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2013 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

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

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


June 2013 Welcome to the June 2013 issue of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine! We have lots to talk about so let’s cut right to the chase! Congratulations to Samantha Coville the Winner of our Kindle/Nook! Find details on what all she won on our For Readers Page! This month we welcome HopeSprings Books (a division of Chalfont House Publishing) to our family of Featured Publishers and Samantha Coville to our group of Columnists!

1 ~~~~~~~ In This Month's Issue Columns & Blogs: The Proactive Author by W. Terry Whalin You Are Not Alone by Dawn Kidd Behind the Mystery by Ellen Kennedy Michele's Musings by Michele Abshire Faith & Fitness by Kellye Davis

Author Liz Flaherty tells the story behind her book, A Soft Place To Fall on our Editorial Page. Our Sponsor, Kevin Zimmerman has received some great awards and honors for his book, A Time For Everything: The Kevin Zimmerman Story written by Michael L White and published by Parson Place Press. To commemorate his accomplishments, we are re-running our review of his book! Also, be sure and check out the “A Time for Coffee” campaign that Kevin is involved in to support our Military! Authors & Publishers, feel free to check out our Advertising special of the month! Last but not least, we’d like to wish ALL of the Dad’s out there a Blessed & Happy Father’s Day!

The Power of Positive Faith by LaSharnda Beckwith Consider This by Rita Schulte Pamela's Ponderings by Pamela S Thibodeaux To Your Health by Dr. David Biebel On the Other Side of Freedom by Brandon Western Persons of Interest by Samantha Coville YA Perspective with Sarah Heath: The Greenstones by William D Burt SR Perspective ... Just Saying by Barb Shelton: Healing Grace by Lisa Lickel Short Stories The First Supper by Bobby Fox The Gift of Love by Elizabeth L Abrey Poems by Cameron Conoaway West African by Ben Kail Book Store Featured Books Featured Trailers

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Featured Publishers Revell Books Healthy Life Press RMS1437 Publishing HopeSprings Books Author Pages Mary Manners Kathi Macias Michelle Sutton Shawna K Williams Delia Latham Tracy Krauss Beth Trissel Author Interviews: Jane Kirkpatrick David Wood Marge Warder Fred St. Laurent Book Reviews: Deliver Us by June Foster Courage to Change by Elizabeth Maddrey A Time for Everything by Michael L White ~~~~~~~ Want to purchase a title you see advertised here in TWJM? Simply click on the cover image, ISBN# or Title (if highlighted)! ~~~~~~~

Deliver Us June Foster The young fraternity man who coaxed Jillian Coleman upstairs that night is only a blur in her memory. Now she lives with the unrelenting guilt that she aborted her baby. ŠJune 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

God might forgive her, but she can't forgive herself. As Bellewood's premier gynecologist, she hopes to open the Jeremiah House to offer teen girls an abortion alternative. Though the handsome and successful Dr. Jett Camp wants to marry Jillian, he believes her plan is a waste of her skills. Riley Mathis spent ten years in jail for dealing drugs. Now as a Christian, he's trying to put his life back together. Working as a janitor at night, he attends college by day. When he meets Dr. Coleman, he recognizes her from the sapphire necklace she wore the night he stole something precious from her. When she confesses the choice she made to abort her baby, Riley can't tell her he's the father of her child. Available from the publisher, Amazon, & B&N! Review of Deliver Us by Deena Peterson “Considering today's headlines and political climate, June Foster's novel captures the passion surrounding the right to life and the controversy of abortion. Dr. Jillian Coleman has devoted her life to babies. She believes life is precious, and it's demonstrated both in her practice and in her everyday walk. But she can't silence her one regret, the one hidden down deep in her soul. Riley Mathis is trying to put the shattered pieces of his life back together. Working as a janitor for his step-father's company, he spends his days cleaning up messes. His goal, a college education and to make something worthwhile of the rest of his days. A chance encounter with Jillian reveals these two characters have met before. Spying her unique necklace, Riley realizes that Dr. Jillian is the woman he wronged so many years ago. But what Jillian

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keeps hidden could destroy all Riley has worked to rebuild. And what will happen to her dream of Jeremiah House, a place for women and girls dealing with unexpected prenancy, if her secret is revealed? I enjoyed the story very much. Both Jillian and Riley were well written and believable characters. I couldn't wait for Jill to get as far away from Dr. Jett as possible--he was slimey from the moment I met him. The story is plausible as well. How many young girls take part in drinking and partying, then end up in situations that take away the innocence that God longs for them to keep? I believe readers will identify with Jillian and she may bring healing to many. My only issue with the book was the faith message. Some of the words used were 'churchy' words, which made the reading a bit stiff. The message was true and important to the story. I only wish the author had selected more every day language to share the message of Jesus with her readers.

Deena Peterson has been devouring books since she first learned to read. Her preferred genre is mystery/suspense, but she tends to read a little of everything. She's a pastor's wife and a mother to eight (nearly all grown, which leaves her more time to read). In her free time she's trying out new recipes and bugging her husband for new books. Check out her blog at A Peek At My Bookshelf ~~~~~~~

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Courage to Change Elizabeth Maddrey Book Two of the 'Grant Us Grace' Series. When Phil Reid became a Christian and stopped drinking, his hard-partying wife Brandi divorced him. Reeling and betrayed, he becomes convinced Christians should never remarry, and resolves to guard his heart. Allison Vasak has everything in her life under control, except for one thing. Her heart is irresistibly drawn to fellow attorney and coworker, Phil. Though she knows his history and believes that women should not initiate relationships, she longs to make her feelings known. As Phil and Allison work closely together to help a pregnant teen, Allison melts his defenses. But when Brandi discovers Phil's new relationship, she decides that though she doesn't want him, no one else can have him. Can Phil and Allison's love weather the chaos Brandi brings into their lives? Courage to Change is available in print and on Kindle & Nook! Review of Courage to Change by Michelle Sutton Courage to Change was an interesting story containing spiritual depth. It wasn't preachy or patronizing in tone. The title fit the characters' journeys very well. We all need the courage to change our preconceived notions when God is steering our hearts in another direction. This novel confronted the issues facing guilt-ridden divorced Christian singles head-on. There are plenty of people in the church who may try to judge your

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June 2013 motives, but only you and God know the truth. This should be the deciding factor regarding remarriage, not what people tell you in their opinion is right or wrong. This story illustrated that truth well. It also showed that there are long-lasting consequences to the choices we make. Whether we are Christians or not, it won't make the ramifications of poor choices go away. At the same time, Jesus will give us the strength to deal with them appropriately and in a way that glorifies Him, if we will just ask. The author tackles a number of tough subjects, one being the issue of single parenting vs. abortion vs. adoption. These issues were handled well. There are many facets to adoption plans, and the author captured the many complexities in this story. I enjoyed the subplot with Lindsey as a secondary character. Marcus had a difficult situation to deal with, but he dealt with the issues appropriately. I felt bad for Phil and the problems his ex-wife had caused for him. I understood his guilt about his ex causing problems for Allison too. But in the end, true love wins every time. I enjoy stories where obstacles are fought and overcome, but not in a sappy way. There were realistic feelings and issues in this book, but none of them were over-thetop. The author's writing was readable and not at all awkward. I would definitely recommend this series to people who want to read about tough issues but don't want to feel depressed afterward from the content. Courage to Change was encouraging and inspiring to read. These characters felt like they could be my friends.

4 Michelle Sutton has written well over a dozen Christian novels. She is also a book reviewer, an avid blogger, the mother of two college students, a wife of over 21 years, a social worker by trade, and follower of Jesus Christ. Michelle has been reviewing books since 2007 and is a top 1000 Amazon reviewer as well as the Number One review contributor on Christianbook.com. She has reviews on her blog, which averages 5,000 page views per month (minimum) and many are featured on Novel PASTimes (formerly Favorite PASTimes historical review blog) as well as past reviews posted on Novel Reviews, the ACFW Afictionado e-zine, and other sites as a guest reviewer. Michelle is the founder of Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers -- A group of readers and writers who enjoy edgy fiction, and in particular edgy Christian fiction. ~~~~~~~

A Time For Everything; The Kevin Zimmerman Story, Second Edition by Michael L. White, describes God's miracle of navigating Kevin through two heavily infested land mine fields while serving in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The book is now a part of both US Military History and American History. On June 2, 2012, it was accepted into the archives of the US Army Medical Department Museum, Fort Sam Houston, TX. On January 3, 2013, it was accepted into the library and archives of the Smithsonian Institutes National Museum of African American History, Washington D.C.

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The book has provided a means to give back to our Military community by a portion of its proceeds being donated to Service Member Support Organizations Nationwide. You can purchase the book at a 20% discount rate by logging onto www.ATFEKZ.com. The book can also be purchased at all major online book distributors; such as Amazon.com, Kindle Edition, Barnesandnoble.com & Booksamilli on.com Review of A Time For Everything by Deborah Piccurelli ©2012 I’m not much for reading nonfiction, nor am I usually fond of military stories. I volunteered to review this book, because it was needed. I have to admit that I’m glad I did read it, because it warmed my heart. The main question to this book is, “Does God still work miracles today as He did in the Bible?” A Time for Everything details how God worked two miracles in Kevin’s life. More important, we learn how God brought Kevin to the point in his life where miracles could happen. After reading this book, the author hopes that readers will be able to recognize the many times God has worked miracles in their lives, too. Through the author, Michael L. White, we are shown Kevin’s great faith, and his walk with the Lord. He has made some mistakes along the way, but as his faith grows, and he understands what he needs to do in order to make that happen, we can identify with his struggles and with his triumphs. A Time for Everything is a good, uplifting read. If you like true stories, real heroes, and a dose of miracles, you’ll love A Time for Everything.

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Deborah M. Piccurelli is an advocate for sanctity of life, and tackles such issues in her novels, weaving them into compelling stories. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, and now loves writing reviews for the works of her fellow authors. Deborah lives in New Jersey with her husband, and their two sons. To learn more about Deborah and her book visit her website, connect with her on Face Book or Twitter @DebPiccurelli ~~~~~~~ A Time for Cool Beans Coffee Campaign

Kevin Zimmerman, and Cool Beans Coffee, have partnered to help show appreciation of our Service Members deployed abroad. This campaign brings our deployed Service Members a uniquely designed taste from home, a piece of history, and a personal touch from a hand written letter by various grade school children from San Antonio, TX. One $10.00 purchase creates a care package equipped with a jar of Cool Beans uniquely blended, Soldiers Blend Coffee, an autographed copy of A Time for Everything; The Kevin Zimmerman Story and a personalized letter from a local grade school child. The service member will be selected from the Soldiers Angel’s, Adopt

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a Solder website.

Given to men from Heaven above.

To support the campaign, or if you have a specific service member you would like to receive the package, email Kevin (please note their name and APO address) & put the word Campaign in the subject line. You can also reach Kevin on FaceBook.

Walk with me in my humble life, Leave behind the world and its strife. Together in glory when life is done, You and I, West African.

~~~~~~~ Kindle/Nook Books

Author Bio: Benjamin Kail has worked in Christian Ministry for more than forty-five years. He writes poetry as an expression of his most life-touching experiences throughout his many years of service. This poem was inspired by a two month mission trip to West Africa taken six years ago. ~~~~~~~ Featured Books!

