Sweet Surrender : eBook Giveaway & Guest Post By Author Cynthia Roemer

Surrendering our lives to God never comes easily. If you’re like me, you can give a situation to the Lord only to take it back again and again in a tug-of-war for control. I suppose that’s why I wrote about the theme of total surrender in my debut novel, Under This Same Sky.

My heroine, Becky Hollister, doesn’t willingly choose to surrender her will to God; instead, adverse circumstances compel her to choose between entrusting her life to Him or turning her back on her faith. It’s touch and go for a while. After enduring great suffering and loss, Becky questions how a loving God can allow such hurtful events to happen.

Under This Same Sky takes readers on a journey alongside Becky as she works through her resentment toward God and seeks to determine what His will for her might be. But just as in real life, it takes the wisdom of God’s word and the love of friends (and in Becky’s case, a godly man) to pull her through.

Becky’s story is a tale of friendship and love, but even more so, it’s a quest for wholeness and deeper understanding of a God who longs to hold the deepest desires of her heart. Fully surrendering to the Lord is something I believe we all struggle to achieve. I hope you’ll be encouraged by Becky’s story and the message of surrender it conveys.

 

  1. Why do you write?

Since my college days, I’ve had the dream of writing novels. I can only explain it as something God placed within me to do. I long to touch the hearts of readers by letting them experience growth and healing in the lives of my characters.

  1. What do you love best about your novel?

It would have to be its message—that of surrendering to God, despite our circumstances. There are so many hurting people who don’t understand why God allows bad things to happen. While my novel doesn’t attempt to answer that question, it does seek to demonstrate that God is able to work through our hardships to draw us closer to Him.

  1. What encouraging word would you like to give to others?

I’d like to encourage others to live their dream for God. Whatever He has placed on your heart to do, work toward it, allowing room for His timing. When we seek God’s blessing in what we do, He will be faithful to walk beside us. He gives us each our own special set of skills and traits. It’s up to us to discover how He can best put them to use.

 

Under This Same Sky Book Blurb:

~ She thought she’d lost everything ~ Instead she found what she needed most. ~

Illinois ~ 1854

Becky Hollister wants nothing more than to live out her days on the prairie, building a life for herself alongside her future husband. But when a tornado rips through her parents’ farm, killing her mother and sister, she must leave the only home she’s ever known and the man she’s begun to love to accompany her injured father to St. Louis.

Catapulted into a world of unknowns, Becky finds solace in corresponding with Matthew Brody, the handsome pastor back home. But when word comes that he is all but engaged to someone else, she must call upon her faith to decipher her future.

 

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Cynthia Roemer is an award-winning inspirational writer with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the 1800s prairie. She writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband and their two college-aged sons. Under This Same Sky is her debut novel.

 

 

 

 

Contact Links:

Website:  http://cynthiaroemer.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCynthiaRoemer/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com@cynthiaroemer 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35002701-under-this-same-sky?from_search=true

 

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Under-This-Same-Cynthia-Roemer-ebook/dp/B06XZNPSRR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492640140&sr=8-1&keywords=under+this+same+sky

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 Steps to Finding the Grace to Chase a Dream by Cara Putman

http://www.amazon.com/Stars-Night-Cara-C-Putman-ebook/dp/B00EV56C4S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440123709&sr=8-1&keywords=stars+in+the+nightHello Dear Readers! Today we welcome Award Winning Author Cara Putman! Cara has some great advice to share with us today & will be giving away a copy of her novel, Stars in the Night. Enter to win below!


Without further ado, let’s give Cara a warm welcome!



 

~    ~    ~
ONCE there was a 14-year-old who quickly realized her favorite authors simply could not write books fast enough. Because she was young, she decided she could write books, too. Her mother smiled and allowed her to write as part of her English. Slowly two novels grew on an old computer, paragraph by paragraph, page by page. She loved creating ideas, research, writing. The process delighted her soul, and she wondered if she’d found what she was created to do.
        Then life got busy. College, a career. A husband and a family. Writing was pressed to the perimeter of her life by the busyness of a full life.
                Most days it was enough.
                But some days, the whisper to write became a roaring ache to try. When this occurred, this girl grown into a woman would take the dream to God, hold it in open hands, and ask Him if this was His dream for her. If not, show her so she could kill the dream and focus on His will for her life.
                In due time, He announced it was time to follow her dream. Nine years later she’s awaiting the publication of her 18th and 19th books later this year.
                You may have already guessed: I am that girl. I know what it’s like to have a dream burning inside me and wonder if anything would ever come of it. I want to encourage you. If this is you. If you’re convinced your dreams have disappeared under a pile of laundry, dirty diapers, and grocery lists, that there are ways to live with grace until the appointed time for the dream to burst to life.
                Here’s what I learned on the journey:
1)      Hold the dream loosely. Pry your tight grip from the dream and offer it to God. Ask Him for wisdom to know if this is the time or the dream. Seek Him first. A dream without Him at the center is simply not as fulfilling.
 
