Posts Categorized: Books

Choosing Clutter Free: 7 Steps for Getting Started

Choose Clutter Free: 7 Steps for Getting Started www.monahodgson

I’d like to introduce my friend, Kathi Lipp. I’ve known Kathi for several years, and then had the privilege of getting to know her better when we worked together for a couple of years at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference in California. The author of Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps for Simplifying Your Space, Kathi excels in simplifying and organizing. That’s why I asked her to share an excerpt from her book with a few basics steps to help us declutter in this new year.

Choose Clutter Free: 7 Steps for Getting Started www.monahodgson.comBy Kathi Lipp

Since starting Clutter Free Academy, we’ve had many people ask, “Where do I start?”

We all want to be more organized, more disciplined when it comes to dealing with our stuff. This excerpt from my book Clutter Free offers a beginners’ guide to help you jump in and get results quickly.

1. Pick a major source of pain. Get mad every time you go into the garage? See red when you try to relax in the living room? Is your office where papers go to die?

Whatever area of your home is causing you the most pain, that’s what needs to be addressed first. (more…)

5 Easy Ways to Stay Focused While You Pray

5 Easy Ways to Stay Focused While You Pray www.monahodgson.com

Let me introduce you to my friend, Sarah.

Motivated by her own serious and chronic health struggles, Sarah Forgrave became a wellness coach who loves encouraging others in their health and faith journeys. Then she wrote a book, Prayers for Hope and Healing: Seeking God’s Strength as You Face Health Challenges. When Sarah isn’t writing or teaching, she loves to shop at Trader Joe’s or spend time with her husband and two children in their Midwest home. You can connect with Sarah on Facebook and Pinterest.

Prayers for Hope and Healing www.monahodgson.com

by Sarah Forgrave

If you’re anything like me, sometimes when you attempt to pray the next thing you know your mind is wandering to the grocery list, the kids’ schedule for the day, or what you’re going to make for breakfast.

Distraction happens. Especially when our intention is to pray. Click To Tweet

I’m not saying I have this thing mastered by any means, but I recently realized my prayer life has been much more focused lately.

Taking a closer look, I discovered some patterns that have helped me stay connected during prayer. So I thought I’d share them today, along with a couple other suggestions that friends have found helpful. (more…)

How Humbling Yourself in Your Time of Need Changes Everything

Let me introduce you to my friend, Tricia.

When I faced a tight deadline for writing my debut novel eight years ago, I sought counsel from Tricia Goyer. An award-winning storyteller, Tricia is also the author of the book Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time.

Motivated by her own experience of being a teen mom and the women who supported her, Tricia has a heart for mentoring teen moms and their families. Before moving to Arkansas, Tricia co-founded Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana. She currently leads a Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Group in inner-city Little Rock. Tricia and the love of her life, husband John, are the parents of ten and grandparents of two. Follow Tricia Twitter or Facebook.

Humbling Yourself in Your TIme of Need Changes Everything www.monahodgson.com

by Tricia Goyer

The other day I was cooking dinner when my six-year-old son rushed into the kitchen. Beads of sweat slid down his red face. “I’m so hot. You never get me anything to drink.”

I stirred my spaghetti sauce with one hand as I turned to him. “Excuse me?”

His voice rose in a full, high-pitched whine. “You never give me anything to drink!” He waved his hands and dropped to the floor. (more…)

Why the Jersey Shore? Why Seaside?

Gayle_Roper

I’m super excited to welcome today’s guest blogger — Gayle Roper! Gayle is one of my really-long-time writing buddies and one of my mentors, both in writing and in directing writers’ conferences.

Gayle has a new book out and we’re celebrating with a story behind the story and a book giveaway. Please welcome Gayle!

 

WHY THE JERSEY SHORE? WHY SEASIDE?

As I drive across the 9th Street Causeway into Ocean City, NJ, I take a great breath of the crisp sea air. I love coming here, and am glad for my high school class reunion lunch being held here. Any excuse to visit one of my favorite places. I will sit on the balcony of my hotel room, enjoy the sun, watch the ocean, walk the boardwalk, and buy some outstanding Johnson’s caramel popcorn.

When I was a kid, my maternal grandparents had a boarding house, the Brookburn, in Ocean City, and for years I spent every July with them. A family who had a daughter my age also spent July at the Brookburn, and I would go to the beach with them every day. I still remember the ditty the daughter made up about me.

Gayle the whale was very pale

Because she drank some ginger ale.

If I had been overweight, I’m sure I’d have been scarred for life, but I was a skinny kid. I could never decide if I should be honored to be the subject of her poetry or offended at the mockery in it.

When I was in college, I worked four summers in Ocean City as a waitress. I loved spending my free time at the beach or with the college age kids who gathered at the Baptist church in town. One Tuesday night a guy named Chuck Roper came to the group. Since I was going with someone at the time, it was a year and a half before he and I went out for the first time, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The wonderful coincidence to my meeting Chuck in Ocean City is that my mom met my father there too. She went on a date to dinner at a restaurant on the boardwalk that had live music. The trumpeter was a handsome guy who took one look at Mom and played his solo directly to her. The name of Mom’s date is unknown, but Mom came back every night to hear Dad as he played to her.

Is it any wonder I have set several of my novels in Seaside, my fictional version of Ocean City? Seaside Gifts, released in August, is a fun romance with a touch of mystery. It takes place in a boardwalk gift shop called Present Perfect. Someone keeps leaving valuable things at the shop, and Nan calls the police because she doesn’t know what to do with these things. Our hero Rog comes to her rescue.

