Monday, December 30, 2013

Everyone's Story Says Thanks For A Wonderful Year

As the end of the year approaches I'm learning that I have a lot more to be thankful for than not. I am thankful to all of my Everyone Story's viewers, guests, and subscribers for faithfully taking a few minutes out of their busy daily lives to visit this little--but expanding--corner of cyber space. Heartfelt thanks. 

Before I launch each weekly guest appearance I pray to God that the segment will please Him and bless my guest as well as each viewer and it is my continued hope that it does.

Here are a listing of the ten most viewed segments in 2013, though for me, each and everyone is dear to my heart. Here's hoping 2014 is another great year

Kathleen Rouser: An Author Bridging The Past To The Present

Friday, December 27, 2013

Elaine Stock: Shouting News From The Rooftops of Cyber Space

Whoa. Is this me on my own blog? What a novel concept. Unexpected trouble tripped my slated guest for this week, so I decided to take advantage and share some exciting news. Well, at least for myself. While it's not the amazing news of a book contract--yet--my heart is telling me that it's actually better. I'm basically a quiet person, living a very humble lifestyle, and tend to keep news hushed. A while back I'd made an important decision in my life, but it wasn't until talking with my pastor did I ever think that I should be sharing this news with anyone. Obviously, I've reconsidered and taking advantage of my own social media venue of blogging, have decided to shout the news from my virtual rooftop. I hope for anyone taking the time to read this that you may help me celebrate my upcoming rejoicing by sharing your joys in a comment. I'd really like to hear from you and your good news!

Why I Count, After All, And You Do Too by Elaine Stock

Like any other child without the knowledge of details, I too had whacky and grandiose ideas of what I wanted to become in life. For instance, at the age of 6 I thought it would be neat (we didn’t use the word “cool” back when I was a kid!) to be a trash collector and ride around on a big truck ridding New York City of its garbage. Fortunately, that dream faded. In late childhood I wanted to become a brain surgeon . . . until high school biology labs taught me that I couldn’t handle dissection very well, despite loving the topic of how bodies function.

In my junior high school years I wanted to become the next Neil Simon. Lack of encouragement dribbled in and my desire oozed out. In college I wanted to become a family therapist/marriage counselor, but was questioned by others that if my own family was falling apart, let alone I’d never dated, what could I possibly contribute to others?

Courtesy Google Images
Okay. Believe it or not, this is not a post on regrets in life or a slam against others who may have ebbed and flowed in and out of my life through the years. I haven't surrendered my dream of writing, but the desire to become a playwright has morphed into becoming an author of novels. What I do want to share is that on January 5th I will be baptized by immersion. I thought this Christmas season would be a wonderful time to announce this.

Is this my first baptismal? No. Growing up in a household without Christ I felt stilted and empty-hearted and didn’t quite understand why. As a young adult and a newly married wife to a Christian man I was baptized by sprinkling into the Christian faith. Allow me to backtrack a sec. One of my earliest memories is sensing a presence of God. I believe He led me to make the next step of my faith proclamation in my young 20s. Ah. I believed I’d done the “right” thing and could finally settle down for a happily ever after. Am I hearing you snicker? That’s okay. I understand. Life isn’t that proverbial bowl of cherries. It wasn’t meant to be.

So, I’m a Christian. Why this whole immersion thingy? And why in this stage of my life? Because, I fully believe this is where, once again, Christ has led me.

Courtesy Google Images
Baptismal by immersion isn’t a guarantee that I will be “saved.” Nor is it the ultimate earthly ritual that cleanses me of my sins. Christ’s blood was shed on the Cross for these reasons. What it is then is my decision to immerse, submerse, and emerge. To die, be buried, and to be resurrected. This is my hope. My belief. It is my own, unique, decision. I make no judgment of others. I want to stand before God one day and have Him say that He is indeed proud of me, His daughter.

And God loves each and every one of us. And that is why you count too.

Where is God leading you next on your faith journey? I’d love if you’d share.

You haven't forgotten me, God
The child whose first memory
Was of my daddy leaving for the day, that was hard
But You, My Father, were there for me.

I didn't know you by name
Yet, sensed You were always by my side
Others discouraged, hurt, played a game
While you encouraged, loved, never opting to hide.

In my youthful rebellious years
When I dared to wonder and roam
You continued to smile and wipe away my fears
Guiding me to my one and only home.

