Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Write to the Point with Laura Hilton September 17, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:37 am
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laura

Today we get write to the point with Laura Hilton. She visited us a while ago. You can read that interview here. Read on to see what she is up to now. She has a giveaway for you 🙂

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love. A nonAmish book Swept Away will release November 2014 from Abingdon Press. She is contracted for another three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, begins in November 2014 with The Snow Globe, The Postcard in June 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015, and A White Christmas in Webster County (Amish) releasing in September 2014. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.

 

Tell us about your newest book.   

A White Christmas in Webster County   (Whitaker House)

Wanting to relocate from Shipshewana to somewhere new, Mercy Lapp answered an ad in The Budget to work as a mother’s helper for Matthew and Shanna Yoder in Seymour, Missouri. Mercy relocated from Shipshewana to give herself space and time to heal after the death of her beau in a fishing trip on Lake Michigan. Abner Hilty fled Shipshewana to Montana to work on a ranch after he and his twin brother witnessed a murder. Now that the killer is safely behind bars, Abner decides to visit his brother Abram in Missouri where he’d settled with his bride of one month. Mercy is surprised to see Abner there, and equally surprised by how much he’d changed physically since she’d last seen him. Even though the two live in different districts they occasionally see each other in townWhiteChristmas and form a fledging friendship. As Christmas approaches, an unexpected heavy snow lets Abner and Mercy spend a lot of time together in wintertime fun. Abner hopes to interest Mercy in a more permanent relationship. But then Mercy has a potentially life changing discovery. Will she return to Shipshewana to answer the summons of the past? Or settle in a new place?

A Christmas Romance.  A chance for a new beginning. Then her past is resurrected.

 

What do you do when you’re not writing? 

I have five children, I homeschool. I am a pastor’s wife. I am a book reviewer.  When I’m not writing I’m teaching, raising children, helping with my husband’s ministry, cleaning house, running errands,  or cooking, or reading.

Where do you get your ideas? 

God gives them to me. I always pray a lot over my books. I’m a seat of the pants writer and other than a vague idea I have no ideea where my story is going to go.

Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer? 

As I just said, I’m seat of the pants.  But even though it has been said that means that my “first draft is the outline” that is not true. I write, edit the previous days writing, write more, and when I finish the book, it is the final draft. I don’t go back and rewrite huge segments.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? 

Yes. . . but with the world of self-publishing or small press that may change. Right now the big publishers aren’t touching them, because…. 1) not a popular genre  2) you are branded with Amish  3) we just published one similar (pick your excuse) but I’m excited about the possibilities.

Are you like any of the characters in your book? 

Who I am and how I act are totally irrelevant to the characters in the book. They are not a reinvented me.

Are you working on a new project now? 

Yes, I’m currently writing the third (and final) book in the Amish of Jamesport series. It is due to the publisher December 1.

Anything you would like to add? 

The first book in the Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe,  is releasing in November.  I also have a contemporary romance, Swept Away, releasing from Abingdon about the same time.   A White Christmas in Webster County is my first Christmas story, and it ties in characters from both of my first two series, The Amish of Seymour, and The Amish of Webster County.

Connect with Laura:

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

visit my blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/  & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/ 

twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512

Purchase my books:

Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=laura+hilton&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton

Deeper Shopping http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX

Thanks for sharing with my readers, Laura. It’s great to hear what you are up to and how God is continuing to grow your writing.

Readers, Laura is giving away a copy of her book. Leave a comment by Sept. 23rd at 5:00 p.m. to be entered.

 

 

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Review and Giveaway: Nowhere to Turn by Lynette Eason September 15, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:25 pm
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no where to turn

About:

She thought her days of hiding were over . . . but the danger has just begun

The day Danielle Harding takes her eleven-year-old son and flees from her abusive husband is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani believes she and her son are finally safe–but in reality, things are just heating up. When Kurt was alive, he took something important from a mysterious individual–who wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run for their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to hide for long . . .

From the first breathless scene, this tension-laced story will hold you in its iron grip as bestselling author Lynette Eason propels you along in a race to discover the truth.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This is the second book I have read by Lynette and I have to say I love her writing.  From the beginning of this book I was on the edge of my seat. I was reading at night and had to stop myself because I needed to get sleep.

This book has so many layers it was hard to know who was really after Dani. It seemed there could have been any number of people who would want to hurt her. I had no clue.

Lynette does a great job of playing on the mother in us all with Dani’s son Simon. You knew she had to do whatever it took to keep him safe, just as we all would do for our children.

