Glimpses of Grace in Georgia by Amanda Gray

About the Book

Glimpses of Grace in Georgia is an incredible true story of how Amanda and her family were taken from suburban America and brought into the heart of a former soviet, third-world country during a time of economic turmoil and political instability. In this exciting memoir, Amanda outlines the struggles of living in a foreign country and how God miraculously provided for her family during this dark time.

Book Excerpt

Chapter 1: When Darkness Prevails

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

Vividly I recall the first few months of my life in Georgia. Never have I experienced such absolute sadness, and prayerfully I will never again. The days felt like years; as the days, though short, felt like the earth stopped spinning around the sun. One particular night a few weeks into our move to Georgia, I felt my entire world come crashing down on me. It was almost too much for a twelve year old girl to handle, yet somehow I managed to get through the night.

My soul was dying in a vast ocean of darkness. I felt the life being sucked out of me, as the tears spilled onto the pages of my journal. I blamed myself for bringing this suffering to my very being. My silent cry was only heard in the form of pencil scratches. My voiceless call for help was made known to no one but my trusty journal. My efforts were fruitless; no one was there to actually listen.

And to think I welcomed this newness. I wanted a change. I desired to leave. I wanted so desperately to get out; to leave behind the dark dragon of my sin, hopeful it would lose its grip on me. But that dragon pursued, just as a hungry lion does its prey. I thought I escaped, but those feelings of guilt haunted me and lurked in the shadows in this dismal country.

The power of the darkness is strong when you have no weapon to use against it.

My body trembled with a vigorous shiver as I pulled my journal closer to my chest, and re-adjusted the hand-made quilt over my head that had begun to slide off. I imagined I looked like an Eskimo, as I had wrapped the blanket tightly around my head to keep in what little heat my body produced. There was a draft in my room coming from the wall opposite my bed. The double doors led out to a balcony that had been converted into another room, where my sister slept. If I was this cold, I wondered how Natasha was able to survive being that much closer to the drafty windows. On cold nights like this, I would stick my feet in between the blades of our electric radiator to quickly warm up my toes. Alas, it only worked when the power was on.

I laid on my stomach, pillows propped up my chest while all the weight of my upper body leaned on my left arm as my right penned out my woes of the day in my dear journal. My only companion. The one whom I spilled all my darkest secrets.

Tears began to stream down my face as I reminisced about the happy memories of my middle school friends. Did they miss me like I missed them? Would they remember me in a year when I return? Would they treat me the same or any differently? The school I attended now wasn’t anything like back home in Ohio.

There weren’t any kids my age. Even if there were, not one spoke a lick of English. Well, except for the standard, “Hi, how are you? Vat ees your name?” That was the standard greeting of the little kids from our school. Even after telling them our names they would run away snickering only to return moments later with the same canned English questions. It grew old rather quickly. I wished I could have a best friend again, like I did in Ohio. Katie was my best friend. She lived next door to me in Ohio, and we would do everything together. I remember the first time I met her. We had just moved into a white-shingled, two-story house in Ohio, and had unpacked all of our belongings from massive cardboard boxes and threw them into the garage to be properly disposed of later. Well, of course, I thought it was a perfect game to climb to the very top of the cardboard boxes that seemed to have stacked to the very ceiling of the garage. Katie peered in and watched me around the corner of the garage door which was open as I played princess and the pea. My sisters were off doing something on their own, and I was perfectly content to play by myself.

“What are you doing?” she asked inquisitively. I looked up and saw a girl about my age, wearing a pink helmet, and one-size-too-large knee and elbow pads standing near the open garage door. She was riding her bike around the block when she saw the moving van and heard my voice inside the garage, and decided to come say hi. Her dark brown hair peeked through her helmet in all directions. She was a skinny girl and tall for her age. Her bright white smile looked back at me as she laughed at the sight of a little girl that had climbed the top of a cardboard box mountain.

She sure looked like she wanted to join in the fun so I replied, “Playing ‘princess and the pea’! Do you want to play too?” Without hesitation the girl jumped up onto the top of the stack with me, and we began to imagine it was an ocean wave and we were surfing on top of it. It was the beginning of a life-long friendship with my best friend, Katie.

Now, Katie is just a memory and my journal is my only friend. Perhaps a better friend than I had ever had. I could tell my journal things that I wouldn’t share with anyone else, and never had to worry if it would spill my secrets as gossip to my best friends. Although, there was no preventing anyone else from reading it, which is why I always hid it away when I left my room. I didn’t want to give my older sister, Jill, any more ammunition to make fun of me. Or worse yet, my parents would know that I kissed a boy the last day of school before we moved.

Chris was my first “boyfriend” although if my dad ever found out he probably would kill us both. The most we had ever done was hold hands in the halls to and from our classes. He would meet me at my locker and escort me, like a pure gentleman, to my next class. I would daydream about him in class instead of listening to the teacher, taking mental note of his messy long bleached-blonde hair, his nerdy black-framed glasses. Then I would secretly write long notes with my gel pens. Some classes you had to be extra careful or the teacher would eye you from the corner of the room and see that you weren’t doing assignments. Up until that day I had only heard that Mr. Smith was mean and read notes out loud to the entire class to publicly shame the girls for not paying attention. Some were really bad, some downright naughty which in turn would get the author sent straight to the principal’s office. It was my last day of school; we would be on an airplane about this time tomorrow. I wasn’t planning on kissing him, that was until my friend Maddy leaned over to me and whispered, “Chris is really looking forward to this afternoon.”

With a puzzled look on my face, I wondered what he could be excited for. Was he excited for me to leave? It was my last day after all. We had been going steady for a few weeks now, I would think he would be sad for this afternoon. “Because it’s my last day?” I whispered back with a furrowed brow, confused why she would say he was excited.

“No!” she said almost too loudly, and instead went to a piece of paper and began to pen out something in secret to me. Obviously, it was too sensitive to say out loud where others could hear. After she was done writing, she put down her pencil quietly and looked around the room to make sure the teacher or others couldn’t see, then she flipped it upside down and slid the note across the table to me.

I gingerly lifted a portion of the note off the table like it was a card in a poker game. Underneath was written in golden gel pen the words, “Chris says he wants you to kiss him!” My heart fluttered at the sight. A kiss? I’m not sure I was ready for that. Suddenly, a classmate jumped to his feet and snatched the note from my hands. “Mr. Smith!” he yelled, “Maddy and Amanda are passing notes in class!” He raised the note high above his head, and shook it vigorously back and forth as if it was a flag waving in the wind.

“Give it back!” I screamed at him as I stood to my feet trying to jump up to reach the note in his hand. Mr. Smith, who had previously had his feet up on his desk, and reclined back in his chair stood up and declared, “Ahh, this should be interesting.” He got up and walked over to the boy and took it from his hands. To the entire class, he read out loud the note which Maddy penned, “Chris says he wants you to kiss him”. With that, the entire class erupted in a chorus of oohs, the way the audience would when watching a couple kiss on an episode of Saved by the Bell. I had never been more humiliated in my life. My face got red and I slunk further down into my seat. I wanted to disappear into the background but I became the center of attention instead. Now everyone in the first period knew that Chris wanted me to kiss him. Half of them probably didn’t even know who Chris was.

The kids at school must have thought it was pretty funny because the story kept getting repeated until lunchtime. Someone I didn’t know in the 8th grade came up to me to give me “tips” on how to kiss someone properly. Other kids made fun of me as I passed the halls, where they would turn around and face the wall, and with their own hands would wrap themselves with a big hug and rub their backs all around while making kissing sounds. Others gave me pats on the back and exclaimed, “Good luck today!” Some even heard that we were going to make out in front of the school for everyone to see. Others heard worse. I was utterly embarrassed. This was not at all what I imagined my last day of school would look like. Most of these kids didn’t know it would be the last day I set foot in this school. Some may even believe I was run out, never to come back again due to a severe case of embarrassment-itis. I wasn’t sure I was ready to kiss Chris, but I guess, I didn’t want to let him and everyone else down. It’s such a silly thing to say and think about really, that I was more concerned with what others thought about me and said about me, than I did about my own feelings.

