Tuesday, November 27, 2012

For Better or Worse - with Patty

Patty Froese lives in central Canada where the winters are long and cold--giving her excellent excuse to stay in and write without guilt. She's a tea drinker, a novel writer, an adoring wife and mom, and she's pretty sure she's a British person born in a shivering, Canadian body. She loves rain, royalty, pretty knick knacks and three square meals a day. No dieting here!
If you'd like to find her online, come by her blog: http://pattyfroese.com. She's also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pattyfroese, and whenever someone gives her a new like or follows her blog, she sighs in delight.

Legally Wed is her ninth novel to be released.

Shirley: I see your book is about marriage, Patty. If that was the inspiration to your new book, we'd love to hear about it. The cover and blurb is already exciting.

Patty: I was a jittery bride. I mean, a really jittery bride. I was so nervous about my wedding that I refused to plan it. I wanted to just elope but my mother begged me to have a "real wedding," and I agreed... with a few conditions:
1.       I would plan none of it.
2.       I would arrive appropriately dressed and that would be the only thing required of me.
3.       We would have 8 guests. Period.
The day of my wedding, my husband and I picked up our rental car, picked up a couple of guests, and headed towards my parents' house where the wedding would take place. I had no idea what to expect. All I cared about were the vows and some "I do's." Anything after that was pure detail.
My mother put together a beautiful wedding. She took all the furniture out of her living room and turned it into a chapel. She had finger foods arranged on the dining room table. She had flowers everywhere. It was gorgeous!
The minister arrived. My mother put some lipstick on me. I looked at my husband-to-be...
"Are you ready?" they asked.
We nodded.
Then my mother moaned. She'd remembered everything to finest detail... except the wedding march music. (I was to walk from the kitchen to the living room.)
It was like the idea occurred to all of them at once--every single person in the room started to hum "Here Comes the Bride."
I walked down the "aisle" to the hummed music, music made by the people who loved me. They teared up as we stopped in front of the minister, and as we were joined in marriage, I remember feeling so loved, so protected... by my husband and by our friends and family who gathered close, humming their contribution to our special day. That is my most treasured memory (besides the "I do's") of my wedding.
I learned something that day that I've applied to my marriage: the biggest mistakes can end up being the most treasured memories.
Marriage is complicated, but it's also amazing. No one knows exactly what to expect when they take those vows, but the journey together is the exciting part!
Legally Wed is a story about marriage--two marriages, to be exact. One marriage is supposed to be over. The other marriage is supposed to be perfect. Neither couple gets what they expect! Marriage is hard work, complicated and downright confusing sometimes, but when you're legally wed, you've just sarted the ride of your life.

When Rich McConaughey comes back to town, divorce papers in hand, he’s in for more than he bargained for. Lisa Young, the woman he was married to for six months, hasn’t changed a bit. His mother has though… she’s gone from matronly to meow, and his father has taken off with the secretary. Does anything last anymore?
Lisa Young feels chained to the hardware store her family has run for generations. How can she tell her father that she hates the family business? When Rich walks back into her store asking her to finalize a divorce she thought was behind her, she thinks that the answer is to sign on the dotted line and move on. Except, Rich isn’t making it so easy… and God has other plans.
For better or for worse, when you’re legally wed, things can get complicated.


"What do you mean we're still married?" She hurried to match his pace."And for crying out loud, slow down."

He slowed his steps to a leisurely stroll and glanced down at her. She only came up to his shoulder, and she resented having to tip her chin to look him in the face. Young Hardware stood on Main Street, one of the first stores built on this street before the town sprung up around a crossroads with a gas station, a diner and a church to serve the farms in that area. Now it joined many businesses flanking Main Street, and she couldn't help but feel like every single of one of them watched.

"We used my Uncle Neil to finalize the divorce, remember?" Rich asked.

"Yes, that sounds right." As she hurried Ricky past Whirlwind Realty, the business next door to the hardware store, she felt a rush of relief that Jane, the head realtor for the place, stood with her back to them. One less person to give her the third degree later.

