Hate Didn’t Elect Donald Trump; Desperate People Did

A look at rural poverty and its impact on the election. After reading this, I can only hope Trump can bring jobs back to these suffering communities.

Tori's Thought Bubble

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Over the summer, my little sister had a soccer tournament at Bloomsburg University, located in central Pennsylvania. The drive there was about three hours and many of the towns we drove through shocked me. The conditions of these towns were terrible. Houses were falling apart. Bars and restaurants were boarded up. Scrap metal was thrown across front lawns. White, plastic lawn chairs were out on the drooping front porches. There were no malls. No outlets. Most of these small towns did not have a Walmart, only a dollar store and a few run down thrift stores. In almost every town, there was an abandoned factory.

My father, who was driving the car, turned to me and pointed out a Trump sign stuck in a front yard, surrounded by weeds and dead grass. “This is Trump country, Tori,” He said. “These people are desperate, trapped for life in these small towns…

View original post 1,332 more words

Why I wrote Paint the Storm

PainttheStorm-Final2

In case you haven’t seen my latest news, my new novel Paint the Storm was released on October 10. What’s so special about that? you may wonder. Well, PTS deals with a very controversial, and possibly uncomfortable, topic: same-sex marriage. In light of last year’s landmark Supreme Court case, how are we Christians to deal with this new reality?

That is the question I attempted to answer when I wrote this story.

When I began writing Paint the Storm three years ago, same-sex marriage was not yet legal in the US. At the time, I approached the story as if it were a likely future scenario. Two years later, it was no longer a “what if.” It became reality when, in June 2015, the US Supreme Court affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Unfortunately, it’s an issue which has polarized our nation, and even our churches.

You may be wondering why I would tackle such a controversial topic. In essence, I saw an unfilled niche in the Christian market for edgier fiction that dealt with issues unique to our time, and came up with the concept of Hot Topic Fiction (HTF). My stories aren’t afraid to explore the question, how does God want us Christians to live out our faith in this not-so-brave new world? Without insulting the reader by offering pat or easy answers—because there aren’t any—my books tell of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in a world of terror and violence, upside-down morality, and hostility to Judeo-Christian values. The characters in my stories face situations that would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago. We live in a vastly different world than our parents did, and that’s the world I write about.

Yet very few Christian fiction books contain gay characters, even though fiction is a great medium for imparting life lessons. I don’t claim to have all the answers. My goal was not to push an agenda. I simply wanted to tell the story of one Christian mom, and how she chose to live out Christ’s law of love without abandoning her convictions.

Download here.

I hope that more Christian authors will be courageous enough to tackle this and related issues in the future. After all, this is the world in which we live. And we Christians need to be prepared to deal with it.

same-sex coupleHere’s the blurb: 

GOLDEN STATE TRILOGY, BOOK I: Set amidst the spectacular scenery of California’s Marin Peninsula, Paint the Storm tells a timely story that resonates in today’s culture. It’s a saga of God’s power to heal relationships and answer prayers in the unlikeliest of ways. It’s a tale of loss, danger, and ultimately love.

When her daughter Linzee announces her engagement to her partner Nena, artist and single mother Meg struggles to understand how God wants her to respond. Should she follow the culture around her by embracing and celebrating Linzee’s same-sex relationship? And what does Christ think of a local church notorious for its hateful anti-gay messages? While she wrestles with these questions, she turns to a Christian support group where she learns what it means to love like Christ did. An intriguing new man makes life interesting, but while she is getting to know him, another man from her past suddenly shows up, further complicating matters.

Meanwhile, a cyber bully is targeting Linzee. His hateful messages turn threatening. Meg and Linzee rekindle their bond as together they determine to uncover the stalker’s identity. When the clues point toward Meg’s own family, she is paralyzed with fear. The violence escalates–until the day Linzee turns up missing.  In her search for Linzee, Meg joins up with the unlikeliest of allies – and begins to see God’s hand at work. It’s only when she turns to her support-group friends for comfort and prayer that she finally understands God’s faithfulness through the deepest of trials.

