Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Indiana Author Rick Barry

Welcome to the Book Loft, Rick! Is there a story behind your book, The Methuselah Project?

This novel is the intersection of several interests of mine. My father became a pilot as a teenager, so we always had a single engine airplane in our family. World War 2 has fascinated me since I saw the movie The Great Escape in 7th grade. I also enjoy a romantic twist in a story, so that was a third thread of interest. I tied those three together with the question “What if…?” That’s how The Methuselah Project was born.

What started you on your writing journey?

In part, it began with a childhood full of reading books, which laid a literary foundation. More specifically, my own writing journey began in my sophomore year of college. During Spring Break, I noticed an ad for a writing contest in a magazine. I decided to submit an article. I didn’t win, but the editor sent me a check and published my piece as an Honorable Mention. That was my first clue that I just might be able to write for publication.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?

Camp ministry. Every summer I travel to Eastern Europe to assist churches in children’s camps and teen camps. The countries I visit are Ukraine, Russia, and once to Belarus. These are fantastic ministries, and even though I have taken my laptop with me, I simply can’t be creative in camp. The days are long, the kids are great, and by bedtime there’s no energy. Second, I would confess Facebook. I simply can’t have it open in the background, or each new post will snare my attention.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Actually my tastes are eclectic. I swing back and forth from educational reading to reading for entertainment. Here are some recent books in the first category: On Writing Well by William Zinsser, Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas, The Screenwriter’s Bible by David Trottier, When Helping Hurts by Corbett & Fikkert. My entertainment reading has included Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, the novels of Angela Hunt  and Alton Gansky, John Grisham’s legal thrillers, and various true accounts by people who experienced World War II in various ways and places.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?

Without a doubt, the star of the book, Captain Roger Greene. All his life, Roger never knew exactly where he came from. He knew he’d grown up in an orphanage, and he’d always felt he was born to fly, but could never find answers about his past. Women find him attractive, yet he’s not aware of that. He has three main goals in life: to fly fast airplanes, to serve his country, and to find the perfect woman to love. Yet, those goals get ripped away—seemingly forever—when his captors decide to use him as a guinea pig in a classified experiment.

If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?

Leonardo da Vinci. He’s an intriguing man who, in many ways, was ahead of his time. Study him, and you’ll find not merely the artist behind “The Last Supper” and “Mona Lisa.” He was mathematician, inventor and scientist too.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

To date, I have applied for the SURVIVOR reality show 30 times. CBS might never accept me, but they can’t say I’m not persistent! Not only would I love the adventure of competing in a remote location, but I have some favorite charities that could use the prize money.

What is your favorite season of the year? 

Summer. I jokingly say I’m solar-powered, and summer brings the most sunlight per day. If it’s 85° outside and sunny, that is highly motivating. I’m a runner, and that kind of weather fires me up!

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  

In various ways the theme of trusting in God has emerged from my writing, even when I don’t specifically point it out. The hero of Gunner’s Run has to learn to trust God as he tries to stay one step ahead of pursuing Nazi soldiers across Europe. Roger Greene learns a similar truth in The Methuselah Project, although the plots are totally different.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?

For me, that’s not a place so much as a time. It’s not unusual for me to rise at 4:30 or 5:00 am to start some coffee and spend time in the Word of God and prayer. At that early hour, no one telephones or sends me text messages. It’s peaceful, and I cherish that private time.

Could you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you?  
A favorite verse I keep going back to is what Jesus says in Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness….” People seek all sorts of things—education, money, fame, a good job, a spouse, etc. But when you seek God first, everything else in life tends to fall into place.

How about hobbies? Do you have any?
Probably my main hobby would be “The War Room.” This is a guest room in our home. Because I like to write about the WW 2 years, I’ve decorated this room with 1940s furniture and memorabilia from those years. I keep my eyes open for antiques.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?


Although The Methuselah Project concludes with a satisfying, heart-warming ending, the story intentionally leaves a number of threads hanging. Readers will naturally want to know what happens next to Roger. That sequel is in the works.

Thanks for sharing!
Connect with Rick Barry at:




Rick Barry is giving away a copy of The Methuselah Project. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.