No earthly luxuries spoil me
Daily I'm learning that what must be
Is your love for imperfect me is your decree
And I give my heart to thee.
Elaine Stock 12/25/13

My own Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Wanting to share great news by hearing from you with your own joys. (Tweet This)

Elaine Stock on Everyone’s Story. Say what?! (Tweet This)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Joi Copeland: When God Changes Your Path

Everyone's Story welcomes author Joi Copeland. The literary scene via social media connected the two of us and I'm pleased that Joi accepted my invitation to be with us this holiday week. As you will see, Joi has chosen a very interesting topic--timing wise--concerning putting aside one's writing, even if just for a little while. Check out her Book Giveaway and the related blurb. Both Joi and I are looking forward to seeing your comments.

Book Giveaway:
Joi is offering one copy of her novella CHRISTMAS RAYNE to one randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, December 27th, between 5-6 PM EST. For convenience, please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks!

Rayne Adams loves Christmas time. While shopping for a Christmas tree, she runs into a love from the past. With a possible new love forming on the horizon, will the past continue to haunt her or will she be able to let it go and move on? Or is there room in her heart for her former love?

Justin Thomas made the biggest mistake of his life three years ago. Now, finding himself face to face with the one he hurt the most, can he regain her trust and her love? Or will he lose her to another? Find out in Christmas Rayne!

On Hold but Moving Forward by Joi Copeland

Much to my sadness, my two works in progress, Sunshine in Spring and When Mercy Found Me, are on hold. I truly do not like this new stage where I don't have time to write. I have several book ideas floating around in this head of mine, yet I am unable to even finish what I've started for now. It hurts my heart to put these characters on the back burner of my life, but I know the day is coming when I will be able to catch up with them again, have a cup of coffee, and dive into their lives once more.

I know many people say, “You have to make the time for writing. If it's important to you, you'll do it.” For me, that isn't so. Writing is very important. I want to be used for God's glory through my writing. I love sitting down, turning on my laptop, and creating story lines that, I pray, will affect the hearts and lives of others.

However, God has shaken my family up with a new direction for our lives. Never in a million years would I see God doing this. But isn't that just like our Lord? To push, pull, and stretch us? To turn our heads in a whole different direction?

That's what He did for me and my family. We are headed to the mission field! I still shake my head and say, “Really?” every so often.

When my husband, three boys, and I moved to Colorado, it was for the intention of living here for the rest of our lives. I love Colorado and its beauty. Yes, the temperatures have been colder than normal, but I love it! My heart found a place to call home here. It's not the house we live in, but truly seeing God's beauty on a daily basis that enthralls this heart of mine.

So, over the summer when God placed it on my husband and my hearts to look overseas, I was shaken. Excited, nervous, and saddened by how quickly our life went from 0 to 60 in 2.1 seconds. We literally hit the ground running. And haven't stopped since.

We aren't headed to unreached people groups or poverty stricken countries. No. Our hearts are directed to Europe, specifically Ireland. Weird, huh? Moving to a place that is predominantly Catholic? What we've found is that while that is true, it is only true in the sense of nationalism, not a “living faith”' as we've had some friends say.

And so, while my writing career is put on hold for a short season, I look forward to moving ahead and going overseas. I do believe I will pick up my writing after the New Year. I long for that day, and look for it with anticipation. It will be a blessing to say hello to dear friends I haven't seen in quite a while (my characters, of course).

When I do get to the mission field, I am thrilled to be able to write from a different country first hand. One where I can delve into the culture and incorporate that into my novels.

During this Christmas Season, I see Jesus moving in hearts and lives around me in ways that are unexpected. What about you, dear readers? How is God moving in your hearts and lives and causing the unexpected to become a reality?

Joi's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Why is author Joi Copeland daring to put her writing on hold? (Tweet This)

Visit with author Joi Copeland on Everyone’s Story. (Tweet This)

Win Joi Copeland’s #BookGiveaway of Christmas Novella CHRISTMAS RAYNE. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Joi Copeland is married to a wonderful man, Chris, and has three amazing boys, Garrison, Gage, and Gavin. She is living the dream in beautiful Denver, Colorado. Joi loves being a wife and mom! She enjoys spending time with her sister Steffanne, and loves to sit and have a cup of coffee or tea with friends! She's been a Christian for over twenty years. Following Jesus has been the best decision she has ever made. Joi's other books are Hope for Tomorrow, Hope for the Journey, Christmas Rayne, and Sheriff Bride Rob's Story.

