Rule of Three: Guest Post by Kadee Carder

Hey guys! Let’s welcome Kadee Carder to the blog today. Her book, Earthshine, was released this week. I met Kadee through our publisher, Clean Reads, and I just love seeing her inspirational posts on Facebook! Today, she’s going to share one of those posts with us. So, here is her post, Rule of Three and an introduction to Earthshine.

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Rule of Three

All people own a cup of wrath, a yoke, and a cross to bear. Let’s start with the cross to bear. You’ve got some great, burning desire that you cannot turn away or quell. It’s some kind of creation, some kind of sturdy resonating within your chest. That’s your thing that you’re here to do. Maybe you understand the end goal for that cross, but I think most of us continually pursue that cross. The cross alludes to Jesus dying on the cross—he came to earth to seek and to save what was lost. He came to free us. He came to give us life. By fulfilling his purpose on the cross, he set the prisoners free. He faced the ultimate fear and loosed the bliss of humanity. Will your cross be painful? Yes. Will it be absolutely 100% worth it? Absolutely. Don’t think about the pain of it—focus on the bliss it fulfills. Focus on the good that cross does. All good things cost. The best work comes after high costs from the creator. That’s the hero plotline.

The yoke is the actual job and task of doing the work. The yoke includes the people you must deal with in order to accomplish your tasks. Your yoke consists of your family, your neighbors, your peers, every life you touch. The yoke consists of the means to doing and accomplishing your work.

The cup of wrath simply means that because you are alive, you will face trials. BUT! “In this world you will have trouble,” Jesus said. “But take heart! I have overcome the world!” Where you can see trouble, challenge, or frustration as a chance to whine, face it with gratitude. Instead of asking “Why isn’t this easier?” ask, “How can this make me better?” Here you have every opportunity to become the hero.

These three things every human possesses, the cross, the yoke, the cup, are the beautiful trinity of why we’re here. Why are you here? What’s your rule of three? “Life happens for you, not to you” (Byron Katie). Can you see how it’s a fulfillment of your best life?

Believe in yourself, your Alliance, and seeing failure as an opportunity for growth. In my books, the Alliance Military Guard serves as a rally point, deploying soldiers across the globe to serve and protect. They’re a privatized group whose board of directors got a little off track and divided up—half operated on the goal of achieving power, while the other half sought service, research, and the advancement of human capability. Saylor had to decide if she trusted her Commander to guide and guard her. She had to decide to follow orders and what directive she needed to take. So do you. Can you trust your Commander? Who is your Commander? You have one. Can you trust your Alliance? Your alliance aligns with your yoke. While you’re doing your work, do you believe in all that of which you are capable? You are powerful. You are loving. You have an intellectual mind. You can walk among giants.

And when we fall down? When we sigh in frustration? When my arms fall to my sides under the weight? When my knees slam against the dirt? I listen to it. I study the stumble. I analyze the instigator of the darkness.  I listen to the shadows and seek the truth. Then I go back to the important “rule of three” and decide how I can do better next time. Did I focus on my business? Did I focus on my cross? Did I stay humble? Did I do my best? How can I do better next time?

“Life happens for you, not to you” (Byron Katie). Life serves you, for your hero journey. We know this, because God’s got his business, and his business put you here in your time and space. He’s given you your yoke, your cup, and your cross. He’s your Alliance, your Commander, who gave you marching orders. He wants you to be the hero. Remember he said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). He’s right there beside you, the iron in your bones, helping you do that good work. It’s quite beautiful and exciting, isn’t it? Now, get back to the mission. Adventure awaits.

 

An excerpt from Earthshine:

I accepted the document, two sweaty palms reaching, tentative, unprepared. I scanned the words, reading them aloud. “I’ve got this deep wrestling within my dark soul. A hunger for the oppressed. An almighty beckoning for the broken and bent, a writhing which cannot be tamed by silence. No; the silence, the hush, the hustle, cannot squelch the fire to share light for those trembling in the depths. I cannot stop giving of myself for my mission, for to stop is to suffocate. To quit, impossible. To surrender, unattainable. My wrestling therefore occurs not in the loss, but the gain. Loss no longer exists. All movement, all attempts, fulfill the mission. My mission.

“For I have been redeemed, and I defeat the darkness within me by each lent hand and rescued soul whom I reach. I am Alliance. I defend freedom, defy injustice, and deepen creative productivity to enhance mankind’s survival. In living victory, I bear my burden, a warrior for my objective: Be powerful. Be consistent. Never quit. Finish the mission.”

My eyes glanced up from the words to my father, then back down, reading, re-reading. Recoiling. Rerouting. “I guess with this kind of mission statement, there’s no room for fear.”

“There’s no need for fear. It’s not part of the mission.”

