Blog Archives

Gratitude in My Heart

As most of my readers know I am in the middle of NaNoWriMo. This is my 5th year in this challenge and probably the most challenging of all the ones I’ve done so far. When I did my first NaNo in 2009, I had never written a novel, I didn’t have a blog. I didn’t have a twitter account or a Facebook author page. I didn’t have the slightest idea of what I was doing except for the fact that God was burning things inside of me to write.

Since then I’ve met lots of wonderful people, some authors, and some readers. I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much and at the time I’m writing this post I’ve been blessed with the fact of publishing 4 books. To me that’s amazing and the Glory is all to and for The Lord who has seen me through this journey.

I’m also very grateful for each of you that have joined me in this adventure and I give you my word that the best is yet to come.

Having said all that, I’ve been thinking on how I could thank all my readers for all their support. I’ve decided to place ALL MY BOOKS on sale during the month of November. This will give you the opportunity to get any of them that you have not obtained already or to gift it to someone that you wish had read it.  Here’s the breakdown in the order they were published

October 2011 Growth Lessons (From 2.99) $1.99  Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

clip_image002.pngThis was my first book. This one is my only non-fiction so far. I call it a devotional because you don’t it just includes life lessons that The Lord showed me during my first year of coming back to him and my first year into taking the plunge of writing seriously.  This is what some of the reviews have said

I enjoyed the book and could recommend it wholeheartedly with that one proviso. ”

June 2013 The Road Home (From 4.99) $2.99 Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

clip_image002.pngI have to admit that I have a special attachment to this book.  There are some parts of this book that come from my life experiences, but it was also my first work of fiction and also my first NaNoWriMo project. I learned a lot about myself writing this book. This is what the reviewers have said.

 

November 2012 Season’s Greetings from Amelia (From 2.99) $1.50 Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

clip_image002.jpgThis was a very fun novella to write. I love crime shows and was fascinated with serial killer stories so I wanted to create my own, but with a twist.  This is was reviewers have said.

 

 

 

October 2013 A Brother’s Vow (From $7.99) $3.50 Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

A Brother's Vow (Final)This is the last book I published. This book has a complicated plot. This was the first time I had challenged myself to have a book with these many characters where they all shine on their own. This one too started as a NaNo project. It’s a story that I personally enjoy reading beyond the fact that I wrote it.  This is what the reviewers are saying.

“This is a story about interconnected lives and the consequences of the actions of everybody in the family. It’s not just about one black sheep and his struggle to change. The spiritual lessons you can learn from each member of the Benson family surprise you as you make your way through this complex story and navigate their successes and failures. This isn’t women’s fiction. It’s complex adult fiction with a message for everyone who has promises to keep” Mary Findley

Think about it for just $10 you can get all four :) So now that the holidays are here and you get some down time, stock up on good reading materials or stuff those e-readers that you are giving out as Christmas presents.

As always, Thanks You for your support. Until next time… be blessed.

Take advantage of 9-99-99

Nine Christian authors have joined together to offer you NINE ebooks, each for 99 cents for 99 hours. The sale runs from 12:01 a.m. EST Friday, October 4, 2013, through 11:59 p.m. PST Monday, October 7. Click the links below the graphic to “look inside” on Amazon and pick up your digital copies!

9, 99 cents, sale, Christian fiction

Contemporary Romance

Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer

Josephine Shaw: complex, yet singleminded. A tiny woman with big ideas and, some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her two friends are new to farming.

Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helpless females have taken up residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble. But a mouse invasion proves Jo has everything under control. Is there anything she can’t handle? And surely there’s something sweet beneath all that tart.

BUY Raspberries and Vinegar HERE

To Protect and Serve by Staci Stallings

Jeff Taylor is a fireman’s fireman. No situation is too dangerous to keep him on the sideline if lives are at stake.