2)      Prepare when you can as you can. For me that meant continuing to read voraciously. Through that I had a core understanding of what made a story and characters work. I might not have known all the lingo, but I intuitively gained an education. It also meant I read how-to write novel books. Each time the itch would resurface, you’d find me in the stacks looking for another book, so I could get structural understanding.
3)      Be prepared to run when God gives you the go-ahead. The years since God told me it was time to test the dream have been a whirlwind of work. It has required immense discipline and stick-to-it-iveness. I’ve had to let go of things to make room for the dream. Are you willing to do the same?

Waiting for a dream is hard. But with God’s grace, the waiting can be a time of preparation and drawing closer to Him.

Cara Shares Some of her Faves!

Favorite Dessert:                           Apple pie
Favorite Restaurant:                     Runza   
Favorite Branch of the Military (I won’t judge you if say anything other than Army, lol J): ARMY – My dad flew Heweys in Vietnam and Desert Storm
Favorite Genre of Music:              Praise and worship
Favorite Subject in School:           history


Author Bio:

Cara C. Putman, the award-winning author of 20 books, graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. FIRST for Women magazine called Shadowed by Grace “captivating” and a “novel with ‘the works.’” It received the Christian Retailing BEST award for Historical Fiction and the HOLT Award of Distinction. Cara is active at her church and a lecturer on business and employment law to graduate students at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. Putman also practices law and is a second-generation homeschooling mom. Putman recently received her Master’s in Business Administration at Krannert. She serves on the executive board of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization she has served in various roles since 2007. She lives with her husband and four children in Indiana.

Shadowed by Grace:
http://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Grace-Story-Monuments-Men/dp/1433681781/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440123649&sr=8-1&keywords=shadowed+by+graceShadowed by Grace is a dramatic story inspired by the Monuments Men of World War II by acclaimed author Cara C. Putman. Desperate to save her dying mother, Rachel accepts her newspaper’s assignment to travel to Italy to capture images dangerously close to the front lines of WWII. Her real motive – to find the father she never knew — an artist she hopes can offer the comfort and support both she and her mother need to survive. It’s an unlikely situation for love and faith to flourish, but soon Rachel not only finds herself, but also her long-lost earthly father, and ultimately, the man her Heavenly father created to cherish and provide for her

Connect with Cara:

 

Enter Below to Win a Copy of  Stars in the Night: 

Guest Reader Jessica Adkins: Living Love Loud by Becoming a Surrogate

Welcome, Dear Readers!
This year I’ve set out to get to know you better, hear your story, what God’s done or doing in your life, lessons learned, trials, triumphs, recipes, and fun projects. I want to hear what you have to say, and so do a whole host of others.


Today we welcome Jessica Adkins! Jessica has quite a testimony to share with you, and it seems quite fitting given that it’s Easter weekend, and we have so much life to celebrate!

Meet Jessica:

 
I’m 28 weeks pregnant with a precious baby boy. The twist? He’s not my husband’s baby…or mine! I am a gestational surrogate for an international family. I am just the incubator, or an extreme babysitter, for another family’s biological child. 
 
Meet Jessica Adkins
At this point, there Is no hiding that I’m pregnant! So, there are a lot of questions and comments from random people. Everyone loves a pregnant person! Or maybe it’s just they love to give advice and talk about your size! Most comments are from strangers making small talk who don’t know I’m a surrogate. I often struggle with knowing when to tell people that I’m carrying for a family or when to just smile and say, “Thank you.” 
 
My desire during this journey was to be open and vulnerable and make the entire process known.  I wanted people to see my heart, how The Lord was working through this, and what an amazing blessing this has been for both our families…it’s just kind of hard to share that in a 3 minute conversation! When I do mention that I’m a surrogate there are some people who are instantly supportive, but I mostly get a really weird sideways glance with three responses, “Why would you do that?” “I could never do that” and “Won’t you be too attached?” 
 