Join Meg on her adventure toward love, healing, and a heart-warming conclusion.

Source: Why I wrote Paint the Storm

Another giveaway!

PainttheStorm-Final2

There’s still time to enter my giveaway on Lena Nelson Dooley’s blog. One lucky reader will win a copy of Paint the Storm. All you have to do is leave a comment!

Enter here.

How many drinks can I get away with?

beer-250289_960_720Have you ever asked yourself this question? I certainly did, during those dark years when I crawled inside a wine bottle and couldn’t get out. Today, years later, I realize that is the wrong question to ask. 

This article lists twelve questions to ask yourself if you ever have a sneaking hunch you might be drinking too much…or if friends and family claim that you are…or your drinking is interfering with your job, relationships, or family life.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/how-many-drinks-a-week-makes-me-an-alcoholic/ar-BBwQ40F?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=iehp#image=AAgNH3Q|1

Thirty years ago, if I’d been honest, I would have answered the same questions as follows:

  1. Do you often feel guilty about your drinking?  Yes

  2. Do you feel the need to lie to others about your drinking? Yes…I wouldn’t tell my husband I’d gone to the store at midnight to get more beer

  3. Have one or more of your loved ones expressed concern about your drinking habits? No, because I didn’t drink around anyone who didn’t also drink.

  4. Do you frequently drink more than you plan on drinking? Almost every time

  5. Do you black out when drinking? Occasionally. 

  6. Do you feel that you need to drink to relax or feel better? Almost every time

  7. Do you find that you wake up from a night of drinking with severe anxiety, shaking or sweating that only a drink or medication can fix? Yes, those hangovers were a little taste of hell on earth. My coping mechanism was to pretend I wasn’t miserable.

  8. Do you feel uncomfortable in environments where alcohol is unavailable? Sometimes, if I was craving a drink

  9. Have you ever tried to control your drinking? I sure did…tried AA off and on, but it didn’t work.

  10. Have you had problems at home, school or work as a result of drinking? Yes, I’d call in sick when I had hangovers.

  11. Have you ever thought that your life would be better if you didn’t drink? No, I thought life would be better if I could drink socially and not get drunk.

  12. Do you ever find yourself jealous of people who can drink without consequences? Yes, I didn’t understand how they could nurse one or two drinks all night.

 

 

Black Lives Matter- That’s Why I’m A Marriage Advocate

Black Lives Do Matter. So do black families.

askthe"Bigot"

On their website, Black Lives Matter lists this Guiding Principle: “We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure…”  On that front, there is very little work left to do, as currently only seventeen percent of black children will reach their 18th birthday living in a nuclear family headed by their married father and mother

Deion is one of those black children. He grew up in a family that was comprised of four half-siblings and his white grandmother. His mother brought four children into the world, all with different fathers, all absent. After a few years, his mother was absent too. Deion’s father was black; all of his siblings were white.

Deion was pissed off.

His siblings were pissed off.

Because when your father is not around, kids often feel unwanted and as a result… angry.  Deion’s anger was a constant and he was only fourteen when he had…

View original post 933 more words

Why I wrote Paint the Storm

Paint the Storm is now available on Amazon! Download it here.

Dawn V. Cahill - Hot Topic Christian Fiction

PainttheStorm-Final2

In case you haven’t seen my latest news, my new novel Paint the Storm will be available for pre-order on September 15. What’s so special about that? you may wonder. Well, PTS deals with a very controversial, and possibly uncomfortable, topic: same-sex marriage. In light of last year’s landmark Supreme Court case, how are we Christians to deal with this new reality? 

That is the question I attempted to answer when I wrote this story.

