Thursday, November 28, 2013

"Little Pleasures"

Happy Thanksgiving you all!!  I want to share some thoughts from “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.  First, this book has hit me between the eyes in so many good ways.  Recently I have realized that I get so wrapped up in this fallen world that I let it blind me from God's glory and His many blessings.

“As you go through this day, look for tiny treasures strategically placed along the way.  I lovingly go before you and plant little pleasures to brighten your day.  Look carefully for them, and pluck them one by one.”  Jesus Calling for November 23.  Romans 8:38-39 and Psalm 4:7-8.

May you have a joyful and blessed spirit of Thanksgiving not only today, but every day as you “pluck” God’s many blessings.

 I have attached some pictures of the people that I am thankful for.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Brave New Century"

I am so excited to get my blog geared up again with the new released “Brave New Century.”  It is a collection of 4 short stories about women who overcome hardships and find love at the turn of the 20th century.

One of the authors is a dear friend of mine, Paula Mowery.  Her writing thunders with emotion.  A few editors have agreed with me on that fact.  The other author’s stories are also well-written and will touch your heart. You will not walk away empty after reading this book. 

So grab you some tissue, hot chocolate, and a blanket when you read “Brave New Century.”
Please enjoy the teaser below!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Incredible Turtle Journey

It was another one of those things that if I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed it.

 My daughter Sara loves animals and she has had a variety of them as pets over the years.  When she came back from the beach a few years ago, she brought back some miniature turtles. They were so cute and not much bigger than a quarter.  We also have a miniature dachshund, Little John.  So I kept the turtles high up on a counter to keep him away from them. And I put them in a deep container so they couldn’t crawl out. Or so I thought. 

  We came in home one day and Sara’s turtle Reg was missing from his box.  That stumped me.  I thought somebody would have had to pick him up.  Then I realized the little coral tree decoration was sitting close to the container’s edge.  Could he have climbed the tree and gotten out?  He could have fallen off the counter to a lower counter, to a stool, and then to the floor.  Could he do all that and survive?  I doubted it until I found him across the room behind the dog’s crate.  Yep!  He did all that plus he didn’t get eaten by Little John!

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”  Psalm 27:1 (NKJV)

I think part of the reason Reg the turtle was able to do all that was his lack of fear. Reg didn’t question.  He just kept going.  What if we did that as Christians?  What if we didn’t let fear stop or hinder us?  We just kept going and working for the Lord. Wow! What a difference we could make. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Be the Blessing"

                Paula is a dear friend of mine.  And I’m very excited about the release of her next book “Be the Blessing on September 13th.”  It is a sequel to “The Blessing Seer.” These are wonderful books that make you stop and think.  When you read her books, you will discover what a talented writer she is.


   Thank you for being on my blog.  One of the things I admire about you is your passion to motivate Christians to get out of their comfort zones.  I think most Christians are like me and hesitant about venturing out.  It’s a scary thought and it shouldn’t be.  Did you experience anything to cause this passion in you?

Honestly, I have usually had to experience or learn something before being able to share it. As I have written about getting out of comfort zones, I am writing from my experience of having God nudge me out of mine. When I have ventured outside of my comfort zone and followed God’s leading, I have enjoyed the total adventure of being in His will. I can’t help but share that with others to encourage them in this adventure with God.  

Has God ever asked you to do something that you didn’t understand at the time, but you did it anyway?  If so, what was the outcome?

I remember once how strongly God laid an author/friend on my heart. I didn’t know anything about what was going on in her life at the time. I also really didn’t know what to say, but I obeyed and emailed her. I just told her that God had brought her to mind, and I was saying a prayer for her. When she emailed me back she indicated that my words and prayers had come at the exact moment she needed. She had been going through a struggle. I thanked God for using me in such a simple way. This taught me to be open to nudges from God.

How much of you is in the main character Addy?

Of course Addy and I both share the position of pastor’s wife, however I am not as shy about speaking as she is. As Brooke can attest to, I am outgoing and never meet a stranger. Now, some of the situations in the book come from real-life occurrences with church members.

One of the themes in “Be the Blessing” is encouragement and hope through suffering.   As a writer, I know how hard that is to write.  How did you do it and still keep it uplifting?

To keep this topic uplifting was simple because of the many testimonies to God’s help I have observed and been involved in. First Peter the third chapter and verses fourteen to sixteen gives the Christian instruction in this area. These verses explain that even if we do suffer, we must always be ready to tell another person about the hope we have. That’s the difference between a Christian who suffers and a non-believer who suffers – we Christians have a living Hope within us.

It’s amazing how you get your wonderful ideas to write about.  What is the biggest blessing you get from writing your stories?

