24 March 2019

Overcoming Setbacks and Attacks in the Christian Writer’s Life -- By Author Kathleen L. Maher

Author Kathleen L. Maher
Overcoming Setbacks and Attacks in the Christian Writer’s Life
Guest Post 
By
Kathleen L. Maher 
D i s c o u r a g e m e n t
We all know the writing life promises glamour, recognition, accolades, and if you’re really good, a movie contract or two…. Oh, wait. Did I just hear the record scratch as all that romantic music was reaching a crescendo? 
I hope you’re laughing with me (and not at me—haha). You either laugh or you cry some days when the rejection letters are thicker than your billfold. When you’ve been giving it all you have, even for years, and nothing seems to be moving, it can get mighty discouraging. But that’s just it—if our expectations are set in God’s promises, we don’t have to be disappointed. He promises to give us what we need. 
Need…. Hmm. Maybe God knows best when he withholds multiple huge contracts in the midst of a crazy-busy season. Maybe we need to build some resilience first. Thick skin. We can practice sharing the truth and hope He has shown us to more intimate venues. We mustn’t despise the day of small beginnings. But I get it. Small beginnings can be a hard consolation when writing is both a ministry and a business. We do live in the real world, and there are real bills to pay. 
Good news. We have an even more real God who says, “before you cry, I answer you.” He says, “Let God alone be true and every man (and circumstance, and obstacle) a liar.” He says, “When we are faithless (full of doubt and unbelief and worry), I remain faithful.” What amazing promises! And this principle is also true—"Give and it shall be given, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and pouring out all over.” Whatever our expectations and motivations for writing, when given over to God, they will be sifted and refined until they come out pure. And our offerings given to God will land on good soil and produce a harvest in His perfect time. 
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it, for it shall surely come to pass.” Habakkuk 2:2-3
C H A O S  a n d D I S T R A C T I O N
One of the enemy’s tactics, at least in my home, is the little destructive foxes in the grapes. Do you know what I mean? The computer crashes not once, but five times in one day. Then when finally it decides to work, the dogs get into the garbage, or the phone rings with something urgent, or a meteor streaks down from the blue sky…. Constant interruptions. There is a real enemy who roams about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. There will be opposition to the work of the Lord. 
Sometimes it’s a crisis. Like a loved one in an emergency. Or a battle over finances, health, relationships… Times that try the soul and make you believe writing is the least of your priorities. Yes, there are moments when we must triage, but don’t put down your pen altogether, warrior, because it is a sword. 
We are not those who shrink back—we are overcomers! Sometimes you have to call in the troops and request prayer. Sometimes you have to play praise and worship and create an atmosphere where those trouble makers MUST FLEE at the name of Jesus. Take oil and anoint the doorposts (and keyboard—very lightly) and declare, “as for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord.” 
And then, press on. Sit in the chair and write, trusting that the words will bring the breakthrough to whoever reads them. In fact, after all that warfare, you can be certain you’re carrying something vital—from the very heart of God—that must be released. 
I’ll leave you with a song that kicks opposition square in the pants:  Rend Collective, Every Giant will Fall
Write on, my friend! Nothing is impossible with Him.
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Kathleen L. Maher has had an infatuation with books and fictional heroes ever since her preschool crush, Peter Rabbit. “Love Brick by Brick,” a novella with her hometown’s history, appeared in BARBOUR’s 2018 Victorian Christmas Bridescollection. Her Civil War romance The Abolitionist’s Daughterreleased six years after winning the ACFW Genesis Award. Another novella of hers will be in Barbour’s schoolteacher collection Lessons on Love in Oct 2019. And Book 2 in her Civil War series, The Chaplain’s Daughter, is now available on Amazon. Kathleen shares an old farmhouse in upstate New York with her husband, children, and a small zoo.
New Release by Kathleen L. Maher

Come join us at Kathy's New Release Facebook Party for The Chaplain's Daughter on May 25th at 4:30 PM. (Click here for the Event page.)

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GIVEAWAY: Winner's choice of ebook or paperback of either of Kathy's Sons of the Shenandoah novels or a paperback copy of The Victorian Christmas Brides collection which includes Kathy's novella. Answer this question: Have you ever faced spiritual attack for doing what God has asked you to do?




16 February 2019

In the Writing Cave

Copyright:Hillebrand Steve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In the Writing Cave

I'm down to the last twelve days before my novella, "In Dire Straits", in the Lessons on Love collection from Barbour is due to my editor, Rebecca Germany. This collection, a four-in-one with stories from my critique partner, Kathleen L. Maher, and wonderful authors Susie/Susanne Dietze and Rita Gerlach, will release in October, 2019.

That beautiful cave image, above, was downloaded from Google images (image credit notated), and looks to me like angels' wings! When I'm in my writing cave I really and truly feel the presence of God and His angels protecting and enveloping me. If you didn't know, I am disabled by Rheumatoid Arthritis and I have multiple other medical issues that God helps me cope with. I couldn't write anything without His help. So I always give the Lord credit in any book I've written, first and foremost. Being the weakened vessel that I am, I am well aware that anything I do has to come from Him and with God's provision. That builds even more gratitude into my heart and a humility with each project that He pulls me through, for I am well aware I can't do it alone.

