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

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The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving

The Treasure Seeker CoverLargeThe Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father was written to encourage and equip women who are either seeking God or who want to grow closer to God & Christ. At the heart of the book is the concept that we are a valuable treasure and when we finally connect with God and allow him to “find” us, we’ll enter an amazing rich relationship we never knew existed. Once we enter that relationship, God goes from the role of Treasure Seeker to that of Master Jeweler who will refine and make us into the gemstones we were meant to be. It’s about becoming a woman of excellence without all the pressure to be perfect.

Unique accompaniments:

  • Intriguing treasure stories
  • A study of the “Lost” parables including the lost coin, the lost sheep, the prodigal son, the treasure hidden in a field, and the pearl of great price
  • Points to ponder at the end of each chapter for reflection and discussion
  • A chapter highlighting gemstone attributes allowing readers to determine which gemstone they are most like
  • A Treasure Seeker Jewelry line created by author/artist Teena Stewart available at a discount when you purchase the book.Receive 10% off when you purchase the book and show proof of purchase. Here’s the link to the jewelry line.  http://www.serendipitni.com.

Women can use it for personal study or for group study. It’s a great resource to  share with someone you may want to understand the gospel in a very simple and non-pressing way.

Teena Stewart is an author and artist whose work reflects the spiritual message of being broken and yet valuable in God’s eyes—a Teena COmessage incorporated in her book  The Treasure Seeker: Finding Value and Love in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father (Wine Press). When she isn’t creating up-cycled treasure (artwork and jewelry) from discarded and found objects, she is writing articles and books or leading ministry for Java Journey, an innovative coffee shop ministry in Hickory, NC.

Teena understands firsthand what it means to go from something of seemingly little value to a beautiful and valuable treasure in God’s eyes.

The Treasure Seeker is available in paperback and ebook from and can be purchased at the following locations Amazon (http://tinyurl.com/anf7wza), Teena’s Website (http://teenastewart.com/) and Wine Press Books (http://tinyurl.com/a3v7byk) and most other book stores.The ebook version of The Treasure Seeker will be free on 2/17 & 2/18 on Amazon.com

The ebook version of The Treasure Seeker will be free on 2/17 & 2/18 on Amazon.com

How to Connect with  Teena

Her website  www.teenastewart.com

Her blog  http://nearly-brilliant.blogspot.com/

Personal Facebook http://www.facebook.com/teena.stewart

Facebook Author Pages http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Teena-M-Stewart/216334111720519

Twitter  @TeenaStewart1

Blank Books: Imagining a Novel and Keeping Track of the Facts

By Johnnie Alexander Donley

Writing an authentic novel that takes place in World War II Europe requires more than just research. It also requires a system for keeping track of the facts and finding the right ones when they’re needed.

Helpful websites are easily found again by either bookmarking them or saving them to your browser’s favorite’s folder. Creating a simple bibliography will track books, videos, and personal interviews.

But what about the pages and pages of notes you take while conducting online research, reading books, watching documentaries, and talking to sources? How do you keep them organized?

I tried index cards, but then I needed to figure out some kind of filing system. Besides, an index box is awkward to carry from home to the library to the coffee shop.

Instead I use blank books. Not the fancy journal kind of blank book, but the office supply store blank book with spiral bounding so that the pages, which are about the size of a typical book, lay flat no matter which side I’m writing on. And I write on both sides.

I start out with two such books.

The first one is devoted to my novel. The blank book for my debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, begins with a journal-type entry written by Alison Schuyler, my female protagonist. A couple of pages have dates and years scribbled upon them as I figured out my characters’ birthdates and ages. Further on, each character gets a page where I write down physical characteristics, personality quirks, and any other significant information.

For example, my page on Count Theodor Scheidemann notes that he has a dimpled smile and a pale dueling scar across his lower cheek and jawline. He’s restoring an old family chalet in Bavaria, and his father died during the winter of 1938-39.

On other pages, I explored options for the characters and the storyline by freewriting about possibilities, motivations, and turning points.