One of the biggest blessings I have gained is hearing from readers who have been touched and encouraged through my words. I couldn’t ask for anything more blessed than that!

For me personally, I feel blessed that God would give me the ability and the ideas to write for Him. It’s all at once exciting and humbling.

What’s the most unique idea you’ve ever gotten?

I would have to say the idea for the first book, The Blessing Seer, was most unique. I had simply been mulling over a sermon illustration when I went to bed one night. After just a few moments God downloaded the whole outline for the book into my head. I had to jump up and write it down as fast as my hand could transcribe. This was a very different story than I had been writing.

Okay Paula, I have to ask a fun and silly question now. What is your favorite ride at the fair and why?

Brooke, you are the more daring of the two of us. So, my favorite ride at the fair would be the one I would watch you ride. I do not like to go high or fast. I prefer to walk around looking at everything and get a funnel cake.

Thank you so much for this enjoyable interview, and for the opportunity to appear on your blog.

Endorsement for BE THE BLESSING
"We all wonder why bad things happen to good people. Can God use even the worst events in our lives to help us feed the world around us?Be the Blessing skillfully provides both food for thought and food for discussion." -- Lisa Wingate, national best-selling author of The Sea Glass Sisters and The Prayer Box.

Blurb: Addy Townsend hadn’t strolled with Conrad or had a vision in five years. Now Conrad has returned to challenge her to be a blessing to those around her. The Holy Spirit begins to nudge her into service in new ways and she follows.
But when she is blindsided with personal problems, can Addy learn to be a willing vessel even in times of struggle and suffering?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Chili With the Queen

No, I’m not joking.  I had chili with Queen Elizabeth II…in a dream.  Yep, I dreamed I went to Buckingham Palace in my jeans and enjoyed a chili supper with her.  Does that make me crazy?  Probably no more so than I’ve been the last 40 odd years.

            In reality, that dream would be impossible for many reasons.  One of which is the fact that I am not royalty in the world’s eyes. I am beneath her socially, but that’s not the case in the eyes of Jesus. 

 “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
Our earthly labels don’t matter in the body of Christ.  As believers, we are all one with Him.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a queen or a beggar. You are equally important to Him and loved by Him.  That’s better than having chili with anybody!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Icing on the Cake

Who doesn’t like icing on the cake?  This time I’m talking about a wonderful book written by my friend Janice Thompson. “Icing on the Cake” is another book in her Weddings by Designs series.   This series takes place on Galveston Island, Texas and centers around the Rossi family and their business, Club Wed where Bella Rossi is a wedding planner. There are many wonderful and diverse characters involved in the Club Wed world.  And each book is clever and deals with a Club Wed character’s journey with lots of humor and hope in each serving. And, I always take away something for myself too.

Scarlet Lindsey is the main character in, “Icing on the Cake.” She runs her bakery, Let Them Eat Cake.  She also makes some the wedding cakes for Club Wed as well.  This book has a little extra in that not only do we to experience Scarlet’s personal journey, but we get to experience Armando’s Rossi’s as well as.  We all have journeys, but we may be surprised at what somebody is going through.



Janice has also written many other wonderful books as well.  You can find these books on her website "Love, Laughter and Happily Ever Afters!"  You can find her book on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles.  Janice’s books are like potato chips.  You can’t stop at just one.
Writing isn’t Janice’s only talent.  She also decorates cakes.  On her Face Book page you will find postings about her month long Cake Walk. Below are two pictures of her beautiful cakes. I wonder if they are as tasty as Scarlet’s.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Hey Everybody!

   I’m sorry it’s been two weeks since my last post.  My husband was in a wreck and had to be cut out of his truck.  God was with him.  He walked away with 3 cracked ribs.  He is still recuperating, but he is doing better.

   Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  I will get back soon.  There's more to this miraculous story.

  Thank you all
    Brooke (Brooksie) Cox

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Own Spacecar

If you read my blog, “Get Your Geek On,” you would know I love science fiction.  In my blog, I talked about “Star Trek,” but I also like “The Jetsons.”  Instead of having the USS Enterprise to zip through outer space, I want a space car like George Jetson and his family used to fly around in.  Now that would be awesome!

            Why? I want to zip around the solar system by myself for a while.  I want to get away from: all the confusion, all the hectic days, and all the noise and ruckus on planet Earth.  I want peace and quiet.

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…”” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
            If you need to get away for a while, get away with God.  Spending time with Him every day will make such a big difference in your life.  The world can wait a few minutes while you recharge your soul.  The laundry and dishes will still be there as will all your other earthly responsibilities.  But, I still wish I could go to Neptune to do it. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Get Your Geek On

I was excited when my friend Paula Mowery informed me July 13 is National Geek Day.  Why? Believe it or not, I’m a big geek at heart!  I love science.  Always have.  I learned at an early age not to say “Yeah!” when the teacher passed out the Science books.  I also love science fiction, especially Star Trek.  And, I know what Leonard and Sheldon are talking about on The Big Bang Theory.  Believe me now?