“I am Alliance. I like it.”

“I am Alliance.”

“Hoo-rah.”

***

About Earthshine:

 

Earthshine_1400Fear may be a liar, but hope can be a monster.

 

Saylor single-handedly saved the world from a devastating solar flare…and it nearly killed her. Now her father’s Alliance Military Guard must track down pirated tech, missing ships, and a rogue billionaire, and they’ve requested a reluctant Saylor’s help.

Tucker spent a year training the rookie Guardsmen. They call themselves Dragons. He calls them defiant. Dispatched across the ocean on a mission to retrieve AMG’s bootlegged tech, he rallies Saylor to overcome her fears and return to the field by his side.

 

Working together wielding unprecedented tech and determined to defy their destinies, the two wrangle missing ghosts, brunt force betrayal, and the swagger of power. What lies beneath the earth just might save it.

 

EARTHSHINE is the final book following the McConnell clan and Alliance Military Guard, a standalone for the seeker of YA Sci Fi Action Adventures.

 

Purchase EARTHSHINE on amazon in paperback or ebook.

 

Kadee Carder Bio:

 

Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium

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is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I’m not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.

 

INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE, HERE BE DRAGONS, EARTHSHINE and non-fiction inspirational KINGDOM COME roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure, and follow along on KadeeCarder.com.

 

Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com for inspiration, encouragement, freebie codes, and more!

Let’s connect on social media!

Website: kadeecarder.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kadeecarderink/

Instagram: kadeecarderink

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAkYQcShpWHBua-7VVi9Swg

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kadeecarder/

Twitter: @kadeecarderink

And please feel free to subscribe for encouraging blogs! Kadeecarder.com

I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at kadeecarder.com/subscribe. Titled IGNITE, the 60-page book offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace to help you get kickin’ on those challenging tasks you’ve got to do!

**Grab Book Three, INDELIBLE, for only $.99 this week!**

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Meet My Mississippi by Patricia Neely-Dorsey

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Dorsey at a fundraiser for the Nettleton Public Library, a local library here in the greatest state in the U.S.A., Mississippi.

Herticine Goree, PND, and me 8.25.18
Me and Mrs. Patricia Dorsey, August 25, 2018 in Nettleton, MS

I had the pleasure of hearing her read her newest children’s book, Meet My Mississippi, (along with other poems from her other work) and honestly, I think that Meet My Mississippi is great for everyone to understand just how great our state really is.

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About the Book:

Adapted from the poem Meet My Mississippi by Patricia Neely-Dorsey, the Meet My Mississippi children’s book is an EXCELLENT EDUCATIONAL TOOL AND FUN LITERARY TOUR GUIDE FILLED WITH INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MISSISSIPPI.
 

It is a wonderful way to share love and knowledge of Mississippi across generations.

The book showcases some of the best that Mississippi has to offer in a kid-friendly format. It’s perfect for kids from 8 to 80!
 

The reader can  explore Mississippi landmarks and legends through poetic verse while enjoying over 40 AMAZING ILLUSTRATIONS by a Mississippi artist.

The book invites EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE to KNOW More About Mississippi, LEARN More About Mississippi and LOVE More About Mississippi!

From the Author:

Bills were submitted in  the 2016, 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions for consideration of Meet My Mississippi as state poem.

But the bills did not make it out of committee.We are hoping that things will be different in 2019.

We are trying to get the book/poem into every Mississippi home, school , library and museum as possible !

We hope  that  exposure and use of the poem  will increase the chances of getting the poem passed as state poem  in the next legislative session.

I am very passionate about Promoting a Positive Mississippi, especially to the youth of our state.

I want to EDUCATE the world that there is more to Mississippi than all of the negatives usually portrayed.

I want to EMPOWER our children with knowledge that will help to instill a sense of pride in our state

I want to EQUIP our children with knowledge that will help to combat all of the negative images that they are constantly bombarded with

I want to ENLIGHTEN all to a new way of thinking about Mississippi

I want to use my poem “Meet My Mississippi” to help to teach the children of our state (and people of all ages ) some important things about Mississippi in a way that can be easily understood , remembered and recalled.

No Mississippi child should be without this book!

Purchase your copy on Amazon.

Please e-mail or write letters to Rules Committee chair and Tourism Committee chair in support of Meet My Mississippi for state poem.
Terry C. Burton, Rules Committee Chairman: tburton@senate.ms.gov
Gray Tollison, Vice-Chairman: gtollison@senate.ms.gov
House Tourism Chair, Representative Becky Currie: bcurrie@house.ms.gov

Christmas with Kandi J. Wyatt’s Dragon Courage Series

Dragon's Eye background Dragon Courage Series

I am really excited about today’s Christmas post! Kandi J. Wyatt is introducing us to her Christmas book in the Dragon Courage series, and guess what, this is a preview! It’s not even out yet. This is exciting!