An entry dated April 26, 2011 reads in part: “Surely [Alison] feels guilty about living in England instead of staying in Holland and enduring the hardships with her family. Someone (grandfather? great-aunt?) has to insist that she marry Ian and live her own life. . . . Alison’s loyalties are always torn between her dad and her grandfather. She loves and respects both men. Ian is a refuge from their ongoing quarrels.”

I’m not sure I’d have ever been able to understand Alison’s heart (or the family discord) without these freewriting entries.

The second book is a haphazard collection of research notes.

To write Treasure, I read books and watched documentaries on a variety of topics including Holland, Vermeer, the Monuments Men, the looting of art, Colditz Castle (a notorious POW camp), and survivors who hid during the war.

As I read, I copied interesting and pertinent information into my blank book.

I may have three or four pages of notes from Book A; the next page may be notes from a Military Channel documentary; then the next couple of pages may be notes from Book B followed by more notes from Book A.

Haphazard, yes. But somehow the mish-mash nourishes my creativity.

When it came time to plot Treasure, I read through my blank books (yes, there was more than one by this time) and wrote important info on square sticky notes. I arranged and rearranged the sticky notes on a large sheet of drawing paper to organize specific scenes and historic events.

As multi-stepped as it may sound, this process works great for me.

What are your favorite research and organizing tips?

joannieAuthor Johnnie Alexander Donley writes stories of suspense, intrigue, and romance set in World War II. Her debut book, Where Treasure Hides, won the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest for Historical Fiction in 2011. A history enthusiast, Johnnie has also edited nonfiction manuscripts and textbooks. She is a founding member of the Central Florida chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. A longtime Florida resident, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, shelves full of books, and her papillon Rugby.

Find Johnnie at Treasured Moments blog: http://www.johnniedonley.com

Artist Alison Schuyler spends her time working in her family’s renowned art gallery, determined to avoid the cursejoannie2 that has followed the Schuyler clan from the Netherlands to America and back again. She’s certain that true love will only lead to tragedy—that is, until a chance meeting at Waterloo station brings Ian Devlin into her life. Drawn to the bold and compassionate British Army captain, Alison begins to question her fear of love as World War II breaks out, separating the two and drawing each into their own battles. While Ian fights for freedom on the battlefield, Alison works with the Dutch Underground to find a safe haven for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art alike. But safety is a luxury war does not allow. As time, war, and human will struggle to keep them apart, will Alison and Ian have the faith to fight for their love, or is it their fate to be separated forever?

To Obtain this book just click here

Coming Soon: Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult

By Ada Brownell

On January 15th Christian Author Ada Brownell releases her new book: Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult. Do you want to know more about this new book.

Let’s hear more about this book…

Joe the dreamer coverNew teen novel, Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, a mystery combined with biblical events and spiritual encouragement. When Joe’s parents disappear, he becomes the target of the radicals that enslave them and his fate could be worse than death.

***

Here are some random excerpts from the book by the author, A.B. Brownell         

CHAPTER ONE: The doorbell echoed. Penny let out another scream and Hefley’s bark vibrated through the house. Paralyzing heat flooded Joe. On legs like gelatin, he trotted to the entry and looked out the peep hole. The man who had glared through the window now stood on the porch, pushing the doorbell over and over.

CHAPTER TWO: When Joe slipped into the sheets on Pete’s bed, he admitted to himself something happened to his parents. His guts twisted as he tried to pray. The song he played rang in his mind. Does Jesus love us? How could God allow something to happen to Mom and Dad?

CHAPTER THREE: With his flashlight, Joe read the story of Joseph from Genesis 37 to 50, and even though he was under the blanket, he shook his head several times at the disturbing things God had allowed the young man to go through.

Sleep finally came, and Joe found himself inside Joseph’s skin, trudging through the rocky hills following his father’s order to check on his brothers where they herded sheep. Joe’s colorful coat flapped in the warm breeze as he hiked. Dread slowed his footsteps. He knew his brothers didn’t like him much.

CHAPTER TEN: Joe’s heart jerked like a kite in a stiff wind, fearing to create conflict with his uncle, but he asked anyway. “Have you ever done a news story on Sir Henry’s castle?”