Even though we may laugh at them, what kind of world would we have to today without geeks?  Below I have listed some famous ones:

Bill Gates-Founder of Microsoft

Albert Einstein-Theory of Relativity

Steven Spielberg-Film Director

Mary Shelly-Wrote Frankenstein.

Steve Jobs-Cofounder of Apple Computers

Marie Curie-Discovered the elements radium and polonium.

Ada Byron-First computer programmer

Michael Hart-Creator of the eBook.

And there’s many more. 

 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;…” (NIV) Jeremiah 1:5

I’ve got news for you.  God knew what He was doing when He created you the way He did.  And He doesn’t make mistakes.  So if He made you a geek, rejoice in it!!  I do!  And if God is happy with me, I don’t care what anybody else thinks!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Squirrel On A Wire

            I hate sitting still and that includes sitting at a red light.  I have to look around to see what’s going on.  On my way to work one morning, I caught a red light and I happened to look up toward the power lines.  Running across Maynardville Highway on the power line was a little squirrel.  My first thought was, “Aw! How cute.”  But then I got to thinking about what I had just seen.

            That little squirrel was doing what came naturally to it.  It had no idea of how much power was surging through underneath its feet as it scurried across on the line.  It had no idea how close imminent danger could be.  It just did what it needed to do.

“The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;” Psalm 121:7 (NIV)
            How many times are we like that squirrel? God has His hand on us-keeping us safe and we have no idea of the dangers He keeps from touching us. And not just dangers.  There are many ways God works in our lives to take care of us and works things out to our good that we are unaware of. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Spider in a Blue House

            All I could say was “Wow!”  What I stood and watched was like something out of a children’s movie. 

It all started on my mother’s covered front porch where she has hung many wind chimes.  On one particular day, my family and I were all standing on the front porch and talking. I was standing next to a wind chime that had a little blue house with white trim.  It also had two stories with its own miniature front porch.  A brown spider had built a web from the bottom of the blue house’s porch down to the porch hand railing.

As I’m sure most of you know I am terrified of spiders.  So I kept my distance from it as we all stood and talked.  A small storm was approaching and the wind picked up.  The spider’s web danced in the wind and the chimes rang out.  That little brown spider crawled up its web to the house.  Then it climbed up the little white porch and went in through the door frame to inside the house as if it actually lived in the house. It was truly like seeing something out of a children’s story.

 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1(NIV)

            That little spider knew where to go when a storm came up.  Do you?  If not, may I suggest turning to God for safety.  He can ride out any storm.  Nothing is beyond is Him. And I think God made you smarter than a spider. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Vacation Time

                Not to rub it in, but I had my vacation last week.  Tim and I mainly worked around the house and ran a few errands, but we did take one day and visited The Biltmore House in Asheville North Carolina.  It was awesome.  If you have never visited there, I would suggest going at least once.  Its beauty and opulence are breath taking. I can’t imagine calling a place like that home.  Being a klutz, I would be afraid to touch anything.  But as believers in Christ, we have our own mansion awaiting us.

The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.” Revelation 21:18-21 (NIV)

                I don’t think we can truly appreciate the beauty of Heaven this side of eternity.  But there are other appeals to Heaven as well. 

“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” Revelation 21:23 (NIV)
                I hope these verses will give you all little encouragement this week.  Nothing on Earth can compare to what is awaiting us one day in Heaven!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Geroge and Wheezy

As a kid in the 70s, I loved to watch George and Wheezy on “The Jeffersons.” I thought it was hilarious and never missed a show!  For those of you who still don’t know who I’m talking about, George and Wheezy (Louise) Jefferson were the main characters of the TV show.  George started a dry cleaning business that became so successful that he and Wheezy were able to move from their old neighborhood to an upscale high rise apartment. In the older episodes, there’s a shot of a moving van in the show’s opening sequence. 

Have any of you ever moved?  Chances are you have at least once in your life.  What did you take when you moved?  What did you leave behind? I don’t know about you, but when we moved 3 years ago, I went through all my stuff and I was amazed that I had accumulated so much over the years.  I was even more amazed at how much of it was trash or stuff I didn’t need any more that I was still hanging on to.

 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

            When we become Christians, we are new creatures.  We are reborn.  So we need to let go of the old stuff that is hampering our walk with Him and bringing us down.  Take it to the dump and don’t look back!  And by the way, we also have our own high rise upscale home waiting for us. And the best part is Jesus has paid for it in full.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blog Hop!