~~~~~~~ WEST AFRICAN by Ben Kail ©June 2013

Silver and gold have I none, Yet I am rich for I have won, Victory through Jesus, God's only Son, I am you see, a West African. Our land is poor, the soil dry, the sun burns down from hazy sky. From day to night I toil under hot sun, I am you see, a West African. With joy in my heart I work and pray, for Almighty God to send rain this day. Empty the clouds so that we might live, and from our abundance to others give. The salt of the earth, a light on a hill, My heart with love He does fill. Without tiring the race we do run, For you see, I am a West African. Though you are rich and cannot see, how spiritually blessed the poor can be. Open your heart to God's tender love, ©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

~~~~~~~ Don't Stop There By Brandon Western ©June 2013 I remember the day I cried out to Jesus for the first time with sincerity, and a broken heart. I had tried, with very little success, so many times to move forward and leave the past behind. My way of life had brought me nothing but defeat until that special moment. My decision to follow Christ was brought up by nothing short of divine intervention. I was sitting behind bars with 7 felonies pending against me, with no money, no attorney, and a bond that might as well have been a million dollars.

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June 2013 I was GOING to prison, and that was that. What else could I do? I was so tired of the struggle; so tired of fighting everyday of my life just to make it through to the next so I could just do it all over again. To be perfectly honest, I knew that prison was what I deserved, and so I accepted my fate for what it was. It had been a long time coming, and I was finally going to reap what I had sewn for so long. However, I had made up my mind that I would not let this be another wasted opportunity. My prayer was very simple, but it was as real as I had ever been in my entire 25 years of existence.

7 the pieces of my broken puzzle back together again. He was finally getting what He always wanted; His prodigal son had returned home to seek the road to righteousness. James 4:7-8 KJV says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” God's love is unconditional, but His peace that passes all understanding comes from a working relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

It went something like this: “God, I am not asking you to get me out of the trouble that I have gotten myself into. I am not asking you to keep me from going to prison, but I cannot keep living this way, being a constant disappointment to my family and to myself. God I am asking you to change my heart.”

What a waste it is when a wayward child achieves salvation, but never walks in the footsteps of our Savior.

It was in that moment that God delivered me from the chains of addiction. This was not my first spiritual experience, but this time there was something different.

Talk is important, but don't stop there. Dig in and see God work for yourself!

He is waiting for us to pick up our cross and follow Him. 1 Corinthians 4:20 KJV says, “For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power!”

My desire for the drugs was replaced with an unquenchable thirst for Him. So many times in the past I had sworn that I would never use again, and every time I would mean it from the depths of my soul, but could never follow through. I was in need of a heart change, and that is exactly what He did that day, but I did not stop there. I picked up His Word and began studying it like my very life depended on it, because it really did. As I read, it was as if it were just Him and I on a secluded island where He began to put

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Brandon Western is a recovered drug addict with a heart for helping others who are stuck in the bondage of addiction. He loves to write, play guitar, and share the Gospel with those in need. Brandon is currently employed with Teen Challenge Georgia International, which is a Christian discipleship program that is designed to help people get free and stay free from lifecontrolling issues including: drugs and alcohol. He has a deep love for the word of ~All Rights Reserved


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God, and have spent many hours studying His truths. Biblical counseling, speaking, and evangelism are Brandon’s strong suits, and he plans on staying in the ministry field permanently. “My faith in the transforming power of meeting Jesus Christ is what I hope to portray in all areas of my life, because now I know what it is like to be on the other side of freedom.” Find out more by visiting Teen Challenge Georgia International on the Web, FaceBook or email Brandon at: brandonrwestern85@gmail.com ~~~~~~~

Interview With Jane Kirkpatrick By Mary Nichelson ©June 2013 Author Jane Kirkpatrick has successfully tackled historical, religious and contemporary fiction, snagging a coveted finalist spot for several awards and earning the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Hall of Fame. In her recent release, One Glorious Ambition, she writes a biographical fictional piece based on Dorothea Dix; an outspoken mental health advocate. Many reviewers site One Glorious Ambition as a one-size-fits-all kind of book as it emphasizes many aspects of modern society; stress related illnesses, the impact of a dysfunctional home, how mental illness was-and to a certain extent still isviewed, how one who suffered so much could ease the suffering of others, and the difference that one person can make in the lives of others. Jane took time out of her busy speaking and ©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

promotional schedule to discuss the life of Dorothea Dix and why this one woman became so important to her. Jane “believes that our lives are the stories that others read first”, and capitalizes on that passion as she shares Dorothea’s story. MN- What intrigued you so much about Dorothea Dix 's life that you decided to write a novel about her? JK- A good biography speaks to what and when but it doesn't permit exploration of the why or how those events affected a person. So fiction mattered to me as a way of looking at a remarkable life. At a time when women were not even educated Dorothea accomplished so much. And frankly we have need of mental health reform today so the subject was timely. I wanted to explore how she did what she did to see if she could step from her generation to our own to teach and touch us with her life. I wanted to know what kept her going when she wanted to quit. MN- I have to admit that I was familiar with her service with nurses on the battlefield during the Civil War, but knew very little about her work with those suffering mental illness. One Glorious Ambition covers her work within this field explicitly. What do you hope to accomplish through Glorious Ambition besides merely entertaining the reader? JK- I hope people will see first how much a single individual can accomplish and perhaps choose to move forward to make a difference with their own passions or concerns. Thinking about volunteering but someone else says "You're too old" or considering a mission trip to Central America but someone comments that "you have too many food allergies." I think of Moses who when chosen suggested that Aaron would be a better candidate to lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt. As a people, we often discount our abilities and I hoped Dorothea might inspire readers to recognize their potential rather than listen

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June 2013 to what I call the harpies who would hold us hostage. MN- It is a known fact that Dorothea Dix was considered "sickly". Did your research ever lead to a definite conclusion that she suffered illness only when stressed or physically exhausted? JK- I did let my work as a therapist consider Dorothea's illnesses as they appeared to me to occur at times of great stress. Even after she found her true calling, she was ill the day her bill was introduced into Congress but then rallied to help support its passage. Some would call it a protective mechanism that really wasn't managed until the Rathbones, her Quaker friends, mothered her back to health and gave her a model to serve without compromising her own health. MN- You have extensive experience within the mental health field, so I am appealing to the professional as opposed to the author with this question. Dorothea believed in 'a family atmosphere of compassion and caring...treating people with dignity in a home like setting.' This was her glorious ambition. How practical is this treatment idea and has it been successfully accomplished? JK- We have to remember what the conditions were when Dorothea began her work. The mentally ill were often caged and shackled in cold and barren jail cells or back rooms. Food was thrown into them that they consumed from filthy floors. They often had no heat, no contact with people who had not committed crimes; and only occasional contact with healthier people such as their jailers. Dorothea believed that these conditions exacerbated their mental illness. As a result of her work, institutions were built where people ate at tables. They worked in gardens, helped with animal care, had beds with sheets on them. Medications did not exist. And yes for a great many people this change in treatment led to improvement and we could say that these

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9 family-like institutional settings were/are practical and successful. There were still many with troubling disorders that we still struggle with such as bipolar and schizophrenia. Responding to people as though they had dignity and deserve respect will increase their level of trust and increase the likelihood that they will be able to cooperate in their treatment and thus live healthier lives and offer safety for the community. Day treatment facilities now serve many who would have been in a hospital setting. Residential homes offer family-like treatment settings today. And while we have need for many more openings for this level of care, there are many successes. Bottom line: mentally ill people are rarely helped by being imprisoned when what they need is treatment. MN- Explain what moral treatment entails. JK- Moral Treatment is a philosophy of intervention and care developed in Europe that Dorothea was exposed to while living with the Rathbones. It basically looked at the world that a mentally ill person lived in and worked to create an overall healing context that included nurturing landscapes, healthy interactions with healthy people, providing spiritual support and the dignity of meaningful work. It was believed that as human beings we are required morally to create settings where people are treated with that dignity and respect. Architecture, landscape, trades, pastoral access would enable the best of the human condition to be nurtured. So building design included light, airy rooms; music and art were introduced as healing components. (Something Baylor University in their research in treating traumatized children are finding essential for treatment even today. Music, dance, art and story, are deemed great healers.) Moral Treatment was a comprehensive approach to healing with people brought to large institutions for these components to be delivered. MN- Dorothea believed that those that suffered mental illness-whether as a victim

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June 2013 of circumstances or by way of self inflictionwere entitled to dignity. She faced critics that didn't want to help those led to their own demise. We see that now, some 100 years later. Is there a way to answer critics that tend to be judgmental when it comes to helping others that fall into this category? JK- Such a good question! One of the translations for the word sin reads "fell short" or "missed the mark" as in an arrow not making its target. Another reads "Took the wrong path." I appreciate those because they fit everyone. We all make wrong choices and some of us end up with addictions as a way of dealing with our pain; some of us end up homeless; some of us have emotional issues we carry from childhood or from being injured in service to our country. Some of us miss the mark but no one ever knows of it. But each of us are redeemable. Grace allows us to find a new path, try again to move toward the target of living well within community. As people of faith especially I think we are compelled to suspend judgment. I rely on the saying: "There but for the grace of God go I." MN- We have road rage. We have social media rage. We have Wal-Mart rage...it's a me, me, me world. Any advice on how to capture a lifestyle of self-less sacrifice and service within our society? JK- Paul Tillich wrote that the first act of love is listening. It's difficult to silence the noise of the road, social media, consumerism, isn't it? But listening to that inner voice is so important to have a full life. And that's what those distractions deprive us of. We often don't even know we have a hole in our soul. Once we acknowledge that void then we are compelled to hear the world's cry: feed the hungry, walk beside the ill even if we cannot heal them, befriend our neighbor. Turning off the TV, disconnecting from social media, creating family time and noticing the world around us are first steps to what Dorothea discovered: that relieving the suffering of others helps relieve our

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10 own. Perhaps we can capture a lifestyle of self-less sacrifice by convincing ourselves we'll experience a gain when we are in service- because we will. There's nothing wrong with giving as the doorway to receiving. Author Bio- Jane grew up near Mondovi, Wisconsin, a little town not far from the Mississippi River. Her older sister Judy (now deceased) and younger brother Craig helped on the family dairy farm. Dozens of cousins lived within 50 miles providing the privilege of extended family memories. Most of the "Rutschow" clan remained in the Wisconsin-Minnesota area. Jane moved to Oregon in 1974 after completing her master's degree in social work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She worked in the disabilities field and became the director of the mental health program in Deschutes County and the first female president of the Oregon Community Mental Health Director's Association. Eventually, Jane "retired" to homestead and begin a new adventure in writing, working on the Warm Springs Indian reservation, growing watermelons, and attempting to grow grapes, alfalfa and cattle. The Kirkpatrick's new life included "clearing sagebrush and wrestling wind and rattlesnakes" while "homesteading" land on the John Day River in a remote part of Oregon known locally as Starvation Point. "It was our 'rural 7-Eleven' since our home sat seven miles from the mailbox and eleven miles from the pavement" notes the author. Additionally, she worked for seventeen years as a mental health and educational consultant on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Central Oregon with both Native American and non-Indian communities, a position she left in 2002. Jane has two stepchildren. Kathleen lives in Florida with her family and youngest granddaughter, Madison. Matt lives in Wasco and works on the ranch full time when not looking after his family including granddaughter, Mariah.

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In the fall of 2010, after twenty-six years on the homestead, Jane and Jerry, her husband of 35 years, made another life change moving back to Central Oregon near Bend. "There is a season for everything," Jane notes. Their seasons on the ranch changed their lives and they leave with no regrets looking forward to new adventures in writing and life. You can keep up with author Jane Kirkpatrick through her website or blog. She is also on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. ~~~~~~~ Featured Sponsor: John Poche’ Arts

John Poche' is a Christian businessman, an author and a pen, ink and watercolor artist. ~~~~~~~ Kindle/Nook Books

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©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

The First Supper

By Bobby Fox ©June 2013

Following a disastrous Ukrainian shower, my friend Katya led me to the living room, where a Ukrainian feast awaited. A small TV stood on a stand in the corner. A dining table folded into an end table that fit snugly between the couch and a piano. The couch provided seating on one side of the table (not to mention, it also turned into a bed, once again proving the Ukrainian knack for space economy). Awaiting us was a large spread of traditional Ukrainian dishes, which reminded me a great deal of the more familiar Polish cuisine: borscht (beet soup), Kotlety (fried meat), black bread (chernyy khleb)—rye bread that I mistook for chocolateflavored—Kartoplia (boiled potatoes with no shortage of butter and dill), an assortment of salads, including Olivye (a type of potato salad), Vinigret (a variation on coleslaw), Kvasheni ovochi (a mix of pickled vegetables), pickled herring and an endless supply of vodka. Vodka, of course, was the one, constant staple of any Ukrainian mealtime. Katya and I were seated on the couch side of the table. At first glance, the couch appeared comfortable, but in reality, it was far from it. It wasn’t the couch itself, which was rather stiff, but rather, its low height and overall proximity to the table. This put an enormous strain on my back. I couldn’t help but feel like a child in desperate need of a booster seat. No matter how I shifted my position, I could never get comfortable. Not wanting to come across as a weakling, I didn’t make an issue of it. I simply chose to eat uncomfortably for the duration of my trip. When my back began to ache too much, I would sit all the way back on the couch for a few moments until I had finished chewing. I learned to take full advantage of this backand-forth strategy by taking a big bite of the

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June 2013 slightly stale, dry bread, which afforded me more time to rest my back before I needed to reach for my plate again. Seated with us at the table was Katya’s Babushka, her grandmother on her mother’s side. To describe Babushka succinctly, she was a brawnier version of the apple-offering witch from Snow White … only less pleasant. Her once strong, stocky frame had been diminished through illness, but her inner strength overshadowed everything. From the moment we met, Babushka didn’t take too kindly to me. Being that I was a foreigner didn’t help matters. She stared at me with suspicion as though I were a spy sent to report on her every move. As Babushka watched me fill up my plate with what I carefully considered to be helpings that were neither too little, nor too large, she shook her head, saying something in Russian that I was pretty sure translated into “asshole.” “What did she say?” I asked. “Let’s eat,” Katya interpreted. I wasn’t convinced. Katya advised me not to take anything she said to heart. It was “her illness talking.” But I couldn’t help but feel judged; despised; inferior. Katya’s father Sergei lined up the glasses and poured out hearty shots of vodka. Considering my low tolerance to alcohol— especially straight shots—I initially considered politely refusing it. But in another effort not to appear weak or ungrateful, I decided to “give it a shot.” This was my first mistake. I noticed that everyone had a shot but Katya’s mother, Elena. “Your mom doesn’t drink?” I asked. “Somebody has to stay sane,” Elena replied after Katya’s translation.

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12 I sniffed my drink, as though I expected it to smell like something other than alcohol. Sergei stood up, regally holding his glass aloft. His presence, even his most jovial moments, filled the room with shadows, demanding to be listened to. Everyone else followed suit by raising their glasses, with me being the last to join in. “This might take a while.” Katya sighed. Sergei began his toast, with Katya translating: “Today, we celebrate the arrival of a visitor from the United States—our former enemy—into our home. Fifteen years ago, this occasion wouldn’t have been possible. But if there’s one thing life promises more than anything, it is change. Bobby, if you need anything at all, please let me know and your wish will be our command.” “Thank you,” I said gratefully. “Say ‘Spasibo,’” Katya said. “Placebo?” I asked, confused. “Spasibo! Thank you.” “Pozhaluista,” Sergei replied. “My dad says ‘You’re welcome,’” said Katya. Sergei continued his toast in Russian as Katya rolled her eyes, signaling with her hands for her father to hurry up, seemingly already tired of having to translate, or, rather, knowing from past experience how long-winded he could be. “Bobby, I wish you a great trip, great health, great memories and a great learning experience.” “Sergei! Let the poor boy eat,” Elena retorted.

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June 2013 Sergei gave in, offering his glass for me to clink. “Za vashe zdorovya,” he said (“to your health”). Everyone joined in, then downed their shot. I held the glass up to my mouth. I wasn’t quite ready. In an instant, however, all eyes turned toward me. I had no choice. With the pressure building, I lifted the glass up to my mouth, downing less than half the shot, trying to remain calm and collected, but making a face like a baby taking medicine. Babushka rolled her eyes in disgust, helping herself to another shot as though trying to show me up. My eyes immediately watered as the vodka burned my throat, then my chest. My face turned as red as the borscht in my bowl. Babushka glared, presumably putting a curse on me. Sergei tried his best to hide what I was pretty convinced was disapproval for the shame I had caused, as I sat back down, wiping the tears away from my eyes. “Are you okay?” Katya asked, concerned. “Yeah, I’m fine,” I said, barely able to get the words out. Katya poured me a glass of mineral water. I raised it to my mouth, choking on the effervescence. At this point, I was struggling to down even a glass of water. “I’m just not used to drinking it straight,” I said. “The more practice you get, the better you become,” Sergei said. “At what … being an alcoholic?” “A Ukrainian!” Katya said. “Can you handle it?”

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“Bobby, you don’t have to finish it,” said a concerned Elena. “No, that’s okay,” I replied. “I have to finish what I started.” Feeling the full weight of Ukrainian expectation and honor firmly on my shoulder, I grabbed the remainder of my shot … and took a baby sip. Then another. And another. And finally it was all gone. My first shot! Everyone applauded as though I were a toddler who had just used the toilet for the first time. I took a bow. With everyone’s attention directed at me, I noticed Babushka eagerly helping herself to yet another shot, for good measure. Sergei promptly held the bottle up to my glass, simultaneously flicking his neck with his forefinger, adding, “Bobby, chut-chut?” “Papa, no,” said Katya. “What’s a chut-chut?” I asked. “He’s asking if you want more,” Katya replied. Wanting to redeem myself and restore what was left of my manhood on the heels of my shower, I flicked my neck in return, proudly proclaiming, “chut-chut!” I then lifted up my shot glass for Sergei to pour more vodka into it, but he rather forcefully demanded that I put the glass down. “You’re supposed to keep the glass down when pouring a shot,” Katya explained. “And you’re also not supposed to pour a shot for just yourself. It indicates you’re an alcoholic,” Katya explained to me. “That’s too many rules for something involving alcohol.” “It’s our culture,” Katya further explained.