Monday, September 28, 2015

The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry

During World War II, German scientists started many experiments. One never ended.

Shot down over Nazi Germany in 1943, Roger Greene becomes both a prisoner and an unwilling guinea pig in a bizarre experiment. Seventy years later, Roger still appears as youthful as the day he crash-landed—and he’s still a prisoner. Nearly insane from his long captivity, Roger finds his only hope in an old Bible.

Not until our present time does Roger finally escape from the secret society running the Methuselah Project. When he does, the modern world has become a fast-paced, perplexing place. His only option is to accept the help of Katherine Mueller—crack shot, go-getter, and attractive to boot. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? And can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he’s trying to flee?

The Methuselah Project presents a fascinating premise that is simultaneously historical and futuristic, a story that could have happened and may be happening still.” 

—Bob Hostetler, author of The Bone Box

Excerpt

Sitting in his cockpit, Captain Roger Greene scanned the heavens. He searched left to right, overhead, below, and behind. No sign of enemy aircraft. Just formation after formation of B-17s droning along below, plus his own umbrella of Thunderbolts providing escort cover.
Come on, you cowards. Come and defend your precious Fatherland. I dare you.
He glanced into the sun, then jerked his eyes from the blinding glare. When searching for enemy planes, he preferred his naked eyes, but his eyesight would surely suffer if he kept doing that. He probed the pocket of his flight jacket for his green aviators. Instead of sunglasses, his gloved thumb and forefinger fished up a ten-dollar bill.
Ten bucks? How the . . .
Then he noticed the message printed along the edge in blue ink: To my good buddy, Roger Greene. On loan until I bag the next German fighter! Walt.
Roger laughed and glanced to his right, where Walt Crippen piloted his own Thunderbolt in the wingman position. Walt, too, was performing visual sweeps.
Good old Walt. He’d have to do some fancy flying if he hoped to score another kill before Roger. He found his sunglasses, then slid the ten-spot back into the pocket.
A movement below snagged his attention. The forward element of bombers altered direction, banking to the right. Behind them, the others followed the lead planes. The Initial Point already? So far, this mission was a milk run.
One after the other, he and Walt and the rest of the squadron banked their fighters to starboard, maintaining position over the four-engine bombers plodding below.
Roger pitied the poor slobs manning the B-17s. Yeah, somebody had to fly them, but . . . With his gloved hand, he patted the instrument panel and spoke to his fighter. “You’re more my style, baby. You take care of me, and I’ll take good care of you.”
Another peek into the sun. Nothing. How long could the blue yonder remain serene?
As if on cue, Colonel Chesley Peterson’s voice crackled over the radio. “Say, boys, looks like the Huns have decided to come and play. Eleven o’clock level!”
Personal thoughts vanished. Roger cocked his head slightly left. Now he saw the same thing the group commander had spotted: black pinpoints approaching. Within seconds they became unmistakable—roughly fifty bandits.
Roger’s pulse quickened. This was his element: fighter against fighter, pilot against pilot, his aviation skills pitted against the very best Nazi Germany could throw at him. Never did Roger feel more alive than in a cockpit. The risk of instant death only heightened the surge of adrenaline. At moments like this, he flew instinctively, as if the controls extended his own being. The thrill defied description. He’d given up trying to explain it to the British ground pounders in the pubs of North Essex.
Following Colonel Peterson’s example, Roger banked to intercept the incoming horde head-on. The black specks he’d barely detected seconds ago rapidly swelled into distinct shapes with wings and red noses. Focke-Wulf 190s. Harder to shoot down than Messerschmitts, but they’d still go down.
Another fleeting glance to the right and slightly backward revealed Walt sticking where he should be, ready to keep enemies off Roger’s tail.
His gloved finger flicked the guns’ arming switch. He squinted toward the onrushing planes. “I was born to fly. Were you guys?”
Whenever possible, Roger liked to hit the enemy from the high ground, diving out of the sun and pouncing on the Germans before they knew what hit them. The “zoom and boom.” But at nineteen thousand pounds, a fully loaded P-47 Thunderbolt would never win awards for climbing. A Thunderbolt’s redeeming quality was that its massive weight and eight .50-caliber machine guns made it a highly destructive force, especially in a dive. No zoom and boom today, though. The Huns are swarming in from the same altitude.
