Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: Star of the Team



  

by Beverly Stowe McClure


Kate Taylor has big plans. She's going to be the star of the Angel’s basketball team. This is her year to shine. She comes to practice ready to put in any work necessary to make her dream come true.
However, a new girl, Emily McKay, has joined the team. Kate quickly finds out two things about Emily. She’s not very friendly, and she can play basketball.  Still, Kate is confident. She’ll show Emily who the Star of the Team is.  
 And then Kate gets hurt. And the one thing she can’t fight is her coach/mother who (for some reason) is more worried about Kate’s injury than Kate’s being the best player on the team. To add to Kate’s confusion, her friend, Simon announces he’s going to try out for the team. A boy playing on a girls’ basketball team? Kate’s not really sure how she feels about that.
So, what do you do when life turns unfair and your plans are falling apart? Plenty if you're Kate! I love the way this character doesn't just moan and complain. Instead, she takes action. Do her solutions always work? Hilariously no! But she doesn’t give up.
Kate is fun and stubborn and determined. Just the way I like my heroines.

You can find out more about Kate and Beverly on Beverly's website.

 Beverly Stowe McClure

 

"Keep reading and dreaming"

God bless,

Susan

Monday, February 23, 2015

National Haiku Month

February is National Haiku Month. The below Haiku is in honor of Haiku month and the scene outside my front door today.



"Keep reading and dreaming"

God bless,
Susan

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review: Olive and the Great Flood

(Picture from Olive and the Great Flood by Connie Arnold)

Olive and the Great Flood is one of those books that I would have loved to read to my son when he was little. It's the perfect snuggling book. Connie Arnold's gentle rhymes and Kathleen Bullock's gorgeous illustrations combine to create a warm and loving version of Noah's Ark. From helping to calm the other animals, to searching for dry land, little hero Olive rises to the challenge. Kids will love her!

Want to learn more about Connie Arnold? Want to purchase Olive and the Great Flood? Check out the links below:

Guardian Angel Publishing 
Olive and the Great Flood on Amazon


"Keep reading and dreaming"

God Bless,
Susan
 





Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Author Interview: Janet K. Brown

Janet, thank you so much for sharing your views on creative outlets with us!




The Creative Outlet of the Written Word
By Janet K Brown

I’ve written all my life. When my girls were little, I began selling a few short stories to Christian periodicals. I still do that. I love it. Once back in the eighties, I wrote a novel, submitted it to one publishing company, had it rejected, and I stopped writing novels. My day job became so demanding. My girls were graduating and marrying. For awhile, I wrote nothing but my daily prayer journal.

In 2006, I retired from my medical bookkeeping job so that I could spend more time with my grandkids and more time writing and submitting. I joined Romance Writers of America. Multi-published author, Margaret Daley spoke for our local chapter and told us about American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). I attended the conference that year, and God ignited a fire in my heart for writing inspirational fiction.

Since then, I’ve attended several writing conferences, some Christian, some not. I’ve written eleven novels. Most of them need major rewrites. I took author Debra Clopton’s advice. Every time a manuscript got rejected, I started a new one. I got enough rejection letters to paper my study.

I wrote a short story titled “Victoria and the Ghost,” and submitted it to World Wide Communications. A helpful editor said she loved the concept, but asked if I had ever considered using that as a chapter one to a novel? I liked that idea and began the longer manuscript.  It was my first and only young adult.

In 2011, I attended, for the first time, the Oklahoma Writer’s Federated International (OWFI) conference in Oklahoma City. I read that Vivian Zabel of 4RV Publishing was looking for children’s and young adult books, so I made an appointment at the conference and pitched to her. By summer of that year, I had a contract. It’s been a whirlwind of excitement since Victoria and the Ghost released in 2012.  This is a story of rejection, pain, and adventure for a young girl touched by the sorrow of a ghost.

Next came Divine Dining 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness, I fought compulsive overeating for years. God healed me emotionally. I lost ninety-five pounds and have kept it off nineteen years. This is definitely a book straight from my heart. It tells the good, the bad, and the ugly of my life.
.
When the 2012 OWFI conference came around, Duke Pennell had begun his own publishing company, Pen-L Publishing, and he made appointments for pitching especially for motivational and self-help books. I talked with him when I had about three hundred devotions completed. He was interested. I wrote the other sixty-five devotions and submitted the full manuscript to him ending up with Pen-L rushing to release the book in time to start the new year of 2013 with the devotions.

Now two years late, my first women’s fiction, Worth Her Weight, has just released. Divine Dining was the springboard to tell a story about a woman who deals with the unfairness of life by turning to food for comfort and love. Guilt riddles her. Low self esteem drives her to the brink of suicide. The desire to be worthy makes her a devoted friend, daughter, and employee despite how she’s treated. This book takes place in the fictional small town of Wharton Rock, Texas.

