Posts by Janet

THE CALL

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Blog, Books, Devotions | 10 comments

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

I received the call — the one every writer waits for. My agent, Linda Glaz, called to tell me that Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas had decided to publish my first story. This was an answer to decades of prayer. My “millennial in the basement” was finally given wings to Be-Light-logo_v2fly out into the world.  

It was December 23, 2015, and my oldest son and his family were visiting us for the Christmas holidays. I called my youngest son and shared the news with him. We could not tell anyone else until after the contract had been received and signed. Tears of joy were shed and my family celebrated with me.  

I’m humbled. I know in this current publishing market, it is difficult for non-published authors to be picked up for publication. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas was taking a chance on me.

Signing first publishing contract

                    Signing first publishing contract

Back in the eighties, two major Christian publishing houses considered this story seriously, but in the end, their rejections were added to the others.

In the nineties, my life changed, and for years I needed to put my writing aside. After I remarried, my husband encouraged me to return to writing and to once again seek publication for this story.

In the intervening years so much had changed in the fiction market about what publishers wanted to publish and how they wanted the stories presented. So I studied more about the current style of writing fiction and then began significant editing to the story.  I also attended writer’s conferences, networked with many amazing writers, began blogging and established a website. I’ve also been blessed with a wonderful agent who is a friend and mentor. It has been and continues to be a learning process.  Now I was days away from receiving a contract.

The timing of this acceptance was not lost on me. Only days earlier I’d been reading Roy Meet Me in the Meadow coverLessin’s Meet Me in the Meadow devotional; December 15-20 were devoted to Waiting For God’s Time.  He wrote:

 “Seasons of waiting on God and listening for His speaking often precede everything significant God will do in your life. God waits for you to wait on Him.”

“God, like a master weaver, does a creative work within us during the waiting times in our lives. . . . Before He gives us what we are waiting for, He wants to give us more of Himself. In the waiting times we are strengthened with His strength and the fiber of His character is worked within us.”

“It is important to understand that waiting times are not times of denial but are times of preparation. When it is God’s time to bring something into our lives, He will often do it after He has prepared us to receive it.”

“During our waiting times, expectation helps to keep us spiritually moving ahead instead of becoming passive and indifferent. Expectation moves us from twiddling our thumbs to exercising our faith.”

“Waiting times are growing times and learning times. As you quiet your heart, you enter His peace…as you sense your weakness, you receive His strength…as you lay down your will, you hear His calling.”                                    ~  Roy Lessin

(Used with Roy Lessin’s permission  http://www.meetmeinthemeadow.com)

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who works for the one who waits for Him.”   Isaiah 64:4                                                                          

A Heart Set Free will be released December 2, 2016. I look forward to sharing more about this story with you in the days ahead.

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Our Security Comes From God

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in Blog, Devotions | 4 comments

I find myself shaking my head a lot lately. With everything that is going on in our nation, whether it is a society bent on violence, this strange political season, the loss of long-held beliefs, values, and even our basic freedoms, it is easy to become discouraged, fearful, and cynical. But that is not how God has called us to respond. He wants us to pray for our nation and to look beyond the circumstances and trust Him.

Meet Me in the Meadow coverI’ve shared before that I enjoy reading several devotionals along with the Bible. One of those devotionals is Meet Me in the Meadow by Roy Lessin. And he has generously allowed me to share some of his work.

From August 3rd

“God has not made the earth and abandoned it. He has not retreated somewhere in the universe and gone into hiding. He is today where He has always been, on His throne. God sees all things, knows all things, and is all-powerful. God is all in all. He is above all. Nothing is above Him or equal to Him. There is no king or ruler that has more authority than God; there is no political figure that has more influence than God; there is no nation that has more control than God. No one can out-think Him, or out-smart Him. He is God Almighty. He has all authority in heaven and earth. His enemies are under His feet. He reigns and rules. He is the majesty on High.”

“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of Thy kingdom is a right scepter.”

-Psalm 45:6 KJV-

“God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness.”

