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Meet the Author Cindy Sproles

CindySproles.Profile.Picture

 

I first met Cindy Sproles in July of 2013 when we served on faculty at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference. Let’s just say we hit it off, and we became fast friends, almost as if we’d known each other all our lives. But that’s often the case when one Christian meets another. We have a special bond in Christ, which makes being a part of the family of God so very special.

Let’s meet Cindy and find out a little more about this interesting gal and published author.

Cindy’s Day Job

When asked about her job, Cindy replied, “Which one? I have four. I’m a writer, of course. I also serve as acquisitions editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas – SonRise Books. SonRise is the devotional books imprint of LPC. I also acquisition for our non-fiction imprint, which has not officially been released yet. That’s job #2.  Job #3 is as an Office Administrator for Comfort Keepers, an in-home, non-medical company who places caregivers in the homes of the elderly. Finally, job #4 is Christian Devotions Ministries. I am the executive editor for www.christiandevotions.us and cofounder of this ministry.”

Is Cindy very busy? Need we answer that question?

Cindy hardly has time to be bored. But of her four jobs, she said, “I love writing first and foremost. I can sit at my desk and be lost in words a good thirteen hours a day. My second love is Christian Devotions. I know this, along with writing, is the ministry into which God has called me. The two work hand-in-hand, and they allow me wonderful opportunities to teach at writers conferences nationwide. It’s a joy to teach. I’ve been told I’m an encourager. I love to sit across the table from other writers and work with them and critique their efforts. It allows me the golden chance to become their cheerleader.”

What Does Cindy Write?

When asked this question, Cindy chuckled. “The first time I attended a writers conference, I attended alone. I stood in line to check into the hotel and had the radar going to hear what everyone talked about. There’s something to be said for naivety, because all I heard folks asking was, “What do you write?”

Cindy then recalled the humorous incident that caused that chuckle to surface. “As I stood in line, this very nice man turned around and extended his hand. ‘Hi. My name is Al. What’s yours?’”

“Cindy.”

“This your first conference?”

“I look that green?”

He laughed. “You look like that deer-in-headlights.”

I immediately began to feel comfortable. These writers must not be so bad, so I asked “the” question.

“What do you write?”

A grin stretched across his face. “Oh…this and that.” And he left it at that.

The next day, I attended my first class, and who should walk in to teach the class but Alton Gansky. I found out he’d written over 40 books, and I, the deer-in-headlights, had actually asked him what he wrote! Since then, Al has become a wonderful friend. See what happens at writers conferences?

So, Cindy, c’mon, tell us. What do you write? She says, “I’ve primarily written non-fiction: devotions and true stories. But fiction has always gnawed at me. I kept writing non-fiction and became part of three devotional compilations, He Said, She Said – A Devotional Guiding to Cultivating a Life of Passion, co-authored with my ministry partner, Eddie Jones. And last year, my first stand-alone devotional book was released, New Sheets – Thirty Days to Refining You into the Woman You can Be.

Fiction for Cindy?

“Yes,” she said. “In August 2013, Kregel Publishing contracted Mercy’s Rain, which will release late fall or early 2015. My fiction dream is coming true.”

Any Advice for Newbie Writers?

“It took a long time for me to find my niche in writing. I knew God gifted me in non-fiction, but the drive He placed in me moved me to learn the craft of fiction. This is why when I teach, I encourage new writers to try their hand at lots of different types and genres. You may never publish in those areas, but you learn the art of writing from every angle. It’s amazing.”

Cindy’s Personal Life is not Dull Either

When talking about her life, Cindy said, “I’m a country girl, raised in the mountains of East Tennessee, my most all-time favorite place to be. I love my mountain heritage and the people of the Appalachian Mountains. We’re pretty easy going, happy with a simple life, and we love that mountain air.

I’m happily married to the THE most wonderful guy in the world. Tim and I have four sons (all adults) and one grandson. Yep, we never seemed to find a little girl to hug on—it’s all boys–even our pet animals are male. But this has made life most interesting. There has never been a dull moment.”

What Inspires Her Writing?

“Plain and simple,” she said, “people do. I try to look deep at every life experience I have to seek out the things God is teaching me. That pours out through my writing. My heart and my life are a constant work in progress. Those around me help shape that, so they inspire me.

“The river inspires me. A mountain trail. The summer breeze. I love to meet God on the mountain and try to hear what He whispers to me.”

In a Nutshell. . .

Cindy shared how she feels about her life and work: “I’m very transparent. I love family, quiet time, and working the ministry of Christian Devotions. I had no idea seven years ago that God would actually use a gal like me. But when He called, I said yes, and the road He has taken me down has been nothing short of amazing.