Like medieval knights on horseback charging each other with lances lowered, American and Luftwaffe fighters closed the gap at a combined air speed near eight hundred miles per hour. Roger focused on the FW 190 directly before him. To its right was another that should give Walt a clean shot. With both sides roaring head-on, split-second timing became critical.
Wait . . . Wait . . . Now.
No sooner had Roger depressed the trigger than he saw flashes from the edge of his opponent’s wings. In the same instant he heard a series of rapid wham-wham-whams.
“I’m hit!” he blurted into his oxygen mask.
To his right, a puff of oil and smoke erupted from an enemy plane. It slumped and careened earthward.
“Blast!” Walt had just won back his ten bucks.
The blue sky became empty as the antagonists flashed past. Some of his rounds had scored, but his target had charged on, evidently intact. His Thunderbolt still operated normally, so Roger banked tightly to the left. No time to lose if he wanted to protect those B-17s. That was the bottom line: to keep the Flying Fortresses intact so they could demolish German industry.
Roger locked onto an FW 190 beginning its dive toward the Flying Fortresses.
“No you don’t, Adolf!” He rammed the stick forward and closed the gap. When the distance closed to eight hundred yards, he chopped the throttle to avoid overshooting. Seconds later, his tracers and .50-caliber rounds bored into the Focke-Wulf.
Roger matched move for move as the enemy plane broke away. Its pilot twisted sharply, first left, then right, trying to shake him. Roger expected the German’s next maneuver. It was one of the enemy’s favorites, but also the least effective—the Focke-Wulf nosed over and sped toward mother earth with all the speed it could muster.
Roger rammed his fighter into a dive. Nice try, but no cigar. No light Hun fighter could out-dive the weighty Thunderbolt.
“Stick like glue to the target until you polish him off,” the colonel had admonished more than once. “Many a Hun has been lost because he wasn’t followed down.”
I’m not losing this guy.
The enemy plane twisted every which way, desperate to stay clear of Roger’s sights. But as Roger continued to trigger the guns, his rounds penetrated the target. Dark smoke billowed from the Focke-Wulf.
Roger yanked back on the stick. Using his momentum, he clawed for altitude while dodging shrapnel. Immediately, remorse sickened his gut, as it did every time. Yes, he exulted in outflying another pilot. But the stark truth was that he’d just snuffed out a human being. That idiot Hitler . . . If not for him, these guys could be his friends, off flying air shows together instead of trying to blow each other to smithereens.
A swift look confirmed that Walt stuck tight, keeping Roger’s six o’clock position clear. As Roger and his partner reclaimed altitude, he saw that, far from leaving the battle behind, they were drawing nearer to the dogfight as Americans and Germans wove circles in efforts to gain the upper hand.
Jumping into the thick of it, Roger stitched rounds along a Focke-Wulf that raced past him.
In the distance he spotted a Messerschmitt 109 smoking and losing altitude, probably limping for home. Should he chase the injured enemy? It would add an easy seventeenth kill to his tally. But no. Forget him. Fight as a unit, not for glory. The injured plane posed no threat. He let it go. Other enemies still prowled for blood.
Roger spotted four more Me 109s ahead, almost cutting across his path, but slightly lower and not quite as fast, in a swept-back, line-abreast formation. Without looking down, he reached for the throttle, turbo, and prop levers in succession, yanking them all the way back to slow down. No good: he was still closing fast—way too fast.
He cut a sharp right turn, then swung around to come in behind the last Messerschmitt, the one in “tail-end Charlie” position.
He swore. Still closing too fast.
Maneuvering by instinct, Roger threw in several skids to avoid over­shooting, then barrel-rolled and popped into position right on his target’s tail. He narrowed the range to about 250 yards and centered the needle and ball of the bank indicator. The moment the pip of his sights aligned on the enemy, he squeezed off a long burst.
Chunks of Messerschmitt flew from the plane. The starboard wing separated, and the corpse of the aircraft crumpled earthward. The vic­tim’s three companions pulled for the sky, a maneuver Roger’s heavy Thunderbolt couldn’t duplicate.
He had just spared a foe’s life. By sighting on the wing root instead of dead center on the cockpit, he’d given his opponent a chance to bail out. Had he been a fool? Would that pilot return to pepper him with lead someday?