Here are the first two chapters of Dragon’s Winter (which takes place after book three). And that gives you plenty of time to read the first three books in the series before this is released!

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Chapter 1

Ruskya gazed up at the stars, which glowed crisp and bright in the winter sky. “I look like a dragon, Wyeth.”

His dragon chuckled. “A little small, I’d say.”

“Look who’s calling who small. I wasn’t referring to my body, though, but to the way my breath is freezing around my nose.”

“I know, little one. What is bothering you?”

Ruskya sighed and watched his breath turn to ice crystals. “I miss Duskya. It’s almost the anniversary of our choosing, and Ardyn’s birth day is coming up as well. I miss her the most at this time of the year.”

Ruskya shivered and knelt down to gather the firewood he’d come outside for. The door opened to reveal a tussled red head.

“Are you coming, Da?”

“Here you go, Ardyn. Thanks for getting the door for me.”

Ruskya dropped the wood in the wood box while avoiding stepping on Tyler’s fingers. The boy, who’d just seen his second winter, had a tendency to play on the floor in the least convenient spot. Ruskya bent down, picked up his youngest, and gave him a hug.

“Da, can you tell us a bed-time story?” Sylvern asked.

“Please, Da?” Kathryn gazed up at him with pleading, blue eyes.

Sylvern and Kathryn had seen six and four winters. The girls rarely did anything separately.

“If you hop into bed, I can tell you a story.”

With a scurry, Ardyn and the girls rushed to the bedroom. Ruskya realized he’d need to expand the house and give Ardyn his own bedroom. Watching the girls interact made the longing for his twin grow. He pushed his feelings down and focused on telling the story of the dragon who became a farmer.

Carryl tucked the kids in and then sat down next to Ruskya in front of the fire. The crackle of the blaze filled the room. Ruskya smelled Carryl’s lavender soap that she used to wash her hair. He sighed deeply and ran his fingers through her hair.

“I wish I could help you, Ruskya.”

“I know. It’s the curse of Calamadyn twins. Our bond is too strong. Look what happened to Kyn, and he never even knew his twin.”

“True, but I feel responsible for helping you.”

A bed squeaked as one of the kids turned over.

“Do you want a cup of tea?” Carryl stirred.

Ruskya drew her closer to him. “Stay put. You and Ma both think tea’s the answer to everything.”

“Well, it definitely helps.”

Ruskya smiled. “Honestly, the best thing would be to see Duskya, but since that’s not going to happen—”

“Why not?” Carryl looked up at him with sincere green eyes. “Why can’t we invite her and the family to come for a visit?”

Ruskya stared at his wife, hope warring with reality within him. “Look around, Carryl. Kyn moved out so there’d be room for the kids. Where would we put another four people in here?”

“Duskya’s old abode is still empty. I could fix it up for them.”

“Carryl, that place has been empty for the last seven winters.”

“Leave that to me and the kids. We’ll get it cleaned up. You just get a message to your sister.”

Ruskya watched the fire as he mulled over the idea. How could he get a message to Duskya? He couldn’t leave Carryl with the kids, and he’d already left the kids with his ma and Glendyn too much, between helping find Peri and going to Braidyn’s wedding. With a sigh he leaned forward and rested his chin on his fist.

“What about Kyn?” Carryl laid a hand on his back.

“Maybe.” Ruskya contemplated the suggestion. “He just returned from a trip a moon ago. He seemed pretty eager to be home.”

“But, he is your youngling and will do just about anything you ask him to.”

Ruskya stood and reached out mentally toward his youngling. Carryl encircled his waist from behind.

“I would wait until morning to contact him. Let him sleep.”

Ruskya chuckled. “Why should I let him sleep if I can’t?”

“Because he’ll get there faster if he is rested.”

“Fine.” Ruskya chuckled. “I will wait, but it will be difficult.”

______

Kandi J Wyatt AuthorAbout Kandi:

Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that’s her own five or the hundreds of students she’s been lucky to teach. When Kandi’s not spinning words to create stories, she’s using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.