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June 2013 Smiling with pride, Sergei poured another shot for him and me both. Not wanting to be left out, Babushka thrust her shot glass in front of her son-in-law. “Papa!” begged Katya, who turned to me and pleaded: “Bobby, please don’t.” Boastfully, I replied, “When in Rome …,” defiantly flicking my neck. “This isn’t Rome. This is Ukraine,” reminded Katya. “One more can’t hurt,” I said. “Don’t do it. You’re not Ukrainian.” As wise as it would have been to follow Katya’s advice, I knew there was no turning back. I may have already won Katya over, but I knew my greater mission was to win over her parents—especially her father, who held the keys to my possible future with his daughter. So rather than helping my cause by demonstrating the ability to stand by my convictions—I gave in, staring into my shot glass as though preparing to dive off the edge of a cliff. “I’m warning you,” Katya said. “This stuff has a way of taking over you when you least expect it. And trust me, you don’t want to know what my father would do to sober you up.” I looked at Katya, then at Sergei, who raised his glass in my honor, proclaiming, “To Bobby!” Realizing there was no turning back, I raised my glass to his, before managing to down at least two-thirds of the shot this time around. Once the burning subsided and my tears were dried, I polished off the remainder of my shot, a mini-buzz already taking hold of me. “I’m going to need a new liver if this keeps up,” I said.

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14 “I’m not translating that,” Katya said, one of many times she felt the need to censor me— a key advantage when translation is necessary, albeit against the code of translator ethics. “I hope you don’t think my dad’s an alcoholic,” said Katya. “He only drinks for special occasions, you know.” “What makes you think I would get that impression?” I said, teasingly with a wry smile. I thought it would be obvious that I was joking. But judging by Katya’s reaction, I realized that this wasn’t obvious, remembering that sarcasm is not a hallmark of Ukrainian humor. Ukrainian jokes are essentially stories—more often than not involving vodka—usually containing a twist that is flat, dry and lacking that one key element of any joke: a punch line. Ukraine takes vodka very seriously. To call vodka—or horilka as it is known in Ukraine—the national drink of Ukraine may be somewhat of an understatement. It is more a way of life. A religion. Apparently, many Ukrainians are actually suspicious of those who don’t drink! The word horilka is derived from the Russian gorzalka, which in turn, came from the Polish word gorzec, meaning to burn. Or, as Ukrainians are apt to say: “A good, warmed vodka makes a carnation bloom inside your stomach.” Some Ukrainian vodkas are made with honey, milk, and, as I would find out … hot peppers! Nobody can doubt Ukraine’s love for the distilled drink in all its myriad forms … especially in its purest form: straight. Sergei then said something excitedly to Katya and turned toward me, nodding and smiling, gesturing toward the now halfempty vodka bottle. Katya turned to me, and in an exasperated tone, she said, “he says perhaps you would like to give a toast’?”

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“Sergei Andreevich, compared to your toasts, it would only be a disappointment,” I said, hoping to dodge a bullet. “Well, a man must first know how to drink a toast before he gives a toast,” Sergei joked in reply. Bullet dodged. “Bobby! Eat!” commanded Elena. “We’re not expecting any more guests.” As I began to eat, I could feel Babushka’s eyes watching over me. She bluntly declared in Russian and with great disgust: “Too skinny.” She then slammed another shot for good measure. Surely this had to be an illusion, or some sort of parlor trick. The thing was, she was right. I had lost a lot of weight in the months leading up to my trip as a result of the combination of my hefty class load and the anticipation of this trip.

15 “Oh … no thanks.” “I’m joking, Bobby. It’s ham.” I grabbed a slice with my fork and immediately took a bite. “Good?” I nodded. “Moo!” Katya said with a sly grin. “Are you serious?!” I exclaimed, my mouth still full of the sinewy meat. “You said you like it, right?” I spit it out into my napkin. Babushka rolled her eyes. “You eat steak, don’t you?” Katya asked. “Yeah.”

Although I was already full, I filled my plate back up with seconds, carefully avoiding the pickled herring at all costs.

“You have no problem eating cow’s butt?”

Elena offered me what looked like a giant cube of fatty bacon.

She reached over with her fork and stabbed a slice of tongue before dipping it into the salt bowl, flipping it this way and that until it was completely covered in salt. Unlike a relatively sanitary salt shaker, Katya’s family preferred a communal salt dipping dish, similar to a large sugar bowl. However, rather than using a clean spoon to sprinkle salt upon their food, the preferred method was to dip bites of food directly into the bowl. Double and triple dipping was apparently no cause for concern. And, apparently, neither was high blood pressure.

“It looks like a big chunk of fat,” I said. “That’s why it’s called salo (fatback),” Katya said. That sounds healthy, I thought to myself. “Eat!” Elena said. “Tastes good!” I reluctantly gave in, then reached for another helping of potatoes for good measure. Katya pointed to a plate of what looked like sliced pieces of ham. “What is it?” I asked hesitantly. “Cow tongue,” Katya replied.

©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Katya had me there.

Sergei offered me more vodka. This time, I politely refused, to the relief of both Katya and Elena. I took a bite of bread and leaned back against the couch to relieve my aching back. After presenting the family with the gifts that I brought from Michigan and sharing

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June 2013 family photos, it was time for dessert, adding at least another hour to our total couch time. In Ukrainian culture, meals are not intended to be eaten quickly. They are to be savored. And at the centerpiece of every dessert is tea. An average Ukrainian consumes five cups of tea a day. As Sergei poured honey into his tea, he looked me squarely in the eyes and proudly—and loudly—proclaimed, in broken English: “Bobby, I love honey!” I nodded, smiling awkwardly, trying to make sense of what he was telling me. I turned to Katya, “Did he just say he loves honey?” “Sure! He might not know English very well, but he definitely knows how to say his favorite treat,” Katya replied. “Honey is his favorite treat?” I asked. “I love honey, Bobby! Sometimes! Yesterday! Today and tomorrow! I love honey! I love the United States! I love Ukraine!” confirmed Sergei in a heavy Russian accent. “My dad just demonstrated the full extent of his English vocabulary,” Katya said, laughing. “Very good!” I said, as Sergei popped an entire lemon wedge into his mouth, which he proceeded to suck dry before swallowing it whole. Nothing about the process seemed to faze him. “Did he just eat a lemon?” I asked Katya. Katya responded by eating her own lemon wedge just as Sergei had. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. “We have a saying in Ukraine. Only when you eat a lemon do you appreciate what sugar is,” Katya said. “Try one.”

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16 “Oh, no thanks,” I said, adding, “So how do I say ‘I love honey’ in Russian?” I asked. “Ya lyublyu—I love—myod–honey. Ya lyublyu myod,” Katya explained I decided to give it a shot, totally butchering it. “Ya lyublyu myod! Ya lyublyu Ukraine! Ya lyublyu Dnipropetrovsk!” Everyone burst out laughing at my Russian hatchet job particularly the way I pronounced—or rather mispronounced— Dnipropetrovsk. Katya corrected me. “Knee-prop-a-trovsk, remember? Knee…prop…a…trovsk!” I repeated after it her, improving slightly. Katya kept coaching me through it, along with Sergei and Elena’s assistance. Sergei moved his hands like a conductor— “Knee…prop…a…trovsk! knee…prop…a…trovsk!”—until I proudly exclaimed, in a strong Russian accent, “Dnipropetrovsk!” Everyone burst out in applause. “There you go!” said Katya. “Easy! Now you have truly arrived!” “Meladetz, Bobby!” Sergei proclaimed (“Congrats!”) “Dnipropetrovsk! Dnipropetrovsk!” I chanted over and over again like a delirious fool. Sergei grabbed my shot glass. I was ready to oblige, but both Katya and Elena convinced him otherwise. He gave in, handing me the bottle. “What’s going on?” I asked. “Remember what I was saying? You’re not supposed to pour a shot for just yourself.” Oh, yeah!” I said, not bothering to ask why this rule didn’t apply to Babushka. I proceeded to pour a shot for Sergei,

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June 2013 accidentally overfilling his glass and spilling vodka onto the plate of lemon wedges. “I’m so sorry,” I said, embarrassed.

17 MI. His website is www.foxplots.com. Or follow him on Twitter @foxwriter7 ~~~~~~~

“Not a problem,” Sergei replied. “Now even better!” he said, grabbing a lemon wedge and shoving it into his mouth. This round of shots was followed by one more. And then we finally ate dessert. We ate until we couldn’t eat anymore. Author Bio: R.J. Fox is the awardwinning writer of several short stories, plays, poems, a novel and 15 feature length screenplays. Two of his screenplays have been optioned to Hollywood. His works have been published in the The Naked Feather, The Medulla Review, Lap Top Lit Mag, The Path, Contemporary Literary Review India, Yareah Magazine, One Title Magazine, The Knotted Beard Review, Bareback, The Zodiac Review, Fortunates, Randomly Accessed Poetics, Wordsmiths, Toska, Enhance, Common Line Journal, Cold Noon, Miracle e-Zine, Shadows Express, The Rusty Nail, Airplane Reading, Untapped Cities, The Lyceum, Detroit News, Dearborn TimesHerald, TravelMag and inTravel Magazine. He is also the writer/director/editor of several awardwinning short films. His recent stage directing debut led to an Audience Choice Award at the Canton One-Acts Festival in Canton, MI. Fox graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English and a minor in Communications and received a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Wayne State University. In addition to moonlighting as a writer, independent filmmaker and saxophonist, Fox teaches English and video production in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, where he uses his own dream of making movies to inspire his students to follow their own dreams. He has also worked in public relations at Ford Motor Company and as a newspaper reporter. He resides in Ypsilanti,

©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Interview with David Wood By Mary Nichelson ©June 2013 In an article titled Why Kids Need Their Dads, writer Julie Garrison states that we need to abandon the idea that a father’s sole duty to a child is financial. She goes on to say that a father’s influence is just as important as a mother’s, perhaps more. “A father’s love for his children is the key to their development.” That’s a strong statement to validate, and yet, right on cue, author David Wood introduces Pieces of My Heart, a seemingly perfect answer to Garrison’s plea for paternal engagement. In Pieces of My Heart, Wood displays the lessons he has learned from his heavenly father, just by taking the time to listen. "I believe that God, the creator of the universe, is speaking to us, all the time, all around us, everywhere and in all things. The problem is that we are so busy and distracted with the things of this life that we fail to see Him or hear Him. But, never the less, He is still there, waiting for us and ever speaking to us.” The project began as journal entries for his children, and later became inspiration for Facebook and Twitter updates. With their popularity and meaningful

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messages, the next logical step would be book format. Once he received the go ahead from his publisher, the rest as they say, is history. “It is my hope that these stories will draw the reader closer to the heart of God. They are meant to encourage us to respond to God's gentle call to us, if we will dare to open our eyes and ears to see and hear Him.” MN- Congratulations! Your subtitle to Pieces of My Heart (Finding God in Our Everyday Lives) really sums up the book. I can tell you weren't brain storming a title, it was a natural progression. Looking for God in your everyday activities has become a lifestyle, hasn't it? DW- It is funny you point that out. My first cover and set up books did not have a subtitle. A publisher friend of mine suggested I needed one to give people an idea what was inside. So I thought and thought, racking my brain, because the book was about so many different things. But then the one foundational theme floated to the surface of my thoughts, the thought that was found in each and every story…finding God everywhere. That was really what the whole book was about even though the stories go so many places. And so, “Finding God in Our Everyday Lives” was born as my subtitle. As for the lifestyle…God has taught me to see Him from the smallest to the biggest things in this life. He has always been there, waiting for anyone who will search for Him. In Jeremiah 29:13, it says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart.” It is exactly that! God is right there, all around us, all the time, if we will just open our eyes and see. MN- Apart from this being your journey and originally meant for your daughter's eyes only, was it hard to release your

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personal journal entries to the public eye? DW- I first posted my whole journal on my music website. I had the website a few months earlier and had my music in place for people to listen to. But then I felt like God was asking me to share my journal there too. I resisted for several month because of the personal and vulnerable nature of it. But God continued to encourage me to share it and eventually, I did. Once it was out there, I was more at ease with it. I guess maybe that came from being obedient. MN- Before we get into the meat of the book, your sense of humor is peppered throughout the book. Is this a writing quality or a personality trait? DW- If you could spend just a little bit of time with me, that question would just answer itself. Ha. It is a personality trait that comes out in my writing as well as spilling all over in my life. I love to laugh and have fun and God has given me a pretty crazy brain that does not appear to think like most people. It just goes in directions that defy logic. My wife will ask me, “Where did you get that?” I usually just say, “From my brain.” Maybe it is a defect, brain damage, dropped on my head too many times as a baby, or maybe I am just insane…who knows for sure but I use it to my advantage. I think God gave us humor and laughter as a great medicine for the soul and I like to O.D. on it whenever I can. MN- I love the format of your book. Short, concise, devotional type chapters with ah-ha moments that any reader can relate to. How do these light bulb moments happen-randomly, during your personal study time, or is it an ongoing conversation between you and God? DW- The best answer for this is…“D…all the above.” Just like when Jesus healed

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people, there is no formula…however He wants. God shows me things however He feels like it. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning with a thought in my head. Sometimes I may think of something during my prayer time with God. Many, many, times I just see something while I am going about life and a deeper meaning will form around it. One of the last stories I wrote recently was inspired because I accidentally sat on two chairs at church instead of one…one bun on one chair, one bun on the other. This became a story that talks about being set in our ways, doing things a certain way just because that is how we have always done it. You see, it doesn’t take much to spur this crazy mind of mine. But in all of it, in all ways, it is an ongoing conversation with God using all aspects of life itself. MN- In some places, you were pretty tough on those that talk the faith-based talk but don't walk the walk. I think more of that "calling out" is needed in order to restore what an authentic walk with Christ is. What does your relationship with Him look like? DW- Authenticity is the key to me. First, I have to say, I have not arrived…I am not there. I am an ongoing life-long project with God as my builder. I disappoint myself, others and God more often than I would like to admit with my actions and attitudes. It is that human feature that is in me and in you. But “I” would be the first person to tell you that I messed up. I am not into pretending to be holy, that is just playing church. I don’t want to “look good,” I want to “be good” or as good as I am at this point in my walk with God. I think God is calling us out to be real in Him, the beauty from ashes things in action.

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What I think is most important is to be real and authentic, no matter what that might look like. I want people to see me as real, not a phony that says one thing and does another. If we are not authentic, we can do terrible damage to the reputation of God as Christians. And really, we are fooling no one but ourselves and especially not the One who knows us best. I think "that" is what the world is looking for…real people growing in a real relationship with God. That is also what God is looking for. I struggle, I fall and I get back up again. But with God’s help, I am continually growing more and more like His son, Jesus. Each time my Father looks at me, I want him to see just a little less of me and a little more of Jesus. If I am continually growing, then I am moving in the right direction. That is my goal. MN- Before penning Pieces of My Heart, you were a song writer and musician. Tell me about your group, David Wood and Restoration. DW- Ah, the band. That was a fun chapter in my life for sure. There was actually two, "David Wood & Restoration" bands with my wife and me being the only common members. The first one was started when I taught a young man named, Josh, to play a song I wrote called, "Lamb of God, Light of the World." Josh had heard me play it in church and really loved the song and asked me if I would teach him to play it, which I agreed to and did. We became friends and continued to get together and play our guitars. Eventually, Josh's brother Caleb started playing bass with us. Then we picked up a friend named Steve who played drums and just like that, we had our first band. We recorded the album, "Let Me Be a Gift" in 1996 and played at various local churches for great

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fun. Eventually, Josh, Caleb and the rest of their family moved to Alaska and the first band came to an end.

looked very different throughout the years as I have grown and adjusted with life in my daddy role.

A couple years later, I reformed the band with my friend Bruce on lead guitar, Paul on bass and another Bruce on drums. This is the band I recorded my album, "Tuned a Tad Too Tight" with. We played together until late 2001, when I moved 30 miles away to Boise. They continue to play together to this day and travel all over the U.S. in a band called, "High Street."

I have six daughters that I would literally lay my life down for and whom I love more than they know. I am extremely blessed in life because these same six daughters, beautiful both inside and out, all love me back with a love that warms my heart and makes it all worth it. Who could ask for more? I consider that a great victory and success.

The move to Boise just turned another page in my life. Now, I mostly play and sing with my wife who now plays bass. We love to lead worship music at different churches and I still have a home studio where I love to record music I have written and continue to write. My music site has music from both bands as well as my very first CD before my bands and newer music I have written. You can listen to all of this music for free on the site or purchase music if you like. MN- You know, Father's Day is coming up this month and I am interested in what your experience as a Father has been so far. DW- Wow, wow, wow! Being a dad has been a tremendous journey filled with highs and lows and in betweens mixed with lots of growing. I have made huge mistakes at times while in other places handled something way better than expected. Being a parent is a huge job and responsibility, there is no doubt. I am not the same father I was when I first started. I have changed, grown and made adjustments with each child it seems. I always tried to do my best but my best just

©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

My youngest daughter is now 21 so my role is much different than it used to be. One thing is for sure though, my role will never be over as I will be their daddy till the day I leave this earth and to them, even after. And I might add, I am the greatest grandpa in the universe to my seven grand children. Just sayin'. MN- There is a video that has gone viral in which two men have agreed to be hooked up to a machine that simulates labor. After an hour, they were pretty much wiped out. If you could experience labor for a few minutes in order to better relate to your wife, would you be game? DW- You know, I did watch that crazy video. It did not turn out like I thought it would and in the end I was thinking …someone give them a baby … please…SOMEONE GIVE THEM A BABY! If I were there, I would have at least given them a stuffed monkey to hold when it was all over. They at least deserved that! I must say, I have enjoyed “experiencing labor” from my viewpoint so far. But if it was something my wife thought I needed to know…then yes, I would do it. Would I scream and cry like a little girl? You know it! Plus you did say “a few minutes,” not an hour right? I would be willing to hook myself up for a two hour challenge as long

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as it was not actually plugged in. Author Bio- David’s personal journal that miraculously became this book was started in 2001 with the intention of being a gift to his daughters in his later years so they would know what their dad thought about things in this life. The purpose was to give them a glimpse of him even after he was gone, to bring comfort and courage to them by leaving actual “pieces of his heart” behind in the form of his written words. But God kept pressing David to share it more widely as a blessing to anyone who wished to read it. The hope is that these stories will spark thoughts about God’s constant involvement and intervention in our lives and stir a sense of how much He cares about every detail that is important to us. David resides in Boise, Idaho, with his wife, Denice, and works as an engineer at Micron Technologies. He is the proud father of six beautiful daughters and “Papa Dave” to seven grandchildren, five boys and two girls. You can learn more about Pieces of My Heart, including ordering links, by visiting his website. He also has a site dedicated to his music. His book is also available through publisher Dave Biebel's Healthy Life Press Website . ~~~~~~~ Featured Books!

