Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, the scripture series

15 scriptural reminders of God’s comfort

Numerous verses from God’s Word serve as reminders of His steadfast comfort. Rest in Him today and be reminded He is there for us no matter what we are going through, and He is there to comfort us in those challenging moments life tosses our way.

Before you go, check out these other posts on this blog:

12 verses to encourage the burdened heart

14 things for girls to consider before dating

the importance of respect

Movie Monday: Miss Potter

Posted in about the books, miscellaneous

Christian Readers Community Poll

We interrupt this blog for a quick announcement about a reader survey I’m conducting to assist me with an online magazine article I’m working on and I’d love your input! If you are an avid reader of Christian fiction, please weigh in on this short survey. And no worries, you will remain completely anonymous!

Find the survey here. Please share the link with your bookworm friends so we can get an adequate representation of the Christian reading community. Thank you so much! Thank you so much!

A new post in the Importance Series is coming later this week. Until then, have a blessed day!

Posted in holidays, miscellaneous

may we never forget…

May we never forget those who gave their lives for our country.

May we never forget freedom isn’t free.

And may we preserve those precious freedoms so many fought for (and continue to fight for) and for which so many lost their lives.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends ~ John 15:13

Posted in about my books, Book Spotlight, Penny's Book News

Happy Cover Reveal Day to Over the Horizon!

I am so incredibly excited to share with you the cover reveal for Over the Horizon! This is such a fun book with a great message about trusting God. It kicks off my newest series set in the Idaho Territory in the 1870s. Can’t wait for you to meet Paisley and Tyler!

The release day is July 18, but you can preorder the ebook for 99 cents for a limited time. Go here for the details.

Below is the blurb:

A most unusual proposal…

Alone in 1870s Idaho Territory, Paisley Abbott has nowhere to turn. With no other options, she finds herself consenting to an unconventional, but mutually beneficial agreement.

During an unplanned return to his family’s farm, prodigal Tyler Shepherdson inherits three orphans. When Tyler finds a woman hiding in the back of his wagon, an idea begins to form and he makes a rash decision that results in perhaps one of the most spontaneous marriages of convenience ever.

Despite an unorthodox beginning to their marriage, will Paisley and Tyler trust God as they forge ahead to create a home for three children? Will love arise from a desperate situation?

In the first book in the Horizon Series, travel to the late 1800s to the town of Horizon in the Idaho Territory with a cast of unforgettable characters, journeys of faith, and abundant humor.

Coming soon, the newest series by the author of the Wyoming Sunrise, Love Letters from Ellis Creek, and Montana Skies Christian Historical Romance Series.

Thank you so much for celebrating with me! Next week, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled blog posts. Until then, have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Posted in devotionals, momlife, motherhood

Happy Mother’s Day!

This time of year, we honor our moms for the way they have shaped our lives. For the sacrifices they have made and the love they have shown us through the years.

I’m thankful for my mom, who taught me the value of hard work. She worked harder than anyone I’ve ever known in difficult labor-type jobs: cleaning businesses and wallpapering homes, so she could stay home with us and help provide income at the same time.

But my mom taught me so much more than work ethic. She taught me to serve others. From the time my siblings and I were little, we “adopted” grandparents and visited them, provided for their needs, and learned to treasure them.

But my mom taught me even more than serving others. She taught me compassion and to put others above myself. She taught me how to nurture and care for those who are ailing. She also taught me to be creative and follow my dreams.

But my mom taught me more than that. Now mostly confined to a wheelchair with serious chronic illnesses, my mom taught me the value of faith and how to rely on God in all circumstances. To keep your eyes on Jesus, even when it’s the hardest (and the last) thing you feel you can do. To still serve others in the midst of struggling with your own hardships. To persevere and to never give up. To love others even if that love is never returned.

Moms—you do make an impact on, not just your child(ren), but also future generations. You do this by the way you live, the words you say, and the actions you show day after day.

To moms everywhere, Happy Mother’s Day!

This time of year, we honor our moms for the way they have shaped our lives. For the sacrifices they have made and the love they have shown us through the years.