Lisa Matheson runs a semi-successful ad agency that’s on the brink of falling apart. When she falls for a handsome but shy firefighter, it’s possible that life might just be going her way for a change. The only problem is she can’t control Jeff and the death wish he seems to have…

BUY To Protect and Serve HERE

Patient Love by R. M. Strong

Jasmine Williams is trying to put her life back together after her fiancé dumps her hours before their wedding. Returning home to her parents’ beachfront B&B she begins to realize how much Philip had insisted on controlling–everything from her hairstyle to her opinions of her home church; even how she viewed God’s love. Just as she regains her identity, a summons from Philip demands she take him back. Will this time be different?

BUY Patient Love HERE

Something about Sam by Susette Williams

Having lost the family ranch due her parents untimely death and their past debts, Samantha Marlow is forced to look for a job for the first time in her life. Accustomed to using her nickname, Sam, she is hired as a cook, based off of her resume, site-unseen.

Jake Dampier needs someone to manage his household while he manages his ranch. He never anticipated his foreman would hire someone without interviewing them in person, especially someone as young and beautiful as Sam. The last thing he wants is a distraction—but it may turn out to be just what he needs.

BUY Something About Sam HERE

Historical Romance

A Time to Say Goodbye by J. M. Downey

Cotton plantation daughter, May Lynn Whitley sees nothing wrong with owning others. After all how would they fend for themselves if it wasn’t for gracious people like her family? But a handsome young preacher’s probing words and mesmerizing blue eyes unlock a new sense of justice and lead her on a journey that will change her life and soul. But she is betrothed and May Lynn’s controlling fiance’ will do anything to make sure they wed. Anything including destroying all that she holds dear. Set in Antebellum America, May Lynn’s adventure spans the Eastern Seaboard as she joins a movement she once scorned.

BUY A Time to Say Goodbye HERE

Mystery/Suspense

Fudge Laced Felonies by Cynthia Hickey

While transplanting the rosebush her church’s handsome greeter, Ethan Banning, inadvertently killed, Summer and Ethan discover a hidden stash of diamonds, a rusty can full of cash, and a bloody-gardening glove. This discovery sets Summer and her candy-making aunt on a search for a killer.

As Summer gets closer to the truth-not only of the theft but of her true feelings for Ethan-the diamond thief hatches a plan to hush the feisty sleuth.

BUY Fudge Laced Felonies HERE

Out of a Dream by Rosemary Hines

Newlywed Michelle Baron should be enjoying life in the quaint coastal community of Sandy Cove, Oregon. Her husband has joined his uncle’s law firm, and they have a cozy new home ~ what more could she want? But a series of nightmares leads her on a spiritual journey that challenges her Christian heritage as well as her marriage. Where will she find answers to her disturbing dreams? And how will those answers impact her life?

BUY Out of a Dream HERE

Women’s Fiction

Rain Dance by Joy Dekok

What happens when a Christian woman facing a childless future and a woman seeking an abortion are waiting to see the same doctor? What if after that “chance” encounter they are unable to forget each other? What if they find themselves drawn together in spite of their drastic differences by their surprising similarities? What if they somehow find the courage to become friends? Rain Dance takes the reader into the hearts of these two women as they journey closer to the heart of the One who offers hope and healing.

BUY Rain Dance HERE

The Road Home by Naty Matos

He was finally coming. He told Desiree that once her task was complete, he would be there to pick her up. And they could finally be together forever. Desiree was finally going to be with the one she loved. But what did she need to do? And how was she going to figure out what it was?

BUY The Road Home HERE

Enjoy!

A House Divided

For the most part, we tend to believe that those around us have a similar mindset as ours. Isn’t that the reason why they are our friends, family or who we chose as spouses? But that is not true all the time. There are times in our walk were we are exposed to other ideas and personalities and they do not conform to our ways of thinking.

It is harder for us to deal with those situations when the person having the different mindset is someone very close to us. The reasons for this are endless. Sometimes someone in the equation is wrong. Someone may not be listening well. Someone may just have a different opinion.

The Word of God tells us clearly in Mark 3:25 that “A house divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”  This is something that we don’t want. We want our relationships to grow and flourish. We want them to be peaceful and loving. So what are we to do?

Stop and Listen- Maybe there are some valid points to the other point of view.

Ask questions-Sometimes we get stuck in our positions due to not understanding what is being presented to us. If we get clarification we will be more equipped to form a different position.

