Tag Archives: guest posts

Guest Post: Excerpt from Sofi’s Bridge, by Christine Lindsay

Excerpt from SOFI’S BRIDGE by Christine Lindsay

releasing May 1, 2016

Sofi had been so angry with Neil for his secrets. But Neil had given Trina nothing but compassion. He’d put himself at risk to save Gunnar’s life. The contradictions in him persisted. But murder? The man she’d kissed, who’d held her in his arms, a murderer?

The following excerpt is set in 1913, in a remote town in Washington State in the beautiful Cascade Mountains that bridge the US and Canada. In this scene Sofi is secretly listening in on a conversation between an English lawman and a Pinkerton detective who are discussing the man Sofi has come to love, an Irishman on the run for a murder in Ireland who is seeking freedom in the US.

Read this suspenseful excerpt from Sofi’s Bridge

Sofi pretended she studied the view through the window beyond the two detectives. The tailored suit of the younger lawman sported a gold watch chain looped in front of his waistcoat. His hat sat on the table. The English police inspector in brown tweed kept his bowler on his knee that jerked with nervous energy.

A quiet burst of laughter erupted from the Englishman. “I’ve spoken to a conductor who saw a man fitting Jimmy Galloway’s description getting off a train here on Saturday. The man’s sure Jimmy hitched a ride to Orchard. I’ve the younger brother to thank for leading us to this valley, and those daughters of Mrs. Andersson’s. A coincidence? Certainly not. Good police work. I’ll soon have Neil Galloway clapped in irons.”

Sofi’s insides turned over.

The younger man spoke in a dry tone. “Yes, with Dr. Galloway clapped in irons, that promotion you mentioned, Webley, will soon be yours.”

“About time too, Joel. I’ve worked too hard to be passed over again. Perhaps with the promotion I can get transferred out of Ireland and back to civilized England.”

The man called Joel looked over a sheath of papers. “I’m puzzled by your Scotland Yard autopsy report, though. There’s nothing to suggest what type of weapon the decedent was stabbed with.”

The Englishman clipped out, “Had to be a scalpel, didn’t it? Who better to take a life than a doctor?”

“A scalpel? I don’t think—”

“Of course it was a scalpel.” The Englishman, Webley, grew red in the face. “Besides, only days earlier Neil threatened to kill Crawford. He was seen standing over the body. That’s the thing you’ve got to understand about the Irish—they’re always fighting. This Neil Galloway, putting on airs, getting himself an education, thinking highly of himself, will always, only ever be…good-for-nothing Irish.”

Shaking began in Sofi’s inner core. Neil…accused of murder? Stabbing? She carefully set her cup on the saucer and stared blindly out at the Cascade Mountains that under the heavy cloud cover appeared a dull jade. From the corner of her eye she caught the man called Webley craning his neck as he looked over the restaurant.

“It’ll be a few hours before that train for Orchard arrives. It’s a sore trial waiting in this blighted place, the back of beyond.”

The younger man’s words slid out in a low tone. “I’m sorry you find our Washington State such a trial. Most continental visitors compare its pristine beauty to Switzerland.”

Inspector Webley sat back. “Have I trod on a nerve, Detective Harrison? Well, once you’ve escorted me and my quarry back to New York to catch our ship, our paths will part, and I’ll be leaving this charming frontier patch. As it is, I must send a telegram to my superiors in Ireland with my progress.” With that, Webley marched out of the restaurant.

Sofi rose stiffly as though she’d aged a hundred years. The waiter came with her order balanced on a tray, but she swept past him. Thankful she’d already paid her hotel bill, she ran out of the foyer and down the steps to her car. She’d been so angry with Neil for his secrets. But Neil had given Trina nothing but compassion. He’d put himself at risk to save Gunnar’s life. The contradictions in him persisted. But murder? The man she’d kissed, who’d held her in his arms, a murderer? What little faith she had in Neil slammed up against the Englishman’s accusations. Think Sofi, think. Don’t feel. Put him out of your mind. There was the bridge to think of. Yes, her bridge.

