Inksper Updates – February 2016

Welcome to our monthly Inksper update post! It’s a day we’ll use to celebrate good news and spread word about new Inksper books or any other updates that come about during the month.

Lassoed by MarriageCongratulations to Rose Ross Zediker! Her new release, The Lassoed by Marriage Novella Collection, in which she collaborated with eight other authors, made the Top 20 ECPA List for Christian fiction! Look at #18 on the list >here<.

Coloring Book for WritersColoring books for adults are the big craze right now, and our own Linda Fulkerson has created two coloring book especially for authors! Check out the books >here<.

Coming Home Series 4-in-1 Box SetAnd Brenda Anderson has put her Coming Home Series into one nice box set for ebook readers. All four ebooks for only $9.99! You can purchase the set >here<.

St. Jude + Giveaway

An organization near and dear to my heart is St. Jude Children’s Hospital. I’m a member of a Epsilon Sigma Alpha which is a sorority who supports the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

ESA is a national organization with state and local chapters. The chapter I belong to holds a Tour of Tables salad luncheon every spring. All the money they raise at these events goes to the hospital.

For those of you who don’t know, St. Jude Children’s Hospital treats children with various types of cancer for FREE. Yep…every patient who enters the door receives FREE care.

ESA ensignaYou can read more about ESA and St. Jude here:

http://www.epsilonsigmaalpha.org/Homepage

https://www.stjude.org/

Now on to the giveaway!

Hungry for Home (Coming Home series finale) officially releases September 22
You may pre-order the book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014QAASFQ/. It will be available in paperback & on Nook as well. I won’t have those links until closer to the 22nd.
In short, Hungry for Home is about a homeless teen who mugs a woman. Rather than press charges, the woman and her husband take the teen into their home.
 
Back cover blurb:

After a troubling encounter with a pregnant teen, Sheila Peterson-Brooks hurries from the crisis pregnancy center into the frigid Minnesota winter where she is mugged and left for dead. After a frantic search, Richard, her husband, finds her, and the police quickly nab the mugger … 

A hungry, homeless teen. 
The brother of the pregnant girl Sheila had just counseled. 

The girl pleads for her brother, and Sheila and Richard choose not to press charges. Instead, they open their home to the boy, a move that could cost them their possessions, and their hearts. 

And, in the process, teach them the true meaning of home.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christian Charity + Giveaway

I work in a downtown area, and a coworker and I like to take walks in the middle of the afternoon when the weather is nice. It’s nice to take in the fresh air while stretching our legs and soaking in some vitamin D.

However, like most metropolises, Omaha has its fair share of homeless people, and a lot of them frequent the downtown area. It’s not uncommon for my friend and I to be approached by a person asking for money, change, anything we can spare. We usually just say sorry and keep walking. Sometimes we even cross to the other side of the street if we see someone out asking for money.

I often feel a niggling squirm of guilt, but then I make the usual excuse to myself to justify my behavior: I don’t have any cash (which is often true), I’m a vulnerable female in her 30s, the person might just take any money I give them and blow it on booze or drugs, the person might try to mug me while I’m getting out money, etc.

Now, I’m not saying these aren’t all legitimate scenarios. But as I thought about what charity I should write about, I began thinking of plain, simple Christian charity. Despite our fears or prejudices, Christ calls us to help the poor and the needy.

I was once downtown with my dad when a man in dirty, tattered clothes approached us. He asked us if we could spare a dollar so he would have enough money to buy a bus ticket at the terminal a few blocks away. I immediately averted my eyes and gave the man a mumbled sorry, and began walking away. But then my dad did something that I won’t forget.

He stopped, looked the man in the face, and told him he could give him ten dollars, but in order to get the money, he had to allow my dad to pray with him. The man was a little taken aback but agreed. As I watched, my dad took the man’s hands, asked him his name, and prayed that God would bless this stranger and give him a safe journey on his travels. He then gave the man the ten dollars.

Good Samaritan I asked my dad about it later, and he said he tries to keep a ten dollar bill, or a few bucks in his wallet for just this kind of thing. He said he won’t just give the money away, but he asks to pray for the person he’s giving it to. Some people have said no, but more often than not, they say yes.

It brings tears to my eyes to know I am so selfish and scared that I more often than not refuse to help someone out. I’m just like the “righteous” people in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, those who passed the poor beaten and robbed man by, only to be cared for by the last person he expected, a Samaritan. How can I be a living example of Christ’s love for others when I can’t even do that for one of God’s children?

