Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Interview with Felicia Bridges

What is the most important thing you hope readers will take away from reading your books?
I want them to discover the amazing beauty of the diversity found among God’s people and the thrill of sharing your faith. But the single most important concept I hope readers take away is that we are all called to be missionaries wherever God has placed us.
What sparked your decision to journey down the path of writing the "International Mission Force series"?
My oldest daughter, Megan, and I went on a mission trip to Prague when she was twelve and it was truly life-changing for both of us. When we returned, she was eager to read anything we could find about missionaries, but most of the books we found were biographies from a hundred years ago. She wanted to read about teenagers living as missionaries today, like the ones we met in Prague. I thought it would be great to have stories for young people that combined the excitement and adventure of Indiana Jones or National Treasure with a biblical worldview and exotic locations around the world. Megan and her husband, Scott, now work with the missionary team for their church and are preparing to serve internationally in the future.

Tell us a little bit about the series.
The International Mission Force is a group of teenagers serving as missionaries around the world and connecting online through InternationalMissionForce.com. Each story features a different protagonist facing a different battle, growing in their faith, and learning to trust God in hard circumstances. The first two volumes, titled CzechMate and BoliviaKnight, are currently available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. Volume 3, KenyaQuest, will be released in early 2018 and three more books in the series are under contract. I’m currently researching Papua New Guinea as a location for Volume 4.
How does your faith play in your writing?
My faith is essential to every aspect of my life, but particularly in regard to my writing. I view writing as a calling from God and, therefore, my relationship with God demands that I submit this area of my life to Him. This also changes my perspective on success. If I’m obedient to give my best in response to His calling, then I can trust God to take that offering and accomplish His purposes. Whether that reaches fifty readers or fifty-thousand readers, I know that it will reach every single one that God intends. There is a lot of peace in that.
How much of yourself have you put into your characters?
None of the characters are really like me, but in some ways they are who I wish I had been at that age. Their courage and determination, self-awareness, and adventurous spirit are all aspects of my personality that I wish I had embraced more as a teenager. There are scenes or interactions that are inspired by relationships among my four children and some of the characters remind me a bit of each of my kids.
Other than Jesus, Who is your favorite person from the Bible? And why?
Joseph is my favorite person in the Bible outside of the Trinity. Although he was not perfect, he believed that his circumstances were not the end of the story. He was able to forgive his brothers who had wronged him terribly, and he was able to see the hand of God at work even in his adversity.
What event from the Bible would you have liked to witness first hand?
I don’t think I could bear to witness the crucifixion, but I would love to have been present around the fire as Jesus told parables and explained God’s mercy and grace to His followers.
What is your favorite comfort food.
I’m a chocoholic. I’m learning how to enjoy chocolate with thanksgiving to God for providing it, but also to enjoy it in moderation.
While writing this series, what problem was your greatest roadblock and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock was a lack of self-confidence, which God bulldozed by showing me that it isn’t about me or my abilities, it is about God and what He chooses to use me to do. It took about six years for me to write the first book, with lots of stops and starts as I wrestled with self-doubt. After a time away, God would lead me back to the story again. I would read what I had written and think that some of it was absolutely horrid. But then I’d read a few parts that I thought were not bad, or even pretty good. After I finished writing the first complete draft, I allowed a good friend and her teen daughter to read it. They gave me great encouragement. Another writer friend encouraged me to start attending writers’ conferences. Five years after my first conference, after many agents and publishers had expressed interest in the series, I finally resolved to send my first proposal. They say that authors typically collect many rejections before they get their first contract. God must have known that with my lack of confidence, one rejection would have led me to wipe my brow, breathe a sigh of resignation/relief,  and turn away from His calling, because Vinspire Publishing was the first publisher I submitted a full proposal to and they accepted it.

Tell my readers how to keep up with you?
You can find out more about the International Mission Force at www.InternationalMissionForce.com - come join our community! You can also follow my blog at www.AdventuresThatInspireAction.Wordpress.com . You can follow me on Twitter at @fbridges272 or on Facebook at Felicia Bowen Bridges – Writer. My email is FeliciaBowenBridges@gmail.com.
Felicia Bridges began writing as an Army BRAT learning to enjoy life overseas. Her nomadic childhood created a passion for missions and travel that permeates her writing. She is a contributing author for Then Along Came an Angel: Messengers of Deliverance and God’s Provision in Tough Times, a finalist for the 2014 Selah Awards. Serving in ministry for over twenty years alongside her husband and the mother of four children, Felicia’s vision is to inspire the next generation to carry the gospel to all nations. Her blog, www.AdventuresThatInspireAction.wordpress.com, focuses on living on mission wherever life’s adventure leads.

Felicia graduated with highest honors from North Carolina State University with a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in Human Resources Development. Her ten years’ experience as an HR Manager sharpened her understanding of people, while providing some very interesting stories. Having studied public speaking in college and as a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Course, she is equally comfortable speaking to the stranger in the checkout line or an auditorium full of people.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Glory Song CD Matt Redman GIVEAWAY!

Matt Redman teamed up with several of his worship-artist friends for this album, first
releasing the track “Gracefully Broken (feat. Tasha Cobbs Leonard).” Tasha Cobbs
Leonard also released her own version of this song on the same day! The album also
features Kierra rShead, Guvna B, Madison Cunningham, and Kim Walker-Smith.

Pick up your copy here...

Recorded in the famed Capitol Studios in LA, Matt Redman is set to release his new studio album, Glory Song, on September 29. Leading with the first single 'Gracefully Broken' featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard, this album is full of worship anthems sure to fill the church in the years to come.

