A Violent Pen

By Laura J. Marshall

The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.

A violent heaven.

I feel the target as it hangs at my back and see the arrows as they take aim.

Does it matter?  Why persist?  Why resist?

Do I fear the enemy over the Lord?

The words linger and fight their way onto the page.

A violent pen.

I run to my Father and take His hand.

I tuck-in, trusting in His gaze as it sweeps over me and loosens the target.

It flutters to the ground, just paper on the breeze.

I run and grasp it, fodder for God’s purposes.

And equip myself for battle.

Faith, my shield.

Truth, my buckle.

The Word of God, my sword.

A violent heaven.

A violent pen.

laura Laura J. Marshall is a writer and mother of five boys.  Her first nonfiction book is called A Mom’s Battle Cry for Rest: Battle Cry Devotional Series.  You can find out more about Laura and her books at www.LauraJMarshall.com

laura's book

Her book on Amazon:  http://amzn.com/B00BI2HMDM

Interview with Jim and Karen Baney

 Welcome, Jim & Karen.  Can you tell us what Christian eBooks Today.com is all about?

Jim:  Christian eBooks Today.com is a website that is for fans of Christian fiction and nonfiction.  It is a safe place to browse and learn more about great Christian eBooks without worrying about coming across any racy or explicit content.

Why did you start Christian eBooks Today.com?

Karen:  I’ve been an avid reader of Christian fiction since I was a young girl.  But, over the past few years as I started publishing books, I noticed that it was getting harder and harder to browse for Christian eBooks online without coming across some pretty embarrassing and racy covers.  I just wanted to find a good clean Christian romance book and find new authors.

In August, Jim joined the ranks of the unemployed, so I asked him what he thought about helping me launch a site for Christian readers.  It took some convincing, but he finally agreed to do it.

Jim:  Hey!  It didn’t really take much convincing.  I like the idea of being self-employed.

On your Vision and Mission page on the website, you mention edgy Christian fiction.  Can you tell us more about this?

Karen:  Sure.  Over the past few years or even a decade, the Christian fiction market is changing.  Authors are writing more true-to-life characters that get thrown into some pretty tough circumstances, such as rape, abuse, abandonment, etc.  In fact, some of my novels fall into that category.

Anyway, there is a bit of a divide in readership.  Some readers don’t like the trend, while others prefer it.  We wanted to mention that we accept those types of books on our site so readers are not surprised if they come across something like that.

So, your site includes Christian nonfiction too?

Jim:  Yes.  We include a variety of nonfiction genres, too.  Bible studies, devotionals, self-help, Christian living and much more.  We really want the site to be a place where readers can find any type of Christian eBooks.

Who runs the site, I mean really?

[Karen glances at Jim and giggles.]

Jim:  We joke around.  I’m the chief operations officer and Karen is the CEO.  She has the vision and then I do all the hard work to make it happen.

Karen:  [elbows Jim]  I do some of the hard work, like marketing and writing content.

Jim:  Okay, okay.  I’ll give you that.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Karen:  Yes.  We have a feature on our website under the “For Readers” menu called “Reader’s Choice”.  This is where readers can fill out a form telling us about great Christian eBooks that they’ve read.  Each week, we will select one submission to appear on our website.  Then, once a month we will randomly choose a winner from all of the submissions (even if they don’t get featured).  The winner receives a $25 gift card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  Readers can submit as many eBooks as they want.

Wow, that sounds great!  So, where can we see this new website?

Jim:  Visit ChristianEBooksToday.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter (@cebtoday), Facebook, or Google+.  Check our site daily for our list of free fiction and free nonfiction ebooks.

Karen:  Remember to sign up for our newsletter too.  Just click on the envelope icon in the upper right corner of our site.  Each week we email readers a summary of our key weekly features including: guest blog posts, great reads, author of the week, and the reader’s choice selection for the week.

Thank you so much for hosting us!


http://www.christianebookstoday.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cebtoday

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ChristianEBooksToday

Google+: https://plus.google.com/111493938878400897607/posts

G&F Author Interview with Matt Patterson

Welcome all you travelers seeking more than the world’s answers!

First, I want to let everyone know that today starts the WLC Christian Book Launch featuring our own Karen Baney and 9 of her author friends (including Staci Stallings, Naty C. Matos, Linda Yezak, Sarah Witenhafer and today’s special guest, Matt Patterson!).  So please feel free to visit and check out the books.  Buy 3, Get 1 Free! All 99 Cents!

