The Over 50 Writer

ebook giveaway! Excited to be highlighted on Patti Shene’s blog. http://ow.ly/yQ8D30n9J6R

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The Things I Don’t Know and the Things I Do Know

KrispyKreme

This picture was taken on my daughter’s phone November 15 at 8:57 PM. Three minutes later at 9:00 PM, that same phone was used to call 911 because the man in the picture collapsed onto the table unconscious.

When my family gathered on November 15 at the county school district office to hear the announcement of our daughter’s promotion, we proudly shook hands with county board members, applauded, chattered, and stood for family pictures. I didn’t know that a half hour later while celebrating at Krispy Kreme, I would think my husband was dying. Multitudes of thoughts and emotions passed through me in minuscule measurements of time. I am grateful to say that in the wee hours of the morning in ER, all turned out well. My husband has some iron and blood pressure issues to tweak.

The scary incident reminded me that what I don’t know makes me grateful for what I do know.

I don’t know what relationship, job, health or financial struggles those I love may face. I don’t know when or how my loved ones or I will leave this Earth. I don’t know if I’m headed into an accident while driving to the store. I don’t know what issue I may face at work. Simply stated, I don’t know the future of my life here on Earth. I’m glad because in my humanity, knowing the bad would taint knowing the good.

Omniscience belongs to God, and He promises to be a lamp unto our feet and give us just enough light to take the next steps of our path here on Earth—whether or not the steps are taken on rough terrain or smooth grass. No matter the path I find myself on, I can rely on what I do know.

  • God will never leave me or forsake me
  • God is just and trustworthy
  • My salvation is sealed in Christ
  • God’s rod and staff will comfort

When we get right down to it–our relationship with God and then the people we love matter more than anything else on Earth.

Jesusfamily

As I write this, Christmas is just around the corner, and my husband is playing his trumpet in our church Atlanta Christmas Musical. I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

 

 

(And by the way, I am busy with my characters in Layton as I write book three.)

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What’s Your Favorite…?

“Hey, Kim, what’s your favorite…?” This is often a difficult question for me to answer. For example, how am I to choose between warm chocolate chip cookies, carrot cake, peach cobbler, or traditional birthday cake to select my favorite dessert? Likewise, when someone asks me who is my favorite author, I cannot be limited to one name. I have too many favorites well worth mentioning. Although this is not a book review blog, and I am not a reviewer, I thought I’d stray from my typical post style and share some of my favorite Christian Fiction authors and books.  (Heads up: This post is more lengthy than my routine posts.)

Author Elizabeth Camden writes Historical Christian Romance set in the United States. Her settings are always interesting and her history details are well woven into the romantic story.  I’ve read all her books and am listing my two favorite. Against the Tides has some beautifully written dialogue between the protagonists. The story deals with the misuse of a common drug of the day.  Both the history and the romance in Every Breath made it one of the most interesting stories I’ve read. The early stages of  seeking a cure for tuberculosis throws the protagonists together. Both stories are filled with humor.

Elizabeth Musser’s stories follow a variety of settings and topics. She has a two-book series set in Atlanta and Hilton Head.  I actually  road-tripped and viewed the locations she mentions in that series. However, my favorite works of hers is the Secrets of the Cross Trilogy  that is set in France in the 1960’s and later on in…well, I won’t give away part of the story. Huguenots. Religious persecution. Smuggling of believers, etc. are all a part of this series. Readers will grow with the two protagonists as the stories span their lives. The lead characters are a delight to get to know.

Kate Breslin writes outstanding historical fiction. My favorite is For Such a Time, set in WW2 and focused on a particular Nazi officer and a female prisoner. The title should give you some hint to the plot of the story.

LN Cronk wrote the Chop Chop Series. I came across the first book on Bookbub, read it, and fell in love with the stories, even though they are out of my usual genre.  I have read the series many times. I laugh out loud, wipe tears, and find myself thinking about the characters as though they truly exist. Ironically, many of the scenarios in the stories have taken place in my own life–so much so, that I wrote the author and told her. I later became a beta reader for her. The stories follow a group of friends for a span of fifty-plus years. The books are primarily (perhaps entirally at this point) sold as e-books.