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©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

The Gift of Love By Elizabeth L. Abrey ©June 2013 The hardest bridge to cross is the one that opens your heart, the one that leads you home. Home was a word that long since ceased to exist for Emily Morgan, however she still had hope! Hope for happiness, love and for the future despite everything life had thrown at her. So when she found herself in a tree of all places on her birthday, trying to retrieve her birthday present, she wondered if this was one of life’s little jokes. Her friend Katherine had given her a kitten as a gift the day before despite her objections. “You need a man Emily, but since you’ve decided to swear off relationships then you’ll have to settle for a pet. She'll provide you with some much needed company,” Katherine had said with that smile of hers, thrusting the tiny black and white bundle of fluff into Emily’s arms. Being soft-hearted Emily took one look into the fur-ball's bright green eyes and fell in love with her. She named her Sookie after a favourite character from a book series – it just seemed to suit the fur-ball somehow. How was Emily to know that she had a mischievous streak and that they would both end up stuck in a tree together? Well Emily was stuck, literally. Sookie on the other hand, was on the branch above, licking her paws and seemingly grinning at her. “You cheeky little so and so, just wait until I get my hands on you!” Emily wagged her finger at the cocky cat hoping to get a reaction. Taking it as an empty threat, Sookie yawned and turned her back on Emily. Hot, tired and slightly annoyed, Emily turned her attention to freeing herself from the branch her shirt had snagged on.

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June 2013 “Do you need any help?” a voice rich in Irish brogue queried from below. Emily froze and looked down to find a young man standing below her with a grin on his face. Oh and what a handsome face it was. “I should be fine,” she said, and then laughed while wiggling about. “If I can just pull myself free, arrgh...” Giving a hard tug she suddenly found herself falling face first out of the tree. Instead of landing on solid ground, Emily found herself stretched out across the muscular length of the Irish stranger. Placing a hand on his chest, she lifted her head to find him staring at her with a bemused smile on his face and a twinkle in his dark blue eyes. “Perhaps I should introduce myself, given our current position,” he said with a laugh. “My name's Connor Quinn.” “I'm Emily Morgan,” she said, blushing furiously as a few youngsters walked past them sniggering and pointing. Hastily she scrambled to her feet and dusted herself off. How did she manage to get herself into these predicaments? Watching Connor get to his feet, Emily was concerned. “I'm sorry, are you hurt? I’m so clumsy...” Her train of thought trailed off as he ran a hand through his shaggy blond hair and the muscles on his arm rippled. Connor stepped forward, laughing. “Don't worry about it. It's not every day I have the chance to get swept off my feet by a beautiful woman!” Emily self-consciously tucked her long auburn hair behind her ears and averted her eyes up to the branch where Sookie was perched. The kitten observed them with what appeared to be expressions of both amusement and of boredom.

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22 “Some birthday present she turned out to be.” Emily sighed, sitting down with her back against the tree. “It's your birthday then?” Connor asked, joining her. It was almost as if he knew she needed some company and was more than happy to oblige. “Yes it is.” Curious, she changed the subject. “I haven't seen you around here before. Do you live nearby?” “I moved here just last week. I was transferred down from Ireland by my company. I'm staying with my cousin Katie till I can find a place of my own.” Suddenly he leapt up and sprinted across to a flower bed nestled under a row of trees nearby. As quickly as he had gone, he returned presenting her with a single red rose. “Happy birthday Emily,” Connor said as he knelt beside her. She accepted the flower with a smile and her heart skipped a beat at the thoughtfulness of the gesture. “It's lovely. Thank you, Connor!” “Not as lovely as you are Emily,” he stated, reaching for her hand. They sat there in silence, for what seemed like an eternity gazing into each other's eyes when a tiny meow broke the spell. Sookie leapt down from the tree and landed in Emily’s lap. Turning around a number of times, she settled herself in a tiny ball, purring. Connor and Emily looked at her then turned to each other in stunned amazement and burst out laughing. “I should get Sookie home before the fur ball escapes again,” Emily joked, standing up and holding the now complacent animal firmly against her chest with one hand and her perfect red rose in the other.

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June 2013 “May I walk you home?” Connor asked, standing up to stroke the precocious Sookie. Her heart once again began to beat furiously as she observed chiseled features that could grace the cover of any magazine with ease. Normally shy and introverted, she had to wonder at the handsome man's interest in her. Not that Emily was unattractive; by all accounts she had been told she was a beautiful woman. But it wasn't something she fixated on. She was more than happy just being herself. Ruefully Emily now wished she had taken more time this morning to apply some make-up. Shaking her head at her foolishness, Emily decided to take a chance and follow her heart. “I'd like that, Connor. Thank you. I only live a few houses down.” “So what do you have planned to celebrate your birthday, Emily girl?” he queried as they began walking towards her house. “Apart from climbing trees you mean?” Emily laughed. “Not much, my parents aren't around anymore and my friends all have other plans.” “Then I hope I'm not being too forward, but would you care to join me for a drink tonight?” Connor asked. They arrived at her front door and he reached out to brush a stray strand of hair off her face. “I'm sure you must have better things to do,” she said with a wry smile. “I can't think of anything I would rather do than spend the evening with a beautiful woman!” Emily flushed as he cupped her chin and she saw, staring into his eyes, the sincerity of his words. He suddenly reminded her of someone. Hadn't Katherine mentioned something about a relative staying with her for a while? He couldn't be her best friend's

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23 cousin. Could he? “Connor, your cousin wouldn't happen to be Katherine Donegal, would she?” she asked softly. His eyes widened in surprise and he nodded. “Why yes, that would be my Katie. How did you know?” “Katherine is my best friend. She's the one who gave Sookie to me as a birthday present,” Emily explained, grinning. “What a small world!” “Well, it must be fate that I met you today Emily.” Connor smiled. “Will you have that drink with me now?” “I would love to!” Sookie chose this moment to purr her approval and lifted her head to lick Connor's arm. “I'll come by for you at seven then!” he confirmed, softly ruffling Sookie's head. “Great, see you then,” Emily said, watching as he turned and made his way down the path. About to go in, she paused when he glanced back at her and blew a kiss. Emily sighed, her heart bursting with happiness and hope. Who would have thought that getting stuck in a tree on her birthday would have proved so exciting? Maybe Katherine was right, Sookie had definitely provided her with some much needed company! As had Katherine, however inadvertently. Maybe, just maybe, she’d found a bridge worth crossing! Copyright © 2012 Elizabeth L Abrey *Reprinted with Permission* ~~~~~~~ Feature Publisher Healthy Life Press

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VOWS. Another word for the most solemn promises. Healthy Life Press was founded in May 2008 with a primary goal of helping previously unpublished authors to get their works to market, and to re-issue worthy, previously published works that were no longer available in the marketplace. At Healthy Life Press, we see health as a verb, and achieving optimal health as a process - a crucial process for followers of Christ if we are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, AND strength, and our neighbors as ourselves - for as long as He leaves us here. Healthy Life Press Featured Title!

God promised to love His children, no matter what, and He so loved them, that His own Son gave His life for them. Two people in love promise to be true, to hope, to wait...as long as may be necessary. Partners depend on each other, trust each other, cover each other's back, especially when things get tough. Spouses promise, before God and other witnesses, something like this: "I promise to live with you according to God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony; I promise to love you, comfort you, honor, and keep you, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, to keep myself only unto you, and through God's grace to be faithful and devoted to you as long as we both shall live." VOWS. That's what this story is about. A Compelling Read

When the police cruiser pulled up to the curb outside, Faith Framingham’s heart skipped a beat, for she could see that her son, Chuck, who should have been driving, was not in the vehicle. Chuck's partner, Sandy, stepped out slowly. Sandy's pursed lips and ashen face spoke volumes. Faith waited by the front door, her hands clasped tightly, to counter the fact that her mind was already reeling. "Love never fails," the apostle Paul wrote. Based on the evidence, it seems likely he must have been speaking of divine love, for human love is just that, human, with all the susceptibility to temptation and failure that being human entails. So what holds a relationship together over time and miles? What binds partners together? What protects a marriage when that bond is tested? ©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

About the author: F.F. Whitestone is an author, teacher, and conference speaker. ~~~~~~~ Interview with Marge Warder By Mary Nichelson ©June 2013

Alex Haley is credited as saying "In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning.” Author Margery “Marge” Warder understands this hunger and yearning. After ~All Rights Reserved


June 2013 stumbling upon letters written by ancestors dating back to the civil war era, Marge decided to document her findings. In her book Leaves That Did Not Wither, she relays the impressive story of Emanuel and Esther; a couple who lived a simple life seeped in faith and courage in spite of the many challenges that they faced. The back story to the writing experience is just as monumental as the narrative itself, and in our interview, Marge describes the emotions as well as the foot work needed to accomplish the task. MN-Leaves That Did Not Wither was quite an undertaking. It is part novel, part ancestry, and yet historically accurate. What inspired you to take on such a large project? MW-First, thank you for your gracious words about Leaves That Did Not Wither. It was a labor of love for me, and I appreciate your asking me to talk about it. As a child, I heard tidbits about Emanuel Kisbey’s service during the Civil War and probably romanticized his serving the Union’s cause. Knowing I had someone involved in the Civil War sure made history more interesting, but I didn’t have many facts. About twenty years ago, my brother was the executor for the last of Emanuel and Esther’s grandchildren and subsequently let me see and copy actual letters Esther Kisbey had kept from the 1860s. Those letters told what it was like to be part of Michigan’s Third Cavalry in 1864, and how difficult it was for a woman to try to manage a farm while caring for three young children. As I read the letters, I began falling in love with my ancestors. I knew one day that I’d do more research so I could recreate the story of these “unnoticed” English/Americans. Most of us are from families that will not make it into the history books, but that doesn’t mean their lives were unimportant. “Leaves...” became my 500piece puzzle. Family notes, military and legal documents, census records, obituaries, and research into the nineteenth century helped me decide how to shape and color in the missing puzzle pieces. I pray the result

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25 will bless a variety of readers and be another way I can glorify the Lord. MN-One blaringly obvious lesson that I learned from your book was that much of our modern day problems are challenges of comfort or discomfort, while much of what our ancestors dealt with were life and death challenges. Do you agree? MW-Yes, I think that is generally true. We are seldom without access to emergency care or crisis resources. We anticipate having only a few mornings of our lives when we’ll wonder if a loved or we one, will make it through the day. We live expecting to fulfill plans for a comfortable retirement. By contrast, in the nineteenth century, an accident, ailment, epidemic, infection, and even childbirth regularly took a person’s life. If your family wasn’t facing a crisis, a neighbor likely was. In 1850, the life expectancy in England and the USA hovered around 40 years. Now it’s nearly 80. Rather than wondering how to keep our family alive, we ponder how to update our homes or which restaurant to meet at for dinner. Esther lost three children, some siblings and a spouse, all before she was forty, but she relied upon her Christian faith to keep her looking beyond gravesites and empty plates to the promise of a better life in Eternity because she had placed her trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. I cannot help but wonder if we are seeking our “security” apart from a trusting faith in God because we focus on today and not on eternity. MN-Taking it a step further, our ancestors were stronger for their adversities. Sometimes I believe we really don't understand true suffering. Did you see that while researching for Leaves That Did Not Wither? MW-I definitely saw that suffering was common in the days prior to the 20th century. Mothers and babies died in childbirth, epidemics swept through communities and across countries, an infection could take a life, a broken bone

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June 2013 might end productivity. I cried as I researched “Leaves...” Canning Town’s conditions made life almost impossible. I had tears reading notes and writing about Esther’s first week in Michigan. Thankfully, Esther’s faith grew stronger as she accepted suffering and hardships, and more likely, because of them. Emanuel, though he questions whether he was wise in signing up for duty with the Army, is still relying upon God’s will to be done, though in his letters we know he hoped to rejoin his family. Our urgency and determination to avoid suffering indicates we want to forego a personal understanding of suffering. We want to move past it as quickly as possible. Not only do we rush to medicate against suffering, but also even “religious” voices declare we could avoid suffering if we had a little more faith or a little less sin. I love the Lord and seek to please Him as fully as I understand how to do because I’m grateful Jesus offered to restore me into a right relationship with my Heavenly Father. I in no way think I’m more devoted than hundreds, thousands of martyrs who suffered because they chose not to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ. Most Biblical characters made the pages because they faced suffering, and Jesus told us to expect suffering. I wanted “Leaves...” readers to remember that when times get tough, it doesn’t mean God has deserted us. In Romans 8, we know it’s not talking about “pleasant days” when it comforts us by saying “all things work together for good to them that love God, who are the called according to God’s purpose.” God gets the final word about suffering. MN-Let me go on record as saying that Esther wowed me! What a mentor for women even now. If able, how would she describe our society and do you think she would be encouraged or discouraged by the modern day woman? MW-Thank you for saying Esther “wowed” you and suggesting she would be a good mentor for today’s women.

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26 How would she describe our society? I think there’s plenty to shock Esther if she spent a week in our world, but I think she would address the 21st century women with truth and love. By viewing our entertainment or hearing conversations, Esther would conclude we have inadequate vocabularies, lack wisdom, or are extremely disrespectful. She’d likely think we were “practicing fornication” by the fashions we popularize, and then offer to patch skimpy apparel so females would appear less seductive in public. She would think it deceitful to buy clothes that imply hard work wore them out. Disrespect for God’s Word and principles would break her heart. She’d be horrified mothers and fathers tolerate the practice of ending a pregnancy because she so desperately grieved each child she could not raise to a productive life. The willful instability of marriages and families would disappoint her, and she would be extra-sensitive toward children caught in the middle when families change. The ways we spend money and time would baffle her, and she would be quite impatient if either were spent for addictions. She disliked Emanuel’s tobacco addiction because it depleted resources and wondered about coughs. She would eat less than we do, and unhealthy calories would rarely make it onto her kitchen table. She would suggest we all need to work to eat and to work off what we eat. She would be charitable toward widows, orphans, and those unable to work, but she’d expect each to make the best of their situation with as little dependence upon others as possible. I think she’d be impressed with medical advancements, with increased school attendance beyond eighth grade and that difficulty in reading has been researched. She’d be fascinated with good and clean transportation, and I think she’d love some of our laborsaving conveniences, but probably she’d spend the extra time differently than we do. Esther would applaud today’s opportunities for women, but because she would want

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June 2013 them to experience peace and fulfillment, she would warn them not to forsake their responsibilities as “home makers” who respect the leadership of their husbands and caution women to use their energy and creativity to ensure their children will become godly, industrious, respectful and productive members of society. And I have no doubt that she would continuously look for God-given opportunities to practice “neighborliness” since a neighbor was sent by the Lord at a critical time in her own life. MN-I was moved to tears at many points but one of my favorite parts was a prayer that Emanuel said. "Father, God, Thou's all wise. I'm not. I caint even read Thy book....." These three lines sums up their acknowledgement of God as their Father, their faith in God, and humbling themselves to His will. Wow. How do you get to that point when you lack an education, wealth…everything society claims is the epitome of success? MW-I think there are Christ followers who live much more simply and more devotedly than I do that could answer your question more completely. My husband and I are intentionally aware of Christians suffering under persecution. We learn of courageous Christians with only a page or two of the scriptures, hopefully in their own language. Some go into hiding because violence is on its way. Some have seen their pastor imprisoned or killed, or been imprisoned themselves. Some testify of God’s trustworthiness even though persecutors have maimed their bodies or left them with loved ones to bury, simply because they refuse to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ. Their reliance upon God, their testimonies of God’s faithfulness and lovingkindness, as their tears are drying, make me realize I have a lot of maturing to do. The Bible warns us not be conceited, not to think our accumulation of knowledge can begin to compare to God’s wisdom, not to try to tell God how to manage the world. God lovingly created us fully capable of accomplishing His plans for our lives, but

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27 we’ll likely fail to discover the peace in God’s plans unless we begin that journey in humility. We cannot become part of God’s family without realizing our “goodness” fails to earn our adoption. Only Jesus Christ can secure our adoption because He is God’s Holy Son who sacrificed His life in payment for our sin debt. It takes humility to begin our faith journey and to continuously yield to God’s handling of our life’s circumstances. As we do that, I believe God moves us on toward maturity in our faith, which grows our confidence in God’s goodness and love for us until we trust Him without reservation. MN-With Father's Day coming up this month, Emanuel would be a great speaker at any venue if still alive. What would be the focus of his message to men? MW-Even though Emanuel could not write his own name, he’d tell men to live so their names would be spoken with honor, and especially so if Christian. He’d say all who claim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are to honor Him in word, thought, and deed. However, he would add that none except Christ is perfect, so each ought to get in the habit of understanding that seeking forgiveness is the primary way of restoring broken relationships. He would remind men they may need to say, “I was wrong and I’m sorry” to wives, children, other men, and to God, because the goal is to live an exemplary life with honor and integrity. He’d tell men to risk everything to hold one’s own family together. He’d say taking on the duty of husband means protecting one’s wife to the point of laying down one’s own life for her. His eyes would twinkle when he’d tell them a wife would love them more easily when she’s confident of her husband’s devotion to her. He’d add that as the children come, the husband and father are to be their primary earthly protector. Emanuel would remind the audience that each family member has emotional, physical, and spiritual needs and that husbands and fathers, as heads of the family, are responsible to nurture without

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June 2013 doing for the member what the member ought to be learning to do for him or herself. He would say the best way to pass along values is by example, and doing things together with the children builds memories for the men as well as for the children. He’d remind men that the children crave time with their fathers. He’d tell men the most contented night sound he’s ever heard was his family’s chatter and laughter as they enjoyed being a family before bedtime. He’d encourage men to tell the children of their own childhood, including mistakes they made so the children know he remembers what it was like to be learning new things and failing sometimes in the process. He’d tell men the Bible has to be a part of the education of each family member, and if they cannot read, to ask their wives to read, but to encourage the men get the family to talk about what was read. He’d encourage men to learn to read so they have more opportunities in life, but also so they’d understand the Bible more thoroughly. He’d tell the men that even if the wife is better educated, God designed her to have the husband as her spiritual leader, and the husband best remember he’s accountable to God for doing his best to imitate Christ to his family. He’d remind men to have fun with their family, knowing the days will come when a family cannot remain together. He’d say a husband and father must provide adequately for his wife and children, and to be willing to sacrifice a man’s own interest, leisure, meal, presence and even life, if necessary, to see that the family has what it needs to live without fearing where food and necessities would come from. He’d tell men to be faithful to their wife and children and to find ways to nurture love within the family. He would remind them that one way to love their children by

