Friday, November 29, 2019

Celebrate Lit: The Melody of the Mulberries

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.




Author interview


1.Will you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in a small community in Ohio.  My parents were both West Virginia born, so I spent a great deal of time in the Appalachians.  When I met my husband, he was finishing college in Colorado, so, after getting married, I relocated to Cowboy Country.  Most of my career has been spent in various ministry positions.  I also taught school for a brief time in Colorado, which I loved.  Sometimes I still have dreams about teaching school, and, in those dreams, I am almost always laughing. Before moving to South Africa, nine years ago, my husband and I operated a retreat facility for missionaries.  Living in South Africa is amazing.  Each day is an adventure.  We mostly work in rural areas partnering with local pastors and facilitating feeding and educational programs.


2. What is your latest book about?


The Melody of the Mulberries is the second book in The Big Creek Series. The books are connected by the Ashby sibling’s lives in Appalachia, but they also stand alone. They are set in the West Virginia mountains in the late 1920s The Melody of the Mulberries centers around two siblings: Ernest and Coral Ashby. Ernest is a schoolteacher in a rural area. He has fallen in love with his brother’s widow. A previous love interest enters the picture. Ernest is challenged in his faith walk to make good choices and to stand firm in his beliefs. He is not sure whether what suits him best is God’s will for him. Coral is sixteen years old. She feels like God is directing her to visit the family nemesis who is currently stewing in prison in Charleston.  Charlie has committed several grievous crimes against family members so her desire to extend forgiveness to him causes her siblings grief and consternation.


3. Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? If so, what was the most interesting thing you learned?


Research is an important part of my writing. I want the historical facts to be correct, and I also want to incorporate intriguing information especially about nature. One of the most interesting things I learned is that male snakes have two penises.  I also learned that a mother bear will use flatulence to direct her cubs. It was amazing to learn about the rich ginger root farms and the once dense population of parrots in the area. Including these elements into my story makes it more amazing than what my imagination alone might have dreamed up. The Appalachian folk sayings placed at the beginning of each chapter come from research and from personally hearing some of them. I enjoyed placing these in juxtaposition against so many comforting hymn lyrics.


4. Where do you like to write?


I mostly like to write late in the evenings in bed.  I prop myself up with two or three pillows, sip on slightly sweetened Rooibos tea, and create characters and their stories to entertain myself.


5. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?


Okay, I don’t pre-plan my writing.  When I taught school, I stressed repeatedly to the students that a planning piece was essential to good writing, yet I create as I go. Thankfully, I can write quickly enough so as not to lose the names of characters and places, the season they’re in, and where they’re going. Another quirk may be that I mention nature, body parts, and functions in the course of spiritual decisions and humor as they may be appropriate to the story. And I may have another quirk, just one, if you’ll indulge me. It’s in writing the accents of West Virginia. I often use “was’ and “had” because it fits the cultural dialogue and just the way they think. My editors had a hay day trying to decide what was backstory jargon and what was needin’ to be included as Appalachian jargon. I guess, I’m also one of those who likes to reset the stage with a line of backstory from time to time.


6. What do you like to do when you're not writing?


I am passionate about reading.  I also like horseback riding.  My husband I take weekly riding lessons. I enjoy cooking, entertaining, and sharing ideas with other women. I speak at events during the year where I encourage and train women for living. My book, Soothing Rain, is a mentoring book for believers to use in this way with another woman or group of women.


7. Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet?


I’d like to go to Madagascar and see the lemurs. 


8. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?


My favorite verses change all the time.  Currently I’m studying an unusual verse, “And seven women shall take hold of one man.” (Isaiah 4:1)  A number of rural pastors in South Africa believe that it’s okay for one man to have seven wives. The Bible is full of surprises, and I love the interplay of God’s Word with times of life and culture wherever I go.


9. Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?


My favorite song is It’s a Wonderful World.  I have two favorite movies: Simon Birch and Secondhand Lions.  I also like Slum Dog Millionaire.


10. What are some nonfiction books you found impactful?


I am constantly reading books on Christian leadership and biblical commentaries.  I am also very moved by books on the Viet Nam conflict.


11. What is your favorite holiday?


My favorite holiday is South African Women’s Day.  Women and young girls are often oppressed in the South African culture.  Women’s Day is the perfect time to teach women about God’s great love for them.


