CrossReads Short Takes: Begging for Mercie & A Light in the Darkness

CrossReads Short Takes: Begging for Mercie & A Light in the Darkness

CrossReads Short Takes

Begging for Mercie

by Sharon Srock

Begging for Mercie

Scottlyn Rich has overcome tragedy–and moved on. She’s now a confident college student and about to celebrate her daughter’s first birthday when she receives news that the young man who set her life on its unexpected course has died in prison.

Grieving mother Penny Nelson believes there is only one way to assuage her grief–take the baby and raise her. After all, Mercie is all she has left of her son.

Scottlyn didn’t draw the battle lines, but she’s determined to defend what’s hers. Can God find a way to bring peace to both women, or will someone end up begging for Mercie?

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A Light in the Darkness

by Patricia Bell

A Light in the Darkness

Alexis McGregor is an awkward seven-year-old, who doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. At school, the kids call her “Fat-Lexis”, and at home, her older brother Jake blames her for the break-up of his parents.
When Alexis and her only friend Sierra get into an argument, Alexis finds herself alone, on the streets of her community, after midnight. She’s helpless, frightened and feeling hopeless. That is, until a nice guy, one she recognizes from the neighborhood, happens by and offers her a ride. Tired, and scared, Alexis accepts.
When her family finds out she’s missing, hearts begin to change. Secrets are revealed. Wounds healed. But time is running out for Alexis.
Join Chief Erika Granger as she solves the mysterious abduction, in the first story of A Canyon Rock series. A Light in The Darkness.

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When the Night Is Dark and the Road Long

When the Night Is Dark and the Road Long

by Lisa Prysock

Lift up your head 

Look up 

Sing praise to the Lord anyways 

Lift up your head 

 Look up 

For soon the dawn will blaze 

 

Lift up your head 

Look up 

Soon this tide will turn 

Lift up your head 

Look up 

His whispers you’ll discern 

 

Lift up your head 

Look up 

Can you hear Him cheer you on? 

Lift up your head 

Look up 

He’s given you His precious Son 

 

Lift up your head  

Look up 

When the night is dark and the road long 

Lift up your head 

Look up 

Can’t you hear His song?  

 

There is no greater love 

Than from Him above 

In Joshua 1:9, He promises to never leave us and commands us to be brave and courageous.  In Psalm 27:1, He reassures us that He is our light and salvation, reminding us to fear no one.  In Psalm 32, He reminds us we are forgiven.   In Psalm 96, He tells us to sing a new song!   In Psalm 34, He reminds us the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.  In Psalm 23, He lets the enemy know you’re coming to the wedding supper of the Lamb.  In Psalm 18, He reminds us He is our rock, fortress, deliverer, God, stronghold, refuge, and shield.   In John 14:27, He grants us peace.

If you’re going through trouble, take heart my friends.   Sometimes when trouble comes, it’s actually everything falling into place.   We grow.  We stretch.  Our faith is strengthened.  Remind the enemy of the Word, which will stand forever.   Keep looking up and have a blessed day!

Author Biography

Lisa M. PrysockLisa M. Prysock lives in the countryside of beautiful, rolling Kentucky just outside of the greater Louisville area near horse farms and four board fences with her husband of 19 years.  She homeschooled the two youngest of their five children and is excited about her youngest entering the journey of college life.   

She and her husband live in an average Colonial style home they are continually updating– with a funny looking Heinz 57 dog; an adorably dainty lady cat; two teenagers; a vegetable garden; numerous flower beds; and a tree house undergoing a remodel.  When not in teaching or writing mode, she is teaching herself to play the piano and violin.  Regarding this she laughs:  “It’s a pretty painful process, but I’m truly enjoying it!”   

Lisa loves all things old-fashioned and has adopted a slogan of “The Old-Fashioned Everything Girl.”  A few of her interests and passions include doll houses, long dresses and hats, gardening, reading the Classics, butterflies, swimming, walking, working out, cooking, sewing, crochet, cross stitching, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, decorating, and drawing.   