When I began writing Paint the Storm three years ago, same-sex marriage was not yet legal in the US. At the time, I approached the story as if it were a likely future scenario. Two years later, it was no longer a “what if.” It became reality when, in June 2015, the US Supreme Court affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Unfortunately, it’s an issue which has polarized our nation, and even our churches.

You…

View original post 475 more words

Meet cozy mystery author Michelle Griep

 

outofthefryingpan

FICTION OR REAL LIFE ~ NOTHING ORDINARY HERE

High school teenager. What kind of cartoon bubble does that create in your head? Angst-filled girls shopping for prom dresses? Party-hearty boys cruising for a good time after a football game? Nerds holed up in a basement playing video games?

Those are common high school experiences—but not mine. I spent the majority of my teen years swapping chapter after chapter with a writer buddy of mine, drafting the great American teenage novel.

Don’t look too hard for it on bookshelves, though. It never got published.

That friend of mine moved on, but the writing urge never went away, and yes indeedy, I made more friends . . . one of which had the same writing itch as me.

And so was born OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, a story of two zany sisters-in-law that my new zany writing friend and I co-authored. Here’s a blurb:

ABOUT THE BOOK ~ OUT OF THE FRYING PAN

Murder in Paradise whips life into a froth for FERN and ZULA HOPKINS. When the retirement center’s chef is found dead, the two ladies get folded in with the case. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective JARED FLYNN. Should he be concerned about their safety—or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts, especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Life at Sunset Paradise Retirement Village will never be the same.

View More: http://bethanyaleshire.pass.us/michellekelly

ABOUT THE AUTHORMICHELLE GRIEP

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Her latest release is OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, but historical romance is her usual haunt. THE CAPTIVE HEART releases in October. Follow her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

~ Michelle Griep

THE CAPTIVE HEART…Would you marry a murderer?

BRENTWOOD’S WARD…Sherlock Holmes meets Dickens in this Regency adventure.
A HEART DECEIVED…Lies Were Born in a Garden–and Just May Be the Death of Miri      Brayden

WriterOffTheLeash…Blogging Gone Wild

www.michellegriep.com

 

 

Why I wrote Paint the Storm

Update: Paint the Storm is now available in Amazon’s Kindle store. Download here.PainttheStorm-Final2

In case you haven’t seen my latest news, my new novel Paint the Storm will be available for pre-order on September 15. What’s so special about that? you may wonder. Well, PTS deals with a very controversial, and possibly uncomfortable, topic: same-sex marriage. In light of last year’s landmark Supreme Court case, how are we Christians to deal with this new reality? 

That is the question I attempted to answer when I wrote this story.

When I began writing Paint the Storm three years ago, same-sex marriage was not yet legal in the US. At the time, I approached the story as if it were a likely future scenario. Two years later, it was no longer a “what if.” It became reality when, in June 2015, the US Supreme Court affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Unfortunately, it’s an issue which has polarized our nation, and even our churches.

You may be wondering why I would tackle such a controversial topic. In essence, I saw an unfilled niche in the Christian market for edgier fiction that dealt with issues unique to our time, and came up with the concept of Hot Topic Fiction (HTF). My stories aren’t afraid to explore the question, how does God want us Christians to live out our faith in this not-so-brave new world? Without insulting the reader by offering pat or easy answers—because there aren’t any—my books tell of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in a world of terror and violence, upside-down morality, and hostility to Judeo-Christian values. The characters in my stories face situations that would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago. We live in a vastly different world than our parents did, and that’s the world I write about.

Yet very few Christian fiction books contain gay characters, even though fiction is a great medium for imparting life lessons. I don’t claim to have all the answers. My goal was not to push an agenda. I simply wanted to tell the story of one Christian mom, and how she chose to live out Christ’s law of love without abandoning her convictions.

