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Month: June 2014

Today’s Word of Promise

actsMany days a week, 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 17 – Acts 28.

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

And he called for two centurions, saying, “Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night; 24 and provide mounts to set Paul on, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25 He wrote a letter in the following manner:

26 Claudius Lysias,

To the most excellent governor Felix:

Greetings.

27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them. Coming with the troops I rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. 28 And when I wanted to know the reason they accused him, I brought him before their council. 29 I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains. 30 And when it was told me that the Jews lay in wait for the man,I sent him immediately to you, and also commanded his accusers to state before you the charges against him.

Farewell. ~Acts 23:24-30

I have always imagined that the government in the time of the New Testament was corrupt. I think it stems from the fact that Jesus, a man without sin, was crucified so terribly — in my mind, only a corrupt system could have that be so.

However, while it’s not necessarily “moral” to the way that our society operates today (and I use the term moral in conjunction with our society loosely), it was absolutely NOT corrupt. It’s fascinating to me the lengths that were taken to protect Paul – a Jew – because he was a Roman citizen. He was about to be beaten when Paul revealed his nationality – and in a day and age without recordings and video evidence, they could have easily beaten him, killed him, and covered it all up because was a Sadducee in the Jewish faith. Instead, they immediately halted anything against him until they could investigate who he was and what he was.

In the meantime, the Jewish leaders sought to kill him. Rather than just letting it happen and washing their hands of this whole religious feud between the followers of Christ and the Jewish leaders, they took great pains to keep Paul safe and transport him out of the area for his protection.

When I listened to this, the lack of corruption both surprised me and impressed me.

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

Hallee


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Sum…Sum…Summertime

summerThis is going to be a crazy summer.

On top of the whole mothering three kids and being a wife thing I have going on, there’s a whole lot happening on the Hallee Bridgeman Author side of the world.

  • I have already attended Arizona Dreamin’ in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Southern Christian Writers Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
  • I will be sitting on the panel for the Woodford County Library’s Inspirational Pens on Fire in Versailles, Kentucky.
  • I will be attending the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference in Elizabethtown, Kentucky
  • I will be attending the Romance Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • I will be attending the Romance Writers of America Convention in San Antonio, Texas

I will also be on “vacation” with my husband and sons in the Washington, D.C. area for about two weeks. I use vacation in quotation marks, because he’ll actually be on National Guard duty. The kids and I are just taking advantage of no school and going with him. We’re very excited about that, because we have family in that area of the country.

1600x2400_ac4kWith all of this travel, I also have the following work to complete:

  • Virtues and Valor Series.  I have 3 1/2 written. I need to have all 7 (or 8) written before I can begin publishing them. I can’t risk beginning this story and having to make changes in an earlier book due to a plot point in a later book. The first two books (Temperance’s Trial and Homeland’s Hope) are scheduled to publish on September 11th.
  • A Harmony for Steve: A Carol for Kent hasn’t even been out for a month yet, and already people are clamoring for book 4 in the Song of Suspense Series. It’s not written yet – in fact, the only thing for that book that’s written is the preview that went into A Carol for Kent. But I won’t let that stop me! That book will be scheduled for release as soon as we have an idea of when it will be finished.

Consequently, my social media is going to s l o w d o w  n. I have  no choice.

I do have six days home alone coming up. I’m going to see what I can do about finishing up the plot outlines of the Virtues and possibly writing the remaining 3 1/2 books in that series during those days.

How does your summer look?
halleeLOGOspinefinal


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Worst Trip Ever

Last week I traveled from Lexington, Kentucky, to Phoenix, Arizona, for Arizona Dreamin’. It was a fantastic time. I hope to be invited back next year.  But, the week I went, on Wednesday our 6-year-old had a stomach bug, and on Friday, sitting at the gate to fly out of Lexington, the school nurse called to tell me that our 7-year-old was sick as well. I got him picked up and taken care of and we flew out – we were only there from Friday until Saturday night, then flew a red-eye to arrive home on Sunday morning.

The entire trip, I was paranoid about getting sick. I’ve always been susceptible to stomach bugs. But, as I’ve gotten older, I don’t *always* get the anymore when my kids get them. I think it’s just because I’ve had every possible strain I could ever have *heh*. But, every twinge in my stomach, I’d think, “Oh no. I’m going to be Typhoid Mary and send this stomach flu all over the world.” It never did happen, though (thank you, God.)