Recently, her husband remodeled a room in their home with a picture window overlooking a valley containing a creek and wooded area, transforming the space into a serene writing office/sewing room.  “It’s a great source of peace and inspiration for me… and pure joy not to be writing from the busy kitchen amidst the household chaos on a laptop.  Growing teenagers eating every five minutes makes for a constant stream of happenings!”   

Be sure to check out her new release Geneva, a fiction Christian Historical Romance series with a theme on the fruits of the Spirit!  These days, Lisa is also writing her first Contemporary Western Christian Romance novels as a contributing author to the ‘Whispers in Wyoming’ series with Danni Roan, Kari Trumbo, Lynn Winchester, and Rachel Skatvold.  

Lisa is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of To Find a Duchess, an Inspirational Regency Romance; ‘The Victorian Christian Heritage Series’ which includes Hannah’s Garden:  a Turn of the Century Love Story and Abigail’s Melody; and ‘The Lydia Collection,’ which includes The Redemption of Lady Georgiana (a Ruth love story of modern day Regency proportions), Protecting Miss Jenna (an Antebellum Era Christian Romance Adventure), and Persecution & Providence (a ‘Jane Austen-ish’ mail order bride story from the Pioneer Era).  She is also the author of a devotional/Bible Study, Arise Princess Warrior and recently released The Shoemakeran Old-Fashioned Regency Christmas Romance.  Lisa writes clean and wholesome literature that shares her faith in Jesus Christ.  She is a member of ACFW and Louisville Christian Writers.  You can find out more about Lisa at:   www.LisaPrysock.com

Links: 

https://www.facebook.com/LisaMPrysock 

https://twitter.com/LPrysock  

www.LisaPrysock.com    

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J6MBC64  

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lisa-m-prysock 

CrossReads Book Spotlight: Homeland’s Hope

CrossReads Book Spotlight: Homeland’s Hope

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Homeland’s Hope

by Hallee Bridgeman

Homeland's Hope

The exciting Virtues and Valor serialized story continues with book 2.

Stage and screen legend VIRGINIA BENOIT performs for standing room only crowds in her adopted home of France. When the Nazis roll into Paris, she flees to Casablanca, taking the heart of a enemy General with her. While in there, Virginia devises a plan to use her position, talent, and influence with the high ranking Axis officer to aid the Allied cause.

Virginia joins the Virtues team, assigned the code-name HOPE. Her keen mind trains in the craft of espionage. After staging a rift with the US, she returns to Paris, hiding undercover in plain sight, and spies on the enemy. All is well until the Third Reich imprisons the Virtues wireless operator, code named Temperance.

As the Virtues engineer a plan to rescue Temperance from the Gestapo’s clutches, Virginia takes to the stage to play her part in the daring mission. Will the murderous racism of the Nazi High Command prevent her from fulfilling her duties?

HOMELAND’S HOPE is part two of seven serialized novellas entitled the Virtues and Valor series.

In 1941 Great Britain a special war department assembles an experimental and exclusively female cohort of combat operatives. Four willing spies, a wireless radio operator, an ingenious code breaker, and a fearless pilot are each hand-picked, recruited, and trained to initiate a daring mission in Occupied France. As plans are laid to engineer the largest prison break of Allied POWs in history, the Nazis capture the Virtues’ radio operator. It will take the cohesive teamwork of the rest of the women to save her life before Berlin breaks her and brings the force of the Third Reich to bear.

Some find love, some find vengeance, and some discover the kind of strength that lives in the human heart when all they can do is rely on each other and their shared belief. Courage, faith, and valor intersect but, in the end, one pays the ultimate price.

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CrossReads Short Takes: A Long Way Home & The Homecoming

CrossReads Short Takes: A Long Way Home & The Homecoming

CrossReads Short Takes

A Long Way Home

by Becky Doughty

A Long Way Home

 Long Way Home can be read as part of The Fallout Series or as a stand-alone romance novel.