My writer  friend Paula Mowery and I are participating in a blog hop.  We are talking about our
works in progress.  I have questions about my first mystery project listed below.  Please go to the link below to see Paula's blog about her latest project.  She's a very talented writer.  You know what they say, "Birds of a feather flock together."

What is the working title of your book?
Anointed With Uniqueness. I am still thinking of other title options.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It just came to me.  I had been talking to my co-workers about how different and unique I am compared to the rest of my family.

What genre does your book fall under?
Cozy mystery with a little bit of romance and suspense sprinkled in.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
For the main character, I would pick Alyson Hannigan.  Her best friend would be played by Kaley Cuoco, and the love interest would be Taylor Lautner.

 What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A young woman, who is the family misfit, uses her uniqueness and her imagination when she uncovers a family mystery that led to murders.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I hope represented by an agency, but I am open to self-publishing.  Like most writers, I believe in my story and I want to see it make a difference.  It’s not always easy being the “different” one.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 
Still working on it.  I’m tying in family history with real history and trying to get it all to fit.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
Murder on the Ol' Bunions by S Dionne Moore
Fudge Lace Felonies by  Cynthia Hicky
Death Gets an F by Terri Main
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My own experiences of being “unique.”  I want people to know its okay to be the person God made you to be.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It takes place in early 80s before there were cell phones, iphones, internet, or lap tops.  Lot of leg work and adventure along the way

Friday, May 24, 2013


            Schleprock had something unique about him, besides his name.  No matter where he went, he had a rain cloud over his head.  In case you’re not familiar with Schleprock, he was a cartoon character on Hanna-Barbera’s Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show.  He was the one who always had bad luck, hence his rain cloud.
            Ever feel like Schleprock when you have a run of bad luck?  I felt like it on Mother’s Day.  Actually, the day started off well with cards and candy.  It went downhill from there.  I cracked my car window about 9 inches while at my mother’s house for lunch.  When I went to leave, a bird had managed to fly into the cracked window and had gotten trapped in my car. Once I managed to get the frazzled bird out, it took me a while to clean my car on the inside.
            I’m not done yet.  That morning I was running late for Sunday school and forgot to take the trash out to the garage.  While I was gone, my dog, Little John, got in the trash and had a hay day!  So I got to clean that mess up too.  Later on I opened up a Diet Dr. Pepper and it spewed everywhere!  It was as if a small volcano was erupting. God had placed a rain cloud over my head that day, or did He?
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Job 1:22(NIV)           
I’m the one who cracked a window big enough for a bird to fly in.  I’m the one who forgot to take out the trash.  I’m the one who went be-bopping through the house with a carbonated drink in my hand. I’m not going to blame God when I’m the one who made the wrong choices.  By the end of the day, I had to laugh. At that point, my cloud became a rainbow.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Flowers and a Grape Nehi

            On May 8th, 1982, Tim and I had our first date and we’ve been together ever since.  I want to commensurate that occasion with a sweet story. 
            We had been married about 3 years when Tim came in from work one day with a surprise for me.  He asked me to close my eyes and hold out my hands.  What he placed in my hands meant the world to me.  It was a grape Nehi can full of beautiful little pink and purple flowers. At that point, I realized just how much I was on his mind and in his heart.
            Tim used to work next to a railroad track.  On this fateful day, he noticed the beautiful little flowers growing next to the track and thought of me.  He picked them, but he knew he needed to put them in something.  The only thing he had was an empty grape Nehi can.  So he cut the top off, cleaned it, and put water and the flowers in it.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25 (NIV)
            He could have shrugged and walked away. He could have picked up the phone and called a florist.  But he didn’t.  He loved me enough to take the time to pick the flowers especially for me.  You see, it’s not the big things that really matter, but the little thoughtful things.  The little things that say, “I love you and I’m always thinking of you.”  What “little thing” have you done for somebody you love?  It may mean the world to them.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gumball Machines

            I am still a kid at heart and I can prove it.  I took my grandmother out to lunch Sunday and we had to wait in the restaurant’s lobby for a table.  That’s where I saw the gumball machines.  My heart skipped a beat.  What wondrous prizes those glass spheres hold. There were bubblegum balls, bouncy balls, and my favorite, jewelry. It was all I could do not put quarters in them and turn the handles.
            I grew up on a farm and we had a well for our water supply. Anytime we had a problem with the well, my mom and mamaw (grandmother) would take the laundry to the laundry mat. I loved to do that.  In the back of the building were rows of gumball machines. Oh my goodness!  I couldn’t wait to waste their quarters.  It was so exciting to put the quarter in the slot and turn the handle.  What exotic prize awaited me? 
             Of course I went to different machines, but I always got a bouncy ball first.  If there were other kids there, we would play together with them.  Sometimes we wreaked a little havoc.  The ones that held jewelry were a different story.  Very rarely did I get the pretty piece of jewelry I saw on the front of the machine.  Then I would have to beg and plead for another quarter as I tried for the prize I wanted.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21(NIV)
            Aren’t life’s happenings like the prizes in the gumball machines?  We see the pretty prizes we want and try our best to get them.  Sometimes we do get the little piece of jewelry or the pink glittery bouncy ball we want.  At other times, we never get the prize that we want regardless of how many quarters we may spend. God knows what prizes are best for us and which ones are not.  Thankfully, His plans will always prevail and not ours.  Besides, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that many quarters.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hot Rods and Spaceships