12. What is your favorite season and why is it your fav?


Fall in America.  The mid-west foliage is breathtaking.  Pumpkin patches bring out the child in me, and roadside stands selling the last of the season vegetables remind me of my mom harvesting her final garden crop of the season and tilling the soil under in preparation for spring.


13. Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?


There might be a third book in The Big Creek Series, featuring one of the older Ashby siblings.


14. Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?


I believe that the foundation of life is a spiritual one, and I have built my foundation on the Lord of the Bible.  On that foundation, big dreams and giant adventures should be launched and enjoyed. My web page is www.tonyajewelblessing.com.

About the Book


Book: The Melody of the Mulberries
Author: Tonya Jewel Blessing
Genre:  Historic Southern Romance
Release Date: September 16, 2019

This sequel is set in the late 1920s Appalachia, where granny witches and spiritualism often show the path for wanderers to take, especially in matters of the heart.
Coral sat in contemplation under a mulberry tree. It was spring, and the fragrant female blossoms promised the mid-summer arrival of first white, then pink, then crimson, and finally deep purple berries. The white berries were hard and tart and enjoyed by the quail, wild turkeys, mocking birds, and blue jays. The blackish purple berries were soft and sweet – perfect for pies and jams.
When the berries turned white, Coral would thank the good Lord for providing food for the birds, and when the berries ripened she would thank the good Lord for the sweetness savored in her mouth and curse the birds for wanting more than their share.

Where Emerald Ashby’s story leaves us in the last pages of The Whispering of the Willows, pure and innocent sixteen-year-old Coral Ashby’s story begins. Like the changing mulberries, Appalachian siblings Coral and Ernest Ashby, navigate their lives and loves through the Spanish Flu epidemic, poverty, and various as sundry prejudices. Coral is determined to visit the family nemesis, Charlie, who now stews in prison.When Ernest’s previous love interest, Mercy, returns to the holler of Big Creek, she discovers that Ernest has a new romantic attraction. He is singing a melody for Charlotte, the older Ashby brother’s widow. No matter, Mercy has brought along her own spiritual tools to circumvent the inconvenience and a special friend who guides her way.

Accompanied by friends and foes, matters of the heart complicate life for Coral and Ernest. Relationships must be journeyed carefully.



Click here to get your copy!

About the Author



More about Tonya Jewel Blessing: Growing up Tonya spent numerous vacations and holidays in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. Most of her adult life has been spent in full time ministry with a focus on helping women. She has traveled nationally and internationally as a conference speaker. For a number of years, Tonya and her husband operated a retreat facility in Colorado for pastors and missionaries. She and her husband currently live in South Africa. They are the founders and directors of Strong Cross Ministries, a non-profit organization that assists local churches, pastors, cross-cultural workers, and others in Christian leadership in providing spiritual reconciliation and humanitarian relief to the poorest in the world. Tonya writes monthly devotionals for women in ministry. She is the award-winning novelist of The Whispering of the Willows, which is Book 1 of the Big Creek Series. She is the co-author of Soothing Rain, a discussion starter handbook/devotional that provides women with important tools for sharing biblical truth.

More from Tonya

Greetings From Author Tonya Jewel Blessing
The Melody of the Mulberries is book two in the Big Creek Series. Both books are set during the late 1920s in the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia. The Appalachian Mountains were untamed in the 1920s and remain so in part today. The wonder of the hills is breathtaking, magnificent, and glorious. The term “wild wonderful West Virginia” was used as early as 1969 before being adapted in the 1970s as the state slogan. In 1937, my mother, Virginia Ashby, was born in the rural hills of West Virginia. She spent several of her formative years in an area known as Big Creek. I have borrowed my mother’s maiden name, several names from her past, and the name Big Creek. The morning mist hanging in the lowlands, the dew on the ground, along with the green of spring and the deep red, sparkling gold, and brilliant oranges of fall draw me visually, emotionally, and on some level spiritually to its feral fascination. John Denver recorded in his tribute to West Virginia, “Take me home country roads to the place I belong…” Certainly, there are seasons in my life where I long for the steep, curvy country roads of my youth. This is one deeply satisfying reason for writing about hope with connections to West Virginia, a life held close to my heart. It is a pleasure and an honor to share this story with the Celebrate Lit family. My southern story is an authentically derived historical romance for young adults and for women of all ages who love Appalachian lore and West Virginia history. It contains some depictions of spiritualism and traditional Christianity during the 1920s in West Virginia. It continues with the inter-racial dealings between two communities, where, some are friends and some are foes. If anyone would enjoy a free sample of the first audiobook, The Whispering of the Willows, please go to the link and click “play sample”.  This amazing voice actress, Courtney Patterson, will start reading you my story so that you will feel like you are eavesdropping on the Ashby family. Enjoy! Enjoy an excerpt from Tonya’s first book in the series, The Whispering of the Willows, here.

