Whitewashed Is Only 99 Cents This Week!

Grab a Kindle copy of my Christian suspense novel Whitewashed for only 99 cents this week! Here’s the link to buy your copy.

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Eighteen-year-old Patience McDonough has a plan. Despite her parents’ objections, she will attend Verity College in Hades, Mississippi, and live with her grandparents. She’ll complete her degree in record time and go on to become a doctor. But things at the college are strangely neglected, her class work is unexpectedly hard, Grand gets called out-of-town, and Poppa starts acting weird—so weird she suspects he has Alzheimer’s. On top of that, she has to work extra hours at her student job inputting financial data for the college—boring! But soon her job gets more interesting than she’d like: she finds that millions of dollars are unaccounted for and that something creepy is going on in the Big House basement. She discovers secrets tying her family into the dark beginnings of Verity, founded on a slave plantation, and she is forced to question the characters of people she has always trusted. Finally, confronted with a psychotic killer, Patience has to face facts—her plans are not necessarily God’s plans. Will the truth set her free?

Book Signing at Gospel Book Store

This Saturday, November 12, I’m participating in Gospel Book Store’s Book Signing event in Berlin, Ohio. 40 Christian authors will be there, and all books will be 20% off. It’s a great opportunity to find Christmas gifts. Hope you can make it! http://www.mygospelbookstore.com/home.asp

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The Consequences

The 2010 Denzel Washington action-packed, based-on-true-events thriller Unstoppable* shows the devastating results of disobedience. In the movie, two yard workers need to move a half-mile long train to another siding. What should’ve been a simple job turns deadly when the men don’t follow standard railroad safety regulations. First, they don’t tie up the air brakes because they think doing so will mean unnecessary work. Second, one of the men puts the train in independent–on full throttle–and steps from the cab to pull a switch, thinking he’ll have plenty of time to climb back on. He doesn’t. The resultant chain of events causes major property damage, several injuries, and even death as others attempt to stop the runaway freight train-turned-missile (seven of its cars have toxic contents) barreling toward a string of Pennsylvania towns. All that mayhem is the result of two guys thinking they know better than those in authority over them.

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Pretty senseless, huh?

But how often might you do something similar? Maybe you disregard the speed limit because you’re late for soccer practice. Or you ignore your parents’ instructions to go straight home after school because you’d rather hang out with friends. You dismiss your science teacher’s admonition to read chapter seventeen in your textbook because you’d rather play video games. And the list goes on, with varying consequences for your disobedience–a speeding ticket, getting grounded, failing a quiz, etc.

Often, though, disobedience affects more than just the disobedient person. For instance, let’s say your chore is to care for the family dog. You’re to feed him, clean up after him, and make sure he has a full bowl of clean water at least three times a day. While you do feed him and occasionally scoop poop, the water thing seems a bit much. Sure, you give him water in the morning, but why should you have to go out right after school to give him more? That quarter inch of semi-clean liquid should do him fine until you get around to feeding him in the evening, right?

But then the dog gets sick from days of insufficient clean water, and your parents have to take him to the vet. What are the consequences then? Say the dog dies, costing your family a guardian and friend. What if the money spent on the vet bill was supposed to go elsewhere, like your soccer camp or (worse yet) your little sister’s ballet lessons, and now there’s no money to pay for those activities? Say your dad intended to replace the bald tires on his work truck, but now he can’t. What if one of the tires blows while he’s driving to work, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and hit an oncoming minivan…?

Extreme? Maybe. Or maybe not. The point is, when you choose to disobey clear instructions from your parents and others in authority over you, you create difficulties for yourself and others. Just like the two railroad workers in Unstoppable did for so many people in Pennsylvania that fateful day.

God has placed parents and other authority figures in your life for your good and the good of those around you. When you disrespect them by disobeying their rules, you disrespect God and reap the negative consequences, often bringing others down with you. However, when you honor those in authority by obeying their rules, you honor God and reap the positive consequences, often sharing those blessings with the people around you.

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*Unstoppable is rated PG-13 for language and action peril. Be sure to seek your parents’ permission before watching this movie.

