Friday’s Feature with Gina Stinson

Do you ever wonder if you’re the only one struggling to keep your head up?

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Today I have a special feature for you. I mostly share books by Christian fiction authors, but today I am honored to be able to share a nonfiction book with you. I don’t know how 2020 has been treating you, but I know as an author and full-time first grade teacher, I am S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D OUT. Between trying to find time to work on my next book, virtual teaching and face to face teaching at the same time, I’m finding it harder to find my peace. My coworkers are feeling the same way, so unfortunately, I know it’s not just me. The only thing keeping me going is the word of God. Reading devotions, scripture, and talking to God about the stresses of life helps me find my peace. His promise that He is in control when I feel like things are out of control calms my fears and anxiety. That’s why I am so excited to share this book with you today.

Today’s feature author, Gina Stinson, has written a wonderful book of devotions to help us reclaim our peace. She’s also been gracious enough to write a special devotion for me to share with you here today. If 2020 is taking your peace, it’s time to Reclaim it!

Get your copy today!

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Hope for Wherever

Times are tough. Let’s face it, we’ve been trying to look at the glass half full, the bright side and the positives for about eight months now, and things are not getting back to normal. I remember in March thinking some extra family time will be nice. Now eight months later, although I still love my family dearly, I’m thinking how much longer before the next grocery pickup, when I can ride the thirty minutes alone in the car. Please tell me I am not alone.

The truth is, waiting for this time to pass is difficult and uncertain. Our children and teachers are in changing rhythms at school. Navigating uncharted territories, weary from changes and complexities others don’t understand, has many ready to give up. Small business owners who are struggling to keep their doors open are wondering if the struggle is even worth it. And our homes, some are not thriving. Abuse, hot tempers, financial woes and frustrations abound.

And we are wrestling with fears:

What if this is not the worst?

What if my child gets sick?

What if I can’t visit my parents in the hospital?

What if I lose my job?

What if I run out of money?

These are not small fears. These are real and people are struggling.

But there is hope. Big hope.

For the Christian, who believes God’s Word holds the answers for today, just as it did 2,000 years ago, I find great hope in the words God has given us.

He will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

We can never be separated from his love. (Romans 8:31-39)

All God’s promises are true. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

God is able to deliver us. (Jeremiah 32:17)

He can heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

God has this. We can trust him in the moment. In the middle of chaos, we can have hope and peace because we have Jesus. We are not alone. we are not separated from a loving God. We can cling to his promises. He is able to deliver us. It might not be how we imagined or planned it to happen, but God can be glorified through this. He can take these terrible moments that the enemy would like to use to destroy us, and God can reclaim them for our good.

Wherever you find yourself today, you can trust him. Politicians, doctors, co-workers and wanna-be forecasters can try to figure things out, but in the end, God is proving he is in control. We can trust him and his word to get us through these uncertain times.

Because…what if in these moments:

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We learn to trust him more?

We learn to teach our children about a great big God?

We stop and enjoy the small things in life?

We appreciate those who take good care of others?

We learn to manage our money better?

We spend more time around the kitchen table with those we love?

We learn to go the extra mile?

We learn to care for our neighbors?

We focus on eternal things?

Friend, will we have lost so much in these moments or will we have learned that we can have hope and peace in the reclaimed moments and days?


About Gina

After years of living in fear and defeat, Gina Stinson is busy reclaiming every day for God’s glory. She is a pastor’s wife of 27 years and mom of two. Between family and ministry, she dabbles in gardening, crocheting and playing music on her second hand, baby grand piano. She writes true stories of God’s reclaiming power and is a storyteller for those who have overcome their circumstances and embraced God’s goodness.

You can find Gina online at www.GinaStinson.com or on social media at https://www.facebook.com/reclaimingeveryday/

Friday’s Feature with Mary Felkins

Mary Felkins

Today I have Mary Felkins talking about her new book, Call to Love and answering a few questions. Welcome, Mary. Let’s get started.

Tell us about your favorite character in your new book.

Oh, my! This is as difficult as choosing from among my own children, but I admit to having had the most fun writing Stephen, Tom’s athletic, rascally, and witty 14-year old son. The inspiration for Stephen came from own son who was about the same age when I first started writing Call to Love. My son also had a close friend his age who was overly prideful at times. On occasion, Mrs. Felkins felt the need to bring him down a peg or two so I created “The Humility Score” mentioned in the book. I still keep in touch with my son’s friend and I still assign him a low score (on a scale of 1 – 10) if I think he’s getting a big head. Lots of fun and smiles with it!

Do you read the reviews and comments of your readers? How important are reviews to authors?

Yes, I do read them but wearing a mighty thick skin, realizing reviews are opinions as vast and unique as the people who write them. Most authors refuse to read reviews for fear of negative ones, but this being my debut, I think it’s important to get a feel for how my work has impacted readers so I can consider this for future books.

How much of yourself do you put into your books?