Blog Stops

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Tonya is giving away the grand prize package of a special pillow and reader’s choice of an eBook or Audiobook of The Whispering of the Willows!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Review: Smoke Screen by Terri Blackstock

(This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.)




About the Book


Book: Smoke Screen
Author: Terri Blackstock
Genre:  Christian Suspense
Release Date: November 5, 2019

One father was murdered, and another convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.

Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado home town. His mother begs him to come to Carlisle now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.

Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down, people assumed it was Nate getting even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left Carlisle without looking back.

Now, Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and she’s dealing with a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.

As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.



Click here (affiliate link) to get your copy.    

About the Author



Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of InterventionVicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com; Facebook: tblackstock; Twitter: @terriblackstock  

Excerpt from Smoke Screen

I woke up in a blinding bright room, my clothes off and something clamped to my face. I tried to reach it, but I couldn’t bend my right arm, and my hand stung. An IV was taped to my other hand, but I moved carefully and touched the thing over my face. An oxygen mask. I tried to sit up. “What happened?” T-bird came to my bedside, a sheen of smoky sweat still soiling his face. “Nate, lie back, man.” “The fire,” I said. “Need to get back. My men.” “They’re still there. Making progress. But you’re not going anywhere near a fire for a month or so.” I took the mask off and coughed a little, but managed to catch my breath. “A month?” “Yep. Second degree burns on 20 percent of your body. Some of the burns are deep.” It came back to me, the event that had gotten me here. “The family. Were they injured?” “Not a scratch or burn. Turns out it was a U.S. Senator from Kansas. He says you’re a hero.” “You know I had no choice. They were in the path—” “Take the praise where you can get it, man. We don’t get that much.” I looked at my right side. My right arm was bandaged, and so was my side and down my right leg to the point where my boots had stopped the flames. Second degree wasn’t so bad, I told myself. Third degree would have been brutal. I’d be able to leave the hospital soon. I’d heal. “I won’t need a month,” I said. “Yes, you will. They can’t let you go back. Doctor’s orders. You’re grounded until he releases you.” I managed to sit up, but it was a bad idea. The burns pulling on my skin reminded me why I shouldn’t. “I can’t be grounded during fire season. Are you crazy? I need to be there. You don’t have enough men as it is.” “Sorry, Nate. It is what it is. Why don’t you go home to Carlisle for a while? Take it easy.” Go home? Pop had just been pardoned, and he and my mom were trying to navigate the reunion. Though she would love to have me home, I didn’t know if I was up to it. My father could be challenging, and fourteen years of prison hadn’t done him any favors.   Taken from “Smoke Screen” by Terri Blackstock. Copyright © 2019 by Terri Blackstock. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

Blog Stops

As He Leads is Joy, November 9
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 9
CarpeDiem, November 9
Fiction Aficionado, November 10
KarenSueHadley, November 10
Quiet quilter, November 10
Among the Reads, November 11
Genesis 5020, November 11
A Reader’s Brain, November 11
Robin’s Nest, November 12
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 12
Bigreadersite , November 12
Blogging With Carol , November 12
Betti Mace, November 13
Spoken from the Heart, November 13
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 13
Emily Yager, November 13
By The Book, November 14
For Him and My Family, November 14
Splashes of Joy , November 14
Andrea Christenson, November 15
Just the Write Escape, November 16
Mary Hake, November 16
Remembrancy, November 17
Simple Harvest Reads, November 17 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
EmpowerMoms, November 17
Blessed & Bookish, November 18
Older & Smarter, November 18
Inklings and notions, November 18
amandainpa , November 19
Pause for Tales, November 19
Hallie Reads, November 20
Cathe Swanson, November 21
All 4 and About Books, November 21
Batya’s Bits, November 22
Livin’ Lit, November 22
Texas Book-aholic, November 22
janicesbookreviews, November 22
My Rating:
4.5 stars
Review:

Smoke Screen was a very good suspense read from Terri Blackstock. I've read and loved several of her previous novels, so I was eager to read this one. It didn't disappoint. While I didn't certain aspects of the story (not a fan of stories with divorce), I did enjoy the story overall.