“Hoosier, Hoosier!” Walt Crippen broke over the radio. “You just hit the hornets’ nest. I got one on my tail. Two more on yours. Get out of here!”
Tracers flashed over Roger’s left shoulder. Any enemy fighter could out-bank a Thunderbolt from behind. He needed violent evasive action—now.
Roger slammed the stick into one corner and put the rudder in the other. The result proved so instantaneous Roger’s brain couldn’t picture exactly what his plane had done, but for a few seconds at least, the tracers vanished.
Inexplicably, Walt’s Beautiful Betsy roared through his path. How had he and his wingman ended up in these positions? Roger seized one thought: An enemy plane must be on Walt’s tail. Forget evasive action.
Roger responded before he saw his friend’s attacker. A barrage from his .50-caliber guns pierced the air. Then . . . there it was! The Me 109 hurtled straight through his stream of gunfire. The cockpit shattered. The plane tilted over and dropped from the sky.
“Gotcha!”
It was his luckiest shot ever. But now, two truths slammed home. The first was that his guns fell silent before he released the trigger switch. He was out of ammunition. Second, his own attackers were hot on his tail. Already he heard the staccato of jackhammers pummeling the Thunderbolt.
Roger jammed the stick forward, plunging earthward to outrace the two enemies. The altimeter registered only five thousand feet: not enough altitude for a speedy getaway. Worse, the P-47 responded sluggishly. Sure, he was born to fly, but even a top ace could be slaughtered if his aircraft didn’t perform. Rescuing Walt had come with a price tag.
“They’ve shot up my rudder. This can’t get any worse.”
As if to prove him wrong, the fighter’s engine began to cough. Steely claws of dread gripped Roger’s intestines and dug in. Nothing like this had ever happened to him. In past missions, he’d always been able to out­think and outmaneuver the enemy, but with the Thunderbolt’s damaged condition, he didn’t stand a chance of out-flying any experienced pilot.
His frustration erupted in a couple choice words.
Roger pulled back on the stick. If he must die, it wasn’t going to be from burrowing into the Third Reich. Slowly, far more lackadaisically than it should, the fighter managed to level out from the dive, but not before Roger’s prop was chopping though the tips of pine trees. The engine con­tinued coughing. More tracers flashed past. Roger heard deadly rounds stabbing into his plane. As he feared, the dive had been too short to shake his pursuers.
Sweating, Roger slipped his plane up, down, left, right, hoping against hope that the two aggressors would run out of ammo before they could deliver the death blow. If only that would happen, maybe they would forfeit the chase and head home.
The hardy Thunderbolt absorbed more abuse. Roger couldn’t believe he remained airborne. But the clock was ticking. He might have only seconds of life. Just one German bullet through his skull . . .
“Crip!” he shouted over the radio. “I’m out of ammo. Rudder shot to pieces. These guys are clobbering the snot out of me. I’m not coming back. Tell ’em I shot down at least two before they got me!”
Desperate, Roger coaxed his wounded aircraft into foolhardy maneu­vers. He ducked it under a bridge. He brought it up to treetop level. He barely avoided clipping the roof of a farmhouse . . . Still, the mongrels nipped at his tail with their bullets. At this low level, he couldn’t even bail out. At least they weren’t using their 30 mm cannons. Must’ve used ’em up.
Walt’s voice sounded over the radio. “Hoosier, where are you? I’ve lost you.”
“Don’t know. Just passed over a bridge. Railroad tracks. They’re . . .”
The fighter’s engine stopped wheezing and seized up. Whether the ene­mies had severed an oil line or what, he had no time to guess. Will power couldn’t keep this kite aloft. A Thunderbolt’s glide pattern was as efficient as a footlocker’s.
Roger flashed past a road, hurtled over a snow-covered field, and dropped like a cannonball. No time for landing gear. Hydraulics were probably shot up anyway.
“Nose up! Come on, baby, nose up! Up!”
Gloating in their success, the two Me 109s thundered overhead. Roger concentrated on the ground. The field was small, much shorter than a runway.
“God, help!”
The fighter smacked the earth with teeth-rattling force. It bounced off its belly, thudded down again, then skidded across the field horrifyingly fast—straight toward the tree line.
“Come on, come on . . .” Wrestling with stick and rudder, Roger fought for control. If only he could point the nose between two tree trunks instead of straight into one . . . The plane would no longer obey. Colliding with the ground must have finished whatever damage the Messerschmitts had wreaked.
Like the final scene from a nightmare, the line of trees hurtled straight toward him. Into his mind’s eye sprang the image of his bloody carcass being pulled from crumpled metal.