Posted in about my books, about the books, Book News

Happy Release Day to Love in the Headlines!

Happy release day to Love in the Headlines! I’m super excited to share Carleigh and Trey’s story with you.

Below is the blurb, but first, a few places I’m guesting this week in celebration of the release:

I’m visiting Inspy Romance and interviewing one of the two top canine characters, Sullivan Theodore IV. If you’d love to read what goes on inside a dog’s mind, pop on over and check out the interview. Share your own funny animal story for a chance to win!

I’m honored to be a guest on fellow author, Bonnie Martin’s blog this week where I’m chatting about writing, mentors, favorite books, and what’s next on the agenda.

On Thursday, May 11, the Celebrate Lit blog tour begins for Love in the Headlines. I’m sharing the inspiration behind the story and will be featured on several blogs. Plus, you could win an Amazon gift card for stopping by.

Love in the Headlines will be featured in the FaithBooks newsletter on May 10 and the Sheep Gate Publishing’s Newsletter on May 12.

And now, the blurb…

Can paper and paw prints draw these two nemeses together?All Carleigh Adams wants is a relaxing evening. But Sullivan Theodore IV, her wayward shih tzu, has other plans. After escaping from home, Sullivan Theodore unlawfully enters what Carleigh assumes is a stranger’s house via a doggy door. Much to Carleigh’s horror, it is actually the home of her coworker and nemesis, Trey “The Irritating” Montgomery.

Trey Montgomery has competed with “Quirky Carleigh,” his top competitor, for the best articles at The Oakville Daily for the past two years. It’s safe to say that she and her criminally-minded pet are his adversaries. Trey’s attempts to keep his distance from her are demolished when their boss thrusts them together as The Oakville Daily Duo, forcing them to work as a team on every. Single. Article.

Petty crimes and crazy shenanigans in Oakville soon draw Carleigh and Trey into doubling as detectives. When dogs, including their own pets, begin to mysteriously disappear, Carleigh and Trey join forces to uncover the culprit. As they work to report the daily news and solve the crimes in Oakville, can these two stubborn reporters find love in the headlines?

Thank you for celebrating with me!

Posted in Growing in the Lord, making a difference

11 ways to be more gracious in 2023

It’s hard to believe how fast this year is going. Shouldn’t it still be Christmastime rather than already nearly the second week of May?

It wasn’t that long ago that we welcomed in a new year. And when a new year arrives, we make resolutions. Lose weight. Exercise more. Eat healthier. Stick to a budget. Declutter.

These are all excellent resolutions, but what if this year, we resolved to be more gracious? More giving? Less impatient? Not so quick to assume the worst in someone? Less inclined to make others feel they have to align with our standards if we’re going to like them.

Please don’t misunderstand me. It doesn’t mean compromising our faith and values or compromising on the things God calls sin. No, we must remain steadfast in those areas as the Bible is our only Truth Meter and everything must be measured to His Word. Some things will never be acceptable no matter how much culture wishes to makes them so (or wishes to make them the norm).

But what if we respectfully disagreed on matters that don’t contradict the Bible? Most of us are old enough to remember when we could have a civil conversation over differences of opinions.

These days, it seems people are angrier and less inclined to give others the benefit of the doubt. Less likely to show grace. Quicker to assume the worst of someone. Abruptly forgetting that it’s all right to agree to disagree, especially on trivial matters.

Having our own opinions isn’t wrong, as a matter of fact, it’s a good thing and a testament to the creativity of our Creator. He made us each different with different longings, different ideas, and different ways of seeing things. Wouldn’t it be a boring world if we all had the same thoughts on every topic? If we all had the same hopes and dreams?

What if starting now, we made it a goal to be more gracious? Here are 11 ways to do just that.

