Are You Ready for the Unexpected?

E.M. Bounds/Prayer--MemeI had no post last week! That’s because last week held the unexpected for me. But God is never surprised. In fact, I’d been warned. I had that “niggling feeling” inside. You know the one– it lets you know–something’s coming.

When you’re caught unaware, it’s good to know that you’re ready. You’re prayed up, filled with the presence of God, and able to lean on His presence, draw on His strength.

His word is strong in you. Not the mystical “force” — but God’s Word.

I pray that you have that peace. If you don’t, now’s the time. Something’s coming. Something unexpected, and you’ll need to be ready.

If you want to know where to begin, here’s one of my favorites–Ephesians.

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Unlikely Merger’s SAM List

Caribbean Beach2It all started on a Love Boat Cruise to the Caribbean. You might wonder how Mercy Lacewell ended up on a cruise like that with her semi-invalid father…

Well, that’s the kind of thing that happens occasionally, even in real life. It seems like the wrong place, at the wrong time, when it could just be wrong place at the right time. Or right place, wrong time. Anyway, Mercy went on a cruise with her dad. She met a young minister named Brent Teague and something happened to her heart. The almost-romance softened her heart a little and prepared her for what was coming next.

What was coming next–

Back home, Daddy and his assistant, Madeline, decide Mercy needs more life experience. They send her out as acquisitions analyst for Lacewell Limited. Her job: to assess the companies and businesses they find, and decide if the businesses are a good investment for the company. Sounds like fun, right? Except that it’s something Mercy has never done, never thought about doing, never wanted to do. She’s perfectly happy in Denver, taking care of Dad.

First trip out: wouldn’t you know they’d end up in Texas during a freak ice storm? Mercy and Lacewell Limited’s other acquisitions analyst (Dustin Rogers) never actually make it to the destination, but they find something better, and are able to add it to the list. And Dustin gets added to Madeline’s SAM list. What’s a SAM? Single, available male (remember that).

Next stop, Watkins Glen, New York, to check out an inn. This adventure includes snow, sledding, and Landon Gates. Now we’re ready for a warmer climate. How about San Diego, CA? Nice, very nice. And once again, Mercy bumbles through her first meeting with the owner of Montoya Olive Oil–yes, that’s MOO for short. Enrique Miguel Montoya, “Ric” for short–doesn’t seem to mind. He makes her feel very much at home among his clan in their beautiful home. Mercy learns not to bite an olive fresh from the tree, no matter how ripe it looks. Ric is a welcome addition to the SAM list.

alligator-439887_1280Staying with the warmer weather, Mercy is headed to Titusville, Florida, and a gator farm. Yes, you read that right. Adventure. For this one, she takes Uncle Thomas along. I don’t blame her. Mr. Mann welcomes her–Gabe Mann. Great name, huh? After a full assessment and a medical procedure, she says goodbye to Titusville, but Gabe finds a place on the list.

Headed north, Mercy stops in Madison, Alabama for a quick look at Diana’s Burger Bistro. Will this be a good investment? She has a rather unfortunate first meeting with the chef, a surfer-type named Talon Hawthorne. But he makes a nice save by cooking a meal that pleases her palate.

Fourteen Quarters Repertory Company is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. And Douglas “Digger” Grant is the contact. Chemistry! Mercy learns all about small productions and develops a nice friendship with a man named Icky. You’ll need to read the chapter to understand that one.

Chapter Eight takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, where Mercy looks at McBride Mortgage. She feels uncertain about this one and tries her best to talk Uncle Thomas into accompanying her. But…ends up on her own with the formidable Mason McBride, until she meets IT director, Levi Shepherd. Mercy was more than happy to spend quality time getting technical with this guy. Another addition to the SAM list!

Great Barrington, Massachusetts is Mercy’s next stop, to look at a trucking company. Ahhh, New England in the spring. Rob and Steve LeClerc of LeClerc Trucking, at your service. Mercy falls pretty hard for Steve. Or 9cb57-shutterstock_40179583maybe his dog.

All the way back across this wide country of ours, Mercy lands at LAX and hits the road for Santa Monica, CA. She quickly learns there is no avoiding L.A. traffic, but that’s nothing compared to the crankiness of St. Andrew. She ends up trapped in a very small room with Reuben Miller. For three hours. Kind of a crash course, ending with Rube Miller on the SAM list.

