• Introducing Hannah R. Conway ~ A Mosaic Collection Author

    The Mosaic Collection is an international group of authors dedicated to sharing stories that feature “Families by God’s Design.” Our contemporary novels include mystery and suspense, comedy, romance, and women’s fiction. 

    Hannah R. Conway

    Hannah Conway and I met for the first time at the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference a few years ago. But we’ve been “internet friends” even longer than that.

    That smile is as engaging and warm in person as it is in the photo!

    Hannah is a military wife, mother of two, former middle school teacher, best-selling author, and popular speaker. Her novels are a deployment experience of their own, threaded with faith, and filled with twists and turns. She’s a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy. She and her family live in Tennessee. Visit Hannah at https://hannahrconway.com/

    Do you have a life verse?

    Definitely! Two actually. John 15:17, “This is my command: Love one another”, and Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

    John 15:17 helps give me direction and keeps me focused, and Romans 8:28 reminds me of God’s goodness through it all—the ups and downs.

    Do you have personal experiences with any of the events in your stories?

    Almost all of them—bits and pieces at least. My stories have military service members, and try as I may not to do this, it happens. Deployments, loss, friendship, military wife stuff, redemption…all are things I’ve experienced that pop up in my stories.

    But I’d say most authors are that way. They leave little pieces of their life woven in the pages of their story. Not sure if that’s on purpose, but for me it just happens.

    What have you learned about the heart of God?

    Oh girl, that’s a loaded question.

    I’ve learned that God loves me…loves us…no matter what. He’s not mad at me…he loves me. His heart is tender, and forgiving, protective, endlessly kind. It’s the kind of heart I desire. His love for me, for us, is unconditional. It’s not a love I deserve or have earned by my works, but it’s something he freely gives because he loves me. 

    It’s difficult to wrap my head around this kind of love. I want to work for it, earn it…but I can’t. And I realize this is the way I should love others. To love others not because they have earned it or deserve it, but because it’s a gift. 

    Yes, God’s heart is a heart I desire…I desperately need him to help me be more like him.

    What are some healthy spiritual practices you’ve used as you wait on God’s timing?

    I’ve learned to simply grow where I’m planted as I wait on God. Meaning, find ways to serve those around you. Plug into church, volunteer, go to a Bible Study or start your own. Find ways to serve, and you’ll grow while you wait…you’ll learn, connect with others, build relationships, and make a lasting impact. 

    Tell about a time when God’s hand of provision or protection was especially evident.

    One specific time that sticks out to me is during my husband’s first deployment. Stephen was serving in Iraq as an Infantry soldier. We were newly-married but had been apart for almost two years because of deployments and such…although, he came home for a two week R&R and, well…I got pregnant. Giggle. So, he was deployed, I was pregnant, and it was almost Christmas. 

    I kept a prayer journal during this time. Sometimes I’d write prayers, and sometimes my prayers turned into letters for Stephen. On Christmas Eve night, I could not go to sleep. I tossed, turned, flopped, sighed—no sleep. I finally asked God to help me sleep, and I felt this overwhelming need to pray for Stephen. So I grabbed my prayer journal and wrote. Prayed, wrote, cried, and finally somehow drifted to sleep. 

    It was a few weeks after that night when Stephen was able to call me. There had been casualties and the phone lines were down. And then he told me the story…

    On Christmas Eve, they’d been attacked. He was running through the streets in Iraq, had tripped and fallen. Bullets were whizzing by his head, and his comrades had reported him killed in action. But no bullets touched him. In fact, he was completely unharmed. 

    Goosebumps, y’all! God protected my husband. God had kept me awake, would not let me sleep, and prompted me to pray for Stephen on the exact same day as the attack. 

    To this day, I still can’t get over it!

    How has your belief about God’s goodness informed your view of your circumstances?

    So, I believe that God is always good…even if he has allowed something “bad” to happen in my life or the lives of those around me. I choose to believe that this event is part of his plan…somehow…and he will somehow turn this into good…use it for his glory. 

    You’re invited to join the Mosaic Collection Readers Group on Facebook where you’ll find amazing graphics plus free downloads, including these bookmarks and a Happy Birthday banner, and a community of delightful women whose hearts embrace God’s timeless truths.

  • Introducing Eleanor Bertin ~ A Mosaic Collection Author

    The Mosaic Collection is an international group of authors dedicated to sharing stories that feature diverse God-designed families. Our contemporary novels include mystery and suspense, comedy, romance, and women’s fiction.

    I’m excited to be part of this amazing group of talented authors. And thrilled to introduce you to Eleanor Bertin, the author of Pall of Silence: My Journey from Tragedy to Trust (memoir) and Lifelines (novel).

    Eleanor’s dream of writing was crowded out by homeschooling a houseful of children for 25 years. But now, she and her husband live with their youngest son, who has Down syndrome, amidst the ongoing renovation of a century-home in central Alberta. 

    Do you have a life verse?

    I love the magnificence of God revealed in Deuteronomy 32:4: “Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.”

    Do you have personal experiences with any of the events in your stories? 

    I find people endlessly fascinating, so I never have to spin characters out of nothing; I only have to alter and disguise them from real life. In fact, there’s a little of me in each of my characters, including the villains! (Not proud of that, but it’s the truth.)

    In my first novel, Lifelines, the young woman regretting her abortion is largely taken from my experience listening to a friend. Of course, almost every scene about Jesse, the character with Down syndrome, is borrowed from my experiences with my son, Timothy, or other families with a member who has DS.

    From my upcoming novel, Unbound, the experience of grief closely reflects the loss of my son Paul in 2012, while the setting is the beloved Alberta ranch lands where I live.

    How has God come through for you in difficult circumstances? 

    Raising seven children, all girls except six, meant I was often thrown at the foot of the cross, begging for wisdom and patience and grace. The two most painful seasons of my life have been times of a child’s rebellion and the death of one son. But the way God revealed His love and mercy and the wonder of His grace through scripture during those times has been my anchor.

    What hobbies do you enjoy? 

    Since I learned to read, I’ve loved being transported to another world through books. I also love colour and design, so interior decorating, quilting, and flower and landscape gardening give me great satisfaction. Also, chocolate.

    Have you experienced any setbacks in your walk with Christ? 

    A couple of years ago, I discovered my heart was growing cold to things of the Lord. Doubts and cynicism, like barnacles, were hardening my soul. Surprisingly, it was reading through a 500-year-old, thousand-page theology text that drew my heart back to a deeper love and devotion to Christ. So, I’m a big proponent of essential theology – it’s practical and faith-building!

    Have you ever had a prayer go (seemingly?) unanswered this side of heaven? 

    Yes. There is a prayer I know for certain will never be answered until glory: ‘Lord, please save my son!’ Yet despite the uncertainty surrounding his life and death, God has given me enough of Himself through scripture, that I (the queen of doubt) am able to fully trust in His mercy and power to bring sinners to repentance. I believe Paul is with Jesus, because I trust in the Almighty’s power to save.

    To learn more about Eleanor and her books, please visit her website.

    You’re also invited to join the Mosaic Collection Readers Group on Facebook where you’ll find amazing graphics plus free downloads, including these bookmarks and a Happy Birthday banner, and a community of delightful women whose hearts embrace God’s timeless truths.

  • Resort to Romance Giveaway Extravaganza

    Welcome to WEEK 10 of the 10 Weeks of Romance Giveaways!

    Ten of some of the best authors in the inspirational and sweet romance genres are hosting a 10 Weeks of Romance Giveaway to celebrate their new Resort to Romance series! 

    It’s Matchmaking Week at an all-inclusive resort on a private island in the Bahamas. Each guest has been expertly paired and is here to enjoy one full week with their match. While there’s no money-back guarantee on the paid trip, the participants are guaranteed to find love!

    Each week beginning Tuesday, February 19ththrough the week of Tuesday, May 7th, a new book by a new author in the series will release, and you have the chance to win one, some, or the grand prize which includes all ten novellas plus a $150 Amazon gift card!

    Here’s how it works: Register at the rafflecopter below. We’ll randomly select a winner each Tuesday. And the great thing about this giveaway is the books build with every author’s new release! That means your entries roll over each week all the way up the grand prize.

    This week’s prize is: Match You Like Crazy by Johnnie Alexander.

    They have everything in common. So why aren’t they a perfect match?

    Bre Fisher wishes she’d said no when her grandmother gave her a trip to Matchmaking Week, especially when Nate Hunter takes the seat beside her on the puddle-jumper to Joy Island. He’s the last person she expected to see.

    Nate figures he might as well not go home if Bre is his match. The longstanding business rivalry between their families makes romance with a Fisher impossible.

    Yet in addition to the same family expectations and obligations, Bre and Nate have the same interests ~ maybe even the same dream. 

    Will a week on Joy Island spark another feud? Or prove they’re a crazy perfect match? 

    Enter Now!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Resort to Romance

    Escape the winter blahs with ten fun and flirty romances all set during one falling-in-love week in the Bahamas!

    The novellas release one week at a time beginning February 19th. Pre-order links coming soon.

  • Goodreads Reading Challenge

    I participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge for the first time in 2015 with a goal of 50 books. I read 54.

    My goal for 2016 was 60 books. I did it!

    I upped the goal to 65 books for 2017 and read 70. So I set my goal at 70 books for 2018 and read 71.

    This year, I’m cutting back to 35 books because a few of those novels will be selected from the 100 Essential Novels poster my sister gave me for my birthday last year. Many are considered classics and may take longer to read.

    I’m also cutting back on my reading goals because I’ll be writing more than usual this year. (One novella and three novels plus starting a fourth!)

    The first two books on the 100 Essential Novels list are Don Quixote and Robinson Crusoe. I’ve read both those books before and have no plans to read either one ever again.

    The third book is Pride and Prejudice. I’ve read it several times but it’s a favorite. So it’s the first book I’ll be reading this year.

    What about you? Will you join the Goodreads Reading Challenge? What books do you plan to read this year?