Cathy Gohlke writes historical Christian fiction. My favorite novel is Saving Amelie, set in WW2. A gripping story of how the war impacted families–particularly the life of a little girl.

Changing gears just a bit, take a look at these recommendations:

  1. Want to laugh? Becky Wade writes modern day romance with a good sense of humor. I’d suggest you start with My Stubborn Heart.
  2. Want to deal with an intriguing medical disorder?  Read Elaine Stock’s Good Girl.
  3. Love WWI? Sarah Sundin is a great choice. Her books can be read independently, but groups of them stay connected. I’d start with the Wings of the Nightingale Series.
  4. Do you like an intricate plot? Give Kristy Cambron a try. I’ve enjoyed every one of books equally–ok, maybe I would pick The Ring Master’s Wife as my favorite. Her protagonists are very interesting characters.
  5. One of my favorite male characters is in Kristen Heitzmann‘s Rose Legacy Series. Think 1880’s Colorado mining towns.  What a transformation this troubled character experiences.
  6. Whom have I recently discovered? I read Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof. (Honestly, I’m already on my third reading of it.)  Her writing style flows smoothly and rhythmically. I  enjoy good insight into characters, and this story has  allows the reader to get to know the protagonists from the inside out.  This book has a deaf protagonist that is beautifully written. I kept seeing this novel mentioned all over my social medias and had to see what the hype was all about. I will definitely be reading more of her works.
  7. Do you like drama, crime, and lawyers? Try James Bell.
  8. Do you like a lot of variety in an author? Give Charles Martin and also Robert Whitlow a try. Yes, you’ll begin to discover the author’s underlying writing habits, but each of them write drama with a taste of romance and a twist of unique storylines.
  9. Have you mentioned every author or book you favor? Nope, and my heart hurts a bit for not doing so.
  10.  And, if you’re looking for a series set in rural 1920’s Texas, click this link: https://tinyurl.com/ybof68te  Bothbinding(I’m shameless.)

Thanks for letting me chase a rabbit trail on this post.  One last question: Who are your favorite authors and books? I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Reading.

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Behind the Scenes

Learn some behind the scenes info about the Letters to Layton Series in this video interview:  https://youtu.be/EJbt8-G076U

MM#140: How to Grow Your Online Network using (non-FB groups) with Kim Williams Author
We’re often told to, “Grow our online network,” but it can seem like an uphill climb, can’t it? Where do we go? How do we find networks that offer what we need, and that we have something to offer in return?

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:4-5

flower4I have learned something about myself. One might assume that since I am hovering somewhere between fifty and sixty, there wouldn’t be much left to learn. Oh, contraire.

I have always known that I love flowers, red birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds. flower1Through the years, each spring, I would buy hanging baskets to decorate my porch, deck, and pool area. I remember being so proud of myself when I moved from silk flowers to real flowers for this annual event. I occassionally under watered and overwatered.  My hanging baskets had a  very short life span.  As for the rest my outdoor favorites–my hummingbird feeder never drew hummingbirds and my bird feeder drew squirrels.

flower3This year I made a change. God gave me a daughter-in-law with a green thumb who is teaching me how to actually care for plants that attract butterflies—care, as in take care; work at. Producing beautiful flowers and plants takes intentional attention. Herein is the lesson I’ve learned. I naturally like to look at blooming plants and beautiful flower gardens, but the upkeep just doesn’t come naturally to me at all. In other words, the natural me does not produce the type of bloom I’d like to see.

Paul tells believers in the book of Galatians what type of bloom—fruit—should be displayed in their lives.  However, he also reminds us in Romans 7:15-20 that the fruit does not come from human efforts, but from the Holy Spirit in us.  Making choices to be nourished by the Holy Spirit who produces this fruit can be a struggle. flower5God the Creator has His Spirit in us to  dig and prune and enable intentionality. His word nourishes and fertilizes us to grow in our relationship with Christ. Time in prayer waters and refreshes us, and allows us to hear His gardening tips for our live

flower2If you are like me, life gets busy and can cause us to neglect the gardening our souls need.  Without abiding in Him we may find ourselves resembling a silk plant that is pretty, but lifeless—a mere imitation of what our Creator intended us to be. None of us want to do a lot of something that becomes nothing. Do you need  to “stop and smell the roses” spiritually? Do you need to abide?

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Do You Trust Me?

I am thrilled that my new book is released. Whew! Thanks to all who’ve shown your support with texts, emails, time, posts, and purchases. Readers, may you enjoy the read! While I treasure the moments after a release and catch my breath, the third (and final) story in the Letters to Layton series that has been peeking around the corner is now jumping up and down in front of me begging for my attention. Like a patient parent, I tell the story to give me a moment, then it will get my undivided attention. In the meantime, I’ve got some people to talk to–the characters.When_the_Butterflies_Cover_for_Kindle

I write letters to my characters, and I interview them as I prepare to bring their story to life. They talk to me as well. Sometimes they share their hearts at the most inconvenient time when I can’t drop everything and listen–for example when I’m driving or trying to sleep. I recently had a conversation with Henry.

“Henry, what do you most fear?”

“Plunging into the darkness.”

“What will you do if that happens?”

He hesitated, and I can only assume a slight grimace formed on his face.

“I will be totally dependent on others and on God to help me. I won’t be able to think, much less pull myself out.”

“Do you trust me enough to take you there?”

Another pause.

“Will you leave me there?”

My care for him must have shown as I felt my lips press together. My fingers felt the impulse to pat his hand.

“That’s for me to know. Do you trust me?”

As I asked Henry this question, my mind wandered back to times in my life when God had asked me the same question. Our third miscarriage. My mom dying with cancer.  Financial strain. Health concerns. Times in “wait mode,” wondering why God was silent other than asking if I trusted Him. The one thing I’ve learned is that God “always comes through.” This doesn’t mean that every outcome is what I would have preferred. It does mean that whatever the outcome, God is sufficient to give me what I need at the time.

I think of  Abraham. God made the childless, aging man a promise that a great nation would come from his off-spring. Abraham did what humans often do. Perhaps a little panicked, he looked at the circumstances and figured he better do his part to fulfill the promise God made. “Doing” is often easier than “waiting.” Despite Abraham’s intended solution, which carried its own set of consequences, God gave him the son he intended to use as the fulfillment of His promise. Then, years later told Abraham to sacrifice the life of that son. In my mind, this would have been more confusing to accept than the original promise.  Although I get the symbolism behind God asking him to sacrifice Isaac, for the life of me, as a parent, I cannot “get” how Abraham had enough trust and faith to prepare to do it.  He climbed Mt. Moriah trusting in God — to provide a replacement or tell him nevermind, or, gulp, to sustain him through the act of obedience.  I suppose that Abraham focused on the truths and promises he’d received from God—that a great nation would come from his offspring.

I have never been called upon to do something as difficult as Abraham was asked to do. However, as mentioned earlier, I have been called upon to trust God’s character and His promises. When He “comes through,” I find myself wondering how I could have ever been anxious in the first place. (Hint: I’m a doer and a fixer.) God has filled His Word with promise after promise that we can depend on Him and trust Him in every situation.  Take a look at some of His promises:

He will fight for us. He strengthens us. He upholds us. He is with us in deep waters and flames. His love never fails. He breaks our chains of bondage. He binds our broken heart.  He gives us wisdom. He forgives our sins. He hears and answers our prayers. He will never forsake us. He gives us the desires of our hearts. He gives eternal life through Christ. He blesses us. He communes with us. He meets our needs. He guides us. 

Take a breath! Isn’t the list amazing? Might I mention that it is incomplete. Claiming God’s promises are a part of our relationship with Him. A healthy relationship builds trust. You, know, just the other day I was fretting over something, and God showed me two different times in two different ways that He has the matter under God's Promisescontrol. What a beautiful picture of relationship that builds trust in God’s promises.

You might ask, “Who is Henry and what is this darkness?” The answers are found in the pages of my sequel story.  Will I take Henry to the dark depths in my third book? I don’t know, but trust me, I’ll do my best to make the story worth the read of finding out.

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