“I had a conferee say, ‘How’s it feel to have so many people know who you are?’ And I actually laughed out loud. I figure there’s one of me. It’s easy to remember the gal with the southern twang. I don’t consider myself to be known by the multitudes, but I do pray those I meet are encouraged, and when they walk away, they can say they were loved.

“I’m an avid animal lover, having worked for 15 years as a vet tech. I could not pass up the opportunity to publically admit, I covet Marsha’s dog, Bailey.”

*****

Well, thanks, Cindy, for opening your heart to the readers. We wish you all God’s blessings in the many facets of your life, and I’ll let you in on a little secret: Bailey thinks you’re the cat’s meow too!

Bailey.on.Cushion.405.12

 

Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com and see the ministry of Christian Devotions at www.christiandevotions.us.

Sproles.Book.Cover

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MEET THE AUTHOR/EDITOR: BARBARA SCOTT

 Barbara Scott - Agent (2)

I first met Barbara Scott at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July of 2001. She was then the acquisitions editor for Zonderkidz (the children’s division of Zondervan) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and I was a struggling writer who had gone to that writers conference to try to sell a series of Bible study guides to a company interested in Christian non-fiction. I had no idea who Barbara was nor did I think I’d be interested in writing juvenile fiction at that time in my writing career.

However, in one of the editor/conferee private appointments, on a whim, I met with Barbara and showed her a short story I had written about a girl in a wheelchair who learned to ride a horse. Unbeknown to me, Barbara was looking for someone to write a juvenile girl/horse series for Zonderkidz. We talked for a while on the front porch of Dreyer Hall at the Montrose conference, she liked my writing style and twenty-plus years’ experience with children and horses, and she shared her idea with me. Without going into much more detail, let’s just say the best-selling eight-book KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES was conceived, and the rest is history.

Barbara’s that kind of gal whom you want to be your best friend as soon as you meet her. She’s warm, friendly, and often laughs at your stupid jokes that aren’t funny at all. But on top of that sparkling personality, Barbara is “street-wise” and is a walking dictionary when it comes to writing, editing, and publishing.

Barbara Scott Has More Than 30 Years of Publishing Experience, ranging from newspapers and magazines to Christian books for all ages. As a senior acquisitions editor, she is credited for kicking off a well-rounded series of bestselling YA novels at Zondervan and quality, highly reviewed novels at Abingdon Press.

Barbara also says, “I’ve worked with both fiction and nonfiction authors and sold their work to numerous publishers while a literary agent for WordServe Literary Group. I’m also a published author, and currently I’m writing and editing under the banner of my own company, Heartland Editorial Management”  (http://www.heartlandeditorial.com ).

Barbara’s Credentials:

Barbara has a long list of credits that are quite impressive. “I’ve partnered with best-selling authors such as Brandilyn Collins and Melody Carlson for the YA fiction line at Zondervan, and many of the authors in my fiction launch at Abingdon Press received rave reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal.” Two of her authors at Abingdon Press, Cynthia Ruchti and Richard Mabry, were nominated for Carol Awards by ACFW in 2011, and Nancy Rue, one of her authors at Zonderkidz has sold more than one million copies of her various children’s and YA series there. The fiction line at Abingdon Press exceeded all sales expectations.

Her Background:

Barbara’s educational background includes a M.A. in English from National University, a B.A. in English from Missouri Southern College, a Certificate in Film from the Mass Media Institute at Stanford University, a graduate-level course in child development from Calvin College, training in screen development with the Robert McKee Story Seminar in Los Angeles, and numerous sales, management, and customer service training courses.

I would say this woman is highly qualified to write and edit, wouldn’t you say?

Barbara’s “Secret” Life:

Asking this amazing gal to share something really interesting that most folks don’t know about her, I found that she’s definitely has had an exciting life.

 “As a teenager, I was a member of the Civil Air Patrol (an auxiliary to the Air Force) and went through ground flight school, two weeks of boot camp on an Air Force base, and learned how to rappel down cliffs, shoot a rifle, and hunt for downed civilian planes. I was a lot braver then and in much better shape! Also, by the time I finished college back in the Stone Age, I had attended twenty-seven schools, and I received my Master’s Degree in English at the age of sixty.”

What else can be said about a gal who’s “been around”?

All I can say is Barbara knows her stuff when it comes to the publishing world, and I’m eternally grateful to her and God for giving me the opportunity to write from my heart and to write about what I love: horses, kids, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Visit Barbara’s daily tips, inspirational quotes, and encouragement for writers on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Barbara.Scott01 and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BarbaraScott01.

