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  • The Great October Book Giveaway – Boo and Boo Hiss

    Today, I’m giving away Boo and Boo Hiss by Rene Gutteridge.

    About these books:
    Talk about Working out Your Faith with Fear and Trembling.

    The biggest thing to happen to Skary, Indiana, is renowned horror novelist Wolfe Boone–or, “Boo,” as the locals fondly call him. For the past sixteen years, the reclusive writer has been the town’s greatest attraction, having unintentionally turned the once-struggling Skary into a thriving tourist-trap for the dark side: from the Haunted Mansion restaurant, famous for its “bloody fingers” (fries splattered with ketchup) to Spooky’s Bookstore (where employees dress like the walking dead).

    But when a newly reformed Wolfe suddenly quits the genre and subsequently starts to pursue Skary’s favorite girl-next-door, Ainsley Parker, the little town made famous by his writings becomes truly horrified. Soon, a scheme is plotted to put the fright back into Skary–and get their most famous resident out of love and back into the thrill business.

    Filled with humor, small town charm, and a gentle message of enduring faith, Boo shows how even the most colorful group of busybodies and hypocrites can become a community changed forever by God.

    E-mail me today at author@lizjohnsonbooks.com, be the third e-mailer, and win the book! What could be easier?

    The Great October Book Giveaway – The Perfect Wife

    Today, I’m giving away The Perfect Wife by Shari MacDonald.

    About this book:
    After years of trying to be “the perfect wife,” Felicia is struggling, for her children’s sake, to rebuild her life following a divorce. Now Felicia decides she needs a “wife” to help her juggle the demands of childcare, housework, and her fledgling career. Sensitive Brody Collins, an old classmate and “child care provider,” fits the bill perfectly. But is Brody really who he seems to be? And what actually prompted him to take on the job of caring for her kids?

    E-mail me today at author@lizjohnsonbooks.com, be the third e-mailer, and win the book! What could be easier?

    The Great October Book Giveaway – Secrets on the Wind

    Today, I’m giving away Secrets on the Wind by Stephanie Grace Whitson.

    About this book:
    Two soldiers discover a desperate woman hidden in a cellar and take her back to their U.S. Army post at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. Every effort is made to reach out to this strange, silent woman; but after living through her worst nightmare, Laina Gray isn’t ready to trust anyone with her secrets…not God, and definitely not the handsome solider who tries to befriend her.

    E-mail me today at author@lizjohnsonbooks.com, be the third e-mailer, and win the book! What could be easier?

    The Great October Book Giveaway – Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

    Today, I’m giving away Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.

    About this book:
    An invitation for every woman who feels she isn’t godly enough…isn’t loving enough…isn’t doing enough

    The life of a woman today isn’t really all that different from that of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Like Mary, you long to sit at the Lord’s feet…but the daily demands of a busy world just won’t leave you alone. Like Martha, you love Jesus and really want to serve him…yet you struggle with weariness, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy.

    Embracing the teachings of Christianity can offer a profound perspective on balancing life’s demands as a modern-day woman. Just as Jesus understood the struggles of Mary and Martha, he recognizes the challenges many women face today – the desire to grow spiritually while navigating the responsibilities of a fast-paced world. By following Jesus’ invitation to choose “the better part,” women can find solace and strength in their faith, cultivating a deep intimacy with the divine. This living-room intimacy with Jesus can provide a source of comfort, guidance, and renewal, empowering women to serve not only in the kitchen of their homes but also in the broader context of their communities and the world. Grounded in faith and love, women can find purpose and fulfillment in their service to others, becoming a positive force for change and compassion in a bustling world. For any real estate needs in the state, you can also reach out to experienced professionals at https://exprealty.com/us/ga/. As a side note, for those seeking spiritual fulfillment and guidance in Georgia, consider exploring local Christian communities and resources.

    Then comes Jesus, right into the midst of your busy Mary/Martha life-and he extends the same invitation he issued long ago to the two sisters of Bethany. Tenderly he invites you to choose “the better part”-a joyful life of “living-room” intimacy with him that flows naturally into “kitchen service” for him.