Who doesn’t love a cool hot rod? Come on now, admit it. When you see one driving down the street, don’t you have to look? I do and I’m not a car fanatic, but my husband Tim is one. I don’t know how many car shows we’ve been to over the years or how many times he has slowed the car down so he could listen to the sound of a car or a truck going by. He’ll even turn down the radio. I don’t mind unless it’s a song I like.

As much as I am not interested in cars or most other vehicles, I love my husband more. I’ll put up with the cars, the races, the tractor pulls, and the slowing down because all that stuff makes him happy. And you know what? It’s a two way street. Tim has set through many Star Trek movies without complaint. And I just recently found out he can’t stand Captain Kirk. But he does like Captain Picard.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

When you truly love somebody else, their happiness is more important than yours. Their safety and wellbeing are also more important than yours as well. That is also why Jesus went on to the cross. We were more important to Him than His self. To continue His work, we as Christians should value other people above ourselves, even strangers. This verse doesn’t say, “Just the others you know.” It means everybody, even if you have to be around hot rods and spaceships. J

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Crooning Cosmo

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Now don’t tell anybody, but I’m a Space Cadet Extraordinaire. To some of you that’s no surprise. Stars fascinate me. They are beautiful and mysterious. I can spend hours and hours staring at them. But to God, stars are more than fixtures He places in the Heavens for us to ooh and aah over.

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” Psalm 147:4(NIV)
“while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” Job 38:7 (NIV)

According to Psalm 147:4, not only does God know how many stars there are, but He calls them by name. By giving them a name, He gives them significance. They are important to Him. They are His awesome handmade creations. And the stars sing together. Yes, they really do. Ever hear of radio astronomy? Each star makes its own distinct noise. Even Jupiter and Saturn make static you can hear on your radio.

So what’s my point in all this? If God knows the stars and they sing to their creator, then what does that say about us as humans? Stars sing praises without thought, but we who have thought struggle with that. How much more does God love and adore us that He sent Jesus to die for our sins? We all need to sing praises to our creator, but the way I sing, I’m sure the stars’ static sounds better.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Who doesn’t enjoy a waterfall? That’s almost like not enjoying rainbows. Seriously! They are a special beauty of God’s nature. Waterfalls are magnificent to watch whether it’s a huge one as in the Niagara Falls or the small trickle in a branch. They fascinate me. I even did a little research (remember-I’m a geek.) * “3160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second.” Wow! What tremendous power!

Wanna know something else that is cool? We as Christians have access to as much power if not more. I realized this one day while e-mailing my friend Paula, who is also a writer. I told her it was cool how the words flow from God, to your soul, to your brain, to your hands, and then out to the world. Kinda like water coming down a waterfall. Sometimes it's a slow drip and at other times it's a torrent. It doesn’t have to be words. Whatever your spiritual gift or talent is, open yourself up to allow God’s power to flow through you. When you do, your influence will flow out into the world.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)
“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13 (NIV)

* Niagra Falls State Park. Niagra Falls facts Niagra Falls State Park Inofrmation. Niagra Falls Facts. [Online] 2012. [Cited: April 5, 2013.]

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wind's Aria

I am very honored to have my friend Tessa Stockton on blog.  She's been a dear friend of mine for a few years now.  She is an elegant lady and talents writer.  Please read about her latest book: "Wind's Aria." 

1) How did you know God called you to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to write, have always busied my hand at writing something. I sought freelance work and publication over the years. Unfortunately, it can be a bang-your-head-against-the-wall type of endeavor, especially in fiction. There were two times in my writing venture when discouragement caused me to walk away. Yet even when I had quit, I couldn’t escape. It was as if there was a perpetual nudge that said, “Now, now, you’re being childish and impatient. Go and get back to it!” You know it’s a calling when you let go of it but it doesn’t let go of you.

2) What gave you the idea for Wind’s Aria? 

