Friday, May 25, 2018

Three Strand Cord by Tracy Krauss



Kindle Ebook $2.99
May 2018

About the Book:
Tempest. Stella. Cherise. Fate brought them together, but can their friendship survive the tangled web of danger and deception that threatens their very lives? When Cherise convinces Tempest to pretend to be her so that she can sneak out of the country to be with her dashing Italian boyfriend, she is inadvertently implicated in an international drug ring. An unexpected complication forces Tempest to prolong the charade and she finds herself attracted to the very man who might be out to cause her harm. Meanwhile, Stella’s high ideals are met with suspicion and disdain at her father’s Texas ranch, until she uncovers a dangerous secret that could put all their lives in jeopardy. At the same time, her own errant emotions take over as she falls in love with two brothers at the same time. Things heat up when Cherise is kidnapped and the three friends must turn to one another – and God - to get out of harm’s way. Three Strand Cord is a story of intrigue and romance told from three different points of view, all coming together to prove that when it comes to true friendship, ‘a three strand cord is not easily broken’. 

All Good Things Come In Threes

Good things come in threes. Three act plays, primary colours, most fairy tale structures (three pigs, three bears, three mice), the three musketeers, and of course God Himself – Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

In my own childhood, this was certainly the case. I had two ‘best’ friends growing up and we literally spent every day with each other. We talked, we played, we told secrets – it didn’t matter as long as we were together. One friend moved away, but I soon gravitated to another set of ‘best’ friends during my teen years. The three of us were initiated into adulthood as we navigated those tempestuous waters, tasting the ‘forbidden fruit’ and all that other jazz that teens are ‘supposed’ to do. (My shortened version so as not to shock you, dear readers!) Even after we went on to college, we kept in touch. One introduced me to my husband, and these two were bridesmaids at my wedding.

Lasting friendship is one of the themes of my new novel, Three Strand Cord. The three friends, Tempest, Stella, and Cherise, have been through a lot together, but in this story their loyalty is tested to the limits as a simple ‘fib’ leads to a web of deceit that lands one of them in serious trouble.

I’m not sure how many readers will catch the hidden acrostic in the title. Three Strand Cord contains the first letters of each character’s name – Tempest, Stella and Cherise. It wasn’t originally that way.  I had the title down quite early in the project – not something that always happens – but I knew it fit perfectly with the theme of friendship as well as the theme that God is the truest friend anyone can have.  Originally, Stella was named Myriah, but somewhere I had an epiphany that if I changed her name to something with an ‘S’, it would mirror the title. I spent some time scouring baby name books and finally settled on Stella.


There are two more books in the series – Blood Ties and Tempest Tossed. In the end, the real theme of the series is that God is the best friend of all. He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. I hope those that read it find encouragement to let Jesus be that kind of friend.

Lisa Lickel's Review:
Tracy Krauss gives her fans a new novel of friendship that takes her readers on a tumultuous ride across the United States and across the ocean to Italy.

Three friends who met at boarding school come from very different backgrounds. Tempest, the naïve orphan, Stella the cowgirl, and Cherise the spoiled rich daughter. All have secrets, weaknesses and strengths that draw them together and, as iron sharpens iron, helps make them want to be better.

The first half of the book is divided into three segments as each girl shares current events. Tempest wants to reconnect with her past, and when an unexpected opportunity falls in her lap, she reluctantly pushes aside her conviction of newfound faith to participate in a lie. She becomes an unwitting pawn in a game perpetrated by her friend Cherise’s equally spoiled brother. Stella, having completed a masters degree in environmental science, returns home to the Texas ranch where she was raised. Her complicated relationship with her stepmother and her best friends, the foreman’s sons, create tension, exacerbated when she stumbles on the not-too-subtle secret shame of the land she’s loved all her love. When Stella realizes her friends have grown up and no longer consider her a kid, either, all’s fair in love and war. The ranch becomes both battleground and haven when Tempest needs a safe harbor. Both Tempest and Stella’s devout housekeeper help Stella to reexamine her absent faith. Cherise lives in the moment, doing exactly what she pleases and forcing everyone around her to bow to her wishes. When she follows her Italian lover, she gets a rude awakening. But going home is impossible when she’s caught up in international intrigue. A secret phone call to Tempest sets up a risky rescue attempt.

Although there will be more stories in this series of friendship adventures, A Three Strand Cord is a complete story. Initially told from the three friends’ viewpoints, the second half of the story comes together beautifully as each of the three learn to rely on dependence and trust in each other and the Lord.

