Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Rescued Love - Book Cover

Just got the final revision of the book cover.
Squeal!
This might be my favorite part of the process. Book cover is huge - many times it will make or break a reader from buying it (at least that is what research says).
I love the winter setting and the sun streaming through the trees!
And of course the cabin - I would totally stay there!
And I practically did as I lived through my characters and the time they spent here!
 
 




Back of book cover for A RESCUED LOVE…

A romance starts…
After months of tug and war with their feelings, Derek Brown and Julia Anderson have finally gotten to a point where being together is what they both want and that future seems to be in their grasps and full of excitement.

She witnesses a murder…
Caught in the middle of a situation that leads to death, Julia is the only eye-witness. When strange occurrences begin to happen in the aftermath, Derek takes her to his family’s cabin to keep her safe until they can figure out what is going on with the case that has taken a sudden change of events.

Their newfound love begins to unravel…
As Julia deals with a secret she has revealed, Derek must face his family and their different views on how he should live his life. Will Derek and Julia learn to work together through their trials or will it tear them apart forever?

 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." -John 1:14

I am so thankful for the CHRISTmas season and the amazing birth that gave me salvation and eternal life! If you don't have a relationship with Jesus, I encourage you to trust in Him, He will never let you down. He loves YOU. He came for YOU. He died for YOU. 


 Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday Truth - What Are Your Goals


“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”                      
-1 John 2: 15-17

We are to be IN the world, not OF the world. God has created us and placed inside of us hopes, dreams and goals. It’s exciting to have a plan in front of us. The world tells us to move forward, do what’s best for us and acquire our plans and goals for ourselves. All our goals and dreams should revolve around one thing: Jesus. Everything we do, achieve, desire, work for – should be for the greater good of God’s Kingdom! We can’t hide our intentions from God, he knows our hearts. In Proverbs 16: 1-3 it reads, “To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” In my study Bible it asks three questions about your plans/goals/dreams/desires: Is this plan in harmony with God’s truth? Will it work under real-life conditions? Is my attitude pleasing to God? These are all great things to keep in mind when pursuing the plans God has for you. Remember years ago when the Jabez prayer hit our Christian community? I often find myself going back to this prayer when faced with a new goal or plan. 1 Chronicles 4:10, “Jabez cried out to the God of Isreal, ‘Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.” Let’s break this prayer down. Oh that you would bless me – I often ask for God to bless me so that I can bless Him! And enlarge my territory – When I ask God to enlarge my territory I ask that He would expand the number of people that I can reach for Him. That He would open doors for me to do His work. Let your hand be with me – When I am doing God’s work, if He is not walking alongside me, then I am doing it all in vain. So I ask Him to guide me and direct my footsteps so that I stay in His will. And keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain. It is so easy to fall into the trap of sin. Satan doesn’t like it when we are working for God, so I always want to be on guard and ask that God would keep me safe from sinful attitudes, thoughts and actions. In your walk with the Lord, how are you being IN the world, but not OF the world? Are there any changes that you need to make? Talk to God about that right now.

Heavenly Father, as I immerse myself into the world, guide me as I make plans and goals for my life. In 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14, your word says, “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” Through you, help me to be all those things as I work at keeping in step with your will for my life. Amen.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Love Language Cards

When writing a romance novel, you have to put into account how others want to receive love and what makes them feel appreciated! The same goes for those in our lives. God made us all different - and we all give and receive love differently. The key is to know who needs what and when. I'm happy to share the idea that my friend Sara Hochstetler had on helping us along on figuring that out...

Love Language Cards and why I made themWhat is your love language? What acts speak to the heart of your spouse and children?  It gets overwhelming to remember what each child needs from me. Am I praising them enough? Hugging them enough? Am I making them feel like they are a priority to ME in the ways that matter to THEM? I felt frustrated by feeling as if I was not doing "enough" at the end of the day. So I made these cards for my boys so THEY could tell ME what they needed. Now it is up to them to communicate to mom and dad what they are feeling. All they have to do is put it on the fridge (where it will get my attention) and then I can love on them in the way they need it! Of course this works for Mom and Dad too. If you are not familiar with the 5 Love Languages-here they are:

Quality Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts

You can take the test for your family here.

What I've come up with is a set of 6 magnetic cards on a ring (easily hung on a Command strip hook on the side of the fridge). One for each love language plus one for mom and dad. You can pick from the titles shown plus some others I have or come up with your own. Your family is unique-embrace that! Come up with as many cards as you want. Extra cards will be $1 each. Cost of 6 cards is $10 plus shipping (if necessary).
Contact me through my Facebook page where you can see all the example cards. Please know each card design will be different but you can pick out of 3 options for style. They are Girly, Boyish or Both. Or tell me what  style you would prefer per card if that works better for your family.
Here's a sneak peak at the cards!
Thanks for reading!
Sara Hochstetler



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Truth - When I Get in the Way


“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”                     
-1 John 2: 15-17