The train was supposed to slow before reaching the bridge. It would come to a stop to allow Charles to board before it steamed into Orchard. The only safe place to stop the train was the switching yard. The limousine’s top speed was only thirty miles an hour. On rough road, much slower.

She’d have to hurry to beat the train that would leave Skykomish in a few hours. Minutes later she banged on the front window of the mining store. The owner snapped his suspenders into place and opened the door to her with a mild grumble. Rummaging through the tools she found what she was looking for, a large sledge hammer, a variety of wrenches, a hacksaw, most importantly, a set of bolt cutters.

She paid, and ran to the car under a sky bruised with cloud. Her only clear thought—and may the Lord forgive her—she must break the law. Stop that train. And when she saw Neil, do what? Warn him? Or tell the sheriff?

Sofi's Bridge, by Christine Lindsay

SOFI’S BRIDGE, by Christine Lindsay

Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.

READ THE FIRST CHAPTER OF SOFI’S BRIDGE Click HERE

PURCHASE LINKS FOR SOFI’S BRIDGE

Amazon

Pelican Book Group

Christine LindsayABOUT CHRISTINE LINDSAY

Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction. Born in N. Ireland, it was tales of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her historical trilogy, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and the explosive finale Veiled at Midnight. Her Irish wit and joy in the use of setting as a character is evident in her contemporary romance Londonderry Dreaming and in Sofi’s Bridge coming May 2016.

Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine is the happy wife of David of 35 years, a mom and a grandma. She makes her home on the west coast of Canada, and in Aug. 2016 she will see her long-awaited non-fiction book released, Finding Sarah, Finding Me: A Birth Mother’s Story.

Please drop by Christine’s website www.ChristineLindsay.org or follow her on Amazon on Twitter. Subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, and be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook, and Goodreads

Guest Post: The Spiritual Side of Writing Breaking Free, by Jennifer Slattery

The Spiritual Side of Writing Breaking Free

by Jennifer Slattery

I’m pretty sure every writer has that one story they long to see get published. Perhaps it’s the first one they wrote, or maybe one that touches on a deeply personal subject. Or maybe they sensed God’s hand so strongly as they wrote it, the story took on a deeply spiritual meaning.

Breaking Free was the first purely fiction adult story I wrote, it touched on encounters from my past, and it came about after a long spiritual standoff. I first felt the nudge to write around 2004 but all I did was dabble. As I had time. But then, around 2008, things changed as I sensed a definite call. God wanted me to sever my safety nets and lay it all—my time, dreams, ambitions—my whole self, on the altar.

This terrified me, because I’d been lingering on the outskirts of writing communities enough to know how incredibly hard it was to get published. Shouldn’t I pursue a more rational career? One with a guaranteed paycheck, retirement plan, and insurance benefits?

But honestly, that wasn’t what I feared most. What kept me dragging my feet was the possibility that I could spend decades, potentially the rest of my life, pounding away at my keyboard with nothing to show for it but a bunch of old documents.

You see, I measured my success based on my accomplishments rather than obedience. More than that, I measured my self-worth based on my accomplishments. Therefore, if I wasn’t successful, I wasn’t valuable.

God used Breaking Free to show me how faulty my thinking had become and to remind me of who I was in Him. I suppose this story represents my own freedom journey in a way. And yet, the journey isn’t over. Perhaps it never will be, because I find it’s all too easy to slip back into that “do-to-be” attitude, measuring my worth on temporary things when my real life is hidden with Christ in God. When that happens, God must once again pry my reaching-grasping fingers loose, centering me in His truth and grace, because that is when my creativity truly comes alive.

What about you? Have you ever sensed God calling you to do something you found irrational or irresponsible? What made that nudge so frightening? How did you respond? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Breaking Free, by Jennifer Slattery

Breaking Free:

Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters.

Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?

 

Read a free, 33-page excerpt here: Free sample of Breaking Free

Buy it:

Connect with Jennifer

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction Jennifer Slatteryfor New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and devotions for Internet Café Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at facebook.com/JenSlatte.

Guest Post: Can You See the Positive in the Negative?

Can You See the Positive in the Negative?

by R.A. Giggie

Whenever I go through hard times, even if it seems it can’t get any worse, I try to look at the good things I have. Nine times out of ten, it helps and lifts my spirits up. For example, if I see rain instead of the sun, I thank God for the food I eat, the cozy home that keeps me warm and dry, the clothes on my back, and the comfy bed I sleep in. This said, it doesn’t mean I don’t have trials and tribulations.

I’m blessed beyond belief to have good health, even with osteoarthritis which isn’t as severe as that of others. My pain is minimal compared to some who take pain killers on a daily basis in order to function properly. Many people live with different pains and burdens, like emotional, mental, and spiritual.

I don’t know who said, “There’s always somebody worse off than you are,” but I believe it. If we look at the positive things in our lives, we’ll see the hope, the light at the end of the tunnel.

Years ago, our six-year-old son was viciously attacked by a jealous dog who wanted undivided attention from her master. As a result, Terrence now bears a huge scar in the shape of an upside down L on his cheek. He nearly lost his eye. The way the dog shook him like a rag doll, he could easily have been killed. Yes, it could have been worse. One day, in his late teens, he came home upset because people made fun of his scar. It broke my heart all over again that others would point the finger or give him “the look.” I reminded him that the owner had told us his dog was very possessive. His wife was pregnant when the attack took place, and the dog was put down. To this day, I believe had it not attacked Terrence, more than likely it would have attacked, and killed, their newborn infant.Emma's Prayer, by R.A. Giggie

There are so many other hurts in the world. That’s why when I write, I ask God to give me words of hope to reach people who are suffering, and those who are lost. I want to help them see things could be worse.

Stella’s Plea is about the disappearance of a three-year-old deaf child from the local playground and her mom’s struggle to find her. While her husband’s serving in the military overseas, Stella faces this all alone. Will she turn to God in her time of need?

Emma’s Prayer deals with a teen mom who put her son up for adoption but soon regrets it. Has he been placed with adoptive parents yet? Is it too late for her to get him back?

My novels are fiction, but the events they depict CAN happen in real life.

Have you been down lately? Can you see the light at the end of this road called LIFE? Look around you and remind yourself. It could be worse.

R.A. GiggieRenee-Ann Giggie’s desire to write came to her at a very young age. Her vivid imagination won her first place in her schools’ second grade composition contest. Later, the poetry she wrote as a teen found its way among the articles and columns of Le Progrès, the local newspaper where her mother worked as a reporter. The desire to write, however, remained nothing more than a hobby until just a few years ago when she wrote her first novel, Stella’s Plea, (2012) and her second, Emma’s Prayer, (2016). She is now working on her third, Charlie’s Plight.

She was also published in OakTara’s anthology, Falling in Love With You (October 2012), a compilation of true love stories.

She’s a member of, and very active in, several writing groups, and no stranger to Christian writers’ conferences where she thrives on learning everything she can about the craft, puts her newfound knowledge into practice, and then looks forward to the next conference.

She and her husband live in New Brunswick, Canada.

Connect with Renee-Ann online:

Facebook: facebook.com/ragiggie

Twitter: twitter.com/ragiggie

Website: reneeanngiggie.com

Friday Friends: Guest Post by Staci Stallings

It’s Not Up to You

Guest post by Staci Stallings

The ego in us tells us that we have to do it—whatever “it” happens to be. It may be working or finding work, or studying or practicing, or learning an instrument or learning anything. “It” could be a lot of things, but the biggest lie in this life is that “it” is up to us to do.