This weekend, I’m at the Southern Christian Writers Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It’s about a 7.5 hour drive for me. When I woke up Thursday morning, my stomach was upset. But, I chalked it up to the fact that for the last 5 weeks, I’ve been on  a strict vegan/no refined sugar diet. But, on Wednesday night, we had company for dinner and I made beef stroganoff and strawberry pie. I thought my body was rejecting the idea of my over-consumption of red meat and sugar the night before.

I lied down for a bit in the morning, and around 11 felt much better. So, I packed and left the house.

I started feeling lousy again about an hour into the trip. I actually called the hotel to cancel the reservation, but I was beyond the window of being able to do that, so I decided to go ahead and plug forward since I was going to be charged for the room, anyway.

Not the best decision.

About three hours into the trip, I was very sick. Thankfully, I’d made it to a rest area. I had about 4.5 hours to go in one direction, or turn around for 3 hours to get home. I felt a lot better, so I decided to keep going. I never got sick again, but I started running a fever that made my body ache, and I had to drive through this horrible, horrible storm that was hitting the Huntsville, Alabama area with 60-65 mph winds and heavy rain.

rain

I have never been so happy to get to my hotel.

I’m a big proponent of letting a fever do it’s job in the body. Consequently, I didn’t want to take anything for it, even though my muscles ached. Instead, I ran to a store and bought some organic soup and lavender bubble bath. I soaked in the tub until I just couldn’t stay awake anymore, then went to bed.

I had a very restless night due to the fever, but woke at 4AM feeling better. My fever was down to low grade, I was hungry and have been sipping on soup while I type this, and just have a faint headache — which I’ll chalk up to the lack of coffee yesterday.  I have several hours before the conference starts, which will give me more time to monitor that the fever is truly gone and that I’m capable of withstanding a 9-hour day of writerly things.

My husband suggested I skip this conference and stay home. I almost did, but I truly felt better after spending the morning lying down. At one point while driving during the hellish storm, I thought, “If I get swept away by a tornado, Gregg is going to be SO mad at me or not listening to him.” HA!

Last night, apparently one of the boys was running a high fever as well, and complaining of a stomach ache. Clearly, whatever bug hit LAST week isn’t the same as this one. And, while I’m incredibly thankful to not have flown to Phoenix with a stomach bug, whatever this is isn’t the same thing. I just pray that I haven’t gotten anyone sick while I was having as minimal contact with people as possible.

*UPDATE* It’s now 9AM local and I feel perfectly fine. I’m so thankful it was a 24-hour thing, and just pray that I got no one else sick while traversing my south-bound route.
halleeLOGOspinefinal


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Interview with Author Angie Brashear and 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 excited to introduce to you Angie Brashear. Angie is the author of Of the Persecuted, a young adult fantasy novel (with a breathtaking cover). As I interviewed Angie, I was so intrigued by the fact that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis opened her eyes to Christ! Christians everywhere know that Lewis wrote that series of books as an allegory about Christ and the love and sacrifice of Christ — but I’ve never actually known anyone to be led to Christ through the books. How thrilling it is to discover that – especially as an author, like me, with a mission statement like this:

Hallee prayerfully crafts stories as modern day parables to uplift fellow believers and minister to seekers in our fallen world.

To know that God uses fiction, even allegorical fantasy fiction, to open doors in hearts is just exciting! I’m SO happy she’s joining us here today. And, she’s giving away a copy of her book, Of the Persecuted. If you enjoy young adult novels, or have a young adult girl who reads, be sure to enter to win with the Rafflecopter at the end of this interview!

Angie Brashear - Headshot (2)Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My normal activities surround raising three amazing kids, as well as a career in public education with a focus on students with disabilities. I love to read and I love to run, especially now that my kids are old enough to do both with me. And now I love to write books into the wee hours of the night, after my kids fall asleep.

Tell us about your current release.

Of the Persecuted is a fantasy with a strong thread of romance geared toward young adult females. The story surrounds an insecure girl who believes she is no more than a burden to the people she loves. But in the midst of physical and spiritual war, and through the loss of loved ones, as well as the turmoil of unrequited love, she discovers her true worth lies in her faith.