 

Teach Them Diligently Conference

Along with my fellow homeschool moms/authors Carol Kinsey and Colleen Scott, I’ll be teaching a workshop at the Teach Them Diligently Conference this weekend in Sandusky, Ohio. Our workshop on Nurturing the Writer in Yourself and Your Children is scheduled for Friday, May 13th at 4:30. You can also stop by our booth (The Writing Family) to purchase signed copies of our books. Hope to see you there!

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Goodreads Giveaway of Colorblind

I’m giving away a paperback copy of my new Christian suspense novel, Colorblind. Enter to win via Goodreads, now through April 7!

 

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/177090-colorblind

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Congratulations, Karen, for winning this copy of Colorblind!

Congratulations, Winners!

Congrats to the winners of my drawing for paperback copies of The Trojan Horse Traitor:

Brenda

Amanda

Nancy

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Didn’t win? You can buy a copy of The Trojan Horse Traitor on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books a Million. Available in both paperback and e-book!

Be sure to check out my On the Brink Christian suspense novels, Whitewashed and Colorblind, both available on Amazon.

Thanks for entering!

Colorblind Is Now Available

Colorblind (Book 2 in my On the Brink suspense series) is now available for purchase in both e-book and paperback formats. Each book in the On the Brink series follows one girl’s story, so they can be read in any order. Here’s the link to buy Colorblind on Amazon.

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Here’s the blurb for Colorblind:

Eighteen-year-old Christy Kane has always been Daddy’s princess. But on the first day of her music internship at his mega-church, reporters shatter her world with terrible news: Daddy’s had an affair with the church preschool director. Christy feels as betrayed by God as the man she’s always considered Prince Charming.

When Mom sends her to Buckeye Lake to help with Aunt Jo’s School of Music and Dance in the restored Pier Ballroom, Christy’s problems only increase. First, the ballroom sits on Buckeye Lake, making her face her greatest fear—water. Second, she must help lead a handful of semi-talented volunteers, who harbor racial tensions and mysterious underlying antagonisms, in a professional quality performance for the Grand Reopening of the ballroom. The stakes are high—Aunt Jo will lose the place if they fail. Third, Christy discovers a diary written by Lillian, who lived near Buckeye Lake in the 1920s, and becomes intrigued by the stories of thousands coming to play at the amusement parks and dance in the ballrooms. But her interest soon turns to concern as tragic events from the diary happen in Christy’s world, ninety years to the date of their first occurrence.

Between her shattered past, her uncertain future, and her dangerous present, Christy doesn’t know where to turn. Does Daddy’s God really exist? If so, does He care enough to rescue her?

4 Days Only: Whitewashed Is 99 Cents

The Kindle version of Whitewashed (On the Brink, book 1), my Christian suspense about 18-year-old homeschooler Patience McDonough, is 99 cents today through February 22. Click here to buy your copy.

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Then, on February 22, Colorblind (On the Brink, book 2) releases! Here’s the blurb about Colorblind:

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Eighteen-year-old Christy Kane has always been Daddy’s princess. But on the first day of her music internship at his mega-church, reporters shatter her world with terrible news: Daddy’s had an affair with the church preschool director. Christy feels as betrayed by God as the man she’s always considered Prince Charming.

When Mom sends her to Buckeye Lake to help with Aunt Jo’s School of Music and Dance in the restored Pier Ballroom, Christy’s problems only increase. First, the ballroom sits on Buckeye Lake, making her face her greatest fear—water. Second, she must help lead a handful of semi-talented volunteers, who harbor racial tensions and mysterious underlying antagonisms, in a professional quality performance for the Grand Reopening of the ballroom. The stakes are high—Aunt Jo will lose the place if they fail. Third, Christy discovers a diary written by Lillian, who lived near Buckeye Lake in the 1920s, and becomes intrigued by the stories of thousands coming to play at the amusement parks and dance in the ballrooms. But her interest soon turns to concern as tragic events from the diary happen in Christy’s world, ninety years to the date of their first occurrence.

Between her shattered past, her uncertain future, and her dangerous present, Christy doesn’t know where to turn. Does Daddy’s God really exist? If so, does He care enough to rescue her?