I totally understand all of those questions! I thought those too. I have been living through this process almost two years now and often times it’s still crazy to me that I’m pregnant with another family’s baby! I didn’t enter this process lightly and without prayer or guidance. I completely understand people have different opinions and values that they are entitled to.
 
THE WHY? 
 
We have 2 small children of our own. They are such a blessing and bring so much joy to our lives. Daily they humble us and teach us amazing truths about God’s love…but we feel complete with our family! No more planned babies for us! However, maybe that would convince my husband to buy me the minivan that I so desperately want…
 
When we made that decision not to have anymore kids, my heart was kind of sad! I am not a great pregnant person who loves every second of being pregnant if that’s what you assume! I complain about being pregnant every day that I’m pregnant…but there was still this longing to help create life, or carry life. Crazy woman hormones. 
 
As I’ve gotten older, I was taken back by the amount of infertility struggles that so many women and our close friends were struggling through. Honestly, I didn’t know surrogacy was a valid option until I quickly researched it. Once it was on my heart, I couldn’t get it off. 
 
One of my favorite versus is 1 John 3:18-24; “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth…” 
 
When I read this verse, it always hits me in a different way depending on my stage in life. How can I ‘love out loud’? I wanted to not only have a heart for families by being supportive and praying for them…I wanted to find a way to love them with actions. My body could carry a baby and there are families that desire a baby, so why not?! Obviously, there is more involved, but those were my beginning prayers! 
 
We chose to pursue surrogacy through an agency for the protection of our family. There are a lot of laws, medical, and legal issues that come along with surrogacy. Having an agency handle the business aspect allows us to focus on the relational side. We were matched with a wonderful couple based on our interest and personalities. It has been the greatest match. The mom had tried IVF 3 times before cancer was found and she had to have a full hysterectomy. They were on the adoption list for several years, but waiting up to five years is common. They chose to come to the US to pursue surrogacy since it is illegal in their country. 
 
Aren’t you going to be attached?
 
Precious Baby Boy
Right now, I am focused on enjoying this process. My husband and I are loving the relationship we are building with the parents. Being able to meet a couple we would have never known and call them family now is amazing. A pregnancy has never went by this fast in the past! It really is enjoyable…maybe because I now realize how amazing of a gift being pregnant is?! I love to feel him move, kick, and punch because I know he’s growing and is healthy. My husband feels my belly and is protective over my pregnancy and health. We both love the baby and his parents. So, yes we are attached! 
 
However, it’s just different. I don’t feel like he is my baby (because he’s not). I don’t have a crazy plan to ‘keep him’.  It could be because I’m not spending that time nesting in our home and planning his future. I feel like I love him and want the best for him…for him to be with his parents who love and desire to finally be able to hold him in their arms! The excitement and anticipation of that moment make it all worth it. 
 
I am not just helping to create a baby for a family…but a future brother, son, uncle, husband, father, and grandfather! That makes my role in this feel so small in comparison of what God can do through him. 
 
I would love your prayers for the rest of this pregnancy and over this sweet little boys life! If you would like to follow our journey you can check out my blog at: www.letsnotjusttalkaboutlove.weebly.com

Thank you for being with us today Jessica! I’m moved to tears, and I will be praying for you, your family, this precious boy, and his family. You’ll have to come back and give us update info and pics!!

Guest Reader Ann Knopp: A Journey of Stories

Welcome, Dear Readers. This year I’ve set out to get to know you better, hear your story, your lessons learned, trials, triumphs, recipes, and fun projects. I want to hear what you have to say, and so do a whole host of others.

Today we welcome Mrs. Ann Knopp! Thank you for being here with us today.
Meet Ann!

