writing

First Line Fridays – When You Look At Me

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

Oh, how I love Pepper Basham’s books. Whether contemporary or historical, they pull me in and don’t let go. She writes stories full of fun and laughter, and she never disappoints…especially when it comes to kissing scenes.  Ooo-la-la. 🙂

Today I’m featuring Pepper Basham’s newest book When You Look At Me. You can pre-order it HERE.

About the book:

When You Look At Me_Pepper BashamAn unexpected mother-to-be
A romance-leery composer
And a forgotten melody from the past that holds the keys to their futures

When Julia Jenkins’ great aunt dies and leaves her a Victorian mansion with decades of secrets, Julia never expects to unearth a World War 2 espionage mystery. Struggling with her own past since an assault left her pregnant, her future as a solo parent leaves her dreams uncertain. The inheritance from her great aunt gives Julia the ability to take a step back into her future, but also sends her into the discovery of a love story she’d never anticipated. As she goes through her aunt’s treasured possessions, Julia uncovers some oddly written piano music with a musical code she can’t decipher on her own. Not to worry, introverted Englishman and composer, Henry Wright, is thrust on the scene by a pair of homespun matchmakers who know the ‘right’ man for Julia’s wounded heart.

Henry arrives in Pleasant Gap with the task of composing the soundtrack for his best mate’s newest film. The Jenkins’ family’s southern welcome and gregarious personalities set his reticent nature on edge, but he’s inexplicably drawn to his gentle and music-loving hostess, Julia. Uncertain how to build a friendship with the wounded woman, and rather hopeless in communicating well through words, the bond of music becomes a bridge between her uncertainty and his awkwardness.

First Line

Julia Jenkins was a glass-half-full person. Well, most of the time. Even with her sordid backstory. So she’d spent massive amounts of energy over the past few hours trying to think of all the positive aspects of her abdomen bulging overnight to show her full seven-months pregnancy. Stomach sleeping? Out. Reaching her feet without sandwiching an actual person in the middle? Impossible. Going anywhere without scouting out the restroom signs? Dangerous.

Okay, I had to include the first paragraph because it sucked me in fast. 

First Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

Sherrinda Signature

 

devotionals, spiritual

How to Honor God and Others

Mountain Peak_StockSnap_pixabayI recently visited The Branch Church and heard a sermon by Chris Seidman. It was all about honor. Honoring God and honoring others. (You can hear the sermon HERE.) It has stuck with me and I thought I’d share with you some of the notes from the sermon.

In Malachi 2:17, God is weary.

17 You make God tired with all your talk.

“How do we tire him out?” you ask.

By saying, “God loves sinners and sin alike. God loves all.” And also by saying, “Judgment? God’s too nice to judge.”

God answers in Malachi 3:1

“Look! I’m sending my messenger on ahead to clear the way for me. Suddenly, out of the blue, the Leader you’ve been looking for will enter his Temple—yes, the Messenger of the Covenant, the one you’ve been waiting for. Look! He’s on his way!”

You see, God was sending justice to the world in the way of Jesus. During His ministry, He enters the temple, cleansing it of those that would make it a den of robbers instead of a house of prayer. He deals with his own house first, cleansing it of sin. He disciplines his people, refining them in the process.

He speaks about this refining process in Malachi 3:2-4.

2-4 But who will be able to stand up to that coming? Who can survive his appearance?

He’ll be like white-hot fire from the smelter’s furnace. He’ll be like the strongest lye soap at the laundry. He’ll take his place as a refiner of silver, as a cleanser of dirty clothes. He’ll scrub the Levite priests clean, refine them like gold and silver, until they’re fit for God, fit to present offerings of righteousness. Then, and only then, will Judah and Jerusalem be fit and pleasing to God, as they used to be in the years long ago.

The coming of Jesus is likened to a refiner’s fire, not an incinerator. When He refines us, it’s not for destruction, but for restoration. It’s to remove impurities and make us valuable. How do we know when the refiner is finished refining? When the refiner can see his reflection in the metal. Same with God. His aim is to restore His reflection in us.

Then God says He will come in judgment. Judgment upon those who dishonor Him and others. Malachi 3:5:

“Yes, I’m on my way to visit you with Judgment. I’ll present compelling evidence against sorcerers, adulterers, liars, those who exploit workers, those who take advantage of widows and orphans, those who are inhospitable to the homeless—anyone and everyone who doesn’t honor me.”

God comes to stand up for those who have been dishonored. As people reflecting God to the world, we need to be concerned with what concerns Him. Where is the God of Justice? Look in the faces of His people. These people of His should give voice, give action, to justice among the dishonored.

Honoring God involved joining Him in His concern for the over-looked, oppressed, and dishonored.

Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
 but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.  Proverbs 14:31 (NIV)

We are called to be more than stewards of just us. We are called to care for others. For those in need. For those who have been dishonored by neglect.

Honor means to “respect”, “esteem”, or “give weight to”.

What are you giving weight to in your lives? How are you honoring God? Honoring others?

Sherrinda Signature

This post is based on notes taken 10/14/2018 during Chris Seidman’s sermon at The Branch.
Photo by StockSnap at Pixabay.com
writing

First Line Fridays –

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

I love medieval books and Tamara Leigh is fantastic at writing them. I haven’t read her Age of Faith series and decided to begin. I am loving The Unveiling! Wow! You should definitely read her books because they are filled with action, adventure, and sigh-worthy romance.