Faulkner looked at the remote. “We did when he started building. There’s a new owner. It’s some tax-free corporation.”

“Is that why they’re using prisoners to build the wall? Why did Sir Henry sell it?”

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: “The word on the street is somethin’ weird is going on at Sir Henry’s Castle.” Centipede’s bony hand shoved back his stringy hair. “We were going on that there natural water slide in the mountains and decided to take a peek at the castle. It looks like they have prisoners workin’ on that rich ol’ dude’s wall.”

Joe’s heart thumped. “What made you think the workers are prisoners?”

“They wear house arrest bracelets on their ankles like my pa used to wear, and they looked totally abused. A guard with a gun is always with ‘em.”

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE: The next day at school, Joe tried to listen to his teachers, but he kept thinking about how Dr. Zogg might put him into a mental hospital.

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE “A few minutes later, Joe sat in the dayroom with the other teens. Kurt, a freckled-faced blond boy, stared at Joe. “What’d you do to get in here?”

I read my Bible a lot… and dreamed about it.” Joe was having a hard time getting his brain to work with his mouth. He figured it was the medicine.

The boy howled. “Is that all?” One boy slapped his leg and laughed hysterically. Two girls looked and each other and giggled.

“Zack here did in both his freakin’ parents.” A curly-haired boy covered with pimples jabbed the youth next to him on the shoulder.

“Well, you cut yourself all up,” said the rough looking guy beside Joe. From the hatred and anger shooting from his eyes, Joe assumed he was Zack.

CHAPTER FORTY-THREE: (After Joe escapes from the mental hospital) “Kill!” the big guard yelled. “Get rid of this girl robot and kill these intruders!” He pointed to Centipede and Sham..

“Fire!” Joe whispered, hoping his aim was on target. He and Thumbs fired at the same instant and orange ammunition flew.

Both the robot and the guard moved, however. Thumbs’ ammo exploded on the guard’s big stomach, and he hit the ground.

Joe’s pumpkin shot up, then rolled away hitting nothing. He needed to aim better.

CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR: “I’ll kill these men myself!” the guard yelled as he struggled to his feet again. He took a handgun from under his jacket and aimed at Centipede. “I don’t know who’s throwing the pumpkins, but I have some real bullets.”

Centipede opened his oversized shirt, and a metal mirror flashed the sun into Gorilla’s eyes, almost blinding him. But Gorilla fired anyway.

Centipede fell backward to the ground.

ada brownellA.B. Brownell’s blog: http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.com

GNFA: A Year in Review

By Naty Matos

Well, if you are reading this it means you survived the 1,000th time since the existence of humanity where the end of the world has beenend announced. I tell you something. In preparation for the world not to end the authors of GNFA have been popping out books like rabbits.

Yes, this group has had a lot of accomplishments during the last 12 months. But let me start by telling you more about GNFA. It stands for Grace and Faith Authors. This is an organization that houses the best Christian Indie Authors in the market.

We pride ourselves with bringing the message of the cross and providing clean reads for Christians and non-Christians. Let me highlight some of the things that we can count as blessings more than accomplishments in 2012.

  • There were 95 books published amongst all the members of the group.
  • Two of those books have been nominated for Book of the Year by The Book Club Network
  • 2 other books achieved the #1 download in Amazon on their free day and another one reached #2
  • We opened a Facebook group for our readers to connect with our authors and now we have 101 members of the GNF Readers Connection!
  • There were 3 television appearances, 3 radio interviews, 1 magazine article and 1 newspaper article by some of our authors.
  • Two books from some of our authors were released on Audiobooks.
  • Our group count has grown to over 200 Christian Authors

I can tell you that our authors are already going full steam ahead in preparation for 2013. They will teach you, advise you, entertain you, comfort you and motivate you in the best way we know how, by writing good books.

But we couldn’t do any of this without you. So on this last day of 2012 I want to thank you for your support and following.

Happy New Year and have a blessed 2013!!!

