Posts by Janet

MUSIC THAT LIFTS THE SOUL

Posted by on Apr 14, 2019 in Blog, Devotions, Uncategorized | 1 comment

There is something about music that draws us closer to God. So many hymns, as well as more contemporary pieces, touch my heart and intensify times of worship.

To celebrate Holy Week last year, I gathered an eclectic selection of music to listen to throughout the week, picking out special selections for each day. I had such fun doing this that I shared the links on my Facebook page. I share it now hoping it will bring you joy and draw you closer to Jesus this week.

Palm Sunday ~ All Glory, Laud and Honour  ~  King’s College Cambridge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHN8UAk6Yow

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

http://praiseandworshiplyricsandchords.blogspot.com/2009/08/my-redeemer-lives-mullen-music-and.html

Monday ~ In Heavens Eyes ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=389e0aLJJzU

Shine Jesus Shine by Hillsong (with Lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OIwSQmyCg4

Tuesday ~I Can Only Imagine  ~ Bart Millard Mercy Me

https://www.facebook.com/icanonlyimaginemovie/videos/10156154869184810/

The Prayer ~ Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb8Z_6HVutk

Wednesday ~ The Lord of sea and sky  ~ National Youth Choir of Scotland-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcL9S5a3weU

I’ve Just Seen Jesus  ~ Sandi Patti Larnell Harris

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yLgtd_kkxw

Thursday ~  For Zions Sake ~  Marty Goetz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtKBZRJcEVM

Mary Did You Know 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPsgIhlYQmM

Friday ~Via Dolorosa  ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7asEdmZsSPo

The Lords Prayer sung by Andrea Bocelli

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50dLkv7v2TQ

Saturday ~

Jesus through the Bible !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upyJ6smkv9g&feature=youtu.be

Messiah Hallelujah Choir ~Naval Academy Glee Club

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTWQnsYARm8

Sunday ~ Crown Him With Many Crowns  ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLXRU1Vdauw

He’s Alive  ~  Dolly Parton

https://www.facebook.com/DollyParton/videos/10153640169959755/

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15dmjnB8FZU

 

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War’s Respite and Love’s Kindling

Posted by on Jan 24, 2019 in Blog, Book Reviews, Books, History | 6 comments

I’m pleased to feature Elaine Cooper the author of several Revolutionary War period books. Her Deer Run trilogy, Saratoga Letters and Fields of the Fatherless, all stories that linger in your mind long after you’ve read them.

Last week the first two stories of her Dawn of America Series set in Revolutionary War Connecticut released War’s Respite, a prequel novella, and Love’s Kindling.

What inspired you to write the Dawn of America Series?

“A ‘chance’ discovery while researching online revealed a historical incident that occurred during the American Revolution in Connecticut: The British troops attacked three towns along Long Island Sound in 1779. I had never heard of these battles before and was amazed by the significance of them. Yet the stories of the residents of New Haven, Fairfield, and Norwalk, Connecticut, seemed buried in the annals of history. I couldn’t wait to unearth the past, set in a fictional format!”

That reminds me a bit of Fields of the Fatherless, another little-known but significant event that took place at the same time of the battles of Concord and Lexington.

What made you decide to start the series with a prequel novella?

When I signed my contract with Burnett Young Books, the publisher wanted Book 1 to be a Prequel to Book 2, Love’s Kindling. I’d never written a prequel before and I found it completely enjoyable to go deeper into the back story of my characters. That’s how War’s Respite was birthed, as an introduction to the entire 4-book series.

War’s Respite

In 1763, the war with the French came to a close. While most Connecticut colonists breathed in relief, others are faced with unexpected conflicts as battles of a different nature ensue at home.

Veteran Abijah Whitney regrets leaving his pregnant wife behind when he was called away to war. The news of her death during childbirth, as well as the ugly brutalities of war, have left their mark. His only comfort is the knowledge that his daughter survived. But his plans for her upon his return will cause an uproar in many lives, including the aunt who raised her.

Primrose Allan’s sole consolation after the death of her sister in childbirth is the baby girl who lived. The aunt raises the girl as her own, fearing that one day the girl’s father might return for her. But Primrose never imagined the nightmare that would ensue.

Dr. Isaac Northrup is a friend caught in the middle of the turmoil. Always desiring to bring healing, he feels helpless in the events that cause pain and heartache to others, as well as himself.