Psalm 47:8 KJV

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So I’ll work harder at keeping my focus on the Lord and not be anxious about the craziness that is going on in our country and the world.

     Joshua 1-9

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”

Proverbs 29:25 ESV

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

John 14:27 ESV

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1Peter 5:7

The Bible Reminds us what to do.

And I will continue to pray for our nation.

Heal our Land

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An Interview with Kathleen Rouser, Author of Rumors and Promises

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in Blog, Books, History, Uncategorized | 6 comments

Hi Kathy, Thank you for sharing a bit about yourself and your new release, Rumors and Promises

Please tell us something about yourself, Kathy.

Janet, thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. Hmm . . . what can I tell you about myself? This is how I describe myself on my Twitter page: Wife, mom, author of inspirational historical romance. Loves to make jewelry, knitting, bike riding, God’s Word, my cat and all things chocolate.

I raised three sons, having homeschooled them for about 21 years. That was a big chunk of my life. After that I went Kathy Rouser 2back to school—twice—and wound up becoming a dental assistant. But writing is my true calling.

I also enjoy long walks, especially when I take the time to pray during that time, or listen to Bible teaching. I’m also a bit too fond of chocolate and I love spending time with my funny little cat, Lilybits. Last but not least, my husband and I have been married for 34 years.

What sparked your interest in writing?

My mother read to me when I was a little girl and taught me to love books. Before I could read them myself I wanted to be able to write stories. It’s something the Lord seemed to make a part of me and laid on my heart to do early on.

Here is the blurb from the back of Rumors and Promises:

Sophie Biddle, an heiress on the run with a child in tow, considers herself abandoned by her family and God. Wary, self-reliant Sophie is caught off guard when meeting a kind, but meddling and handsome minister at the local mercantile. 

Cover“In 1900, Reverend Ian McCormick is determined to start anew in Stone Creek, Michigan, believing he has failed God and his former flock. He works harder than ever to forget his mistake, hoping to prove himself a most pleasing servant to his new congregation and once again to God.

While Sophie seeks acceptance for the child and a measure of respect for herself, the rumors swirl about her sordid past. Should Ian show concern for Sophie plight, he could risk everything – including his position as pastor of Stone Creek.

Now the pair must choose to trust God and forgive those who slander and gossip, or run. Will the scandals of their pasts bind them together forever, or drive both deeper into despair?” 

What drew you to the period and setting for the story?

I live in a rather small town in Michigan, so it’s easy to imagine what it might have been like. Also, I think the early part of the twentieth century is an interesting time when the world, life, and society were facing changes, but family and traditional values were still important. I really enjoyed L. M. Montgomery’s books which were set only a few years later. I guess I find it easy to picture my characters in that era.

Rumors and Promises deals with the sensitive subject of rape. What was your motivation to write about a subject that often goes unaddressed, particularly in that era?

Sophie Biddle’s story in Rumors and Promises really began as an attempt to convey a story similar to the account of the woman at the well in chapter four of the Gospel of John. At the time editors weren’t interested in biblical fiction. But I was also constrained by the guidelines of Christian publishing. How could I have my protagonist be a woman of bad reputation while preserving her purity? The character of Sophia Bidershem, an heiress concealing her identity with a slightly different name and trying to pass off her toddler daughter as her sister, was born. The out-of-wedlock-pregnancy had not come about by her volition, but she loves her child anyway and does what she must to take care of her. She bears the brunt of the resulting shame.

Then I thought about who had the most to lose in becoming involved in the life of these runaway girls, just as the disciples became shocked Jesus would associate with the Samaritan woman. Pastor Ian McCormick would have much to lose if his reputation was besmirched by friendship with a “fallen woman.” Of course, that’s where the similarities end. Jesus is sinless while Ian is a flawed man trying to start over with a new congregation because of past failings.