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28 teaching them to learn consequences for behavior. He would remind men to be charitable toward those with less and not to be jealous of those with more. He would tell men that the United States is to remain a sovereign country worth dying for, and to accept civic responsibilities to see that the country remains one that God would choose to bless. He would say that each generation has to choose to stand in the gap spiritually and nationally until the next generation is ready to take over so that families have the opportunity to experience peace at all its levels. MN- I noticed that there may be some spin offs from-and additions to-Leaves That Did Not Wither coming out in the future. Any hints to what they contain or when readers can expect to see them available? MW-I hope to have more novels that pick up with the lives of some of those introduced in “Leaves...” I tried tackling a novel with the antagonist’s backstory and have about 90,000 words in that rough draft, and true to character, she’s calling some of the shots. I’m trying to get her on the boat but she’s still in England right now. I’ll need to do some revamping of that one before it’s ready for readers. When I told a “Leaves...” reader I was working on Gertrude’s story, she asked, “Will we like her at all?” Gertrude was a real thorn in the side in “Leaves...” but we all became who we are mostly because of choices we’ve made along the way, so she’ll have opportunities to choose how her life unfolds. I’ve also worked quite a bit on a novel about Esther’s runaway son. I am ready to do some “surgery” on that one, too. It’s actually more complete that Gertrude’s story, so we’ll have to see which one gets my attention in the coming weeks. MN-Genealogy is a huge interest for many right now. For those that may not how to go

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June 2013 about researching, what are some tips that helped you through the process? MW- First, I’d encourage getting as much access as possible to family Bibles or other records. None of us current Kisbys ever found the family Bible that had the birth, marriage, death records, but thankfully some had copied those records and I received a copy of the copy from one of Esther’s grandchildren. It was a gold mine for me. Ask grandparents, aunts and uncles, older cousins, and others if they know anything about the previous generations. Second, if you come across old letters or photos within the family, don’t toss them without considering how much information they have about the family, about daily life during that time, and how much they reveal about personalities. If you cannot use them, ask if there are family historians who would like to spend time reading or viewing them. Third, make use of online genealogy resources. I signed up with “Ancestry” for a specific amount of time, absolutely telling them to kick me off on a certain date so I wouldn’t owe any more money. That motivated me because I knew the access would be over at a specific time and I gained a lot of information that way. I scrolled through census records, noting the family information that’s given (name, sex, age, occupation, birth country, and who else lives in that residence). I also snooped on my ancestor’s "neighbors" who were listed on the same or within a page or two. Fourth: Don’t neglect other online resources like newspapers, military records, area obituaries, or even Googling your last name. When I couldn’t figure out where Esther and Emanuel lived at the birth of their surviving child in England, I Googled “London” + “map” + “1850s”. What a surprise when I found both New Road and New Street intersected each other on an 1858 map, which meant I was looking at their home’s location! I saw what it had nearby and consequently looked up

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29 information on a hospital, a couple foundries, etc. I’ve said it before, but Esther’s obituary was crucial for the shaping of this story. Fifth: Find a few resources for that period or event. I found several books about Victorian England and about the Civil War, so I spent several hours doing “quick (mental) scans” in the weeks before writing. If I wrote something down, I’d note the book but not copy word-for-word because I didn’t want to be guilty of plagiarizing later. I concentrated on filling my head with information about places and dialect and social concerns and so forth so that my characters would act and think as the people might have done. Sixth: Don’t forget your own library’s resources. Many have information about how to research your family, and some have volunteers who will walk you through the process or the library may have a speaker who can assist your searches. Seventh: Prepare your family so they can get along without you, perhaps for an extended period. Genealogy becomes addictive! Seriously, you do have to discipline yourself when it comes to research or writing. Most of us will still have responsibilities in the “real” world so we’ll need to set priorities. My husband jokes that the year I researched and wrote, “Leaves...” I spent more time with my dead relatives than my living ones! Author bio-Margery (Marge) Kisby Warder lives with her husband in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where they retired after nearly four decades in ministry. Their two married children are involved in Christian ministry and have provided them with some of the "best" grandchildren a person could hope to have. Margery dedicated her writing skills to the Lord and has had hundreds of articles published. "Leaves That Did Not Wither" is her first completed novel, but others are in process. After readers encouraged her to write a Bible study to go along with "Leaves...", she developed its ten-session booklet entitled "A

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Novel Approach to Bible Study." That and her collection of humorous essays, prose, poetry, and a short story entitled "Christmas Musings" are currently available on a data CD from the author. She is assembling her writings for consideration for a third booklet. Margery would love to visit with you over a cup of coffee or tea, but in the meantime, she invites you to find her "Leaves That Did Not Wither" page on Facebook. She can also be reached through her website and by email. ~~~~~~~

black ocean browned as plastic cups were put in plastic bags. The lub. The granted for taken: road trips and flights and wars. Air dissolves. Maybe a moment of puff but then it’s gone, okay. Beat on did the stress of which heels match the dress, beat on went the red lawnmower engine grooving over the green lawn, beat on went chefs who told why oil and vinegar separate, beat on the professor who told of why humans cannot vinegar, beat on went the talking heads, the marrow’s music. The dub.

Featured Trailers Dhobi Ghat Lint here hangs like powdered diamonds blown from a palm. Dhobis in plastic pants work in their own Ganges – wash pens of browned water. ~~~~~~~ Interested in Advertising YOUR book in The Wordsmith Journal Magazine? Visit our Advertising Info Page or Email: twjadsales@gmail.com ~~~~~~~ Horizons & Dhobi Ghat Cameron Conoaway (c)June 2013 Horizons Bone hides the marrow’s music. Ocean waters do not give as air. Cameras rolled the blued TVs and there: the ribboned gallons that rule us like beliefs rooted in single experiences. The heart beat in our ears, the sunless

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Sweat seems to bleed like pride from their bones even as wide-eyed tourists watch slack-jawed from inside their yellow-topped taxis. A figure glides out of a shack entirely covered by the flowers printed on the thick quilt. A young man takes the quilt and reveals an elderly woman bent to all fours by work. They exchange words but who cares about what when smiles glow like that. He swirls the quilt overhead in a tornado whip and spirals of water dazzle under the sun.

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The distance when one life becomes a show for another. All that can be said of the young girl who licked her bowl of curry clean and took it to the sink for washing. Author Bio: Cameron Conaway is a former MMA fighter, an award-winning poet and the Social Justice Editor at the Good Men Project, where he has published work based on his international investigations into topics such as child labor, malaria and human trafficking. Conaway has received a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, an IPPY and is a two-time recipient of the Richard Russo Prize. He served as Poet-in-Residence at the University of Arizona and with the Mahidol Oxford Research Unit in Thailand. ~~~~~~~ Kindle/Nook Books

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Interview With Fred St. Laurent By Mary Nichelson ©June 2013

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For readers, a book club offers many benefits besides the socialization factor. According to Vital Signs Ministries, “A successful book club is one that provides intellectual stimulation, motivation and accountability – and yet which is also a lot of sheer fun.” Could there be more to the book club picture, though? Perhaps a bigger purpose that would benefit the author, as well? Independent Book Publishers Association believes so. “Want to increase the buzz about a book? Want to get people talking, blogging, and hand-selling it? Two words: book clubs, those groups of friends and neighbors who sit down together every month or so to discuss a title they’ve all agreed to read.” Critics would argue that establishing the fact that book clubs are a win-win for both readers and authors is easier than say, forming one. However, media giant Fred St Laurent and his wife, Nora, have successfully formed an online book club community, and have proven that maintaining one is as simple as loving books, praying, and being passionate about what you do. As founder of The Book Club Network, Fred knows a thing or two about the publishing industry, especially as it relates to faith-based fiction. He was the logical go-to person when The Wordsmith Journal Magazine looked in-depth at the history and impact of the book club community. MN- You offer so many services to both authors and readers, and we will explore exactly what you do in a minute, but first let me ask how you got involved in Christian fiction and the multiple facets of promoting it. FSL- Long, long ago in a Galaxy far, far away… There were three steps to the birthing of this network. It begins on planet Earth. I was a recruiter on Wall Street for 25 years. My wife Nora was working in a local Christian book store and began reading the

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June 2013 books to better understand what she was supposed to be selling. This was not easy for her because Nora struggles with Dyslexia. What happened next changed our lives. Nora found a Francine Rivers book, Redeeming Love. The impact the book had on her was profound. First she began to see fiction books in a new way. Second she fell in love with reading. Keep in mind that Nora read over 200 books last year, while overcoming her Dyslexic challenges. She quickly became the “Christian fiction expert” in the store. The next step for us developed through a friend of ours at church. Ane Mulligan is a dear friend and instigator. She loves to encourage people in their gifts and is very creative. Her suggestion to Nora was that they needed to start a book club. They started meeting in a Barnes and Noble and Nora’s boss heard about it and suggested that they meet in their store. Over the next several years the group developed to over 100 members. I began to meet authors and had access to some great books during this time. What struck me was that many of the authors I met had a gift and a message but were lost when it came to marketing. I began to look for ways to support what Nora was doing as well as a way to impact some of the authors I was meeting. To help then get the word out about their books. The final piece to this came together in our kitchen with one of the friends we had made in the publishing industry. We were kibitzing, after dinner, with the yet to be published, Gina Holmes and our dear friend Ane Mulligan. It was a colorful, creative conversation about the industry and we were all throwing ideas out and laughing. The coffee was good. Nora mentioned that she had ordered a book at a local library and that they had ordered five copies. I made the suggestion that if we had a network of readers with at least one in every county in

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32 the US (there are more than 3,000 counties) who would do the same thing, we could sell 15,000 copies of a book with one email. Gina expressed the thought that there was a book in there somewhere, and they started strategizing what that would look like. I was taken away to a place where a network of readers could be a reality. The Book Club Network was the result. For five years we have been blessed with readers and book club leaders from around the world who were looking for something like what we now provide. MN- Your wife, Nora, works with you. Has she been active as long as you have in promoting Christian fiction? FSL- Longer. Nora has been active for more than 10 years now. She was actually the on line Book Club Leader for the ACFW for 5 years and had to step down because of her schedule. MN- Let's get to the heart of what you do. Tell our readers a little about The Book Club Network and what you have been able to accomplish through it. FSL-The Book Club Network Inc. has several layers. It began with the network and if you look us up on Alexa you will see that we are an extremely active membership. The next layer was an attempt to derive some revenue to support the network. We didn’t want to charge our members and try to keep the resources free for authors and publishers. So The Book Club Network Store was born. This is our online store and it has hundreds of thousands of books, gifts, movies and church supplies. Our largest order last year was from a church in the Midwest that ordered candles for their Christmas Eve services. We do have sponsors who pay an annual fee for promotional services; Bethany House, Revell, Elk Lake Publishers and David C Cook are our core sponsors. (We do have room for one more) and for

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June 2013 authors, publicists and other publishers, we do promotional work. Basically if an author or publicist (or even publisher) sets up in our network and does all the work, our resources are free. If we do the work for them, we charge for it. The final piece to our organization is the Magazine which we developed last year. This is a free monthly, digital magazine that goes out to more than 50,000 readers and is very different than anything else we could find in the marketplace. MN- I've had the pleasure of talking with several magazine editors in recent months about the effectiveness of book clubs and they all agree that it is a major key in selling books and creating interest. However, they all agree that book clubs are hard to start. Have you found this to be accurate in your experience, and do you have any tips for making the startup process a little less painful? FSL- How to start a book club? You need someone like Nora. If you are someone who cares about the people God puts in your life and you possess a love of books and authors, you have a chance of succeeding. Book clubs are a small group ministry. They are an outreach to the community. They create a ‘safe place’ where neighbors can come and discuss the issues that books can bring to the surface. We find that folks from the community, who might not enter a church on Sunday, will come to a reading group. Nora calls it finding Hope in Reading groups and we know that Hope is a person. If you can approach book clubs prayerfully in this way, chances are it will grow beyond your expectations because we believe that God can work through this. MN- Christian fiction is a tough genre for many reasons. The definition of what faithbased books should or should not include is relevant to the reader. Some contemporary readers don't want a lot of religious content, while many traditional readers feel it isn't faith based unless it is dripping in religious

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33 clichés. From your perspective and from being exposed to the sheer volume of fiction that you have been seen, what is the balance? FSL- Our focus is “Family Friendly” in that our readers are looking for good stories and want to know that they are reading something that will not surprise them with an explicit scene or language. If an author feels they need to drop an “F” bomb or describe a scene in such detail that it leaves NOTHING to the imagination, they are not a fit for our audience. We are surrounded by a media that is trying to pierce through hearts hardened by a generation of violence, sex and profanity in our culture. I find that I need to tape some of the shows we watch in order to avoid viewing the commercials for zombies or vampires or worse. I think our culture is craving family friendly entertainment. We try to avoid articles that “preach or teach” us and focus on learning with the author through anecdotal, biographical articles. I hope that answers your question? MN- Authors sometimes lament that promotion is the hardest part of bringing their work to print and making sales. What would you say to the writer who remains reserved about the whole interacting-withtheir-reader philosophy? FSL- Long ago a mentor told me that I should “pray like it all depended on God, because it does, and then get out and do it like it all depended on me, because it does.” Readers that I have gotten to know see the author as a ‘movie star’ and there is a connection made through books that may be difficult for some authors to understand. Marketing is the largest part publishing. If an author does not learn this part of their craft they will not be an author for long. MN- How can an author get their book listed in the store at The Book Club Network? FSL-The best way is to contact me & I will

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be happy to give them a tour. MN- Anything exciting coming up on The Book Club Network you can tease our readers with?

Guest Editorial by Liz Flaherty!

FSL- Yes! However Nora tells me that I am terrible at keeping secrets. So you will just have to read the magazine to find out. ~~~~~~~ TWJM Journalist: Mary Nichelson!

Mary is an avid reader, writer, editor and self-proclaimed advocate for the authors that make Christian publishing the great industry it is. She supports publishers by interviewing authors and promoting their new releases, as well as upholding a standard of ethics that defines the word “Christian”. Her passion is to see the publishing business excel by promoting literature that speaks to our generation without compromise. Mary is the host of Marysworld Internet radio talk show, maintains a website affiliated with several publishers, and is a member of the Evangelical Press Association (EPA) Mary's World Website & Blog Friend Mary on FB ~~~~~~~ Featured Partner

I thought that after my husband and I had been married for a really long time—say 30 years—marriage would be easy. We’ve never argued a lot, never talked seriously about separating even on the days we could barely stand to be in the same room, never gone to sleep without one of us saying I love you and the other one saying I love you more. When we retired almost at the same time, it was fine. Oh, I admit, I’d been looking forward to a little alone-in-the-house time— something you don’t get when you work outside it all of your adult life. And I think he was looking forward to relaxing, taking it easy. I wanted to travel. A lot. He didn’t. He really kind of wanted to sell the house we’ve lived in for 35 years and rent something smaller, with less responsibility. I didn’t. I wanted to volunteer here, there, and everywhere. I wanted to sew every day, write every day, do something new and exciting every day. I wanted to be involved. I wanted to do everything I hadn’t had time to

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June 2013 do in the 42 years I worked. And I wanted to do it all now.

35 feels she owes it to the Giver to enjoy every minute.

He didn’t. He wanted to relax. To winter in a warmer place. To watch television. To always eat in the same restaurants because the food is predictable and consistent. I didn’t. So, no, marriage wasn’t easy. Ours is fine. We’re still best friends, have learned the art of compromise on a day-by-day basis. We do some of what he wants, some of what I want, and we meet in the middle. We still say I love you and I love you more every day. I started A Soft Place to Fall several years ago, but the story refused to tell me where it was going, what I was supposed to do with it. Until I gave serious thought to where a long marriage could end up if you didn’t compromise, didn’t remember to cherish the friendship, didn’t bother with “I love you.” And there it was. That was where Nash and Early’s story in A Soft Place to Fall was supposed to go. I hope you follow it to see where it ends up. Author Bio: Liz has decided that “new and wonderful” is a good life motto. Since retirement from her day job, she’s spending a lot of time searching out and finding stuff that fits the criteria. So far she’s liked wintering in a warm place and loved parasailing. Ziplining is next on her list. Maybe.

A Soft Place to Fall Liz Flaherty Early McGrath didn’t want freedom from her thirty-year marriage to Nash, but when it was forced upon her, she did the only thing she knew to do—she went home to the Ridge to reinvent herself. Only what is someone who’s taken care of people her whole life supposed to do when no one needs her anymore? Even as the threads of her life unravel, she finds new ones— reconnecting with the church of her childhood, building the quilt shop that has been a long-time dream, and forging a new friendship with her former husband. The definition of freedom changes when it’s combined with faith. Can Early and Nash find a Soft Place to Fall? A Soft Place to Fall is available now from Pelican Book Group / Harbour Light Books in Ebook & Print! ~~~~~~~ Featured Sponsor: Kevin Zimmerman!

An avid sewist, she likes making quilts and gowns for the regional children’s hospital. She’s in the process of making bed-size quilts for her grand-kids, The Magnificent Seven. She lives in Indiana with Duane, her husband of…well, a really long time, and some cats who will trade affection for food. Life has been a most bountiful gift, and Liz

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Kevin Zimmerman is an author & radio show host! ~~~~~~~ Kindle/Nook Books

