The holidays are a time for celebrating. Jesus. Life. Love. Family. Friends.
Yet, they are some of the loneliest times of the year.
Maybe you're missing that family member who used to sit next to you at the family table.
Maybe you're mourning the loss of a loved one.
Maybe you're longing to get pregnant.
Maybe you're waiting on adoption papers to come through.
Maybe you're praying for that family member in jail.
Maybe you're forgotten by those you love.
Maybe you're like me, single and waiting for the one God has for you.
Whatever reason you're lonely, the feelings are the same. They are overwhelming floods and burning flames.
Many times, we fill that loneliness with busyness. Or food. Or shopping. Or fake smiles. (Or maybe those are just mine.)
But, I'm going to try something new this year. I'm going to walk through it. Pretending my feelings aren't there is exhausting. Hiding them is frustrating.
But, wallowing in my feelings is just as futile.
So, I'm going to surround myself in the truth of the Word until my feelings fade and only the truth remains.
I don't normally post about my feelings. Heck, I don't even talk about them with my closest friends. But, I'm putting them out here just in case there's someone who needs to hear he/she is not alone. You never have been, and you never will be.
Here are the verses I've been reading a lot lately as I have felt those feelings of loneliness creep in (and get worse with each Kay Jewelers commercial I see).
Isaiah 43:2 ESV
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
Isaiah 49:16 ESV
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.
Philippians 4:11 ESV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
So, if you're lonely this holiday season, please know there's a gal in Houston who feels the same way you do. If there's something I can pray for you about, leave me a comment or shoot me an email at laurajacksonwrites at gmail dot com.
A few friends told me that they didn't really enjoy this book, so I went into with low expectations. However, I really enjoyed it. It's different than Dee's normal books. There's not a lot of suspense, but there's plenty of character development.
Charlotte was the victim of one of a nationally known kidnapping. After her rescue, she forged a new identity for herself and refuses to speak about her ordeal. When her grandfather leaves her a fortune, she's determined to give it away. Bryce is a coins dealer who takes on part of Charlotte's inheritance of coins. When a term of the will requires they work closely, more closely than they expected, they are thrown together. Will Charlotte trust him with her past so that they can find the last kidnapper who has been on the loose for twenty years?
It took me a little while to get to like Charlotte, but I liked Bryce from the beginning. I loved his strength and patience with Charlotte's quirks. They both grew as characters and were sweet with each other.
I also liked the coins aspect. I learned a lot about coins and thought it was an interesting addition to the solving an old kidnapping storyline.
I think what confused some readers was that the back cover mentions a reporter doing a story on Charlotte, and that storyline is very minor in the book.
So, ignore the back cover and just enjoy the storyline!
I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.
This Advent season, the HopeSprings Books authors cordially invite you to celebrate along with us - and as it's the season of giving as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, there will be lots of fun giveaways for you!
Since HopeSprings is a small press who will celebrate their first complete year in business in January of 2014, there aren't enough of us to do something every day, so we'll have two posts each of the three weeks leading up to Christmas. Each author will have something fun posted on their day, along with a giveaway that you can enter by commenting. There will also be a link to a Rafflecopter giveaway for our Grand Prize - a Kindle!
So mark your calendars and plan to join us as we count down the days to Christmas!
Winners for the author prizes will be announced one week after the post (e.g. Elizabeth's winner will be announced and notified on 12/9. Mary's winner on 12/13.) The grand prize winner will be announced on all the participating blogs (and notified via email) on December 23rd.
Worth the Wait releases in February, and I'm beginning to get my marketing plan together. I'd love for you to be a part of it.
I've heard it called several different names: Influencer, Street Team, or even special names reflecting the author's genre or name.
Since I'm a new author, I'm looking for some readers, who are passionate about books, particularly Christian YA fiction, to help me spread the word about Worth the Wait.
What does that mean? You'd get a copy of the book to review and promote. I would also share any other promotional items (pens, bookmarks, interviews, etc.) I get. Please let me know if you accept an electronic copy of the book, which you'd receive before the release, or if you prefer a paper copy. (Keep in mind, paper copies are much more limited, and their availability will depend on the number of requests.)
In return, you'd tell people about the book in a way you enjoy. I'd love to have people who enjoy sharing books in different ways. Some like to post reviews on their blogs, Amazon, and Goodreads. Others like to create pictures with quotes from the book or book trailers. Others prefer Twitter.
If you are interesting in helping me get the word out about Worth the Wait, please take a few minutes to answer these questions. Send your responses to email@example.com.
1. Are you on any other Street Teams?
2. What are your favorite books?
3. Are you on social media? If so, where are you active (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blog, Goodreads, etc)?
4. What ideas do YOU have to help promote Worth the Wait that you'd be willing to share?
5. Would you like to host an interview and giveaway on your blog? If so, what's your blog address?
Today, I'm giving away a copy of The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen.
To enter to win, leave a comment answering this question---Do you send snail mail anymore? I love buying cards/stationery. Papyrus is my new favorite store. So, I do still send snail mail, and I love getting to too.
Be sure to leave your email address. I can only ship to the US. I'll pick a winner next Sunday.
Congrats to Jackie for winning Wisdom to Know.
Today, I'm giving away Hear No Evil, which is written Mary L. Hamilton, who is a friend of mine. We're in the same local ACFW writing group and both published with HopeSprings.
Hear No Evil is set at a summer camp, and it's for middle grades. I'm reading it now and am really enjoying it...makes me wish I had gone to a summer camp when I was a kid.
To enter to win, leave a comment about one of your summer memories....camp or no camp. I started babysitting early (like 12), so I spent most summers babysitting. So, nothing exciting. As an adult, I spent a few weeks for two summers at an orphanage in Mexico, which was amazing. I'd like to go back again one day!
Be sure to leave an email address.
I can only ship to the US.
I'll pick a winner next week.
If you didn't know, November is National Novel Writing Month. There's a whole website dedicated for it. The goal is to write 50k in one month! 50k isn't a complete novel, but it's a great start. And then December can be your month to fill in scenes and add layers to the characters and the conflict.
So, I did it last year. I even finished a couple days early! In December and January, I added to the 50k I wrote and finished with a 71k word novel that will release in February.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started.....and by that, I'm speaking to myself.
Good luck to everyone writing, and if you want to be buddies on Nanowrimo.org, I'm Librarian Laura. See you there.