At the same time, as I worked on the first draft, one of my critique partners told me her story and helped me to understand the flashbacks and the damage done by rape. Even though I kept the details in the background, Rumors and Promises wasn’t a story publishers were willing to take on right away. I pray the story will be a healing one for those who have been victims of this heinous crime. I’m thankful that LPC was willing to take a chance on this story and subject matter.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

My main characters, Sophie and Ian, are struggling with life-altering incidents from their pasts. For Sophie it’s the injustice and how she feels deserted by those she thought loved her. For Ian, he cannot forgive himself for past failure. Though no harm was intended, he thinks he let God and others down.

It is so easy to get stuck in the past. I struggle with it myself, but I hope people who read my book will realize that Christ (and what He accomplished for us on the cross and being raised from the dead) is much bigger than our past failures or the injustices done to us. He is there to guide and heal. When we can grasp hold of that truth we can move forward in our lives.

God often teaches us something through our writing. What did you learn about life, faith, or yourself in the process of writing Rumors and Promises?

Tenacity and patience. But not only those things. I also learned what it meant to be a writer. I struggled with self-confidence and taking myself seriously as an author. It’s been quite a process!

Can you tell us anything about a current work in process? 

The working title of my next novel is A Good Medicine and I was recently blessed with a second contract from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. It’s stand alone, but also the next book about Stone Creek. One of the main characters is Ian’s sister, Maggie Galloway, who was a secondary character that appeared quite often in Rumors and Promises. You might say she had a supporting role.

Here’s the current blurb:

When Zeke Harper and Philip Galloway get into trouble for throwing punches, they aren’t the only ones to clash. Philip’s outgoing mother, Maggie Galloway, and Zeke’s reserved father, Thomas Harper, are complete opposites. The feisty widow, Maggie, has been on her own for a time and has aspirations to buy a bakery in her hometown.

Disorganized Thomas, a grieving widower, only wants to bring up his four rambunctious children in peace. In addition to the challenges of his new pharmacy, he becomes gravely ill. Bitter toward God about the loss of his wife, Thomas believes no one could ever replace her in his heart.

Maggie Galloway is called upon by her brother, and pastor, Ian, to help the Harper family. She is instrumental in nursing Thomas back to health, reorganizing the pharmacy and taking the children in hand. Maggie unwittingly becomes attached to the raucous Harper brood and their quiet father. When a former hometown suitor, comes calling, Thomas realizes his growing love for the angel of mercy who came to their rescue. She must make a life-changing decision to stay near the Harpers or leave Stone Creek. Will Thomas be too late in declaring his intentions to Maggie?

Lord willing it will be published sometime later in 2017.    

Thank you so much, Kathy, for being my guest.

I so appreciate your having me as a guest, Janet. It’s been fun and I appreciate your time and thought-provoking questions.

Where can readers find your books?

Rumors and Promises is available at:

Amazon.com – http://tinyurl.com/jqmw93e

Barnes and Noble – http://tinyurl.com/hdus93p

And Kathy can be found at:

Website: kathleenrouser.com

Facebook: facebook.com/kathleenrouser/

Twitter: @KathleenRouser

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7427871.Kathleen_Rouser

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kerouser/

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A Motivation Behind The Story ~ Promise of Deer Run (Book 2 of Deer Run Saga)

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Blog, Books, Commentary, History, Uncategorized | 8 comments

Yesterday, I told you about Promise of Deer Run, Elaine Cooper’s second story in the Deer Run Saga. It releases on June 16. Today, Elaine Cooper shares about a childhood experience that left an indelible memory and teachable lesson.

  BEFRIENDING THE FRIENDLESSPromise of Deer Run - Cover (2)

I will never forget my childhood friend named DeDe. She was smart and had a great sense of humor. But that is not the main reason I remember DeDe. She is the one friend in elementary school who taught me about being a friend to the friendless.

There was a girl in our class—I’ll call her Jennifer—who was afflicted with a congenital problem that left her with difficulty speaking, an awkward gait, and an odd look to her face. Jennifer was shunned by most in the school, except for DeDe. She was totally unafraid of what others thought and she made every effort to be kind to Jennifer.  Her bravery caused me to be kind to the shy classmate as well. I admit I was still a bit uncomfortable hanging out with Jennifer, and it took patience on my part to wait until Jennifer could painstakingly speak even just a few words. But DeDe always cheered Jennifer on in her attempts to communicate.  It was such a lesson in kindness to me.