I also visit Seaside in a novella called Special Delivery and found in The Boy Next Door, released in October. A package with the right address but the wrong name is delivered to Kelli who is spending her first Thanksgiving away from family. Dane helps her survive the holiday as well as find the proper recipient for the package.

If you’d like to visit Seaside with me, I would love to give an electronic copy of each book to two lucky people.

Have you ever been to the Jersey Shore? Ocean City? Seaside?

BOOK GIVEAWAY

Include your email address with your comment for easy notification. The drawing takes place Sunday, 11/8/2015, at midnight. Gayle is giving away an electronic copy of both Seaside Gifts and The Boy Next Door to the winner of the drawing. NOTE: Please include your email address with your comment on the post.

New Girls’ Devotional ~ Plus Book Giveaway

Beauty Blog Banner

What is beauty?

The answer depends on who you ask. TV advertisers might hang a beauty sign on a particular height, size, color of eyes or skin or hair. Others might say beauty has more to do with a girl’s character qualities. Anger, jealousy, lying–I think we can agree that those aren’t beautiful traits, but compassion, love, and honesty are.

When I was invited to participate in this devotional, the title–The Beauty of Believing–captured my attention. The phrase made me consider my definition of beauty. It caused me to think about how what you and I believe creates true beauty. (more…)

St. Charles: Full Circle

St. Charles Full Cirle Blue

How does an Arizona author end up setting her newest works of Historical Fiction in Missouri? Saint Charles, Missouri, to be exact?

Enter . . . a children’s book illustrator named Chris Sharp. (more…)

Book Club Fun to Celebrate The Quilted Heart

Sewing Circle by Howard Sanden Blog Banner

Do the members of your book club or reading group enjoy reading a series of novellas and spending time with an ensemble cast? If so, Elsa Brantenberg’s Quilting Circle in St. Charles, Missouri, might be a great fit. And I’m happy to say the 1860’s heartland setting lends itself well to having fun with historic Main Street and riverside flair.

For some book club fun, your group may want a themed meeting after each of the novellas, or may choose to save the party for after they have read Ripples Along the Shore, the third and last novella in The Quilted Heart omnibus. Either way, here are some meeting ideas and resources for a Quilted Heart celebration. (more…)

Women’s History Month: Mary Easton Sibley

Mary Easton Sibley age 68

March is National Women’s History Month. Today, I’m celebrating the legacy of women in American History with a look at educator, Mary Easton Sibley. (more…)

Recipes Inspired by The Quilted Heart

Hearts placesetting banner

The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novels and Prairie Song, Book 1 in the Hearts Seeking Home Series all feature fun foods and inspire recipes. The novellas, Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along the Shore are no different. Enjoy a meal with three recipes inspired by The Quilted Heart omnibus. (more…)

Meet Rutherford & Maren from The Quilted Heart

Meet Rutherford & Maren from The Quilted Heart


A broken soldier.

A nearly-blind abandoned bride.

Will love bind their hearts together,

or will stubborn pride unravel the family they both love?

Meet the main characters in Dandelions on the Wind, Novella #1 in The Quilted Heart omnibus!

Now available! Paperback and eBook

Now available!
Paperback and eBook

RUTHERFORD WAINWRIGHT

1. What is your job? Describe a little about what you do.

I was a farmer then a soldier. What I do next, work or otherwise, depends upon how Elsa Brantenberg receives me.

2. How would you describe yourself?

A disappointment. But I’m hungry to change that description. And that reality.

3. What do you need most?

Forgiveness. And a second chance at fatherhood.

4. How do you face disappointments or hardship?

In the past, I ran. Now, I pray. Real hard. And press on.

5. What is your most important goal in life?

To reunite with my little girl. She’d be four years of age now.

6. What are you most afraid of?

That I won’t be given a second chance.

7. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

To the day before my daughter was born. I’d like a chance to do things differently. To do right by her and her grandmother.

8. What do you put off because of dread, or you just don’t want to do it?

Returning to Saint Charles and the farm that had been my home.

9. What is most important to you?

To return to Saint Charles and make sure the daughter I abandoned knows I love her.

10. What do you want others to see in you?

My new dependence upon God for each step.

 

MAREN JENSEN

 1861, March

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,

To gain all while you give,

To roam the roads of lands remote,

To travel is to live.”

Maren Jensen’s fondness for Hans Christian Anderson’s romantic musings had waned somewhere in the Atlantic between Denmark and America. Now, weeks later, she sat on another boat, a paddlewheeler steaming up the Missouri River and the poet’s words were taunting her. She’d started the day in the wee hours, stepping off of the train from New York and onto the boat in Saint Louis that had carried her up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Hans Christian Anderson could keep his traveling for himself. All she wanted was a home.

Click here to read the complete PREQUEL scene to Dandelions on the Wind.

Have you read The Quilted Heart novellas? If you did and enjoyed the stories, you’d be doing me a huge favor, if you’d write a review on The Quilted Heart omnibus for amazon.com, goodreads.com, christianbook.com, barnesandnoble.com, and novelcrossings.com, and any other outlets you’re familiar with.

Thank you! And Happy Reading.

Enter to win a trip to St. Charles, the setting for The Quilted Heart

Enter to win a trip to St. Charles,
the setting for The Quilted Heart

 ENTER THE SWEEPSTAKES!

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