My head is often in the clouds. I’ve always daydreamed or fantasized from childhood on. Music brings about resplendent images for me. I used to work as a choreographer. I was trained, and it was also very natural for me, to see things in my mind when I listened to music, and then transfer them to dancers to create a living, moving painting, so to speak. I find this process works the same for me in writing. While listening to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings one day, the music inspired and breathed life into what is now Wind’s Aria.

3) There seems to be a musical undertone to Wind’s Aria, hence the name Aria. Do you mind to discuss that? 
Aria is the name of the chosen Songstress of her world. As long as she sings each morning, peace and abundant life belong to her people. Her voice is vital to existence. I come from a very musical family. I can’t imagine life otherwise. Therefore, I think just about everything I write in the fantasy genre is influenced by music. My mother was a classical vocalist. I, too, had several years of classical voice training. In fact, I had been indecisive at one point on whether to pursue the opera world as a mezzo soprano or dance. While dance won the toss, opera is still something I cherish.
4) How different or challenging is it to write a romance in a fantasy world?
It’s different in that there really are no rules. And I love that. It’s incredibly freeing to let creativity flow and not worry about research or structure or how boy-meets-girl, as most genres require. Fantasy is as made-up as you can get. Imagination rules the gamut, not format. The most challenging is shutting everything out while I write. Out of all the genres I venture in, fantasy, in its magical, romantic, colorful realms, is the most difficult to enter in and linger if there’s a lot of noise, or distractions. But that’s just me.

Elected as the Songstress, Aria takes her place on the sacred platform to sing before every dawn. As long as she does so, peace and abundant life belong to her people. One morning, amidst a strange wind that brings with it a curse in its eerie howl, Aria loses her ability to make music. But the encroaching death that transpires isn’t her biggest tragedy. It’s that she adores the cause of her blunder, for he’s a magnificent winged creature who’s stolen more than her voice.

Excerpt One:
“Who are you?”
He pushed further back into the shadows as she strode closer. “Someone you need not know.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
When he didn’t answer, she sighed.
“What a strange, terrible day,” she mumbled. “Well, at least tell me your name . . .”
He stood, speechless, knowing he shouldn’t be there at all—conversing with a Meleyan—especially not their musical deliverer that he was set to doom the day after tomorrow.
A peculiar grumbling interrupted her insistence, to his relief.
“Sorry.” She patted her stomach. He could see, even in the blackened night, how her face turned a deeper shade of red than her hair. “I’ve forgotten to eat. I guess I’m hungrier than I realized.”
He plucked an apple from the tree he’d nearly become a part of and held it out to her. The girl approached tentatively. She reached for the fruit but recoiled when her fingers brushed his.
“Is touching me so horrible?” he asked.
Her jaw dropped open and her delicate brow furrowed. She inclined her head. “It . . . hurt.”
“How?” he asked, for her fingers felt good to him, soothing. Warm. He wanted to try again.
“I don’t know how to explain . . .”
“Hum.” Unsatisfied with the answer, he tossed the apple to her and watched as she crunched her teeth into it.

Tessa is a veteran of the performing arts and worldwide missions, having come from a long line of musical arts professionals. She loved seeing the world and absorbing the beauty of other cultures . . . an enriching life full of dance, music, faith, and interesting cuisine. Over the years, she also contributed as a writer/editor for ministry publications, ghostwriter for political content, and headed a column on the topic of forgiveness. Today, she writes romance and intrigue novels in a variety of genres.

Social Media links:

Purchase Links - Wind’s Aria:
Soul Mate Publishing:



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fruit from the Tree

I’m a klutz-a big one! That’s probably no surprise to any of you who have seen me fall, trip and walk into doors and walls. But, I come by it naturally. You know the old saying; “Fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.” So who did I take this wonderful ability from? My late Papaw.

Papaw was doing something klutzy all the time. One day he was driving through his fields to check on his cows when he drove his old farm truck into a trench. The trench was so deep that his truck was almost straight up and the back wheels were high off the ground.

Papaw had a pin in his femur from another accident he had a few years earlier and he couldn’t walk as well as he used to. He still had to climb out of his truck and walk across the fields to get back to the road to get back home. It was a long walk and he didn’t have his cane.

My mother had come by to check on my grandparents and Mamaw was worried that Papaw hadn’t got back yet. So my mother got in her car and drove down the road. She found Papaw struggling as he walked up the road. Mom picked him up and drove him home. He was visibly shaken and didn’t know how he had gotten out of his truck or walked as far as he did without his cane. My mother’s answer was elegant and simple, “Daddy, you didn’t walk alone.”