In Promise of Deer Run, the character of Sarah Thomsen befriends the social outcast of the village—Nathaniel Stearns. The young veteran is seven years her senior, but Sarah has memories of the kindness that Nathaniel had extended to her when she was a little girl. It was a kindness never forgotten. Sarah looked past the recluse who seemed so different awaiting the return of his father from war. Many in the town laughed behind Nathaniel’s back. Why would this veteran who frequented the local tavern on a regular basis and who still believed his father was alive, be of a sound mind? Even the churchgoers snickered and avoided him like the plague.

But not Sarah. She saw past the exterior to the heart and soul of Nathaniel Stearns. She dared to speak to him. She dared to befriend the friendless.

It reminds me of DeDe looking past the physical anomalies of Jennifer.

A few years ago a friend from high school told me they found out Jennifer had become a nurse, helping others in their need. I was amazed but pleased—and I remembered DeDe leaving her comfort zone of hanging out with the “cool” kids. I sometimes wonder if DeDe was the one who had given Jennifer hope for a future, years before on the playground at school.

I wonder how many other lives can be changed for the better by befriending the friendless. I pray that I will be the brave one.

Elaine Cooper DRAward-winning author Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of Fields of the Fatherless, Bethany’s Calendar and the historical trilogy called the Deer Run Saga. Her passions are her family, her faith in Christ, and the history of the American Revolution. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for many of her historical novels.

Her upcoming releases include Saratoga Letters (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, October 2016) and Legacy of Deer Run (CrossRiver Media, Dec, 2016)

Cooper has been writing since she penned her first short story at age eleven. She began researching for her first novel in 2007. Her writing has also appeared in Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson and the romance anthology, I Choose You. She has also written articles for Prayer Connect Magazine, Splickety Prime Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, and Life: Beautiful Magazine. She began her professional writing career as a newspaper freelancer.

 

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Promise of Deer Run (Book 2 of Deer Run Saga)

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Blog, Book Reviews, History | 3 comments

Elaine Marie Cooper’s second book in the Deer Run Saga will be released June 16, 2016

Promise of Deer Run - Cover (2) Promise of Deer Run is a tender historical romance that stands on its own, but also brings us back to the characters we loved in Road To Deer Run.

The year is 1790. The American Revolution is long since over, yet the battles still live in the hearts of the survivors.

One young veteran is haunted by the painful memories of war. He still awaits a father who has never returned from battle and feels the sting of betrayal from a former love. He withdraws into his own world, clinging to one hope: Perhaps his father still lives.

Only one person in Deer Run seems to understand him: Nineteen-year-old Sarah Thomsen, who feels a kinship with the loner veteran. She senses the wounds in his spirit as much as she struggles to bury her own traumatic memories of war. And the veteran’s search for his father touches a chord of empathy in Sarah, as she feels the loss of a father she never knew.

While the couple begins to find hope in a mutual affection, others determine to destroy it. Slander and misunderstandings ignite a fire of doubt and mistrust, destroying whatever faith they had in each other.

Can two souls longing for healing and trust love again? Can faith—and a family—be restored?

Come back tomorrow and find out about a childhood experience that left an indelible memory for Elaine and was a motivation behind Promise of Deer Run. 

 

Award winning author Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of Fields of the Fatherless, Bethany’s Calendar and the historical trilogy called the Deer Run Saga. Her passions are her family, her faith in Christ, and the history of the American Revolution. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for many of her historical novels.

Her upcoming releases include Saratoga Letters (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, October 2016) and LElaine Cooper DRegacy of Deer Run (CrossRiver Media, Dec, 2016)

Cooper has been writing since she penned her first short story at age eleven. She began researching for her first novel in 2007. Her writing has also appeared in Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson and the romance anthology, I Choose You. She has also written articles for Prayer Connect Magazine, Splickety Prime Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, and Life: Beautiful Magazine. She began her professional writing career as a newspaper freelancer.

 

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