 

Where to find her:

Website: http://kandijwyatt.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/kandijwyatt/

Google: http://plus.google.com/u/0/+KandiWyatt/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/kandijwyatt

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kandijwyatt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13817774.Kandi_J_Wyatt

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kandi-J-Wyatt/e/B00ZTC4T10/

Fellowship of Fantasy: http://www.fellowshipoffantasy.com/directory.html?filterP=Kandi%20J.%20Wyatt

Clean Indie Reads: http://cleanindiereads.com/dragon-courage/

Langlois, Oregon website: http://worldfamouslanglois.com/content/dragons-langlois-local-author-kandi-wyatt

 

Buy links:

Dragon’s Future: https://www.books2read.com/u/bzpDq9

 

Dragon’s Heir: https://www.books2read.com/u/47YQE3  

 

Dragon’s Revenge: https://www.books2read.com/u/b5qvGb

 

Dragon’s Cure: https://www.books2read.com/u/47kxJa

 

Dragon’s Posterity: https://www.books2read.com/u/4DA8og

 

Dragon’s Heritage: https://www.books2read.com/u/3neVN6

 

The One Who Sees Me:  https://www.books2read.com/u/mdrRlb

 

Journey from Skioria: https://www.books2read.com/u/4AwJee

 

To Save a Race: https://www.books2read.com/u/49PG5k

 

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Today is the last day of the Christmas Books in July event, so don’t forget to stop by http://www.emeraldbarnes.us/christmas-books-in-july.html for 99¢ and free ebooks, and our event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1037924896356333.

Christmas with Tabitha Caplinger’s TCO3 characters!

Christmas Books in July banner

Today, one of my favorite author’s is joining us! Let’s welcome Tabitha Caplinger, author of The Chronicle of the Three books series. And we get a sneak peek into her series as she develops it into a Hallmark-ish movie! This one was a fun post!

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TCO3 Christmas in July

(Originally posted on tabithacaplinger.com, but that was in June. So it was TCO3 Christmas in June. Just so you aren’t confused if you go looking for it over there. LOL)

It’s been a whole month since the release of Eden Sword, the final installment in The Chronicle of the Three Trilogy. I already miss these characters. I know that right now you are screaming at me to write that Claire-centric prequel then, but I have two books in the works so my brain just can’t handle it. Not yet.

But my brain is also weird and likes to go to weird places. Places like, if TCO3 were a Hallmark Christmas movie what would that look like?

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I would love for my books to get turned into movies, or even a tv show. That would be the coolest thing. A Hallmark Christmas movie doesn’t seem like the right fit though, and if you’re thinking that you would be correct. It isn’t the right fit. But it could be…sort of.

I was recently watching one of those Christmas movies. You know the ones I’m talking about. There are some new characters and a new location plopped into a pretty standard movie-romance formula. They are a little cheesy and a lot predictable. I’m not knocking them. Come December I am completely on board for every single one of them. Do I know what’s going to happen? Sure, but it doesn’t matter because they are feel good and at Christmas we want a movie that makes us feel good and believe in the magic of love and happily ever afters.

Anyway, I was watching one and started to wonder what it would look like if Michael and Claire met in one of those ABC Family, Hallmark Christmas romances?

Let’s walk through the main plot points I’ve put together. (Hallmark, if you get this and are interested, call me.)

 

  1. It takes place at Christmas. I know I have made that clear but since it’s June you might be confused. I just couldn’t wait all the way until Christmas to write this post and share it with you so here we are in June. But Christmas is perfect. The second and third books in the TCO3 Trilogy even happen around Christmas time. Plus life-changing romances are more believable at Christmas time. I don’t know why but they are.

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  1. Claire lives in the big city and goes to a small town in Virginia  because she needs a break after a particularly difficult season of demon slaying. Emotionally she is drained. She’s beginning to lose herself in her work and is probably heart broken by something. A little time away is just what the doctor ordered. Or in this case her boss or best friend. The point is she leaves her normal big time life to head to a quaint little spot where everyone knows everyone else.

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  1. She decides to spend her holiday at the lovely Haven Bed & Breakfast run by an older couple played by Abigail and Charlie. Abigail is warm, kind and a little nosey. Charlie is kind of grouchy but a teddy bear at heart who becomes some wise counsel right when she needs it most.

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  1. Going into the B&B she runs smack into a tall, handsome man. I mean she literally runs into him making her lose her grip on her suitcase and spill it’s contents. He helps her pick them up. She is a little sassy about the whole thing. He thinks she’s a little bit of a diva. Of course this is Michael.

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  1. Michael owns the local bakery, It’s called Angel Food Bakes. (Isn’t that the cutest bakery name ever?) He stops by the B&B daily to drop off homemade muffins and scones and helps Charlie with some of the maintenance.

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  1. Claire is constantly running into Michael wherever she goes in town. He’s there when she grabs her morning coffee. He’s there when she stops into a local shop. He’s there when her bike tire goes flat. (I don’t know why she’s riding a bike around town in the middle of winter but she is and she gets a flat tire and he puts her bike in the back of his vintage truck and drives her back to the B&B. On the way they talk about their childhoods or something.)