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A HORSE TO LOVE

Volume One in THE KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES

Keystone Stables Book 1

 Purchase at http://www.amazon.com/A-Horse-Love-Keystone-Stables/dp/0310717922/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363616301&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Horse+to+Love+by+Marsha+Hubler

 

 

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On Writing: Meet the Author George Michael Loughmueller

(George, I’m glad you could join us at my blog today. Let’s get right to the core of the apple and discuss three of your books, The Flood, Attainable, An Amish Journey. Tell us a little about your stories:)

An Amish Home. That’s what Allan has now. He found his path and so much goodness came into his life. My new stories are set in Karsten Field about eight to ten years after An Amish Journey. Allan is happily married with two young children. His oldest daughter, Alice, even has a family of her own. Life is good.

That doesn’t mean they don’t face any challenges. Sometimes, when life is that good, we need reminders. An Amish Home – Attainable is one of those reminders.

Karsten Field is suffering from a severe drought, something to which many readers can relate. However, having an independent, simple life could mean the end of Karsten Field. Without modern technology to save their crops, Allan and Ben Abrim worry about winter food shortages. They are in the presence of a metaphorical Goliath.

The story of David and Goliath inspired Attainable. A small Amish community is only as strong as its faith. A natural disaster could destroy everything they have. Escaping the drought seems to be unattainable. Although Allan has been set free, he still has plenty to learn and God is always teaching.

The big questions: If the people of Karsten Field are so faithful, why would God let them experience a drought? Why would He not send rain?

The answer is simple: No matter what comes before you, God will see you through it. That does not mean He will change weather patterns, mainly because His reward is not on earth. It doesn’t matter what happens to us here. Cancer, war, poverty are all people problems, not God problems. Bad things can and will happen to us in this life. God is not going to solve all of our problems for us, but He will be there to see us through them, as he did with David. God could have struck down Goliath or sent a flood. Instead, David had to stand up and face the giant. He was never alone, God was always with him.

God is in Karsten Field. Allan has to stand up and face his own giant.

If things seem impossible or insurmountable, Allan has to learn that everything is Attainable with God.

An Amish Home – The Flood is available now – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008OAFO04

 An Amish Home – Attainable will be coming very soon!

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(A Note from Marsha: Hi, blogger friends!  You’re probably quite surprised that I’d be blogging twice on the same day since my normal routine has been to post at this blog once every two weeks.  Well, here’s the deal.

As a member of the Trestle Press published authors’ club, I have been asked to join an authors’ team and post blogs about some of our other authors from now until the second week of September. There will be about 10 different posts total, one posted every few days, which will review or interview a different Trestle Press author and his/her work. Hopefully, you’ll take a good look at these authors and consider buying their books. It’s all good reading. Take my word for it.)

On Writing: Meet Author Karen Anna Vogel

(Karen Anna Vogel talks about Amish friends who inspire her writing)

What is your connection to the Amish?

I live ½ hour away from Smicksburg, PA, a large Old Order Amish settlement. I shop at their stores and we hired Amish men to help remodel our century old farmhouse. It’s been fifteen years of remodeling, (still not done…) so we got to know many men and their families. On their breaks, they love to talk and swap stories, and I always have 1001 questions, ranging from “Do you grow celery for weddings?”(They had no idea what I was talking about) to “Do you read the Bible?” (Yes, they do, KJV)

I became good friends with Lydia, (Katie Byler in Knit Together) after buying so many plants from her greenhouses, and “Granny” while taking lots of people to her quilt shop. (Granny wishes to be completely anonymous) She is Granny Weaver in Amish Knitting Circle, Amish Friends Knitting Circle, Amish Doll and Knit Together.

When did your fascination with Amish culture start?

In my mid-20’s my husband and I moved to Upstate New York. There are many Amish in rural New York, and we became friends with a handicapped man, Harry Hershberger, and his wife, Katie. (Eli and Lottie Hershberger in Knit Together) His buggy was hit as a young man, after the birth of their daughter and the Amish build a variety store on the side of his house. My four kids loved to go in and get coloring books, and we all got to know Harry from our regular visits. He had some use of his hands and made quilts, and I took them to festivals.

One day he told me I was a trusted English friend, and invited me into their food co-op. When I moved back home to Pennsylvania fourteen years later, the Amish in Smicksburg knew Harry & Katie. Since I was a trusted friend to them, they trusted me. Once you’re a trusted friend, it’s like having an all access pass into their lives it seems. They readily open up, and if you’re one of them.  Once I was chatting with a woman and her husband came home from work, and he never met me before. He looked at her sternly, and she said, “Friends with Harry Hershberger in NY” and he smiled at me and nodded in approval.