I liked how the main characters were sweethearts in their youth, so they had a second chance at love...that was cute. Also, the mystery was entertaining and held my interest. I didn't expect everything that happened.

All in all, Smoke Screen was a great read and I recommend it to fans of Christian thrillers. The book does deal with alcoholism.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Celebrate Lit Tour: Are You in the Game or in the Way? Interview with the author!



About the Book


Book: Are You in the Game or in the Way?Author: Ross Holtz
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Pastoral Resources
Release Date: March 10, 2017



Are You in the Game or in the Way?


A men’s ministry reality check: What is standing in the way of a vital men’s ministry in your church? 

The guy who should be at the forefront is often in the way of the program getting off the ground. 

·         Are you, as pastor, the main obstacle to the growth of a vital men’s ministry? 
·         Are you the guy who wants to start a men’s ministry in your church but don’t know how? 
·         Is fear or a sense of inadequacy keeping you from starting such a ministry? 

Pastor Ross Holtz tells his personal story of how he became a catalyst for growth, instead of an impediment will inspire pastors and men’s ministry leaders. 

What works, what doesn’t, and what is required in forming a vital men’s ministry. Practical and honest teaching filled with relevant and tested examples from recognizing the problem to finding the fix.  

Pastor Ross Holtz is a man who has earned the right to speak on ministering to and through men . . . One man’s journey from being a sceptic to a fully-engaged pastor who sees the power of a clear ministry to and through men . . . Pastor Ross bares his heart, and is, at times, brutally honest in a way that will resonate.  

—Chuck Stecker, president, A Chosen Generation

Click here (affiliate link) to get your copy.

About the Author



Geoffrey Ross Holtz, DD, is founding and senior pastor of The Summit (ECFA) in Enumclaw. He was awarded “Pastor of the Year” in 2014 by the National Coalition of Ministries for Men. Ross and his wife, Athena, the founder and publisher of Redemption Press, have a blended family of eight adult children and seventeen grandchildren and enjoy time spent sailing.  
 

