Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Things We Do For Love

I've always loved all kinds of music. My college and early career pursuits were in classical music, and I'd prayed on and off for years for an opportunity to participate in that again. I've been teaching piano, choir, and voice for over thirty years, and served in church music all my life. I'd thought about starting a group here in my home town. Last fall, my prayers were answered. Enter the Chorus of the Big Bend, led by a talented young man, Alex Cordero.

I love it! Alex has gathered a group of enthusiasts, young and not so young, who all have some kind of musical background. The music has challenged us, inspired us, and we hope the same for our community. I jumped in with both feet, but forgot something.  I'm not as young as I used to be.

Image may contain: ocean, bridge, sky, text, outdoor and waterI'd forgotten that my blood pressure issues make it hard for me to stand for long periods of time, and my knees don't like it either. Ah, I long now for the days when I could stand and sing for hours on our worship team, or a for a whole concert. I remember singing in operas that included kneeling, walking around, standing.

No more just learning the music. Before rehearsal, and especially before a concert, there is a rather involved preparation. It doesn't always get done before a rehearsal because I go straight from work, but I do my best.

1. Pray
2. Stay off my feet as much as possible.
3. Drink a lot of water
4.. No eating after lunchtime (digestion effects my blood pressure).

5. Take blood pressure medicine 2 hours before rehearsal/concert.

6. Take 2 Aleve and a packet of EmergenC or a Baobab tea an hour before.

7. Rub pain stuff into knees.

8. Drop some peppermint oil into my necklace oil infuser. Seems to help if I start feeling wonky.

9. Pray.

80 pounds lost has helped a great deal, and I'm still losing. But either way, I don't mind the preparations, because I love what we're doing. Besides the music, it's been great to be with people that I've known for a long time, but never really spent much time with. The camaraderie building in the group is encouraging. The men don't mind lending a helping a hand to those needing a help up stairs. Grateful thanks to Chris Alexander who installed a rail on the side of the stage.

We have a concert tonight, and I'm really looking forward to it. I've arranged to get off work early so I can be fully prepared to do my best. But essentially, when we're singing, I'm not young or old, feeble or strong, just a human connecting with music, my community, and my Lord.

If you're local, come on out. I know you'll love it.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Savannah Lacy - Part 2

The book I always recommend (and never shut up about) is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which is the same book that finally convinced me and gave me the courage to write Torn . The layers of that book were unending, and I remember that as I read a bit of the main character’s development, I thought, “I want to write like that.” The way Bardugo describes the setting was  immersive,
and I decided that I wanted to be able to do that, too.

Another book series I drew a lot of inspiration from is the Summoner trilogy by Taran Matharu. I’m still working on it, but I want to be able to add humor like his, and express that, even while my characters are committing crimes and going on a wild chase, they’re still just teenagers.

I got alot of ideas from Pinterest. In fact, that’s how I came up with all of my characters (so far) with the exception of two, Key, and Tarek. I’ve also still got dozens of backups saved on my phone. I took posts to get a visual of the characters, then typed out stories in notes on my phone.

Here’s a little bit of the first chapter of Torn :

He let death touch the man, let him feel it’s arms wrap him in a sheet of terror, numbing him. He knew his reputation would hurt if he allowed the man to die. Did he deserve to die? Ambrose hadn’t confirmed it, so he assumed that saving Kahn was his only option, though he knew that to be false. Ambrose could always refuse to heal his patients and claim they were beyond his aid. That was the only luxury he couldn’t afford, the son of the third flushest family in Kamen.

Ambrose swept over the last thirty minutes of the night. A man, likely in his early twenties stood in a market on the outskirts of Scosh. A crazed woman, appearing to be on the verge of starvation, begged Kahn to spare some food. Prices were high, and Kahn had a business to run, so he blatantly declined. The woman pleaded to no avail, and when he turned her away for the last time, she pulled a knife on him, took the home-grown fruit he was selling, and ran. The Vektor caught her within a couple of jagged sprints.

Kahn bled out, but to his good fortune, Ambrose left on an outing. Kahn agreed to pay him a hundred Fytle for his efforts. Ambrose couldn’t deny the greed of this man. Kahn would pay him so much more than the price of an apple to keep his life, yet wouldn’t
spare the apple itself so save the girl from starving.

Thanks for sharing with us, Savannah. Looking forward to seeing your book in print some day. Keep writing! 

Savannah's passion about Six of Crows led me to read it. It's definitely not my genre, but I found it compelling. I'm reading the sequel now, Crooked Kingdom.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sofi's Bridge by Christine Lindsay

Book Blurb:

Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener, continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.