~~~~~~~ Sun and Fun in the Summer Can Lead to Skin Problems Later if You Haven’t Learned How to … Save Your Skin by Robert W. Martin III, MD, MAR ©June 2013

NOTE: Robert W. Martin III, MD, MAR, is Chair of Dermatology and Chief of Dermatopatholgy at Indiana University Health Arnett in Lafayette,Indiana. The material upon which this article is based was originally published in 70 Ways to Beat 70, by David B. Biebel, DMin, James E. Dill, MD, and Bobbie Dill, RN (Revell: Grand Rapids, 2008), 185-188. © Biebel, Dill & Dill, and Robert W. Martin III, MD, MAR. **Reprinted with Permission** Unlike any other organ or system within the body, the skin’s aging process is readily visible. Without protection from the sun’s rays, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin. Damage is generally most pronounced in fair-skinned individuals, especially in those who have had ample occupational or recreational exposure to sunlight throughout their lives. There is no safe tan! Repeated use of

©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

tanning beds doubles the risk of skin cancer, especially melanoma. One blistering childhood sunburn doubles the life-time risk for skin cancer. Children under six months of age should be protected by clothing and shade. Between six months to two years, a broad spectrum sun block, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide should be used. After the age of two, chemical sunscreens may be applied. Sunscreens should be broad-spectrum (protecting against UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF 15 or higher – this applies to all ages. Sunscreens should be amply applied at least 20 minutes before sun exposure, and reapplied every two hours—year round. Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen does not cause Vitamin D deficiency, since it only takes two to five minutes of sun exposure for maximum natural production of Vitamin D. The most common malignancy in women aged 25–34 is melanoma. Men over the age of 50 are at the highest risk for melanoma, but it can affect anyone, of any age. The most frequent sites for melanoma are the upper back, chest, abdomen, and lower legs. Caught early, melanoma is curable. Ignored, it can be fatal. I teach patients this melanoma warning signs acrostic: Asymmetry of a mole, i.e. the halves do not match. Borders are irregular, notched, or scalloped. Color variation is present with different shades of brown, tan, or black. Diameter is larger than a pencil eraser. Evolving changes in size, shape color, elevation, bleeding, itching, or crusting of moles. During our 40s and 50s our skin begins to thin and become less elastic. There are more brown spots and wrinkles. The most likely cause is sun-damage. Over-the-counter “wrinkle” creams and lotions do little or nothing to reverse wrinkles. At this time, only prescription tretinoin cream and

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June 2013 certain lasers have been approved by the FDA to treat sun-damaged or aging skin. Dermatologists can treat wrinkling with injectable fillers/botulinum toxin, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, chemical peeling, microdermabrasion, and topical treatments.

37 persistent open sore or red patch; new, shiny, pink, or crusty bump; or a scar-like area (occurring where there has been no surgery or trauma) is cause for alarm and requires evaluation by a dermatologist. While aging is not for sissies, Shakespeare wrote, “With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”

During our 60s and 70s the tip of the nose droops, wrinkles deepen, our ears elongate, our eyelids fall, jowls form, and the upper lip disappears while the lower lip protrudes. Once-flat brown spots now become raised and scaly, blood vessels dilate, and permanent brown spots occur not only on the face but the neck, chest, arms, and legs. Two of the most common problems during this stage are the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers, and dry skin. Dry skin affecting the back, lower legs, and arms results from loss of sweat and oil glands and thinning of the skin. Low humidity, dehydration, sun exposure, smoking, stress, diabetes, kidney disease, certain medications, and overuse of soaps, antiperspirants, perfumes, or hot baths will make the problem worse. My “Rule of 3s” is: 1. Tub bath/shower no more than 3/week; 2. Water 3–5 degrees above body temperature (i.e., tepid water); 3. Bathe for less than 3–5 minutes; 4. Pat dry, leaving “beads of water,” and apply emollient within 3 minutes; 5. Apply body lotion 3 additional times per day. Non-melanoma skin cancer affects 1 in 5 Americans and occurs most commonly on sun-exposed areas. Skin cancer risk is greatest for fair-skinned “frecklers” with a past history of significant sun exposure. Basal cell carcinomas are usually small, fleshy bumps or nodules on the head and neck. Squamous cell carcinomas are tumors that may appear as nodules or as red, scaly patches that can develop into large masses, and spread to other parts of the body. Any

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Dr. Biebel has authored or co-authored nineteen books. He founded Healthy Life Press, in 2008 to help previously unpublished Christian authors get their works into print, and to keep worthy out-ofprint Christian books available. He and his wife established Health-Wise Worldwide in 2005, as one means of educating the public in relation to achieving and maintaining optimal health, with an emphasis on the importance of whole food nutrition in biological health. ~~~~~~~ Feature Publisher Revell Books

Revell began over 125 years ago when D. L. Moody and his brother-in-law Fleming H. Revell saw the need for practical books that would help bring the Christian faith to everyday life. From there, Fleming H. Revell Publishing developed consistently solid lists which have enjoyed the presence of many notable Christian writers over the years. This same vision for books that are both

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inspirational and practical continues to motivate the Revell publishing group today. Whether publishing fiction, Christian living, self-help, marriage, family, or youth books, each Revell publication reflects relevance, integrity, and excellence. Revell’s Featured Author: Sandra Orchard!

Sandra Orchard is an active member in American Christian Fiction Writers, The Word Guild, Romance Writers of America, and a local writing group. She recently participated in the Writers’ Police Academy for hands-on training and simulations at a police training facility. Sandra is the author of Shades of Truth, Critical Condition, and Deep Cover, which won the Canadian Christian Writing Award for romance in June 2012 and was recognized as one of the top five novels of the year by Family Fiction magazine. Sandra has also received a Daphne DuMaurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense in both the inspirational category and for best score overall. She lives in Niagara, Ontario, Canada. Her book, Deadly Devotion is available now from Revell! ~~~~~~~ The Proactive Author: The Constant Hunt for Excellent Writing By W. Terry Whalin ©June 2013

©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Recently I was in beautiful Seattle at the Northwest Writers Association Conference. I've been privileged to speak at this conference several times over the years. I always find it invigorating to get away from my computer and phone for a bit to meet face to face with writers and talk about books and publishing. In today's connected world, we seem to rarely get away from our computer and phone but at least we can grab the face to face time. Several years ago at this conference, I met retired surgeon Lloyd Johnson. In recent years, Lloyd has been writing fiction. We've kept in touch and when I joined Morgan James, I reached out to him to him and discovered he had a great novel called Living Stones. I championed his novel to my colleagues at Koehler Books, the fiction imprint of Morgan James. If you click this link, you can read a sample of the book and see the attractive book cover. Lloyd's passion is about telling stories about the Middle East and he has taken that passion into his storytelling and novel. Lloyd and I had dinner at beautiful Lake Washington and talked about book publishing. He is excited about the forthcoming publication of his first book and has connections to some great nonprofit organizations in this part of the world. I was encouraging him to include in his launch plans some ideas to sell his books large numbers. Most writers are thinking of selling books one book at a time. What if you could sell boxes of books with one connection? It can happen with the right mindset and planning. To learn more listen to this free teleseminar. It's an interview that I hosted with Ted Rogers and Vickie Mullins (use this link). Lloyd has an excellent novel and now needs to reach as many people as possible with his new book. If you have a book, I encourage you to spend some time in strategic thinking about how to reach new audiences.

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June 2013 All day Friday, the Seattle conference had a series of group pitching sessions. Each one had five or six or seven writers. Often these conferences have individual meetings so it was different to hear the pitches in a group. I am actively looking for excellent writing. Morgan James publishes nonfiction, fiction and even children's books (a challenging area for any new writer these days). In this group setting, I focused on one writer at a time and heard their pitch. Yet everyone else in the group also heard the pitch and could learn from what worked or didn't work. It was a different dynamic than one on one pitching but the participants seemed to enjoy the interaction and learning experience. Since meeting these new people, I've been writing emails and encouraging these writers to send me their material. Morgan James receives about 5,000 submissions a year and only publishes about 150 books. Yet you can't have your material considered if you don't send it. During the conference, I participated in a panel discussion with all of the faculty (several other editors and literary agents). We agreed that often we encourage writers to submit their material. It was confirmed that many times, we ask for the submission at a conference and the writer never sends it. Talk about a missed opportunity! Yes no one likes to be rejected—but you can't get into the consideration process if you never submit it. As editors and agents, we are on a constant hunt for excellent writing. Yes we are looking for authors who are connected to the marketplace. Yet good writing is always important. Are you a good communicator? How do you become a good communicator? Practice. Good writing will result in more good writing.

39 session was not recorded. The panelists included Jon Fine, the director of Author & Publisher Relations at Amazon.com, Amy Grace Loyd, the executive editor of Byliner, and Jofie Ferrari-Adler, a Senior Editor at Simon and Schuster. Moderator John Rosengren organized this excellent event. While this workshop had a lot of information about the future of publishing, at one point, each of the experienced panelists talked about the importance of excellent writing. Whether you are writing for Byliner or magazines or books, your storytelling and writing has to be excellent. How do you learn to be an excellent writer? I believe it comes from constant practice and working in the publishing industry. So many authors want to publish a book so they work for hours and hours on a long 40,000 to 100,000 piece of writing—yet they ignore the magazine market. It is much better to learn to write with shorter articles than to “practice” with a longer work like a book. You are better to start a blog and begin writing short articles or to learn to write query letters to magazines and then write the articles than to work years on a longer book which finds limited readers. Thousands of people will read your magazine work so don't ignore those possibilities. I continue to write for magazines on a regular basis—and have done so for over 20 years. It's where I can practice my storytelling craft on a regular basis—and you can do the same. I'm speaking at a number of places in the coming months. I hope to see you on the road and we can talk about your book ideas face to face. Or you can always email me with your ideas and manuscripts. I’m easy to reach and I'm on the continual search for excellent writing.

Several weeks ago, I attended an excellent workshop at the American Society of Journalists and Author Conference in New York City called Book Publishing: Making It in the New Frontier. Unfortunately this

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40 The Power of Positive Faith: Saying “No” can be Positive… By Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith ©June 2013

Author Bio: W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Irvine, California. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12lesson online course called: Write a Book Proposal His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. ~~~~~~~ Featured Author: Beth Trissel

Married to her high school sweetheart, Beth lives on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, her love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into her work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of Beth's inspiration. In addition to American settings, she also writes historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles. Find out more about Beth by visiting her Website and Blogor connecting with her on Face Book or Twitter! ~~~~~~~

©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

I have never been known for being used easily. I am not saying that I have never been used because early in my life, I was. I am more of a guarded person but I know really nice people who allow themselves to be used over and over again. I have concluded that we are used either because we want to be or we just don’t have the internal compass that warns us when it is about to happen. What happens when we have allowed ourselves to be used? We ignore that we have been used or we resent the person that has used us; either way our resentment will eventually manifest itself. For those that tend to ignore, be careful that you are not doing things that are drawing those types of toxic relationships to yourself. For those who experience outright anger, be aware that what you are feeling isn’t something that just happened yesterday; rather, your feelings probably have been repressed and internalized. Your feelings have most likely been building up steam for a while and if you aren’t careful, they will eventually explode. Have you heard the statement, “we teach others how to treat us”? Like many phrases, you may have heard this one but don’t really know what it means. I want to explain this particular one for you. “We teach others how to treat us” means that we cannot blame others for what they do to us because we have allowed them to do whatever it is they have done. We have given others permission either passively or assertively. I have heard people say, “She can’t be trusted, she uses people; she used me” or “he has a terrible reputation, but I trusted him anyway and he burned me” or “my gut told me not to trust that person”. Have you ever said any of these? I bet you have. Don’t

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June 2013 be ashamed, because you are not the only one. But I would argue that we knew something wasn’t right about a person who used us and we said “yes” to them anyway. Why did you do that? Because you are a nice person; that’s why! When you are really nice, sometimes your niceness can be mistaken for weakness. You are not weak; you are strong---that’s what your Bible says and being nice does not equate to being weak. You do know that you share in the process of being used, don’t you? In fact I want you to understand that I feel you share half the blame. We are used when we don’t stand up for ourselves; when we do not exercise our power to say “no”. You don’t have to always say no, but you don’t need to say yes to everything either. You are your own person and you own your life. Don’t allow others to control you; learn to take control. Learn the power of saying “no”. If you don’t learn how to say it you may end up stressed, bitter or resentful. Women in general sometimes have a problem with saying no because they don’t want to appear mean or rude. But they are also the ones that can get over-extended with home, work, church, community and friends. Too many commitments on their plates too often breed burnout and if they don’t stop, that can build up resentment. Listen, you have every right to stand up for yourself! You may say “I don’t know how to stand up for myself; I don’t enjoy conflict.” But you don’t need to be in the middle of conflict to stand up for yourself. You just need to learn to stand firm with your decisions; it’s that simple. When you begin to recognize your true value and when you remember that you are a person that is due respect, you can easily move into the areas of taking back your own power. You can now take control of your own decisions and if you end up over-committing yourself by saying “yes”

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41 when you really don’t want to, you have no one to blame but you. Sometimes we allow others to do what they want because we want them to be our friend or we don’t want them mad at us or we think that they will say something about us that will hurt us with others. If your relationship with someone is based on fear, that is one hint that the relationship isn’t a healthy one. If someone is your friend simply because you will do whatever they ask you to do whenever they ask you to do it, it is a second hint that they are not your friend. Learn to state your true feelings and if you don’t feel that you can do a thing asked, just say “no”. You already know how to say “yes”. When you get comfortable saying “no” don’t go overboard; don’t go to the extreme in saying “no”. Do what you feel you should do. If you say “yes” let it be honest and if you say “no” let it be honest also. Do what God inspires you to do through the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, “Let the weak say that I am strong” (Joel 3:10) and Joshua 1:9 says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." So trust what God says He will do for you and through you. He will give you the strength you need to overcome. What’s faith got to do with anything? It’s your faith that will sustain you! If you want to say “yes” to anyone all the time, say yes to God. Remember, that we do teach others how to treat us, so teach them to respect you by learning to respect yourself first…

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Author Bio: Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith, PhD, MBAA, MA, BPS, is an Empowerment Advocate, personal life coach, motivational speaker & leadership expert. She is a retired executive of more than 26 years with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service/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. Her new book, When You're Happy With You focuses on helping others find value, build self confidence, self-esteem and confront issues that may be holding them back. Her radio talk show “Living Happy Every Day with Dr. LaSharnda” can be heard on www.LATalkradio.com, Channel 1. ~~~~~~~ Featured Author: Delia Latham!

Featured Author: Mary Manners!

Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus. She writes romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone.Learn more about Mary Manners at her website and at her author pages at Pelican Book Group and Amazon. ~~~~~~~ Kindle/Nook Books

Delia Latham is a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend—but above all, she treasures her role as child of the King and heir to the throne of God. When she’s not writing, she loves to play piano and sing, read, enjoy nature’s beauty, and design marketing products for authors. A former newspaper Staff Writer and frequent contributor to her hometown’s regional publication, Bakersfield Magazine, she has also freelanced projects to a public relations firm and various magazines; has compiled, edited, and designed cover art for various Kindness Incorporated projects; and sold greeting card verse. Many of her short stories, articles, and devotions can be found online. Find out more about this author on her website or visit her blog.

~~~~~~~ Consider This: The One Thing you Must know about Contentment By Rita A Schulte, LPC ©June 2013 My husband calls her Bella, a middle name that describes her beauty. When she sees me her world stands still. She runs and jumps into my arms---such joy, such excitement. She delights my soul. Such is the blessing of grandbabies.

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June 2013 As we play, I watch her. Life is simple. She mother’s her dollies and her baby sister. She is content. I pray. I find myself wishing I could keep the world from moving in and dismantling the joy and contentment of such simple moments in her life. I wonder how I can demonstrate a life that teaches her this discipline in spite of my own wandering heart. Genuine contentment flows from what I love, and I confess that sometimes I don’t love wisely. The little one teaches me that only one thing is necessary for contentment. Presence. The giving away of the heart to the one you love. I feel it when she reaches for me in the night when she’s afraid. She touches my face for assurance. Presence calms her. She asks for her song. I sing. Contentment comes. We’re both satisfied because we feel the unspoken love between us. The contentment her love brings draws me to His love. This is the love we were created for. It paints a picture on the canvas of our souls and opens our hearts to experience the joy of true contentment. Then the world steps in, and I become aware of all of things that lead me away from the one thing that is most necessary. Presence. His presence. Ann Voskamp says:

43 I say I desire contentment in Him, but I chose a divided heart. I say I desire His peace but I allow chaos. I say I desire solitude with Him, but I seldom take the time to be still. Whatever direction I allow desire to take me in will determine the condition of my heart. If I chose unwisely true contentment will elude me. Then the little one comes and reminds me. She whispers in my ear---a secret. We giggle. She tells me not to concern myself with the duties of the world. We have more important work to do together. She tugs on my hand to suggest the urgency of our mission. “Play,” she says, and invites me to step into the wonder of contentment that requires only presence. The sweetness of presence connects us and makes our world together come alive. It’s about knowing and being known. It brings me back to the Father. Back to the presence that stirs my heart and reminds me that He is inviting me moment by moment to experience contentment, just as the little one does, tugging at my heart to know and be known in a way that no one else can. Jesus is calling us beloved ----receive the gift of contentment today through the gift of His presence. Consider This: What have you looked to in order to find lasting contentment apart from the Father? What one thing do you need to know about contentment?

“Every moment my inner heart is saying No to the God of the universe— I am saying yes to the enemy of my soul.” I ask myself why it’s so hard for me to remain content in perfect love. My heart is so prone to wandering. I chase after the idols of career, success, relationships, and control, believing that somehow they will fill me.

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Author Bio: Rita A. Schulte is a licensed professional counselor in the Northern Virginia/DC area. She is the host ~All Rights Reserved


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of Heartline Podcast. Her show airs on several radio stations as well as the Internet. They can be downloaded from her website or on iTunes at Heartline Podcast. Rita writes for numerous publications and blogs. Her articles have appeared in Counseling Today Magazine, Thriving Family, and Christianity Today, Kyria. Her book on moving through the losses of life will be released in Fall 2013 by Leafwood Publishers. Rita loves feedback so please follow her website, on FaceBook and twitter @heartlinepod. ~~~~~~~ Faith & Fitness: Take Time to REST! By Kellye Davis Williams ©June 2013 When you get started on a workout, you want to keep it going strong, but you have to remember that you can do too much. Working out as much as you can, for as long as you can, and as hard as you can, is more likely to get you injured than in shape. Our bodies need regular rest to heal and to function optimally. It’s a critical part of working out. You see, every time you work out, you create damage in your muscles and other tissue. It’s too small to really notice, but it’s still there. Resting your body allows these tiny injuries to heal themselves. If you don’t get enough rest between workouts, these tiny problems can add up to a larger, more serious injury. Rest also gives our muscles time to build themselves, so if you never get adequate rest, you won’t see significant improvement. Not only should you take adequate rests between each individual workout, you should also alternate light and heavy workouts during the week, and have a much lighter week every 6 weeks or so. In addition to just “taking a break” between workouts, you need to get adequate sleep at night as well. Not only does sleep help us rest and relax our brain, it also allows us to

©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

relax and repair our bodies. Not getting enough rest will leave you sluggish, not at your peak performance, and will eventually make you ill. While it is recommended to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, you should remember that each person is different. Some need only 3 or 4 hours of sleep to function properly, while others may need 9 or 10 to feel refreshed. One type of rest people don’t usually consider when thinking about a workout is rest from stress. A workout provides stress to our body, but it’s not the only thing that does. If we are mentally and emotionally stressed throughout the day, it shows physically. If your body is in a constant state of stress, you’re muscles won’t relax and heal, even when you’re just sitting there. If you don’t rest between workouts, get sleep at night, or de-stress at all, you’re not only more at risk for getting hurt, you’re probably also pretty tired and setting yourself up for burn out. If you don’t feel like you have the energy to get out of bed in the morning because you’ve worked out too hard, chances are you probably won’t feel like exercising either. By doing too much too soon, you’re actually likely to decrease how much you work out in the future. So remember, working harder isn’t always better. Take time to relax and let your body prepare for its next challenge. Just as taking time out to physically rest from exercise is important, it is also important to emotionally and spiritually rest as well. God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. As we operate in this plan and "calling" on our lives, it can become hard and tiring at times. Although it is fulfilling and we know we are doing what He has called us to do, we do need a "break" from these things as well. Personally, when I go on vacation with my family, I use these times as a break from working out AND as a "spiritual break".

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June 2013 Taking a spiritual break does not mean you are taking a break from your beliefs. It doesn’t mean you are taking a break from God. It simply means you set your ministry aside and just rest in God. You pray. You seek rest in Him. You rest in the fact that God wants us to refresh and renew our spirits. He doesn't expect us to always work! And our ministry and our spiritual lives take work! He wants us to just rest in Him. Let Him refresh you. Let Him re energize your spirit. Just pray and get in His presence. Just ask Him for a refreshing. He will do it. In either case...resting from physical exercise/resting spiritually...we can take a break knowing that we can go back into our calling...back into our physical exercise...with a renewed energy and strength! Just know this, it's okay to rest! It is necessary! Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Author Bio: Kellye Davis Williams is a personal trainer who focuses on the health and well being of her clients as well as coaching them to make positive changes that will impact the rest of their lives. She helps them to achieve their health and fitness goals as well as encourages them to strive for and achieve their " life" goals with her message of hope. As a model, Kellye exemplifies the essence of artistic beauty while proving the power of a woman is more than superficial refinement. She is the co

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45 host of Thrive Radio Talk Show on Revmedia network. Kellye resides in east Atlanta with her family. When she is not working out or training her clients, she teaches spiritual concepts to an adult class at her church as well as ministers in her role as Women's Ministry Director. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her daughters, shopping, traveling, and simply enjoying coffee with friends. ~~~~~~~ Featured Author: Kathi Macias!

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored more than 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association). Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al. Kathi is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency Find out more about Kathi by visiting her website. ~~~~~~~ Want to purchase a title you see advertised here in TWJM? Simply click on the cover image, ISBN# or Title (if highlighted)! ~All Rights Reserved


June 2013

46 ~~~~~~~ Kindle/Nook Books

~~~~~~~ Michele’s Musings: A Step-Father’s Love By Michele Abshire ©June 2013

Recently, my grandson, Austin did a family tree project for school. When I saw the finished project it did not register that my grandson had placed his step-father’s family in the line for his father. Later, as the realization dawned on me, I contemplated the significance of this one simple fact. My thoughts led me to Austin’s biological father, who has not seen his son since he was approximately three months old. Thirteen years have passed since Austin’s birth. Not one call, not one visit and no monetary support from this man who had a part in bringing this young child into the world. My heart began to ache for Austin and others that share the same situation of a missing-in-action parent. However, immediately my thoughts turned toward my son-in-law, Nakuma, Austin’s step-father. Nakuma has been in Austin’s life since Austin was six months

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old. Nakuma has been a true father to my grandson. I thank God that Austin has a step-father like Nakuma. I have long admired my son-in-law for his love for Austin though he is not his biological father. Though my daughter and Nakuma have two sons together never once has Nakuma showed any differentiation between Austin and his two biological children. An outsider looking in would not know that Nakuma was not his father. This is an accomplishment in itself. It is a rare thing to find a step-parent that does not show some sort of favoritism for his or her own biological children over a stepchild(ren). In return, Austin loves and adores Nakuma and hangs on his every word. There is a powerful bond between Nakuma and Austin who seem to fit together and share some of the same personality traits. Though there is no blood connection, Nakuma sees Austin as his son and Austin sees Nakuma as his father. They are a father and son team. By definition, a father is to be the protector, comforter, teacher, provider of shelter, food and other necessities for his children. A good father is there for his children, providing, teaching, spending quality time with them, talking with them, disciplining them as necessary. It is God’s design that the biological father would fulfill these responsibilities but sometimes adverse circumstances prevent this. Thank God for good step-fathers who fill these roles with true love in their hearts for their stepchildren. Nakuma is one such good stepfather. Though circumstances prevent it, Nakuma has a great desire to adopt Austin and Austin in turn, wants to be adopted by Nakuma. This led my thoughts to God and our relationship with Him. Ephesians 1:5 tells us that God “predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” How awesome is that? I find it amazing that the Creator of the universe sought to adopt us for his good

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June 2013 pleasure. Just as Nakuma wants to be a father to Austin because of his love for Austin, God wants to be our protector and provider in this life because he loves us and cares for each of us. The benefits of being adopted by God through Jesus Christ are wonderful and amazing. Through our adoption He becomes our Abba (Abba Father). The word Abba means “daddy” in Aramaic. The term signified a close, trusting and intimate relationship between a child and his or her father. As God’s children we have acceptance, redemption, forgiveness of sins, wisdom, favor, protection, security and purpose; the list of benefits could go on and on. God loves us with an everlasting love. He is our protector, our provider. He is a true father to the fatherless just as Nakuma is towards Austin. Many people have not had an earthly father in the truest sense of the word due to the circumstances beyond their control. Perhaps their father was not in their lives due to excessive work, divorce, death or just plain selfishness. Others come from a home where their father was mean, domineering or abusive. Some come from homes in which their father did not provide the basic necessities to get by in life such as shelter, clothing and food. It is understandable that those who have lived through these circumstances would find it difficult to understand what a father is truly supposed to be. Even if we come from a good home, with a good father, they were probably not perfect and may have let us down in some areas. Having a father (in the truest sense of the word) is very important in a child’s life and not having one can leave a big hole in one’s heart. Thankfully, the Bible tells us in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” He will be your Abba for life and He will fill the voids that have been left in your heart if you will allow Him to be your Abba.

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47 When I look at my son-in-law and grandson’s relationship, I see how the love of a step-father can change the heart of a step-son so much that you would never know that they are in a ‘step’ relationship rather than a biological one. The love of Austin’s ‘daddy’ made this possible and the same love has captured this young boy’s heart for life. This is a snap-shot of God’s great love and desire to be Abba to each and every one of us! He wants to make us His sons and daughters through adoption. He wants to heal and fulfill those areas that have been unmet in our life no matter what type of father we had or have, whether good, bad or missing-in-action. He can and will turn all things for good. He desires a close, trusting and intimate relationship with each of us. We can have this relationship with Him if we will just trust Him. He will embrace us as His children as we put our faith in Jesus Christ. He will capture our heart for life and change us in the process. He will change us so much so that no one would ever know we were once without the love of God in our life. Love in Christ, Michele (c) May 2013 ~ Michele LeDoux Abshire Photo by Tuesday Montgomery ~ Faith Photography *Actual Names & Photo Used With Permission*

Author Bio: 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.

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Michele began writing notes of 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.

and goose bumps rise on your flesh?

Michele's vision is to reach people with encouraging messages that will lift their heart and bring joy for sorrow and hope for discouragement. Michele enjoys your feedback so leave a comment in the form at the bottom of the page or email her at micheles.musings@gmail.com