Jonas Wooding, the town’s blacksmith, is caught in the strife, made all the worse by a serious epidemic. Bound by constrictions of local law and forced to face his own grief, Jonas’s trust in God is stretched beyond endurance.

When all seems lost, will faith endure?

War’s Respite drew me in immediately. Elaine’s thorough research of history was evident. She presented intriguing characters with overwhelming circumstances that kept me turning the pages to find out how they would be solved.

Love’s Kindling

During the American Revolution in 1779, Aurinda Whitney lives with her cold and calloused father, an embittered veteran of the previous war. Aurinda’s life changed forever when her father returned for her after that war, taking her away from the only place she’d ever experienced affection. Since her father blamed Aurinda for the death of his wife in childbirth, Aurinda is convinced she is unworthy of love.

Zadok Wooding believes he is a failure as he tends the smithy at home while others go to battle against the British. Just when he has an opportunity to become a hero, he is blinded in an accident. Now he fears he will never live up to the Biblical “mighty man of valor” for whom he was named.

When the couple meet they are both challenged to overcome adversity as well as their inadequacies. Unexpected secrets of their past emerge that can change their lives forever. But can they look past their present circumstances to heal—and find love?

Love’s Kindling is another well-researched Revolutionary War story filled with engaging characters, war action, broken relationships, and budding romance. The characters are plagued by the war around them but also battle emotional and physical challenges which threaten their growing attraction. The issues they face are not relegated to the eighteenth century, they’re timeless. There are faith lessons readers will remember long after the story ends.

We will have to wait for Books 3 Winter’s Ravage and  4 Courier’s Return. 

 

Elaine Marie Cooper has two E-book releases January 18, 2019: War’s Respite (Prequel novella) and Love’s Kindling. Paperback version of Love’s Kindling will be available. These books are the first two novels in the Dawn of America Series set in Revolutionary War Connecticut. Cooper is the award-winning author of Fields of the Fatherless and Bethany’s Calendar. Her 2016 release (Saratoga Letters) was finalist in Historical Romance in both the Selah Awards and Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She penned the three-book Deer Run Saga and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. You can visit her website/ blog at www.elainemariecooper.com

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“Therefore encourage one another …

Posted by on Jan 17, 2019 in Blog, Book Reviews, Books, Uncategorized | 6 comments

and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Fiction writers typically write in isolation. Well, except for the company they keep with their characters. We create, edit, and submit our stories to agents and publishers. We wait and hope someone else will see value in our work.

Authors are often filled with self-doubt.

If the story is published, then we spend time, effort, and money to publicize our work. We pursue a myriad of different ways to get the word out whether it’s through social media, advertising, contests, donations, articles, etc.

Sometimes … well, a lot of the time, it feels like self-promotion, which can be a real struggle for an introvert. So many authors are introverts.

Promoting our stories is essential, not only because we want to sell books, but others like agents and publishers have also invested time, effort, and capital in them.

 I’ll confess before I wrote books, I never submitted book reviews. I do now and I’m so thankful when a reader takes the time to write a review of one of my stories. It is a valuable and important way to bring attention to them.

            Did I mention that authors are often filled with self-doubt?

I’ve been finishing the third story in a series, one that has been a struggle but very close to my heart. I wonder—what if no one wants to publish it … or read it?  

 Often when I’m in the midst of wondering if this call to write is real, someone tells me how much they liked my stories. I think God prompts people to encourage others at just the right time in just the right way.

Yesterday, each of my books received unexpected words of praise from two different sources, and it meant the world to me.

In the morning, someone said they really enjoyed A Heart For Freedom and they were looking forward to reading the next book.

In the afternoon, I read this Amazon review about A Heart Set Free.

“If you enjoyed Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly, you will love A Heart Set Free. It is a story of desperation, hope, love, and forgiveness. I found myself totally enthralled by this story. The characters came to life off the pages and the descriptions had me visualizing each and every scene. This could totally be a movie. I can’t wait to begin reading book 2 in the series, A Heart for Freedom. I highly recommend this book.”

My husband makes beautiful musical instruments. I have friends and family who are amazing artists, fine writers, great bloggers, and others have exceptional gifts in the arts, academia, and even a beautiful ballerina. They all share their gifts with others.

Encouragement means so much. Perhaps someone you know needs cheering on. If you’re prompted, give them that gift. It might be just the moment they need it most.