Still wrenching the stick against the inevitable, Roger shut his eyes.

About The Author

Rick Barry has authored three novels (Gunner's Run, Kiriath's Quest, and now The Methuselah Project), plus hundreds of published articles, short stories, and devotional pieces. He speaks Russian and has visited Eastern Europe over 50 times. His experiences have included skydiving, mountain climbing, rappelling, camping in Russia, visiting Chernobyl, white-water rafting, and visiting World War II battlegrounds. He believes that all experiences in life provide fuel for a writer's imagination. Rick and his wife, Pam, live near Indianapolis.

Purchase The Methuselah Project at:





Rick Barry is giving away a copy of The Methuselah Project. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.



Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Warm Welcome to Deanna Nowdanick

It's great to meet you, Deanna, and welcome you to our site! Can you tell us a bit about your family?
I enjoy a wonderful marriage to my husband, Kurt. We met at Pacific Lutheran University, a delightful chapter in Signs of Life (and Fruit of My Spirit!). Let’s just say he was the cutest freshman starting on the football team. We have two adult sons. Kyle is married to Katie, a beautiful young lady he met in high school. Kevin is married to Manoela, a beautiful young lady from Brazil. We all live within an hour of each other, so I’m blessed with lots of family time!


One of the important things in life: Family! Yours sound wonderful! How have your travels sparked story ideas?
My second book, Signs in Life, actually follows a travel theme with road signs marking each chapter. Driving antics lead us through the book, some that make us giggle, others that make us cringe, all that help us see a God Who directs and redirects throughout our travels through life.


Is there a story behind Signs in Life? 
I began Signs in Life immediately after finishing my first book, Fruit of My Spirit. I never expected to be a writer. I was an English major in college, but hated writing. I think it actually had more to do with being told what to write, rather than the writing itself. My mom had always wanted me to write a book. At the time I had two young sons and I couldn’t get a grocery list put together. Before he passed, my dad reminded me that Mom had wanted me to write a book. Coming home from a family vacation, I started to put into words how I met Kurt. I wanted my boys to know the details surrounding a very special time in my life. One story on love became another story on joy, and then another story on peace. By then a theme had developed and there was no stopping me.


Beautiful story! I dedicated one of my books--based loosely on her memories from the era--to my mother. What is unique about the setting? How does it enhance the story?
In Signs in Life, we travel with Moses. Yes, Moses. Seriously, Moses! Moses is not the guy I would have expected to include in my story. He’s one of those Old Testament larger-than-life characters that I’d reduced to a highlight film: baby in the bulrushes, crossing of the Red Sea, manna from heaven, Ten Commandments, the Promised Land. But those larger-than-life characters are really just ordinary people—like you and me!—called to extraordinary service. We’re all part of God’s great story.


Do you have favorite spiritual themes?
My two books really focus on God’s love and faithfulness. We might screw up, but we’re not screw-ups. We might be slogging through life, but we’re not alone. It’s easy to miss God in the moment. In the New Testament, Luke tells of two men walking to the town of Emmaus shortly after Jesus’ resurrection. A third person joins them, but not until later do the men realize they’ve been traveling with Jesus. “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him…” (Luke 24:31). No, we’re never alone.