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  1. The more Claire sees Michael around town the more endearing he becomes and she can’t help but start to like him. Especially after finding out he is directing the local small-church children’s nativity play with the cutest little-kid versions of Daniel, Lucas, Maggie and Zoe you have ever seen. They adorably ask if she wants to be his girlfriend. She says something about he has to take her to dinner first, that that’s a rule or something. She smiles. He blushes. The kids give him a look that says “go ahead and ask her” and he does.

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  1. They have dinner together and then he walks her through the town’s little courtyard and snow begins to fall softly. He’s about to kiss her but is stopped by a shadow slinking near the gazebo. Together they take it down. (Okay, that isn’t something that would happen in a Hallmark movie but this is still TCO3 so a little demon slaying only seems right.)

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  1. She goes to bed that night all swoony. ( I know that’s probably not a real word but you know what I mean.) She’s also a little flustered because she has a demon-slaying city life she was planning on getting back to after Christmas and she isn’t sure she can just pack up and transfer here for a guy she just met. (Side note: she goes to bed with her makeup still on and in festive, button up, flannel pajamas. While these are lie pajamas because people buy them but don’t actually ever really wear them to bed but just for family photos, we will ignore it though we all know outside of this film she’d be wearing an oversized t shirt and baggy sweats to bed like the rest of us.)

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  1. There’s a snow ball fight…or sledding…or the making of snow angels. This occurs because she finds Michael outside the church giving those cute kids a break from nativity practice to play in the snow. She joins in. It’s super romantic. We can’t explain why but it is.

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  1. Michael comes to the B&B to decorate Christmas cookies he baked with the guests, including Claire. They are elbow deep in the cutest frosting fight ever when who shows up? Claire’s ex-fiance, Alex. *Gasp* He has seen the error of his ways and wants to win her back. He pulls her outside to talk and tells her he deserves another chance and that they’ve been together for years and she just met this other guy. She tells him he hurt her and she won’t settle for things like they were. He says he can change. She tells him to go home but he promises to prove himself to her.

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  1. Christmas is getting closer. Alex is hanging around Claire like they are still together. She’s trying to be nice. Michael is bummed out and thinks she still has feelings for her ex. (She doesn’t and this could all have been solved by a simple conversation but instead we get a couple comedic scenes of Alex trying to win her back but only making a fool of himself. He face plants in the snow, spills hot cocoa all over himself, tiny Maggie kicks him in the shin.) At one point something happens (I haven’t figured out this little detail just yet) that makes Claire feel a little bad for him and she goes with him back to the B&B. Perhaps he then tells her the city needs her. Maybe he gets a call from a mutual friend talking about a demon attack in the park and tells her that thats her life and this was just all a fantasy, that the city needs her, that he needs her. Blah Blah Blah.  (In all the hub bub and blah blah blahs with Alex she misses the nativity play which makes Michael think she made her decision and is leaving.)

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  1. Claire has a lot of thinking to do. She calls her bestie but they can’t talk because they are at a loud Christmas Eve party. So she walks around the quiet house that everyone else has left  and ends up talking to Charlie who just happens to still be there and shares some wisdom that makes her realize what she really needs. She runs to the church but the play is over and Michael is gone. She tells the kids she’s sorry and they tell her Michael probably went to the bakery to get the cookies for the tree lighting. She runs to the bakery but he isn’t there either. She hears caroling from the town square and realizes he must be there since the tree lighting festivities are beginning.

 

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  1. She makes her way to the center of town and runs into Alex. She tells him she can’t go back with him. He is disappointed but understands because ultimately he wants her to be happy. (Alternatively he is a jerk about the whole thing.) She hugs him goodbye right as Michael walks by. She can tell he thinks the wrong thing and runs after him.

 

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  1. There is a dramatic conversation that basically ends in her telling him she wants to be with him and he makes her better yada yada and I love you and blah blah I love you too and the town is singing a sweet carol in the back ground and just as they kiss the tree is lit along with all the lights they have put around the whole town square and it’s super magical. (I know this GIF doesn’t really fit but it makes me laugh.)

 

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  1. We assume they live happily ever after otherwise what was the point of all this.

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So, there you have it, my take on TCO3 as a feel-good, sweet Christmas romance. You might be thinking, “if you could put all this together why couldn’t you give us that Claire prequel?” I get it, I do, and I will work on that prequel, but honestly, all this took me about ten minutes to piece together. I am also toying with the idea of a PureFlix- God’s Not Dead type Lucas redemption story Kendrick Brothers’ style. (If the Kendrick brothers see this and are interested, call me.)

 

“[TCO3Trilogy] is like Gilmore Girls meets Buffy meets Supernatural.”