So that afternoon, when school let out. Chris met me at my locker, which I had cleared out of all my belongings. He helped me carry out some of my books to the front of the school, where the busses were. His canter was fast, I suppose he also heard what everyone was saying in the school. I’m not sure if he wanted to get to the “good part” or if he was wanting to be rid of me already.

In front of the school, there wasn’t a crowd like I was expecting. I suppose if there was, I wouldn’t chalk up the courage to kiss him. There was such a hustle and bustle of kids running to their busses, getting into their parent’s cars; everyone was distracted and wanting to get home. So, I took a step off to the side of the building, just outside the front doors where not many people were. We plopped our bags and books on the ground and I reached up and gave Chris a big hug. He was much taller than I was, so I had to stand on my tip-toes while he hunkered down to wrap me in his arms. I remember then our faces met, and he gave me a very sloppy wet kiss on the mouth. His black-framed glasses fell down his nose and bonked me in the face as it happened. It may have only lasted a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity.

It’s not exactly something I did (run around school kissing boys). I felt like I owed it to him, being my last day and all. Everyone else pressured me into it. I suppose that should not have affected me one bit but it did. Strange how other people can impact your own decisions and thought processes; that’s something I would struggle with even years later. Even though it lasted only a few brief moments, I knew one thing for certain; it felt so good to feel loved. I felt like I was wanted by someone else; but that now was only a distant memory.

As I laid in that cold bed, I felt quite the polar opposite. No one in the world wanted me. The light from my kerosene lantern dimmed and flickered as it slowly died. The darkness was overcoming it too. My cold fingers slowly turned the knob on the side and the wick raised enough for the fire to consume it and grow into a large flame. It instantly brightened the room and spilled dark shadows on the furniture and walls by my bed. I held my hands briefly by the glass covering of the lantern to warm them up. It took a moment for them to dethaw, but I felt the surge of my blood flow through them. I was reassured there still was some sort of life flowing through my veins.

The shape of the library where I slept was made visible. The room’s walls had books stacked upon floor-to-ceiling shelves. Books that I was never able to read. They were all in either Georgian or Russian. Two languages that at that point I hadn’t quite figured out the differences. This was the Beast’s library, and I was Belle, held captive against my will.

The pages before me were clearer now. The warm, orange glow from the lantern was enough for me to see my chicken-scratch writing on the pages below. Most nights I spent in bed like that. I wrote silently for hours by the light of that lantern, I recalled my friends back home and thought of all the activities I was missing. I didn’t have a nightstand to place a lamp, not that it mattered anyway. Most nights we didn’t have power in the house – nor in the surrounding neighborhood. It was an eerie feeling to look off the balcony of our eighth story apartment building, and look out to the neighboring buildings for miles and see pure darkness. Only the light of the moon gave off a brief outline of each building as they stood there in silence. Back in Ohio, we would have these massive and fierce thunderstorms. One moment it would be calm and peaceful outside within a matter of minutes you could look out your window and see chaos. Dark clouds would roll in and the world would be veiled in an expanse of darkness. Lightning would crash above and brighten the ground only for a moment as far as you could see. Thunder would boom the way a bowling ball does as it hits the wooden floors of an alley. The whole house would shake and vibrate with the crash. Then the power would go out. My family would huddle together with flashlights, in awe of the powerful storm. We thought it was exciting and fun to have the power go out.

There was no awe here. We lived almost daily without electricity. The exhilaration of the storm in Ohio only lasted a moment, and in due time our power was restored. But not here. Here we lived in darkness. I guess I never really understood what it meant to live in darkness until the light was taken from us. The constant pleasantries of life in the United States seemed like a fundamental right to most who lived there. It was inhumane to take away a person’s electricity or water when they paid for a service. In the Republic of Georgia though, our electricity was sold to a neighboring country. Prize of the highest bidder. Through the rolling blackouts, hospitals and the metro system oftentimes stayed on. This was to support the necessary infrastructure which kept the country moving in somewhat of a better direction. Then there were those who were cunning and hooked up their own power lines and tapped into the grid that was online for essential services and stole it away from those who needed it most. Others learned to steal their neighbor’s power as they fired up their personal home generators.

It was a game of the survival of the fittest. If you didn’t get electrocuted in the process of stealing another man’s electricity, you’d be able to pass on your fraudulent methods to your kids and the vicious cycle continues. The old Soviet infrastructure wasn’t prepared to host that many customers at once. The power that was online for essential services was regularly taken down, overloaded with the number of users that had maliciously tapped in.

It never dawned on me how extremely blessed we were to live in the United States. We never had to wonder if we would have power to do some of the simple tasks of a first-world country. We didn’t have to worry about lead or Giardia viruses in our kitchen sink. We didn’t have to plan our showers ahead of time because of the limited supply of hot water. How quickly we forget how truly blessed we are when we have rows upon rows of food options that line our supermarkets. We quickly forget how blessed we are when we have everything at our fingertips.

I lifted my hands from the page and rubbed my eyes. I opened my mouth wide and yawned, tears formed in my eyes and I felt them drop down my cheeks. Sleep, akin to the darkness in my life, started to overcome me. I looked up and I saw more dark shadows from messing with my eyes. I blinked a few times to clear my view and looked around my room. The silence of the apartment was eerie. All I heard was the wind which howled every few minutes as it moved through the apartment buildings. I thought to myself that everyone had already gone to sleep. I thought I was the only one in the apartment awake when suddenly someone knocked at my door, and I almost jumped out of my skin.

“Yeah?” I called with an uncertain shake in my voice.

My mom opened the door and peered inside. Her soft face poked through the small crack which was wide enough to reveal herself standing in the doorway. She had heavy and tired-looking eyes. The warm light from the lantern draped unflattering shadows on her face, making her look older than she actually was. She gently smiled and whispered, “It’s getting late, Amanda. You should get some sleep.” She shuffled in and sat at the head of my bed. I quickly slammed my journal shut. I didn’t want her to see something not meant for her to read. She was always trying to look out for my well-being; at the time, I felt it was annoying how much she cared.

She pulled the quilt from off of my head, and let it rest on the top of my back. She leaned against the wall and played with my kerosene smelling hair.

“I can’t sleep,” I lied. I knew we had school in the morning, but it was hard to care. School seemed pointless, just like living in this country.

“Have you tried?” She tilted her head and looked down at me. Her thin eyebrows raised and her eyes widened. She pursed her lips together resembling that of a pouting fish.

I shook my head. I knew I would lose my battle against sleep. My eyes got heavy, as she stroked my hair. I felt like a cat and purred with delight at the pleasant feeling.

She sang a song I’ve known well since I was a little girl. Her voice was soothing and caused my eyes to close as I focused on the lyrics.

“I love you, Lord, And I lift my voice,
To worship you, oh my soul, rejoice.
Take joy my King, In what you hear,
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound to Your ears.”

She lightly and tenderly kissed my forehead and whispered, “I love you, Amanda. Goodnight.”

I was left alone to my feelings of despair as what little light was swallowed up by the shadows as mom picked up the lantern and made her way to the door. Light lost its battle against the darkness as she blew out the lantern and departed my room.

Now nothing in my room was visible except for dark shadows. My brain played tricks on me as I saw shapes of monsters from the furniture in the corners; perhaps it was a dragon in the corner of the room waiting to pounce on me when I least expected it. I quickly brushed off the thought as my eyes slowly adjusted to the sudden darkness. A pale blue light from the moon shone in through my younger sister Natasha’s window. At least I had some source of light left, albeit very dim.

My mind drifted away into the thoughts of my head. Just like light lost its battle with darkness, I lost mine against sleep.

About the Author

Amanda Gray is a web developer in Virginia with an exceptional story about her experience living in Georgia from the years 2000 to 2003. Early in her adolescent life, Amanda faced a number of unique challenges, yet found an abundance of God’s grace through it all.

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My Dad Is An Angel by Teresa M. Burns

About the Book

Losing a loved one is challenging, and as we grieve their loss we are also rewarded in knowing that they have done great things while they were here on earth. In this book you will experience one little girl’s journey with her hard working, loving, and devoted father and family as they embrace his many talents and gifts. Until they realize that he suddenly falls ill unexpectedly. May this book fill you with the goodness of the Lord and may his angel’s surround you during your time of need.

