Lost But Found

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I’m so glad you’re here and it’s actually Thursday, not Wednesday (like last week). November is here, and the whirlwind of activities begin for some as we prepare for the holidays and the end of another year.

Leah Diaz

I have a very special story to share with you today from my friend Leah Diaz, missionary in Cuenca, Ecuador. I first met her when I visited Cuenca a couple of years ago. She’s managing director at Unsion Plus. Unsion is a television station in Cuenca. Her efforts there include a program called The April Project, to help those struggling with addiction.


So, this is what getting lost looks like, or is it? Let me share a story with you.

A couple of weeks ago at the construction site for our new church plant and counseling center in Jima, one of the locals walks by and asks why we were there. Among the reasons, one thing I shared is that we hope to help families struggling with addiction.

He then points to the mountains to an area that from a distance appeared to be a bunch of trees. He said “there”! You must go “there”. He shared with me that the entire community struggles with addiction in a way that he has never seen and that there is no one to help them. He then told me the name of the community.

Every day since, that name has been on my heart and in my prayers. So today on the way to Jima I got lost, really lost. It was the no GPS, no phone signal, no people around, also fun, but also scary kind of lost.

San José de Raranga, Ecuador

Well, to my sweet surprise the first sign I see just happens to have the name of that same community on it! I could NOT believe it. I somehow stumbled upon the trees of San José de Raranga!

It was not part of the plan, or was it? I just love how God leads us even when we are lost. Found. Loved. Chosen. We can completely lose our “way” and find our “why”!

 

Found. Loved. Chosen. We can completely lose our “way” and find our “why!” #travel #adventure #Ecuador [Click to Tweet]

This is just another reason WHY I am here. Today was a reminder of that. Please pray for freedom in San José de Raranga!

If the trees and mountains are this beautiful, I just can’t wait to meet the people! It’s the difficult roads that lead you to the best destinations!

Find out more about Leah Diaz, Unsion, and the April Project here:

https://www.facebook.com/Unsion.Ministries/

Leah Diaz on Facebook

 

Counting Down the Days

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I don’t need coffee this morning, I’m so excited! Wait, what am I saying? Of course, I need coffee!

Confession: It’s been difficult for me to concentrate on writing the final book in the Kinsman Redeemer series, because of the mounting excitement over the release of Rebecca’s Legacy. I’m even having trouble sleeping, I’m so hyped!

Early on Tuesday morning, August 7, you’ll be able to download the Kindle version of Rebecca’s Legacy for only 99¢ —ONE DAY ONLY—and on that day, you can also download Amelia’s Legacy, the first book in the series, absolutely FREE.

I want to make a big splash on that day, so I’m going to need your help. Please consider downloading these two e-books! And help me spread the word by sharing this news on your social media. Text the news to your sister, best friend, distant cousin. Let everyone know. If you don’t want the book yourself, order it as a gift for someone. All you need is their email address.

What’s in it for you? A good book to read, I hope! This book was so much  fun to write, and the early reviews are really encouraging, so I have no problem asking you to buy it for about a dollar. I’m not making a ton of money off a 99¢ download, and I make nothing on the free books. But, you can help me do something I’ve never done—break into the best-seller category!!

Need a reminder on release day? I’ll have a special Tuesday edition of Hello, Thursday Morning, so if you receive my blogs via email, you should see it. You can also sign up for my newsletter—click the black Newsletter Sign Up in the sidebar—or you can click this link: Betty’s Newsletter Sign Up. All new sign ups also receive a brand new novella, Lake Frigid Aire. NOTE: After the release of Rebecca’s Legacy, you’ll only hear from me via newsletter three or four times a year, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Lake Frigid Aire

This novella is a bit of a departure for me. It’s a quirky suspense story. I can’t tell you much about it without giving too much away! My wonderful publisher did a beautiful job designing the cover. Thanks so much, Marji Laine Clubine of Write Integrity Press.

So, sign up for the newsletter to get your free copy. Lake Frigid Aire will be available later for only 99¢ .

What’s the story about? It’s set in a fictional area near Russellville, Georgia, there’s a lake involved (also fictional), and a bunch of quirky characters you’ll love. At just under ten thousand words, it’s a quick read.

Here are a few other places you’ll find me and probably way too many reminders of the release: Join me on my Facebook author page, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram, Amazon Author Page.

If you’re on Goodreads, please consider adding my books to your TBR (To Be Read) list.