Watch this short and vibrant trailer for Sofi’s Bridge

Get your Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google, Kobo digitial copy of Sofi’s Bridge here at this one stop 

FREE:  First chapter of Sofi’s Bridge   Click HERE

And also this Short Romantic Scene

“Sometimes I think it would be easier,” Sofi said, “if I didn’t feel the urge to use these natural abilities—I think God-given abilities—but to do the more expected tasks of a woman in my social position. Strangely, my father considered it more socially acceptable for my sister to enter yacht races than for me to consider a career.”
Sofi raised her gaze. “But what about you, Neil? With all this talk about life’s purposes and the toil of one’s brow, what are you doing with your life?” The sun nestled between two peaks as she tensed her weight against the sun-warmed granite.
Her natural perfume intoxicated him—not the overpowering colognes of society, but the scent of soap, apples she been paring earlier—stirring the desire to touch her cheek, her hands, her arms. What if he closed the gap between them? How would the softness of her cheek feel against the roughness of his? What would her lips taste like?
His breath quickened.
Sofi’s eyes widened.
He couldn’t tear his gaze from her softly parting mouth. A muscle tapped at the base of her throat.
Had one of them moved closer?
He pulled in a breath. When a man and a woman cared for each other, they should speak the truth. He wanted to tell her about the thrift clinic he’d partnered in for the poor back home. Tell her of the work he’d done in the hospital. If he shared his pride in those accomplishments, he knew her eyes would shine in understanding.
Aye, right, ye fool. Then tell her you left the clinic and your position in Belfast City Hospital, as well as all your patients, to run to Washington State to be a gardener. How could he possibly tell her about the night that stole his life from him, and all with one slash of a knife? He rubbed the pressure between his brows. “Time we were getting back to the cabin.”
“Right. Of course.” In a fluster, she smoothed her shirtwaist. Her eyes that moments ago were shining turned a dull slate. She set her profile to him. “Foolish for the two of us to stand here any longer.”

Drop by Christine Lindsay’s website to see all of her Multi-Award-Winning fiction

Author bio: Irish-born Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction and non-fiction. Readers describe her writing as gritty yet tender, realistic yet larger than life, with historical detail that collides into the heart of psychological and relationship drama. Christine's books have garnered the ACFW Genesis Award, The Grace Award, Canada’s The Word Guild Award (Twice), the READERS’ CHOICE AWARD, and was a finalist twice for Readers’ Favorite and the Selah Award.  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Guest Katie Clark

Hi Jody! Thank you so much for having me. I’m happy to be visiting with you today.

·         When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my first story when I was 7 years old. I can still remember what it was…and actually, there were two stories! One was about an angel, and one was about an animal doctor. When I became serious about writing I was, oh, around 18 or 19, I guess. And then, I got even more serious when I was 25 or 26!
·         How long does it take you to write a book?
It usually takes me a few months—2 or 3. That’s only the actual writing, though. I typically brainstorm and plot for several months before I ever start writing my first page! I’m a definite plotter, when it comes to writing (and OK, let me be honest, I’m a plotter when it comes to EVERYTHING. I really like lists 😊).
·         What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
When I’m writing, I want to only be writing. Period. It’s all I think about. Write, eat, sleep. Repeat. And usually, when I’m drafting, I even dream about my book when I’m sleeping. So I never really take a break!
·         What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Interesting? I’m not very sure there is anything interesting about me at all (I’m not being modest. I’m being absolutely serious). But if you are going to make me dig deep ( 😉 )…let’s see. Interesting writing quirk…I will say that I’m at my MOST inspired when I’m reading other books. When I go through a reading drought, I think I usually go through a writing block, too. I need to be surrounded by inspiration!

KATIE CLARK started reading fantastical stories in grade school and her love for books never died. Today she reads in all genres; her only requirement is an awesome story! She writes inspirational romance for adults as well as young adult speculative fiction, including her YA supernatural novel, Shadowed Eden, and The Enslaved Series. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

The Refected Princess When Princess Roanna Hamilton’s parents arrange a marriage with a prince of Dawson’s Edge—the mysterious and backwards kingdom to the south—Roanna reluctantly agrees, accepting that peace must be put ahead of her lifelong relationship with Prince Benjamin of Lox.

But when Roanna is introduced to Dawson’s royal family, strange mind-bending anomalies are awakened within her, and she discovers the Dawsonian royal family holds secrets of their own. 