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, [a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 (NIV).
Papaw made it without his cane since God was walking with him and He had his rod and staff. Whether we realize it or not, God is always with us and ready to give us comfort. There is no need for us to fear, even if we drive our vehicles in a trench.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dream A Little Dream

     I'm doing something a little different with my blog.  I write an on line article for The Christian On-Line Magazine, and I have just finished a series on sleeping and dreaming.  We have learned many interesting things about these two processes.
I'm going to review my dream that started all of this.  I love to watch the movie, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.  In my dream, I was in the Kroger produce section and I  battled the Pharaoh Kahmunrah there.  I threw heads of lettuce at him.  In case you've never seen the movie, Pharaoh Kahmunrah was a bad guy who wanted to take over the world.

Did watching the movie alone make me dream this? Yes and no.  My subconscious used the Pharaoh as a representation of a something I deem as problem. My weapons of choice, heads of lettuce, were useless against him.  Why?  Whatever problem I am facing, my subconscious knows I am not handling it as I need to. For the rest of my dream, the Pharaoh and his henchmen chased me.  Which also represents my denial of the problem.

God gave us dreams for a reason.  We can use them to help figure out what is bothering us.  To do so, keep a dream journal handy and write your dreams down as soon as you wake up.  Look them over and see if you see a common theme running through them.  Your finding may be surprising!

Please feel free to share some of your dreams or your thoughts on dreaming in the comment section.  If you are comfortable with me sharing on my blog, just let me know.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sitting on the Bench

I’m sure many of you know by now I’m an old tomboy.   I played softball for years and I still have some battle scars to prove it. What battle scars?  There’s a few, but the biggest are my knees.  They are shot, or as my doctor said, “Traumatized.”  Over the years, I’ve had people say to me, “I bet you would have done things differently if you had realized the damage you were doing to yourself.”  To which I respond, “No way!”

I love how people are so surprised by my response.  Their eyes get big or their mouths drop open.  Then I get a “But why?”  My answer, “Because I played to win and I put my all, my best into a game.  Otherwise, I might as well have been sitting on the bench!”

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23(NIV)

What difference are you going to make for the kingdom of God if you don’t pour your heart and soul into what you are doing? What impression are you making on others?  Do you whine and fuss as you work to or do you praise God and do your best?  You might be surprised at who is watching you as you go about your work.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bella's Back!

Enjoy this fun interview with author Janice Thompson, where she shares the story-behind-the-story regarding Bella’s return.