Now I’d like to welcome a new friend of mine, Matt Patterson.  We met on the G&F shortly after it was formed, and I’ve been so impressed with his heart and willingness to share the rough patches in life so that others can grow and life in God’s Light and Love.  So, welcome…

Matt Patterson!

Tell us a little about yourself beyond who you are as a writer.

I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland – youngest of two children.  I have been married to my wife, Bonnie, for 26-plus years. We’ve had three daughters – Emily, Lauren and Kimberly.  We’ve called Arizona our home for nearly a decade now.

I’m a huge baseball and college football fan. I also love a good movie.  I love sports, television and movie trivia.

I’m a fan of food as well. I love Maryland steamed crabs or crab soup! It they’re not readily accessible, a really good, back-home cheesesteak or cheeseburger sub with loads of hot peppers and grilled onions.

Sorry. I don’t think I could do crab though the cheeseburger sounds delicish! We’d love to know… how did you come to be a Christian writer?

Approximately two years ago I went to a writing class at my church with the specific intention of turning an old newspaper column about the life and death of my daughter Emily into a book.

I’ve always felt I had reasonably strong communication skills.  My background includes two decades of public and media relations experience, as well as print and broadcast journalism.

At the time of the class, I considered myself a “Baby Christian.”  I was a recent convert to Christianity from Mormonism.  I now look back, 20 years after Emily’s passing, and realize why it took so long for this book to come forth.  Prior to Christianity, I lived my life on my timetable.  This book was important and special to me, but it only came about because of God’s timing. Not mine.

God’s timing is so important in everything.  What has been your greatest challenge in life so far?  How did you handle it?

I can easily say handling the loss of our daughter Emily has been the greatest challenge (and blessing) in my life thus far.

I believe by writing My Emily, it helped me express the many emotions associated with the loss of a child. I continue to handle it by trying to help others by sharing her story.  When someone buys a copy of My Emily (paperback or ebook), their purchase will have a purpose. A portion of the proceeds from the book will go to The My Emily Foundation, which will assist families with special needs children, those battling pediatric cancers, as well as parents who are grieving the loss of a child.

What a wonderful, giving way to keep her memory alive.  I think it’s so important to use our hurts to help each other.  So when you’re not writing, what do you like to read?  What are some of your favorites that you have read?

I’m a big Mitch Albom fan. Long before he began writing a pair of my favorites – Tuesdays With Morrie and Have A Little Faith – he was (and still is) a sports columnist with The Detroit Free Press.  He put out compilations of his columns and he just “spoke” to me. He’s the type of person you could sit down with, have a coffee or Diet Coke, and allow him to tell you his story.  Mitch Albom is such a great story teller. When I grow up, I want to be Mitch Albom.

🙂 Isn’t it so funny how we feel like that? “When I grow up…” 🙂  Can you tell us if there is a quote or saying you live by?  Where did it come from?  Why does it speak to you so deeply?

“It doesn’t cost anything to be nice to people.”

These words of wisdom come from the late Hall of Fame baseball manager Sparky Anderson.  Some may look at this quote and think that it’s not all that dramatic or eloquent.

It’s simple and it speaks to me.

I realize I have so many shortcomings.  Despite my downfalls, I truly try each and every day to genuinely be nice to everyone I cross paths with.  Simple words like, “thank you” can mean the world to someone.  Take 30 seconds and pay someone a genuine compliment.  Tell them you appreciate them.  Not only will you bring a smile to their face, I believe you’ll pop a grin yourself.

Amazingly simple. Amazingly hard to do.   What are you working on right now, Matt?

In addition to moving the My Emily effort forward, future works include two books.  The first will tell of the lessons learned being at the bedside of my mother for the last five weeks of her life. The second will detail the story of my conversion from Mormonism to Christianity.

I’m sure others want to find out more about you and your writing.  Where can readers find you on the ‘net?

I can be found at:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/mattpattaz

Twitter – @myemily_thebook

http://www.my-emily.org

Blog – http://www.mattpatterson.me

Thanks so much for stopping over at the G&F, Matt.  We’d love to have you again sometime!
Remember… Join Matt Patterson and 9 of his author friends at WoMen’s Literary Cafe’s Christian Book Launch, December 13-15. Ten authors will discount their ebooks to just 99 cents. Buy 3 get 1 FREE!  http://www.womensliterarycafe.com/content/december-2011-book-launches

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