My name is Ann Knopp.  I am a pastor’s wife and mother of 2 basketball-playing boys (well, young men) who are die-hard, true-blue Kentucky fans.  In my free time, I work full-time at a nearby high school in the office and am also the women’s minister for our church.  I have a true heart for ministering to women.  My goal in life is to always leave a positive impact on lives wherever I go.
A Journey of Stories

Hi!  I am so thankful that Hannah has allowed me to share my story even though I feel that my life is just that – a journey of stories.  As I was thinking about what I should write, ideas of my 110 pound weight loss journey came to mind, as well as my dating life (which didn’t start until I was 24 and was short-lived because I married him a year later.J).  I thought about my God-rockin’ experience moments when He shared snippets of what I would do with my future.  But when I narrowed it down to a theme, it basically came down to my life’s theme – encouragement.  God has allowed my life to go down many paths but in every path, my question is always, “Who can I encourage today?”
I began an encouragement program at a school where I worked in Tennessee. I was allowed to have parents write letters to every student, teacher and staff in the school to let them know how important and valuable they were.  It was amazing to see the confidence soar in not only the kids’ attitudes but also in test scores because they knew someone cared.  Teachers and staff seemed brighter knowing they were appreciated.
I took my love for encouraging into my church as the women’s minister and had a great 2014 with the theme being “It’s Not About Me.”  This year, our theme is “Faithful in All Things.”  We started our ladies’ night in January by studying 2 John.  John is admonishing a lady and her children for doing what they are supposed to do but also warning those at the same time to not grow weary and start listening to people that aren’t of God.  In today’s society, there are so many distractions to lead us away from where our focus needs to be (especially during all holidays).  We do well for a while and then start to get lazy in our focus.  Our job is to strip away all that hinders us and get back to the basics in the Truth.  So during our meeting, we stripped the room of decorations, food and tables and left a single table with a candle lit and the Lord’s Supper on it with a circle of chairs connecting to each side of the table.  We took the focus back to Jesus and why He came in the first place – to die for our sins.  It was a very powerful evening.
My desire is to always encourage others whether it be in weight loss, keeping a strong marriage, your walk with the Lord or just to hold someone up when they are travelling through some dark times and can’t see any light.  I pray that if you need encouragement this year, email me at ukknopp@comcast.netor facebook message me at Ann Luck Knopp.  I love to share my story and all that God is doing in and through me. 
May God bless you tremendously this year!
Much love to you!

Contact Ann:
Email: ukknopp@comcast.net

Running the Race by Guest Reader, Dawn Freeman

Welcome, Dear Readers. This year I’ve set out to get to know you better, hear your story, your lessons learned, trials, triumphs, recipes, and fun projects. I want to hear what you have to say, and so do a whole host of others.

Today we welcome our first Guest Reader of 2015, Ms. Dawn Freeman! Thank you for being here with us today.

Meet Dawn:

Dawn Freeman is a writer, blogger, speaker, and Bible teacher.  She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Arts in Christian Ministry through Liberty University.  She has a heart and passion for God and His word.  Dawn desires to help other believers to come to know God and love Him with all their hearts, soul, and strength.  She also wants to help them become the Godly people He has created them to be for His purpose and plan. 

 

Running the Race

By Dawn Freeman
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  (Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV)
As I was recently driving back from a women’s Bible study at a friend’s house, I received a great visual image of the lesson we had studied earlier that night.  First of all, I had to duck out a little early in order to be somewhere else in plenty of time.  However, it worked out well for me.  I may not have received this visual image from the Lord if I had stayed for the entire Bible study.  Or, I may not have seen it the same way. 
Earlier, several ladies and I sat around a friend’s living area and discussed running our individual races.  We talked about the joy set before us as well as enduring hardships, trials, and other difficult circumstances.  We briefly mentioned the hindrances, distractions, and interruptions which are a part of this life. 
Later, as I was driving down the highway, I was focused on getting down the road as quickly as possible.  I had to stop by a retail store to pick up an item before the store closed for the night.  There were many other vehicles on the road.  Drivers pulling out in front of me.  Others switching lanes.  Some turning off the road onto another road.  I could see some vehicles in my peripheral view.  Others, I couldn’t see at all because they were either behind me or way out in front of me.  I wasn’t concerned about them though.  I was so focused on the path that was laid out before me.  I didn’t have the desire or the time to look at what everyone else was doing on their paths.  I didn’t necessarily care what others were doing on their part of the road either. 
That’s what we also need to do in our spiritual lives.  Be so focused on running our individual races that we don’t have the desire or the time to look at what others are doing on their individual paths.  We almost need to have tunnel vision where we don’t see anyone beside us, anyone behind us, or anyone else out in front of us.  We only see Jesus.  He’s the only one we see right in front of us.  We only hear what He wants us to hear.  We only see what He wants us to see.  We only say what He wants us to say to us or through us.

Connect with Dawn: