Posts by Janet

Within Golden Bands the sequel to Land of My Dreams

Posted by on May 19, 2020 in Blog, Books, Uncategorized | 8 comments

It’s a pleasure to welcome you back Norma Gail, upon the release Within Golden Bands. Please tell us something about yourself, Norma. 

Thank you for hosting me, Janet! I’m excited to share my books with your readers.

I’m a former RN and homeschool/soccer mom who has made up stories since I was a child. My debut novel, Land of My Dreams, released in 2014. It took longer than I hoped for the sequel to come about for a lot of reasons but I’m excited to finally have a release date of May 19th. I also write weekly devotionals on my own website at www.NormaGail.org, and am a monthly contributor to the inspirational website, Inspire a Fire.

My husband and I live on the side of a mountain, at 7200 feet in elevation, outside Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s a peaceful place to enjoy the beauty of nature and a perfect setting for writing. We love taking long walks in our quiet neighborhood and enjoying the view from our patio, which stretches about 100 miles and allows us views of three different mountain ranges. Readers of Land of My Dreams will recognize the description of the view from Bonny’s New Mexico house.

My husband was already partially retired and working from home when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. That ended his part-time job, so he graciously stays busy while I write and work on book promotion. We enjoy heading out in our RV with my younger sister and her husband to Northern New Mexico. We took three big trips last year but this year’s travel plans are on hold until we see what direction the world is heading.

I remember that the inspiration for Land of my Dreams came when you and your husband visited Scotland for your thirtieth wedding anniversary. 

Yes, our anniversary trip was the inspiration for my first book. The second we stepped off the plane in Scotland, I felt as if I had come home. I kept dreaming about a man wearing a kilt and playing bagpipes on a misty hillside surrounded by sheep. When I broke my foot and ended up in a wheelchair for 8 weeks, Bonny and Kieran’s story was born.

Please tell us about your new release Within Golden Bands.

Here is the back cover copy for Within Golden Bands:

Newly married Bonny MacDonell finds the transition from American college professor to Scottish sheep farmer’s wife more difficult than she expected. When her miracle pregnancy ends in a devastating miscarriage, she fears her husband’s reaction will hurt more than the loss of their child.

But Kieran never shows up at the hospital. When found, he is beaten and unconscious. The only memory of his attacker is the words, “Get off my land.” Reeling from the threat to her husband and the loss of their child, Bonny struggles to hold her marriage together. Are faith and love enough to hold their fledgling marriage together?

Within Golden Bands is a deeply personal story and one that will touch many readers in a meaningful way. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

My husband and I have two grown children, both of whom are adopted. The topic of adoption plays a huge role in the plot of Within Golden Bands. The years of infertility doctors, and surgeries with no answers, left an indelible mark on us. This is a huge struggle for couples, no matter how long they have been married. We learned a lot about the faithfulness of God and the importance of being content as a couple and supportive of one another through that period of our lives. The couples we met chose many different ways of facing the decision of whether to pursue fertility treatments, adoption or remain childless. In our case, even though we discussed adoption before we married, my husband was ready first. The desire to be a mother is a difficult thing for any woman to surrender to God.

Our journey to parenthood took four years. We were married for eight years when we adopted our son. Our daughter came along 21 ½ months later. They have brought so much joy. It’s impossible to imagine life without them.

My favorite quote from the book is: “If we fail to accept what God sends with trusting hearts, we refuse His greatest blessings.”

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

As I said earlier, Within Golden Bands was a long time coming. Both our extended and immediate families went through some ups and downs that required attention. God has a perfect time for each book. I received two rejections and went through many rewrites before I heard the story God intended me to write. Part of the problem was listening to what other people thought. You have to write the story God places in your heart for the pieces to come together.

The topic of abortion has come to the forefront in the political arena again, so a story about people who choose life fits our times very well. Most people need to be more educated about adoption. I also discovered that feelings I thought I had dealt with over 35 years ago were still buried deep inside. Though Bonny and Kieran’s story is not ours, her character voices many of the emotions I experienced back then.

Also, like the characters in the book, we went through a major threat to our livelihood at the time began our second adoption. Things were pretty scary for a while and caused us to lean on the Lord because we were faced with a situation that left us powerless.

Where can readers find Land of my Dreams?

Both books are available on Amazon

Land of My Dreamshttps://www.amazon.com/Land-My-Dreams-Norma-Gail-ebook/dp/B01ENKEL02/

Within Golden Bands – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084TSQ432/

What are your social media sights?

You can follow me at:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNormaGail/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Norma_Gail

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/norma-gail-holtman-3b271a42/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/normagailth/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/normagailwrites/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7874459.Norma_Gail

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Norma-Gail/e/B00ILHXBAK/

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

It was my pleasure! Thank you for being there as a friend when my book was rejected and for sharing my love of all things Scottish!

 

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Our Security During  COVID-19

Posted by on Mar 28, 2020 in Blog, Commentary, Devotions, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Our Security During  COVID-19

March 28, 2020

Within the past few weeks, our lives have changed dramatically. The coronavirus or COVID-19 has impacted society at every level. It’s brought anxiety, confusion, illness, death and financial distress throughout our nation and the world.

How do we resist becoming isolated, fearful, discouraged, and frustrated during these times?

Isolation:

Television and radio entertain and keep us up to date with helpful news (as well as the junk we don’t need). Fortunately, we have access to a variety of technological means to keep us in touch with one another. Beyond telephones, texting, and emails, there is a myriad of social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. to help keep up to date with each other. Other tools such as Face Time, Zoom, Marco Polo, etc. provide visual and audible means of connecting professionally and personally.

Fear:

“God is our refuge and strength,  a very present help in trouble.