Be Loving and Graceful- Even when we disagree, we will not be able to keep the lines of communication open if we present ourselves in a hostile manner.

Remember Ephesians 4:15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

Consider if any position goes against the Word of God-If the position of the other person goes against the will and Word of God you can explain that. Not by hitting them on the head with a bible, but once again telling the truth in love. From that point it would be the other person’s responsibility to either continue on the wrong path or make changes. Always remember to love the person and not the sin.  But what if it’s you who are wrong (*gasp*) then maybe it’s you who needs some alone time with God, set aside your pride and decide to either follow God’s will or your own.

Agree to disagree- You can still love a person and have a harmonious relationship knowing that you don’t agree about something but still love and respect each other. It is too boring to agree on everything sometimes. LOL

Until next time, be blessed.

Coming Home

As many of you know I took the summer “off”. I say that in quotations because I was still working my 9-5 and doing ministry work.  My dog and the house didn’t get the memo, so off is a relative term. I was still  writing blogs during my vacation, I just wasn’t posting them. What can I say? I did take some time off to get away from home; some personal and some ministry related and although I had a fantastic time, I was yearning for home. During my trip I got to spend great time with awesome friends, make some new ones, learn new things, see new places, but at the end of the day I missed home. As I think about it when we are home we are always looking for a place to go because we are tired of seeing the same things. As soon as we cross the door, something in us realizes that we don’t belong outside of those walls, we always belong home. You know how it is, that cup that you keep rinsing and using because it fits the right amount. You want to experience the curve in that sofa that you have made from sitting in the same corner every day. The joy of embracing your pillow that is used to the unique way that you curve your head at night. Even the dog that you step on when you go to the bathroom in the dark, it’s all a part of you. Ironically one of the central themes at the church conference was “Coming Home”. It was based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son; which is no different than what I’m talking about. How many times do we get annoyed with our church home and leave because someone said or did something we didn’t like? Did you find yourself complaining about the music, the message…Then we left God looking for something better. As you’re sitting away looking back, you know you miss it. You miss that spiritual food that you received. You missed the message of hope inside your spirit. You even miss the sister screaming “hallelujah” right behind you, because you knew you were home. You knew that every time you crossed those lobby doors someone welcomed you with a smile. You knew that being in the presence of God was the best place to be and were you found true happiness. This was the place where you found peace. And by place I don’t mean XYZ particular building. I’m talking about returning to God. I’m talking about that place inside of you that you have abandoned for whatever reason: habits, addictions, relationships, laziness, lack of commitment, unforgiveness, pain. Yes, we call the church the house of God, so once our spirit has come home we need to assemble, to keep supporting each other and grow in our purpose. Pray about it. God has assigned you a particular place of worship. An imperfect place that is perfect for you. This is a place filled with imperfect people, just like you, to be in his perfect presence, receiving his perfect love. How long have you been away from home? C’mon, we’re all waiting for you.

First Encounter with Faith

I grew up in church. I heard about God all my life, but the God that was portrayed to me was not a loving God. To me he was this big eye in the sky waiting for me to make a mistake and pulverize me at any minute. I was quite involved in church growing up, but it was out of the sense that I needed to keep that God happy to avoid the pits of hell.

I had gone to a retreat and I was pulled to the side and asked if I would take Jesus as my Lord and Savior. In my mind I remember saying: Lady what kind of question is that, are you trying to get me killed?  So obviously I said yes, but nothing changed in my life. A few years later I felt the calling from God and I did give my life to Christ, but I was attending a church that didn’t explain about the journey of a born again Christian or the love of God; it was all about his wrath.

So as a human I sinned and I thought that I was already condemned for life, so instead of running to the arms of Christ, I ran to the arms of the world. I found more sorrow and pain than before. Eight years later (you can’t deny that God is patient) I came back home. I came just like the Prodigal Son, telling my father that I didn’t deserve to be back and that I knew I needed to sit in the back, that I was not worthy of serving him, but if he would only have mercy I would appreciate it.