Book Excerpt

My Dad takes pride in all that he does and displays such an enormous amount of determination. But if you were to ask me, the determination lies within his hands. Just take a look and see!!

About the Author

I am a newly self-published author originally from Pittsburgh Pa, however, I have lived in Maryland for 4.5 years now. And while I have a lengthy background in the mental and behavioral health profession. I have written my first Christian Children’s book on the loss of a loved one as it’s my personal testimony about my father as to whom we said goodbye to in 2018. And since then I officially decided to answer the Lord’s call and walk in my purpose.

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DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”

Al’s Aussie Adventures A to Zed by Eve Hill

About the Book

What do jumbucks, didgeridoos, a platypus, a dingo and kippers all have in common? They’re part of Al’s exotic adventures in the “Land Down Under”! Come join Al in discovering what freshies, mozzies, and joeys are, and learn a few fun Australian words!

Book Excerpt

“Cooee!” yelled Al, as he chinwagged with his cobbers, Chris the Chook, Clara the Cockatoo, and Charlie the Croc, over a cuppa tea and some chips in Canberra.

About the Author

Eve Hill is an elementary teacher, artist, writer, entrepreneur, and nature educator. As an educator, she enjoys teaching children to meet with success and to have fun learning. Eve and her husband, Terry, enjoy creating children’s books that bring joy. Her website is http://www.springtimedivinecreations.com.

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DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”

ABCs of Gratitude: Give Thanks for Your Blessings Through These ABC Prompts by Kimberley Payne

About the Book

It’s never too early to introduce kids to being grateful.

Help your children learn thankfulness as they learn the alphabet.

Starting with the letter A, write or draw something you are thankful for.

Book Excerpt

About the Author

Kimberley Payne is an award-winning author. She combines her teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science, and faith. www.kimberleypayne.com

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DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”

The Little Girl in the Pink Dress & STEAM Adventures with Freedom Speakz and Friends

Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-month book tour for The Little Girl in the Pink Dress & Steam Adventures with Freedom Speakz & Friend with Co-authors Chizelle’ T Archie & Freedom Speakz.

The book tour will run December 1-January 29, 2021.

Genre: Children, nonfiction

Meet The Authors

Freedom Speakz, born Freedom Jah’an Archie, is the petite but larger than life, multi-talented artist and Atlanta, Georgia native. She is a seventh grader currently attending Coretta Scott King Young Women’s leadership Academy. As her name suggests, Freedom Speakz is a free-spirited young lady, who never misses an opportunity to fascinate audiences both big and small. Freedom’s love for the arts parallels her love of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) At just twelve years old, she is young yet fierce and confident. Chizelle’ T. Archie, is a native of Mobile, Alabama. She bursts on the literary scene in 2010 when she penned her debut novel, “The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond, in which the sequel shortly followed. “His Grace, His Blood, His Mercy! ”Chizelle’ is a mother to the joy of her life Freedom Jah’an A.K.A. Freedom Speakz, as well as a Registered Nurse. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

About The Books

STEAM Adventures with Freedom Speakz and Friends.

The fearless STEAM adventurer Freedom Speakz takes a journey to several fun places where she meets new friends along the way. While riding in her super powered yet magical Freedom Cycle, Freedom Speakz, her friends, and yes you too, will help each other complete the wonderful activities that spell all things Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math!

The Little Girl In The Pink Dress

Freedom Speakz and her friends have a fun filled day in the park, as she recounts the story of how her infamous “Generations” speech came to be. In this true tale, she relives the moments from where it all began. As a tribute to Mrs. Coretta Scott King it was on that day she stood, and proclaimed FREEDOM for all to see. No one could have ever imagined that the voice of this little girl in a pink dress would forever change the world!

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Hearts Set Free by Jess Lederman

Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour and book giveaway for Hearts Set Free by Jess Lederman. The book tour will run January 18-29, 2021. 

Book Title: Hearts Set Free

Genre: Literary Fiction/ Historical/Christian

ISBN-10 : 1098511093

ISBN-13 : 978-1098511098

A graduate with a degree in music from Columbia University, Jess Lederman is an author of Christian-themed fiction who lives with his wife and two young sons in the Pacific Northwest.

He is currently at work on a novel that begins in the last days of the Wild West and ends in Las Vegas in 1955. When Jess is not writing or chasing his young sons around, he can usually be found at the piano playing Chopin nocturnes for his wife, Ling.

Seven Lives Inexorably Intertwined. Over Eighty-Six Years. That Will Bring a Revelation Beyond What Any of Them Could Imagine.
 
The Alaska Territory, 1925. When Yura Noongwook’s husband abandons her and her thirteen-year-old son, she vows to win him back and destroy the woman who stole his heart. They embark on an epic cross-country quest that leads them to the Nevada desert, where they meet a man who has turned into the last thing anyone expected him to become …
 
David Gold. Reno, 1930. A Bible-school dropout known as the Pummelin’ Preacher. His boxing career is fading, just like his faith. But then a former call girl shows up, tells him about the rag-tag congregation she’s part of; how their pastor was murdered. And that the Spirit is moving and David’s destiny is to lead their tiny flock.
 
Las Vegas, 2011. Cable TV star Tim Faber is an atheist bent on proving God is only alive in people’s imaginations. But Joan Reed, his producer, is trying to recapture the faith of her youth. And both of them are driven to unravel a mystery surrounding the Big Bang theory, never dreaming the answer will forever change their lives.
 
To do that, they have to meet with the now 99-year-old Luke Noongwook and David Gold’s grandson, Daniel.
 
The veil is being pulled back, but none of them are prepared for what they’ll find on the other 
side.

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Chapter One

Luke and Yura: The Alaska Territory, 1925

My father deserted my mother and me when I was thirteen years

old. He had become famous that winter on the Great Race of Mercy, one

of the Athabascan mushers who brought diphtheria serum to Nome

and saved ten thousand lives. He’d done the impossible, a blind run in

the howling darkness, crossing the open ice of the Norton Sound, the

temperature falling to sixty below, the sun a distant dream. He was our

hero, our North Star.

And then he was gone.

He left us, of course, for a woman. A blizzard had hit him at

Unalakleet, a storm so powerful that it travelled four thousand miles,

till at last it reached New York and froze the Hudson River. The woman

lived in just that far-away land, on the wild island of Manhattan, and

her name was Kathleen Byrne. The Hearst papers had been giving the

Great Race front-page headlines; Kathleen was a reporter, lean and

hungry, she’d go to the ends of the earth for a good story, and one day

she got her chance.

No one in my hometown of Nenana had seen anything like her,

a slender redhead with emerald eyes, smoking Lucky Strikes and

exhaling expertly through her nostrils, this coolly confident young

woman with fiery hair.

She wanted details that would bring the story to life, so Father

brought her to our home to show off his sled dogs. At least, the ones

who’d survived, for three he had raised since they were pups had died

on the trail. Somewhere in the madness of that journey he’d forgotten

to cover their groins with rabbit skins, and they’d perished of frostbite

in the unfathomable cold.

I gaped at her stupidly.

“Excuse my son,” said my mother. “He has no manners.”

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ABCs of Psalms for Kids: Learn God’s Word through these ABC Bible Verses by Kimberley Payne

About the Book

It’s never too early to introduce kids to God’s Word.

Help your children learn 26 Bible verses from Psalms as they learn the alphabet.

Memorizing Bible verses can be as easy as learning your ABCs!

Book Excerpt

About the Author

Kimberley Payne is an award-winning author. She combines her teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science, and faith. www.kimberleypayne.com

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DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”

The Cure for Divorce by Michael S. Sayen

About the Book

The Jews only allowed a man to initiate the divorce in the Old Testament. We allow both genders to divorce in the Church. This book explores the difference, and asks “why”? I think you will be surprised with the new information that was uncovered. I received help from over 200 professors. Such as: Dr. David Instone-Brewer, Dr. Gary Habermas and many others.

