Friday, August 28, 2015

Rick Barry: Do You Have Regrettable Elements From Your Past?

Everyone's Story welcomes multi-published author and church-planter/missionary, Rick Barry. As a co-client of our agent, the amazing Linda S. Glaz, I've had the pleasure to get to know Rick these past few years and I'm thrilled he agreed to be my guest. An encourager, Rick shares with us this week how to let go of the past in order to move forward and parallels this with the characters of his new release this September, THE METHUSELAH PROJECT. Please check out Rick's dynamic BookGiveaway. Both Rick and I look forward to hearing from you!

Rick is offering 1 printed copy of  his novel THE METHUSELAH PROJECT to 1 randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, September 4th between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment (you may choose to use the Contact Me form to privately send me your email address--the form is in the right-hand sidebar on the blog's main page, toward the bottom).

Back Cover Copy:
During World War II, German scientists started many experiments. One never ended. 

Shot down over Nazi Germany in 1943, Roger Greene becomes both a prisoner and an unwilling guinea pig in a bizarre experiment. Seventy years later, Roger still appears as youthful as the day he crash-landed—and he’s still a prisoner. Nearly insane from his long captivity, Roger finds his only hope in an old Bible.

Not until our present time does Roger finally escape from the secret society running the Methuselah Project. When he does, the modern world has become a fast-paced, perplexing place. His only option is to accept the help of Katherine Mueller—crack shot, go-getter, and attractive to boot. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? And can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he’s trying to flee?

You’re Not a Prisoner of Your Past by Rick Barry

Right now, someone reading these words feels hindered by the past. You might be a woman who had a child out of wedlock and gave it up for adoption. You may be a man who fought and struggled to open his own dream business—only to see it collapse in dismal failure. That regrettable element could be any of a thousand things, but even if you read nothing else in this blog feature, understand this: you don’t have to remain a failure because of your past.

In my new novel, The Methuselah Project, my main character Roger Greene is haunted by mysteries in his own past. In fact, he doesn’t even know exactly who or what he is because his earliest childhood memories are of the orphanage where he grew up. Even though Roger is intelligent, even though he’s handsome, and even though he becomes an ace fighter pilot in World War II, as an adult he struggles with his own sense of self-worth.

Why didn’t he grow up with a regular family like other kids? Was he the unwanted result of an illicit affair? Perhaps the unfortunate offspring of a prostitute? Or maybe he had a mother and father who were so dirt poor that they simply could not afford to keep him? But no matter which scenario was true, why was it that no one at the orphanage had ever offered even the vaguest of answers to his questions? Making matters worse, after German fighter planes shoot down his P-47 in WW II, Roger doesn’t get sent to a regular POW camp. Instead, he becomes an unwilling guinea pig in a secret Nazi experiment.

Roger’s romantic interest, Katherine, must also face questions from the past. I won’t reveal the plot, but many of those problems exist in the person of her one living relative, Uncle Kurt.

Failure to separate yourself from the past—mistakes, shortcomings, unwise decisions, whatever—makes you a victim. That attitude is like living with an enormous anchor shackled to one leg, and that anchor prevents you from achieving happiness and your full potential. But your life doesn’t have to be that way. You can learn from past mistakes. You can ask for God’s help in overcoming the source of unhappiness and plant your feet on a new path in life. God is an expert at redeeming lives and giving them new directions.

At this point, I don’t want to offer spoilers about my suspense novel and its dose of romance. What I can say is that both Roger and Katherine must face their past, each in his own way. The Methuselah Project packs a variety of emotions. Readers will alternately laugh, cry, share the characters’ frustrations, and fear for their lives. In the end, though, is that satisfying conclusion that makes the journey worth it all.

If you decide to read The Methuselah Project, I hope you’ll tell me. Better yet—tell others if you like it!