  • Give people the benefit of the doubt. We truly don’t know what is going on in the lives of others or the struggles they may face.
  • Offer a genuine smile. Smiling not only benefits others, but also, according to Benefits Bridge, benefits you by improving your mood, enhancing your immune system, and reducing blood pressure.
  • Offer ample appreciation and encouragement.
  • See a need and fill it.
  • Dedicate yourself to praying for others often, even your enemies. (Matthew 5:44).
  • Be generous with forgiveness. (Matthew 18:21-22)
  • Offer grace, especially when it’s undeserved.
  • Be humble and put others first.
  • Agree to disagree, and do so with respect.
  • Be honest.
  • And most importantly, tell someone about Jesus and make an eternal impact in their lives.

Other posts on this blog you may enjoy:

13 verses to comfort the weary soul

20 upbeat songs to encourage you

58 fun activities for kids of all ages

5 ways to be happier

5 ways to start your day off right

Movie Monday: Hailey Dean 3-film collection

what to stock up on this winter

Posted in about my books, book giveaways, Book News

Writing Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a writing update so I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to lately along with some fun author collaborations and giveaways.

Phew! It’s been a super busy year with Dreams of the Heart releasing in March, followed by the release on Tuesday of Love in the Headlines. It was a fun excursion from the 1800s into the present for Love in the Headlines, and I have another contemporary percolating around in my mind. Stay tuned.

Applications for the launch team for Over the Horizon close on May 15. If you’d like to apply, please go here.

Several other books are releasing this year and into 2024 (most already available for preorder) including:

Love Most Certain (Love Letters from Ellis Creek #3) – June 13, 2023

Over the Horizon (the first book in my new Horizon Series that takes place in 1870s Idaho Territory). – July 18, 2023

When Love Comes (Wyoming Sunrise #3 and the long-awaited story of Charlotte and Tobias) December 5, 2023

Love’s Promise (Wyoming Sunrise #4 and the story of Silas (John Mark’s friend) and Amaya (Russell’s widow) – March 19, 2024

Book #2 in the Horizon Series end of June 2024

I’ve also been blessed to be a part of some amazing author collaborations. Click on the images for more details.

Clean and wholesome romance collection.

Load up your e-reader with these Christian/clean/sweet fiction FREE reads! (Includes An Unexpected Arrival starring Frederick from Love’s New Beginnings).

Have Kindle Unlimited? Zip into summer with these Christian romances all on Kindle Unlimited!

Let’s celebrate mom! Check out this wonderful collection of Christian fiction and nonfiction celebrating mothers and grandmothers!

And last, but not least, check out these current giveaways. Click on the image for details. Please note that all giveaways are for U.S. residents only.

In honor of Mother’s Day, win all of these amazing books for your mom, grandmother, or for you!

Enter to win a paperback or ebook copy (winner’s choice) of Love in the Headlines on Chat with Vera!

Enter to win the book of your choice (below) and an Amazon gift card in celebration of my 14th Blogoversary!

Join me tomorrow for my regularly-scheduled encouragement post. And as always, thank you for reading and following my blog. Have a blessed rest of your week!

Posted in about my books, about the books, book giveaways, Book News, Book Spotlight

14th Blogoversary Celebration and Giveaway

I am super excited to celebrate the 14th Blogoversary of Random Thoughts from a Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author and want to invite you to enter to win a copy of one of my books and an Amazon gift card.

Back in 2009, I started this WordPress blog on the heels of my third book, 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference. My first blog post was titled “Preparing for a Writer’s Conference”. I followed that post with a humorous one about why I wasn’t a cowgirl due to my adventures on a persnickety horse in the Montana wilds.

It soon became clear my blog wouldn’t have just one topic. Rather, as a person with a million tabs open at any given time, my blog would advance forward in a direction that included a plethora of both fun and serious topics. Encouraging posts, devotionals, movie reviews, writing posts, recipes, humor posts, book news, and how-tos have all been included in the lineup over the years.

When God redirected my path to write fiction, I excitedly embarked on creating faith-filled love stories. Christian historical romance is my first love to write, followed closely by Christian contemporary romance. I don’t think I’ll ever return to nonfiction.

However, nonfiction still runs through my veins, and my blog has, and continues to, feature mainly nonfiction posts. I love to encourage others to join me as we grow in the Lord together.