The romance portion of the book was just okay for me, but honestly it didn’t have to be great because the rest of the story was so good.

This is the second book in the Hidden Identity series but you don’t have to read the first one to know what is going on in this one. There are repeat characters but the main characters where either secondary in the first book or not in it at all. So have no worries if this is the first book you pick up. And trust me, if you like suspense you will want to pick this up.

Visit Lynette here.

Grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.

Win a copy by leaving a comment by September 21st at 5:00 p.m. (U.S. residents only)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

How Mackinac Island is like our Spiritual Lives (Part 4) September 12, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:49 am
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The kids in front of Skull Cave.

The kids in front of Skull Cave.

Sorry for the delay in installments. I came down with a nasty cold last week that had me napping instead of working on my post 🙂

We have traveled from Mackinaw City to the island. We visited downtown and then rode around the island on our bikes. Now it’s time to go deeper, explore the interior and stop riding around the edges.

The year after Patrick and I rode around the island we were very eager to explore the interior. Here’s the thing, the only way to get to the interior is to climb a hill. Most people take Fort Hill. It is horrible. I mean, truly horrible.

This year we walked up with the kids pushing our bikes (you can’t ride your bike) and we were all huffing and puffing. Someone who works on the island came up behind us and said, “I do this everyday and it doesn’t get any easier.” That made me feel a little bit better. I would not want to climb that hill every day.

But sometimes to get to things worth seeing you have to go up hill to get there. So we did.

Once you are in the interior of the island you can see more beautiful homes, follow many trails (we still haven’t explored them all), you can visit Sugar Loaf (another rock formation) or Skull Cave.

The beauty that surrounds you as you ride around is beyond words. Places man has not touched. Birds singing their songs. I could spend all day there.

So, how is this like our spiritual lives?

Going deeper with Jesus won’t happen accidentally. Just like you can’t accidentally end up in the interior the island you won’t find yourself suddenly in a deep love relationship with Jesus. It takes intentionality and time.

You have to really want to see the interior of the island to climb up that hill. We have to really want to go deeper with Jesus to take the time it takes to get there.

If I’m not willing to spend time in His Word, in prayer, in worship I won’t get there.

It never gets easier to wake up at 5:00 a.m. Never. I am still tired every single morning, just like that worker who said she climbs that hill every day and it doesn’t get easier.

I wake up early to have alone time with Jesus. Each day is a struggle to wake up. But I know it’s worth it. I know the beauty that awaits me as I sit in His presence, as His Word washes over me.

There are still areas I haven’t explored and I never will because our God is limitless. But I will keep exploring and discovering all He has to offer me. I won’t give up.

Just as I said I could stay in the interior of the island all day, I would love to sit in Jesus’s presence all day, but I can’t. However, I take His presence with me where ever I go. I take the memory of the interior of the island with me. And because I remember what it is like I want to go again. I can’t wait to get back.

Once you have sat in Jesus’s presence you will want to go back. This is one addiction it is okay to have. Be a lover of His presence. Once you have been overwhelmed by Him you will want more. Once won’t be enough.

This reminds me of a song, I’m a Lover Your Presence. Use this song to soak in His presence. Click here.

We aren’t done yet. We have once last stop to make. Check back next week to see where we go next week.

 

 

Review and Giveaway: Feast for Thieves by Marcus Brotherton September 11, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:26 pm
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feast

About:

Sergeant Rowdy Slater is the most skilled-and most incorrigible-soldier in Dog Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, an elite group of paratroopers fighting for the world’s freedom in World War II.

Through a bizarre set of circumstances, Rowdy returns to the States after the war, turns his life around, and falls into the only job he can find-preacher at the sparsely populated community church in Cut Eye, Texas, a dusty highway town situated at the midpoint of nowhere and emptiness.

The town’s lawman, suspicious that Rowdy has changed his ways only as a cover up, gives an ultimatum: Rowdy must survive one complete year as Cut Eye’s new minister or end up in jail.

At first Rowdy thinks the job will be easy, particularly because he’s taking over for a young female missionary who’s held the church together while the men were at war. But when a dark-hearted acquaintance from Rowdy’s past shows up with a plan to make some quick cash, Rowdy becomes ensnared due to an irrevocable favor, and life turns decidedly difficult.

Rowdy’s a man used to solving problems one of two ways: with his rifle or with his fists. Will he be able to thwart his old friend’s evil schemes while remaining true to his new higher calling?

This is a wild ride of a book bursting with a bank robbery, kidnapping, desperate prayers, and barroom brawls. Before the smoke clears, all sides just might end up getting exactly what they want.