Rick's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Like #ChristianSuspense novels with a twist? Meet author Rick Barry @WriterRickBarry #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: @WriterRickBarry, author WW II #suspense #BookGiveaway of The Methuselah Project (Tweet This)

Are you a prisoner of your past? See what author @WriterRickBarry advises. (Tweet This)

Authors' Bio:
Rick Barry has authored three novels (Gunner's Run, Kiriath's Quest, and now The Methuselah Project), plus hundreds of published articles, short stories, and devotional pieces. He speaks Russian and has visited Eastern Europe over 50 times. His experiences have included skydiving, mountain climbing, rappelling, camping in Russia, visiting Chernobyl, white-water rafting, and visiting World War II battlegrounds. He believes that all experiences in life provide fuel for a writer's imagination. Rick and his wife Pam live near Indianapolis.

Places to connect with Rick:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Patti Shene: God And Gunsmoke

Everyone's Story warmly welcomes writer, blog(s) owner, and radio personality, Patti Shene. Though I've known Patti from the past years of visiting on our mutual blogs and sharing encouragement via social media, I've only come to learn that we've had several close encounters of actually meeting face-to-face. One day, Patti! Thankfully, this sweet woman will be my guest this whole week. I hope you find her as uplifting as I do. Both Patti and I look forward to hearing from you.

Who Would Have Thought? By Patti Shene
When I reach back into the inner recesses of my childhood memories, the evening of September 10, 1955, rises to the top. I still recall the grainy black and white picture that held my family and I spellbound as the television show Gunsmoke debuted before the viewing public. I was all of 4 years old.
We watched in shock as the main character and hero of the show, Marshal Matt Dillon, fell under the gun of a formidable adversary. The professional skill of the acerbic Doc Adams, in conjunction with the determination of the hero, found him healthy enough by the close of the half hour to defeat the villain in a dramatic final scene.

That first episode spawned the era of the western in the world of television broadcasting. I followed Gunsmoke, the first adult western, throughout its twenty year run and many other shows in the genre as well.
Even though Gunsmoke, was set in Dodge City, Kansas, this Long Island, New York girl developed a fascination for the state of Colorado. Hence my subscription to Colorado magazine when I became old enough to earn my own money and spend it the way I wanted.
My first “real job” as a nurse in the Hudson River Valley found me making good money, living on station for very low rent, and a non-driver. I had plenty of money in a savings account when I earned my first vacation.
The ad in the back of Colorado magazine for an eleven-day horse pack trip in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado offered a dream come true. Over forty years later, that trip stands out in my memory as one of the most thrilling experiences of my entire life.

I suppose that is why, if I could only complete one novel in my lifetime, it would be Magic Moments in Time, a fictionalized account of that trip. The dramatic events that occurred stemmed from the interpersonal relationships that developed, and the struggles of man against nature forced on us by terrain and weather.
The opportunity to view massive stone-faced peaks and lush, green, lake-dotted valleys from a height of over fourteen thousand feet cannot be duplicated in the most rugged vehicle manufactured. Travel on foot or horseback through densely wooded trails leads to switchbacks that jut out over dense wilderness ten thousand feet below. The grandeur of God’s unlimited creativity is manifested in every square inch of ground and an infinite sky, not dotted with twinkling stars, but highlighted by a solid path of light miles wide known as the Milky Way.
A month from the day I arrived home from that breathtaking excursion, I was working in Colorado. To this day, I live in a town that sits on the Santa Fe Trail, surrounded by ranches that comprise literally thousands of acres, wake up to the lowing of cattle that graze in the pasture next door, and, enjoy watching the rodeo events that highlight the summer season.
Reminders of our local American history, from the museum that boasts hundreds of 19th century artifacts to the Kit Carson Chapel that memorializes the famous American frontiersman, keep my interest in the American west alive. Frequent encounters with friends who tend their herds, mend fences, ride horses, and wear their cowboy boots and jeans to church feed my romantic fascination with the lifestyle of the modern day rancher.
If I ever publish a novel, I can about guarantee my readers will encounter within its pages a cowboy or two, a few horses, wide open spaces, and the black velvet sky that burns in my memory from that long ago mountain adventure.
Oh, and our lives do tend to move in circles. Sixty years after watching that first Gunsmoke episode, I live in the very town where one of the show’s most famous actors, Ken Curtis, who played Deputy Festus Haggen, spent his childhood.