Acts 10:38 says, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

~~~~~~~ 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 two decades, a social worker by trade, and follower of Jesus Christ. Michelle is the founder of Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers -- A group of readers and writers who enjoy edgy fiction, and in particular edgy Christian fiction. ~~~~~~~ Pamela’s Ponderings: Miracles, Signs & Wonders ~ An Indication of Spiritual Power? By Pamela S Thibodeaux ©June 2013 Have you ever asked for and/or received a sign from God? You’re be-bopping along and the solution to a problem or answer to a question suddenly appears in a book, on a billboard, thorough an unusual conversation, or on a marque somewhere ©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

I love it when that happens! Acts 22: mentions the miracles, wonders and signs of Jesus.

Jesus said that the things HE did, we should do also (and more). I’ve often wondered if I really have or demonstrate spiritual power. I don’t always see signs and wonders following me so how do I know if I am making a difference in people’s lives? How do I know God is using me and whether or not I’m effective when He does? Mark 16:20 says, “And they (the apostles) went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” In Acts 3:6 Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Now THAT is an example of spiritual power I’d like to see evident in my life! Granted, there are times when I feel His power working through me, hear His word being spoken through me and see revelation light someone’s eyes or face while we’re talking. Sometimes I see evidence of Him working during a meeting or conversation, but most of the time it’s after the fact. But is that all…. is it enough? What about those ‘signs and wonders’ people speak of? I’ve never laid hands on the sick or raised the dead and certainly

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haven’t cast demons out of anyone! Am I expecting too much or believing for too little? Recently while cutting potatoes for lunch a friend and I were talking and the song “She Loves Me Like Jesus Does” by Eric Church was on the radio. She commented how much she enjoyed it even though she wasn’t a “churchy” person. My answer to her was that we don’t have to be “churchy” in order to have a relationship with God & Christ. I then turned around and sliced a potato in half and this is the sign I received...

Talk about goose bumps! I’m not sure if this sign was for me or her, but the one thing I do know for certain is that everyone who hears this story & sees this picture is blessed in some way. I believe we all have spiritual power and these things do follow us, but we’re so busy looking for the great BIG signs, miracles, and wonders that we ignore or miss out on the simple, yet profound things of God (like His omnipresence in all things and every place!) We simply need to open our eyes (natural and spiritual) to see, and our hearts to receive. One more thing…could it be that our lack of gratitude for the seemingly little signs, miracles and wonders in our lives block the big ones? Something to think about!

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Author Bio: Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Groupin Lake Charles, Louisiana and the Owner/CEO of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine. Multipublished in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Find out more about Pam by visiting her website and connecting with her on Facebook & Twitter @psthib. ~~~~~~~ Featured Publisher: RMS1437

Welcome to RMS1437 Publishing LLC - a full service traditional publishing and printing house! If you are looking for a traditional - royalty based publishing house who agrees with your desire to produce family-friendly works that entertain and/or inspire readers, you have come to the right place. We are committed to prayer and serving our Lord by providing our current and potential authors with the highest level of integrity and experience to bring to life the story or

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June 2013 message God has placed in his or her heart. We desire, and will continuously work to promote, a family environment amongst our authors so that they will support one another through prayer or words of encouragement. From mystery to humor, Bible studies to devotionals, poetry to biographies, and stories of healing, we are dedicated to providing personalized service to each of our authors from the initial submission to the professionally polished work ready for distribution. Our goal is to build a wellestablished relationship that will lead to additional projects. We know these will be used in a mighty way to bless, encourage, and challenge readers near and far. Answer the call! Visit RMS1437 Website for complete details. RMS1437 Featured Author: Jeanette-Marie Mirich!

An Oregonian by birth, Jeanette-Marie Mirich graduated with a B.S. degree in education from Portland State University. She married her college sweetheart and began a peripatetic lifestyle courtesy of the U.S. Air Force and her husband's medical training. She packed up the kids and lived from Texas to Thailand, with 27 years living along the western shore of Lake Michigan. Passionate about needs in the third world, she accompanied her husband on many trips while he used his surgical techniques in Kenya, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and Mali. She scribbles poems or short stories on notebooks, ruled and un-ruled paper or napkins. Grammy to 13 exceptional

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50 grandchildren, she travels from Kentucky through Kansas to the Pacific Northwest writing stories, making brownies and quilting. She winters in Kentucky and enjoys Oregon summers. Her book, Happy Christmas Miss Lawrence is available now from thePublisher. Also on Kindle & Nook! ~~~~~~~ SR Review:

Healing Grace Lisa Lickel ISBN 978-1-77127-305-3 Grace has a secret. Just like her aunt, and her grandmother before her, she could fix anyone with a touch, at a cost she never questioned -- until her husband developed cancer and died. Believing no one would forgive her for not being able to save him, Grace runs from the life she knew, hoping even God wouldn’t find her in a little out-ofthe-way town in Michigan. It takes a very sick man and his little boy to help her face her past, accept who she is and battle her way back to redemption. Just when she and Ted begin to hope for the future, he relapses. Grace faces the ultimate choice once again: Trust God to work through her precious gift, or let a terminally ill man die. What if the price is more than she can pay? Healing Grace can be purchased directly from the Publisher or it is available on Kindle & Nook! Just Sayin…. By Barb Shelton

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June 2013 Healing Grace is a story of powerful interactions in the relationships between characters that are at first strangers to one another. Two members of this large cast in particular have severe emotional and physical injuries that could lead to destruction of faith in one soul and death to another. Lisa Lickel has authored a compelling story of healing through the various ways God has provided. Ms Lickel's writing is thought provoking, intense, rich in emotion and complex. Her character's personalities are thoroughly developed, realistic and vividly imagined in my mind's eye. Her story is mysterious but not mystic. Let me share a bit about this story with hopeful intention that you will add Lisa Lickel's "Healing Grace" to your reading list. Grace Runyon finds herself in unfamiliar East Bay, Michigan without memory of how she got there. She had fled from the graveside of her husband Jonathan's burial, overwhelmed with guilt and grief. Ashamed and blaming herself because she couldn't save him through her God given gift - one that had been passed through the generations before her. Believing everyone including God had abandoned her. She wanted to erase the past, which was impossible - so she ran and hid herself from anyone in Woodside, Tennessee from finding her Impetuously Grace bought a house in East Bay that had been neglected and empty over a year. Grace learned the house had belonged to Ted Marshall of the prominent Marshall family living next door. Ted was too ill to maintain the house and properly care for his small son after being critically injured in an auto accident. Ted was divorced from his flighty wife who subsequently disappeared. The Marshall "house next door" became an immediate thorn in Grace's side and intrusive when Ted Marshall and son Eddy appeared at her door with a loaf of bakery bread to welcome her. Ted's appearance startled her almost speechless at seeing him

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51 leaning on a crutch nervously beginning to sweat with his left leg and arm quivering. "This man, God but all screamed in her inner ear. This is why I brought you here. For your touch." Ted also had a motive for visiting Grace that first day. He asked Grace for a favor that would be life changing in every respect. Little did Grace know what lie ahead of her in East Bay. It was not going to be easy. Still mourning her great losses, her entire family - Jonathan being the last, would not stop haunting her. Grace wanted away from death and illness - to heal herself. Grace's occupation as a Physical Assistant, coincided well with her "gift of healing" soon found her employed at the local clinic. She was compelled to use her gift successfully in a couple of incidents, however could not bring it about again and considered God was denying her the gift and she was a failure. East Bay residents became skeptical and suspicious of Grace. They called her a witch among other things that ruined her reputation. Grace is constantly harangued. Hard criticism and pressure tested Grace almost beyond her capabilities. Would Grace lose her mind? Maybe. Romance for Grace and Ted? Perhaps. Has God taken away her gift? Grace fears so. Would Eddy be orphaned if Grace's touch cannot heal Ted? So many questions that can only be answered in Lisa Lickel's brilliantly written book. Guess you had better buy it and find out. "Healing Grace" is categorized as paranormal, however I personally can't see God working miracles through earthly beings as abnormal, paranormal or

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June 2013 not normal in any way. It's real and totally believable. This being my first read of Ms Lickel's works, it definitely won't be my last. With exquisite narrative I was drawn into Grace's life, as though she were my best friend. Lisa wrote in riddles so perplexing that I honestly couldn't guess the ending until the last "i" was dotted and "t" crossed...left me enthralled with this story where grace abounds Grace Runyon. Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your "gift" of imagination glorifying God. You are indeed blessed.

52 Methodist Church of the Covenant in Arlington, TX where she has been a choir member/director for over 30 yrs! Barb also occasionally fills in for the pastors when they are absent from the pulpit. She wishes to write a book one day. "I've been through several soap operas in my lifetime and lived to tell about them." Barb is the writer of two blogs, Passing it Forward and Blessed by Grace, both of which she invites you to drop by to visit one day. ~~~~~~~ Review of The Greenstones By Sarah Heath ŠJune 2013

Author Bio: Barb is married to Jack Shelton, a retired military officer and lives in Arlington, Texas. Having been married for thirty seven years, Barb and Jack share eight children between them, (His, Mine, Ours); 19 grandchildren and 11 greatgrandchildren. Barb was born and raised in Enterprise, Kansas. She is musically inclined and is a retired church music director. A former Weight Watcher lecturer, she has had many interesting and unusual jobs, including working for a private detective, defense attorney, office manager for a video production company and administrative assistant to two different pastors. She is involved in volunteer and church activities, and describes herself as creative, friendly and can talk with anyone. "I am a Christian and love to spread God's love and enjoy making others smile and lift up their day." Barb is a Certified Lay Leader and Lay Leader of her congregation at the United ŠJune 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

by William D Burt Book IV in the "King of the Trees" fantasy series by William D. Burt. WINEPRESS PUBLISHING: 2003. (Softcover; 216 pages. Ill. by Terri L. Lahr and Becky Miller.) Includes glossary and pronunciation guide at the back for easier reading and for reading aloud. Merryn, the ailing daughter of Beechtown's brewmaster, is betrayed by her own kin after her father mysteriously disappears. Sold into slavery to a riverman, she is captured by a band of notorious outlaws who haunt the Forest of Fellglade's hydrainfested swamps. Beyond death's door, she finds wholeness in a nameless Friend. After meeting Andil of the Wood, Merryn is thrust into another world where she finds clues to her puzzling past. To deliver many innocent lives from an ancient curse, she must undergo a dreadful baptism and confront the king of the marsh dragons. In laying ~All Rights Reserved


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down her life for others, she discovers the life she was born to lead. The Greenstones will take readers on a dizzying journey into the realms of life and death, love lost and love rediscovered. Be sure and check out the Entire Series! Purchase your copy of The Greenstones at one of the following places! The Greenstones book page @ Author's Website The Greenstone's book page @ Publisher's Site Amazon Softcover Amazon Kindle Edition Barnes & Noble Nook Edition

Trees series, I can safely say that they can be considered standalone novels. There isn’t a need to read them in sequential order; though that being said, I’m sure reading them in order would only add to the enjoyment. I’ve always been a fan of books about princesses (must be a girl thing!) so this installment in the series was right up my alley. Of course, I won’t give away the fantastic surprise ending. I’ll leave that up to you to read and find out for yourself. William D. Burt keeps his readers guessing until the last minute and on the edge of their seat, wondering what’s going to happen next! Highly recommended for fans of C.S. Lewis or J. R. R. Tolkien!

From a YA POV…. The Greenstones is William D. Burt’s fourth book in his series, The King of the Trees, and is my favorite in the series so far. The series is an allegorical tale, much like the Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings, and is suitable for preteens, teens and adults. The Greenstones also includes a glossary in the back for those hard to pronounce words. Merryn is an outsider in her town, even to those it seems she’s known her entire life. Nicknamed Hoppy, or Scabby, by those who are less kind, Merryn doesn’t fit in with the others. She is pockmarked and plagued by boils that make her stand out from the others. Teased for and ashamed of her scars, she tries to cover them with cloaks and hoods. Her adventure starts when she is betrayed, sold into slavery, and captured by a lively band of outlaws. The Greenstones includes all the making of a thrilling adventure story, a lost princess, dragons, and the mysterious greenstones that release a toxic mist. Having now read two of the books in William D. Burt’s The King of the

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Author Bio: Sarah Heath is a 20 year old college student from Dallas, Texas. She is currently obsessed with planning her perfect, dream wedding via pinterest (even without a groom a girl's gotta start planning sometime!), driving her convertible around town, and hanging out with her girlfriends. She enjoys drinking a tall glass of sweet tea while sitting down to read a good book or writing about her life on her blog. 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. ~~~~~~~ Interested in Advertising YOUR book in The Wordsmith Journal Magazine?

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Visit our Advertising Info Page or Email: twjadsales@gmail.com ~~~~~~~ Featured Author: Shawna K Williams

Having never considered becoming a writer, Shawna K. Williams' path changed in a single night all because of a dream. Her early writings were a mere attempt to fill in gaps within the dream and satisfy her curiosity, but later became the inspiration for her first two novels. She is an editor for Desert Breeze Publishing and Solstice Publishing, speaker and teacher on writing techniques, homeschooling mom and multipublished author of historical fiction. Shawna enjoys books in almost any genre as long as they contain strong characters tackling real-life grit -- even if the book is sci-fi/fantasy. She also has a thing for dogs and pygmy goats, and believes the world would be a better place if people aspired to be the person their pet believes them to be. Find out more about Shawna by visiting her website or blog and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter! ~~~~~~~ Behind the Mystery: BREAK A PENCIL--Or How to Keep Going Once You've Started By EE Kennedy ©June 2013 Okay, you need to write, but it’s difficult to get motivated. The i-pad calls, or Facebook or the movie you DVR-ed last night or maybe even the dishes that you didn’t do ©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

last night because you were finding movies to DVR. If you want to be a writer, there’s just one thing you must do. Guess what it is. I’ve dealt with the many temptations that one might encounter in situations like these and I understand. Just sit down at your desk and let me show you some things I’ve learned to help with motivation: 1. Read something you’ve already written—you’re a writer, so I assume you’ve written something--preferably something that people liked. Maybe something that was even published. If it’s been a while, you’ll probably realize that it’s pretty good, or even brilliant. Think about how you came to write it. Appreciate the talent it took. Now, write something else. 2. Just write. I read somewhere about a technique where you just start typing—or writing, if you don’t type—words and sentences. Make a random statement. Expand on the statement. Explain it further. If it’s wrong, correct it. As a fiction writer, I find that if I start writing about a character I know, the character gradually seems to want to do something, and I can go with them into a story. That’s how I started Death Dangles a Participle. I had Lily call her friend Amelia and it seemed like the two ladies took it from there. They started bickering and providing background for the story I wanted to tell. 3. Another technique is to wait. This is risky. You might wait so long, you will have forgotten what you wanted to write. Still, sometimes you’re so close to your work, a little time off could give you a fresh outlook. I find this helps when I’m in the middle and stuck for a solution to a mystery I have devised, but haven’t solved. (I know, I’m nuts to work like that, but it’s how I roll.) 4. Take a bath or shower. No kidding, some of the very best ideas seem to come to me when I’m wet. (I will tolerate no untoward comments about this.) Agatha Christie thought up her incredibly ingenious

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June 2013 plots while in the bathtub, eating apples. 5. Take a notebook to a different place. A change of scene might give you some insight. Just be sure to jot down the key words so you won’t forget your brainstorm. I remember coming up with the trick ending for Murder in the Past Tensewhile sitting at a table at Chic-fil-A, watching my grandsons frolic on the playground. 6. Talk with somebody about it. I like to run ideas past my husband and occasionally my daughters. Ideas take on a different spin when you speak them out loud. Some will sound lame, some amazing. Of course, you run the risk of receiving advice. Sometimes I’ll be given plot advice that I won’t take directly, but it springboards me into another story path that really works. Other times, they’ve been right on the money. My younger daughter gave me the plot twist for my unpublished Texas novel, Another Think Coming, and it really worked! 7. Time yourself. One of my favorite motivating tools is the kitchen timer. “All I have to do is write for an hour,” I tell myself, and set the timer accordingly. Invariably when it goes off, I’ll keep on writing because I will have hit my stride and don’t want to stop. 8. Read. I like to read articles online about writing. (Such as this one.) Some of them are nonsense, while others give me new ideas about how to approach writing. Read in your genre. Read in other genres. I like to look at biographies. Sometimes I get an idea that way. Read periodicals. I recommend writers check out the little state-by-state paragraphs featured in USA Today. There is at least one idea for a story in every issue—after all, there are fifty paragraphs!

55 just getting started and you have a shelf full of books in your future. In the theatre, it’s considered bad luck to wish anybody “good luck.” Using a perverse sort of logic, actors usually say to each other, “break a leg.” Writers can be just as superstitious as anybody, so “break a pencil!”

Author Bio: E E Kennedy, author of IRREGARDLESS OF MURDER and its sequel, DEATH DANGLES A PARTICIPLE (August '13) grew up in far northern New York State, where these mysteries are set. As an advertising copywriter, she wrote interview articles for art magazines and produced radio/TV commercials and print ads. She is a graduate of Huntingdon College and studied counseling and guidance at the University of Alabama. She and her husband live in North Carolina, are born-again Christians, and the happy, blessed grandparents of five little answers to prayer. Her mystery website is: MissPrenticeCozyMystery.com There you'll find fun info, previews and an exciting free novella! JoinEllen on Facebook! (as Ellen Edwards Kennedy) ~~~~~~~ Featured Partner

9. People write for a myriad different reasons: for fun, to make a point, as a kind of therapy, etc. Think about why you started putting words to paper. Maybe you’ve already fulfilled your goal. Or maybe you’re

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Featured Author: Tracy Krauss!

Kindle/Nook Books

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.

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She and her husband, an ordained minister with the PAOC, have lived in many remote and unique places in Canada's north, including Churchill Manitoba - the 'polar bear capital of the world', the Yukon, and the NWT. They raised four children and were active advocates of the homeschooling movement for many years. They currently reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC, known for its waterfalls. Find out more about Tracy by visiting her website or blog. Connect with her on FaceBook and Twitter! ~~~~~~~ Featured Partner

©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

You are not Alone: Give and Take…. By Dawn Kidd ©June 2013 The Lord gives and the Lord has taken away; may the Name of the Lord be praised! Job 1:21 Last year, I sat in front of my television set watching Michelle Duggar weep at the news her precious baby girl had passed away. The only words I could audibly hear were of her quoting this scripture in repetition until it became a softened mumble. Just last night a dear friend, Lisa, shared the wonderful news that Tricia received her lungs! Another family suffered a loss, however, Tricia was given new life through the lungs that were donated. Both family experienced tears ~ one set from loss, the other set from joy. This is the God that I love and praise. The one that does not just take from us, but he gives as well. It is simple to see his how Michelle felt that God have taken from her, but do you realize he also gave to her as well, at the very same moment. When Tricia received her lungs, God was also taking from her at that precise moment. We rarely stop to think of the other grace God gives to us. In the storm, we only see the clouds and in the sun, we only feel the warmth. I am very guilty of this myself.

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In that cold exam room, God revealed that Jubilee was with him, however, he gave Michelle a peace that is incomprehensible. He did not leave her, in fact, I feel he drew her even closer. I can attest to this, because during the same tragedy, this is what I felt. As Tricia received her new lungs, God took her fear, her apprehension away. He removed anxiety, doubt, and uncertainty. For both Michelle and Tricia, God bestowed his grace in an uncommon way.

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When I thought about this truth, the scripture doesn't just mean one or the other, but God gives and takes at the exact same moment. If you notice, it says: "the Lord gave AND has taken away". It does not say the Lord "gave or has taken away. One word can make the greatest difference. The next time you are tempted to think that God has taken from you, remember that he has given to you as well. All it takes is the ability to see the entire circumstance through the eyes of faith. Remember, gives AND takes......takes AND gives. May the name of the Lord be praised!

~~~~~~~ Persons of Interest: Thomas Hunter, the Man Who Wouldn’t Believe by Sarah Coville ©June 2013 Sometimes when I’m talking to people I feel like they just don’t get it. The Lord does something incredible right in front of their faces and they still don’t give him a second thought. I know someone who was miraculously saved from a drowning car and she’s still an atheist. I get so stressed out over this type of person and it bugs me nonstop.

Author Bio: 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 Organization that assists families with grief, who have lost a child, at any age). ~~~~~~~

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But, yet again, books have proved themselves as a way for me to explore different viewpoints and see how others’ minds work. This time it was Black by Ted Dekker and it showed me that sometimes even the obvious will be ignored and, in that person’s mind, it’s for a good reason. The star of this first book in The Circle Series is Thomas Hunter. He’s an average, middle age man who works hard for his money. He’s not exactly poor but he doesn’t have spare money either. This is a

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June 2013 perfect example of a real world man that helps make this book an even better representation of what people are like. Through a sequence of extraordinary events, Thomas is transported to an alternate world where people genuinely love God and live in peace and harmony. You would think that Thomas would fall on his knees in joy and become a believer. But that’s not what happens. He turns away from it all and ends up in some serious trouble. At first I was incredibly confused by this. How could someone not believe when the proof was right there? The answer is simple: God makes them that way. At first that doesn’t make a lot of sense either but think about it. Thomas ends up going through some difficult times and through those events he learns about God and the power that He holds. Because of this, Thomas has a more profound respect and love for the Lord. It’s the same with Job from the Bible. He went through a difficult moment in life and became closer with God because of it. So now I have new hope for people like my friend who experienced the incident with the car. Maybe someday she will see what God has done for her and her life will change forever. I’ll be right here waiting for her when she does. And you can be there for those people who experience the worst. It might just be life changing for them in a good way.

Samantha Coville is best known for being the Founder and Owner of the book review website, Sammy the Bookworm. But she is also an avid writer and has won ©June 2013 ~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

58 multiple awards for her flash fiction. She is also an editor and all around book lover. You can check out her website, follow her on Facebook and hang out at Twitter @BookwormSammy Samantha will be writing about authors or characters in writing that really catch her attention for different reasons. ~~~~~~~

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 ~~~~~~~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine is owned & operated by Pamela S. Thibodeaux, Enterprises, LLC http://pamelathibodeaux.com ~~~~~~~ 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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The Wordsmith Journal Magazine; June 2013 issue