My thoughts and giveaway:

Sometimes I request and book to review and then worry that I might regret it. That happened with this book BEFORE I read it.

However, once I opened the book I didn’t want to put it down. It. Was. So. Good.

From the first page you are thrown in to the wild world of Rowdy Slater and each page after brings a new twist and turn. Sometimes fun twists, sometimes tense twist. You just never know. But there is never a dull moment in this book.

Rowdy is such a likeable character in a very odd way. He isn’t really a nice guy at first but Marcus did a fabulous job of making me care about this rough and tumble man, who seems to be trying to find out where he fits in the world now that the war is over.

Sometimes I just wished he would keep his mouth shut, it seems to get him into a lot of trouble. I couldn’t wait to see how or if God would get a hold of this man.

Marcus has written a wonderful story and I say that coming from the fact that this is not my typical read. Men and women and alike would enjoy this book.  I can’t wait to read more about Rowdy and his adventures.

Visit Marcus here.

Grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  or Christianbook.com.

The publisher is giving away a copy of this book to one commentator. Leave a comment by Sept. 17th at 5:00 p.m. to be entered to win.  (U.S. and Canada only)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Write to the Point with H.L. Wegley September 10, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:32 pm
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HLWegley_P13_pp2crop2smallToday we get write to the point with H.L. Wegley. He has visited us a couple of times before and will be visiting us again in a couple of months. You can read his first two interviews here and here. Read on to see what he is up to now and he has a giveaway for you.

Tell us about your newest book.

The title is Moon over Maalaea Bay and the story is set completely in Maui. Shortly after her wedding and, as her Maui honeymoon begins, an international trafficking syndicate vengefully abducts beautiful Jennifer Brandt, a brilliant NSA scientist. Immediately, a frightening array of bidders arrive on Maui for the auction. Some want her for what she looks like, some for what she knows, and others for revenge. Uncle Sam just wants to keep Jennifer from falling into the wrong hands, and Lee, the groom, thinks anyone’s hands but his are the wrong hands. Lee puts together a team of 3 geniuses who love Jennifer, a team whose members will go to far greater lengths to save her than the FBI, NSA, the Maui Police, or even the US military. But the clock is ticking out the last few hours before the auction.

The whole story unfolds in one furious, 24-hour time interval.

 

What inspired you to write this book?

I had planned for this story to end my three-book series and wanted to send my hero and heroine, Lee and Jennifer, on a romantic Maui honeymoon. After what I had done to them in Hide and Seek and On the Pineapple Express, they deserved some time in Maui. perf5.500x8.500.inddThat’s how I came to write the story, but a big part of the inspiration was the wonderful 6 weeks my wife and I spent on the island to wind down from our stressful jobs, right after we retired. After shooting 18 GB of digital photos of the island, I knew this was where I wanted to set a novel. So, unlike my first two books, which had a strong spiritual component to the inspiration, Moon over Maalaea Bay was inspired more by the physical beauty of this part of God’s creation.

 

What was your favorite part to write?

In book 2, I created a young lady whose POV was removed during editing. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to make beautiful, brilliant, 15-year-old Katie Lloyd a POV character in book 3. This girl, soon to be adopted by Jennifer and Lee, is fiercely loyal, an incredibly gifted athlete, young enough in years (and in her faith) to make big mistakes, yet fearless enough to give international criminals more than they can handle. By the way, she earned the leading role in book 4, Triple Threat, set 6 years later.

 

What was the hardest part to write?

It may sound silly, but after I’ve come to know and love my characters, I don’t want to do bad things to them. Don’t want them to feel sad. Consequently, that dark moment, when you take the last flicker of hope they have and blow out the candle, forcing them to change or die, hurts. That probably sounds silly too. But I almost ruined the plot of one of my novels by resolving the heroine’s problems too soon. It took major therapy for the book to recover.

 

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Besides spending 6 weeks on Maui 2 1/2 years before I wrote the book, my wife and I spent 10 days of targeted research in 2011, focusing on the settings for scenes in the book (when we weren’t snorkeling J). I also read 2 books on the history and anthropology of the Hawaiian people which, by the way, has an intriguing spiritual component. You can read about that in my post called, The Aloha People.

 

What’s the best thing about being an author?

