Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Guest Lillian Duncan

I'd like to welcome author Lillian Duncan to Love Colored Glasses today! I'm excited about the release of her new book NO Home for the Holidays. Lets get to know Lillian:

(Be sure and checkout Lillian's awesome contest opportunity at the end of her interview!)

Tell us a little about you.
My husband and I live in a small town in Ohio. I mean small—we only have 1 traffic light. But I love being back. I grew up in the area, but moved to the big city of Cleveland for many years. Like Dorothy, I love being home again.
I was a school speech pathologist for many, many years, but now I’m a full-time writer. So in a way, you could say that words have been a big part of my life for all my life.
In 2012, I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors which led to another diagnosis of something called neurfibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). In spite of difficult health issues, God has blessed me and keeps on blessing me with the ability to keep writing stories—for which I’m very grateful.

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
The answer to both is Christian mystery and suspense with a little horror thrown in from time to time. I guess writing is sort of like eating. You are what you read, and for me that means I’m a suspense/mystery writer.

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

I would! It’s just like the story of the boy who walks along the beach throwing the stranded starfish back into the ocean. He knows he can’t save them all, but it makes a difference to the ones he does throw back in.

No Home For The Holidays is a Christmas-themed story. It’s part of my publisher’s annual Christmas Extravaganza. Each year, they release twenty-five novelettes (meaning short novels) that all have a Christmas theme in all different sorts of genres. So there’s something for everyone, no matter what you enjoy reading.

I love finding a way to mix suspense into a Christmas story. There’s always so many possibilities for what the characters can learn as they journey through the story. And, of course, I love all the Christmas symbolism available during my favorite time of the year.

In No Home For The Holidays, Chloe Sullivan needs a miracle but has given up on getting it. As sad as it is, she’s resigned to the fact that she has to stay in hiding if she wants to remain alive as well as keep her family safe.

Ex-FBI turned preacher, Colton Douglas believes in helping others. When Chloe enters his life, he’s sure God has put her in his path for a reason—to help her. And that’s just what he plans to do, whether she likes it or not.

Both Colton and Chloe learn a great deal about themselves and about life as they face death.

How long did it take you to write this book?
NO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is a novella so it didn’t take anywhere near as long as a full-length novel. I would say I finished the first draft within a month. Then another month to revise and polish before I submitted it to my publisher.

Tell me a bit about your main characters. Who did you have the most fun creating? Why?
Chloe Sullivan is a good girl gone bad who wants to be good again. So she was a lot of fun to get to know more about as I wrote the story. Colton on the other hand is your classic hero, wants to help anyone and everyone, except himself.

What’s the setting for No Home?
The story starts in the city of Wooster, Ohio. Coincidently, it’s a city I’ve lived near most of my life. But, of course, the story is fictional and not based on reality! But that’s just the beginning, they travel to Akron and then on to the state of California.

Is NO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS the first book you published?
I’ve been blessed to have several books published in the past several years. My last release was DEADLY INENT, part of the Deadly Communications series that features a crime-fighting speech pathologist. . NO HOME is actually my second Christmas story with the first being THE CHRISTMAS STALKING. It features a country singer with a stalker, of course!
So, you were a speech-language pathologist. Tell us a little about that job.
I retired as an SLP from a large city school district in Ohio, then spent several more years working part-time in smaller, rural districts near where I live. Between the two jobs, I don’t think there is any type of child I haven’t worked with at least once.
I loved my job and would still be doing it except for some serious health issues.

What sort of serious health issues?
In 2012 I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors. Fortunately, they weren’t cancerous, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t wreaked havoc on my life but…I recently finished treatment and am looking forward to getting healthy again—with God’s help.

What do you want readers to take away from NO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS?
I want everyone to know that they always have a home with God. He never turns anyone away if they’re sincere. Just like the prodigal son, he’ll always welcome you home.

What is your writing process?
I’m what they call a “pantser” meaing I write by the seat of the pants. I never know what’s going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.
When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.
How long does it take to write a book?
That's a questions that I get asked a lot, and I still don't have a good answer for it. Because I might work on a story for a few weeks or a  month, then move on to another project, then come back to it at a later time. Another thing I do is work on several writing projects at a time. That means I might spend 30 minutes on a story one day or 2-3 hours on it another day. 
Once the first draft is finished, I always set it aside for a while, then come back to it to edit, revise, and polish. I do this several times before I send it to my publisher.
So as you can see, it's really hard to estimate how long it takes me to "write" a book. But I can say that from start to finish, any full-length book is worked on for at least a few hundred hours.  My novellas would be a shorter time, of course.

Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?
Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I’m surprised right along with my readers. Sometimes, I think I know who the killer is through most of the book, but then throw in a shocker at the end.

Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?
I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s okay, I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.
I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions. My characters are usually on a spiritual journey as well—but some are further along than others.

What are you working on now?
I just finished the final edits on the third in the Deadly Communications series. Its title is DEADLY SILENCE. In it, Maven will be back and facing some very difficult life circumstances.
Along with that, she’s working with a late-deafened adult as a client. A subject near and dear to me since I’ve lost all my hearing in one ear and a significant amount in the other because of the brain tumors.
I also have several other stories in various stages that I’m working on.

My website is www.lillianduncan.net and I have a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com My blog is TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at www.lillian-duncan.com.  I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan

To celebrate the release of No Home For The Holidays, Lillian is running a contest on her blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes. Five lucky winners will receive a $10 Amazon Gift card. So hop on over to www.lillian-duncan.com and leave a comment under the No Home For The Holidays blog post so you’ll be entered to win one of the gift cards. Winners will be picked on Dec. 23—just in time for Christmas!

Tune in tomorrow for one of Lillian's wonderful devotionals. Thanks so much, Lillian, for stopping by! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Abendlied - Evening Song

Recently my husband and I spent a nice long weekend in historic Fredericksburg, Texas. We met with three other couples, lifetime friends, in a beautiful home called Abendlied. Abendlied is German for 'evening song'. We raised our children together, ministered in church together, but eventually moved to other situations. My daughter Emily and her husband Jeff came over from nearby Brownwood to join in the fun.

There was lots of talking, laughing, eating, and a little shopping. We visited Old Tunnel State Park and experienced "3 million Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasilienses mexicana) and 3,000 cave myotis (Myotis velifer) bats" (http://www.fredericksburgtexas-online.com/BatCave) emerge from an abandoned railroad tunnel. 

We enjoyed a show at the Rockbox, famous for its tribute shows. It was a sort of  Patsy Cline play that night. The show was humorous, and the girl could really sing.

My favorite part of the whole weekend was the early morning coffee on the front porch. One by one we found our way to a rocker, bench, or landing with a hot cuppa, and shared our hearts. The subjects ran from children, grandchildren, politics, aging, and just general catching up. It's marvelous to see how God is working in the life of my friends.

We all expressed the desire to "end well" in our continued life journey. I'm so proud of all my sweet friends and thank God for them. It's a comfort to know that as we approach our "evening song" of life, we will be there for each other. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

When Stuff Won't Go Away

Sometimes we pray and pray, and do everything we know to do, and a situation just doesn't seem to change. I think of this as I'm memorizing the 27th Psalm. Verse 3 says, "Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise up against me, in this will I be confident."

That word "encamp" implies that the enemy is camped out and planning to stay awhile, just like some of our problems. Day after day we deal with some nagging, stuck like glue, taking up permanent residence, won't go away kind of problem. The Psalmist says "my heart shall not fear", and "in this will I be confident." This refers to verse 1 "The LORD is my light and my salvation., whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?" 

It's like tug-of-war. Sometimes the problem has the upper hand, sometimes we do. The best thing we can do is just drop the rope. That's it. What happens if we're pulling on a rope and then suddenly drop it? Yep. Our opponent pulling on the other end falls down. So go ahead and drop it. Let the Lord handle it. Let's just keep doing what we know to do and trust Him. Let's stop focussing on the problem and focus on our blessings. Nothing is too hard for Him. He's got our back. Let.It.Go. 

What are some ways we can drop the rope today?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Series Feature - The Everstone Chronicles by Dawn Crandall

So excited to tell you about Dawn Crandall's series! Check the out here and be sure and visit her Facebook party for the launch of The Captive Imposter that releases this month:

by Dawn Crandall

The Blog Tour for The Captive Imposter starts this week! Drop by author Dawn Crandall’s blog or Facebook page to check out all the posts and giveaways going on throughout the next few weeks! There will be lots of prizes and giveaways!

Dawn’s FaceBook Author Page - www.facebook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst


The Hesitant Heiress

*** 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence WINNER (Romance Writers of America)

After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy disappearing before her very eyes. Now the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: marry within the year to inherit her grandmother’s fortune. Amaryllis reluctantly takes part in her aunt’s society, intent on getting to the west coast on her own… and without a husband.

Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, whose father not only had a part in her expulsion, but whose ominous presence has haunted her dreams for a decade since her mother’s tragic death. Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn’t who she thought at all.


The Bound Heart

One accidental kiss from Lawry Hampton. That was all it took to throw Meredyth Summercourt’s world upside-down. Determined to marry the ever-elusive Vance Everstone, she simply doesn’t have the time or the desire to fall for her friend Lawry Hampton. However, with Vance out of the country and Lawry constantly at her side, Meredyth can’t help but wonder if what’s holding her to Vance is nothing more than a desire to redeem herself from their unfortunate past.         

When Vance comes home to stake his claim on Meredyth, will she be strong enough to break free from the tangled web she’s convinced she deserves? Or will she find the strength to accept that God’s plan for her life could include redemption... and quite possibly the love of her best-friend?


The Captive Imposter

Sent away for protection, hotel heiress Estella Everstone finds herself living undercover as a lady’s companion named Elle Stoneburner at one of her father’s opulent hotels in the mountains of Maine—the one she’d always loved best and always hoped to own one day, Everston. The one thing she doesn’t like about the situation is that her ex-fiancĂ© is in the area and is set on marrying someone else. Reeling from her feelings of being unwanted and unworthy, Estella reluctantly forms a friendship with the gruff manager of Everston, Dexter Blakeley, who seems to have something against wealthy young socialites with too much money, although they are just the kind of people Everston caters to.

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer she can’t refuse. She sees no other choice aside from going back home to her family and accepts the position as companion to his sister. Throughout her interactions with Dexter, she can’t deny the pull that’s evidenced between them every time he comes near. Estella realizes that while she’s been hiding behind a false name and identity, she’s never been freer to be herself than when she’s with Dexter Blakeley. But will he still love her when he finds out she’s Estella Everstone? She’s not entirely sure.

Released this month!


About Dawn Crandall

A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he encouraged her to quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing her debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Northeast Indiana.

Dawn is a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.

The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


http://scripturetyper.com/MAKE BIBLE MEMORY FUN & EASY

I love to memorize Scripture, although I'm not always consistent about it. My favorite tool for Bible Memory is Scripture Typer.  This app is available for PC, Ipad, Iphone, Kindle, and Android devices.With Scripture Typer you can:

Memorize & Review Verses Anytime, Anywhere
Import Any Verse from 10 Translations
Choose Verses from over 55 Categories
Review System Keeps You Current
Bible Memory iPhone App   Record Verses & Play Them Back
Bible Memory iPhone App   Draw Illustrations
Bible Memory iPhone App   Review with Flash Cards

After choosing a verse to memorize, you type it with the verse  visible to you. Then you try to memorize it by typing it while some of the words are left out, and then you try and master it by typing totally from memory. You can try each of these steps over and over. The site keeps track of your memorized verses, as well as your typing speed. You are getting typing practice as well as scripture memory practice.

There is an option to join communities, and create prayer groups. I'm interested in creating a group of people to memorize scriptures with. Would you like to check out Scripture Typer and join up with me in memorizing Scripture in 2015?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Frozen Kitchen Window

Not a great picture, I know, but I tried to capture the frozen tundra out my kitchen window. The whole area is frozen over. This weather postponed my trip to visit my daughter in Brownwood, but afforded me the laziest day ever. I feel rejuvenated and ready for 2015!

My prayers are that everyone reading this experiences the blessings of the Lord, and feels His presence every day. I personally plan to seek His face more this year, pray more, give more, and work more. God Bless You and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Obsessed With Autumn

I welcome this season every year like a long lost best friend. She doesn't stay long in West Texas, but while she's here we party! I'm trying to restrain myself from putting up the decorations because it's only September, but since we have unusually cool temperatures this weekend, I may not be able to resist. 
I wonder what's at the end of the road? (Goodgle Free Images)

I have a dear friend who totally gets my passion for autumn. She sends me a box of Fall presents every year! Decorations, candles, themed dishtowels. This year she included a beautiful framed print with a note about hoping the image "takes me somewhere else." It does, dear Janice, thanks so much. 

Fall is also the beginning of what we southerners call "eatin' season". I'm determined to enjoy my Autumn with healthy choices so I don't sabotage all the good I've done so far this year. I tried this "candy corn" fruit cup and it really was nice. 
Google Free Images
 So what is your favorite season? What do you like best about it?

I'd love for you to share anything Fall related. Did I mention that I love Fall?