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THE PHILOSOPHER’S AWAKENING ~ A CHRISTMAS ALLEGORY

Posted by on Dec 22, 2018 in Devotions | 2 comments

THE PHILOSOPHER’S AWAKENING

Over thirty years ago, I first read THE PHILOSOPHER’S AWAKENING by Mabel Lee Cooper. In the years since I’ve heard this Christmas allegory read by Paul Harvey, the well known American radio broadcaster, famous for his “‎The Rest of the Story” broadcasts several times. I’m sharing it now with you.  I wish you a blessed Christmas.

It was Christmas Eve. Outside the wind howled and the snow was falling; a dreadful blizzard was on the way. Inside his little house by the side of the road, a great philosopher sat comfortably by his warm fire with his books for companions. This philosopher was very wise. Many people found their way to his door to seek his advice and help. Not only was he wise, but also very kind; he loved all living creatures, and for his great kindness and wisdom he was beloved by all who knew him.

As he sat this stormy night by his warm fire he thought of all who might be out in the blizzard. He arose, raised his curtains high, and put a bright light in his window, saying, “All who must be out tonight can find shelter and warmth and welcome by my fire.”

As he stood by the window, suddenly he heard the sound of many voices singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men!” It was the little band of Christians singing in their chapel nearby.

“This is Christmas Eve”, thought the philosopher to himself, “the night the Christians celebrate the coming of God to earth in the person of Jesus Christ.”

Now this philosopher, being in the habit of understanding the things he believed, had not joined the band of Christians. He thought the Christians’ way of life was the best way, but he could not understand the many mysteries of their faith. Above all, he could not understand the Incarnation. Why was it necessary for God to come to earth in the person of Jesus Christ? How could it be? Because he could not understand these things he would not become a Christian.

As he was thinking, suddenly he heard a noise at his window, caused by a flock of half-frozen birds beating their wings against his window pane. The poor birds had been caught in the blizzard as they journeyed southward to a warmer climate.

Birds in the Snow

The heart of the philosopher was touched, for he loved birds.  He opened wide his window, thinking the birds would fly in where there was warmth. But the birds didn’t understand, and would not fly in. Putting on his warm fur coat, he went outside, determined to save them if he could. He tried to force them into his room, but they resisted. Several times he tried to clutch them in his hands, but they eluded his grasp. Then he took bread crumbs and scattered them on a little place he had cleared in the snow. The half-starved birds devoured the crumbs, and then, with renewed strength, tried to fly again.

The philosopher thought of his barn where the birds would be safe in the warm hay. He placed a ladder leading to the door of the barn and covered each round of the ladder with bread crumbs. He succeeded in attracting the birds to the ladder. They ate the crumbs on each round and reached the open door of the barn. But they wouldn’t fly in! How hard the philosopher tried to force them inside, but they didn’t understand; and in spite of his efforts he saw the birds drop, one by one, frozen to death, with a haven so close at hand.

The philosopher looked sadly at the birds he had tried so hard to save. “The great difference between the birds and myself,” he thought, “is that I know where a haven is; they did not. They did not understand that I was trying hard to save them, and I could not make them see that the haven was close by. There was only one way I could have saved them ― only by becoming a bird could I have made them understand!”

As he mused, suddenly he heard again the Christians singing: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”

Then a great light seemed to come to the wise philosopher. “O God,” he cried, “there was no other way for You to make men understand ― no other way that even You could lead them and make them understand, save by becoming one of them!”

And then, in the drifting snow, he fell upon his knees and uttered from the depths of his soul, “I believe! I believe!”

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Shannon McNear’s The Cumberland Bride

Posted by on Oct 11, 2018 in Blog, Book Reviews, Books | 7 comments

Shannon McNear’s debut novel The Cumberland Bride was released the same day my second story, A Heart For Freedom.

I met Shannon several years ago at an American Christian Fiction Writer’s (ACFW) Conference and couldn’t be more delighted for her.

The Cumberland Bride is compelling read about a family’s journey through the Cumberland Gap in the closing years of the 18th century. I found myself following their journey on a map. It is filled with engaging and courageous characters, action, adventure, romance, and struggle. Ms. McNeer has done her research and has given us a well-written debut novel. I’m looking forward to her next story.

 Is she too naive to survive the journey,  or will she discover a strength no one knows she has?

2014 RITA® nominee with Defending Truth from A Pioneer Christmas Collection
The Counterfeit Tory (Backcountry Brides Collection), May 2018 & The Cumberland Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower series), October 2018
Represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency
shannonmcnear.com

 

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