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To find out more about this YA urban fantasy trilogy by Tabitha Caplinger go to tabithacaplinger.com/mybooks

You can follow Tabitha on social media at…

facebook.com/TabCaplinger

twitter.com/Tab_Caplinger

instagram.com/Tab_Caplinger

 

Don’t forget to stop by http://www.emeraldbarnes.us/christmas-books-in-july.html for 99¢ ebooks and our event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1037924896356333.

#youarenotalone: Jordan Elizabeth talks about depression and writing

Hey guys!

I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, and I’m terribly sorry for that. But life…

Anyway, today, Jordan Elizabeth, a fellow Clean Reads author, is guest posting on my blog today. Let’s give her a hearty welcome!

***

I wouldn’t call myself a depressed person.  I wouldn’t call myself a sad person.  I have, though, struggled with depression and sadness in the past.  People always say to “let out your emotions through writing.”  When I’m sad, I’ve done that.  

My dog passed away nine years ago.  I was devastated.  At the time, she was my everything, and most days I found myself going through life with tears streaming down my cheeks.  I needed to express that emotion somehow, and yes, I did talk about it.  People said they understood what I was going through, and I’m sure they did – they too had lost beloved pets.  Their words didn’t help, though.  So, I sat down at my desk and started writing. 

I wrote about my grandmother, actually.  I had lived with her since I was 16 to help take care of her while she battled dementia.  The GOAT CHILDREN came about through my experiences with her.  Yes, much of it is fictionalized, but the emotion was there.  There were a lot of scenes I cut during the editing phase because they were too raw.  Rereading them brought all of that back. 

What does GOAT CHILDREN have to do with my dog?  Well, I gave the main character a little sister: Phebe.  Phebe was based off my dog.  At the end of the story, someone passes away, and I put all of my emotion over losing my dog into that.  I’ve had people tell me how the ending chapters made them cry because of all that emotion. 

Another time I wrote about sadness was when I broke up with my first official boyfriend.  That story is currently unpublished, but I shoved all that emotion into Tabitha breaking up with James, and I felt awesome about it.  I loved taking it all out on poor James.  Nah, he deserved it!

You’re probably wondering now what stories reflect my depression.

None of them.

I can’t write while depressed.  I close in on myself.  I ponder, and eventually I come out of it, but in the meantime, I can’t write anything.  The words are all stuck and emotionless.  Depression makes me numb.  I devote myself to marketing so that I know I’m still doing something, but it isn’t the same.  Maybe one day I’ll be able to write during my depressions, but in the meantime, I’ll write when I’m happy and when I’m sad, and if you cross me…well, you might show up someday as a villain.

***

The Goat Children by Jordan Elizabeth

Thanks, Jordan. Have any of you experienced anything like this before? I have. Sometimes, it’s just hard to write. But there’s

always hope for brighter days ahead!

If you’re interested in learning more about THE GOAT CHILDREN, Jordan is running a Black Friday-Cyber Monday sale on it! Check it out on Amazon for 99¢.

 

 

 

More about Jordan:

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Jordan Elizabeth writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. When she’s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog. Jordan roams Central New York, but she loves to travel.

Visit Jordan’s website and learn more about her!

Questions and doubt aren’t a sign of lackluster faith. #youarenotalone

I haven’t had a chance to post a #youarenotalone post in a while, and when one of my friends was hosting a blog tour for New Name by A.C. Williams, it seemed like the perfect book to feature in the #youarenotalone category. So, let’s all welcome A.C. Williams to the blog today! new-name-blog-tour


I grew up in a solid Christian home, attended a solid Christian church, and had mentors who were all solid Christians. And somewhere along the line, I assumed that being a Christian meant that you were always solid. You didn’t doubt. You didn’t question. You didn’t ask why. You just had faith.

Faith. That ethereal, unreachable, incomprehensible concept with very little practical application. Or if it has practical application, no one knows how to explain it. We just take things on faith. We just believe things on faith. And while those are exceptionally poetic and beautiful statements, they’re immensely idealistic and frankly not very useful when it comes to real life.

It’s easy to tell someone to have faith when they feel abandoned or neglected. It’s a fast, quick answer for the down-trodden: “God has a plan.” It’s the stock reply when it feels like life is spiraling out of control. Have faith. Romans 8:28. Just keep believing.

Newsflash: Faith is hard. And anyone who tells you differently is selling something.

For years, I thought of myself as a lackluster Christian, someone who just wasn’t good enough, because I had deep doubts and trust issues when it came to God. I wanted to believe Him, but I just felt like He’d let me down too many times. And I honestly don’t remember when it happened, but one day the truth hit me like a truck.

God loves me. And if I want to get to know Him better, I have to ask Him questions. Doubt comes naturally to us human beings, and the only way to overcome doubt is to ask questions, to seek answers, to look for truth. And in all of the Bible, not a single person who ever came to the Lord with honest questions was ever turned away.

