Free E-Book — today through September 9

SET FREE - AMAZON FRONT COVER

Do you prefer reading books digitally? Well, then this offer is for you. SET FREE TO LOVE, which is Book # 1 in The Smoky Mountain Series, is available for the next four days absolutely free in digital format.

The book normally sells for $3.99, but since Amazon and I are focusing on The Smoky Mountain Series promotions this month, we’re offering the first book free — for the next 4 days only.

Also, if you don’t own a Kindle device, you can download a free Kindle app for any device that you use. You’ll find the download on the same page where you order the book.

If you enjoy inspirational fiction, I hope you’ll check out Private Detective Maddison Holt’s story in SET FREE TO LOVE. Click on the title to link to the product page for a description and to make your purchase.


 

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Pay Attention to the Public View of Your WP Site

COMPUTER WITH TONGUE OUTFor the past few years, WordPress has put a little box at the very bottom of our posts with the notice “Sometimes, visitors may see an advertisement here.”  That implies — and it used to be the case — that they would place ads at the bottom of our posts. And, of course, they’ve always told us that if we are logged into our account, we won’t see the ads.

However, this year, WP has begun to put large ads all throughout our posts. Even though they still “say” that an add might appear at the very bottom — which implies that the bottom is the only place ads will go — they are popping ads into our posts in as much as 4 or 5 places, interrupting our text, and then throwing in more ads at the bottom of the post.

I don’t argue that they have a right to put in an ad or two if they offer the web space free, but, in my opinion, they have been very deceptive about the whole thing since the changes this year, and — also in my opinion — one or two ads at the bottom of the page should be sufficient. Moreover, some of the ads are offensive and vulgar, and can, at times, seriously conflict with the purpose and tone of the blog itself.

So, folks, don’t stay in the dark about your blog or website. Be sure you log out of WP and then pull up your site while you’re logged out. Do it regularly. You need to be aware of what the general public sees whey they visit your site.

Other WordPress users are not supposed to see your ads either — although several times recently I’ve seen them even when logged in.

But it’s important that you be aware that a whole lot of people visiting your site are being exposed to tons of ads that you may not even agree with at all. At least if you are aware of the specific ads, you can say something to your visitors if necessary — or be prepared if you get any negative feedback or reaction from visitors who may be judging you by the ads they see on your site.

WordPress has really been pushing hard lately to get everyone to purchase a blog rather than use the free service. I understand that they want and need to make money. But these pressure tactics — including deluging our posts with mass advertising — seems a little over the top for good customer relations.

 


 

Excited About My Newest Journal

My newest journal project is complete and available for purchase from Amazon. I’ll have a supply soon as well, if you live in my area and want to get them from me.

WORD-INSPIRED COVER - frontWORD-INSPIRED JOURNAL SAMPLE PG 2MY WORD-INSPIRED JOURNAL offers 108 lined pages for personal journaling, interspersed with 12 great pictures and scripture passages to inspire meditation and devotional thought.  This journal is perfect to use for personal devotion times or as a prayer journal — or to just record whatever is on your heart every day.

I’ve included a picture of the front cover and one sample of the inside pages as well.

$6.00

Find MY WORD-INSPIRED JOURNAL at this LINK:

Gone From This World But Still In My Heart

Two years ago today, I lost my very best friend of many years when attorney and civic leader Kent Bartholomew Mann was killed while riding his bicycle. It’s been a very sad two years for me. Kent was much more than just a friend. He was also my best-ever book editor. Although a lawyer by profession, he had a most amazing and creative gift for writing and editing, and many were the times I sat with him, or called him, and said, “Hey, I’ve got this scene that really needs so-and-so, but I’m stuck.” His creativity would go to work on the problem and almost always come up with an idea that was just right. He helped me so very much in my writing, my business, and my ministry.