That’s the kind of charity I want to be living, and in fact, need to be living.

~~~

Don’t forget about our giveaway of Brenda S. Anderson’s newest book, Hungry for Home, available now for preorder and everywhere September 22!

HappyBook Birthday!

 

The contest runs from Sept. 14 to midnight on Sept. 26. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below, answering the question, “What charity (or charities) are close to your heart?”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Birthday + Giveaway!

Red Cross?

Make-a-Wish?

Wounded Warrior Project?

Juvenile Diabetes Association?

You’ve probably already guessed our topic for the next two weeks: charities. These groups put their energy, creative efforts, and fund raising efforts behind research and victim support. They also often address legal issues related to their particular cause.

In honor of the September release of Brenda Anderson’s Hungry for Home, each of the Inkspers are going to share a charity that is near and dear to their heart. Charities play a key role in Brenda’s series, so join us and tell us what causes you support as well.

What makes us support a particular cause? I’m not sure, but I think one thing is having a personal connection to the cause. Last year, the daughter of one of my friends was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. I’ve watched how it has affected their family. I’ve listened to where my friend got the most help and information.

Did you know that parents of juvenile diabetics have to wake up a couple of times every night to prick his or her child’s finger and check the blood glucose level? One in twenty juvenile diabetics will die in their sleep during their lifetime because of a sudden drop in blood glucose levels. I had no idea. Simply sleeping through an alarm could cost the life of your child. The stress on the parents is enormous.

Great strides have been made in the treatment of diabetics and we are on the cusp of a cure. Along with prayer, I’m convinced the Juvenile Diabetes Research Association is on the forefront of pushing for a cure for this terrible disease.

Here’s some info from their site:

JDRF is the leading diabetes foundation funding T1D research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D.

JDRF is currently sponsoring $530 million in scientific research in 17 countries. In 2012 alone, JDRF provided more than $110 million to T1D research.

Please join me in praying for JDRF and for a cure to both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

 

Now, that we’ve discussed diabetes, cupcake anyone? (Okay, I know that was a bad transition.) We have to have something very special to celebrate the birth of Brenda’s book. Hungry for Home is the final book in her Coming Home series. It officially releases Sept. 22, but can be pre-ordered now here.

Hungry for Home front cover (373 x 600)

Here’s the back cover blurb for Hungry for Home:

After a troubling encounter with a pregnant teen, Sheila Peterson-Brooks hurries from the crisis pregnancy center into the frigid Minnesota winter where she is mugged and left for dead. After a frantic search, Richard, her husband, finds her, and the police quickly nab the mugger … 

A hungry, homeless teen. 
The brother of the pregnant girl Sheila had just counseled. 

The girl pleads for her brother, and Sheila and Richard choose not to press charges. Instead, they open their home to the boy, a move that could cost them their possessions, and their hearts. 

And, in the process, teach them the true meaning of home.

HappyBook Birthday!

Did I mention the giveaway? We are giving away an autographed copy of Hungry for Home. The contest runs from Sept. 14 to midnight on Sept. 26. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below, answering the question, “What charity (or charities) are close to your heart?”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

It’s a Celebration!!!

Whoop! Whoop! We are all happy dancing for fellow blogger, Brenda Anderson. Her latest release is available for purchase, Pieces of Granite. And just in time for your holiday shopping!!!

So, to honor Brenda’s heroine, we are talking hobbies. I’m going to combine two of my favorite things to do, sew and embroidery. The pictures I’m sharing today are quilts I’ve made. Now, mind you, I only make the quilt tops. I have a professional quilter with a fancy quilting machine actually put the quilts together. BUT the tops are my own handiwork and patterns.

Hobby blog 2The quilt with the blue background blocks are Western theme handkerchiefs appliqued to the background block.

The snowman quilt was a wall panel I couldn’t resist that I turned into a quilt by sewing blocks and framing the panel.

The embroidered quilt is a state bird and flower pattern that took me….wait for it….thirty-five years to complete! There is a LOT of embroidery on that quilt and to be honest if my mother hadn’t passed away and left many, many, many unfinished quilt projects, I don’t know that I would have ever finished it. But after sorting through her projects, I made a goal to complete that quilt in a year…it stretched into a year and half, but it is done!

Back to Brenda-Here is the back cover blurb of her story.