Tell us about your novels and continuing short stories.

My novels out now are stand-alone stories, but are all called Amish Knitting Novels. Knit Together and The Amish Doll are set in different locations, but they both focus on healing through knitting and faith in Christ.

Continuing shorts have made quite a comeback. Anne of Green Gables, Pickwick Papers, and Jan Karon’s At Home in Mitford series were all weekly serials in newspapers. My shorts come out every 3 weeks. Amish Knitting Circle started with Granny inviting five women from her church district to a knitting circle to knit shawls for tornado victims in Joplin, MO. She invites women she has inkling are hiding problems. Granny spins yarn and feels women are stronger spun together, and by the end of 10 episodes, you see how much they needed each other.

Amish Friends Knitting Circle is about Granny and her girls having a knitting circle with friends from the SmicksburgBaptistChurch. It’s been lots of fun to write, since I take lines right out of my own conversations with the Amish.

What are your readers saying about your books?

Since I deal with cancer, infertility, spousal abuse and other women’s issues, women tell me they are finding help and comfort, especially through Amish Knitting Circle and Amish Friends Knitting Circle.  Some women are starting knitting or craft circles, spreading the message that we’re stronger as women, spun together. Also, Knit Together is semi-autobiographical. I wrote if after losing my mom and two cousins in 13 months. So it deals with grief and it seems to be ministering to people. The complete Serenity Prayer is in the book, and different parts of the prayer are prayed by different characters. It helped bring healing to me, and I hope it does the same for my readers.

Where can readers find your books and connect with you?

You can contact me at www.karenannavogel.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/karen.a.vogel.9 My blog, Amish Crossings, is meant to be a place to cross paths with others interested in the Amish or simple living. Please join me there at www.karenannavogel.blogspot.com I also share my Amish photography on Pinterest, and you can follow me on Twitter @karenannavogel.

My eBooks can be found on Amazon, B&N, Sony, and anywhere eBooks are sold. My paperback, Knit Together and The Amish Doll, are on Amazon for now, but soon to be distributed to brick and mortar stores and other websites. Our family store, Thrifty Christian Shopper, www.thriftychristian.com  (Also on EBay and Amazon) will carry the paperbacks as well. You also might find them in your local library. Ask the librarian to get a copy if they don’t have one.

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Thank you, Karen, for allowing us to visit with you and your work today!

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Meet Author/Illustrator Brenda K. Hendricks

(In her own eloquent words …)

All the world’s a football stadium. Beneath that dome, there exists four positions—spectators, cheerleaders, coaches, and players.

Brenda K. Hendricks? She sits in the grandstand filing her nails or doodling on the program. At least until a player’s shoulders slump in bewilderment. Then Brenda bounds onto the sideline. With a keyboard in one hand and a paintbrush in the other like whirling pom-poms, she “shouts” encouragement through words and paintings.

Over a hundred of her devotions have been printed in numerous periodicals and compilations. Her paintings and prints have been bought as visual reminders of God’s love.

While cheering the players to victory, Brenda notices the need for instruction and marches to the players’ bench. Keyboard clicking, brush swirling, she writes and illustrates children’s picture books. Two are currently in print. What’s the Buzz, Bumbly Bee? helps children to become all God has created them to be, despite the impossibilities. What’s Better than That, Seren Dippity? teaches children that sharing makes friends, and nothing is better than that.

Brenda continues to “blow the coach’s whistle” with an online Bible study that can be read at Two Small Fish and through words of encouragement on her blog My Quotes of Encouragement.

Currently, she is illustrating an early reader’s chapter book about the first settlers in Wisconsin, which is scheduled for publication in December. She also is writing a devotional designed for creative people entitled, A Portrait of Christ, an Artist’s Perspective and an allegory titled Tabitha Tuesday.

Although all this cheering and instructing consumes a lot of time, the ball occasionally bounces at Brenda’s feet. She sets her keyboard and brush aside, picks up her helmet, and … hops on the back of her husband’s motorcycle. Together, they sail over paved seas. While enjoying the landscape, Brenda plots her next novel, relates scripture to her adventure, and deciphers how to duplicate the cloud formation on canvas as she settles back into the position of spectator.

***

Wow, Brenda. A boring life is NOT what you have. You go, girl!

Be sure to visit creative Brenda at her blog sites and order her books for your young grandchildren. They’ll love them.

Happy Writing!

P.S. – I want to welcome any Amish/Mennonite fiction lovers to this site who are interested in my new series, THE LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY. Volume 1, BACHELOR’S CHOICE, was released by Trestle Press as an e-book on July 2, and is already doing quite well. TEACHER’S PET and LOVE SONG FOR LOUELLEN are slated to be released over the next few months.