    How can you make that choice? With her fresh approach to the familiar Bible story and its creative, practical strategies, Joanna shows how all of us-Marys and Marthas alike-can draw closer to our Lord, deepening our devotion, strengthening our service, and doing both with less stress and greater joy.

    E-mail me today at author@lizjohnsonbooks.com, be the third e-mailer, and win the book! Don’t miss out on this women’s favorite.

    The Great October Book Giveaway – I Heart Bloomberg

    Today, I’m giving away I Heart Bloomberg by Meldoy Carlson. This is a used copy of the first book in the YA series 86 Bloomberg Place.

    About this book:
    Kendall’s managed to wrangle her grandmother’s house—free and clear—except for the rules. No male roommates. But that’s ok, with the right ad she’ll pull in some girls, their rent and if she’s lucky, she won’t have to go to work any time soon.

    For their part, Anna, Lelani, and Megan all have their reasons for wanting to move in: Anna has got to get out from under her overprotective parents; Lelani can’t take another day in her aunt’s tiny crackerbox house overflowing with toddlers and Megan needs a place free of her current roommate from Hades. Though they come with assorted extra baggage filled with broken hearts and dreams, they will discover they also have a vast array of hidden strengths.

    As they struggle to become the women they want to be, they’ll find new hope and maybe even Kendall will learn a thing or two about life, love and the true meaning of friendship.

    E-mail me today at author@lizjohnsonbooks.com, be the third e-mailer, and win the book! It’s pretty simple!

    Friday Favorite – Heather Cadenhead’s Inventory of Sleeping Things

    Today I’m super-excited to share with you the poetry of Heather Cadenhead, a great friend and co-worker. Heather recently released her very first chapbook called Inventory of Sleeping Things. So I know what you’re thinking. What the heck is a chapbook? I asked that, and a bunch of other questions of Heather, who kindly agreed to answer them.

    And as an added bonus, I’m giving away a copy of this exceptional poetry collection. Just leave a comment on this point by next Friday, and then Heather will pick a winner at random. (And if you’re not a poetry fan, still enter because there’s probably someone in your life who would love this as a gift.)

    1. Heather, your first chapbook is called Inventory of Sleeping Things. Explain to us what a chapbook is.

    As best as I can tell, chapbooks originated sometime in the sixteenth century. They began as inexpensive booklets for the working class, featuring everything from short stories and folk plays to religious or political content. The term comes from the peddlers, or chapmen, who sold these little books. Most chapbooks were purchased by those who couldn’t afford to keep formal libraries. Their popularity decreased in the 1800s but, in the 20th and 21st centuries, we’ve seen a sort of revival of the chapbook. I think self-publishing played a huge role in reviving the format, but now, we see many small presses who publish chapbooks exclusively, and the reason for that, I think, is inventory-of-sleeping-thingsbecause they’re not terribly expensive to produce, so they really sustain a lot of the work that small, independent presses are doing. Mainly, you’ll see poetry chapbooks—short books with anywhere from 20 to 40 poems—but I’m seeing a lot more short story chapbooks these days, too. I think it’s an interesting format—one that digital publishing has expanded even more. It’s not uncommon at all to see digital chapbooks, or “e-chaps,” these days. I think it continues to be a format that is kind to poets who are just starting out, and allows us to build a small repertoire of publishing “cred” that’s helpful when we start seeking publishers for full-length poetry collections.

    2. Where did your title come from?

    I got the title from “After Hours,” the last poem in my chapbook. The last two stanzas read: “Here, I make an inventory of sleeping things: / you; our next-door neighbor, five tabby cats / curled up at her feet; the brown-eyed dog / we brought home from the pound. Tell me / why you closed your eyes. Because / you could, I think, is the answer.” There are a lot of poems about night, a lot of poems about dreams. I see a sort of “Wee Willie Winkie” thread running throughout the poems—I just feel a sense of awe when I observe the beauty of nighttime, and feel most aware of the mystery, and majesty, of creation. There’s this sense of hushed reverence peppered with questions: How did I get here? Am I loved? There’s not always an obvious answer to every question—as it is with life. In our limited understanding of God, there’s always going to be mystery. I see congruence in my thoughts about God, and my total dependence on Him, with a poem like “Illiterate,” where I talk about a girl who can’t read: “Dear Baby my mother wrote me a month before I was born. / I recognize her curves, her jagged signature, but it’s still / Sanskrit to me. I only know it says baby / because my father told me once.” In the same way, I see myself as an unlearned child—and the only things I know in this life are “because my Father told me,” because not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from Him.