“This modern retelling of the prodigal story delves into heavier topics such as abuse and rape, but with such a careful touch, it never felt overwhelming. As usual, the writing was lyrical and very visual, like a movie playing in front of me.” ~ Heather Day Gilbert, USA Today Bestselling Author

“Dancing helped me forget…”

“Forget the pain of what I’d left behind. Forget the shame of what I’d done. Forget the fact that my future felt as untethered as the caravan in which I traveled.” ~Samantha Clark

On the run, Savannah Clark lives her life as a modern-day bohemian, hiding her identity behind her beaded scarves and swirling skirts. Marek and the Gypsies, a troupe of dancers and musicians, follow the Renaissance and Medieval Faire circuits, never staying in one place for very long. Her disguise, however, doesn’t fool those who know and love her best, nor does it completely hide the evidence of how difficult living in fear can be.

But an unexpected encounter with Jordan Ransome, her first love, tears open old wounds, and tragic news from home brings Savannah face to face with her worst fears. Will she run again, a victim of the lies she’s come to believe about herself and those she left behind, or can she trust her heart enough to embrace the girl she once was as the woman she has become?

NOTE: This book may contain triggers due to the topic of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

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The Homecoming

by Dan Walsh

The Homecoming

No sooner is Shawn Collins home from the fighting in Europe than he is called upon to serve his country in another way–as a speaker on the war bond tour. While other men might jump at the chance to travel around the country with attractive Hollywood starlets, Shawn just wants to stay home with his son Patrick and the aging father with whom he has finally reconciled. When Shawn taps Katherine Townsend to be Patrick’s nanny while he’s on the road, he has no idea that she will be the key to his future happiness and the mending of his heart.

This heartwarming story of tender love and fresh starts will capture readers.

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What I Learned From Hallmark Movies, Part Two

What I Learned From Hallmark Movies, Part Two

by Suzanne D. Williams

I addressed this issue before, but have a different twist on it this time. Maybe it’s my need to make people smile kicking in. In any case, in Part One, I gave a number of standards that make these movies work:

“A well-defined setting; Two contrasting lifestyles; A big secret that might break the couple apart; A wise sub-character to set them straight; An unusual situation which forces the characters to spend an inordinate amount of time together.”

All still true. Yet, taking a seat from a different perspective, I see several other useful writing tips:

You can name any small town by choosing a tree species and adding -vale or –ville. Cedarvale, Willowvale, Pineville. You get the idea. And small towns have one bright, sunny main street, a lovely pond or lake somewhere with a dock, and a succession of sub-characters who know the main couple is in love way before they do.

An inn/farm/family restaurant is the ideal place to work. Suzy is going home to help her dad or mom who has decided to retire or has developed a sudden minor health problem. They will have a week where they are stubborn and immobile and push their child to work for them and thus find themselves. Suzy is suddenly an expert pie baker, producing award-winning crusts.

And speaking of winning …

Winning the contest at the local spring/summer/harvest festival is a great way for characters to fall in love. All characters must be either competitive or gullible and swayed to be competitive. They will beat out any other competition no matter how inept they actually are and thereby realize they like an inordinate about of public attention. In short, there is no such thing as a bookish-introverted main character like me who’d run if they were put in front of a crowd.

Always insert an adorable outgoing son or daughter. One main character must be a single parent with fond memories of their ex or a good relationship with him/her. It is best if the child be the opposite gender. Dad-daughter. Mom-son. The child is also very perceptive, choosing their new parent way before dumb ol’ dad or mom can see how stupid they are.

The boyfriend your female main character will dump should be clueless about how out-of-sync he is. And probably the guy I’ve named Mr. Puffy Cheeks. I like him as the dumb boyfriend. He’s slightly pushy, too career-minded, and has no idea how a woman thinks. On the other hand, blond-cutie-new-boyfriend slash guy-she’s-known-for-years is compassionate, thoughtful, generous, and talented. He’ll bow out of her life before he’ll see her hurt by anything he’s caused.

Which brings me to my final thought.