I hope that more Christian authors will be courageous enough to tackle this and related issues in the future. After all, this is the world in which we live. And we Christians need to be prepared to deal with it.

same-sex coupleHere’s the blurb: 

GOLDEN STATE TRILOGY, BOOK I: Set amidst the spectacular scenery of California’s Marin Peninsula, Paint the Storm tells a timely story that resonates in today’s culture. It’s a saga of God’s power to heal relationships and answer prayers in the unlikeliest of ways. It’s a tale of loss, danger, and ultimately love.

When her daughter Linzee announces her engagement to her partner Nena, artist and single mother Meg struggles to understand how God wants her to respond. Should she follow the culture around her by embracing and celebrating Linzee’s same-sex relationship? And what does Christ think of a local church notorious for its hateful anti-gay messages? While she wrestles with these questions, she turns to a Christian support group where she learns what it means to love like Christ did. An intriguing new man makes life interesting, but while she is getting to know him, another man from her past suddenly shows up, further complicating matters.

Meanwhile, a cyber bully is targeting Linzee. His hateful messages turn threatening. Meg and Linzee rekindle their bond as together they determine to uncover the stalker’s identity. When the clues point toward Meg’s own family, she is paralyzed with fear. The violence escalates–until the day Linzee turns up missing.  In her search for Linzee, Meg joins up with the unlikeliest of allies – and begins to see God’s hand at work. It’s only when she turns to her support-group friends for comfort and prayer that she finally understands God’s faithfulness through the deepest of trials.

Join Meg on her adventure toward love, healing, and a heart-warming conclusion.

Calling all bookworms: Tomes, e-tomes, and magnificent tomes

stack-of-books

A math professor of mine in college once held up the textbook we’d been assigned and said, “This magnificent tome…”  Technically speaking, a tome is a thick, heavy book, but I like to use the term for any old book. So here is today’s Tomes Books Machine deals. Just click on the link. (Yes, my book is there too, but today I’m sharing the love and including other great reads as well.)

http://www.thebooksmachine.com/deals/dailydeals.html

 

Meet fictional solo mama Carla

Christian author Julie Arduini debuts her latest novel, Entangled, and is here to tell us all about it!

EntangledCover

“You need to leave me alone. It’s the least you can do.”

Single mom Carla Rowling has been given her dream of attending cosmetology school. The gift is so generous she feels unworthy because of choices she made as a teen. The pressure mounts as Carla juggles school, helps her best friend Jenna plan her wedding, spends time with boyfriend Will Marshall, and deals with the fact that her son’s father is back in their lives.

Will Marshall is the one Speculator Falls resident everyone can count on. His truck deliveries are reliable. He’s the first to help friends like Ben Regan with boat work or be a card partner with Bart Davis. Will’s ready to settle down with Carla – loving her is natural. He’s bonded with her son, Noah. But when Carla starts cosmetology school, she puts emotional distance between her and Will.

Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?

Purchase Link:

Amazon (Kindle and Print):  http://www.amazon.com/Entangled-Surrendering-Past-Time/dp/0692713476/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464881433&sr=1-1&keywords=julie+arduini

Entangled is book #2. Although it can stand alone, if you’d like to read Entrusted: Surrendering the Present first, click here: http://www.amazon.com/Entrusted-Surrendering-Present-Time/dp/0692709177?ie=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_pap_swatch_0&sr=

Curious to learn more about Julie? Here’s her bio.

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of the re-release, ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as the sequel, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities at JULIE ARDUINI: SURRENDER ISSUES AND CHOCOLATE and the weekly e mail. SUNDAY’S SURRENDER AND CHOCOLATE.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/JulieArduini

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JulieArduini

G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JulieArduini/posts

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/JulieArduini

Instagram: http://instagram.com/JulieArduini

Snapchat: @juliearduini

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/JulieArduini

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Julie-Arduini/e/B00PBKDRSQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427852247&sr=8-1

Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG

Weekly Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate: http://eepurl.com/bJ5yHP

Surrendered Scribe Media Promotions: (Book release info sent as needed) http://eepurl.com/bXAW0L