More from Ross

I’ve been asked to tell something about myself or tell a personal story. I’m not adverse to talking about myself, but I’d rather tell you a very personal story. There was a show on television, maybe still is I guess, called Overhaulin’. The plot of the show was that each week they would sneak a person’s car away from them, with family help, and overhaul it to make it really cool. It was every car-guy’s dream; to have someone restore a vehicle for you, that was special to you. And to restore it at their expense; Wow, doesn’t get cooler than that. I never was on that show, but I have a story that I want to tell you. It was late summer in 2014. I had just remarried after having lost my wife of 49 years awhile before. The church that I pastor was having a car show as a community outreach on this particular Sunday. The day had started out rather weird. Several people seemed to be inordinately interested in my movements and where I was going to be as we set up the show. “Oh, Ross, you need to go into the church, someone is looking for you.” Or, “Hey Ross, would you run get this for us across town?” Yeah, weird things. But I obliged and made myself scarce for the time leading up to the church service before the car show officially started. So, we do the obligatory service; it ends, and my new wife and I start walking through the grassy field looking at the custom and restored vehicles that had come to the show. I, as is my style, was meandering along the cars talking to people I knew and folks with their fancy cars. Athena, my wife, seemed to be hurrying me along which was not like her at all. And, which was like me, I was just strolling along enjoying the cars. Then, down the row a few cars, I spot the open hood of a 1961 Chev pickup. That year had a very distinct hood which was used only one year. “Oh, look at that. I had a truck like that years ago. Wow, and look at that, it’s yellow. Isn’t that gorgeous.” Funny, I failed to see the horde of people and cameras set up in front of that vehicle, all looking towards me. Anyway, I hurriedly moved towards it and recognized it as a limited addition of that year’s Chevy truck. I said, “Hey look at that. It’s the same model that I had. That’s not your normal ’61.” I wondered if someone had restored my old truck. I must give a bit of back story on my old truck. It had been purchased new in Los Gatos, California by my dad. He had needed someone to drive it home so he pulled my out of school to do that. I was 14. My father was not a stickler for legal technicalities. So I was the first to drive his new truck. It was new, but it was ugly. It was painted an ugly shade of puce. I mean it was really an awful color. My mother called it “Rosebud” because it reminded her of some kind of flower. In 1975 my dad gave me the truck because he had no further use for it. So I drove it until about 1988 when it was totally worn out. So I sold Rosebud to a friend named Randy who had plans to restore it eventually. I sold it with the understanding that if he should he ever sell it, I’d get first right of refusal. Fast forward Twenty-five years. A bunch of guys were sitting around a campfire talking and Randy announces that he’s moving to another state and getting rid of everything he owns. “What about my truck? Are you taking it with you?” “Oh,” he said, “I gave that truck away a while back.” Those who were there said I looked disappointed, or something. I don’t remember feeling that, but it was said. Now, back to the story. I was looking at this beautiful truck, wondering if it was the same truck, when I saw Randy on the other side of it. “Randy, you son of a gun, you restored my truck.” He said, “It’s your truck.” “Yes, I can see that. You’ve done a beautiful job with her. But why didn’t you tell me?” He said once more with strong emphasis, “It is your truck.” “Are we playing games?” I wondered out loud. And, to make it more cruel, someone had entered the truck in the show under my name. That wasn’t nice. I was not very situationally aware at that moment. I didn’t see all the cameras and people that were focused on me. People were laughing and cheering. I didn’t notice. I was focused on the pickup that had been my dad’s. It took them four or five time to finally get across to me that this beautiful bright yellow, completely restored truck was a gift from the men of the church to me. Randy had given it to the men’s ministry of The Summit with the request that they make it new for me as a gift for nearly 30 years of ministry to the church. Dozens of men had spent 18 months completely disassembling and rebuilding it from the ground up. It now had a fresh corvette motor, disc brakes, power steering, and a custom paint job. I had been Overhauled. Not by Chip Fouse, but by a group of men, and boys, who cared enough for me to invest months of blood sweat and tears. Not to mention the thousands of dollars it took. I wept. I still weep when I think about it. One final part of the story that needs telling. I remarried after Cathy died, as her instructions (another story). I guess I didn’t wait long enough for some people, or something. People, about 100 people, abandoned me and left the church. They might not call it abandonment, but I do. I asked some of the more prominent people, “Is there a sin issue here?” “No,” They said, “We just don’t think it’s good for the church for you to remarry.” As you might imagine, it was an extremely painful time for this 67-year-old guy. I had found another person to finish off my life with, which I didn’t think possible, and some people considered it wrong for me to do. They didn’t consider my feelings, and needs, only thinking of  theirs. Or so it seemed. But all the while this tragedy was taking place, a whole bunch of good and committed friends, were investing their time and efforts, in secret, to rebuild my dad’s old Chevy truck. All the time I was in such pain, these good men were giving up evenings and weekends to do this wonderful thing for me. Isn’t that like God? Sometimes while we are in the dregs of misery, He is working, unseen, to bless us, to encourage us, and to show His love for us.

Author Interview


1. Will you tell us a little about yourself?

In recent years, I’ve applied the appellation D.O.G. to my biography, Distinguished Older Gentleman. I have been a pastor for about 45 years, with a couple of years off along the way. Education, well learning in general, has always been important to me. I was recently awarded a second doctorate by Colombia Evangelical Seminary. Yeah, I guess I’m bragging a bit… well, it was a great deal of work, eh?

I am conservative both in my religious views and my political ones. 

I am, I think, the classic ‘family’ man. I married young and was married 49 years to my first wife, until the time of her death. I married a second time because I like being married and dislike being alone. 

I have always had a love/hate relationship with writing. I love it when I’m in the middle of a project or finishing one. I hate it when I am seeking a topic and trying to set the time aside to do it. 