The new boyfriend struggles at his career. Or has no career at all. I’m not sure what the guy did in the last Hallmark I watched, but frankly, I didn’t care. He fit all the parameters for swoonability – winning smile, old truck, looks good in blue jeans. I do seem to remember he repaired the dishwasher. But don’t all good men do that?

In all seriousness, though these thoughts are meant to amuse, they teach us two things. One, that too much of the same thing can become annoying. Two, that too much of the same thing, the fact I can expect him to act a certain way and her to react accordingly, makes readers feel safe. This is why we watch reruns on TV. We know what to expect and can set our fears aside (and in my case, let my attention wander. I know how it’ll turn out, after all.)

There is something important to be said for that in reader’s minds. But also for being a good enough writer I can put my own spin on familiar tropes and still have readers come away satisfied. I think it takes a dash of both for a book to find success. It’s balancing the same-old-same-old against a creative mind and finding enough magic to bring readers back again and again.

You never know … if you can pull that off, you might just find yourself on Hallmark.

Only 99 Cents! 

http://amzn.to/2zreaAi  

Free on Kindle Unlimited

Saddle up! All the boots & blue jeans a woman can take in 4 faith-filled stories – and SINGING COWBOY is EXCLUSIVE to this set. You won’t find it anywhere else!

God, Girls, and Cowboys

About The Author:

Suzanne D WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at twitter.com/SDWAuthor 

CrossReads Book Spotlight: God’s Upside Down Kingdom

CrossReads Book Spotlight: God’s Upside Down Kingdom

CrossReads Book Spotlight

God’s Upside Down Kingdom

by Terri Main

God's Upside Down Kingdom

When Jesus began his public ministry, his first words are what we call today “The Beatitudes.” Beatitudes simply means “blessed sayings.” But The Beatitudes are more than just a set of sayings. They form a blueprint for us to find happiness. Yet, The Beatitudes are shocking. They seem backwards. They are definitely counter cultural. After all, who considers poverty of spirit, mourning, showing mercy, hungering after righteousness, making peace, seeking purity and enduring persecution as particularly happy things?

In this nine-lesson Bible study, we will explore how the Beatitudes can not only transform your life, but begin a transformation of the world around you. The Beatitudes, then, become not just something you memorized in Sunday School as a child, but as a pattern for Kingdom living. The Christian life is not just about following a set of rules. It’s about transforming one’s entire approach to life. The Beatitudes help us see the results of that transformation.

This Bible study is designed for use by both individuals and small Bible Study groups. It takes a discovery approach with each lesson containing a commentary followed by study or discussion questions.

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CrossReads Short Takes: How Do You Get Published & Publishing Terms 101

CrossReads Short Takes: How Do You Get Published & Publishing Terms 101

CrossReads Short Takes

How Do You Get Published

by Celine Healy

How Do You Get Published

This is a reference and practical guide for fiction writers and authors who want to learn the best and easist way to become a published author. The crux of this book is for fiction writers to know all of the costs of production so that they have total control over their book publication.

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Publishing Terms 101

by Carole Crosby

Publishing Terms 101

This book/guide will help:
* Authors who are just starting out on the book-publishing route.
* Authors who don’t have time to trawl the Net all-day, looking for definitions.
* Established authors curious to learn a few new words/terms.

In the spirit of International Nelson Mandela Day, the author is donating all the proceeds from this book’s sales to Adult Literacy in South Africa.

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Real Things

Real Things

by Sherry Chamblee

We have a weird idea of what “real” means these days, don’t we?  

I mean you’ll hear people talking about “real” women looking a certain way, “real” men acting a certain way, putting “real” issues into what we write as authors.  

Thing is, real women come in all shapes and sizes, including the very tiny, very fit size. Real men are sometimes quiet and understated rather than loud and outgoing and take-charge. Real stories sometimes include happily ever after endings and real people sometimes live very clean lives.

Sometimes we have to strip away all the trappings in order to get to the reality of an issue though.  