Book Excerpt

Unilateral vs Bilateral

I wanted to write a few paragraphs about divorce from the Bible. This understanding was challenging for Gentiles coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Gentiles did not look at Scripture through the eyes of the Jews, but through their own worldview and culture. Since hardness of heart, in part, has occurred to Israel (Romans 9-11), many of the Jewish concepts of marriage have been forgotten. Imagine if you will, the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. The primarily Jewish council in Jerusalem, where James and the elders of the church resided (Acts 21:18), dismantled and dispersed abroad. Gentile churches forced to answer difficult questions on their own. Without an understanding of marriage from its roots, those in the later church relied on their own understanding of divorce and remarriage. We can understand marriage by many examples in the Old Testament. A man acquired his wife by the bride price (mohar), which followed the traditional cup of wine. After the appointed time set by the man’s father, he would go at night and call out the name of his beloved in a wedding procession that led into the wedding banquet hall (Matthew 25:10). Jacob offered to work for Laban seven years for his daughter Rachel. After the completed time, he asked for his wife. Laban gave a marriage feast, with food and wine (John 2:9, Revelations 19:9). Jacob consummated the marriage followed by a completion of weeks (Genesis 29:21-27).

About the Author

I went to Calvary Chapel Bible College. I started to date a girl who was divorced. This was a topic that is not covered in theological classes today other than your usual once-brush-over. I asked God to show me the truth. I broke up with her, at the direction of the Pastors, because I was not sure what to do. 20 years later I wrote this book.

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ABCs of Scripture for Kids: Learn God’s Word through these ABC Bible Verses by Kimberley Payne

About the Book

It’s never too early to introduce kids to God’s Word.

Help your children learn 26 Bible verses as they learn the alphabet.

Memorizing Bible verses can be as easy as learning your ABCs!

Book Excerpt

About the Author

Kimberley Payne is an award-winning author. She combines her teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science, and faith. www.kimberleypayne.com

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Bre’s Heavenly Adventures with Jesus by Breanna Brown

Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour and Amazon gift card giveaway for Bre’s Heavenly Adventures with Jesus by Breanna Brown. The book tour will run Jan 11-22, 2021.
ASIN: B08R6M41Q1
Genre: Christian Children’s Book
Bre Brown currently serves as the Youth Minister of Watchman Ministries, alongside her Husband Eric Smith, located in Fredericksburg, VA. She’s been regarded, as the “prophetic voice for the next generation.” She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Louisville and currently possesses her qualified mental health professional registration in the state of Virginia. She is currently pursuing her graduate certificate in non-profit studies. She is the CEO and founder of Child Enrichment Solutions LLC. Which is a full-service coaching and consulting firm that helps youth to identify negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that inhibit them from achieving personal achievement utilize constructive coping strategies to lead happy, empowered, and successful lives.

Bre gets angry when her father breaks his promise and refuses to play with her. But Bre’s mom tells her that she another father named Jesus-and he is the best father ever. He is always there, always ready to listen, and he will never stop loving her-even when she has made a mistake! So Bre goes to heaven to meet him…and this book will tell you what happened there!

“As the tears began streaming down her face. Her mama stopped to ask, “will you be ok?” Why doesn’t he love me? Bre asked. He always does this! Do you think he’s mad?”

Long Way From Paradise by Kevin M. Kraft

About the Book

Doboro the Bottlenecker is back another action-packed adventure!

After months on the road, trying to stay a step ahead of sword-slinging assassins and barely avoiding prison for defeating one of them, wandering blues singer, DOBORO reunites unexpectedly with a dear friend whose idyllic hometown is falling into decline, when a young business tycoon announces his offer to revamp Paradise, Kansas.

But what at first seems beneficial to the town soon proves detrimental to its residents. And Doboro will need intervene on their behalf, to rectify the situation a keep Paradise from becoming a veritable hell.

Meanwhile, Doboro’s daughter, DREW HOLIDAY, still heartbroken after their estrangement, embarks on a journey to find him again. But considering the danger he faces, even if she can locate him, their next reunion is likely to take place at his funeral.

LONG WAY FROM PARADISE brings the action, humor and heart readers have come to expect from this ongoing action-drama series.

Book Excerpt

Somewhere near Springfield, Missouri…

The kid was quick. But he lacked experience. Probably a slacker trying to prove himself to the boss, Takuma who thought him dispensable enough to send on a fool’s er-rand. A kid!

The first time their swords clashed, Doboro perceived the raw determination and strength of youth.

And fear. He was, after all, just a boy.

Oh, I hate this! How I hate this!

They had been going at it for ten seconds, their foot-falls, grunts and clacking blades reverberating within the tunnel, which would have normally caused the blind man confusion. The boy’s breath rushed in and out of him like bellows and Doboro felt honest compassion for him. By his discernment, he couldn’t have been too far out of his teens and entirely inadequate to his given task.

But while he felt his own strength unchanged since their fight began, Doboro wasn’t foolish enough to underestimate him. This lad was still one of Jamong Takuma’s men and clearly had an exceptional level of com-bat training—at least. Nevertheless, as the soles of their shoes crunched on the gravel beneath them, he felt hon-or-bound to appeal to the boy’s good sense.

Or his sense of humor.

“Kid,” he said, soft and low, meaning to demand attention in the midst of the malady, “I’ve fought a lot of men. I need you to listen to me when I say you’re in over your head. You could say that you definitely have your work cut out for you. We don’t need to do this. You needn’t die here today.”

“You do!”

The boy’s feet scuffed, an in-drawn breath and Doboro dodged the predictable diagonal slash that whooshed past his right ear, as he spun away, and then connected with a side kick to the boy’s unprotected ribs, knocking him against the tunnel wall nearby It was not hard enough to cripple him but forceful enough to, perhaps, get him to rethink his situation.

“I know,” Doboro continued, as the kid tried to catch his breath. “You want to prove yourself. Wanna prove you’re a man. But it’s just you and me, isn’t it? Congratu-lations. I deem you a man for finding me and engaging me. But I can tell you aren’t ready for this. I hear it in your breath. I can smell it. Emphysema. No, asthma, right?”

Doboro heard the boy’s steps falter and then still. Good.

“Probably pretty bad. Kept you out of sports. Kept you weak a lot of your life.” Doboro relaxed his attitude slightly, to encourage the boy to do likewise. “Always wanted to do more, be more…but your lungs wouldn’t let you. Had the eye of the tiger but the breath of an ant. I’m willing to bet that your parents were also disappoint-ed by you, which is why you got involved with Takuma. Sure, you got a job, probably through a friend. But you haven’t measured up to anyone’s expectations. So, they sent you out here for one more chance to prove yourself. That right?”

The boy attacked again. Doboro easily spun away from his jab, scoring a spinning kick to his right buttock. “Ow!” came the surprisingly immature shout, as the young man stumbled several steps.

Doboro faced him, his posture entirely relaxed now, wanting to signal the end of the fight. “But I’m wrong about one thing,” he said. “It wasn’t a friend…but your father, who pushed you to this, right? Maybe your dad even works for Takuma and got you a job on security detail. You want to make your dad proud. Oh, your mother loves you to death, but your dad? But listen, here’s the thing—and there’s no way around this…if you die here, now, today, you’ll only be hurting your mother. And I can’t believe you’re willing to make your mother grieve unnecessarily. And I’ll bet your father would miss you too.”

The boy had grown very still now. Even his labored breathing had slowed.

“I don’t want to kill you, son. Don’t make me. Go back home and let your mother love you. You want to be a man? Stay alive and grow into one. Doesn’t do anyone any good for you to die now. What do you say? Let’s just part company. Or not—hey, we can go someplace and I’ll buy you a beer or something. You must be old enough. There you go.”

Doboro was desperate to preserve this young man’s life. At the same time, he hoped he did not sound desperate. He waited and listened, encouraged by the pulse-pounding seconds that ensued. He was getting through. He knew it.

“Probably be your first beer, right? A rite of passage. True mandom. What do you say? I don’t really drink beer, personally. Can’t get past the smell—”

With an incredible burst of air and speed, the young man attacked once more.

And only once more.

Because Doboro was just a bit wiser and faster.

And the only thing Doboro was thankful for, as he delivered the final, fatal blow was that Jamong Takuma for-bade his employees, under penalty of death, from carrying firearms.