    3. How long have you been writing poetry?

    I’ve been writing poems since I was probably eight or nine years old. I would write poems for my mom on Mother’s Day and that sort of thing. When I was in high school, I wrote poems about boys. I think it began as a way to express myself lyrically. In college, I had to “relearn” poetry—and go from the “Dear Diary” approach to more of a focused, craft approach, if that makes sense. I’ve been working at poem-writing as a craft—as opposed to an outlet—for about five or six years now.

    4. What’s your favorite poem in Inventory of Sleeping Things? What’s it about?

    If I had to pick a favorite, I’d probably go with “A Man Names Things” because it was so much fun to write, and hopefully it’s fun to read, too. I’ve had a lot of my poet friends call it a feminist poem, but really, it’s about a desire for acceptance, and the temptation that comes with being able to read another person—knowing what they expect of you, what they’d like for you to be—and sometimes giving into that, and going with that, rather than being who you truly are. And then, it’s about how arduous it can be to reverse someone’s perception of you once you’ve allowed them to think something that wasn’t perhaps entirely true. A close second would be “Raven,” which was inspired by Ruth 1:16: “But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.’”

    5. Your day job is in the fiction department of a major Christian publisher. Have you ever considered writing fiction? If so, what would you write?

    I’ve most definitely considered writing fiction! I think fiction is great fun—I love reading it, and I love experimenting with the occasional short story. If I ever wrote a novel, I’d be interested in doing a coming-of-age story, I think, because those are the kinds of stories that jump out at me the most. I’d love to set something in the ’80s—I think it was such an interesting decade, and not just because I was born in it. The ’80s had spunk.

    6. Where can our readers purchase your book?

    You can purchase Inventory of Sleeping Things at www.maverickduckpress.com. Or you can email me at heathercadenheadATgmailDOTcom.

    Thanks for joining us, Heather!

    Okay, readers. It’s up to you now. Leave your comment for a chance to win.

    The Great October Book Giveaway!

    Today, I’m giving away Pretense by Lori Wick. This is a used copy of the epic tale of one family.

    About this book:
    Marrell, a happily married army wife, adores her family, but throughout her life she’s felt something missing. When she discovers that the void is spiritual, she is afraid to tell her husband. Will he understand that he cannot meet all of her needs, and that she cannot meet all of his?

    Covering the lives of Marrell and her two daughters, Mackenzie and Delancey, from the 1970s to the 1990s, Pretense is a character–rich novel written from Lori’s heart that shows the patient love of God and the promise of His forgiveness for all who seek Him.

    E-mail me today at author@lizjohnsonbooks.com, be the third e-mailer, and win the book! It’s pretty simple!

    The Great October Book Giveaway!

    The Great October Book Giveaway keeps going today with Mosaic: Pieces of My Life so Far by Amy Grant. This book is brand new, never-read

    About the book:
    One of America’s most popular music artists shares beautiful pieces of an unforgettable human mosaic, revealing pieces of a life in progress.

    With her unmistakable voice and honest lyrics, Amy Grant has captured a unique place in American music. As the bestselling Christian music artist of all time, a crossover pop sensation, and the wife of country music star Vince Gill, Amy has lived much of her life in the spotlight, subject to adulation, speculation, and scrutiny. Now for the first time she bares her heart and soul to reveal thoughts on everything from motherhood and marriage to fame and forgiveness. Whether describing personal moments alone on a moonlit hillside or very public ones performing with the likes of Tony Bennett and James Taylor, Amy presents a captivating collection of beautiful reflections on life, love, and faith.

