Vanessa’s Character Picks July 2, 2015

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Vanessa’s Character Picks June 30, 2015

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Vanessa’s Character Picks June 28, 2015

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Members of One Body

Old white rural church

 

A while back on a Sunday morning, I sat in church listening to the words emanating from the lips of our remarkable pastor. His well-planned messages always flow with continuity, and he never seems to become distracted. However, this day, I noticed our preacher stumbled on his words and peered to one side of the sanctuary.

Silence reigned in the room as he moved back to the podium and quietly said, “Please remain in your seats. If there are any medical personnel present, please make your way back to the door on the north side of the sanctuary.”

From my vantage point, I couldn’t see what was happening, but two women I knew to be nurses, left their pews and headed to the rear of the church. Then our pastor bowed his head. “Let’s pray. Dear Lord, please be with our brother Fred and bring him healing.”

Later I discovered an older man in our congregation, a precious man of God, had passed out and not regained consciousness. Soon the paramedics took him in the ambulance. It wasn’t until the next day we learned he’d stayed overnight in the hospital, but after examination, the doctors couldn’t find cause for the problem. I’d like to think it had something to do with our prayers.

But finally I’ll get to the point of this post. The scripture 1Corinthians 12:26 came alive for me a couple of days later at the Wednesday night service. My husband and I walked into church and right in front of us was our brother who’d taken ill and his wife. My heart soared with joy and I ran to hug him, as if a close family member or best friend had recovered from a severe illness.

Verse 26 says, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” I whole heartedly rejoiced at our brother’s quick recuperation.

 

 

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Vanessa’s Character Picks June 25, 2015

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Vanessa’s Character Picks June 23, 2015

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Angela Strong from Team Love on the Run visits IC

Team Love on the Run Reading

Anyone else loving these new multi-author book sets that introduce readers to a whole bunch of authors for one ridiculously low price? Yeah, me too! In fact, I found a bunch more in one fell swoop a few weeks ago. And today, I’m going to introduce you to one of the authors from Team Love on the Run—Angela Strong. I hope to share more in the coming weeks. Be on the look-out because this summer promises to be filled with an abundance of great vacation reads.

Until then, here’s Ms. Strong …

Tell us a little about yourself, Angela.Author Pic--angela strong

I’m a married mother of three who lives in Idaho. I sold my first story to American Cheerleader Magazine while still in high school then went on to study journalism at the University of Oregon. My writing grew up with my kids. They inspired rhyming stories for magazines like Hopscotch, then middle grade novels, and now my daughter likes to help me plot romance novels. I love sharing my passion with my family.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?

I loved reading. Nancy Drew and the Mandie series were my favorites. I’d also read my mom’s Christian fiction, and she’d read my young adult novels. I got my passion from her.

How cute. I can see the two of you reading next to each other on the couch now!

As a child or teenager, did you ever dream of being an author?

My mom was a writer, so I went to some writer’s conferences with her as a kid. Because of her, I sent my first story to a magazine when I was 16. That’s just what you were supposed to do, right? From her experience I also knew what a difficult business this was before I got started. So yes. I’d always dreamed of being an author.

Awesome! I can see shades of my daughter and me here … except SHE’S the one who inspired ME.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I’ve ridden on the shoulders of a unicyclist, and I’ve won a hamster ball race. Not sure which of those is quirkier.

Soooo, um, quirky is just in your blood.

How many books do you have published and where can they be found?

My first novel Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho came out in 2010. In 2012 I released Lighten Up—about the daughter of a pastor who can’t forgive her dad for running off with the church secretary until she falls in love with her own pastor. And then I have three books out in my middle-grade Fun4Hire series: The Water Fight Professional, The Snowball Fight Professional, and The Food Fight Professional. (The Pillow Fight Professional comes out in August, and I will be launching with a real pillow fight!)

www.angelaruthstrong.com

Oh, what fun!

Tell us about your latest book.