 
We are to be IN the world, not OF the world. Last week we talked about the people that surround us, our friends. Today, let’s talk about the one person that always seems to get in the way. Ourselves. We live in a very self-centered world. It’s all about: What can I do to make ME happy. To make ME succeed. What’s best for ME. What’s easy for ME. How can I obtain more wealth, prestige and power for ME. Notice a pattern here? Me. Me. Me. So if this is what the world tells us, what is God telling us? We can find it in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others!” Not quite the same is it. And not only do I have to work on this continually for myself, but I also have to press it upon my children in a way that shows them how much I love them while explaining that life is not always about them. My middle son, Brayden, gave me a good example of this when he was in Kindergarten. I went to the school to have lunch with him and stayed for recess afterwards. We had a great time playing and then the bell rang, announcing it was time for the kids to get in line to head back to class. Brayden jogged up to the line and right as he found his place in line, a kid ran up and pushed him out of line and said, “Haha, I beat you. I’m first.” Let me tell you, it about got ugly on that brisk April day on the playground. Mama bear stepped forward ready to grab that kid by the collar and let him know how I felt about the situation, but I stopped when Brayden just shrugged and said, “That’s okay. God says that the first will be last and the last will be first!” Bible burn. Not gonna lie. I loved it and my heart swelled with pride…and then I cringed over what my reaction was going to be. What a great reminder as we submerge ourselves into the world to put others before ourselves. I’ll be honest, I struggle in this area. I can be a very selfish person. And the one person I should be the most giving with, the one that I should always put first, I don’t: My better half - my husband. I can do it, but it takes effort and doesn’t always come easy for me. This is an area where I claim...I am not a perfect person, but I serve a perfect God, who’s not done with me yet!!! In your walk with the Lord, how are you being IN the world, but not OF the world? Are there any changes that you need to make? Talk to God about that right now.

Heavenly Father, as I immerse myself into the world, help me to keep my eyes on YOU, so they are not on ME. In 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14, your word says, “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” Through you, help me to be all those things as I put others before me. Amen.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Small Time Author Meets Big Time Author = Mind Blown

Today I had a pretty awesome experience. If you are a fan of Christian Romance novels, then you will appreciate what I am about to tell you. I had the privilege of meeting Denise Hunter this afternoon. (Enter squeal here!!) Just her and I on a little one-on-one talk at Starbucks as we chatted about life, kids and writing! What?!?
 
 
 
Long story short: I found out that Denise lives in Fort Wayne, and only being an hour away, I gathered some nerve and e-mailed her asking if she did any writing workshops or if maybe we could meet sometime. Ya know, "Please meet with me, a wanna-be-author that is a complete-stranger to you." I mean, who wouldn't jump at the chance? A lot of people wouldn't - but she did!! She so kindly offered to meet with me.
 
What an encouraging time of picking her brain, gleaning off her experience and wisdom, sharing our stories, and having some good laughs together! Sounds like a perfect afternoon to me. I came with a long list of questions that she graciously answered about: how she started, why she writes, how she markets her books, her relationship with her publisher, suggestions for how-to books that can help me improve my writing skills, her writing process, how she comes up with ideas, how I can get more involved in writing groups, etc. Great information for an author that has no idea what she is doing!!!
 
If you haven't read any of her books, I urge you to give them a try. Not only do I speak very highly of her as a person that is generous, kind and loves Jesus, but she is also a fantastic author. You can find Denise's books in local bookstores or here.
 
Sometime I'll stop smiling, right?!?
 
 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday Truth - Choose Wisely...


“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”                     
-1 John 2: 15-17

We are to be IN the world, not OF the world. If you’re like me, you’ve heard this statement many times before, but what exactly does it mean for us believers? First of all, it’s easier said than done, isn’t it! When we believe in God, sin has no power over us. When we follow Christ, it changes our hearts and we should become less interested in the things of this world and have more desire to be like Jesus. Over the next couple weeks we are going to talk about how we can submerge ourselves into the world and yet hold our ground. Today let’s talk about the people that surround us. Why are we here on earth? We are here to serve God and lead others to him. Paul’s ministry tells us that we are to make ourselves a slave to everyone, to win as many unbelievers as possible. To find a common ground, to not have a self-righteous attitude, to make others feel accepted, be compassionate to their needs and problems, and to live a life that looks different than theirs. The trap here for many believers is when we make these people our core people. Now, please understand me. I’m not saying we can’t be friends with unbelievers. God encourages us to be! But the concern is inviting them into our inner circle. In 2 Corinthians 6: 14 it says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”  I think it even goes deeper than unbelievers. We need to remember that believing in God is way different than living a life that glorifies God and having a relationship with Him. Knowing that, we must choose our core people wisely. So let’s take a look at the people in your life. Who are you with your friends? Do you change who you are when hanging out with different groups of people?  Do you change your morals, values, language, television and movie tastes, etc.? God tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.” What do you do with the people closest to you in life? You share who you are and you seek advice and wisdom. Let’s look at a few verses that God explains to us the damage this can cause.

“A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26

“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

“Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.” Proverbs 14:7.

In your walk with the Lord, how are you being IN the world, but not OF the world? Are there any changes that you need to make? Talk to God about that right now.

Heavenly Father, as I immerse myself into the world, help me to keep a strong foundation. In 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14, your word says, “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” Through you, help me to be all those things with the people I surround myself with. Amen.