Staci Stallings, Naty Matos & GNFA

2013

Book Review: Alana & Alyssa’s Secret by Joana James

Review by Mary Findley


This is the second book I have read by Joana James. While it’s less perfect technically than Nightmare at Emerald High, it’s still a very moving, powerful story about the power of God and the prayers of the faithful.

Could anybody have more to overcome than Alana and Alyssa? You won’t know unless you read it for yourself. But what a powerful lesson Alyssa learns about what we can and can’t do to protect those we love. Sometimes even a second chance isn’t enough.

Only the greatest tragedy can sometimes shake us out of our reliance on what we have the power to do in our own strength. Realizing that we need help, accepting that help, and getting it from the Source of all true help, makes all the difference in what happens to these two sisters.

Eric is almost too good to be true, but he’s not an angel sent to escort Alyssa safely home. He’s a real person, and the only thing he wants is the truth. If Alyssa’s ready to face the truth herself, Eric will hang on for the emotional ups and downs of Alyssa’s life. It’s up to her.

I appreciated the author’s afterword explaining the terrible tragedy described in this book. It was jarring to me, but sometimes life will jar us out of our self-sufficiency. It’s something we have to accept, and this book is fundamentally about accepting help. Help from others, and help from God. In the end, Alyssa kept trying to help her sister Alana, never realizing how much she needed help herself, and what a terrible price she would have to pay before she was ready to accept that help.

Mary grew up in rural NY and met my husband at college in South Carolina. She and her husband taught school in AZ, MO and PA, homeschooled, and created curriculum and videos for church and commercial productions. They have three 20-something children, and now travel the 48 states together in a tractor trailer.

Interview with Author Dawn Byrd

We are delighted to have Author Dawn Byrd with us today. Dawn tell us, how did this story come to you?

Sometimes I get the strangest ideas! I love a good mystery and I love romance, but you don’t find the two together very often. Also, there are very few books available with college-age characters. I pitched the idea of combining all of the above to Desert Breeze and the rest is history.

That’s interesting. Please tell us more about the journey to getting this book published.

I had already published several books with Desert Breeze when they opened a young adult line. I’m excited that they liked the idea for this new series.

I’m sure our readers would like to know more about you. Please tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.

I own two hairless Chinese Crested dogs. I love sour things….pickles, lemons, sour candy. I used to ride a Harley, but gave it up in order to have more time to write. (My husband always wanted to stay out way too long and take the scenic route home. He still has his bike, but I don’t miss mine at all.)

We have two things in common, I love dogs and sour things. So tell us, What is your favorite writing tip?

Write something every day. All of my books are written in 30-day marathons. I decide how many words I want to write in 30 days and map them out on a calendar, so I can keep track of where I am and where I need to be.

I totally agree. So, what are you working on now and what’s next for you?

I’m working on my December release, which is the third book in the “Identity Series.” It’s called Double Identity and is about two seventeen-year-old identical twins who never knew about each other. One, raised by her mom, is a Christian, the other, raised by her father is a wild child. When the two meet up and the wild one falls for the Christian one’s boyfriend, sparks of the worst kind begin to fly.

It was a pleasure having you with us today. Any parting comments for our readers?

Thank you for hosting me! For those of you who love Christian fiction, please check my blog for weekly book giveaways. I interview 3-5 authors a week who give away their books. www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com

Zoe is thrilled when she lands her first paying case until she learns she’ll be going undercover at a local blood bank. The fact that she faints at the sight of blood makes working there more than difficult. Who would steal blood and what would they do with it? Is her creepy vampire-like coworker using it in a cult ritual?

When Zoe learns that Nate will be working undercover with her, she’s overjoyed. She soon finds that the gorgeous Rikki’s attraction to Nate is too distracting and considers throwing him off the case. Zoe questions his loyalty even as Nate proclaims that she’s the only girl for him.

Nothing is as it seems and Zoe has no clue who can be trusted. Who’s stealing the blood? Is it the director? The vampire-like guy with the fangs who wears all black? Or, her gorgeous co-worker who has a thing for Nate?

K.Dawn Byrd, Author
When painting with words…expect the unexpected!
BLOG: http://www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com
WEBSITE:http://www.kdawnbyrd.com

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