Debbie Verhoeven is not your typical woman. She sacrificed a counseling career to be a full-time mother. She’d rather pound a nail than round steak. Oprah? No way! Give her ESPN any day. Nothing could be more stressful than scrapbooking. Nothing, except a distressing diagnosis, a husband who is pulling away, and two older brothers who refuse to get along. When the counselor is caught in the middle, when she needs to be strong for those around her, who is left to be strong for her? 

Make’s you want to pick up a book for yourself and friend, right?Hobby blog 1

 

 

 

 

 

Brenda Rocks Pieces of Granite

It’s party time here at Inkspirational Messages as we celebrate Brenda Anderson’s new release Pieces of Granite.

Writers often hold subjects or stories that are placed on their heart in a special place. These are the books we can’t wait to share with readers, and Brenda ‘s Pieces of Granite is exactly that book. We could not be more excited to share this books with all of you.

The main character in Pieces of Granite, Debbie, is unconventional. She doesn’t like girly things at all. Her favorite hobbies include sports and woodworking. She won’t admit it, but she also has a creative side, making fun cakes and garden stepping stones. So, in honor of Debbie’s starring role, the Inkspers will each be sharing a little bit about their hobby or hobbies.

But first, let’s learn a little more about the book. Here’s the back cover copy:

Debbie Verhoeven is not your typical woman. She sacrificed a counseling career to be a full-time mother. She’d rather pound a nail than round steak. Oprah? No way! Give her ESPN any day. Nothing could be more stressful than scrapbooking. Nothing, except a distressing diagnosis, a husband who is pulling away, and two older brothers who refuse to get along. When the counselor is caught in the middle, when she needs to be strong for those around her, who is left to be strong for her? 

My hobbies

Jordan flowersBesides reading, which of course is my favorite hobby, one hobby I enjoy is flower arranging.  I don’t often get to do the flower arranging, other than picking up a bouquet of flowers at the market and decorate my table. However, once or twice a year, I get to do the flowers for a wedding.

This year, I did the flowers for Dawn’s son’s wedding who married my niece. I made nine bouquets, 60 small centerpieces, one guest book table arrangement, 22 boutineers, and 13 corsages.

We ordered most of the flowers online, but since my niece wanted a rustic look, I convinced a friend of mine to go ditch diving for weeds with me. We found some great weeds! My whole van was full of flowers from ditches, and they looked great on the tables.

weedsFor the various weddings, I’ve had boatloads of flowers in my house. One time, I had 400 roses in my kitchen! And no, the house didn’t smell like roses. The type of rose used by florists is grown to be scentless.

Why flowers? I think floral arranging is like 3-D art. You have to use your artistic “eye”, creative nature, and business sense. It’s also a challenge, and a way to help young brides have the kind of wedding they want at a much cheaper cost.

Debbie from Pieces of Granite might even enjoy it.

Place your order for Pieces of Granite here.

 

 

 

One of Our Own

Summer is on the downhill swing and I must admit that I’ve had little time for reading. (I’m so ashamed.) Now that the majority of my garden is tucked away in the freezer, hopefully I can find a little more time to get back to reading. My latest read is by our very own Inksper Brenda Anderson. I’m in the middle of Chain of Mercy and loving every minute of it. Brenda does a phenomenal job of portraying real life people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. I can’t wait to see how it ends.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

“They forgave him for the accident that killed their son, but he will never forgive himself.

Manhattan businessman Richard Brooks was at the top of the world, drunk with success, wealth, and women. Until one disastrous evening, when his world came crashing down.

Richard flees to Minneapolis where he repairs ancient boilers instead of solving corporate problems, and he’s determined to live the solitary life he now deserves.

But Executive Sheila Peterson has other plans for the handsome custodian. Richard appears to be the perfect match for the no-strings-attached romance she’s after, but she soon discovers that he’s hiding more than the designer suits in his closet.”

Chain of Mercy by Brenda S. Anderson Tell us what you’re reading this summer.

Celebrate with us!

We couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate the release of our own Brenda Anderson’s debut novel, Chain of Mercy. So as we share what we’re reading during this next couple of weeks, we will also be having a party with a great prize and with calorie-free food. Can it get better than that?

Let’s start things off with the heroine’s favorite treat:

Fig Newtons

 

 

Now, what else do we need to do this party up good?

balloons

 

Wait. We need one more thing. PRIZES!!!!!

Every time you leave a comment, your name will be entered in a special giveaway for an autographed copy of Chain of Mercy, a box of Fannie May chocolates, and Phillips Craig & Dean’s “Breathe In” CD. 

Chain giveaway

What am I reading? Why Brenda’s Chain of Mercy of course.

Here’s the back cover copy:

They forgave him for the accident that killed their son, but he will never forgive himself.