Without question, Kent was my toughest critic, and my strongest and most faithful champion. He constantly challenged me to my highest and my best in every area of my life. More than once, when a situation just got too hard to deal with and I was ready to throw in the towel, he absolutely refused to let me quit. [And it’s hard to argue with a guy who stands at 6′ 7″ and weighs over 200 pounds. :)]

I was not the only person he touched with his kindness and encouragement. I have realized over this past two years that there is hardly any sector of my home town to which I can go where I am not reminded of how he did something in that place that helped someone – sometimes an individual, and sometimes an entire group of people. Was he perfect? Certainly not. But he was the truest kind of friend.

We spent hours working on one of my inspirational novels on the afternoon of the day he died. When we stopped for the day, I walked out the door with our plans made to pick up the work again the following morning. Three hours later, he was gone from this life.

I’m sharing all of this information simply to make this point: In the world we’re living in right now, true, trustworthy friendships are rare. If you have been blessed with that kind of friendship, value it as gold. Cherish it, nourish it, and guard it with your whole heart. These words offer the most sincere wish I can make for you in honor of my beloved friend.

Kent Bartholomew Mann is gone from this world, and it’s a darker place as a result. But he is still very much alive in my heart, and his legacy of love and friendship still lightens the shadows.

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It’s Coming! It’s Coming!

What’s coming?????

OWL JOURNAL COVER W. BRANCH - FRONT ONLY

My CHOCOLATE OWL JOURNAL.


I’ve just finished the prototype for my next journal, and I can’t wait to get it out there for writers who are always looking for more pages to fill.

This little gem is called the CHOCOLATE OWL JOURNAL and, instead of photos throughout like the coffee lovers journal, it will offer great little nuggets of chocolate wisdom from CHOCOLATE OWL himself.

Now, authors and book creators don’t generally dedicate something like a journal to people who are special to them, so this journal won’t include a dedication page either. But I just want to say that if I were dedicating it, I’d have to dedicate it to my friend Lee over at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus. She appreciates owls — and all kinds of God’s precious winged creatures  — more than anyone else I know.

Well, I just wanted to let you see the front cover and whet your appetite for this newest project. It should be available for purchase by the end of the week at the latest. Price should be around $6.00. I’ll post again when it’s ready and give you all the final details.

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Hurry! We’re Almost Gone

SMILEY - YEL,ORANGEJust a reminder to some of my followers here:

Not everyone who follows me on this site follows my ministry site “Hangin’ Out With God.”  But a whole lot of you do. For that reason, I’m posting a reminder here as well as there, so that you won’t forget to switch to our brand new site with us.

“Hangin’ Out With God” has been spreading the love of Jesus for over 8 years, and we have moved that work to our brand new site — “Radical About Jesus Ministries.” This week will be the last week “Hangin” Out” is available for public viewing. Unfortunately, I’m not sure everyone has actually realized that unless they hop over to the new website and hit the “Follow” button, they will lose all connection with that work.

I know it sounds strange to say that the readers don’t understand that point. But you know how it is:  we are creatures of habit, and if we’ve been going to the same site for over 8 years, we just keep doing it and thinking, “Oh, yeah, I need to check out the new site.”  Then the next time we visit the old website, we think that again — and again — and, well, you get the point.

Anyway, since we have hundreds of followers on “Hangin’ Out” and only about 5 of them have moved with us to the new site, I thought a little reminder here for those who follow both sites might be helpful. Of course, if most of those hundreds of people don’t want to follow us any longer, that’s okay, but I don’t really think that’s the case with most of them.

So, please, if you want to stay connected with the “Hangin’ Out With God” ministry, be sure to visit “Radical About Jesus Ministries” and hit “Follow” before next Monday. We really don’t want to lose you!

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COFFEE LOVERS JOURNAL

My newest project: DAILY GRIND COFFEE LOVERS JOURNAL

COFFEE JOURNAL COVER FRONT ONLY
It’s finally online and for sale — from Amazon. (Copies will also be available from me personally if you’re in the Southern Illinois area). I love this journal. I enjoyed creating it, and I’ll enjoy using it personally. I’m including a few pictures of the outside and inside — since the sample Amazon gives is too short to see what the journaling section actually looks like.