Janice, welcome! I’m really enjoyed the
Weddings by Bella series and am excited to read the spin-off series.
1. Can you tell us more about why you decided to write it? Sure! (Thanks for hosting me, by the way!) When I wrote
Fools Rush In (book one in the Weddings by Bella series) I knew I had something special on my hands. The characters really resonated with me, but there was more. I felt as if I’d created a world of real, wonderful, wacky people. Sure, I’d breathed life into them on the page, but they seemed to take it from there, springing to life and moving the story forward as they willed. I wrapped up the series with Swinging on a Star and It Had to be You, but my readers weren’t satisfied! At least once a week I got a letter from a fan saying, “Are there more? Please keep this story going!” I sent several of those letters to my editor, and before long she agreed that we should, indeed, keep the story going! That’s how the Weddings by Design story began. I’m so relieved to have more to offer. Since Fools Rush In went free on kindle, it has been downloaded nearly 300,000 times. Crazy! So, I have many, many new readers, aching for more!
2. How are these stories similar to the novels in the Weddings by Bella series? This is a wedding-themed series, just like the first, and loaded with fun, quirky mishaps on the way to the altar! Readers will experience the same “feel” of Galveston Island and my ever-present humor, which drives the stories forward. I truly hope that readers pick up the first book in this new series and sigh with relief as they catch up with their favorite characters from the last series: Bella, D.J., Aunt Rosa, Uncle Laz, the three ladies from Splendora, Brock Benson, and so on. Here’s what the publisher had to say about the new series: “With her contagious humor and cast of quirky characters, Janice Thompson gives readers more of the bridal business drama they want in a brand-new series all about those long-suffering people who make beautiful weddings happen. Readers are desperately waiting for more of Bella and this new series brings her back in a big way, while introducing new characters fans will love. Fans will laugh out loud as they experience this breezy and entertaining novel from a great storyteller.”
3. What sets this new series apart from the last one?The
Weddings by Design novels are told from the point of view of new characters. Book one, Picture Perfect, is about a wedding photographer named Hannah. Book two, The Icing on the Cake, is about a wedding cake designer named Scarlet. Book three, The Dream Dress, is about a dress designer named Gabi. Book four (yet unpublished) is about a wedding florist named Gina. Each of these ladies longs to work with the most fabulous wedding coordinator on the island—Bella (Rossi) Neeley, so everything loops back to Club Wed, just like the first series.
4. When does the new series release? Book one,
Picture Perfect, is already available on amazon. The kindle version will be ready for download on February 15th. (Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!) I received my author copies last week, so autographed copies are available for purchase ($12) if readers are interested in that. They can email me at for more information.
5. Can you tell us about Picture Perfect, the first book in the series? Ooo, I’d love to! The synopsis should answer any questions:
She’s trying to focus on her future. How can one man make everything feel so . . . fuzzy?
Hannah McDermott has a successful photography studio. She’ll soon be featured in Texas Bride magazine. And she has a celebrity client whose Galveston ceremony will be her ticket to the top spot on wedding coordinator Bella Neeley’s list of recommended photographers. But it could all come crashing down around her because of one man: archrival and photographer extraordinaire Drew Kincaid.
As the competition between Hannah and Drew heats up, Hannah is surprised to find that it’s not the only thing getting more intense. She can’t get the handsome man out of her thoughts-or even out of her line of sight-and the job of her dreams is turning into a nightmare. Will everything she’s worked for slip out of her hands? And can she see past her pride to find a picture-perfect love?
6. How is the new series doing with readers so far? Great! Folks who’ve read the book have already contacted me to say they love it! I’m also thrilled that Picture Perfect got a great Romantic Times review. . .four stars! Here’s what the reviewer had to say:
"Fans of romantic comedies are in for a treat just in time for Valentine’s Day. Book one in the Weddings by Design series does not disappoint! Funny one-liners and absolutely lovable characters combine with just enough romantic tension to keep the pages turning at a brisk pace — but readers will want to slow down to savor this one."
7. How are you kicking off the new series? I’m hosting an online party! I’m calling this my “Bing & Bob” party and it will be held on the night of February 18th at 7:00 p.m. central time. These two funny fellas hold a special place in the heart of my characters and they will provide the entertainment at our gathering! This fun, interactive party will take place inside the “Bella’s Back” group on facebook. Join me for an interactive chat, video teasers, Bing Crosby music and giveaways! Some lucky reader/participant will win a free kindle fire! To be entered, you must join the Bella’s Back facebook group and attend the party. (i.e. “Must be present when your named is called.”) For more information about the party, check out this
video invitation.
8. Can you share a little bit from the novel?
Going My Way
May your troubles be as few and as far apart as my grandmother’s teeth.
Irish proverb
My life has been a series of almosts.
Take, for instance, the time I almost made the cheerleading squad in high school but lost out to my archnemesis, Jacquie Practically-Perfect-in-Every-Way Goldfarb. Then there was the time Matt Hudson, the hunkiest football player at my high school, almost asked me to the prom but ended up going with Jacquie instead. Oh, and we can’t forget the time I almost got a photographer’s dream job, shooting superstar Brock Benson’s wedding. Yep. Another almost. That time, the opportunity of a lifetime slipped through my fingers and into the open palms of my chief competitor, Drew Kincaid of Kincaid Photography.
Some people are haunted by memories of things they’ve done. Me? I’m haunted by all of the things I nearly accomplished but missed by a quarter of an inch. That’s why, when faced with yet another unbelievable opportunity—a profile piece in Texas Bride magazine to promote my new Galveston-based photography business—I couldn’t blow it. No more almosts for me. This time I would hit the finish line a winner. My meeting with the Texas Bride reporter would transform my career and propel me into the limelight, winning me the favor of the island’s top wedding planner, Bella Neeley. If I could just keep from messing it up.
Oh, but this time I wouldn’t! In fact, I could almost hear my Grandpa Aengus cheering me on from the great beyond: “Hannah Grace, if you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough.”
I didn’t happen to believe in luck, but if being Irish meant I stood a better chance at succeeding in business, I would embrace my heritage as never before. I would bathe with Irish Spring soap, dress in the vibrant colors of the family crest, skip through fields of shamrocks, and listen to my father’s nightly tales of Clan McDermott’s glory days. And I would do it all with a smile on my face and confidence in my stride.
From his mansion up in heaven, Grandpa Aengus smiled down on me, his gold-capped front tooth gleaming like the precious stones in the pearly gate. I could sense his pleasure as I made up my mind to do the McDermotts proud. Like my warring ancestors of yesteryear, I would fight to the finish, wielding my bloody sword—er, my two-thousand-dollar digital camera with stellar resolution and optical zoom—until I took the prize. I would come out a victor in the end, or make a fool of myself trying.
Either way, I wouldn’t go down without a fight. A true McDermott never did.
Thanks for visiting with us, Janice! Looking forward to the new series!STAY CONNECTED WITH THE AUTHOR: Visit Janice’s WebsiteConnect with Janice on FacebookJoin the “Bella’s Back” Facebook groupWatch the Bing & Bob party
video invitationCheck out the Bella’s Back Video on youtubeRead Fools Rush In (the first Bella book) for free on your kindle