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Month: May 2014

Interview with Author Rebecca DeMarino & A Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I am so pleased to introduce you to Rebecca DeMarino. Like me, she was a military brat married to a military husband, so I totally identify with her longing for a “home”. Her debut novel, A Place in His Heart, is inspired by a true story! Read on to learn more about it. Rebecca is also giving away a copy of A Place in His Heart to one lucky winner — so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter below for all of the different ways you can enter!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’ve lived in ten states (sometimes more than once) and one U.S. territory and have never found one that I didn’t like. Having grown up with a father who was a career Navy pilot, I credit my mother with my adaptability. She could always find the good in every place we lived. I did long for a place to call home, so the fact that the man I married also made the military a career is a bit perplexing, but life has never been dull!

A Place in His Heart XTell us about your current release: My debut novel, A Place in His Heart, is a historical romance inspired by the lives of my ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and  Mary Horton. It is book one of The Southold Chronicles and is set in the 17th century.

Here is the blurb: Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother. With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas’s secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary’s world is upended. How could she possibly leave her Papa and her dear sister? And can she ever reach the secret places of her husband’s heart?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Most definitely, and for many reasons. I believe God is in control. I’m not the one who gets to decide how many readers pick up my book, how many hearts are touched, or how many, if any, lives are changed. But I do believe God called me to write this book. I think he put a yearning in my heart to give Mary a voice. And while I’ve prayed I can touch women who might struggle in their relationships, who might have suffered loss through death or the pain of infertility, I might be the one person whose spiritual journey has benefited.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? Actually, I think we are seeing some exciting times for Christian Fiction. No matter what the genre, the authors being published today in the CBA are writing stories that are gripping, engaging and pure entertainment from a Christian world view. And it seems even the secular side of the entertainment industry is turning toward more wholesome offerings, but they have a ways to catch up!

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? Getting outside and exercising is a big boost for me. Taking in the beauty of the outdoors and getting my heart rate up seems to work. Some of my best thoughts occur while walking in the garden, hiking up a trail or going for a jog.

Demarino-29 Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? Treasure Island by RL Stevenson, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Stevenson, and because I was horse “crazy”, The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley.

 What is the inspiration for your writing? I thought for many years that I would write a novel, often entertaining the idea of writing suspense, because I love to read it and have an active imagination about all of the horrible things that can happen in life. But, it wasn’t until I took my mother to Long Island in 1999, to visit a lighthouse named after our ancestor Barnabas Horton that the story of my ninth great-grandmother tugged at my heart. I began writing it in 2008 because there was no way I could not.

 Rebecca DeMarino lives in the Pacific N.W. and enjoys hiking, baking, genealogy and gardening. Her debut novel, A Place in His Heart, is a historical romance inspired by her ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton, and is book one of The Southold Chronicles. It is available now from Revell. For more information please visit her at www.RebeccaDeMarino.com or https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRebeccaDeMarino  She can also be found on Pinterest!

 Thank you, Hallee, for having me on your blog! It’s been fun!

Find Rebecca’s books online:



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Today’s Word of Promise

actsEveryday, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk.

Today I listened to Acts 9 – Acts Acts 17.

The part that stood out to me in that passage is this:

The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”

But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”

And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again. Acts 10:9-16

Almost certainly, whenever we explain our choice to follow a Biblical diet, someone brings up Peter’s vision. However, this vision has nothing to do with food. In fact, Peter himself knew that. While he was having this vision, Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian regiment, had a delegation on their way to where Peter was staying. These were not Jews, and it was unlawful for a Jew to “keep company with” someone who was not Jewish. However, these men explained that an angel of the Lord told Cornelius to send for Peter. So, he put the men up for the night, and the next day went with them to see Cornelius.

When Peter met Cornelius, he said:

Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Peter’s dream was showing him that God could sanctify and cleanse any MAN.

So, if you want to argue about whether God has approved those country hams for Sunday after church consumption, this isn’t the passage you ought to use. If you want a passage to use, it’s better to use Acts 15. There was a church in Jerusalem that was preaching that Gentiles had to be circumcised and follow the law of Moses in order to be saved. So, Peter and other church leaders met and held a council to determine how to handle this situation, because the Gentiles were coming to Christ in huge numbers. They determined that:

They wrote this letter by them:

The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,

To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:

Greetings.

Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law” —to whom we gave no such commandment— it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.

Farewell. ~Acts 15:23-29

So, there you go. If you’re a Gentile, and that country ham wasn’t sacrificed to an idol, it isn’t a sin to eat it.

But that doesn’t make the meat clean. Or healthy. Or pleasing to God.

May God bless you and bless your day. Find a word of God speak to you today.

halleeLOGOspinefinal


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Today’s Word of Promise

actsEveryday, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk.

Today I listened to Acts 3 – Acts Acts 9.

The part that stood out to me in that passage is this:

 

Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. Acts 4:34-35

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. Acts 5:1-5

Our modern church does not operate like the church in Acts 4. Church goers do not sell all of their possessions and give it all to the church to distribute to those who have need. Instead, church goers work with the intent of achieving possession and status within the community – and oftentimes pay taxes with the idea that the government should distribute to those in need.

I’m not a big fan of this. I’d LOVE to see a modern church that has a congregation full of Christ worshiping believers who give everything they have. Unfortunately, in today’s society, that would probably be considered a cult.

All that said, here and operating in modern times with a modern church, the part I want to look at is Ananias and Sapphira.

What do you think he did wrong? Why was he killed by God?

I don’t think it was due to greed. I think it’s because he didn’t believe in the omniscient divinity of God. I think he thought if he did something in the darkness, it wouldn’t be shown in the light. I think he thought he could get away with lying TO God. I think that’s why he was killed.

Examine your life and your heart. Is there something being done in the dark that you don’t think will see the light? Remember: God is all present and all knowing. He’s here. He’s there. Trust Him and love Him. There’s no need for lying, conniving, bad business practices – no need for any of that when you lay it all at the feet of Jesus.

May God bless you and bless your day. Find a word of God speak to you today.

halleeLOGOspinefinal


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Today’s Word of Promise

actsEveryday, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk.

Today I listened to John 18-Acts 2.

The part that stood out to me in that passage is this:

 

And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved. Acts 2:21

This was Peter preaching the word brought to Israel by the prophet Joel. What Peter was saying was that Jesus Christ was the Lord to whom Joel referred.

Whoever calls on the name of Jesus Christ – Yeshua – יֵשׁוּעַ , will be saved.

Saved from what? Saved from the righteous judgement of God in the wake of our human sinful ways. As it is said in John, “For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Jesus, Yeshua, stands in for us so that we no longer fall short but rise up to Him.

May God bless you and bless your day. Find a word of God speak to you today.
halleeLOGOspinefinal


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You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
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Today’s Word of Promise

johnEveryday, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk.

I’ve been bombarded with a lack of time lately, and sitting down to write this blog post, as simple as it may seem to my mind while I’m out walking, has just not been happening. So, I’ve finished the book of Luke, and the book of John, and have made it to the first two chapters of Acts.

I do have something to say about the Book of John, though. If you haven’t seen The Gospel of John, then you’re really missing out. This production is really quite amazing. The man who played Jesus is, by training, a Shakespearean actor. This was intentional because they wanted someone who would preserve the verbatim text and not differentiate from the lines at all. It’s a verbatim production of the entire book of John. Brilliantly done. It’s wonderful to see, in a good production that doesn’t try to present “gentle Jesus meek and mild”.

If you told me I could only keep one single book from the entire Bible, I would be torn between the gospel according to John, and the book of Acts. Honestly, I think John is my favorite book.

I could spend 365 days this year telling you all of the things that stand out to me on that book. But, today I’ll just pick one, and go onto Acts tomorrow from there.

So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

I think that Martha gets a bum rap from Christian women due to the whole “Mary and Martha” thing, when Martha was complaining to Christ that she was doing all the work while Mary was just sitting at Jesus’ feet, worshiping Him. Jesus never condemned Martha for working, nor did He condemn her for NOT joining her sister. After all, the work had to be done, the meal had to be prepared.