Patti's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
What does God, His grandeur, and Gunsmoke have in common? Visit with @PattiShene for the answer. (Tweet This)

@PattiShene on Everyone’s Story: Can life move in a positive circle? (Tweet This) 

How does a Long Island gal end up in Colorado and loving every moment? (Tweet This)

Authors' Bio:
Patti Shene hails from Long Island, New York, but has made her home in colorful Colorado for over forty years. She has been married to husband Manuel (lifelong nickname: Speedy) for almost 38 years. They have one daughter one son, and one granddaughter.
Like many writers, Patti has carried stories in her head since she was a kid. She’s had a few things published in the local newspaper, a local magazine, and edits her church newsletter. She is published in two anthologies.

Patti has three (western!) novels in progress and writes an occasional short story, poem, or blog post. She is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and Toastmasters International. Patti has served on faculty at the Colorado Christian and Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conferences as well as the IdahopeWriters Conference.

She hosted Lit(erally) Speak(ing), a Blog Talk Radio show currently in the process of restructure with plans to return to live broadcasting in a few weeks. She enjoys hosting writers on the show and on her three blogs, found at her website.

Places to connect with Patti:

Friday, August 14, 2015

Kate Breslin: What Subliminal Message Does God Put On Your Heart?

Everyone's Story is thrilled to welcome author Kate Breslin as this week's guest. I've been privileged to get to know Kate these past few years and to see her blossom from debut author to multi-award finalist, and now Kate's sophomore novel is freshly released. Congratulations, Kate! What I enjoy the most about Kate's novels, that although they're fiction, they portray that how in desperate times such as war how two people can find love and forgiveness in their hearts and how God works for the good in this world. That said, please check out Kate's BookGiveaway**(see note on bottom)  offer and the commentary she's chosen to share with you this week. Both Kate and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kate is offering 1 printed copy of  either NOT BY SIGHT or FOR SUCH A TIME to 1 randomly chosen commenter, US only. The winner will be announced here on Friday, August 21st between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment (you may choose to use the Contact Me form to privately send me your email address--the form is in the right-hand sidebar on the blog's main page, toward the bottom).

Book Jacket Blurb for NOT BY SIGHT:

In the spring of 1917, all of Britain's attention is on the WWI war front and the thousands of young men serving their country on the front lines. Jack Benningham, dashing heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, is young and able-bodied but refuses to enlist despite the contempt of his peers.

A wealthy young suffragette, Grace Mabry will do anything to assist her country's cause. Men like Jack infuriate her when she thinks of her own brother fighting in the trenches of France, so she has no reservations about handing him a white feather of cowardice at a posh masquerade ball.

But Grace could not anticipate the danger and betrayal set into motion by her actions, and soon she and Jack are forced to learn the true meaning of courage when the war raging overseas suddenly strikes much closer to home and their fervent beliefs become a matter of life and death.

God’s Takeaway Bonus For Readers and Writers by Kate Breslin

Elaine, thank you so much for hosting me this week on Everyone’s Story! And I love your tagline, “Rejoice in the Good Stuff, Ignore any Discouragement.” Words to live by!

This week, I’d like to talk about the marvelous ways God works in our lives, through the books we read and as authors creating stories. Many readers I’m sure will agree they’ve read a scene in a novel that has given them timely inspiration, or a passage from Scripture that spoke to their hearts at just the right moment. As writers, these messages work on a more subconscious level, but they still ring true. In my debut novel, For Such A Time, I wrote about a woman with the courage and faith to stand up for her people, to the point of risking death. It was also a message about love, and how that powerful Force can conquer the worst kind of evil. In writing the story, I found my own sense of courage, just like my heroine, along with a deeper understanding of my faith. I strengthened my conviction to continue writing inspirational stories regardless of whether I published a book or not.