God welcomes my questions. Questions and doubt aren’t a sign of lackluster faith; they’re a sign of a faith that is growing and alive and real.

So when I started writing the Destiny Trilogy, of which New Name is the final installment, I wanted to tackle this issue of faith in action. I wanted to write character who struggled with believing that God was worth trusting because so many of us are there today. And I wanted to present it in a way that readers could understand that doubting God is okay.

Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you automatically have a superhero kind of faith. It doesn’t make you perfect. It doesn’t make you better than everyone else. Christians are still human beings, and we struggle with faith like everyone else. We still screw up. We still blow our lives up with bad choices, and we still have to face consequences. And we still wonder why we’re following Jesus when nothing in life is going right.

At least, that’s my story. And in New Name, that’s Aura’s story too. She’s done everything right. She’s held on to her faith in spite of danger and pain and horror, and in spite of all of that, things keep going wrong. The question New Name asks isn’t, “Are you a good enough Christian?” The question it asks is, “Can you keep having faith even when nothing goes right?”

That’s faith. And you won’t have that kind of faith unless you struggle, unless you doubt, and unless you ask questions. But the awesome part of God is that He’s big enough to handle it. He doesn’t sit up in the heavens fretting and wringing His hands because we don’t believe Him. He isn’t bothered when we can’t wrap our puny brains around His plan. Nowhere in the Bible (as far as I know) does God denounce having doubt. But He does state that the only way to impress Him is having faith.

Are you a doubting Thomas? Are you a Christian who struggles with taking God at His word? Are you afraid to express reluctance in following Him because you just aren’t sure He can be trusted? Guess what? You’re not alone. Every Christ-follower struggles with those same things, and if they’re honest they would tell you that. But Church culture has beaten that honesty out of many of us and replaced it with an everything’s-always-okay mask.

Don’t give in to that. It’s okay to doubt. Doubting is part of having faith. It’s a step on the journey of getting to know Jesus, so don’t be afraid of it. Don’t be ashamed. And don’t be quiet. Ask questions.

God may be too big for us to understand, but that makes Him big enough to handle our doubts and insecurities too.

About A.C. Williams

acwilliams_headshotAmy Williams is a novelist, freelance writer, founding member of Crosshair Press LLC, and professional nerd. You can find most of her work under the name A.C. Williams, but she also writes young adult fantasy (The Legend of the Lightkeepers) under the pen name Kimberly McNeil. Amy is single and lives in her family’s 100-year-old farmhouse on five acres in the middle of the Kansas prairie. She loves cats and drinks far too much coffee.

Connect with Amy:

Email: blogtour@amycwilliams.com

Website: amycwilliams.com

Facebook: facebook.com/AmytheStoryteller

Twitter: @acwilliams05

Instagram: instagram.com/acwilliams05

Pinterest: pinterest.com/storytelleramy

About New Name

An unlikely sisterhood.
An unwanted child.
An unthinkable sacrifice.
Aura Morningstar takes the last fragment of the time travel stone and escapes the Knightshade Syndicate by stowing away on a mercenary ship. Despite a rocky start to their relationship, Aura builds a new life with the crew, eccentric mercenary sisters Snow and Rain Stormcloud.new-name-cover

But the consequences of refusing to change history are only beginning.

Aura discovers she is pregnant with Darien Stone’s child. The Stormcloud sisters are pressuring Aura to terminate the pregnancy, but Aura knows all too well the easy choice isn’t always the right one. Can she ever truly accept a child born of rape? Can she face the constant reminder of all she has lost? And if she keeps the child, will Snow and Rain continue to shelter her? Without their protection, Knightshade will find her, take back the time stone, and rewrite history for their purposes.

Aura must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice—Stone’s child or history itself.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon (ebook): https://www.amazon.com/New-Name-Destiny-Trilogy-Three-ebook/dp/B01LBQ3YE0

Amazon (softcover): https://www.amazon.com/New-Name-Destiny-Trilogy-Morningstar/dp/0990555550

Barnes & Noble (softcover): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-name-ac-williams/1125189101?ean=9780990555551

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33146655-new-name

Crosshair Press Direct: http://crosshairpress.com/bookstore/crosshair-direct/

Amy has generously offered to give away a signed copy and e-copy of New Name. The signed copy is open to US only, but the e-copy is open to international residents. Winners will be announced at the end of the Facebook party on March 11th.

Giveaway Link: http://giveawaytools2.com/giveaway.php?sk=25146859047

Join the Facebook party as well!

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Keep Walking: Guest Post by Author Kadee Carder

What do you love doing? I like to write. I dig a great movie, I hoard cheesecake, and I adore new purses, but I come alive when I write. What makes you feel blissful? Are you trying to kickstart a new venture, pursue long-term goals, or basically weather the storm? All those things which make us feel alive, they are so valuable, are they not? What would life be without bliss and passion and fulfillment?