Author’s get to create stories and characters to inhabit them. We get to live through our characters, vicariously. It’s exhilarating and delightful. It’s a bit like playing God, a role we should carry out responsibly. And a manuscript is the probably only place we can do all this without being thrown in to prison or committed to a mental institution. There is one more thing. As C. S. Lewis said, “Any amount of theology can now be smuggled into people’s minds under the cover of fiction without their knowing it.”  However, in the end, we want them to know it is theology, the knowledge of God, that we’ve communicated.

 

What’s the hardest thing about being an author?

In a word, marketing. My head tells me it’s necessary, but that does not make it enjoyable or even palatable. If I had to be a used car salesman, I would probably die of starvation.

 

What’s one piece of advice you have for aspiring writers?

Don’t let your fear of failure, embarrassment, or looking less than perfect paralyze you. If God gave you dreams, go all out for them. Don’t hold back. If you fear getting off track, trust Him. He can redirect a willing heart. It’s the hearts always seeking to protect themselves, trying to control everything, that cannot be easily directed.

 

If you were writing about your life what would the title be?

How to Win Playing Small Ball. I’m not proud of it, but that’s what I did. If the right fielder played to the left, I’d slap the baseball into the hole down the 1st base line—an easy single that good wheels might stretch into a double. But I wish I had swung for the fence a lot more instead of playing it safe.

 

Anything you would like add?

Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Melissa, and helping add another plank to the platform that seems so hard for a new author to build!

Watch the trailer for Moon Over Maalaea Bay here.

Thanks for visiting us again, it’s great to hear what you are up to and we look forward to your visit in November.

Readers, H.L. is giving away a copy of his book to one commentator. Leave a comment by Sept. 16th at 5:00 p.m. to be entered to win his book.

 

 

 

A Light In the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick September 8, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:27 pm
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a light in the wilderness

About:

Three very different women. One dangerous journey. And a future that seems just out of reach.

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause most white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read–as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband and she knows she will follow him anywhere–even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip your heart and mind as you travel on the dusty and dangerous Oregon Trail into the boundless American West. Based on a true story.

My thoughts:

This book definitely gives you something to think about.

Although three women are listed in this book it mostly revolves around Letitia and her journey. So many times my muscles would tense at the unfair treatment she had to undergo, simply because of the color of her skin.

I was constantly on edge because of her marriage to Davey and wondering if something would happen to ruin the love that was blossoming between them.

Another thing that plucked my heart strings was how Letitia had to carry papers around to prove she was free, if those papers were ever lost she would be sent back to slavery. It made me think about Jesus and how we don’t need papers to prove we are free but yet we do need to keep ourselves in His word to remember we are free. Too easily we can forget the freedom He has offered and turn back to our old ways. If we don’t stay in the Word we can become slaves once again.

Truly, this is a beautiful story of hope and love. Of being set free by more than just a piece of paper but by the one who breaks chains by the power of His blood.

Visit Jane here.

Watch book trailer here.

Grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, or Books-A-Million.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Review and Giveaway: Driftwood Tides by Gina Holmes September 4, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:12 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Driftwood Tides
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 1, 2014)
by
Gina Holmes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gina Holmes is the founder of Novel Rocket, regularly named as one of Writers Digest’s best websites for writers. Her debut, Crossing Oceans, was a Christy and Gold Medallion finalist and winner of the Carol Award, INSPY, and RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice, as well as being a CBA, ECPA, Amazon and PW bestseller. Her sophomore novel, Dry as Rain was a Christy Award finalist. Her latest novel, Wings of Glass has been named as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal and was a SIBA Okra pick and a finalist for Romantic Times’ Reviewers Choice Award. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her family in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose.

ABOUT THE BOOK

He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.
When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.

Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Driftwood Tides, go HERE.

 

My thoughts and giveaway:

Gina knows how to write a novel. This is the second book I have read by her. I loved the first one I read, Wings of Glass, so I was very excited to get my hands on her newest book. This one did not disappoint.

Gina has an almost poetic way about her writing. It simply flows off the page and into your mind. Her characters and so flawed and real, just like us.

From the beginning page you can feel the heartache that is to come. The great love that Holten has for Adele and then she is taken from him and he blames himself, turning to alchohol instead of facing reality. I think we can all relate on some level. We may not turn to alchohol but we turn to other things that distract us from real life, from our pain. I know I have.

Libby is a strong young woman but she is struggling to find out who she really it. She isn’t really the daugther of a self-absorbed woman but the daugther of woman she never met. I can only imagine how shocking that must be to her.

If you are looking for a beautifully written story of hope this is one you want to grab.

Leave a comment by September 10th at 5:00 p.m. to win a copy. (U.S. residents only)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.