Manhattan businessman Richard Brooks was at the top of the world, drunk with

Success … Wealth … Women …

And he proudly lived that prodigal lifestyle.

Until one disastrous evening, when that world came crashing down.

Richard flees to Minneapolis where he repairs ancient boilers instead of solving corporate problems, and he’s determined to live the solitary life he now deserves …

Chained to his guilt. Blending in with the gray. No luxuries in sight. But Executive Sheila Peterson has other plans for the handsome custodian. She’s had it with serious relationships, and Richard appears to be the perfect match for the no-strings-attached romance she desires. Instead, she finds a man who is complex, brilliant, and shrouding a tormented past.

In her quest to uncover the secrets holding Richard captive, will her own secrets remain buried?

RUN, don’t walk to your favorite bookstore or online retailer to get this book or buy it here.

And before start reading it, make sure to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway. Tell us if you’re a Fig Newton lover. If not, what’s your favorite cookie.

Personally, I don’t think a F.N. would make my top ten, but I enjoy one on a special occasion, which this certainly is.

Disclaimer: Giveaway open to continental U.S. addresses only. Giveaway ends on Friday, May 9 at midnight, central time zone. Winner chosen by Random. org.

Singing in Asaph’s Choir

As a musician, one thing I love seeing in the Bible is the important role music plays. And it’s not just for worship and praise, but also for times of battle. Music is used to uplift when in sorrow and rejoice in victory. King David was a renowned musician, and his son Solomon is credited with writing over a thousand songs. (1 Kings 4:32).

Even with all the music mentions in the Bible, one name sticks out, Asaph, though little is known about him. He was the son of Berechiah, a descendant of Levi. He was one of three musicians King David placed in charge of singing in the house of Yahway. He also served under King  Solomon. Asaph’s descendants continued to play a musical role throughout the Old Testament.

Perhaps he’s best known for the twelve Psalms he wrote (Psalm 50, and Psalms 73 – 83) . He wrote Psalms that spoke of God’s judgment and mercy. He wrote Psalms of lament, and songs filled with Thanksgiving and praise. Clearly, the man was very passionate. There’s little doubt that he was one of the most gifted musicians–if not the most gifted–in the Bible.

Can you imagine what it would have been like singing in his choir, accompanied with stringed instruments, trumpets, and horns? I picture tears streaming down his face as praises are lifted high. And then I hear his baritone ring above the rest–clear, strong, and passionate. I imagine being overcome with the Holy Spirit singing through him, through us.

Someday that will happen. Some day, when we go Home, maybe we’ll be greeted by an Asaph-directed choir. And he’ll motion for us to join in the singing. I’m getting the chills just thinking about it!

_________________________________________________

Psalm 81: 1 – 2

For the director of music. According to gittith. Of Asaph

Lyre

Sing for joy to God our strength;

shout aloud to the God of Jacob!

Begin the music, strike the timbrel,

play the melodious harp and lyre.

The Story from 10 Random Words

I admit I haven’t had difficulty with writer’s block so far, that’ll likely come once I have looming deadlines. But for those days when the creative juices aren’t flowing quite as good as they should, I put my WIP away, choose ten random words, then create a story using those words. The story is often nonsensical, usually hilarious, and almost always reinvigorates the right side of my brain.

So, for the fun of it, I’m going to pluck ten random words from a book that’s sitting on my desk and write a quick story. I don’t think about it, stress about it, worry about plotting. I just have fun writing.

If you’re feeling brave, take these words, create your own story, and share it in the comments below.

Words:

  1. Rice
  2. Broken
  3. Exhale
  4. Tail
  5. Eight
  6. Intervention
  7. Business
  8. Peach
  9. Toothpaste
  10. Diagonal

Story:

One day, while eating rice mixed with peaches, I discovered a broken tooth. A human tooth. Shocked, I gasped in a deep breath and covered my mouth. Was it one of mine? My tongue made a random inventory and discovered all was fine, so I exhaled in relief.

But where had it come from? And how did it get in my rice?

I saw my cat’s tail sticking out from beneath the table. Could it be hers? Right. <face palm> Like a cat’s tooth resembled a human’s.

So, whose could it be? Did it come in the box of rice? Ewww. Just the thought made me shudder. I grabbed the box of rice, poured the remaining eight cups of rice onto a cookie sheet, and sifted through it creating diagonal rows. Nothing. Good thing, too. I didn’t want to put the rice company out of business.

If I didn’t discover the answer pretty soon, I’d need an intervention!

“Mommy! Mommy!” My youngest came running into the kitchen holding up a tube of toothpaste. “I wost a toof when I eated peaches.” He opened his mouth up wide. Sure enough, there was a big gap in the front of his mouth.

I held up the  found tooth and smiled. The mystery was solved.

Now, it’s your turn! See how creative you can get. 🙂