You know, I’ve noticed that those undertakings, while bringing sparkle and adventure and pink polka dot fuzzies, come with a side of heartbreak and an extra shot of the tears of your ancestors. Adventures aren’t always fun. Behind the light, shadows lurk. The good news is…we’re in this together. And we have coffee.

I believe in hope, I hope for trust, and I trust in faith. Faith powers tenacity. And with faith in a loving God, we can do amazing work. Good work. Excellent work. [Break for a sip of coffee.]

Now, first of all, I’m going to be terribly honest with you. That means I’m going to smudge those rosy-colored shades a smidge: All of this is hard. It’s all hard. But while it is challenging, it’s also filled with hugs, and laughter, and blue skies, and soft breezes, and chocolate.

Recently, at a particularly low moment, I shuffled along the road. I just had to get out of my house, away from technology, and away from the goals I was trying to pursue and having only overwhelming, looming walls blocking me from advancing. My shadow reflected my wounded spirit. Praying, hoping, and absorbing the golden sunlight, I wound through the neighborhood. Countless sighs drifted toward the ether. And then a Fed-Ex truck pulled up beside me, and the driver, smiling, called out to me, “No! You cannot stop! Keep walking.”

Laughing, I nodded and agreed with him, and he wished me a good day and an enjoyable walk. “You look like you’re ready to be done with your walk,” he added as he drove away. “Keep walking.” I thanked him and shoved my hands in my pockets.

Even Batman can puzzle the implications as to why on this particular day this particular girl slumped along and a particular Fex-Ex driver felt the need to say that. But he did. He dared venture to speak the words I desperately needed to hear.kadee-carder-quote

Do you need to hear them, too, friend?

No, you cannot stop. Keep walking.

Life is an accumulation of shared gifts. You or I may not always be the best at something, but you are best at the gift you have to give. You are in your space to help those within your reach. Only you can offer your love in your quirky manner, so go get it out and dish it up.

Now let’s discuss the walking.

I’ve got an extra mug poured for you. Cream? Sugar?


About Kadee:

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Deep in the heart of Texas, Kadee Carder resides with her husband and daughters. Carder earned a BA in Public Relations at Howard Payne University and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. She teaches English courses on the university level and plans her schedule around coffee availability. When she’s not dancing around the living room with her daughters, she helps at church activities, creates encouraging blogs, and orders pizza like a boss.

Connect with Kadee:

Website: kadeecarder.com

Twitter: @kadeecarderink

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kadeecarderink/

Instagram: kadeecarderink

And please feel free to subscribe for encouraging blogs! Kadeecarder.com

 

Do you enjoy fiction? We humans have to be stronger than we ever imagine, love ourselves in the process, and dig in when the ground seems to sink. We not only relish adventures, we create them. That’s the basis of Saylor’s story in my young adult science fiction trilogy, Insurrection.

Book Blurb:

Saylor started out on one adventure and ended up on another. After finding herself on a Caribbean island filled with strange noises, dazzling beaches, and a secret military base, Saylor must seize the missing pieces of her fate. While harnessing her ability to communicate with deadly weapons of mass destruction, attending the annual gala, and fighting her growing feelings for the hunky Australian soldier, Saylor’s instincts become increasingly distressed. Tempted by greed and independence, she must determine what she stands for and on whose side she belongs. Power within in her. War without.

They wanted a warrior. They got one.

Purchase each book for only $4.99:

Amazon

Nook/Barnes&Noble

iTunes

Kadee is giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to her email list at kadeecarder.com. The book is called Ignite and offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace.

 

Reviews:

“I loved this story. The characters are so witty, well developed and real. The growth Saylor goes through is touching and had me rooting for her every step of the way. The technology introduced is intriguing and frightening. Like what would happen if your favorite pastime started fighting back and you were thrown into the deadliest game of baseball you could ever imagine? In the midst of the awesome kick butt-ness are the girl giggles of a first crush that will have you swooning and wanting more.

An amazing first novel in a series that I can already tell will become one of my favorite series.

If you are looking for a unique science fiction book you need to pick this book up! You will be memorized by the story, the wonder of the strange island, the romance developing, and the unwavering friendship.”
~ Amy

***

“I loved this book. As a mom, I’m always looking for good adventure stories for my 15-year old daughter to read, and Insurrection takes the cake. The daring heroine is unafraid of adventure but also not ashamed of romance. (I have to say, though, that it was refreshing to have the focus be more on the adventure and less on the romance!)
I can’t wait for the second and third books.”
~ Laura

***

Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com/incomplete.html for book trailer, radio interviews, gift certificates, freebie codes, and more!