Find Joi on the Web:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Carole Brown: Stirring Readers To Act With A Heart

Everyone's Story welcomes debut author Carole Brown. I enjoy darker type of stories with several complexities, wondering just how the characters are going to get through it all--similar to life many a times. Carole weaves such a story, yet offers hope. During her visit here this week I'm pleased she's reaching out to others by sharing insights to abuse and what to do about it. Plus, Carole is offering her novel as a Giveaway. Both she and I are looking forward to seeing your comments. May peace be with you during the holidays, and always.

Book Giveaway:
Carole is offering one copy to one randomly chosen commenter either a printed or Kindle version of her novel THE REDEMPTION OF CARALYNNE HAYMAN.The winner will be announced here on Friday, December 20th, between 5-6 PM EST. For convenience, please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks!

Some Books Are Downright Disturbing by Carole Brown

When my husband came up with the plot for The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, I knew it would be a tough topic to address. I didn’t want too many details, yet I wanted it real and emotional, so that the reader could understand that as far-fetched as it seems, it is a real and evil, pertinent topic in today’s world.

Abuse is an ugly word. We don’t want to face the fact it exists in our world. Most of us would rather settle for the noncommittal life of NOT having to take a stand against something so horrible. It’s so easy to shut our eyes and to avoid addressing issues that make us wince or uncomfortable.

Those trying to encourage/rescue those abused, see so many lost opportunities. Restrained and hindered from achieving their dreams or possible potentials, many will face death without ever experiencing the fulfillment, which every person should. It’s a heartbreaking task, and sometimes with less than satisfying results.

We must never give up though. Even one person saved will be worth any effort we put forth. In writing The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, I hope I have stirred readers to act: to act with love and more understanding and to offer a God-like sympathetic heart to the hurting ones in the world. 

Courtesy Google Images
 It’s Everywhere; We Can’t Escape!
 Yet most of us approach it, if not every day, then often in our own lives. Let me give you some amateur examples:

·      Some abusers are stupid, and what I mean by that, they don’t learn. Let me clarify even more. Many times, abusers WILL NOT stop. They’re not going to quit abusing. They can’t. Most of them have suffered abuse and grow up to become abusers. Why stop what you know? What you’ve become?
·      Then you have the abusers who learn HOW to abuse. In other words, they hide their abuse. Once caught by the law, they know enough to hit and/or speak their abuse without the signs being evident. Women or men who’ve gone through the broken bones and bruises now appear as normal people. That’s because, the abuser has learned to “punish” in a way that’s not visible. 

Creatures, Seen and Unseen:

Abusers are often times invisible. They could be your banker, your insurance agent, your minister (yes, that’s what I said!), or anyone else you meet on a monthly, weekly, daily basis. They’re dressed well, earn a nice income, are friendly and likeable.

Other times they’re very much visible. The person who yells in public at their child, smacks them unreasonably in public, or who neglects them with the proper food and clothing. You can’t always assume the parents are abusive. They may just be having a bad day. But a continual demonstration of these acts could very well be a form of abuse.

Is It Ever Right to Correct a Child?

Let me stress here I’m not against punishment, even physical. BUT, punishment on a child MUST ALWAYS be administered correctly, with love. Angering your child or letting him grow up resentful (of his parent) is not a good thing. The old saying, This hurts me worse than you, really should be true if a parent appropriately cares and loves his child. A child does need to know why and be encouraged to understand why they are being punished. Angry, spur-of-the moment corrections will seldom do you or the child any good.

There are all types of abuse in the world.

·      Country abuse, meaning dictators and rulers who impose their rule, against the people’s wishes
·      Medical abuse
·      Elderly abuse
·      Children abuse: sex trades, sex molestation from family, friends, and associations, and ordinary home abuse where the child suffers ridicule and little encouragement to grow up as a beneficial citizen and person.
·      Spousal abuse. Both men and women.

Is There Any Help Anywhere?

Of course.

·      Online you can find many groups and professional organizations that can give the proper care, advise, and treatment to those suffering from abuse and to those, who are willing, who administer abuse.
·      Check your yellow pages for local businesses who offer help. Ask your doctor or local Chamber of Commerce. Even the police might have a recommendation.
·      Encourage the abused and the abuser to talk with a minister. They need help, and love, and encouragement to seek help. Realize it’s hard to break out of a life-long pattern. The abuser is doing what he’s been taught to do. The abused is living what they’ve always experienced, or believe they deserve it, or are afraid. It’s a horrible situation to live.

Pray. God loves both the abused and the abuser, even as ugly as the act is.

