Authors & Publishers page!

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******* 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

******* Š The Wordsmith Journal Magazine ~ All Rights Reserved The Wordsmith Journal Magazine is owned & operated by Pamela S. Thibodeaux, Enterprises http://pamelathibodeaux.com

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******* 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.

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ŠSeptember 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

~ All Rights Reserved


The Wordsmith Journal Magazine; Sept. 2012 Issue