What’s your favorite genre of writing?
I love sharing inspirational stories. I love sharing my own missteps. As women of faith, we can look very put-together on Sunday mornings, not realizing that one of us has just had a melt-down in the drive-through while waiting for her coffee. Some of the best chats have started, “You wouldn’t believe what I just did…” Life is not a Pinterest collection of perfectly planned moments.


Where do you most like to write?
I like to start the day writing. Let me add, I like to start the day writing right after I’ve gotten the iced mocha. I sit at my desk and type away in front of a large window, often waving at the neighbors walking by. I was actually introduced by a mother to her young son as “that woman in the window.”


Love that! What are your five favorite words?
I love you
Seriously
Chocolate



:) Good choices. Who is the biggest influence on your writing?
Anne Lamott. I read and reread Bird By Bird before tackling a new book. Each time I’ve finished a manuscript, I’ve found myself feeling overwhelmed by the thought of writing another. I’ll look back at a chapter and wonder where the words came from. And then I’ll remember to just write—one story at a time, bird by bird.


Can you tell us about your next book? 
My third writing adventure is a Christmas book. I’m putting together another inspirational memoir, this time sharing stories about the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Not only did the Christ child receive unique gifts, but we have also—throughout life.


That sounds VERY interesting. Thank you so much for joining us at our site! 


Buy her book here:
Amazon
Barnesandnoble




About Deanna:
Deanna Nowadnick lives in Monroe, Washington with her husband, Kurt. When not responding to traffic citations, she provides administrative support for The Planner’s Edge, an investment advisory firm. Deanna’s active in her church, playing the violin and serving on the leadership team. She’s also part of several women’s groups. Her leisure time is filled with knitting, walks in the sunshine, and vanilla ice cream with chocolate chunks and peanut butter swirls.


Connect with Deanna here:
Website: http://deannanowadnick.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FruitofMySpirit
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeannaNowadnick
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=AAIAAAdwkOcBm3MyEFWsIzVdwbCX8QzfT6P4cuc&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile





DEANNA is giving away a copy of SIGNS IN LIFE. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.






Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Signs in Life by Deanna Nowadnick

Back Cover Blurb:
SIGNS IN LIFE begins with a late night encounter with local law enforcement. In the harsh glare of a flashlight, author Deanna Nowadnick learns the consequences of speeding through a stop sign. Other incidents follow. All are linked to the divine signs she’s encountered in that bigger journey through life.

Join Deanna as she shares humorous anecdotes and inspirational lessons from her travels with God. See the signs in life. She might be speeding through a stop sign—yet again!—while you’re carefully navigating a busy street, but together we’re all part of a bigger journey, a greater purpose. We’re all part of God’s great story.


As she used to tell her young sons, “Buckle up. We’re going for a ride.”


Read an Excerpt:


THIS WAY

“If you’re going to ticket me, then ticket me!” I scrambled out of the car, slammed the door, and kicked the rear tire. Squinting into the harsh glare of a flashlight, my first words were louder than necessary, “If you’re going to ticket me, then ticket me! I just want to get home.” Not giving the police officer a chance to respond, I continued, still annoyed, still defiantly frustrated, “I’m tired. Really—I just want to get home!”

“And I just need you to slow down, ma’am. I actually stopped you, because I really just needed you to slow down and stop—at the sign back there. You’re in a school zone. It’s dark. There’s traffic.”

The officer was right. Traveling home from the gym, I’d failed to stop at a busy corner. Distracted by a young mother’s ever present to-do list, I’d rolled through an intersection, the middle school on my left, a railroad crossing on my right. Fortunately a man with a badge had cared enough to give me a much deserved warning and an undeniable lesson: road signs are an important part of safe travel.

Road signs are everywhere: SPEED LIMIT 25, SCHOOL ZONE, STOP. Yet even with signs telling us what to do and how best to do it, we still miss the signs, overlook and ignore them. But signs in life surround us for a reason and I’ve gotten costly reminders of their importance. A patrol car’s red and blue flashing lights have refocused my attention on the speed limit—more than once. Traffic cameras have reminded me to slow down in a school zone—twice. And a police officer has re-emphasized the importance of coming to a complete stop at a busy intersection.