COFFEE JOURNAL COVER BACK ONLYJOURNAL SAMPLE 1JOURNAL SAMPLE 2

There are 31 delicious coffee pictures — each with its own appropriate caption and 3 lightly lined journaling pages. There are 93 lined journaling pages total. I hope coffee lovers all over the world will get one and enjoy it or give it as a gift to someone they love — who loves coffee.

The journal is $19.00 on Amazon. I’m selling them personally at a discount, but, of course, you’d have to live close enough for me to deliver one to you.

Anyway, check it out more thoroughly or purchase one HERE.

 

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Weekly Smile: 6/4/19

I’m finally getting back to participating in “Weekly Smile” this week. I really like this subject, but some weeks there are just too many irons in the fire already to be able to do another post for it. However, this week, I’m determined. And I’m SO determined that I’m going to do one better than Trent. He had two things to smile about this week, but I have three. 🙂

Exif JPEGMy first smile is my recent purchase of a couple African Marigold plants. Let me say up front that I am not a gardener. The pretty flowers in my yard at present are the ones that came to me with the house, and I’ve had to struggle to keep them moderately cared for. I’ve not had any marigolds in a garden for at least 20 years or more, but they have a special place in my heart. My mother used to absolutely love gardening, and she created such beautiful garden spots in almost every house we ever lived in. In two of our homes, she created a huge rock garden — with rocks and shells from around the country — and some of the most gorgeous flowers anywhere around.

But one summer, her mother became quite ill and had to move in and live with my parents. My mother had pretty much the full care of Granny, but I helped when and where I could. It was actually spring when Granny first moved in, and it was the time of year my mom would have started her loving labors on her yard and her gardens. But that kind of work took hours and hours of attention and consumed so much time and energy that she didn’t feel she could care for her mother properly if she gave her garden proper attention.

One day as she sat looking out the window, she talked about how much she wished she could plant something. She didn’t begrudge caring for her mom at all, but there was a real sadness in not being able to plant something new and see it grow.

Suddenly, she said, “I think if you’ll drive me to the nursery, I can at least pick up some marigolds. It won’t take long to purchase them if I know exactly what I want, and it will be easy and quick to set them in. They’re hardy and won’t take a lot of care, and I can at least watch them grow this summer and feel like I’ve got something with new life in the yard.”

So I drove her to the nursery, she picked up several trays of marigolds, and she was almost like a kid with a bag full of candy when she went out to plant them in the back yard while I watched Granny. I have never forgotten how important those marigolds were to her that year.  I had never been particularly impressed with them before that time, but since then they’ve held a special place in my heart because of that little event that we shared.

Exif JPEG
This year, I unexpectedly came across these beautiful African Marigolds, and as soon as I saw them, I thought of my mom. I still miss her terribly, even though she’s been gone over 30 years, and those marigold plants — and the memories they evoked — were a balm to my heart. So I bought two of them to put on my front porch in honor of her. They each had 5 very large blooms and multiple others just waiting to come forth. So that’s one of my big smiles this week.


 

WATERMELON CARD FRONT W. FRAMESmile number two is a new set of greeting cards that I created this week with one of my original watercolor paintings on the front. It’s super simple: just slices of watermelon and a summery slogan. But I love it, and I do love the little cards. Sets of them will make great gifts to some friends who like to send cards. I’ve included a picture of the front of the card with the watercolor.

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BIBLICAL PATHWAYS LOGO

And smile number three is the fact that it’s time for the summer term to begin at the college where I teach. This term I’m teaching “Biblical Pathways to Health & Wholeness” and “Writing Memoir and Personal Narrative.”  I’m really looking forward to starting these classes this coming week. I hope we have a full house for each one.

 


If you’d like to participate in Trent’s Weekly Smile, click on the link and get the details.

Until next week — I hope you all keep smiling.

 

 

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