In my second novel, Not By Sight, the message was a bit different. The main recurring theme deals with the peril of judging others. In the opening scene, my heroine, Grace Mabry, has preconceived notions about our hero, Jack Benningham. She assumes he’s a coward who refuses to enlist in the war, simply because he’s in London and not in France fighting alongside her brother. She’s also heard the gossip at her father’s London tea establishment, declaring the future earl of Stonebrooke to be “a playboy and a gambler who stays out until dawn.” Grace’s opinion is therefore already formed when she confronts him at a London costume ball and hands him a white feather of cowardice. She has no idea he’s working undercover for the Crown, or that her actions will set into motion events surrounded in danger and betrayal. It’s only later in the story that she realizes her error, feeling the sting of her own prejudiced blade when she finds her reputation maligned.

Once again, I wrote the story, aware on a subconscious level the lessons God was putting in my path. I became attuned to those times when I exercised my own assumptions, making rash judgments about a person or situation without obtaining all of the facts. (I confess, while working on Not By Sight, I was surprised at how often I caught myself.)

Making quick judgments is easy nowadays, as a barrage of media is thrown at us, each station, newspaper, even Internet blogposts reporting the same incident with different slants. Oftentimes the stories get blown out of proportion in an effort to attract new followers or viewers. With our busy lives, it’s too much trouble to “sift through the chaff to get to the wheat” of a story, and so we take what we’re given as fact. Thankfully, we have a bit more control when it comes to our own circle of family and friends. If not, we might all be lambasting one another. (grinning)

A second theme that plays into the first is a Scripture passage and part of my novel’s title: “We live by faith, and not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7 NIV) For our hero Jack, that means choosing to see with his heart and not things as they appear on the surface. For Grace, it’s learning that there’s always more than one side to a story.

For me, it’s a reminder to cling to the Truth and ignore what the world would otherwise have me believe. These are my takeaway thoughts as a writer; those subliminal messages God puts on my heart. Yet I also know each person can discern something different from a book or a passage in Scripture, so it’s my hope that readers will receive from my stories the message God wants them to hear most.

KATE's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Everyone’s Story: @Kate_Breslin shares insights from writing her novels #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Author @Kate_Breslin asks: does God place subliminal messages on your heart? (Tweet This)

@Kate_Breslin: God’s takeaway bonus for #readers and #writers #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Authors' Bio:
Former bookseller-turned-author Kate Breslin enjoys life in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and family. A writer of travel articles and award-winning poetry, Kate received Christian Retailing's 2015 Best Award for First Time Author and her debut novel, For Such A Time, is a Christy award, RITA award, and Carol award finalist. Kate's second novel, Not By Sight released in August, 2015. When she's not writing inspirational fiction, Kate enjoys reading or taking long walks in Washington's beautiful woodlands. She also likes traveling to new places, both within the U.S. and abroad, having toured Greece, Rome, and much of Western Europe. New destinations make for fresh story ideas.

Places to connect with Kate:

**It's summer and time to have a bit of fun. Please take this month's new Poll on the right-hand sidebar on your summer reading pleasure. You'll earn an extra BookGiveaway point for Kate's offer if you take the poll and comment about it within your blog comment (and yes, I'm going on the honor-system). And, if you've already took August's poll, let me know and I'm sure I can give you an extra point too (wink wink). Thanks!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Christine Lindsay: A Warning To Writers

Everyone's Story affectionately welcomes back author Christine Lindsay. I've known Christine for several years now and she always exudes a tranquil peace and charm about her, yet how I'll always happily remember her wild laughter at the ACFW conference meal tables. With these various characteristics it's no surprise that Christine is a special person who writes touching stories. This week Christine shares a waring to writers, which is the fuel for her stories as well. Both Christine and I look forward to hearing from you.

