Tag Archive | freedom to speak our minds

Breaking the Rules

I love sharing the work of my talented friends, and today I want to tell you all about the newest release from Emma Leigh Reed, “Breaking the Rules.”

This is contemporary women’s fiction at its finest!

Isabelle’s home-life is troubled, to say the least, and she has definitely hit rock-bottom. But this inspiring story will have you cheering her on as she comes to grips with the truths about her life and allows herself happiness–something she believed she never deserved.

Here’s a little more about the book:

Isabelle LaFayette tries to end her own life. Her failed attempt haunts her, along with her other past regrets and the inability to forgive herself, for what her mother calls a selfish act.

Jack Riley comes into Isabelle’s life and makes her feel alive, but believing she doesn’t deserve to be happy, she pushes him away. She must find the inner strength to confront the true source of her pain, or she’ll never be released from the bondage she’s encased herself in.

Isabelle needs to give herself permission to heal and break the rules that have been imprisoning her. It is the only way for her to find ultimate freedom from the past and piece her heart back together again.

 

 

The Twelfth Day of Christmas – Merry Christmas!!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Brooklyn Elizabeth

The greatest gift of all. A Baby born in a manger. Jesus Christ our Lord!

The wise men brought precious gifts and laid them before the baby. Sometimes we get caught up in the craziness of this season, but all we have to do is remember the reason why we celebrate and our joy should abound. We forget why we give gifts, but if you’re like me, I have more fun giving than receiving. Besides, once you’ve received the greatest Gift of all, what more do we need?

Even so, I’ll never forget the look on my mother’s face this morning when she opened the gift we gave her. I’d had it in my closet for almost a year, waiting for today. I found it at an antique mall in Gatlinburg, TN. She’s tried for years to add pieces to her dinnerware–Stangl Pottery, the thistle pattern. It’s hard to find, and when I saw this incredible platter, I bought it for her. I think it brought tears to her eyes. She said she didn’t even know that there was a platter in the set. It’s nice to know we gave her something she’ll cherish.

I hope that you’re enjoying your Christmas with family and friends and that you’ve welcomed the love of Christ into your heart. God bless you in the year to come!
Day #12On the Twelfth Day of Christmas,

My true love said “It’s Here!

The tree is full of presents, so you

Must have been a good girl all year!”

The time has come to announce this year’s 12 Days of Christmas winners. I’m so glad you were able to join us and I hope you enjoyed our posts about the holidays and how we love to celebrate. I also hope you found a book or two you were able to relax with as you sat by the fire in the twinkle of the tree lights and sipped a cup of hot cocoa.

Click HERE to go to the Rafflecopter where the 16 winners are listed. If you are a winner, please go to my contact page (click HERE) and send me your home address so I can mail you your prize this next week.

ON BEHALF OF ALL PARTICIPATING AUTHORS IN THIS YEAR’S BLOG HOP

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Thank You, Teachers

I have great admiration for people who dedicate their lives to educating children. It takes a special heart to have that passion that burns deep within, creating the desire to pass on knowledge.

Sometimes I think that teachers don’t realize the impact they make on lives. Or, maybe they do. But whatever the case might be, I want to share a few stories about how my life has been impacted by a number of teachers, but especially one in particular.

First I want to say that sometimes their influence can be negative. But luckily, that’s rare! My example is an experience from grade school. I had a PE teacher tell me that I was uncoordinated. Of course I believed him. Prior to that revelation, I loved to run. (I have very long legs!) After he said what he did, I essentially gave up on athletics. Even in high school when I grew to a height of six feet, I refused to go out for basketball. The basketball coach urged me to try, but I gracefully declined. Instead, I focused my energy on music and drama. And honestly, I was happy. I didn’t feel my life was cheated by not being in athletics. But I often wonder if I would have had a different attitude if that PE teacher had told me that I just needed to try a little harder and I would succeed.

So, enough about the negative.

My young mind begged to be filled with new ideas. I thank God for Mrs. Banks. She was my fourth grade teacher at Sherwood Elementary in Edmonds, Washington. Maybe someone else out there reading this was lucky enough to have her for a teacher. She encouraged me to push myself a little harder in every subject. From math to writing, and everything in between.

I moved away from Washington after fifth grade, but never lost touch with her. Every year we’ve exchanged Christmas cards and letters. When I wrote my first children’s story, I sent her a copy and she encouraged me to publish. I should have listened to her, but at that time I didn’t pursue it. Maybe I was a little scared. Still, she never gave up on me. Yesterday I received a wonderful note from her telling me that she can’t wait to read my novels. I wonder if she knows how much her encouragement pushed me to keep writing?

Thank you, Mrs. Banks, for being that incredible gem who genuinely cared about her students. Your heart is golden.

I want to also mention my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. McPeak. I was the new girl in town and she welcomed me with open arms, and warm hugs. She introduced me to my friend, Diane, who is still one of my best friends. Mrs. McPeak wasn’t afraid to tell us that God loves us. I know that’s frowned upon nowadays, but back then it was part of who she was, and something she felt compelled to share. She looked after us and even opened her home to us for a pool party during our summer break. Thank you, Mrs. McPeak, for being a bright light in my young life.

My love of history was impacted in high school thanks to Mr. Batchelder. He wasn’t the kind of teacher who stood in front of us and told us to read such-and-such a chapter. He brought history to life by telling us the stories. He put so much enthusiasm in his teaching that it made me want to learn more. It was obvious, he loved history. He passed that on to me. So, thank you, Mr. Batchelder, for inspiring me to write about what I love.

And to all those other teachers out there, know this. You’re impacting lives. Maybe you don’t know it now, but one little individualized comment could be the thing that pushes your student to do something incredible with their life. And if you happen to have one that trips over her own feet, just tell her to try a little harder and she’ll succeed.

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A Part of History

Our world is imperfect. No one can argue that point. We all have different opinions on many topics, and I’m incredibly thankful that we live in a country where we have the freedom to speak our minds. Many people around the world are not given that freedom.

I also have the freedom to write what I choose. This is an amazing blessing. When I started my career as an author I was compelled to write about southern history. Mainly Civil War era. To date I’ve completed seven books that take place during that time. Some are before the war, some after, and one takes place during the war.

I understand that the industry shies away from this time period and that they currently don’t wish to promote it. I also understand how difficult it is to discuss racial tensions and some of the terrible things that transpired in our country’s past. But something deep inside of me pushed me to write these stories. I feel that I handle the issues with respect, but I also do my best to be historically accurate–even though I’m writing fiction. Many of the events that my books are centered around are true. I love to blend fact with fiction. I think it’s important to keep major events true to history.

I may be frowned upon for treading on tender subject matter, but I believe it’s important that we don’t forget how things used to be. Hopefully by remembering, we can prevent those horrific things from happening again. It’s also important to remember that no matter how horrible things might be, people always find a way to love each other. My stories have happy endings, just as I hope that everyone reading them will find in their own lives.

I will always grasp onto hope and believe in the power of love. And I thank God every day for my freedom.

 

Civil War