Roanna becomes locked in a battle between kingdoms. Rebels wish to eliminate people who possess powerful anomalies. With threats growing daily, Roanna comes to realize the danger she is in—not to mention how her own family, and Benjamin’s, would react if her anomaly was revealed.

Tensions rise when Lox is attacked. If Roanna is to save herself and her future, she must stall her marriage and squelch the growing rebellion—all while discovering how deeply her power runs. But will Prince Benjamin and her family accept her when the truth of her heritage is finally revealed?

Friday, April 6, 2018

Meet Savannah - Part 1

This is 16 year old Savannah Lacy. I have the privilege of tutoring her in writing. It's really one of my favorite hours of the week. Her enthusiasm makes me think of those lyrics "This girl is on fire!"  Savannah has won writing awards from the writer's group in her area, and has been featured in her local newspaper. We have the most fun and inspiring talks about all things writing and books. She's encouraged me to read books that I would never have picked up otherwise. Sometimes I think I'm learning more from her than the other way around. This is a name to watch in the future, so I thought I'd like to host an interview.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I began writing in 2013, but I had no skill or clue where to go once I had an idea. I wrote a little bit anyway, but gave up on it a few months later. I really got my inspiration to write in the summer of 2015, after I started reading a lot more.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

 I write almost every day, usually starting at 8:00 p.m. and finishing at midnight, however, that's mostly when I write for fun. I write my current work-in-progress, Torn, in the morning from about 10:30-12:30, Sunday through Wednesday. That just seems to be when I get inspired for it.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I have different habits depending on what I'm writing. For example, when writing my work-in-progress, I procrastinate actually writing, but bottle up all my ideas, then write tons in a single setting. For my other story that I'm collaborating to write, I write it all down the moment I think of it, and come up with more possibilities in advance.

Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

I'm writing a book with "Torn" as the working title, about a 15 year-old named Ambrose Emmerick Braeden, who, years after discovering he's adopted, sets out to find his birth parents. The most convenient way to get to them is to join a team of Summoners like himself (people with special abilities of different varieties), who want to go looking for Relics that may not exist, but could enhance their powers. Ambrose discovers he has a younger brother, and to save his brother's life, he must continue on the journey for lost Relics.

Coming soon: Part 2 - Savannah will talk more about Torn, and about the books that she is inspired by and recommends in Young Adult Fantasy Fiction. 

If you'd like to say Hi to Savannah, or have a question, you can comment below. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Gone But Not Forgotten

We lost our mother on February 5 this year. She grew up in an orphanage in Memphis, Tennessee with 5 siblings. She left there to pursue her love of country music, and met my father along the way. They married and had 5 children. She loved her family more than anything, loved country music, poker, Matt Dillon, and Superstition Mountain. We love you, and we'll miss you, Mom.
Linnie Iris Lanahan Bailey, 1932 - 2017

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Keri's Christmas Wish

 Displaying KCW_COVER(2)_96_lg (1).jpg

I'm so excited to host my fellow author, Pamela Thibodeaux on Love Colored Glasses today. Pamela has a new release, Keri's Christmas Wish.

Can Keri get past her angst over Christ’s birth and enjoy the Christmas season?

For as long as she can remember, Keri Jackson has despised the hype and commercialism around Christmas so much she seldom enjoys the holiday. Will she get her wish and be free of the angst to truly enjoy Christmas this year?

A devout Christian at heart, Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Energy Medicine Practitioner has studied all of the world’s religions and homeopathic healing modalities. But when a rare bacterial infection threatens the life of the woman he loves, will all of his faith and training be for naught?

Here's an excerpt:

 She awoke in another dimension. Keri had no idea if she was in Heaven, but neither did she fear Hell. Her surroundings were reminiscent of a dense forest at dusk. Shadows danced against a sunset where brilliant colors bled from the sky. A light shone in the distance but as she moved toward it, Keri felt as though she plowed through molasses. Unease pricked her skin. The sound of water drew her deeper into the woods until she stood at the base of a vast waterfall and rapids so swift she dared not attempt to cross the river.

The light grew stronger, brighter. Beckoning.

I need to get to the light.

Here's a fun interview with Pamela about Keri's Christmas Wish and Pamela's writing life:

 Displaying Pamela S Thibodeaux publicity photo.jpg
What inspired you to write your newest release Keri’s Christmas Wish?
When I look back on the beginning I can honestly say Keri’s Christmas Wish was totally inspired by God. I’d finished a short story and sent the collection off to my editor when a vision of a young woman scrolling through her newsfeed came to mind with the words: Bah Humbug…. The entire story evolved from that one image and I completed the manuscript within a very short time. Since this was the first, original fiction story I’ve written in its entirety since 2009 I’m very excited to see it come to fruition.