**Please take a moment to do the August survey on the right-hand sidebar. Thanks!

Warning to Writers. Warning…Warning!! By Christine Lindsay

If you want to write fiction you have to adjust to the fact that all fiction is autobiographical. You’re going to bleed emotionally on the pages. You will need plenty of hankies near your computer.
When I first started writing 15 years ago, I understood any non-fiction I hoped to write, especially the book on my birth-mother experience, would be autobiographical. But later when it seemed that particular true-life account might never be published, I felt the Lord urge me to put the spiritual and emotional truths I’d learned into Christian Fiction.
Whew! I thought. This means I don’t have to bare my soul. I can hide behind my “untrue” historical epics with plenty of action and romance that God-willing might help readers think about the Lord while they’re being entertained.

Here’s the true scoop.

When I wrote Shadowed in Silk I don’t think readers had a clue that I was plastering my heart and soul into my heroine Abby Fraser, into my bad-guy Russian spy, and especially into Abby’s enemy the Muslim woman Tikah who kidnaps Abby’s child.

The title Shadowed in Silk shows all characters feel invisible for their own reasons. The two women feel no one sees their heartaches or hears their cries in the night. As a woman who was hurting over the relinquishment of my firstborn to adoption, I felt like invisible Abby. I also felt like my Russian spy who chooses to be invisible on purpose. But I also felt like Tikah who steals Abby’s little boy, because part of my heart longed to turn the clock back so that I’d never relinquished my child in the first place. I took the bare truth of my soul and painted that longing into my character Tikah as she does the reprehensible.
Shocking, I know. I’m not saying my emotions were right or honorable. Emotions are emotions, but that’s what books are, a baring of the soul. Of course I didn’t take back my true-life child, and the Lord helped me through my heartache.

Thankfully, God didn’t leave me in my spiritual immaturity, and my second book Captured by Moonlight shows some of that spiritual growth.

One of my heroines, the beautiful Indian woman Eshana is living her Christian life, energized as she does the work she believes God has laid out for her. But then, her fanatical Hindu uncle pops out of the past and kidnaps her. He imprisons her in a ruined jungle palace, has her head shaved, her lovely saris taken away, and dressed in course white cotton like that of a Hindu widow. Though Eshana has been abandoned, the work she loves seemingly taken from her, she says the following, straight from my heart from my true life, “I will sing your praises, Lord. Though you have dressed me in funeral clothes, I will sing your praises with joy.” 

I could go on and on—how Veiled at Midnight shows what I learned the 2 years my brother lived with my husband and me, as my brother went through rehab for his alcoholism. This book breathes the message that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God.

The message of Londonderry Dreaming is to speak the truth in love, no matter how hard it hurts. And in the soon-to-be-released Sofi’s Bridge is about being true to the gifts God has placed in our souls. All deep spiritual and emotional lessons that I have learned in my true life.
God has done some amazing things for me. Sure, I’ve suffered, who doesn’t, but I’ve experienced that scintillating feeling when God makes everything new. That’s why I always write happy endings.

That’s also why 15 years since I first starting writing, I’m seeing my original dream come to pass. Remember that non-fiction book on my birth-mother experience that started it all? Well, it too is soon-to-be-released. But in all honesty, there is just as much of me in my fictional novels as there is in this account.

Hold tight to God, and believe in the ultimate happy ending for you through Jesus Christ.

Christine's previous appearance on Everyone's Story:
An Author Capturing The Heart Of Life

Christine's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Author Christine Lindsay @CLindsayWriter has a warning for writers! (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: Christine Lindsay @CLindsayWriter tells true scoop on her award-winning fiction (Tweet This)

Christine Lindsay @CLindsayWriter: What’s the 1 thing #writers & #readers need to hold onto? (Tweet This)

Authors' Bio:
Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that infamous ship.
Stories of Christine’s ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and newly released Veiled at Midnight. Christine has two new books coming out this year—Sofi’s Bridge, and the non-fiction story of her birth-mother experience, title still to come.

Places to connect with Christine:

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