Now, for some really important news! Cathy Biggerstaff won the Legacy Series! She’ll receive all 3 books (print version). Congratulations, Cathy! She is a subscriber to my newsletter, and entered the drawing to win last month’s prize.

Coming Up on Tuesday evening: A Facebook Party! It’s Party Time, and I’m celebrating BIG. Here are the details:

Another Thursday Morning

Hello! Can you believe it’s already Thursday morning? I’m beginning to think there are two per week, they  come around so fast. Life is zipping by…

The hot summer weather we’re enduring reminds me of my latest young heroine, Amy Emerson. She was “sentenced” to a summer of service by dear old Dad. The first few days were sheer torture for this big city debutante.

I remember summers on Grandma’s farm in West Tennessee. The nights were so hot, sometimes it was hard to sleep. The days in the hot sun were worse, but we were busy working in the fields or the garden, so the days went by fast.

Back at the house, we made straight for the window fan, sat in front of it until the sweat dried and we’d cooled down enough to talk into the fan and laugh at the funny sound of our voices.

It’s amazing how wonderful a breeze feels, or the shade of a thick oak tree. We  carried ice water in bell jars, which we left beneath the trees to keep cool. We had to wear long sleeves and wide-brimmed hats to shield ourselves from the brutal, southern sun. Any exposed skin could mean a second- or third-degree burn. It was serious business.

What about you? Did you ever work outside in the summer? Or lived without air conditioning?

At home, our family of five shared a single bathroom. I was the only girl, so sometimes having time to myself was difficult. I could commiserate with Amy when she had to wait in line for a chance at a bath, and then the water was no longer hot.

Although, I think she should have been glad to have a bathroom. Grandma’s farm had no indoor plumbing. We had to tote buckets of water in from the well. The “bathroom” was an outhouse in the yard. A bath was taken in a large, galvanized tub on a Saturday night, so everyone would be clean for Sunday. These days, I wouldn’t really call that clean, since I was seldom first in line for the shared bath water. Yuck!

I survived, and so did Amy, though more hardships awaited her down the road. Sometimes, life hits a rough spot and it seems like it will never let up. But, then it does, and all those troubles end up in the rear view mirror, rolling farther and farther into the past. That’s when you’re thankful for the grace of God that got you through.

I was reminiscing with my mom the other day about our trips to the beach when we lived in San Diego, California. I remembered watching with great anticipation, sometimes stretching over the back of the front seat, trying to catch that first glimpse of dark, blue water. And then we topped a hill, or rounded a curve, and there it was—in all of its glory—the great Pacific Ocean.

The sight sent shivers down my spine. There’s a scene like that in Rebecca’s Legacy, when Amy catches a glimpse of sea. She begs to stop so she can get out and feast her eyes on the view, smell the salt air, and listen to the roar of the waves.

Rebecca’s Legacy happens one summer. So, many of my beloved summer memories made their way into the story. I am so excited to share it with you.

We have grand plans for the release of Rebecca’s Legacy, and the festivities will begin very soon. I hope you’ll join me in welcoming my latest story to the world.


What will it take to teach a spoiled heiress that the greatest legacy is love?

Nancy and Robert Emerson’s daughter Amy Juliana is doing her best to follow in Mom’s rebellious footsteps.

Her desperate attempt to escape Dad’s control comes at the worst possible time. A threat against their family and Sanderson Industries has Robert Emerson taking extra steps to guarantee his family’s safety. He sends Amy, an heiress and a debutante, to the country to work on a produce farm run by Aunt Rebecca. Humiliated and angry, Amy contemplates a path that will lead her even farther from home, away from Dad’s protection.

Will Aunt Rebecca’s quiet strength and unconditional love be enough to still the prodigal daughter’s rebellious ways, and open her heart to the plight of others around her?

Matt Wordsworth is the man Robert calls upon to help keep his daughter in line. She thinks the guy is an old fuddy-duddy. By the time her ideas about him begin to change, it may be too late. When an old friend tests her loyalty, she is forced to face her past to overcome a guilty conscience. But, is she playing into the hands of the enemy?

Release date: August 7, 2018

Hello from the Writers Conference

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday morning friends!  This is a big day for me. I serve as treasurer on the board of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference (KCWC). All year long, we pray and plan. Today, it begins!

Welcome to Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Elizabethtown is situated sort of in the middle of Kentucky. It’s a major hub, with several parkways and I-65 running through it, which makes it highly accessible. And, it’s a lovely small town with a big heart and friendly residents; a great place to visit. Some of you parents out there may have spent time in the town’s sports park with your baseball and/or soccer players.