In the final moments of the lad’s terribly young life, Doboro replaced his sword and crouched beside his prone form. And there, in the dreary confines of that tunnel, he found the would-be killer’s hand, his right one, and held it. He could hear the gulps for air become shallower, more ragged.”

“It didn’t have to end like this,” he said gently.

“Yes…it did,” the young man managed through a gurgled breath.

“Son…let’s look to the Lord for both our souls. Will you do that with me…and let me do something for you?”

“What can—” He gasped again. The death rattle was beginning.

“Pray. Let me pray with you.”

It took a moment, but he felt the kid return his grip, trembling with fear, his death at the door.

“Don’t leave,” he said, his voice but a whisper.

And Doboro prayed for him and stayed with him a minute after that. Until the end.

Just before the cops showed up.

About the Author

Kevin M. Kraft is an award-winning author of Christian fiction (MOMO: An inspirational thriller). Kevin has been blessed with the ability to write stories, since childhood. The love of writing has grown into creating screenplays and songs as well. To keep things even more interesting, Kevin is an actor and independent filmmaker. His musical interest at this time includes motion picture scoring as well as building and playing cigar box guitars (he founded the KC Cigar Box Guitar Festival). His hobbies and interest are numerous and vast. Kevin shares his life with his wonderful wife and children in the Midwest.

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DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”

Doboro the Bottlenecker by Kevin M. Kraft

About the Book

The first two books in Kevin M. Kraft’s cutting-edge faith based DOBORO THE BOTTLENECKER series (Doboro the Bottlenecker: Doboro Begins and Doboro the Bottlenecker: Louder than Words) together in one electrifying volume!

After surviving a devastating assassination attempt, family man Dave Granger is spirited away to South Korea to undergo intense rehabilitation under the harsh tutelage of a martial arts master by the grace of a merciful God.

Seven years later, with a sterling faith born out of adversity and a wit as razor sharp as the sword concealed within his walking stick, Granger returns to the U.S. and ekes out a modest living as a blind cigar box slide guitarist and street singer in Kansas City. But while he tries to live in peaceful anonymity, he is once again set upon by the very ruthless forces that killed his family and took his sight. But unlike the first time, Doboro is by no means defenseless, having been trained in the ancient Korean art of the Sulsa warriors.

But will his uncommon faith, indomitable spirit and breathtaking combat skills, pitted against highly trained assassins, be enough to save his life, let alone that of the one person whose life is dearer to him than his own?

Book Excerpt

CHAPTER THREE The Night the World Changed He wasn’t sure how long he had been asleep. He wasn’t sure what had awakened him. As he sat up, he could perceive a difference, a change in the atmosphere, which he at first attributed to his anxiety.

It was still night. A quick glance at his watch told him it was just past 1 a.m. Sylvia breathed evenly and deeply beside him. And taking the walkie-talkie from the nightstand, Dave finally knew what was so strange. There was none of the frequent bursts of indeterminate radio chatter from the radios of Valesquez or any of the other agents guarding the hall.

He rose gently, taking the Beretta and tucking it into his rear waistband before stepping silently to the door. He took another look at Sylvia and, seeing she slept peacefully, opened the door and stepped out.

The hallway was empty. That was the first alarming thing. Dave also noticed everything was strangely still, like the calm before a storm. He glanced at Sylvia once more to make sure she was still asleep before closing the door. He depressed the transceiver on his walkie again and held it up to his face.

“This is Granger to any agent,” he said. “Please respond.”

He heard a sound downstairs. Reaching behind him-self, he pulled the 9mm semi-automatic from his waist-band and moved quietly to the steps, his footfalls silent on the thick carpeting. Maybe, he thought, as he descended the staircase, they were checking in with one another outside. Noting briefly that the living room was empty as well, he proceeded to the front door. He decided, as he reached for the knob, that he would request of them some warning when they were going to leave their posts—

Mr. Yu grinned back at him, looking just as Dave had last seen him, wearing a black suit of Chinese silk with a weave so fine that it reflected the ambient light sensationally. He also spun his ornate short dragon staff casually, a sign of utmost confidence.

Dave cursed and brought his pistol up but even then knew he was too late, a fact illustrated painfully when Yu lashed out with a crescent kick, which knocked the weapon from his grasp, and followed up with a powerful side kick that sent Dave careening halfway across the room, his breath knocked out of him in an embarrass-ing uff! He found himself on his back, his vision darkening from the blunt force trauma of the blow as well as oxygen deprivation. He got to his feet as quickly as he could, gasping for air, watching Yu enter the living room, pursuing him but not really exerting himself to do it. With a loud cry, Yu launched a jumping side kick into Dave’s chest that knocked him completely over the so-fa. Dave landed on the carpet, barely missing the glass coffee table there. Crap, he thought, trying to breathe, that was hard. And the thing that frightened him most was that he knew Yu was playing with him.

In fact, everything had become clear. The safe house was no longer safe, the FBI agents, who had been protecting him, were likely dead and this was an execution. An assassination.

Yu was the instrument of choice.

He heard Yu chuckle menacingly and then, a moment later, Yu leaped over the sofa to land catlike on the floor mere inches from Dave’s legs. He could have crushed them, Dave thought. Seeing an opportunity, he swung his right leg, catching Yu behind the knees and swept him to the floor. Half-point.

Get up, Granger!

Dave forced himself to his knees by the time Yu had risen fully. Too late again. Dave, on all fours, braced himself as Yu kicked him in the ribs once, twice. He somehow managed to remain on his hands and knees. And when Yu attempted a third kick, Dave trapped his leg between his arms and used the leverage to get to his feet. And Dave actually thought he finally had Yu, that the martial arts master had made a fatal mistake. But his thinking was his undoing. Yu jumped off with his free foot and wheeled a lightning fast inner crescent kick to the side of Dave’s head that sent both of them to the floor once again.

Dave’s skull rang like a bell, as he crawled around the sofa, hoping Yu was at least slowed down by the fall. Once around, he got painfully to his feet and stumbled toward the door.

But Jamong Takuma was already there, waiting for him, looking dapper, even imperious, in his grey silk suit. His was a powerful presence in any environment, his shrewd and ruthless reputation preceding well ahead of him.

As Dave inhaled to somehow react, Mr. Takuma’s right hand flashed out toward him, not a strike, but to launch, Dave realized, a cloud of white powder that reached him as though it were a living creature. It struck his face, becoming like acid that burned, it entered his lungs and seemed to bathe them in fire. And it touched his eyes and melted straight through his skull.

Dave screamed as best he could, perhaps for the first time in his life, as his body descended into hell. He stepped back and fell to the floor, his entire body rebel-ling to where even the soft cushion of the carpet was intolerable. He at once wanted to tear his clothing off, cut out his lungs and gouge out his own eyes to stop the agony that now gripped him. He was aware of the other two men, knew they were still there, watching, amused, as he tried to crawl away to—anywhere, any-where to stop the burning. But his convulsing muscles—what did they do to him!—only allowed him to move so far before he came to a halt beside the sofa, like a wind-up toy out of spring action. Whatever they were going to do to him, he prayed it would be quick. Oh, but what about Sylvia and Mikinzi? Sylvia was asleep when he’d left her. Was she still? His vision waned like the fade-out of a movie scene, as he turned his face toward the steps leading upstairs. He tried to call out to warn Sylvia but managed only a frog-like croak, his throat raw from whatever chemical agent Ta-kuma had employed.

The last thing he saw was Takuma himself crouching beside him.

“See no evil, Mister Granger?” he said, his smile evi-dent in his voice. “It is difficult to be a witness when one cannot see, yes? Or breathe…or talk…or move? Or after being fatally poisoned, as you have.” What Takuma’s laugh lacked in volume it made up for in malevolence. “Did you really think you could betray me and get away with it? Now, the powder administered to you would have you dead in mere hours, if left untreated. However, I have no desire for you to suffer so long. Just long enough to see the end coming. To wonder what became of your wife and daughter.”

Dave cursed Takuma. But his words came out unintelligible, a pitiful squeak like a balloon with a leak. His breath came in short, pathetic gasps, his body was numbing on the outside but burned within. His vision had become a featureless field of white.