I’ve never been a fan of the embracing Mary revolution. I would be Martha. I would be preparing the meal and getting annoyed at my sister for not helping me. I would not be able to sit around while people were hungry if I had chores to do. I’ve always fallen back on the fact that Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law and she got up and served them a meal!

So, I love this section of scripture. Because, to me it shows that Martha truly loved and believed in Christ – and He knew it. He knew her heart — even if she WAS the one who didn’t sit at His feet and worship him while there was work to be done. Her faith was strong, and she knew who He was.

May God bless you and bless your day. Find a word of God speak to you today.
halleeLOGOspinefinal


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Interview with Author James R. Callan — With a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. Many people don’t know this about me, but I LOVE MATH. I was President of the Math Club in high school and on the competitive math team. My idea of a relaxing break is to do Sudoko or a math logic problem. I’m extremely analytical and am shocked at how much I enjoy the creative side of my mind that’s needed to write books.  That said, I’m THRILLED to introduce to you today mystery/suspense author James Callan.  He had a 40-year career in mathematics before turning to writing. Please welcome him and enjoy his interview as much as I did.

Also, check out the giveaway below! James is giving away a paperback of his book, Character: The Heartbeat of the Novel ! There are several ways to enter.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I took a degree in English. When I found I could not support a family, I returned to graduate school in mathematics. That started a forty year detour in mathematics. I received grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, was listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans. When I retired, I returned to my first love, writing. I’ve had four non-fiction books and five mystery/suspense books published.

Tell us about your current release.

Cover-A Ton of GoldMy latest suspense book is A Ton of Gold, a contemporary book but inspired by an old Texas folk tale. I asked the question, how could a folk tale affect the lives of people today. This legend had a dramatic effect on the lives of several people, as the bad guys resorted to murder, kidnapping, and arson in the search for a ton of gold.

But, technically, my latest book is a non-fiction book. My publisher liked my use of dialog and asked me to write a book on the subject. That resulted in How to Write Great Dialog.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down?

First, I spend time getting to know my major characters very well. Then, I write my first draft as fast as I can. I try not to do any editing as I get the story down. Then, I go back and make it better. I spend as much time polishing the story as I do in writing the first draft.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

Start writing. Anything. Just make myself type words. It doesn’t have to be the book I currently working on. It could be a blog, even an e-mail. But start writing. Usually, the story bubbles up to take over. Also, I try to stop for the day in the middle of a scene. Then the next day, I know exactly where to start and that running start usually leads right into the next part of the story.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?

Before I start, I have a loose plot and a resolution. I know my major characters. I know what they sound like, how they talk. But, as the story progresses, I’m willing to listen to the characters and change the direction of the story, and change the ending. But I like to have something in mind before I start, even though it may not end that way.

jim - 6What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.)

I cannot imagine trying to write a 90,000 word book long hand. When I revise and polish, I add things in, cut things out, change a lot. That would be beyond my patience without the ability to cut and paste quickly and easily on a computer. If I don’t have a computer handy and scenes or dialog come to me, I will write that with pen and paper. But as soon as I’m near a computer, it gets transcribed to the computer.

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper?

I knew I wanted to write. I love to read and I wanted to produce a book that other people would enjoy reading. But my ideas come to me from everything around me. A four paragraph story in the L.A. Times spawned the 94,000 word novel The Silver Medallion. A series of church fires spawned Cleansed by Fire. And an old folk tale led to A Ton of Gold. Other have come the same way.

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done?

cover-characterI never thought I’d write a book for writers on how to write. But when a publisher asked me to write one on character development because she really liked my characters, I agreed. And Character: The Heartbeat of the Novel resulted. A year later, she asked me to write one on dialog, and that became How to Write Great Dialog. I found I enjoyed it, and was surprised when other writers said they went back and revised their books because of what they read in my books.

Thank you, Hallee, for inviting me to your site. I hope I have given a little insight as to how and why I write and have not bored your readers.

Find James online!

www.jamesrcallan.com

www.jamesrcallan.com/blog

Amazon Author page:    http://amzn.to/1eeykvG

Twitter: @jamesrcallan

Find Jame’s Books online:


James is also giving away a paperback of Character: The Heartbeat of a Novel. See the Rafflecopter for all of the ways you can enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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