Would you lift me and the other authors in this collection up in prayer as we finish our stories? And would you pray for the direction of this blog. God is leading me toward this being a monthly post about the ways God is working in my writing life. 

Giveaway: One commenter will receive a copy of their choice of any of my Barbour collections including this upcoming October release.

18 January 2019

Character interview of Brooke Hollen of Desolate Paths by Erin Unger


Hi everyone! Brooke Hollen here! I’m the star of Desolate Paths.Thanks so much for having me today, Carrie! I’m excited to talk to you.

Hello, Brooke. Tell us about yourself. How did you get into Erin Unger’s novel?
Ha-ha, funny story—well really a scary one—I got into trouble and the best help I could get was in rehab. But, man, I didn’t expect all the drama there. And I should’ve read the website closer. I didn’t know what I was in for when I arrived. Erin knew I’d make some interesting choices and liven up her story once I got to the rehab center.

Why did you choose Carrick Living Museum and Rehabilitation Center to help you through your addiction?
I saw the promise of authentic help and rest and relaxation. I didn’t read all of the details because all I wanted was to rest my way through rehab. Little did I know relaxation only happened the first few days. I should’ve picked up on all the pictures of people wearing period clothing on the website. Authentic is an understatement about Carrick rehab. But God knew exactly where I needed to be.

Oh, dear. What’s different about the center?
It’s a center where all residents work throughout their rehab. Cory and Dara Carrick believe in the importance of learning how to be a valuable member of society while rehabilitating. All residents have to wear period clothing and must do all chores and cooking the way people would’ve in the early 1800s. 

What’s so scary about your stay at the center?
Who would’ve guessed I’d be in danger at the center when it’s supposed to be a safe environment? There is a serial killer living amongst us.

Oh, that’s terrible. How are you handling it?
I’m trying to stay out of trouble and rely on my new faith, but I’m really scared. Kyle Reston, the person I want to trust, could be responsible for all the women disappearing.

Maybe you should rethink hanging out with him. Do you have anyone else you can trust?
I have a new friend, Willa, who has been trying to keep me straight. She’s a lot further in her journey to recovery. Hopefully, together we’ll make it out of the center alive.

Well, I hope you stay safe. Thanks for talking to us.
With God, all things are possible. And because of my new faith, I’ll rely on Him to get me through this dangerous time. It was fun talking to you, Carrie.

Brooke is putting her trust in God through a very difficult time. What circumstance have you been in this year where you could only rely on God for the answer? Comment below to win an eBook of Desolate Paths or a paperback of Desolate Paths.

Thank you to Erin Unger

Social Media Links: Facebook Twitter Instagram

Short Bio: Erin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby.But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her mostly grown children and a couple grandkids.

12 January 2019

Review & Giveaway of My Heart Belongs in The Blue Ridge by Pepper Basham


My Heart Belongs in The Blue Ridge: Laurel's Dream by Pepper Basham

(Barbour, January 2019)

   Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

 Andrea's thoughts.
This beautiful book wrapped itself around my heart and stayed there. From the first page to the last, I could not help loving Laurel McAdams and Jonathan Taylor. She has such a sweet, strong spirit despite the hardships of daily living in the rural Blue Ridge Mountains.  He has a special kindness about him.
Jonathan is set to prove he isn't the “useless invalid” his father believes him to be. He learns to see things in a different way, with a new idea of what happiness and beauty truly are.
They share a love of books too, as described while looking over the globe in the schoolroom; “The world is a fascinating place.”... “Well, I ain't seen a whole lot of it, but I sure like visiting through books.” “One of the best ways to travel.”  

The friendship that develops between Laurel and Jonathan is very memorable. I loved how protective Laurel was of “Teacher” as Jonathan is called. She knows he will be good for the children. I also loved how he came to care for and learn from the mountain people.

Pepper Basham has a wonderful way of describing her beloved Blue Ridge Mountains and the people that live there, I felt as if I was sitting on the hillside watching their lives unfold in front of me.  The message of trusting God's love is gently woven throughout the book, leaving a warm spot on this readers heart.

I hope everyone will pick up this book and visit 1918's Maple Springs. Jonathan's introduction to life in the mountains is not to be missed. You also don't want to miss the Autumn leaf rainbow or the corn shuckin'.  It's a whole lot of fun!

I have highlighted so many things in this book it has become its own rainbow.
 I'll leave you with these words of wisdom from Laurel's mama...
”Regret don't do nothin' but steal your joy and cloud your eyes from seein' the blessings.”

*I purchased a copy of this book after reading the first few pages of the e-book provided to me by Barbour Publishing through NetGalley. I was so excited the day it came, I sat and read it from cover to cover.

Check out ALL the My Heart Belongs series books from Barbour! (click here)

Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of My Heart Belongs in The Blue Ridge  

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