He heard Takuma rise.

“I guess I won’t be seeing you in court later today after all. I won’t torture you by telling you how many seconds you have left. I think I’ll let it be a surprise. And if it hasn’t been made clear to you, Mister Granger, your services to me are no longer required.”

Takuma laughed one last time, his voice fading as he walked away. Dave became conscious of Yu placing something in his hand and then doing something to the object before he too walked away. He heard or sensed something about the object he held, beyond the fact that it couldn’t be anything good. There was some-thing…electronic about it. Using his last ounce of strength, before death could claim him, he heaved the object away from him, toward what he presumed was the door. The device hit something solid, and he heard Yu curse. Dave reached out and grabbed the stubby leg of the sofa and managed to pull himself behind it a second before oblivion—

About the Author

Kevin M. Kraft is an award-winning author of Christian fiction (MOMO: An inspirational thriller). Kevin has been blessed with the ability to write stories, since childhood. The love of writing has grown into creating screenplays and songs as well. To keep things even more interesting, Kevin is an actor and independent filmmaker. His musical interest at this time includes motion picture scoring as well as building and playing cigar box guitars (he founded the KC Cigar Box Guitar Festival). His hobbies and interest are numerous and vast. Kevin shares his life with his wonderful wife and children in the Midwest.

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DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”

The Underdog Duckling by Sally Meadows

About the Book

When Quinn’s mom gets sick and Quinn has to go live with his grandfather in the big city, a nearby pond becomes a place of comfort and peace for him. But when Quinn spots a duckling all on its own, his own feeling of not belonging bubbles to the surface. How will Quinn get through this time in his life when everything seems so upside down?

Winner of the 2019 The Word Awards, Children’s Book category. Shortlisted for the 2020 Saskatchewan Book Awards.

Book Excerpt

Quinn climbed onto Mom’s bed and snuggled close. He told her about the duckling, trying not to cry.

Then, everything spilled out:

“The kids were mean to me at school. They said my boots smelled like cow poop! No one wanted to be my friend. And I’m scared because you’re sick! Why can’t things be the way they used to be?”

Mom hugged Quinn. “It’s okay to feel sad or angry or scared when it feels like everything is against us, Quinn. That’s called being an underdog. Some people think underdogs are weak. But I say they can be strong.”

About the Author

Sally Meadows is an award-winning author, speaker, and recording artist. A former scientist, children’s entertainer, and educator, Sally loves to share her passion for science and the natural world through her fictional stories and non-fiction books.

Sally’s children’s books (The Two Trees, Beneath That Star, When Sleeping Birds Fly: 365 Amazing Facts About The Animal Kingdom, and When Crocodiles Cry: 365 More Amazing Facts About The Animal Kingdom, The Underdog Duckling) have been collectively shortlisted for, or won, national or international writing awards seven times. She currently makes her home in New Brunswick, Canada. Sally’s website is https://sallymeadows.com, where you can find all her links on social media.

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It can also be ordered at your local bookstore.


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Kneeling at the Throne by Cassandra Hill

About the Book

Embrace your faith and develop a deeper relationship with God through this beautiful prayer journal.

Specially crafted with a gorgeous minimalist format and a selection of inspiring Scripture, this stunning prayer journal lets you walk closer to God and incorporate your faith into your daily life through prayer. Ideal for writing down your most personal thoughts and feelings to share with God, this book lets you ask for His guidance, stay strong in times of hardship, and cultivate an unshakeable faith which will be a constant, unwavering light in your life.

As a thoughtful and creative gift idea for your friends, parents, relatives and family members, Kneeling at the Throne will help you feel God’s presence and find an endless source of strength in times of need.

Book details:

•Features a Collection of Touching Biblical Wisdom To Inspire and Guide You

•Ample Space To Write Down Your Prayers, Thoughts and Feelings

•Helps You Make Prayer a Daily Practice and Incorporate Your Faith Into Your Life

•Let’s You Keep a Record of Your Prayers So You Can Look Back on How Far You’ve Come

•And Makes a Wonderful Gift For Birthdays, Christmas, Easter and More

If you’re searching for a powerful journal that lets you walk closer to God, or if you want to turn prayer into a solid foundation of your spiritual life, then this journal is for you.

Book Excerpt

The Power of Prayer

Hannah

1 Samuel 2

Hannah prayed and said, My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies because I rejoice in my victory. There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge and by Him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to She ’ol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s and on them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not my might does one prevail. The LORD His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed. And the Lord took note of Hannah; she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.

About the Author

Cassandra Hill is a Holistic Wellness Coach, Author, and Speaker. After overcoming systemic lupus with a regimen she developed; Cassandra birthed Holistic Living Consulting. Her mission is to empower women by renewing their mind, body, and soul utilizing an all-natural approach.

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Never too Young to Change the World by Br. Dan O’Riordan

About the Book

We live in a time period and world that desperately needs heroes. So many people struggle today to find hope and sometimes question whether God is listening to the many needs of our current time. The pages of this book are filled with inspiring true stories of young people who, despite their age, have dramatically impacted our world. Each of these young individuals are responding to many of the needs in our world by living their faith and being witnesses of hope and love.

Each story illustrates the divine greatness in all young people and offers examples of how blessed our world is to have so many unsung and quiet heroes who are changing the world for better, one person at a time.

Book Excerpt

Chapter 1

Newton and the children of Alpha School and Orphanage Jamaica, West Indies.

In the summer of 1993, I traveled with three Marist Brothers and three college students on a mission trip for five weeks to work at the Alpha school and orphanage on the island of Jamaica, West Indies. Earlier that year, a hurricane had devastated much of the island and had caused serious damage to a number of the buildings on the property of the orphanage. Six of the buildings needed to have their roofs replaced. The roofs were a relatively simple design of wood with sheets of galvanized metal as covering.

We arrived on July 1ST and quickly experienced extreme heat and high humidity that most of us had never known. The two older brothers stayed in a small house on the property which we would all gather in for our meals and prayer each day. Br. Todd, I and our three college volunteers shared a small makeshift room in one of the dorms. Our room had one small window, no fans and a room temperature usually above ninety-five degrees. Needless to say, sleeping was difficult and often uncomfortable.

There were 185 children living at Alpha. They ranged in age from about four up to eighteen. All the children not only went to school, but also were required to learn a trade so that they might gain employment when they graduated at the age of eighteen. There were a number of options for them to choose from in regard to learning a trade. Some would learn carpentry, others automotive work, while many would focus on learning a musical instrument. The school had a long tradition of producing a great band and many of the school’s graduates went on to prominent musical careers. Most of Bob Marley’s band were former Alpha Boys as was Bob Marley’s own brother.

The children lived very simple lives. Each child owned two pairs of shorts, two t-shirts, a change of underwear and a toothbrush. Three times a day they received a bowl full of food. Breakfast was always oatmeal, lunch and dinner were mostly rice with some vegetables and spices added. Everyone drank water. I quickly realized the extent of their poverty as I watched a number of them play soccer on a rocky grassless field that was their soccer pitch. I was amazed at their skill level and their ability to not seem affected by the brutal heat and even more surprised to find out that the reason they were playing with a coconut was that the orphanage could not afford real soccer balls.

We actually arrived on the day of Alpha’s graduation and watched as the seniors received their certificates and would move out and onto the next stage of their lives. After the ceremony, we were introduced to Newton, who had just graduated as the school’s first culinary arts graduate. We were told that he would be cooking all of our dinners for us so that we would not get malnourished during our stay. To say that we ate like kings was an understatement. Our dinners were often simple but each more delicious than the previous one. Thanks to Newton, we all came to savor Jerk Fish, Jamaican beef patties and vegetable curries.