"Well, as it turns out, Uncle Neil was having trouble with alcohol at the time and..."


"And never filed it. It sort of slipped through the cracks."

"Sort of?" What on earth are you talking about?" Lisa heard her voice rising in pitch. "He never filed the papers?"

"Looks that way."

"And how did you figure this out?"

"When the IRS audited me. My accountant thought I'd had my identity stolen. The IRS thought I was fraudulent."

"Ouch." For the first time, a pang of pity replaced irritation for the man. She stopped at the street corner and looked across the intersection at the coffee shop. A couple of people visible in the window ordered their drinks. She glanced back at Rich. "So you came out here to get me to sign?"

He squinted in the bright sunlight and pressed his lips together. Finally, he gave a slow shrug. "That was the plan."

She turned her attention to the envelope in her hands. It had been a long time since she'd held divorce papers, and they still felt ominous and weighty. She nodded.

"Okay. Well, I'll take a look at these then."

"Look, I'm sorry about this." Rich put his hands into his pockets and looked down at his shoes. He raised his gaze to meet hers. "I know this is a surprise."

"You could say that."

He gave her one of those lopsided smiles of his and for just a moment she could see the boy with the spontaneous grin and cajoling eyes she'd fallen in love with all those years ago. Why could Ricky always speed up her heart, even when every logical bone in her body knew he wasn't in her best interest?

"Well." She cleared her throat. "Thank you. I'll see you around, I'm sure."

"You bet."

Lisa raised her hand in an awkward wave and turned back towards the hardware store.

Married. Her body moved like wet clay, and when she fumbled about inside for her feelings she discovered -- nothing. Not yet. Later. Time enough for a meltdown in privacy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What do you give thanks for

Every year I am reminded of how much I love and appreciate this time of year. I love being reminded by God of all the reasons I have to give Him thanks for giving me life -- for all the people who have been a part of my life over the years, and especially for all the circumstances I've been through that have made me appreciate God for bringing me through those circumstances and situations successfully.
In my Civil War romance, Flame from Within, my heroine Amethyst Rose loses her home and nearly all of those she loves. She has to walk away from much of what she's cared for all her life. The circumstances she goes through bring her pretty far down in her thinking about what might now happen to her in the future --  even whether it is worth it to go on. Worst of all, she has no knowledge of the her Heavenly Father who loves her and wants to be there for her, if she will only look to Him for help.

In my book, Say Goodbye to Yesterday, my heroine Annabelle, who has had a difficult past life, has to find a way to learn what it takes to forgive herself not only for her personal failures, but also for those who've done her wrong throughout her life, especially when the past keeps staring at her in the face. Worst of all, Annabelle has sadly forgotten she once had a good  relationship with the only One who can teach her there is a way to find forgiveness.


In my book, That Impossible Dream, my heroine Geraldine, learns early how her disabilities might make life difficult for her.  Because of her relationship with God, however, she's been able to accept herself just the way she is. It doesn't matter  what others think. At the same time, Still,as a young woman full of dreams and prayers, Geraldine can't help but wish some of her prayers might someday come true. But with so many disappointments throughout her life, can she come to the place where it simply won't matter one way or the other?
In all three of my "I See God" devotionals, (I See God in the Simple Things, I See God in the Thorns n Thistles, and I See God on the Narrow Road) I wanted to show the importance of living with thankfulness -- no matter what we go through -- no matter where we are -- regardless of the circumstance we find ourselves in or where we might find ourselves tomorrow.  We really can see God in everything, if we simply open our eyes. He's there.
Life can be special and we can have much to be thankful for if we keep our eyes focused on what's important.
During this month of Thanksgiving, do you have something unique for which you can especially give thanks? I hope you'll share it with us.
Even the smallest joy you might have to offer is important to us here at A Pen for Your Thoughts. I look forward to drawing your name and giving the winner either a gift card for the e-book of choice, or sharing a signed copy with you of one of my print books.
God bless you all this Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Bit of Comedy Relief

Nothing better than a taste of happiness, a comedy relief, especially on a rainy day. Take a moment to read about Krista Phillips new book, Sandwich, With a Side of Romance.