Love on the Run--coverartNow I’m writing romantic suspense! I found three other amazing authors here in Idaho who write romantic suspense, and we put together a book set of novellas titled Love on the Run. You can find out more about them at www.teamloveontherun.com. Here’s the blurb for my novella:

False Security

Alex Pierce needs Laney Winters to help him prove neither of them is responsible for the millions of dollars that went missing after Laney arrested him for bank robbery five years ago. Besides Laney not believing he truly repented in prison, there’s the problem of the real thief trying to kill her and the police department treating her like a dirty cop. With the possibility of another crime being pinned on them, Laney finally teams up with Alex to save her life. If only she could trust him with her heart, as well.

I’ve read it. Great fun!!!

What inspired you to write this particular book?

I love heist or bank robbery movies like Ocean’s Eleven, but I know the characters’ actions aren’t honoring to God. So I thought, what if the thief got saved in prison? And what if he had to make one more heist to prove his innocence? Now that’s good clean fun.

Yep!

What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m in the final stage of the Love Inspired Suspense “Blurb 2 Book” contest. I have to finish my manuscript and submit it by July 15 for the chance to win a book contract. This is the contest that helped each of the other members from Love on the Run get their books published through LIS. Hoping to join them soon.

Well, good luck … or as we say in Christian circles, Many Blessings!

What are your favorite themes to write about?

I write about characters who have dreams. And so often I make my characters give up their dreams. They have to choose the dream-giver over the dream. Then he’ll give them something better in return. And yes, this is very autobiographical.

Wow! I love the way you put that. Big smile on my face right now thinking about that.

Is there any scene in your book that came from a real-life happening?

My heroine lives with her grandmother in the book, so I used a couple real-life experiences from my grandparents to write this story. 1.) Both Laney’s grandma and my grandma like to buy us purses. 2.) My grandpa would feed the neighbor’s attack dog “Angel” toast every morning through the fence until they became great friends. Laney feeds her neighbor’s dog toast, too, so when she’s running from some gangsters, the dog breaks loose and attacks them so she can get away.

Grandparents are always a great source of inspiration.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?

I teach group fitness classes. Everything from kick-boxing to yoga. If I didn’t get paid to workout, I’d be a huge blob from sitting in front of my computer so much.

Hey, me too … um … except I don’t get paid to work out <cringe>.

At one time I wanted to travel and train other instructors, but that doesn’t work well with a family. Other than that, I wanted to work for a fitness magazine, but that’s still writing, isn’t it?

I’m guessing, yes.

Have you won any awards with your writing?

Lighten Up won Idaho Top Author in 2013 and The Water Fight Professional won last year. This year both The Water Fight Professional and The Snowball Fight Professional are up for the Cascade Award. I find out in August.

More blessings …

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? Maybe a writing tip for aspiring authors?

Story is powerful. Jesus taught through stories, and I’m honored to be able to do the same.

Amen and amen!

Thanks for stopping by, Angela. It was as great a pleasure having you as it was reading your novella—good stuff! I’ll be watching for more!!!

Other blog posts you might like:

Welcome Kelli Hughett to IC Today

Jan Elder Visits IC to Tell Us about Her Newest Release, “Manila Marriage App

Rachel Trautmiller Tells IC about Her Latest Novel, “Disconnect”

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Vanessa’s Character Picks June 16, 2015

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Vanessa’s Character Picks June 14, 2015

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God Wins

God wins

 

Reading Philippians in the Bible can turn anyone’s sorrow into joy. The book is filled with Heavenly reminders that Christians have a glorious future in store. But not just hope for the next life. We can experience an abundant and thrilling life now. A life not based on what the world says is important, but a fulfilling spiritual life – the source of real joy.

Paul reminds us in chapter four to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice.” Sure we can celebrate when we’ve got the bills paid and everyone in the family is healthy. But in Paul’s case, he penned those words from a dark and dingy Roman prison. This tells me he wasn’t looking to his circumstances to bring him joy.

Speaking of Paul’s imprisonment, Satan thought he’d blocked the growth of Christianity when Paul got locked up, since he was an evangelist to the gentiles. But the enemy of our souls couldn’t have been more wrong. Paul’s message of salvation through Jesus Christ reached the world and spread anyway.

After reminding us to rejoice, Paul even tells us not to be anxious about anything but pray about everything with all kinds of requests. He assures us that God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds. If you are sorrowful, weary, and just plain fed up with life, take a look at the book of Philippians. Allow Paul’s hope in Christ permeate your life as well. Take heart. Satan loses. God wins.

 

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