A Far Way to Run

A Far Way to Run

Years ago, my cousin’s son lived in Calcutta ministering to prostitutes through an organization called Word Made Flesh. I was deeply moved by their work. I wrote him an email:  “I admire what you’re doing in building relationships with the girls in the red light district there. That takes a special kind of courage....

Ezekiel’s Song

Ezekiel’s Song

In the southern kingdom of Judah, around 597 BC, famine overtakes as Babylonian troops close in at the borders with raids and threats from King Nebuchadnezzar—mirroring Assyria’s invasion of Israel centuries earlier. Now it appears to be Judah’s turn. Ezekiel had been warning them all along to repent of their evil ways,...

A Love Restored

A Love Restored

We can hardly turn around without seeing thin, shapely women on our TV screens, computers, or billboards. We’re bombarded with body shaming or the best diets for weight loss. Fortunately, a newer trend emphasizes body acceptance, regardless of size or shape. But that was long in coming.  Author Kelly Goshorn puts a new...

Revelation

Revelation

My childhood daydreams of castles and princesses led me not only to Grimm, Lang, Perrault, and Anderson fairy tales, but to novel-length YA tales. Even as an adult, I’ve enjoyed the fantasy worlds of Just Ella (Margaret Peterson Haddix) and Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine). Both expand on the story of Cinderella in...

Salvation

Salvation

Like many young girls do, author Olivia Rae claims she “spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms.” Nowadays, she writes about them. Visiting European castles and forts in her travels provided additional inspiration, resulting in two series: The Sword and the Cross Chronicles, and Secrets...

Counterfeit Love

Counterfeit Love

Is choosing career over family—or a potential spouse—sometimes the better choice?  If your spouse is number one, what else are you sacrificing? Are you giving up the very thing that serves the community and provides the better good for all?  What if you’re on a dangerous career path that puts away criminals?...

A Murder of Crows

A Murder of Crows

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Alfred Hitchcock’s horror movie The Birds (1963). In the early 1970s, I was just a kid when it played on TV one night. The din of thousands of squawking birds on the wing grew as they approached, hovered, darkened the sky, then attacked and killed their human victims. It creeped me...

Mulberry Hollow

Mulberry Hollow

I’ve only been on the Appalachian Trail once, and that was decades ago. As I briefly mentioned earlier (All That We Carried), my hubby Tim and I took a few of his male high school students down south for a camping trip.  Part of that involved camping in Virginia along the trail. Before we even reached our campsite,...

The Moonlight School

The Moonlight School

A former student of mine, originally a British immigrant, credits me for teaching him how to read in fifth grade. Prior to that, he struggled with reading. Years later, the day he became an American citizen, he called to tell me personally, and thanked me for teaching him to read.  His phone call and heartfelt thanks...

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

Ice cream—don’t get me started. It’s everything from the week’s highlight to an addiction. My obsession began at age three. I’ll blame my parents for introducing me to Battle Creek’s best kept secret: a local brand and family-run store, Henry’s Ice Cream. You might say I was born with a silver ice cream scoop in my hand....

The Red Door Inn

The Red Door Inn

What attracts you to a particular novel? Are you ever drawn in primarily by the setting? I certainly am. Such was the case with Liz Johnson’s The Red Door Inn, set in North Rustico, Prince Edward Island. For our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary years ago, Tim and I went to Nova Scotia and PEI. Of course we did the...

The Orchard House

The Orchard House

There’s no doubting the power of stories, whether fact, fiction, or a blend. There’s also no doubting the power of words—to heal, soothe, save, bind, bond, or destroy. All of that surfaces in Heidi Chiavaroli's The Orchard House, a novel rooted in the home and life of Louisa May Alcott. When words don’t come to a writer,...

Why They Call It Falling

Why They Call It Falling

Perceptions of mental illness have included demonic influences, witchcraft, genetics, and bad parenting. In earlier centuries, degrading practices were the norm for those who suffered.  From the 1700s to the 1900s, even mental health hospitals proved barbaric. They functioned as a means to further punish and isolate...

When Dignity Came to Harlan

When Dignity Came to Harlan

Unlike certain other twigs in my family, I’ve always gravitated to family trees, their roots, and stories of ancestors. I wish I’d heard more family tales growing up. It wasn’t till years later that I missed what I never had. So I had to start digging on my own and asking for stories. I became the family scribe. So over...

The Girl Who Could Breathe  Underwater

The Girl Who Could Breathe  Underwater

As an author, here’s my “Top 4” list of worst fears—possibly every author’s worst fears: Realizing you accidentally plagiarized and the whole world knows it. Goodbye, career. Discovering another author wrote and published your story idea before you did, even though you’ve been working on it for years. Goodbye,...

Where Grace Appears

Where Grace Appears

Like millions of other readers, the first time I read Little Women, I fell in love—with everybody. Marmee, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. And of course Theodore Laurence, AKA Laurie (even though we shared the same name; I was Laurie back then). That was 8th grade. However, before I actually read the book, I chose it for an oral...

Hosea’s Heart

Hosea’s Heart

One of my favorite allegories is John Bunyan's The Pilgrim’s Progress, a picture of the Christian’s spiritual journey. (With a protagonist named Christian, too!) At the surface, it’s an adventure tale, but made more meaningful when we grasp the symbolism.  Another favorite is George Orwell’s Animal Farm, mirroring...

Roots of Wood and Stone

Roots of Wood and Stone

Houses have a magical quality, especially if you grew up there. Or your parents or grandparents lived there. Always interested in genealogy, I’ve trekked around southeast Michigan looking up my parents’ and other ancestors’ homes in Stevensville, Sparta, Ionia, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids. My pulse increases as I hone in...

All That We Carried

All That We Carried

Whenever I go camping, Murphy’s Law goes into effect. Immediately. For example: My first camping trip was in high school at Minnesota’s Boundary Waters with diehard campers, canoeing and traversing portages. It rained 3 solid days in a row—the novelty got me through.Years later in Wisconsin, our tents leaked at night. My...

A Promise for Faith

A Promise for Faith

Several years ago, I took a summer road trip with three of my kids to visit my oldest daughter in Tennessee. On the way, we watched a show in Pigeon Forge, spotted bears while meandering through the Smoky Mountains, and took a rafting trip on the Ocoee River. What a blast!  After hours on the river, we drove to...

Coming soon: A Hundred Magical Reasons, a novel

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