KCWC is welcoming a stellar crew of writers, publishers, editors, and agents. From keynote speaker, H. Michael Brewer, to the well-known and loved blogger, marketing-media expert and writer, Edie Melson. Gregg & Hallee Bridgeman, Michele Chynoweth, Tracy Crump, Harriet Michael, and Carlton Hughes. Yes, I am name-dropping! As well, we have a healthy list of others here.

There’s still time, if you’re close enough to make the trip. Come for a day–either Friday or Saturday, or sign in on Friday and return on Saturday to take full advantage of the conference. We offer reasonable prices and wonderful meals, but most of all, great fellowship hobnobbing with other writers.

One of the greatest things about a “small” conference is accessibility. We, as individual writers, have time and opportunity to meet successful, published writers and entrepreneurs. We can enjoy a meal with them, talk to them at their book table, or while seated next to them (hopefully not talking during the keynote). They will inspire you to keep hitting those keys and writing those stories. They’ll impart knowledge and help writers learn how to perfect their work and sell stories.

Then, you can sit down with one of our agents or publishers and find out if you have what it takes to make a success out of writing.

I’ve made some wonderful friends over the years, attending this conference. That’s really what it’s all about. Networking and friendships will help build your confidence as an inspirational writer.

So, here I am, in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, ready to go and make new friends. I hope we’ve set the scene for a wonderful, inspirational time of learning and fun.

Speaking of fun, I’m teaching a class! I didn’t mean to, hadn’t planned on it, but a last-minute cancellation left a session without an instructor. This lady was kind enough to offer her materials, so I’m all set. And it just happens to be one of my favorite subjects. Humorous writing. “Make Me Laugh and Forget I’m Reading”.

I’ll write a followup article next week and let you know how it went. In the meantime, I hope to see some of you there!

The Story Between

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, it’s Thursday morning, and I’m contemplating the story between.

Sometimes authors have “backstory” — the part of the story that only the author knows. It seldom makes it into print. A good writer will incorporate backstory into their work so the reader knows important things about the characters.

There’s a story between Carlotta’s Legacy and Rebecca’s Legacy. It’s important because it tells the reader who Rebecca is, what she’s overcome, and why she’s now living on a farm in a remote region of Virginia.

Amelia’s Legacy ended in 1929, on the eve of the stock market crash. Carlotta’s Legacy takes up the story after the crash, when the world has begun to change for my characters. I show the tragic aftermath that sends Rebecca to another country where she will try to pick up the pieces of her broken life.

Carlotta’s Legacy ends as the world begins to change again. World War II is on the horizon. Rebecca’s husband, Ricci, is called back to active duty to serve a leader and a regime he doesn’t respect. Ricci and Rebecca have recently welcomed a son, Dominic.

Rebecca is comforted by her good friend, a servant in her household. Eva (pronounced A-va) Campi’s son, Alessio, is a few months older than Dominic Alvera. Eva’s husband is serving in Africa.

As an American in Italy, Rebecca’s life becomes more complicated. Many of her liberties are stripped from her. She suffers under the hateful glances of her neighbors. She eventually keeps to herself within the confines of their estate at Tres Viti Verde.

When her good friends, Nancy and Robert Emerson, beg her to return to America, Rebecca initially refuses. Then Eva’s husband is killed. Carlotta suffers a fatal heart attack. Ricci is reported missing, and may be dead. Rebecca decides to accept Robert’s offer. But is it too late?

With their sons, Dominic and Alessio, Rebecca Lewis Alvera and Eva Campi move to Perry’s Landing. Rebecca spearheads a farming initiative, hoping to provide produce to area citizens devastated by the war.  Robert asks the women to take in several Italian war orphans from respected families of his acquaintance.

The women’s farming business prospers, even though some of the neighbors mistrust them, and talk about them behind their backs. After all, Italy sided with Germany. Italy is the enemy, and these women have come from … Italy.

The women pay no attention. They work hard and find ways to serve the community. Through the local Catholic church, they give their extra produce to the poor.

Gradually, the neighbors note the good works these two women are doing. Their constant love and forgiving natures in the face of hatred and bigotry begins to melt the hearts of their fellow citizens.

As Rebecca’s Legacy begins, we have progressed to 1947. The war has ended, and our young heroine is around the same age her mother was at the beginning of Amelia’s Legacy.

Rebecca’s Legacy releases August 7, 2018.

Click to Tweet: Sometimes authors have “backstory” — the part of the story that only the author knows. In the Legacy series by Betty Thomason Owens, there’s a story between.