While inspirational, some of the situations in the story portray sexual situations and violence, as well as pet death. A Three Strand Cord is a big story, from the east to west coast US and Texas, as well as Italy, and covers a lot of action. With three very different personalities in the main characters, readers of contemporary romance with suspense and action will find the book a breathless read. 


Tracy Krauss is a multi-published novelist, playwright, and artist with several award winning and best selling novels, stage plays, devotionals and children’s books in print. Her work strikes a chord with those looking for thought provoking faith based fiction laced with romance, suspense and humor – no sugar added. She holds a B.Ed from the U of S and has lived in many remote and interesting places in Canada’s far north. She and her husband currently reside in beautiful BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests.  http://tracykrauss.com “Fiction on the edge – without crossing the line”

Monday, May 21, 2018

New Book Release, Tatum’s Teen Themes for Today, Topics and Resources for Youth Bible Study (Tatum's Teen Themes for Today Book 1)

How do I teach teenagers Bible truths and help them apply those truths to their lives?
This booklet is designed to help youth teachers create lesson plans as well as be a quick Bible study resource when the original teacher calls up an hour before class needing someone to do something with the teens.


This booklet contains resources to teach for Easter and Christmas and a Bible Study worksheet for any scripture, handouts for specific scriptures, devotionals, and pictures from/of famous places and things to spur conversation about Christianity and the development of the Bible.


Permission is granted to copy these pages for use in a Bible study class.


Sample Lesson Plan

On the next page is a Bible study worksheet to do an easy student-led Bible study.
1.     Determine the verses to be studied in the class period. Divide the scripture into short passages. Copy the worksheet and have at least 2 sheets for each passage.
2.     After your engagement activity, distribute worksheets to each student, creating as much variety with whom each student will work on step 3. Allow 5-10 minutes for each numbered question.
3.     Once students have completed the 4 steps, allow pairs with the same passages to read the scripture and share their insights into it. Add your own ideas from your own study as students share.
4.     What should students do as a result of this study? Ask students to consider how this Bible will impact their life this week.


*~*~*~*




Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Living Love Series, A Dad's Love, by Teresa Naidoo




A child left to their own devices will often choose the wrong devices. We see it time and time again, how children find their own answers, in their own ways – often to their own detriment. 
In a world of overworked parents, stressed out teachers, a straggling and struggling education system, an increasing cry for religion to be removed from mainstream schooling, technology advancing at such an amazing speed that children are overtaking their parents in their abilities to manoeuvre around the internet and social media. 
Easier access to the internet and social media mean that we can now reach people on the other side of the world in the blink of an eye. It also means that child traffickers and child predators can also reach a child in a blink of an eye.
Now, more than ever, children need solid, real, relevant and useful answers to the mountain of questions they have. A Dad’s Love is a simple, relatable story of both a child having an experience and a child observing an experience that they need guidance and support with. It stresses the open, trusting nature of a child, and the tendency of children to observe and model our behaviour. Children come to us pure. It is the world that contaminates them. We need to grow more hearts for children so that they have more models of how to live full, happy, safe, and healthy lives.

A Dad's Love: My best friend's Dad is always screaming and shouting at him and hitting him! I don't know what to do to help him! (The Living Love Series Book 1) is free on Amazon Kindle through Monday, April 16. To purchase or learn more, click on the title link above.




Teresa Naidoo has a deep and abiding love for God, children and writing. She hopes for a world where more and more children have a chance at a full, happy, safe and healthy life. And that she can help achieve this by combining the three things she loves - sharing the love and guidance she found in God with others through writing. 

Teresa believes strongly in the need of children for solid, real, relevant and useful answers to the mountain of questions they have and the need to provide them with guidance and support in this tenuous and precarious world. She's spent many years working in the secular world in IT and studied psychology with a special interest in child development before she finally turned her hand to get her words out into the world. She's South African, of Indian descent and lives a simple life focused on God, writing, family and good friends. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

New historical fiction from Carole Brown

A Flute in the Willows (The Spies of World War II Book 2)


A Flute in the Willows
Story and Logic Media Group
December 2017
Historical Christian Romance
eBook $2.99
Print $12.99

Buy the book on Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Australia
Amazon CA

About the Book:

Both rebels in their own way, Josie and Jerry Patterson must figure out how to keep the other's love...and keep the German enemy at bay.

She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she's scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Has another woman captured his heart?

Jerry has vowed to let Josie live her own glamourous life...especially after what happened in Germany. But when his wife's life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can't stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie.

These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their own selves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.

Lisa Lickel's brief interview with Carole:

Carole, what’s your biggest reward in writing?