In addition to traffic signs, I have also overlooked and ignored directional signs. I live in Monroe, Washington, about an hour’s drive from Seattle. On a trip into the city, I programmed my car’s navigation system to get me from the freeway to a waterfront restaurant. After three turns, I decided I knew better than my digital guide. I didn’t. I made wrong turn after wrong turn and silently cursed the afternoon’s traffic. The delay cost me time and patience and taught me a second undeniable lesson: road signs are not just an important part of safe travel, but there are consequences when ignored and overlooked.

So why don’t I follow the signs, block after block, turn after turn? Why don’t I heed the high resolution images on my car’s high definition screen? The signs were all there: a black and white sign alerting me to the speed limit, a red sign reminding me to stop, a yellow sign warning of the school zone. There were signs telling me of the exit ahead and the turn on my right. Still I ignored some, skipped others, and overlooked many. Why did I, why do I, ignore the help?

And if I struggle to get around the block, how will I ever survive the bigger journey? How will I navigate life? Not the quick trip to the grocery store, but the longer journey through adulthood? Not only the daily commute, but the more onerous trek through times of trial? Not just the trip into the city, but the turn into temptation? What about my travels as a wife and mother, sister and friend? What about my travels with God?

Signs in Life tells of my journey and the divine signs I’ve encountered along the way. In my travels, there have been directional signs, mileposts, and cautionary signs. There have been exit signs and speed limit signs. There have been signs that were seen and others that were heard. All have helped me follow God and find His purpose for my life. By sharing the signs in my life, I hope you’ll be able to see the signs in yours. I might be speeding through a stop sign—again!—while you’re navigating a busy street, but our journeys are very similar. I think we all want to be part of a greater purpose. We all want help and guidance in our understanding of God and His plans for us. And when we miss the signs, real and divine, we want to know that God will redirect and refocus us, that He will get us back on track. My pastor, Robin Dugall says, “Life with God is not just about a heavenly destination. Our travels with God are part of His story, His purpose, travels that begin right now.”

Whenever we got in the car, I used to tell my boys, “Buckle up. We’re going for a ride.” In life we’re all going for a ride. Our travels with God are an adventure in discovery and growth, an opportunity for each one of us to repeat the words of Moses, “Here I am.”



Buy her book here:
Amazon
Barnesandnoble


What Readers are Saying:
“Deanna’s stories are engaging. Her writing flows like a comfy conversation. Her reflections on God’s love are instructive and inspiring. Wow!”   --Karen Kramer Farris

“Before reading this wonderfully insightful and delightfully human book, I used to look at every road sign with nonchalance. Now I see and hear the hand and voice of God urging me on, loving me, and gently reminding me of His presence and guidance. Thank you, Deanna!”  --Rev. Dr. Robin J. Dugall






About Deanna:

Deanna Nowadnick lives in Monroe, Washington with her husband, Kurt. When not responding to traffic citations, she provides administrative support for The Planner’s Edge, an investment advisory firm. Deanna’s active in her church, playing the violin and serving on the leadership team. She’s also part of several women’s groups. Her leisure time is filled with knitting, walks in the sunshine, and vanilla ice cream with chocolate chunks and peanut butter swirls.  







Connect with Deanna here:
Website: http://deannanowadnick.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FruitofMySpirit
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeannaNowadnick
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=AAIAAAdwkOcBm3MyEFWsIzVdwbCX8QzfT6P4cuc&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile





DEANNA is giving away a copy of SIGNS IN LIFE. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.






Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown

Friday, September 25, 2015

Clothed in Armor: Spiritual Warfare for Kids by Carol Lozier

Adopted and foster children enter their new family with a history of loss and/or trauma. As a result, they are an easy target for spiritual warfare and the evil strategies of Satan. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over 25 years, Ms. Lozier brings her clinical knowledge to this Bible study for your child. In the Bible study, you and your child will identify unresolved, past hurts that Satan is currently using to create feelings of doubt, self-criticism, or hopelessness. Instead of falling prey to Satans ploys, your child will identify and know THE TRUTH about themselves and others, and to learn specific ways they can fight back like a mighty soldier of God!







Excerpt

Clothed In Armor is a positive and kid-friendly approach to discussing the spiritual battles faced by children, especially those with any history of tough times. The study is written for 8-13 year olds who will enjoy the workbook style and fun activities, like: memory verses, fill in the blank type responses, and word puzzles.

Each lesson is uplifting and aimed at healing past hurts faced by children before being securely placed in their forever families. The Clothed In Armor workbook is divided into six lessons: My Story, God's Trustworthy Protection, Satan is Sly, Satan's Lies, Fight Back! and God is My Helper, My Protector.


The study will help children identify and know THE TRUTH about themselves and others, and to learn specific ways they can fight back like a mighty soldier of God!


About Carol



Carol Lozier MSW LCSW is a clinical social worker in private practice in Louisville, Kentucky where she is a member of Southeast Christian Church. Ms. Lozier has spent over twenty-five years counseling children, adults, and families specializing in issues of adoption, foster care, and trauma. She is the author of The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide: How to Heal Your Child's Trauma and Loss and Devotions of Comfort & Hope for Adoptive and Foster Moms.







To purchase her book:
Carol is giving away a copy of Clothed In Armor: Spiritual Warfare for Kids.  The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)


Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Warm Welcome to Carol Lozier

Is there a story behind your book Clothed In Armor: Spiritual Warfare for Kids? As a therapist, I work with children daily who have faced small or large trauma/hurt in their life. As a Christian, I quickly noticed that a piece of their negative self belief is part of a Spiritual battle that needs to be addressed in a different way than traditional therapy. As a result, I wrote the Clothed In Armor Bible studies.

What started you on your writing journey?
I wrote my first book, The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide: How to Heal Your Childs Trauma and Loss in two years and published it in February 2012. I truly have felt that each book was a calling from God, and written as His request. 

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Im a pretty focused person. When I start writing, the only thing that can distract me is a messy house and the urge to clean it!

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I love any books! I especially enjoy Amish books, Historical Fiction, and anything by Karen Kingsbury.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Praise and worship. I love worshiping the Lord through music, and I feel His presence most at those times.

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
Most things! I have a problem with laughing fits! It always got me into trouble in grade school. Once I begin to laugh, sometimes its hard to stop!

What is your favorite season of the year? 
I love Summer the best. I like the relaxed atmosphere and I love wearing shorts!

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
I love to visit St. George Island, Florida. Its very family friendly, the beaches are beautiful, and my cell phone doesnt work so Im forced to take a break!

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why its special)
  
One of my favorite verses is,
Isaiah 41:10,
So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I love this verse because it reminds I can always rely of God, even in the worst of times! He is my rock!

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I have two other books, The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide: How to Heal Your Childs Trauma and Loss and Devotions of Comfort and Hope for Adoptive & Foster Moms. I am currently working on a journal/devotional for teens. I hope to have it out by the end of 2015.


Back Cover Blurb






Adopted and foster children enter their new family with a history of loss and/or trauma. As a result, they are an easy target for spiritual warfare and the evil strategies of Satan. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over 25 years, Ms. Lozier brings her clinical knowledge to this Bible study for your child. In the Bible study, you and your child will identify unresolved, past hurts that Satan is currently using to create feelings of doubt, self-criticism, or hopelessness. Instead of falling prey to Satans ploys, your child will identify and know THE TRUTH about themselves and others, and to learn specific ways they can fight back like a mighty soldier of God!




















To buy Carol's book:

About Carol
Carol Lozier MSW LCSW is a clinical social worker in private practice in Louisville, Kentucky where she is a member of Southeast Christian Church. Ms. Lozier has spent over twenty-five years counseling children, adults, and families specializing in issues of adoption, foster care, and trauma. She is the author of The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide: How to Heal Your Child's Trauma and Loss and Devotions of Comfort & Hope for Adoptive and Foster Moms.

To connect with Carol:

Carol is giving away a copy of Clothed In Armor: Spiritual Warfare for Kids.  The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)



Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart

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