The biggest struggle I had over the first week, apart from the oppressive heat, was that I was going through caffeine withdrawal as a result of not having access to diet coke. At that time, I was very addicted to diet coke and would normally have one or two for breakfast each morning to get my biological engine running for the day ahead. By the end of the first week, I woke one morning with a bad headache and began bartering with God. I told him how I’m not complaining about getting little to no sleep due to the heat or almost getting dehydrated while working on the roofs during the hottest part of the day but I wondered if having a simple diet coke once a day was too much to ask for out of life. I then walked outside and was warmly greeted by a group of the children who anxiously waited for us every morning to come out and play with them for a while before we started work. It then hit me like a ton of bricks. These children didn’t own a pair of pants or even shoes and they were the happiest young people I had ever met. I woke up miserable because I couldn’t have a diet coke. God has a way of answering prayers and my selfish one was answered loudly that morning in a lesson I will never forget. Who was I to complain about not having a diet coke while surrounded by children who had nothing and were always incredibly grateful for the little, they did have in life?

As the days turned into weeks, the children of Alpha quickly captured our hearts by their continuous smiles and laughing. Each Sunday after church their band and choir would perform a special concert for us and each evening after supper, we would have “World Cup” soccer matches between the U.S. and Jamaica. Happily, our U.S. team never could beat those kids from Jamaica.

I was fortunate that summer to spend a good bit of time with Newton, our chef, and over time came to know his life story and how he came to live at Alpha. His mother died while giving birth to him and his father, sadly, was a bad alcoholic. When he was about four years old, his dad went off on a drinking binge and left Newton in the shack on his own for days. When his dad finally returned, he realized that Newton had eaten all the food in their cupboard. He went into a drunken rage and decided he needed to punish Newton for not saving him some food. He took Newton outside and wrapped his two arms in towels and rags, dipped them into kerosene and lit Newton’s arms on fire. Newton’s right hand was completely burned off and his left hand had severe damage as well. He was moved to Alpha that afternoon.

When Newton arrived, he was obviously very traumatized. Sr. Susan, who ran the orphanage, took him under her wing. He quickly grew to love her like a mother and especially enjoyed when she would allow him to help her in the kitchen. As the years moved on, Sr. Susan realized that she needed to find a way to offer Culinary Arts as a trade option. It was the only profession that Newton had any interest in and one that he was passionate about pursuing. Sr. Susan arranged for a number of surgeries for Newton’s arms through the great organization, Doctors without Borders. He became the first graduate of Alpha’s culinary class and we were his first clients. In the months that followed after we left, Newton began a catering business located at Don Bosco orphanage up in Mandeville, which was also operated by the Sisters. Over the years, his catering business has grown into one of the most successful on the island and all of the employees are graduates from the orphanages. In recent years, he has also opened a restaurant which likewise is successful and staffed by graduates of the Don Bisco orphanage.

I have worked with many young people in my life, but few faced as much trauma and difficulties in life as Newton. Yet, he remains one of the most positive and thankful people I have ever met. He has taught me much about forgiveness and letting go of one’s hurts, and how it is more important to focus on those people in our life who have graced and helped us to succeed than hanging on to bitter memories of the past. Newton had every reason in life to be angry and resentful, yet he overcame his disabilities and became successful. He continues to be a model and inspiration to other young people who grow up in a similar fashion to what he knew. He will always be one of my heroes in life. As our time in Jamaica grew to a close, we knew that our lives were forever impacted by the joy and love shown to us by each of the children we had spent that summer with at Alpha.

About the Author

Br. Dan O’Riordan, FMS, has been a Marist Brother for over 27 years. After graduating from Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, NY, he earned a Bachelor’s degree from University College in Cork, Ireland, and an MA at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Over the years, Br. Dan has served as a teacher, coach, counselor, and campus minister at numerous Marist High Schools around the United States. He also served his USA Province as their Vocations Director and Vice Provincial.

He has coordinated more than one hundred mission service trips allowing many young people the opportunity to serve the least favored in communities around the world. He has also led numerous pilgrimages and continues to be a featured speaker on youth retreats and youth gatherings, where he encourages young people to find ways to answer God’s call and use their gifts and talents to respond to the many needs of our world.

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Create AnewU Healthy Creations by Dr. Kathleen B. Oden

            

 

Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour for Create Anewu Healthy Creation by Dr. Kathleen B. Oden.  The book tour will run December 7- 18, 2020.

Genre: Nonfiction

 

ISBN-10 : 1541036301

ISBN-13 : 978-1541036307

 

 

                                                         


 

Dr. Kathleen B. Oden is an author, missionary and Bible teacher, at God’s House of Refuge Church & School of Evangelism. She attained a Doctorate degree in Christian Theology in 2000. After a bad fall in 2014, she realized that she had to start eating healthy, in order to fully recover. She became a Certified Health Minister and God gave her a ministry called, Create AnewU Health Ministry. She loves ministering to people and her health ministry has opened the door for her to share what the WORD OF GOD has to say, about eating healthy food. Dr. Oden has published over 20 books through Amazon.com and several of them are about health and wellness. 

 

                      

 

Eating healthy does not or should not mean giving up eating tasty food! HEALTHY CREATIONS will teach you how to revise and/or re-create your favorite dishes that you know and love!

 

                                    

                                       


 

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Missionary Kid Stories by Jennifer Brannon

About the Book

Missionary Kid Stories is a collection of six fictionalized missionary kids’ first-hand accounts of their lives. Learn where the missionary kids live, where they go to school, what languages they speak, what they like to eat, and in what ministry their parents are involved! The stories are based, in part, on past or present real missionary families.

Learn about Mexico, Indonesia, France, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, and Brazil from the missionary kid’s point of view.

A variety of missionary ministries are presented to inspire you to consider what talents and gifts you have, and to encourage you to think how you might serve God in missions in the future.

Book Excerpt

Hola! My name is Molly, and I am 12 years old. Our family used to live in the United States, but now we live in Puebla, Mexico. We are missionaries, and we have lived here for two years.

I really did not like moving here at first because I missed all my friends where we used to live. Now, I love it here! I have made lots of new friends. They all speak Spanish, and I speak Spanish now, too! Almost everybody here speaks Spanish, but did you know that Mexico has almost 300 languages?

Some parts of Mexico have deserts or rain forests, but Puebla is high up in the mountains. The weather here is like springtime all year long. Flowers bloom all the time, and we can always get fresh fruit and vegetables. Our house does not have air conditioning or heating. It never snows in my city, but in the wintertime the nights get chilly, so we snuggle up with blankets and a space heater.

About the Author

Jennifer Brannon is a former missionary kid who lived in Puebla, Mexico from age 11 to age 19. She now lives in Kansas with her husband and three children. She wrote this book to educate and inspire children to dream about becoming missionaries. She wants children to learn about all different kids of missionaries and mission work. In this way, they will grow to understand that God can use all kinds of people and talents to tell others about Himself.

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Love Costs by E.B. Roshan

About the Book

Nobody would have put Dunya and Radoslav together. She’s Tur. He’s Sevian. She’s stuck in a refugee camp. He’s working for the people who put her there. With three years of war and a fifteen-foot fence between them, finding happiness together seems impossible. But Radoslav can’t get the girl with the pink hair—or her missing cat—out of his mind.

