Searching For Deliverance

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My second book, Searching for Deliverance, went live on Tuesday. I’m excited and a bit nervous about it. Here’s the press release for it.

http://tatepublishingnews.com/newsroom/2014/05/13/pulaski-author-releases-new-christian-suspense-novel-nationwide/

7 Hours Reviews (Part 1)

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When I first heard of the 7 Hours project, I was immediately intrigued by the idea. The age-old question of what would you do if you knew how much time you have left is tackled by 7 authors in epic proportions. Due to a hectic work schedule and little spare time, I’ve only been able to make it through a few. I will post reviews as I complete the novellas.

Rearview by Mike Dellosso

As anyone who reads my blog or knows me well knows, I’m a huge Mike Dellosso fan and have been since I first discovered one of his books almost by mistake a while back. I’m always amazed by how he mixes God’s truth into stories of suspense and have yet to be disappointed. This latest project is no different.

In true Dellosso fashion, Rearview begins with intrigue and mystery and keeps the reader in suspense as they follow the story of Dan Blakely’s last 7 hours of life. Dan’s seemingly normal life as a college professor is terribly interrupted when the daughter of a senator claims he abused her. When he can’t find a way out of the predicament, he decides the only option left to him is suicide. However, it doesn’t go as planned and his life is thrown into a mad dash to find a way to make the time he has left count.

Rearview is filled with heartbreak and hope.

For more information on Mike and his books, make sure to stop by his blogs: Mike Dellosso and Michael King (his alter ego).

Escapement by Rene Gutteridge

One of the great things about the 7 Hours project was that it introduced me to some authors I’d never read before. I was very excited to take a trip into new territory and the first one I read by an author I was unfamiliar with was Escapement. I must say that I’m now a huge fan of Rene Gutteridge. Her style of writing was amazing. I’m not one who’s capable of pulling off a first-person narrative all the way through a story, but she accomplished it amazingly!

Following the same theme of 7 hours to live, Escapement begins with our main character Matthew Bigham discussing the finer points of how to murder someone and get away with it. Having to settle for driving when he can’t get a flight due to his size, we follow Matthew on his journey to murder the man who made his teenage years beyond miserable. But what he finds when he arrives is far from what he was expecting.

Upon reaching an ending I didn’t see coming, Rene Gutteridge manages to tie together sarcasm, wit, humor, honesty, imperfection, misunderstandings, and God’s immeasurable grace into a story that I honestly couldn’t put down from start to finish.

Swing by Rene Gutteridge’s website for more information on her!

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins

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I was privileged to have the opportunity to receive an early copy of Jeff Goins latest eBook, You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One). Much like his blog, You Are a Writer is full of practical advice and personal experiences that encourage the reader to think about their own actions while pursuing – or considering pursuing – their dream. It holds great information about platforms, brands, and much more.

For those who have gone through the Intentional Blogging course, this book covers some of the same material. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having repeat lessons. Especially for me since it seems to take me hearing something every day for at least three months before it clicks (you can ask my boss about that one). But it also goes further into other areas, as well, so it isn’t merely the same information and nothing else.

A point to You Are a Writer that really struck a chord with me was that failure does not equate the end. Along with the great advice, I’m taking away from this book some key points that I plan to hold to.

My voice isn’t yet perfected and I have a long way to go before I’ll know exactly where I’m headed. I have more mistakes to make and more mountains to climb. I may write ten more books before one goes further than my family and friends. But I’m a writer.

While the book is geared toward writers, anyone with a dream or a goal will benefit from its message. It’s a quick and easy read, but definitely a book that can and should be returned to time and again. I highly recommend not just this book, but also Jeff Goins’ blog, Goins Writer. And if you haven’t read it, you shoud check out Jeff’s The Writer’s Manifesto.

Don’t forget to check out the website for You Are a Writer!

New and Upcoming Releases to Watch For!

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It’s amazing how sometimes a fall can give us the kick in the pants we need to get back on the right track. I’ve been talking for a while about getting back on my feet with my writing and really focusing on my commitments. Well, now’s the time and I’m delighted to say that I have some exciting news, about other authors’ works and one of my own.

Some great books that are out now are: Frantic by Mike Dellosso and Downfall by Terri Blackstock. I have a review up for Frantic here and will hopefully have one up for Downfall soon. Be sure not to miss these great authors latest works!