Krista Phillips writes inspirational romantic comedy. She believes a sprinkle of laughter (and a wee bit of chocolate) makes everything a little better! She blogs regularly about life as a wife, mother, follower of Jesus, and mother of a child with a rare congenital heart defect at www.kristaphillips.com. Her debut novel, "Sandwich, With a Side of Romance," releases in September, 2012 from Abingdon Press.

Alittle about her newest book: Sandwich, with a Side of Romance

She moved to Sandwich, Illinois, in search of a new life, but ended up in a giant pickle.

Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than a day. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong.  

He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Emporium. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process. 

And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.
Krista's Social Media Links:

This sure looks like a book worth checking out.
Drop us a line about your favorite kind of read and why you are drawn to a specific genre.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God’s Grace (Time to Reflect on the Sweet Things of Life)

Deanna is here to talk to us about the Fruit of the Spirit, and a taste of her brand new book. And a giveaway, one of us would be delighted to receive. Read on...

Deanna Nowadnick is a Pacific Northwest native and debut author. Fruit of My Spirit began as a love story to her sons. She just wanted them to know how she met their father. One chapter quickly became many chapters. One day, she said to anyone who’d listen, “I think I wrote a book.”

When not writing, Deanna serves as Client Service Coordinator for The Planner’s Edge, a financial advisory firm. Deanna is active in her church, playing the violin and editing the monthly newsletter. She loves to knit, adores chocolate, and most importantly, enjoys a blessed marriage to Kurt. They are the proud parents of two adult sons, Kyle and Kevin.
Deanna is currently working on Book 2. At the Corner of Grace and Mercy: Meeting God at Life’s Crossroads tells of those times when God has come alongside and guided, directed and turned her. The book is another collection of short stories, this time recounting how God has met her at life’s crossroads, when she’s been “on point” with God, not because of anything she’s done, but because a loving, gracious, merciful God was there time after time, again and again.


Reframing Life in God’s Grace

by Deanna Nowadnick

           For those asking questions about our purpose in life, Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God’s Grace offers hope and help. Author Deanna Nowadnick fills her memoir of short stories with humorous insights gleaned life’s missteps and misdeeds. Rich in Biblical quotes and references, the book shares a refreshingly honest look at Christian life. The author builds her story around the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to the people of Galatia: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23) .

        This engaging personal growth book thus goes beyond the storytelling of a memoir; it employs vignettes that directly touch the heart. Readers instantly identify with the travails of a child who was brought up to be seen and not heard. Later hearts are touched as she recounts her time as a teacher of children with disabilities, “At that school, I found an unexpected contentment and a renewed sense of self, and in that room, with those children by my side I learned to speak—in love and compassion.” 

      What started as a single story for her sons about how she met their father quickly turned into a divine writing adventure in which she was able to tell of God’s love and faithfulness. Recalling the nine qualities of the Holy Spirit’s fruit, the author uses pictures to relate each attribute to its Greek equivalent. The chapter on “Joy” or chara (Greek for divine happiness) is paired with cherries; “Kindness” or chrestotes (Greek for goodness) is paired with strawberries. Charming black-white photos capture transformations through thirty years of marriage for Deanna and her husband Kurt, and family time with their sons Kyle and Kevin.

     It takes a skillful writer to weave stories of personal transformation that resonate with more profound references from the Bible, and to that end, the book is part Bible study, part memoir, part confessional. The author’s wry sense of humor shines in poignant examples acknowledging that God is in the details. As she shied away from a more intimate relationship with Him and then as she was learned to accept His love and guidance, she found the strength and insight to reframe life in His grace.  And then she found that answer to the really big question about her own special purpose in life.              
     Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God’s Grace is a spiritual memoir providing readers with priceless insights and inspiration. More important, the author’s stories remind readers how they can find the enormity of God’s grace in the details of their own lives.
     Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God’s Grace can be purchased online at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

How does the Fruit of the Spirit frame YOUR life today?
Write in your thoughts this week.
We will select a winner of Deanna's great book later this week.