I could easily see a little of myself in every character, even the grumpy barista, Agnes Blumenshein of Co-Zee’s Coffee Shop. At the start, I spend a good bit of time creating my heroine and hero’s dark moment story from which they develop a wound, lie, and fear. While I may not have experienced the same event, I can often relate to the emotional impact it might have. As I write, the Spirit of God whispers through me, formulating thoughts that develop the character’s dialogue and emotion. My hero, Tom, is a divorced law enforcement officer left to raise his adolescent son on his own. Nothing of that is relatable to me personally, but the unforgiveness he bears toward his ex for leaving him high and dry is very relatable in other circumstances I’ve experienced.

Some people believe that being a published author is glamorous, is that true?

Ha. Glamorous is getting all gussied up and being whisked off to a big gala in a stretch limo, greeted by red carpet, doormen… cameras flashing. Not to say there aren’t glamorous moments associated with success, such as receiving an award on stage, but most of writing is a hard and, sometimes, lonely journey. In the quietness and obscurity associated with the call to write, all glory goes to God. There’s great sweetness in being obedient to it, knowing He is sovereign over where our words will go and to whom they will have impact.

Who are some of your favorite authors? Have you met any of them and found yourself having a fan-girl moment?

I’m a fan of Rachel Hauck and Susan May Warren’s writing. I’ve coached with these inspirational romance authors on several occasions during 5-day intensive writing retreats, Destin, Florida. In fact, the initial framework for Call to Love was created during brainstorming sessions with them.


    Call to Love

What if saying yes to love means trusting the kind of man you said you’d never marry?

What if pursuing a woman’s heart means restoring a painful past?

Tracy Cassidy, a fiercely independent ED nurse, must choose between her dream job or staying in her hometown to help support her mother’s faltering ministry. Even if it means risking her heart in love with the kind of man she said she’d never marry.

Why sign up to be Laurelton’s next cop widow?

Tom DeLaney, a hyper-vigilant cop and new hire from Texas, is wearied by years of failed rescue attempts to save his marriage to his ex. A free man, he moves to the foothills of North Carolina. Thing is, he hadn’t expected to fall for Tracy, his supervisor’s sister. But when his adolescent son is diagnosed with a chronic illness, he faces the risk of loving another woman with keep-out issues.

Fears related to the death of Tracy’s cop father and Tom’s inability to forgive the past threaten to sabotage any chance at love.

To trust again means surrender. Will they risk their hearts and answer the call?


Get your copy at any of these places

Amazon E-book https://amzn.to/2mZcLAb

Barnes&Noble https://bit.ly/2nm0TJ8

Apple Books https://apple.co/2mIzhNW

Google Play https://bit.ly/2nvoOWu

Pelican Book Store www.pelicanbookgroup.com


About Mary

Mary A. Felkins is an inspirational romance author, devotional writer, and contributor to an on-line Bible study magazine. Her debut, inspirational romance novel, Call To Love, (www.pelicanbookgroup) releases November 15th, 2019.

Raised in Houston, Texas–and forever a Lone Star girl-she and her husband Bruce moved to the foothills of North Carolina in 1997. They have four adolescent to young adult-ish children. She can be lured from her writing cave if presented with a large, unopened bag of Pnut M&Ms or to watch an episode of Fixer Upper. A surprise appearance by her teen idol, Donny Osmond, would also do the trick, although she’d likely pass out.

If, upon introduction, she likes your first or last name, expect to see it show up in one of her novels.

To receive Mary’s weekly story-style devotions and quarterly book news via email, subscribe on her website, www.maryfelkins.com

Friday’s Feature with Carol Raj

The Curious Prayer Life

of

Muriel Smith

 

One unlocked car door, one glance to the left, and suddenly seventy-one year old Muriel Smith is hurtling down the road at an alarming thirty miles per hour.

Will the teenage boy who carjacked her really shoot to kill?

Muriel can’t die yet. Not till she’s accomplished something on earth. Not till she’s seen her great grandchild.

But if Muriel Smith’s survival depends on her driving skills, she may not live much longer.

How could God have gotten everything so wrong?


Read an excerpt

“The ramp’s coming up, Mrs. B. Put your turn signal on. What’s the matter with you?‛

The ramp was only feet away. Muriel took a deep breath and stepped hard on the gas pedal. She zoomed past the entrance to the highway.

“What? You didn’t even try to turn!” Kevin’s head swiveled as the entrance ramp disappeared.

“I did try to turn, Kevin. Honest. I tried really hard. I just couldn’t do it. I told you. I don’t merge. It scares me.”

Kevin’s voice went up half an octave. “Merging scares you more than my gun? Are you crazy? Didn’t I tell you I’d shoot? You can’t just say you don’t merge. You have to do what I say. That’s how it’s supposed to work.”


Buy Links:

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About Carol

Carol Raj has been writing short stories for children for several years. Her first book, a contemporary woman’s novel, was just released 7/26/2019: “The Curious Prayer Life of Muriel Smith.”

Carol was born and raised in the flatland of the Midwest. She now lives in New England – think red maple trees in the fall – with her husband of more than forty years. They have three grown children and the cutest five grandchildren ever.