Ultimately, my goal is to reach young adult females much like the lost, lonely girl I once was. As a nonbeliever for the majority of my life, I enjoyed reading speculative fiction and it was the The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis which ultimately opened my eyes to Christ. My prayer is that my stories will do the same for others. I also hope believers will enjoy the Christian undertones of my work.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it?

Without a doubt. While I have no idea how the Lord intends to use my story to His glory, I believe the heart of at least one nonbeliever will be opened to the truth of the One True God. And that makes my efforts worthwhile.

Of the Persecuted (ebook cover)What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction?

A little edge. I firmly believe that in order to reach nonbelievers who’ve suffered abuse – whether physical, emotional, sexual, etc. – we, as Christians, need to reach them where they are and help lift them to the Lord. We cannot be preachy in the midst of turmoil. My opinion regarding this matter occasionally upsets fellow Christians, which is certainly not my intention. My response to such criticism is two-fold. First, I’ve been on the other side and it took a little edge to open my eyes to the truth. Second, by “need to reach them where they are,” I do not mean to insinuate that we should deviate from the Word of God. Ever.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write?

In January 2012, my assistant and I exchanged late Christmas gifts. During the exchange, we discussed the various challenges of our jobs and the “what ifs” of other possible employment endeavors. Cue the violin, right? I mean, a lot of people face stressful situations in the workplace on a daily basis. As we talked, my assistant said, “The longer I work with you, the more I imagine you as an author.” My jaw dropped, for I’d NEVER shared my deepest dream with her or anyone else for that matter. I squeezed the lovely gift in my hands. She smiled and glanced at the journal. “Whenever you’re ready,” she said as she walked out of my office.

So I prayed for the next three months. And then I wrote. I completed the manuscript after seven months of late night writing, having absolutely no knowledge of the writing world. I later had to convert the manuscript from lackluster omniscient narrative to one person point of view. While I don’t profess to write without flaws, I do believe my story will reach lost girls. The journal my assistant gifted to me has been life changing. I’m grateful she allowed God to work through her.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher?

413logo-square-medNot too long ago, I made the heartbreaking decision to leave traditional publishing, and to pursue an indie publishing route. While there are many pros and cons to both types of publishing, I ultimately felt God’s plans for Of the Persecuted did not involve traditional publishing. Now, I’m happy to share that my debut novel has been released under my very own indie publishing label – 4:13 Publishing. Because in Him, I can accomplish all things to His glory.

I strongly recommend using a professional cover designer, editor, and formatter if pursuing an indie publishing route. My website includes recommendations for all such professionals.

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

I’m a total panster. And sometimes I wonder if that is good or bad for my writing endeavors. As I write, I know exactly where I want to start and finish, but I fly by the seat of my pants when writing all of the details in between. In some ways, it’s a fun approach because my own characters surprise me with their decisions. LOL!

Thank you for hosting today. I’ve enjoyed our visit!

Back Cover Blurb:

Laila Pennedy awaits death by hanging. For the Rendow Clan rules the Woodlands Region, aiming to slaughter the Faithful. And she deserves to die. But Lars Landre, the man destined to lead the Faithful out of persecution, has other plans hidden behind his rare and mysterious blue eyes. Rescue.

Following the daring escape, Laila seeks the path of a warrior and vows revenge against the Rendow Clan. She embarks on a dangerous journey with Lars, one in which they endeavor to reach the promised safety of a magical village, to train for battle, and to ultimately assure freedom for those with faith in the Maker.

Clashes of weapons and souls. Brutal loss of lives. Unrequited love. How in all the Woodlands will Laila survive?

Author Bio:

When Angie Brashear isn’t working or taking care of her family, she writes. Usually at night after her kids fall asleep. She’s a fan of speculative fiction and an avid runner, both of which perplex her nonfiction-reading, football-loving husband. Saved in her early twenties, Angie is grateful for the Lord’s presence in all aspects of her life. She is originally from Rockland, Maine and currently resides in Cameron, Texas with her husband and three children. Follow her at http://facebook.com/AngieBrashearAuthor, https://twitter.com/AngieBrashear, and http://angiebrashear.com.
Enter to win a copy of Of the Persecuted!
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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