So that brings us to the final stop on Mercy’s itinerary–in Lexington, KY–land of blue grass, beautiful horses, and Knight-Link & Associates. After a near head-on collision with someone she believes to be a handyman or plumber, she meets with Philip Knight, the owner of the architectural engineering firm. He introduces her to his nephew Daniel Knight, aka handyman/plumber, who turns out to be a designer of equine habitats. And his cowboy charm wins him a place on the list.

11112210_858579607541022_8504991036842170166_oFinal chapter, readers’ choice. One of the ten handsome, young fellows you met in the above summary has won the chance to woo Mercy. Our readers voted for their favorite. Who is it? Well, you’ll just have to read the story to find out. Today, and for the rest of the 4th of July holiday weekend, you can download it absolutely free. Don’t have a Kindle? Did you know you can get a free Kindle app on your phone or computer? Just go to Amazon Kindle and check it out.

If you miss out on the free download, Unlikely Merger be available through the remainder of July for just 99 cents.

LandingRelated articles, blogs, and posts…

Write Integrity Press: Book Release Day – Free on Kindle!

Jennifer Hallmark: 3 Questions Wednesday with Jennifer Hallmark

            Fay Lamb: Who Wrote Whom: Meet the Authors of Unlikely Merger: Suzy Moore

Write Integrity Press: One Moose of a Summer

Fay Lamb: Who Wrote Whom: Meet the Authors of Unlikely Merger: Jennifer Hallmark

        Write Integrity Press: That’s When the Crazy Started

Jennifer Hallmark: Collaborative Projects by Fay Lamb

Fay Lamb: Who Wrote Whom: Meet the Authors of Unlikely Merger: Fay Lamb

Unlikely Merger – In Progress

11112210_858579607541022_8504991036842170166_oHave you ever worked for a company that was swallowed up by another company? Acquisitions can be painful. Sometimes even fatal (to your job). In the collaborative novella Unlikely Merger, the heroine works for an acquisitions firm. Mercy Lacewell has to learn to choose the right businesses for her father’s company to fund or buy. A wrong decision can cost the firm a lot of time and money. The stress of the position nearly grounds Mercy before she gets started.

I worked for a small civil engineering company that was bought out by a larger architectural engineering company. The buyout was a relief for the owners who were nearly at the end of their rope financially. The employees were dubious. Would we be fired to make room for corporate replacements? If we were retained, would we like our new bosses? What other changes were in store?

These are all concerns that our heroine needed to address when she sat down with prospective companies. What did this acquisition mean in dollars and cents to the employee? Bottom line–what did their future hold? She was inexperienced, but her natural abilities pushed her through this exhausting process.

One of the most difficult requirements of her new position is travel. Based in Denver, she has to fly all over the country to interview and assess the prospective businesses. Each of our chapters deals with a different location. And of course, she meets a different eligible bachelor each time. But Mercy keeps her distance, because she’s a professional, and she’s sort of an introvert. Merger? Unlikely.

IMG-20150130-WA0008But one of these guys will end up as Mercy’s forever. Once again, Write Integrity Press is releasing one chapter a day on their website. Once the last chapter is released, the readers will be invited to vote for their favorite. For more information, and to read the chapters, click the link here:

Write Integrity Press: Unlikely Merger Chapter Two

On July 1st, you can download the book, with its final chapter–the proposal–absolutely free on Kindle. It will remain free through the 5th of July and then, it’ll be 99¢.

AND at some point during the month of June, something BIG is happening here. On this blog. So watch for it. You can also “like” my Facebook author page–right over there (see right margin)–to keep up with what is happening. If you ask me in a comment, either here or on Facebook, you may win a special prize. But you have to ask.

Bonus Materials! Follow the links below for more personalized information about the key characters in Unlikely Merger.

Marji Laine:  Human Icicle

Julie Arduini: If We Could Have been Part of a Company Merger

            Carole Towriss: Dustin’s Detour Bellview Texas

            Jennifer Hallmark: Sacred Journeys by Carole Towriss

Fay Lamb: Meet the Heroes of Unlikely Merger: Dustin Rogers