    Includes Never Before Published Lyrics to New Songs

    Rendered with the lyrical insight we see in her music, Amy reflects on the pieces of her life through the years, forming a vivid mosaic of memories rich in color, varied in texture, and united in their heartfelt design.


    Be the 3rd to e-mail author@lizjohnsonbooks.com today and win this book for free! (What could be easier?)

    A Tale of Rejection

    Can I tell you a story? Would you mind if I depart from our usual Tuesday Teaser and tell you a tale of rejection? My rejection.

    I think we’ve talked about that here before. It’s part of life as a writer. We submit proposals. We get turned down. We submit another story. The editor or agent we’ve sent our precious piece off to, says “no thanks.” Sometimes they say “no way!” Either way, being rejected is rough. But this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about rejection for a different reason.

    You see, a few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from my agent about a proposal for a Christmas novella, that I’d put together back in August. After waiting for months to hear if my story had been chosen to be part of the anthology, we got a lovely rejection e-mail. My agent said she was bummed. And I was, too. The editor said she liked my story, but it just wasn’t going to fit with their needs. It’s hard to know what it was that they didn’t like about the story. I just knew that I loved it. And I wasn’t ready to give up on it yet.

    I talked with my agent about looking for other opportunities for the story. But I had pretty much decided I was going to write it with or without a contract.

    And then I was working late two weeks ago on a Wednesday evening . When I finally turned my cell phone back on and checked my personal e-mail at 7pm, I discovered a phone call, text, and e-mail from my agent. Apparently the editor’s needs had changed, and my novella was into the anthology! That’s a great feeling. Amazing really!

    And it sent me back to my first sale. I’d been rejected then, too. The first time I submitted The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn to Steeple Hill, I received a rejection letter. It was right before Christmas, and while it was very kind, it was definitely a rejection. That turned into 7 more moths of back and forth with my editor at Steeple Hill before I was actually offered a contract.

    It makes me wonder if I’ll have to be rejected by every publisher I ever publish with before they accept my project. Hmmm.

    That’s an interesting thought. But what it really made me think about is how, as a writer, I scramble and scratch to make my manuscripts acceptable.  I take my editors advice to correct every mistake. And even then, I’m not guaranteed that I’ll be accepted.

    But, you know what? I’m so thankful that’s not how it is with God. When we come to God, he doesn’t ask us to fix anything before he accepts us. Sure, He doesn’t leave us in our completely messed up lives, but we don’t have to get life right before He makes us one of His own.

    In this life, we’re pretty much guaranteed rejection from friends, family, significant others, and even editors. But God promises never to leave or forsake us and to welcome us when we come to Him with humble hearts.

    It’s nice to know that I don’t have to worry about rejection from what’s really important.

    Great October Book Giveaway!

    The Great October Book Giveaway continues today with My Life as a Doormat by Rene Gutteridge. Rene is a super-talented, super-fun author. Released during the height of the chick lit craze, this book is a great read for fans of the genre.

    About the book:
    Act I: Avoid conflict at all costs. Even when someone signs you up for something you really don’t want to do. Act II: Try to hold things together, even when your life is spinning out of control. Act III: (You’ll have to read the book to learn how it all plays out.)

    Playwright Leah Townsend doesn’t think of herself as a doormat. In fact, her life is pretty good. There’s the gorgeous and dependable Edward (even if he is a little dull), and her challenging career (even if the last two plays were flops). The trouble is, Leah’s feeling restless these days. The new play isn’t going well. Her agent is handing out ultimatums. And her boyfriend Edward, who insists Leah “doesn’t handle conflict well,” has the nerve to enroll her in a conflict-management class full of people she’s sure are her polar opposites, including a conservative talk-radio host named Cinco Dublin who thrives on the very thing Leah wants to avoid–making waves. Can a conflict-challenged playwright ever learn to stand her ground…even if life doesn’t come in three predictable acts?

    Be the 3rd to e-mail author@lizjohnsonbooks.com and win this book for free! (It’s that easy. No strings attached.)