An upcoming release that’s sure to knock your socks off is 7 Hours. An amazing compilation of 7 stories by an all-star lineup: Mike Dellosso, Rene Gutteridge, Ronie Kendig, Robin Parrish, Tom Pawlik, Travis Thrasher, and James Andrew Wilson. You won’t want to miss this! To my knowledge the books will be released individually and then in one awesome anthology.

Also, I will soon be releasing my second book, Searching for Deliverance. In preparation for this I’m going to give away five signed copies of Something Called Redemption. If you’d like to get one of them, please leave a comment below. I only ask that if you do read it, please leave a review at amazon. There’s information on both Searching for Deliverance and Something Called Redemption in the ‘books’ page of this blog, there’s also a sneak peeks section for Deliverance. Check it out if you haven’t yet!

Getting Back Up

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I’ve got several false starts on blog posts that I’ve written up and then read over and thought ‘ick, I can’t post that’. So here I am on Good Friday, sitting at my desk wondering why in the world it’s been weeks since I posted. Laziness and a lack of inspiration are part of it. March was a difficult month and I couldn’t seem to get myself back into the swing of things.

But on Tuesday Mike Dellosso started an interesting discussion on the 7 Hours Facebook page. He posed the question of what would you do if you lost everything, job, house, family, etc. I commented that I had lost everything before but that God always turned things around for the better. Someone else commented that they would be angry, then sad, and then pick themselves back up again.

That stuck with me. Here I am realizing from past experience that the Lord always brings me through, yet I’m acting like this time things will be different. Like God can’t possible pick me back up again. How ironic is that?

So this Easter, I’m picking myself back up. I can’t keep living like I’m dead. I want to move forward in every aspect of my life instead of just waiting around to see what happens. I’m going to seriously begin pursuing publication again, whether that comes in the form of self-publication or traditional. I’m going to put more effort into promoting authors whose works I believe in. I’m going to put in more effort at work.

And most importantly, I’m going to put my focus back where it belongs, on Christ. He’s the One who makes my life have purpose and meaning. It’s for Him that I write. It’s for Him that I work. And it’s for Him that I live. It’s high time I start acting like it again.

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you didn’t know where to turn? Have you ever landed in a rut and didn’t know how to get out of it?

I can guarantee one thing, sitting and waiting for things to change doesn’t work. God brings the change in us. He performs the miracles. He makes a way for us to live lives pleasing to Him, but we have to pursue Him.

James 4:8 says to draw near to God and He will draw near to you. While it is God who works in us, we also have a job to do. And it’s to look to Him. If we keep our eyes focused on ourselves, we’ll miss where God is working. And you can’t move forward that way.

What better time to draw near (or back) to God than on Easter weekend? This should be a time of great reflecting on exactly what Jesus gave for us so that we could be reconciled to Him. In the face of such love, my minor afflictions don’t really seem that bad.

In Remembrance

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I’m sorry for the lack of updates lately. I’m one of those people who tend to shut down when overwhelmed. When there’s a lot on my mind I pull out my notebook and write out my emotions in fiction. I never know at that point if what I’m writing will end up in a story; it’s more just so I can release what’s got my head spinning in circles. If I can’t figure out what to write, I tend to do nothing at all. I stare at the TV not caring what I’m watching and not really even thinking.

The past week has been filled with disappointments at work and a mix of staring at the TV and a little writing at home. What brought on this sudden state of being overwhelmed was the death of an 18-year-old boy who was a very great friend. I’d taught him in preteen Sunday school at church. I’d watched him grow up. He’d just started his first job the night before the accident that claimed his life. And on top of it all, the newspaper can’t seem to get their facts right and didn’t even bother to dig deeper to find out the whole story.

It was a devastating loss for those of us left behind and only compounded by the paper placing blame when the investigation hasn’t even been completed yet.

I guess this is a random post, and I’m sorry about that. I don’t know what else to write. I don’t have any insight right now. I can’t find a lesson in here to express what God’s shown me. I don’t doubt Him, but I don’t understand this. And I don’t think I will this side of heaven.

My only comfort is that I know where my friend is. He was a great kid who touched everyone who knew him in a phenomenal way. And through all of this I reconnected with some of the other kids I taught in Sunday school. This has definitely reminded me why I loved teaching them so much, and how much I miss them.