Psalms 46:1

 “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

He will cover you with his feathers,  and under his wings you will find refuge;
 his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.”

Psalms 91:2,4-6

fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. 

I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

2 Timothy 1:7

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

1Peter 5:7

“He says, ‘Be stilland know that I am God;”

Psalm 46:10

Discouragement, and Frustration:

 Roy Lessin has generously allowed me to share from his devotional Meet Me in the Meadow.

From August 3. 

“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.”

Meanwhile, we can

Pray:

For all medical providers, first responders, and all service industries serving on the front lines.

           For our families, friends, and neighbors.

           For our nation and the world.

           For our government and spiritual leaders

          For revival in our land

 

“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves

and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways,

then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

Give:

          If possible, be generous with others in service and or provision.

           Encourage others who are even more isolated.

           If able, donate blood since there’s a shortage.

 

Clothe ourselves spiritually:

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”     Ephesians 6:11-18 

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St. Patrick’s Breastplate

Posted by on Mar 17, 2020 in Blog, Devotions | Comments Off on St. Patrick’s Breastplate

St. Patrick’s Breastplate is a prayer attributed to Ireland’s patron saint. According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting Leoghaire, the King of Tara or High King of Ireland and his subjects, from paganism to Christianity.

 

 

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Reminiscent of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (6:11-18) 

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”  

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Cover Reveal For Book 3 in my Revolutionary War Series

Posted by on Mar 7, 2020 in Blog, Books, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cover Reveal For Book 3 in my Revolutionary War Series

I’m excited to reveal the cover for Setting Two Hearts Free, to be released in October of 2020.

 

Would their love survive the invisible wounds of war?

Here is the blurb:

Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him.

Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her.

Two hearts changed by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost, Setting Two Hearts Free?

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Meet Jodie Wolfe, Author of TAMING JULIA

Posted by on Feb 28, 2020 in Blog, Books | 2 comments

Taming Julia is Jodie Wolfe’s latest release.

Please tell us something about yourself, Jodie. Where were you raised and now live?

Hi Janet, thank you for having me here today. I was raised in Hershey, PA and now live about an hour away from there. Although when my husband was in the military we lived in Georgia, Ohio, and Germany.

What sparked your interest in writing?

My interest in writing was sparked as a second-grader when we were given an assignment to write a poem. Soon after, I wrote my first story about our pet dog, Ginger, attending Jimmy Carter’s inaugural ball. I was hooked and knew I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I would call myself a plottster. J While I do some plotting of each of my

stories, there’s always times when the characters take over, and I’m flying by the seat of my pants to keep up with them.

You’ve written several books, some published by traditional publishers, some independently. Please tell us about your writing journey.

Jodie’s workspace

My first book, Hearts Tightly Knit started because several of the contributors from the Stitches Thru Time blog decided to write an indie collection together. I had such positive feedback, that I wrote the sequel, Love in the Seams. Soon after I was contracted to write a novelette as part of a collection with Celebrate Lit Publishing, Let Love Spring. Next, I received a contract for my first full-length novel from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, To Claim Her Heart. In the midst of the editing process, I was contracted again (Celebrate Lit Publishing) for a sequel to my novelette. That story is part of The Hope of Christmas collection. When my full-length story finally released, I had many people ask me about the etiquette quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I put together 100 of these sayings in Mrs. Wigglesworth’s Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society. Then recently I was contracted for my second full-length novel, Taming Julia with White Rose Publishing. For each story, I pray that it will find the home where God wants it to be, whether it’s with a publisher, or something indie produced.

What do you find most challenging about being a writer? (research, plotting or organizing a story, marketing, or something else)

For me, the hardest part is the editing and marketing process. I love the research, plotting, and writing a story, coming up with characters and developing their story world.

Please tell us a little more about Taming Julia.

Here’s what the back cover says:

In 1875, Kansas bachelor Drew Montgomery’s sole desire is to serve God, but his congregation’s ultimatum that he marry or leave forces him to advertise for a wife by proxy.

Jules Walker strides into Drew’s life wearing breeches and toting a gun and saddle–more cowboy than a bride. After years on the trail, she’s not exactly wife material, but she longs for home and family and will do anything to ensure Drew never discovers what she really is.

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

I actually wrote this book almost eight years ago. Through the process of getting it accepted and into print, I’ve learned to trust God with His timing. Even when it seems like an answer is long in coming, we can trust and know that He hears us and is working.

Is there a message in the story you want readers to grasp? 

At the start of my novel, Jules Montgomery has no idea what it means to follow the Lord. Throughout the book, she learns more about God and who He is. She finds that each step of her life, the Lord has been calling her, wooing her to Him.

Through a series of events, she learns that she can trust God even in the midst of a dangerous situation. She can trust that He’s working in her life even when the outcome doesn’t have any hope of changing. In the same way, we can trust God to be working in our life. It’s important to have our heart seeking after Him. We can take comfort in Psalm 61:1-2 (KJV) “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Thank you so much, Jodie for being my guest. I know folks will enjoy your books.

It’s been my pleasure to be here! Thank you for inviting me.

Where can readers find your books?

https://www.amazon.com/Taming-Julia-Jodie-Wolfe-ebook/dp/B083L8MDD5/ref 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taming-julia-jodie-wolfe/1136004491?ean=9781522302711

https://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=37_46&sort=&filter_id=671&alpha_filter_id=0

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jodie_Wolfe_Taming_Julia?id=FH7IDwAAQBAJ

What are your social media sights?

Website: https://www.jodiewolfe.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jodie-wolfe

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jodie-Wolfe-553400191384913

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodieAWolfe

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15220520.Jodie_Wolfe

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jodie-Wolfe/e/B01EAWOHXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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