About the book:

The Unveiling_Tamara Leigh12th century England: Two men vie for the throne: King Stephen the usurper and young Duke Henry the rightful heir. Amid civil and private wars, alliances are forged, loyalties are betrayed, families are divided, and marriages are made.

For four years, Lady Annyn Bretanne has trained at arms with one end in mind—to avenge her brother’s murder as God has not deemed it worthy to do. Disguised as a squire, she sets off to exact revenge on a man known only by his surname, Wulfrith. But when she holds his fate in her hands, her will wavers and her heart whispers that her enemy may not be an enemy after all.

Baron Wulfrith, renowned trainer of knights, allows no women within his walls for the distraction they breed. What he never expects is that the impetuous young man sent to train under him is a woman who seeks his death—nor that her unveiling will test his faith and distract the warrior from his purpose.

First Line

A nightmare seized him from sleep, turned around his throat, and filled his mouth so full he could not cry out. 

Starting off with a bang!

First Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

Sherrinda Signature

 

books

First Line Fridays

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

I picked up An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter at the library and am almost through with this lovely book. Kristi is a beautiful writer who has written a delightful regency book. I will definitely be reading more!

About the book:

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can’t seem to stop rAn Inconvenient Beauty_Kristi Ann Hunterunning into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she’ll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.

Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?

First Line

The line between boy and man was never murkier than when a father died too soon, leaving his son to walk through the foibles of youth while shouldering the responsibilities of adulthood.

Very poignant, don’t you think?

First Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

Sherrinda Signature

 

books

First Line Fridays

First Line FridaysI love First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books and decided to start sharing first lines of the books I’m reading. It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

I picked up Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund at the library this week and am about half-way through. Jody is a lovely and prolific writer who writes great historical romance.

About the book:

All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she’s left destitute and with no place to stay.

Love Unexpected_jody hedlundAn unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He’s just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other’s dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife’s death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.

First Line

 

The blast of a gunshot awoke Emma Chambers.

Wow! Talk about starting off with adventure!

First Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

Sherrinda Signature

 

personal, writing

The Value of Writerly Friends

Ladies_StockSnap_pixabayWriting is a solitary adventure. Writers spin tales inside their heads, then spend hours pouring their stories onto the page … alone. But there comes a time in every writer’s life when they need people. They need a hug. They need encouragement. They need a friend who truly understands.

Writers need writerly friends. 

I’m writing my second book. I have a good foundation for this story, but at the end of chapter three, I froze. I had just finished a massive edit of my first book and I was paralyzed by the fear of writing a book that needed so much rewriting. I would start and stop, start and stop, thinking everything I wrote would have to be deleted and rewritten.

I don’t want to have to do that! But I need to write, especially when I’m supposed to take ten pages to my critique group.

I belong to a fabulous critique group that meets every other week. We share chapters/scenes and discuss them … the good and the bad. This week I had nothing to bring because I choked while trying to write. I was embarrassed. Writers write and I hadn’t written anything in two whole weeks! I didn’t go because I was so embarrassed.

I forced myself to go. I forced myself to be honest with the group and share my frustrations and my fears. And you know what? These ladies hugged me. They shared their own stories of fear, of writer’s block, of frustration. They prayed over me and then we brainstormed possibilities for where the story could go.

These writerly friends lifted me out of the pit of writer despair, and I left with a sense of peace and hope.

Friends, hope is such a powerful thing and gives life to the soul. 

Writerly friends – those people who think like you, daydream like you, talk to imaginary friends like you – these are the people you need to surround yourself with on this writing journey. They are the ones who will encourage you on the road that God leads you on. They will pick you up when you fall, and they will speak hope into your dark days.

There’s nothing more valuable (besides the good Lord) than writerly friends. I know I’m thankful for mine!

Do you have a writerly friend(s)? Do you have support on your writing journey?

Sherrinda Signature

**Photo by StockSnap at pixabay.com
book review, giveaway

Book Giveaway! Summer Romance At Its Best

Summer Plans_Karin BeerySummer Plans and Other Disasters by Karin Beery released September 15th, and I had to share it with you. I thoroughly enjoyed this fun book. The main character, Callie, is such a great character. She’s one of those women who likes to have a plan, but when she visits her brother for the summer, her plans go awry! Mix together an old boyfriend and her brother’s best friend into the equation, and you have a crazy summer adventure. Beery’s secondary characters and Callie’s continual mishaps had me laughing out loud, while the romance was sigh-worthy. I loved it!

Here is the back cover copy for more details:

Elementary school music teacher Callie Stevens thinks she’s finally figured out God ’s plan for her life—she even made a list to keep her on track. Moving in with her brother and reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend are at the top of the list. What ’s not on the list is running into her childhood crush, Ryan. God wanted her to connect with Kyle, right? Trying to figure out God ’s plan is hard enough. But a dating-averse older brother, the young blonde who adores him, a pregnant best friend, and Callie ’s continual mishaps make her wonder whether her best-laid plans were truly God-inspired.

GIVEAWAY:

I am giving away a copy of Summer Plans and Other Disasters to celebrate Karin Beery’s release. All you have to do is answer one of the following questions:

  1. What is your favorite summer vacation place?
  2. Have you ever visited a lighthouse?
  3. Are you a planner-type person or a seat-of-your-pants person?

Answer in the comment section below for a chance to win. I will select a winner Wednesday, September 25 through random.org and email you for your snail mail address. Limited to the US only.

Sherrinda Signature

***According to new FTC rules, I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winning are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is drawn when a book is given away.