Why should people buy this book and who is your potential audience? 
Keri's Christmas Wish will give readers an enjoyable fiction story that shares the miracles and magic of the books and movies made over the last several years based on a true account of someone's visit to heaven. Those who love reading, hearing about and watching a true account of someone's visit to heaven as well as those who wonder if heaven is for real and what it is like, will enjoy Keri's Christmas Wish. 

Is there anything else you feel is relevant to this story?
 True accounts of heaven, angels, miracles as well as Energy Medicine, and meditation/self-help techniques are huge topics of interest in the world today. This story combines all of the above in a manner sure to entertain as well as enlighten.

What is the message you hope to get across in this story?
That regardless of where you are in your faith journey God and His angels are always there to guide and guard and that He loves you in spite of your doubt and fears.

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
                       Q: To what or whom do you credit your success?
                        A: Many people have a love/hate relationship with their muse. My muse is the Holy Spirit and I accredit every ounce of success to the grace of God because without HIM I seriously doubt I could write a single word, much less stories that bring hope and healing to so many.

 What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
Unlike many writers, I'm not strictly disciplined. However, when I am actively writing, I write—very little editing, or working on other projects, limited time online, not much networking or blogging, sleep comes only in snatches, meals are scarce and light, and definitely no playing!

 When do you feel like it all began to come together for you as a writer—was there a particular moment?
After years as a closet writer, penning stories in 5-subject notebooks, I'd have to say when I purchased my first, USED word processor and started typing in all those handwritten manuscripts I really began to feel like a writer.

Who has influenced you most as a writer and why?
There is really no one person to whom I can attribute this to, so many have helped me along the way. I’d have to say that my love of reading has influenced me the most. Reading opens doors to the imagination, takes you places you’d never be able to go otherwise and improves your visualization and vocabulary skills. Now, I’m able to implement all those things into my own writing.

 What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
 The biggest challenge I face is not having my work accepted by the “Christian” publishers. As one reviewer said, “though undeniably Christian, it is never dogmatic or insular; offering faith rather than religion.” (Review of Tempered Dreams by Elizabeth Burton for Blue Iris Journal) My books deal with issues in a way that is unacceptable in the traditional CBA market. Now that is not saying that my books are better than those published through traditional CBA publishers, only different. As I’ve said many times, everything that gives God glory deserves to be praised!

 What are a few writing tips you could share with aspiring writers?
The bible exhorts us to “study and show yourself approved.” Keep studying, keep writing, keep learning, stay open to constructive critique and NEVER GIVE UP! Writing is both gift and talent given to you by God. Don’t hide your gift or bury your talent. Whatever you write, write well. Strive for excellence. Stay teachable, pliable, and flexible. Never believe that you know it all because knowledge is power and the more you know the more valuable you become. Above all share what you learn with others and make someone’s load lighter to bear.

Any marketing tips?
Marketing is an intricate part of the publishing business and publishers today expect authors to do their fair share. However, marketing/promotion can be overwhelming as the more you learn, the more there is to learn. For everything you accomplish, there are hundreds more you can do. My motto is: Do something every day and your best then let God do the rest and remember it takes time to build a career.

 What is your goal or mission as a writer?
 A committed Christian, I firmly believe in God and His promises. God is very real to me. I believe that people today need and want to hear more of His truths wherever they can glean them and I do my best to encourage readers to develop a personal relationship with Him. The deepest desire of my heart is to glorify God and to get His message of faith, trust, and forgiveness to a hurting world. My hope is that all of my stories will touch the lives of everyone who reads them and - in some way - bring them a truer knowledge of God and urge them into a closer walk with Him.

Thank you, Pamela, for visiting my blog today. I'm looking forward to reading this book about the power of faith to heal.

 Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Website address:    
Twitter: @psthib
Amazon Author Page: 

Be sure and visit Pamela on the rest of her blog tour and enter a giveaway for a free copy of Keri's Christmas Wish!

If you enjoy Keri’s Christmas Wish check out Pam’s other books, all of which are on sale through Jan 3rd @ Amazon; B&N; and Smashwords!

Dec 19th – Marian Merritt’s Blog:
Dec 20th – Kim Headlee Blog:   
Dec 21st - Patricia Preston Blog
Dec 22nd  - Delia Latham Blog