Win a Copy of The Trojan Horse Traitor

Complete any or all of the options below for a chance to win one of three paperback copies of The Trojan Horse Traitor, my Christian YA fantasy about 13-year-old homeschooler, Levi Prince. Here’s a link for more information on The Trojan Horse Traitor. TrojanHorseTraitor_FlatforeBooks

While you’re here, check out my On the Brink Christian suspense books, Whitewashed and Colorblind, about two 18-year-old homeschooled girls. You can also find articles about homeschooling and about being a pastor’s wife.

Thanks for visiting! Please share with your friends!

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Homeschoolers: Complex Enough for Fiction

 

When I was a kid, I’d never heard of home education. Who could imagine never having to ride a school bus, doing subjects while in pajamas, and calling it a school day as soon as the work was done? Bizarre. By the time I was in high school, I’d heard there were a few weird people out there (mostly in California) who homeschooled, but I assumed they were all tree-huggers who ate tofu all the time, wore only bulky turtleneck sweaters and ankle-length skirts, couldn’t handle themselves in classroom settings, and didn’t know how to carry on conversations with normal human beings.

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Then I reached the first year of my masters’ program in college, and I taught a Freshman Composition course. Many of the students aggravated me with their petty expectations that I coddle them like a bunch of five-year-olds who couldn’t spell or put together the most basic sentences, much less write decent essays. Okay, so a few did fine, but many did not. Still, there was one girl, Ashley, who stood out. She always listened attentively in class, participated in discussions, turned in every assignment on time, and wrote great essays. Imagine my reaction when she told me she’d been homeschooled all her life.

I was truly stunned. Ashley was cute, sweet, respectful, communicative, intelligent, and never wore bulky turtlenecks. She wasn’t even from California. Though I don’t know whether she ate tofu or hugged trees on a regular basis, I do know she was my favorite student. And she totally changed the way I viewed home education.

A few years later, my husband and I began our own family. As our oldest neared kindergarten age, we began to discuss our educational plans, and because of Ashley, the thought of homeschooling wasn’t incomprehensible. As Christians, we knew God had called us to train our children in His ways. We also knew from personal experience in the public school arena how much more difficult it would be for us to influence our kids if they were away from us most of the time. In addition, we realized we’d been teaching our kids since they were born. If we could train them to handle a spoon, say please and thank-you, and use the potty, surely we could teach them to read and write.

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So we embarked on the homeschool journey with our four children. More than a decade later, I can say with confidence that it was the right educational decision for our family. I can also say that my high school notions of homeschoolers were way off base. While healthy eating and environmentalism are good things, nobody in my family eats tofu or hugs trees (well, there was that one time when my nine-year-old accidentally embraced a tree while trying to snag the ball from his brother during one of our backyard soccer matches…). Overall, my kids do well with their school subjects, participate in group classes through our homeschool co-op, and keep the Mom Taxi running nonstop to various lessons, sports, and activities. They have friends who attend public school and friends who homeschool, all of whom are fun people with varied interests and plenty of wonderful traits.

Given all I’ve learned about homeschool families over the years, it’s no wonder that when I began writing novel-length fiction, I decided to make my main characters homeschoolers, well-rounded, delightful people like my favorite student in college, Ashley, and like my own kids and their friends.

My debut novel, Whitewashed, released in February and is a Christian suspense about 18-year-old homeschooler Patience McDonough, who heads off to college in Mississippi and ends up on the bad side of a mentally unbalanced villain. In February, 2016, my second Christian suspense novel comes out. Colorblind follows Patience’s best friend Christy Kane to Buckeye Lake, Ohio, where somebody is reenacting history with potentially deadly consequences.

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My young adult fantasy, The Trojan Horse Traitor, released November 17th, 2015, and is about 13-year-old homeschooler Levi Prince, who goes to summer camp on an island in the Great Lakes and finds out it’s actually a haven for mythical creatures. I’m hosting a giveaway of two paperback copies of The Trojan Horse Traitor on Goodreads. You can enter now through December 14th.

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Whether your family home educates or not, I’d love for you and your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, and random strangers to read my books and get to know Patience, Christy, and Levi. You’ll find they’re not unlike you, intriguing people with characters worth exploring and heroic traits worth discovering. And my characters don’t even hug trees…at least not too often.

Author, Homeschooler, Pastor's Wife


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