In my soon-to-be-released novel The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, Cara and Dayne, the protagonists, have grown up in a cult who habitually abusers women and girls. Is it a disturbing book? Yes. Is it a book to make you think and feel? Yes. It brings to life the topic of abuse. Here’s a brief blurb:

How far would YOU go to avenge a daughter’s cruel death? Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings. Can his prayers and love reach Cara and show her the way to redemption? Will Cara realize God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far?

Amazon Kindle Special: through December 16th THE REDEMPTION OF CARALYNNE HAYMAN is on sell for $0.99 (link)

Carole's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Carole Brown on Everyone’s Story: Some Books Are Downright Disturbing (Tweet This)

Carole Brown: abuse is ugly, but you can do something about it. (Tweet This)

#BookGiveaway of THE REDEMPTION OF CARALYNNE HAYMAN by Carole Brown. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Find Carole on the Web:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nikki Rosen: Choosing To Inspire Hope

Everyone's Story welcomes author Nikki Rosen. Nikki is not only a multi-published and an award winning author, but a true sister-of-the-heart. I applaud Nikki for moving forward and champion her in encouraging others to stand strong and believe that God will always help each one of us, no matter if we're in a good or rough spot in life. See why Nikki chooses to inspire hope and check out her Book Giveaway and book trailers. Both Nikki and I are looking forward to your visit and comments.

Book Giveaway:
Nikki is offering one copy to one randomly chosen commenter a PDF copy of her novel DANCING SOFTLY, a story of hope and overcoming, of resilience of the human spirit and the touch of a gentle God. The winner will be announced here on Friday, December 13th, between 5-6 PM EST. For convenience, please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks!

Choosing To Inspire Hope by Nikki Rosen

“Make up a story.
Tell us what the world has been to you
 in the dark places  and in the light.”
Toni Morrison

April 2008. Something happened that triggered memories of things I never wanted anyone to know; living on the streets, shooting drugs, struggling with an eating disorder, kidnapped, raped.

To get the memories out of my head, I wrote every day, all day and late into the night. I wrote in the third person. I had no intention of publishing a book. I simply wrote to get what was inside, out.

After writing, I went running in the woods, alone - fighting with what I already knew - I had to tell. I had to write the give hope to even one let them know that nothing is impossible to overcome and that Light can shine where darkness lived.

Alone in the woods - I felt God’s gentle touch and heard Him whisper, “You’re stronger now. It’s time to tell the truth of what happened. Tell your story to give hope to others.”

It took me one year to write what I lived. One year to put it down on paper. One year to remember how far down He had reached to pull me out. One year of fighting within myself to finally come to the place of letting Him use what I lived – so others could find hope too.

December 2009 I published In the Eye of Deception. June 2010 it won The Word Guild Award and received an Honourable Mention for The Grace Irwin Award.

The book began selling. I’ve received many emails, letters, gifts from people from people around the world who read my story and told me the book came to them as a message of hope. Recently someone donated $5000 to put the book into a prison edition and through Hebron Ministry it will be published and distributed into women’s prisons.

I’ve discovered writing is a way for me to have a voice. I’ve written articles, short stories, even a couple of poems that were picked up and published in anthologies, magazines, and some even won contests.

I hooked up with other writers, joined writer’s groups and signed up for classes. Over and over I heard it said, check what the publishers want, look for what's hot, what sells. Write about that. Romance is good, even soft porn and consider fantasy stories that attract teens.

I got bogged down. Discouraged. None of that excited me. What pumped me and got me sitting for hours at the computer ...tapping out words ...weaving them into stories… are life's drama's...the things that drive people to do what they do.

And I love writing about finding hope - Hope from trauma. Hope from pain. Hope from failure. Hope that shows up unexpectedly and becomes, 'the story changed when.' Hope that shouts never give up because the unexpected can happen....the good...the happily ever after.

So today...I chose to write the thing that inspires me and which gives hope.

Twisted Innocence: A True Story by Nikki Rosen - Trailer

Nikki's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Author Nikki Rosen on Everyone’s Story: Light can shine where darkness lived. (Tweet This)

Everyone has a story: Discover how Nikki Rosen made her dark past shine. (Tweet This)

Nikki Rosen: Finding hope when all seems lost. (Tweet This)

#BookGiveaway of Nikki Rosen’s DANCING SOFTLY. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Nikki Rosen writes fiction and non-fiction. She is the author of In the Eye of Deception, winner of the Word Guild Award, Dancing Softly, shortlisted for The Word Guild Award and Twisted Innocence, A True Story.

Find Nikki on the Web:

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