If there’s anything to be learned here, I guess it’s a lesson as old as time. We don’t know how long we have. We don’t know when our last goodbye to someone will be the final goodbye. So, as my dad says: keep short accounts with people. Never let the sun go down on your anger. Never let an opportunity pass to show someone you love them.

While I can’t say this for everyone I’ve lost in my life, I’m thankful that I have no regrets where he’s concerned. I’m thankful that my memories of him will bring a smile to my face for the rest of my life.

For a little insight into this kid, he was an anime fanatic (much like myself) and a Star Wars fan. He’d show up randomly at our house in gorilla suits or full Darth Vader garb – complete with light saber. He knew how to live life and never bothered trying to be something he wasn’t. He made his own way and you couldn’t help but laugh or smile when you were with him. There were no cliques with him, no one too good or not good enough for him to talk to. He wasn’t perfect, but he was one of the most respectable people I’ve ever known.

Anthony Warren, the world may never know your name, but there are hundreds of people in Lawrence and Giles counties who will never forget it. May you rest in peace in the arms of Jesus. May the force be with you.

Interview with Terri Blackstock

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Two posts in two days is odd for me, I know, but this simply has to be shared as soon as possible! I hope you all share in my excitement of this interview with Terri Blackstock. I’m so thankful to her for taking time to answer a few questions for me.

While I love reading, there are few authors that I’ve found that keep me hounding for every book they release. One of those who I’ve followed for years is Terri Blackstock. And I’m honored that she took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for me revolving around the Intervention Series. This particular series is close to my heart because it centers on addictions and recovery. I hope you enjoy this insight into her reasons for writing the series as much as I did.

1) Out of all of your books, are there any in particular that are standouts or favorites for you?

I think my Intervention Series is very close to my heart, because it was inspired by my journey with my daughter’s drug addictions. I also really loved writing the Restoration Series, which is about a massive global power outage. I felt a real directive from God to write that series. But all of my books are like my babies. It’s hard to single any of them out.

2) While all of your books center on imperfect people being touched by a perfect and loving God, the Intervention Series delves into some very difficult subject matter for many people who either have been addicts or alcoholics or have loved ones who were or are still in the grips of addiction. What was it that prompted you to write the Intervention Series?

As I mentioned earlier, I wrote it because of my experiences dealing with my daughter who was on drugs. I suffered in secret for a long time, but finally came to the point where I knew that writing about it would help others. With my daughter’s permission, I wrote the first book and poured a lot of myself into the character of Barbara. I’ve now taken the series through three books–Vicious Cycle and Downfall (Downfall releases Feb. 28, next Tuesday!). I hope addicts will be encouraged by Emily’s character arc of going from drug abuse to recovery, and Barbara and Lance–her family members–who have also been through the ringer because of her addictions.

3) Many times the hardest things to read are the ones that hit closest to home. What was the hardest part of writing the series?

The hardest part was dragging up all those memories that I wanted to forget. Though I don’t think the books are depressing, it was depressing for me to write them. The journey with my daughter was the darkest time in my life, so living there through three books was very difficult.

4) Who in the series do you most identify with? Why?

Barbara, definitely. I poured my own thoughts, memories and feelings into her, so she definitely represents me in a lot of ways. Any mother of an addict will relate to her.

5) What do you hope your readers will take away from it?

I hope they’ll realize that there’s redemption, recovery, and hope in Christ, and that family members who are going through this right now will see that they’re not alone. Their story is told here. I also want those who aren’t involved with an addict to understand the whole situation better. And of course, I want all of my readers to be entertained for a few hours.

 Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist.

Vicious Cycle, the second in the Intervention Series, debuted on the New York Times best-seller list, as did Intervention, the first book in the series. Intervention was also a 2010 Carol Award Winner. The series deals with the subject of drug abuse and its impact on families. Other reader favorites include her books Predator and Double Minds, as well as the Restoration Series, the Newpointe 911 Series, the Cape Refuge Series, and the SunCoast Chronicles series.

Don’t forget to look for Terri Blackstock’s latest addition to the Intervention Series, Downfall, releasing February 28. Go here for more information on how to get the ebook for a reduced price for a limited time.

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