2. What is your latest book about?

My book is about the tensions and problems between senior pastors and the men trying to establish a ministry for men. I have years of experience from all sides of this issue and have seen some solutions that have enabled churches to overcome those tentions. 

3. Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? If so, what was the most interesting thing you learned?

I didn’t have to do a ton of research, I have been in ministry more than 45 years and have seem most of the common problems that local churches face. I wrote about what I’d experienced and spoke of solutions I’ve seen work. 

Since I was writing to things I have had years of experience with, I didn’t find much that I didn’t know. But, I have been surprised by people’s reaction to my offered solutions. I guess for some people, if it isn’t their idea it doesn’t have much value.

4. Where do you like to write?

Tampa, Florida would be a nice place to write. But since that isn’t possible for me, I have an upstairs study that gives me peace and quiet, and, has an interesting view over the old neighborhood in which I live. I like to feel connected to the outside world when I’m writing, so windows and fresh air are critical. 

I have a very large overstuffed chair that I sit in and I have lots of books and familiar things around me. 

5. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I smoke a cigar when I write. I don’t know if that is interesting or not, but I consider it a quirk. I find the cigar helps me stay focused. Staying focused is a major problem for me. I am easily distracted when I write. Well, accept when I’m under a heavy deadline. I seem to need a deadline to get anything completed.

6. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I like to read. I like to watch movies. But most of all, I like being on my old sailboat with my family when the weather is acceptable. There is something about having my loved ones together in a close environment that I find satisfying. 

7. Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet?

There are myriads of place I’d like to visit. I have never had the excess funds required for world travel. I would love to see the Scandinavian countries. I am Norwegian by decent and grew up hearing the stories of my ancestors and imagining what those places would be like. 

8. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

I guess John 3:16 has to be in every Evangelical’s top five favorite verses, but in my older years Romans 8:23-24 have grown huge for me. The idea that God would make everything, even the major mistakes of my life, and into something good for me is just incredible. Those verses played heavily in my streams of consciousness while writing my last book. 

9. Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?

Hmmm. There is a song called The Prayer. I don’t know who wrote it, but it was recorded by Andre Bocelli and Celine Dion. My second wife and I chose it as ‘our’ song. It speaks to God’s grace and guidance in difficult, or fearful, times. 

And, almost anything written my Paul Simon is on my favorite list. I am fascinated by lyrics that paint pictures of people or places that are not common to me. 

10. What are some nonfiction books you found impactful?

Francis Schaeffer’s book have all impacted me, as did C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. I am drawn to authors that force me to think beyond my normal thoughts. 

11. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas is hands down my favorite holiday. I love the chaos, busyness, and the overall craziness of that time of year. Yes, the religious symbolism is import also. 

12. What is your favorite season and why is it your fav?

I am tempted to say summer, because I love the sunshine. But, winter, especially Christmas time, would probably be more honest. I have always loved Christmas because that is when my father seemed to be happiest. He was an old Scandinavian and because of a childhood injury found life to be very hard. He was gruff and cantankerous most of the time. But, he was different at Christmas. It is easy to understand my affinity for that time of year. 

13. Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?

I am working on novel actually. Though I’m not a novelist, I would like to be. I’m working on a book about what it might be like for the church when the world is falling under the Anti-Christ’s power. Many of us are hoping for a Rapture, but realize it may come later into the one-world dominance than we’d hope for. Would the Christian world fight, or would we turn the other cheek?

14. Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?

I am so behind on the whole social media thing. I have a website but I’m sadly lacking in paying attention to it. My publisher is attempting to change that. Maybe this is the year I’ll get into the 21st century. One never knows eh?

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, November 12
Artistic Nobody, November 13 (Author Interview)
Just the Write Escape, November 14
A Baker’s Perspective, November 16 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, November 17
janicesbookreviews, November 18
Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 19 (Author Interview)
A Reader’s Brain, November 20
Inklings and notions, November 21
My Devotional Thoughts, November 22 (Author Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, November 23 (Guest Review from James Barela)
Lukewarm Tea, November 24 (Author Interview)

Giveaway



To celebrate his tour, Ross if giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of his book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
Some of the links in my blog posts, tweets, social media posts, etc. contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
Powered by Blogger.