Book Excerpt

“Erkan,” called a woman’s voice. “Erkan, where are you?”
The sound brought Radoslav back to the present.
Someone was hurrying up the sidewalk toward the building. As his eyes adjusted to the sunlight, the bright blur solidified into a young woman with wide-set eyes and a nose that turned up at the tip. Pale skin showed through the holes in her stylish jeans. She stopped, plucked the end of a cigarette from between her lips, tossed it to the ground and put her foot on it. She was not beautiful, but he wanted to keep looking at her because her face held a brightness he hadn’t seen in months.
When she saw him, she stopped. “What are you doing here?” She sounded more curious than upset.
Radoslav tugged the lanyard that carried his official International Peacekeeping Force Interpreter badge. “I’m here with the evacuation team. Making sure everybody gets out and gets a ride to the camp.” He started slowly down the steps.
“Oh. Right.” She didn’t move.
The door opened behind him. Taylor, Andrews and the man with the baby came out.
“I couldn’t find him,” said the woman, the corners of her mouth turning down. “He’s probably up a tree or hiding in someone’s basement somewhere.”
“That’s a shame,” said the man with the burned face, who must be Erkan. Maybe he was her husband, and the blue bundle was their baby. As happy a little family as anyone could hope to find in Pasha district these days.
Ignoring the soldiers, the woman pointed down the alley between their apartment block and the next one. “I’m going to look around the back for a minute.”
“No,” Erkan said. “We should already be on the way to catch our ride. These guys are just here to round up the stragglers.”
She sighed. “Coco’s so spoiled he’ll never survive on the street. Just one minute—”
“Seriously, Dunya, you’re acting like a little kid. We need to go.”
“I know,” she said, pulling another cigarette out of her back pocket and lighting it. She took a long puff, sniffed, and wiped her eyes. “I’m getting it all out of my system before we get to the camp.”
“I’m sorry about all this,” said Radoslav softly in Tur. “I wish…”
The young woman, Dunya, looked up at him, her eyes widening in surprise.
He spread his hands. “I’d do anything. I’d give my life to make things right again for…” He paused. He was going to say, “For your people,” but because he was looking at her, it came out, “For you.” The tightness in his throat made his whole body ache.
He couldn’t repair blasted buildings, or bring dead people back to life, or even make it so this woman and her family wouldn’t have to leave their home, but maybe he could do something to ease their pain a little.
Dunya studied his face, her head on one side. “Anything?” She tucked strands of pink-streaked blonde hair behind her ears. “Then find my cat.”
Radoslav couldn’t help smiling. “All right, I will. At least I’ll try.”
Her eyebrows shot up. She stood silent for a moment, staring at him. “You do that. And by the way, I can speak Sev perfectly well.”
Slipping by him, she ran up to Erkan at the top of the steps and took the baby. As she tugged at the folds of the blanket a small red face appeared. “Good thing I came back,” she said, clicking her tongue. “You were going to smother him.”
“He was fine.”
“Look at his poor little sweaty face. And don’t forget our suitcases!”
“Oh, right.” Erkan sighed.
“Does Coco answer to his name?” Radoslav asked, but Dunya didn’t seem to hear him.
“I’ll find him for you,” he added louder, but she kept striding down the sidewalk, the baby cuddled to her chest.
Erkan followed more slowly, his arms dragged down by the overstuffed suitcases.

About the Author

E.B. Roshan has enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle for several years, spending time in the Middle East and Asia. Now she is temporarily settled in Missouri with her husband and two sons, where she serves the local refugee community. When she’s not cooking, cleaning, or chasing the boys, she’s writing the latest installment in Shards of Sevia, her ongoing romantic suspense series set in the war-torn (and fortunately fictional) nation of Sevia.

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Tenacity at Christmas: 31 Daily Devotions for December by Janet Sketchley

About the Book

Need a little daily encouragement this December?

Give yourself five minutes and pour a cup of your favourite hot beverage. Let’s read a Bible verse or two and remind ourselves of the Reason for the Season.

In your busyness and life circumstances, good or bad…
In your relationships, sweet or strained…
These short, uplifting readings will strengthen your spirit and inspire your heart.

May this Christmas season bring at least one new treasured memory, and may you be blessed to be a blessing.

Print version includes prayer journal pages.

Book Excerpt

December 1

En-Joying Advent

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
Luke 2:10, NIV

Advent—the weeks leading up to Christmas, to the coming of our Saviour King.

It could be a beautiful time of reflection. Worship. Anticipation. Too often these days, it’s anything but. And maybe nothing’s changed. Not everyone was happy and peaceful in Bethlehem when God broke into human history that first Christmas Day.

In the middle of the frenzy, society has missed the point. It’s not about being “ready for Christmas” in the sense of hatches battened down, presents bought and wrapped, cards mailed, freezer stocked with goodies. It’s about being contented in Advent. Finding the joy in it and trusting that the other things will come in due time.

Today’s responsibility is to choose not to accept the calendar-driven anxiety, but to abide with God and to be alert to His presence. May we also be alert to the gift ideas and other nudges that He will give in His own good time.

Let’s take a few quiet minutes each day: hard to carve out of the whirlwind, perhaps, but of great restorative value. Read the Christmas narratives, or some of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. Listen to—truly hear—a Christmas carol. Sit with God and ask for His peace.

Precious Saviour, I may not like the commercialism and a lot of what North American culture adds and subtracts from the observance of Your birth, but please remind me I don’t have to beat them or join them. Show me how I can be myself, present with You and enjoying Your presence with me.

December 2

Incarnation

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1,14, NIV

Fully God, fully man… the manger scenes can distract us from this mystery, but in the words of Charles Dickens, “This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate” (A Christmas Carol, page 1).

We want to see Christmas as a happy, family time, filled with hope and promise, yet we’re aware of the pain in the world, the brokenness. But that’s why He came.

Can you imagine God choosing to confine Himself to the limitations of a baby… a growing boy… a man? In the squalor and darkness that is our Earth, after dwelling in the glory of Heaven?

He loves us enough to stoop to our level, to look us in the eyes, to carry our pain and punishment so we could be restored to relationship with Him.

Eternal God, blessed Saviour, Holy Spirit, my mind isn’t big enough to grasp the mystery of the Incarnation, but I offer praise and thanks for Jesus, God made flesh, my Deliverer, my King. Thank You for setting Your love on me. Help me receive it, and help me share it.

December 3

Fulfillment

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago).
Luke 1:68-70, NIV

This is the beginning of Zechariah’s song of praise after the birth of his son and the declaration, “His name is John.” During his nine months of Heaven-sent silence because he hadn’t believed the angel Gabriel’s message, Zechariah must have had plenty of time to ponder.

Now the Holy Spirit fills him with words, and he pours out this beautiful declaration. It’s worth reading in its entirety, verses 68-79, but today let’s focus on this: “He has come to his people and redeemed them.”

John the Baptist, he who is to prepare the way for the Messiah, has just been born. Jesus Himself won’t be born for three more months. He hasn’t really “come to His people” yet. He won’t go to the Cross and sacrifice Himself for us for another 33 years.

The barest sign of completion has appeared, yet these words of praise declare the work of redemption finished.

That’s trust.

God of grace and mercy, when I can’t see what You’re doing and the wait seems long, please strengthen my faith to count Your work as done. Help me praise You in the waiting and walk each day in trust.

 

 

About the Author

Janet Sketchley is predominantly a writer of Christian mysteries and suspense. These devotional readings grew from her personal quiet times with the Lord over a period of years. Janet writes in Atlantic Canada, and you can find her online at janetsketchley.ca.

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Available in softcover (6×9 trade paperback, includes prayer journal) and as an ebook (Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Apple, Google with no prayer journal).

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A Day In The Life Of Amy

About the Book

Amy is LOVED by children ages 3-12, and especially by their parents. Both children and grandchildren learn so much from Amy that they hear things like, “Mommy how can I help you today?” or, “Mommy can you please pray with me?”

Amy helps parents and grands to teach their children about The Goodness of God. Children everywhere are asking about God right now. Parent’s reach out to learn from Amy so that their entire family can understand The Goodness of God, and Amy is a perfect little guide to help them!

Rain or shine, her life is all about loving others! Amy, the star of Fetch The Goodness from Amy TV, lives her life intentionally with love and adventure. She starts each day with exercise because it keeps her body strong. She enjoys doing chores because it helps the family stay organized. Amy’s wonderful attitude will teach your children how much love and joy adds to the family each day.

A devoted puppet who inspires children of all ages to BE THE JOY they want to see in the world, she is loved by many. Through this profound and beautifully illustrated book, your children can be inspired by Amy’s faith in action.

Each page has questions to help him/her think about healthy lifestyle choices. Even Amy’s prayers creates an atmosphere of love. For parents, grandparents and teachers.

Book Excerpt

Rain or shine, her life is all about loving others! Amy, the star of Fetch The Goodness from Amy TV, lives her life intentionally in love and adventure. She starts each day with exercise because it keeps her body strong. She enjoys doing chores because it helps the family stay organized. Amy’s wonderful attitude will teach your children how much love and joy adds to the family each day. Amy is a devoted puppet who inspires children of all ages to BE THE JOY they want to see in the world. Through this profound and beautifully illustrated book, your children can be inspired by Amy’s faith in action. Each page has questions to help him/her think about healthy lifestyle choices. Even Amy’s prayers creates an atmosphere of love. For parents, grandparents and teachers.

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DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”