As the writer of many of the most popular worship songs like 'Blessed Be Your Name,' 'The Heart Of Worship,' and 'Better Is One Day,' Matt Redman's songs are sung by millions of people every Sunday all around the world. His hit '10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)' spent 19 weeks at No. 1 while selling over 1 million tracks. The song also garnered two GRAMMY® Awards, a Billboard Music Award and was named ASCAP's Christian Music Song of the Year. 

As part of the sixstepsrecords family, Matt has been involved in leading at the Passion Conferences for years, most recently at the Passion conference in Atlanta with over 50,000 university students. Along with Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels and Kristian Stanfill, Matt was one of the founding members of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

My Thoughts...
I was excited to hear that Matt had a new album coming out. I loved his last album and patiently waited for him to write another. I listen to music throughout the day as I perform my daily tasks like Praying and reading. Redman's new album "Glory Song" did not disappoint. Worship music has a special place in my heart. He has a unique way of expressing himself through music. I can hear the praise in his heart come through every note in the songs on the CD. I especially like the songs All Glory and Redemption Ground. 
This is a 5 star album. I hope that you will pick up a copy.
Leave a comment and follow the blog to be entered to win a copy of this CD. 

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday, September 22, 2017

2017 Christy Awards Nominees

ECPA Announces the Finalists for the 18th Annual CHRISTY AWARDS™
Winners to be Announced at Christian Fiction Gala at Lipscomb University in Nashville on November 8.
Awards and Gala Celebrate Excellence in Christian Fiction and Storytelling.
Tempe, AZ – Today, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has announced the finalists for the 18th annual CHRISTY AWARDS™. Winners will be announced at the awards gala, taking place on November 8 at Lipscomb University in Nashville TN, which will be hosted by Best-Selling Christian Authors  Andrew Peterson and Chris Fabry. The Christy Award™ exists to celebrate excellence in the art of Christian Fiction and honor the power of story.
“As the new caretakers and curators for The Christy Award™, we are thrilled with the list of 27 finalists in the nine Christian fiction categories,” said Stan Jantz, Executive Director of ECPA. 
The Christy Awards™ will be presented in these categories: General, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Historical, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Visionary, First Novel, Young Adult and Short Form. 

The nominees are:
Contemporary Romance:
Her One and Only, Becky Wade (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)
The Red Door Inn, Liz Johnson (Revell/Baker Publishing Group)
Rescue Me, Susan May Warren (Revell/Baker Publishing Group)
First Novel:
Counted with the Stars, Connilyn Cossette (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)
Like a River from Its Course, Kelli Stuart (Kregel Publications)
Stars in the Grass, Ann Marie Stewart (Barbour Publishing)
General Fiction:
Long Way Gone, Charles Martin (Thomas Nelson)
The Promise of Jesse Woods, Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)
The Undoing of Saint Silvanus, Beth Moore (Tyndale House Publishers)
Like a River from Its Course, Kelli Stuart (Kregel Publications)
The Mark of the King, Jocelyn Green (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)
Miriam, Mesu Andrews (WaterBrook)
Historical Romance:
A Note Yet Unsung, Tamera Alexander (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)
From This Moment, Elizabeth Camden (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)
The Lady and the Lionheart, Joanne Bischof (Mason Jar Books)
If I Run, Terri Blackstock (Zondervan)
When Death Draws Near, Carrie Stuart Parks (Thomas Nelson)
Without Warning, Joel C. Rosenberg (Tyndale House)
Short Form:
Looking into You, Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)
Mirror Image, Laura Scott (Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense)
Restoring Christmas: A Novella, Cynthia Ruchti (Worthy Inspired, an imprint of Worthy Publishing Group)
The Alliance, Jolina Petersheim (Tyndale House Publishers)
King’s Folly, Jill Williamson, (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)
The Long Journey to Jake Palmer, James Rubart (Thomas Nelson)
Young Adult:
If You’re Gone, Brittany Goodwin (Edge of 22 Publishing)
The Silent Songbird, Melanie Dickerson (Thomas Nelson)
Unblemished, Sara Ella (Thomas Nelson)
 Share with me your picks from these nominees. There are some good ones that's for sure.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Pretender By Ta'mara Hanscom

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs until Rosa Caselli finds out that the same hopeless blackguard she prayed for over the last fifteen years has won the heart of her own daughter. Rosa recounts his enormous record of wrongs and brings the matter to her husband. They decide that their daughter needs never to know of Rosa's prayers--an omission that results in troubled spirits and heavy hearts.
Pick up your copy here...
I was born and raised in South Dakota, and I love her people and rich history. For many years I’ve also had a deep love for Italy and her colorful chronology. I was fortunate enough to visit Italy on my 25th wedding anniversary, and I added some of the details of my travels to my fictional series The Caselli Family Series. 

My favorite sport is baseball – Detroit Tigers – and I can’t wait until the next time I get to see them play in Comerica Park. 

I live for the next family barbeque. 

My husband and I own a national pizza franchise in Iowa, where we currently reside. We have three grown children and one grandson. We’ve rescued two cats and one Pomeranian. 

I teach AWANA Cubbies and speak at women’s events.
My Thoughts...
I hate to write reviews like this one. But here goes. I had the hardest time reading this book. I could not read it, it reads like a very bad self published book. No editing at all. There was no story no reason to what I was reading.
I had a very hard time saying this but I gave it 1 star. It is the first book in the series, I hope and pray that book number two gets edited and the book has a story in it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.