Is God trying to tell me something? I started writing romances, but so far I’ve published a YA, a devotion book, and now a women’s fiction. Following Christ is always an adventure.

What’s next? 4RV Publishing should release the sequel to my YA, Victoria and the Ghost , hopefully, sometime in 2015. The name of it is A Ghost for Shelley. My editor and I are busily working on edits together for it.
Meanwhile, I’m writing on a new addictions story set in Wharton Rock, Texas.

Writing is my only creative outlet other than singing. I use to sing solos before my asthma and medications played havoc with my voice. If I weren’t a writer, I think I would be a painter. Though I have absolutely no talent in art, I love paintings. I love perusing galleries. I envy the painter’s talent.

One time, my husband and I spent more money than ever before on a painting by Jesse Barnes. It was in a gallery in Eureka Springs, Ark. We were on vacation and going through a rough time in our lives. His painting “Out of Ashes” spoke to me. It still does. He used the light of the fire to destroy the old and make room for the new.
I once wrote a blog post on my “Writing with God’s Hope” blog about that painting.
http://www.janetkbrown.com/2012/10/out-of-ashes.html

 I would love to paint like that. I can’t. But, praise God, I can write, and I love it. Everything I hear and see and read sparks ideas for writing, whether it’s a walk through a cemetery in a Texas ghost town, or my experiences with food addiction.




Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. Writing became her second career after retirement from medical coding.

     Worth Her Weight will be the author’s debut inspirational women’s fiction, but it makes a perfect companion to her recently released, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Both books encompass her passion for diet, fitness, and God’s Word.

Worth Her Weight marks Brown’s third book. Who knew she had a penchant for teens and ghosts? She released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012.

     Janet and her husband love to travel with their RV, visit their three daughters, two sons-in-law and three perfect grandchildren, and work in their church. Find her at http:/ /www.janetkbrown.com

on Twitter at https://twitter.com/janetkbrowntx



"Keep reading and dreaming"

God Bless,
Susan

Saturday, January 31, 2015

National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

Art ~ it inspires even as it makes you think. Art pulls at the emotions and seldom leaves you unmoved. From brush strokes to fabric, whatever the medium, art is beautiful!

Check out these wonderful artists and their art!



Cassie Celestain
Art in Pastels 
Check out Cassie's blog at trueagape.com



Kathi Rodgers
The patchwork pattern is "Around the World." It's hand-quilted on the diagonal with a heart in one corner, something she does on all of her quilts. Kathi wrote a post about it here: http://www.oakhillhomestead.com/2012/10/a-blanket-of-love.html
Her blog is Oak Hill Homestead where she hopes to inspire readers with stories of a simple, self-reliant life.

 http://www.oakhillhomestead.com


Cathy Collar
An example of the beaded jewelry that Cathy sells at craft shows. A percentage of her sales is donated to St. Judes Hospital and The Leukemia Lymphoma Society. All of Cathy's jewelry can be found on her blog.
www.mystiquestonemagic.blogspot.com. 

 



Marla F. Jones 
Marla is the illustrator of my picture book Grrr...Night! She is also working on our new collaboration, The Mystery of the Red Mitten. You can get a sneak peak at the illustrations above. Marla has several picture books published. You can check them and more of her beautiful paper artwork out at:
marlafjones.com




Stephanie Clinton
Fabric Mosaic wall hangings
Check out Stephanie's blog:
 hugskissesandsnot.com

"Keep reading and dreaming'

God Bless,
Susan

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Guest Poet: Howard F. Stein


Winter Arrives       HF Stein  

Winter declared itself today
with rude finality.
Relentless cold rain and wind
tore the last reluctant leaves
from scrawny scrub oak.
Bare branches cut spectral figures
against the gray, bone-chilling afternoon.

Heedless of any calendar,
winter stole the stage.
“I arrive when I please,”
winter decreed to its shivering audience,
who put on their heavy coats
and left the theater
for biting wind, howling trees,
and a perilous trip home.

It was a simple matter
of who was sovereign
and who was subject.
Howard, thank you so much for letting me share your poem!
Check out more of Howard's writing on Amazon.
"Keep reading and dreaming"
God bless,
Susan

Sunday, January 11, 2015

National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day

Well, it may be a little cold to splash anybody today. Not to mention, any found puddles may be slightly frozen. But, the thought of puddles and splashing makes me think of spring. So below is my springy thought for the day:


"Keep reading and dreaming"

God Bless,
Susan