Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Peculiar People

Amy Michelle Wiley is another talented author I had the privilege of meeting a few weeks ago. She is from Washington State and the founder and director of Peculiar People, a group of special writers that includes several members of FaithWriters (www.faithwriters.com) as well as authors and artists from six different countries in the two published books; a seventh international contributor will be added in an upcoming project.

There were twenty-seven authors of the first compilation, Struggle Creek, and twenty-six of the second, Delivered. They've written two wonderful novels the likes of which have never been published before now. The third novel will bring a special element. For more information, visit: 

I just finished reading Struggle Creek,  and this community of "Peculiar People" delivered an entertaining book complete with interesting characters and intrigue - all tied up with a great ending. I look forward to reading Delivered.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Audition

Last October I published my very first article on A Softer Voice (thanks to Patty’s great teaching and a generous measure of perseverance on her part). It might as well have been typed, stuffed it into a tin can and buried in the back yard. Well, maybe nothing that drastic. After all, the other members of the Clearing the Blog Fog class knew it was there. It was also tagged with a few words that would draw a few unsuspecting surfers to this new endeavor.

The name of my blog tells the story. I’ve always struggled with whether to remain invisible or step forward. Do I audition for a solo, or wait for one to drop into my open rehearsal folder?

About four weeks ago this hide-and-seek dilemma resurfaced. I was posting to my blog, adding buttons and pictures, tiptoeing through the blogs of others and leaving calling cards. Suggestions of sites from other bloggers led to following and being followed. But I remained comfortably seated in the back of the room.

It was time to “audition” once again. Facebook was the next obvious choice for baring my heart and soul publicly. But would that be self-promotion or a genuine desire to witness through writing? It all came down to the right motivation.

Occasionally, when I seek an answer from God’s Word, I open my Bible and begin to read. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. On this particular Word search, my Bible opened to James 3:13-18 (NASB). Verse 14 addresses “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart” and warns that arrogance lies against the truth.

Ruling out bitter jealousy was easy. The “selfish ambition in your heart” put my Facebook debut temporarily on hold. I continued to read:

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every evil thing.
But the wisdom from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and
good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in
peace by those who make peace.”

Once again, Satan taunted me: “Be safe. Don’t put yourself out there. What if someone thinks you’re just looking for attention? What if someone doesn’t like what you’ve written? Are you sure you want to be called a hypocrite?”

Do I measure up to God’s heart standards? Not by a long shot. But I know my heart’s desire: Share God’s love and spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

Armed with God’s Word, I could say, “Get thee behind me,” to the discourager and, “Facebook, here I come,” to cyber space. The invitation to join Jewels of Encouragement (www.jewelsofencouragement.com) soon followed. Coincidence? Maybe.

Is something keeping you in the shadows when you should:

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NASB)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fun for the Younger Readers

Yvonne Blake taught "Tips and Tools for Writing Children's Literature" at the recent FaithWriters Conference. Her class was explained this way:

"Children's stories are more than cute animals and happy endings. Yvonne  Blake shows how to use basic literary techniques and reading-level word lists to make children want to read your sories, over and over again."

Follow the links below to two ebooks written by a lady who knows how to make reading fun for children (and, I must admit, for adults.)

Peeper and the Great Hawkins -

The Important Message -

Learn more about Yvonne's work here:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Introducing Debbie Dillon ...

I met Debbie Dillon during the on-line blogging class, Clearing the Blog Fog, taught by Patty Wysong. I became friends with Debbie through her writing --- online and in her new book (see below.)

Debbie Dillon is a Christian wife of 22 years, a mom to two teenagers, church secretary, a writer, author, blogger, coffee drinker, chocolate devourer and dog lover. When she's not out in the garden or burning dinner, she can be found at her blog, the "Writin' 4 Him Cafe."

She recently self published her first book, "Walking in Son-Light, A Small Collection of Thoughts to Encourage and Inspire," derived from her blog. (http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Son-Light-Debbie-Dillon/dp/125751850X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309568439&sr=1-1

Debbie finds the Lord's goodness in everything around her, and she shares it beautifully. I hope you'll order your copy today.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Her Safari

I had the privilege of meeting Lisa Mikitarian at the FaithWriters conference last weekend.

Lisa introduces her book, Her Safari, in the following video:


I'm halfway through Her Safari, and the stories are wonderful. Each one could stand alone as part of a book centered around that story's main character.

Congratulations, Lisa. You've written a great book!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In The Eye of Deception

When I read Nikki Rosen’s post at Jesus Boat Blog, Grace Made the Difference, I had to check out her blog, Gentle Recovery(http://www.gentlerecovery.webs.com/). Her book, In The Eye of Deception, won the Canadian Christian Writing Award. I’ve ordered her book and look forward to reading about her extraordinary journey. Nikki graciously agreed to provide the following information:
No Hope? Know Hope!!! In the Eye of Deception, an inspirational true story that shows nothing is impossible to overcome.
Not drugs, not an eating disorder, not self-harm, not panic attacks, not prison, not rape, not living on the streets with no money, no family and no hope. Nikki can say this because she was there.

Raised in a middle class Jewish family, she learned at a young age she had no right to exist. She lived wild, out of control, on life's edge.
She was told she could have a marginal life with professional intervention. She beat the odds - She did it with God's help. In the Eye of Deception is Nikki's story - a story of healing and redemption.

Reader Comments:

Lisa - I don't believe in co-incidence, your book came to me as a message of hope.

Stan - I couldn’t put the book down! If ever there were a must read, it is In The Eye of Deception, a truly phenomenal book by a truly phenomenal person and writer.

Janet - your book has helped me to open up and gave me so much hope! It has made a difference in my outlook on my situation.

Debby - In the Eye of Deception is a redemptive story of God's love. Not only that, Nikki is an excellent writer - among the ranks of Frank Peretti and Robin Parrish.

 To read the introduction and Reviews go to www.gentlerecovery.webs.com

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.”
(Psalm 121:5-8, NASB. Emphasis mine)

To say we are living in tense times could garner an award for the understatement of this century. Uncertainty has become the norm. Our future, finances, even our freedom, hang in the balance. Thankfully, the story does not end here.

We do have a Keeper and He is seated at the right hand of God. It's been said that when someone mentions your name in prayer, it is being spoken by the King of Kings in the very throne room of God. Your name uttered in the ear of our Creator. Our Advocate, our Keeper, never sleeps.

Maybe our days are not so uncertain after all.

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