I'd say it's two-fold:
·         Knowing I'm using the talent God gave me, and
·         Readers approval and enthusiasm over my books

What would you like readers to tell others when they’ve finished reading?
If a reader has read one of my books and enjoyed it, I'd love to have them sharing what they loved about the book. Perhaps how it affected them in whatever way. For example:
·       With my latest, released novel: A Flute in the Willows (Book 2 of the Spies of WWII series), some readers said they liked how I brought in PTSD in the book to bring awareness of the condition many soldiers and families deal with after the soldiers return from war.
·       They also enjoyed the relationship between the newly, but separated by war, married couple, how they grew into a deeper love relationship and their battle to overcome their troubles.
These are just two of the effects from this book.

Who’s been your biggest influence on your writing?
Perhaps my mother who read to my brothers and me as young children. Positive encouragements to me have been associations with other writer friends, words of advice (when I first began to seriously write novels) from those (like Lena Nelson Dooley and Gayle Roper) who had more authorly experience, and constant contact with fellow-critiquers who have helped me to grow.

What are you reading now?
I'm hoping to begin a book from a secular author and another from Author Jill Kremerer who spoke at a recent writer's meeting I attended.

What’s coming up for you?
·        I'm trying to finish up the 4th book in my Appleton, WV Romantic series, called Toby's Troubles. It focuses on the brother of Caroline Gibson from book three: his mystery and romance. He has his own shop-ghost, directs the town of Appleton's theater, is a tiny bit OCD when it comes to Undiscovered Treasures (antique, collectible, junk shop), a huge tease and doesn't know love when it stares him in the face.
·        I also hope to finish the 3rd book in the Denton and Alex Davies Mystery series, Daffy's Duck which features a special duck, a talented artist who has Down's Syndrome: Daffodil Meadows. She and her older brother co-own a ski resort in Colorado. Denton and Alex Davies, amateur traveling detectives, along with Taffy, their Jack Russell Terrier, are determined to find the person who is out to destroy the Meadows big time.
·         If time allows (a big “if”), I want to get a little more writing done on a historical stand alone book, Caleb's Destiny (a mystery from the past and romance), and then
·        work on the 3rd book in my Spies of WWII series, Sing Until You Die. The third Rayner sister, Claire Rosella Rayner, is an up-and-coming professional singer, who puts her musical studies on hold to sing to the war troops. An overheard conversation sends her straight to the boy-grown-man she's always detested, an undercover spy. Is there any possible way her life can be spared, let alone a possibility for love to grow between the two of them?

Can you share your favorite marketing tool?
Right now I'm using Celebrate Lit with a book tour for my A Flute in the Willows.


About the Author:

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Connect with Carole: 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

New Book, "The Man, The Woman, and Genesis, Making Your Relationship Work," Book Excerpt by Stephen Otalor



EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

Every relationship is like driving, no one just jumps into a car and starts driving, you learn it, you acquire the skill to drive and you also learn about the cars and learn about special features of every car you drive and know how it operates from other cars and road signs. 

So what happens when you jump into a car without any knowledge of driving, you end up crashing the car and causing damage to it, hurting yourself and others. In some cases, you hurt others and damage the car and you walk away unhurt. This is why people are required to go through driving classes and have a license. 

Sometimes we get so hurt from a relationship that you wish people should get a license to date before asking anyone for a relationship. The sad reality is that everyday people jump into a relationship like jumping into a car and crash it and immediately get out and jump into another and crash it again. Every man must understand he needs to sharpen his mind and get the right knowledge to keep his relationship going. As a man, you must be honest with yourself, to admit to yourself when you feel and know you lack knowledge. That is where you start from in getting things right. Keeping a relationship is not like breathing when you can say it comes natural, you need the right knowledge and understand it.

Most relationships that collapse today is as a result of something hidden from the start, and you must understand that even the collapse of some relationships is not because of the enormity of what was hidden or how grievous what one was not transparent about. The major issue with not being transparent is the death of trust that comes when revelation is made. Distrust is like oil on the surface of a relationship, it makes it slippery and difficult to cleave to each other.

Whatever you fail to understand, you will abuse and whatever you abuse, you will eventually cause it to malfunction or fail to deliver the purpose it really exists for.
You can’t apply any instruction to life’s situations until it is backed up with understanding.
Your peace is at the mercy of your understanding, the more you understand, the more sustainable your peace will be.
You gain control and peace when you have an understanding concerning a product and you evidently avoid abusing that product, the same goes for our relationships.
Who you bring into your relationship as a friend matters, who you introduce to your partner as someone to be trusted matters, not everyone that ask deserves to know, not everyone that tells you their secret deserves to know your secret, there is no law or obligation that says you must share secrets with those who tell you their secrets.