He sent a young lady in my life to tell me that all those thoughts were claims from the enemy. She told me that God and the angels were rejoicing to have me home. From that point on I felt like I had met God for the first time. I was finally truly born again. God has never left me and has loved me more than I could ever imagine.

“I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there.’ And it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ” Matt 17:20

Share with us, What was your first encounter with faith? I’m glad to hear it.

If you are looking for a good read, The Road Home is for you. Find out what was Desiree’s first encounter with faith and see if you can identify with her.

Until next time, be blessed.

The Road Home 

TheRoadHomeFinal-2.jpg

 This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. Mary Anne Benedetto

 “With the ever-constant presence of her closest friend, Aimee, Desiree slowly makes her way to God and learns the greatness of His power and love. Cynthia

A very engaging story about faith, love, and friendship, and the trials and tribulations that life can bring you. Jersey Gina

 

Stop The Culture of Death

I sat down yesterday afternoon after a great day with my mother to watch television and think about what was I going to write about for today. While I was just browsing for ideas for my post, I decided to check out the news from this weekend. All the news stories were related to death and children.

  • In New Orleans, during a Mother’s Day Parade 18 people were shot, 2 of them were children. It’s hard for me to understand what would make someone open fire in a Mother’s Day Parade.
  • In Valley Springs, California a 12 year old was arrested for stabbing his 8 year old sister.
  • In New Jersey, a man killed a woman and kept her three children hostage in the bedroom with their mother’s dead body until Sunday morning when they were finally released and the kidnapper was killed by the police.
  • In Kansas, the body of an 18 month old, who was missing, was found. Earlier last week her mother and two other men were found dead in a farm where they lived, but the child had been missing until her body turned up over the weekend.

I think I can stop there before we all crawl inside our closets to cry. Having said that, I refuse to allow the world of terror to paralyze my purpose. I truly believe that beyond grieving, this is a blaring call to action.

Parents, be aware of the things that your children have access to. Violent games and movies may seem innocent,but even when you tell yourself that your child knows that this is fantasy, it also desensitizes them to violence.

The rest of us should stop patronizing any company that promotes violence in the media. If we don’t buy it, they will have to change their ways. There are millions of Christians. How serious are you about what will you do to defend your faith? Will you allow yourself to be lukewarm and blend in the culture of this world or will you take a stand for what you know to be righteous?

We can also take action to those around us that we notice are dealing with mental health issues. Early intervention can make a huge difference. Sadness goes away with a change of scenery. Real depression, anxiety, anger and addictions are just as real diseases as diabetes and cancer and need to be treated by professionals. Being in treatment does NOT negate your faith.

I invite you TODAY to take a step against the culture of violence. Don’t ever think that there nothing you can do. It takes each and everyone of us, as the body of Christ, to work together in this war.

Never forget what we read in Ephesians 6:12

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Yes, we need to pray, but we also need to take action. As it says in James 2:26

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Until next time, be blessed

Remember today is the last day of my Mother’s Day Sale, get your copies now!

TheRoadHomeFinal (2) SeasonsGreetingsFinalCover

$2.99 (save $2)                          $0.99  (save$1)

A Mother’s Love

When I think about a mother, my frame of reference is obviously to think of my own mom. As many daughters, my relationship with my mother has had many stages. If there’s one thing I’m always sure is that noDSC_4396 matter what, my mother loves me and that I love her too. Some days she drives me absolutely crazy, but that is her job and she does it very well. Some days I catch myself behaving just like her, reasoning like her and saying the same things that she says.

Last year for her birthday my brother came to visit, I heard him say something that I could hear myself saying and I joked, “I think we are related”. He then replied, “Don’t forget we have the same mother” Which reminded me that our wit comes from that little 4’10 woman full of personality.

From her I’ve learned that a mother’s love is sacrificial, supportive, unconditional, protective and educational. A mother’s love is essentially the closest thing on earth to God’s love.

Now a mother is more than someone that has a biological connection with another human being. Being a mother is a more intimate connection than DNA. Therefore I know for a fact that there are more mother’s out there than those who have carried a child inside of them. So to every woman who has mothered someone  from her heart. Happy Mother’s Day!

“Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift, the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.” (Psalm 127:3-5, MSG)

As a gift to all the mother’s out there, I’m placing both of my fictional books on sale! They make a great gift for all the mother’s in your life. This sale is only through May 13th by clicking on the book covers below

TheRoadHomeFinal (2)     SeasonsGreetingsFinalCover

$2.99 (save $2)                          $0.99  (save$1)

True Leadership

I was having a conversation with a friend regarding leadership. My friend’s point of view was that because he was in a particular position, he would consult those “under” him, but that the last word would always be his. After all, that’s what his position entitled him to do.

The conversation was funny to me because humbling yourself through leadership is more than taking others into consideration. It’s about service. Being a leader it is about asking those who you are responsible for, as much as you are willing to do.

Leadership is not a title, accolades or a position. The truth is that the higher the position, the higher the responsibility.

Actually the Word of God tells us in

Matthew 23:11 “The greatest among you must be a servant.”

Leadership is not about being served but about serving others. The truth is that we have all been called for leadership. I know that doesn’t sound true to everyone, but it is true. As a believer, wherever you go you are to be salt of the earth. If you are light and salt, it means that others are looking or asking what you do to guide themselves to Christ. So know that even if you do not hold a particular position at work, church or your community, you are still called to be a leader.

So how do you know how to be the right kind of leader? The bible gives us a simple guide:

“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.” Philippians 2:5-8 MSG

A lot to think about. Until next time, be blessed

Tag for The Road Home

clip_image002 This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. Mary Anne Benedetto

With the ever-constant presence of her closest friend, Aimee, Desiree slowly makes her way to God and learns the greatness of His power and love. Cynthia

A very engaging story about faith, love, and friendship, and the trials and tribulations that life can bring you. Jersey Gina

Can you handle it?

I’m sure at some point or another we’ve heard this scripture:

1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG)

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

 

 

The common saying for this scripture is that “God will never give us something we can’t handle.” I know that my friends and I joke around saying that God has quite an opinion of us, especially when we find ourselves in difficult moments.

That’s part of the issue when we go by popular word instead of the Word of God. It’s not that God’s expectation on us is quite high. Read that very last verse where it says “ he’ll always be there to help you come through it” That’s the key. God knows that we will be able to over come because he’s not trusting us to do it, he’s just wants us to have the faith and let HIM do it.

When we think God has called us to do it, (whatever it is) we get overwhelmed. We don’t know the answers to the questions. If we actually read what the scripture wanted us to do our lives would be much easier. He wants to do a work in us and through us. All we have to do is have the faith to allow him to do HIS job.

Until then, be blessed.

clip_image002 This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. Mary Anne Benedetto

With the ever-constant presence of her closest friend, Aimee, Desiree slowly makes her way to God and learns the greatness of His power and love. Cynthia

A very engaging story about faith, love, and friendship, and the trials and tribulations that life can bring you. Jersey Gina

Competing Faith

Have you ever been in a competition where Christians discuss their denominational differences almost like football fans? I think what we miss as believers is that our differences are really as the many ways  of making white rice. What do I mean?

Growing up I learned that to make white rice I had to place oil, water and salt, bring it to a boil then pour the rice. Some people use butter instead of oil, some add garlic powder. At the end of the day you get in your plate the same thing: white rice

The Word of God tells us in John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

I believe that our particular rituals work for us in our humanity. Just like music is a matter of taste, but at the end of the day is the message of the Word of God that we are called to live by. I also believe that our discrepancies are used by the enemy to distract us from our real purpose which is to spread the Good News to others. So when you find yourself and those around you that we are ALL here to do the work of the kingdom and not for our purposes. I also invite you to use that opportunity to come together and do something for the kingdom that all of those in the conversation can agree. You will see that you have way more in common than you imagine.

Until next time, be blessed!

clip_image002 This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. Mary Anne Benedetto

With the ever-constant presence of her closest friend, Aimee, Desiree slowly makes her way to God and learns the greatness of His power and love. Cynthia

A very engaging story about faith, love, and friendship, and the trials and tribulations that life can bring you. Jersey Gina

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