In a short time, I’ll have a page on this blog dedicated to just those who love reading the red hot Amish/Mennonite genre! I’ll discuss all things Amish and Mennonite, including their lifestyles,  PA Dutch recipes, and other trivia that will interest any reader of this genre.

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Meet Author Loree Lough

Loree Lough

 Yes, it’s true. Once upon a time, best-selling author Loree Lough literally sang for her supper, performing before packed audiences throughout the Midwest. Now and then even today, she blows dust from her six-string Yamaha to croon a tune or two for her “gran-dorables,” but mostly she just writes.

Over the years, her stories have earned hundreds of industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards and a long list of four-and-five-star reviews. With four million plus—yes, that’s four million—copies of her books in circulation, Loree has 88 books (fiction and nonfiction for kids and adults; three novels optioned for movies; more titles slated for release between now and 2013; 68 short stories, 2500+ articles in print; and nearly 12,000 letters from devoted fans. (A carton of books was recently delivered to Nora H. in Altoona, PA, for sending in the 12,001st letter!)

Also a columnist for Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the writing craft and industry, and her comedic approach makes her a favorite guest lecturer for writers’ organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, and college and high school writing programs in the U.S. and abroad.

A writer who believes in giving back some of what the Lord has given to her, Loree dedicates a generous portion of her annual income to Soldiers’ Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, the Wolf Sanctuary of PA, and other worthwhile orgs. (Visit her website www.loreelough.com and click on “Giving Back” to see a full list.)

Loree and hubby, her real-life hero, split their time between a humble home in the Baltimore suburbs and a little cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she delights in showing off her “identify the critter tracks” skills.

A Man of Honor (Abingdon Press, August, 2012)

by Loree Lough

On a steamy spring morning, Dusty Parker—part-time pastor, part-time search-and-rescue member, and full-time administrator at a school for troubled boys—joins the search for a missing teenage girl. He partners with volunteer and inner-city school teacher, Grace Sinclair, and what they find bonds them in ways neither could have expected. As they begin to build their lives together, a visitor from the past causes Dusty and Grace to further open their hearts and home. But a threat is looming over their seemingly perfect lives, and in one terrifying night… everything changes. (ISBN 978-4267-1462-7 Trade paperback, US $14.99)

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Well, I must say Loree has quite a list of credits and just as interesting a personal life. Thanks, Loree, for sharing some of “you” with us on this blog today.

Now, the rest of you Writers of Any Genre, please consider being interviewed and having your gorgeous picture and/or your book cover posted on my blog. I’d be happy to feature you here in one of my upcoming MEET THE AUTHOR blogs. Happy writing!

Marsha

www.marshahubler.com

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On Writing: Meet One of our Authors

Jean Oathout

Jean Oathout

Jean Oathout writes from her heart. Her first recently released book, SO YOU PLAN TO MARRY A MAN, is as much a personal testimony of what she’s learned from God as a book of helps for wives and gals desiring to be married one day.

Jean was born in Tacoma Park, MA, in 1937. Her father died when Jean was six, her mother remarrying when Jean was eleven years old and moving the family to New York State.

In 1955, Jean married an Air Force man and had three sons. However, the marriage failed. Jean later remarried and had one more son. Her new husband relocated the family in Vermont in 1983, where they “homesteaded,” growing most of their food and living without electricity for most of seventeen years.

Unfortunately for Jean, the second marriage also had its problems, both she and her husband “having issues.” Jean found it hard to be a submissive wife and wanted to leave. However, at the Lord’s prompting, she stayed and learned how to deal with life according to the way her husband wished. Through these difficult years, Jean started to journal, putting her writings in poetic form with the thought that some day she would share them with other women.

Finally in 1999, Jean had to leave her married life and seek inward healing that only God could provide. Over the years, she’s come to realize that she needed to forgive and go on with her life. She has fellowship with a body of believers in a local church and has many friends in the Madrid, NY, community. She is presently working on two more poetic devotionals that are scheduled for publication with Lighthouse Publishing from the Carolinas.

It’s Jean’s desire that her efforts glorify the Lord and help women look to Him for guidance in their married lives. Her next book, WHEN A WOMAN MARRIES A MAN, will share more wisdom Jean had learned to find God’s help and peace in the trials of everyday life. Her third book, TO RAISE A CHILD CAN BE JOY, is an encouragement to parents who desire to rear their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 Happy writing and if you’d like to be featured on this blog, please contact me at: marshahubler@wildblue.net

Marsha

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