The book Grace Rules, by Steve McVey, leads with an interesting scenario of Jesus waking up in the morning and deciding what He was going to do for God today. In the story, Jesus decides that it would be a good thing to do a few miracles because that would get some attention, and casting out some demons might also be a good attention getter. The essence of what Mr. McVey was trying to say is that if we look to Jesus for our example, then our “planning” our day is completely ridiculous.

After reading Mr. McVey’s first book, Grace Walk, I realized I’d been doing exactly that. I had yellow notebooks filled with to-do lists: always the same thing with only a few variations. Pay bills, write article, work on website, work on book, etc. Over and over until you would’ve thought I had it memorized. There were also things on those lists that I didn’t get to, things that had never been crossed out.

Now I understood why I was always so frustrated!

If I put ten things on the list in the morning, inevitably by two, there were five more things to add. By the time I quit at six, I had added another six or eight. Instead of getting all of the things I had written down at the first of the day done, now I had 14 more things to do.

It was like I was on a squirrel wheel going round and round and round. Sure I had good intentions of doing what I was doing for God. I even put things in His hands when they seemed overwhelming, but it never occurred to me to put the whole day in His hands and let Him decide what we were going to do.

The first day I did that was the most empowering day of my life. For years I had worked to position myself as someone who could help other authors with marketing.  It never worked. It was as if no one else cared about marketing, which of course is completely ridiculous, but that’s the way it felt.

Then that day, I let go and let God. In the course of about five hours suddenly people were asking my opinion on these matters from so many different directions I could hardly keep up, but of course, I didn’t have to. During that day my email program totally shut down twice. Most days I would’ve been freaking out. That day, I said, “Okay, God, then what am I supposed to do?”

Instantly a thought would come to me.  That day—in one day—I helped four different people with their marketing, replied to every email that came my way, exercised, vacuumed my kitchen, sent in my tax information, wrote letters and got them mailed, played with my kids in the backyard, sent my newsletter out, read for 30 minutes, listened to a tape, took my kids to school, went and picked them up from school… It was as if I would think of it, and it would do itself.

And the cool thing is, it continues to be that way. I’ve been “redirected” many times. In fact this article is a redirect because what I was going to work on, I couldn’t find. So let God decide your “it,” and let Him decide when and how that will look. In short, realize it’s not up to you. Instead let Him do the “its” He has planned for your life through you today. You will be amazed.

(© 2005, Staci Stallings)

A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again.  Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.  Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including:

Books In Print, Kindle, & FREE on Spirit Light Works.

Spirit Light Books–The Blog

And…

Staci’s website

Come on over for a visit…

You’ll feel better for the experience!

A Family Resemblance

Do you ever cringe at the possibility of becoming just like [insert a relative’s name here]?  Last Saturday was my turn to post at InScribe Writers Online… and I chose a brief thought about “A Family Resemblance.”

Advent: Preparing for His Coming

This week was my turn to post at InScribe Writers Online. Observant readers will notice I’ve used the same opening line or two there as in this Wednesday’s post here, “God With Us,” but the InScribe one is an Advent/Christmas post. Click here to read “Preparing for His Coming“.

Selective Memory

Monday was my day to post at InScribe Writers Online, and I was thinking about Jesus’ miracles and how the religious leaders were more interested in damage control than in the possibility that God might actually be with them in the flesh. And I was thinking about us today, not so very different….

The post is “Selective Memory“.

Listening to God

As I packed for a spiritual retreat last weekend [two weekends past, now], a thought hit me: you can count on hearing God at a retreat because you’ve reduced the distractions, but it’s also because you’re listening. You’re anticipating. You expect to hear him.

Pop on over to the InScribe Writers Online blog if you want to read more about “Listening to God“.

Works in Progress

Monday was my day to post at InScribe Writers Online: a few words of encouragement to remind us we’re God’s works in progress.