Take salvation, the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Christianity has added all these trappings to it – we go here, we do these things, we don’t go to these other places, and we don’t do these other things. The rules and standards may be absolutely correct, but do they enter into the Gospel message itself? Are those rules what save us?

We ask people if they want to go to heaven someday. We talk about the wonderful way Heaven is, the glorified bodies, the life eternal. But is that the reality of what salvation is?  

Heaven will be wonderful, I agree…and Jesus does talk about that. But is that why we’re saved? Is that what salvation offers us?

In reality, the standards and rules of Christianity are secondary to salvation. They are the result of a salvation decision.  

In reality, Heaven is a byproduct of obtaining salvation. Salvation gets us primarily a relationship with Jesus Christ, a reconciliation with God the Father, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. If Heaven wasn’t a place at all, than that relationship with Jesus Christ would still be everything we’d ever need, here on earth and on into eternity.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/

CrossReads Spotlight: Christmas Belles of Georgia

CrossReads Spotlight: Christmas Belles of Georgia

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Christmas Belles of Georgia

by Jeanie Smith Cash, Rose Allen McCauley,

Jeri Odell, Debra Ullrick

Christmas Belles of Georgia

They were sisters once—identical quadruplets—given up for adoption at birth. Now each receives a letter advising her to claim her inheritance and the family she never knew. . .at Christmas. Holly feels betrayed when she learns she’s adopted, while Carol prays for a loving family. Starr thinks it’s all a hoax, and Noelle needs a break from a hopeless situation. There are more surprises in store as each young woman gets just the gift she wants—and needs. You’ll be warmed by love in these interwoven tales of the ultimate Christmas gift. . . .

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CrossReads Short Takes: Deep in the Heart & All About Mercie

CrossReads Short Takes: Deep in the Heart & All About Mercie

CrossReads Short Takes

Deep in the Heart

by Staci Stallings

Deep in the Heart

Just out of college and completely alone in the world, Maggie Montgomery has one shot left to save her life from an abyss of poverty and hopelessness. Clinging to the last shred of fuel and hope, she arrives at the mansion of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayer. Although Maggie is clearly not what Mr. Ayer and his wife have in mind for a nanny, they agree to hire her temporarily until they can find someone more appropriate to fill the position. However, Maggie’s whole world is about to be up-ended by two way-over-scheduled children and one incredibly handsome hired hand. As she struggles to fit into a world she was never made to fit in, Maggie wonders if she can ever learn to become a perfect version of herself so she can keep the job, or is she doomed to always be searching for a life she can never quite grasp?

Keith Ayer despises his life. As the son of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayer and the fiance to a Senator from Texas’ daughter, it looks great on the outside, but inside, he is dying. He would vastly prefer to manage and train his father’s racehorses. However, everyone else thinks that is beneath him. He needs to get into industry and build on his father’s success. Suffocating under the constrictions of his life, he meets Maggie who begins to teach him that wealth and power is not everything in this life. But can Keith defy the most powerful men in Texas to follow his heart?

One of the most inspiring Contemporary Christian Romance novels available, “Deep in the Heart” is an Amazon #1 Best Seller. It is truly Christian romance at its very best. Filled with faith, hope, and love, Christian romance kindle books aim to inspire women and men alike while giving them an exceptional romantic love story they will not soon forget. This is one book that will surely find its way onto your most inspirational books list!

“Staci Stallings means Christian fiction at its best!”

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All About Mercie

by Sharon Srock

All About Mercie

Scottlyn Rich is sixty-seven days from her wedding to Grant Weber. When the conversation she hoped would bring reconciliation with her estranged father turns to disaster, she is left adrift and feeling more orphaned than ever. Until her mother walks through the door.

Grant Weber has spent two years earning Scottlyn’s trust. He can’t believe how easily she’s willing to accept her mom’s excuses about where she’s been for the past seventeen years. There’s something off about Jocelyn Rich and he’s determined to find answers even if it costs him his engagement to Scottlyn.

Will Scottlyn allow deception to derail her future, or will she take hold of wisdom and realize that her life truly is all about Mercie?

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