So, in celebration of this monumental milestone, I am hosting a giveaway. The first place winner will receive their choice of any of my available books in paperback or ebook (see below for choices) plus a $25 Amazon gift card. The second place winner will receive a copy of an ebook of their choice from my available books. Entering is super easy.

The logistics:

First place: choice of any of the books below in either paperback or ebook form and a $25 Amazon gift card.

Second place: choice of any of the books below in ebook form.

The winners will have ten days to respond to my email indicating they have won. If I do not hear back, an alternate winner via a random choice by Rafflecopter will be chosen.

Limited to U.S. residents only.

Giveaway ends May 17, 2023.

With the entry options, you can potentially earn up to 21 points for your entry, thereby increasing your chances of winning. One of the entries includes signing up to receive my newsletter. Please be sure to respond to the confirmation email after you’ve signed up for it to count. 🙂

Check out these other two giveaways currently going on right now here and here.

So it is to you, my blog readers, that I extend a heartfelt thank you. Without you stopping by and taking the time to read my posts, there would be no blog. Thank you for sticking with me all these years and for the privilege of your time as you read my posts.

Here’s to another 14 years!

Before you go, check out these other posts:

6 prayers to pray before you start your day

it’s cover reveal day for Love in the Headlines!

book news and giveaways

5 ways to start your day off right

11 ways we become our culture

11 verses of hope

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, Miscellanous how-to

6 ways to handle change

I recently posted a “never have I ever” meme on my Facebook page. The meme listed things that were from years past such as using a rotary phone, owning an encyclopedia, and accessing the internet through dial-up. For each thing that someone hadn’t done, they gave themselves a point. It was fun to read everyone’s comments.

In reality, technology has changed rapidly over the last couple of decades and especially in the past couple of years.

Our world has changed as well. The culture—the things that are now acceptable and mainstream—are vastly different than even a decade ago. There has been a decline in morality and people are moving further and further away from the Lord. We’ve changed how and where we conduct business, what we do with our spare time, and how we interact with others.

With so much change all around us, how can we handle it effectively?

Realize that change is inevitable.

Certain change can be good. Other changes can be a challenge and can take a toll on our health, both mental and physical. Whether good or bad, change is unavoidable.

Give yourself permission to be disappointed.

When we observe the continually-changing world, it’s easy to become discouraged. Give yourself permission to be disappointed, but don’t languish in that disappointment.

When my husband was the victim of a surgical blunder, it changed his life (and the lives of those who love him) forever. Understandably, he was devastated when the life he knew would be altered to a vast extent. He still struggles from time to time with knowing that there are many things he could once do, but no longer can.

But one thing I love about my husband is that he didn’t let this enormous change ruin his life. He gave it over to the Lord, forged ahead, and has learned to adjust.

Such a feat is not easy and requires constant prayer and the support of family and close friends.

Rely on others and give grace.

For most of us, 2020 will always be a year to remember, but probably not in a positive way. When we face any type of life-altering change, whether it affects us personally or indirectly, we need to seek support from family and friends.

An elderly man at the gym where I teach spinning and strength-training classes found himself at the crossroads of change recently. The gym has been undergoing a major overhaul. When I asked him if I could help him find something, he told me he’d been standing there for forty-five minutes looking for a specific machine that he used while it was in the former workout room. I assisted him in locating the machine, which was hidden among numerous others in the center aisle. He confided that he suffered from memory loss and that all of the changes were overwhelming to him. As such, he needed repeated information on how to use the machine several times. It’s important to give others grace in times of change.

And it’s also important to give ourselves grace. Change is tough. And at any given moment, several things can bombard us at once. We need to be kind to ourselves.

Guard your mind.

Want to know just how much the world is changing right before our eyes? Log on to social media, turn on the news, or read the paper and within seconds you’ll be reminded that we will never experience a perfect world here on earth. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the toxicity.

We must protect our minds and thoughts by limiting our exposure to the news. Yes, it is important to be informed so we can take action if need be, but it’s hazardous to our health, literally, to be engaged twenty-four seven with the negativity of this world. Thankfully, as Believers in Jesus Christ, this world is not our permanent home.

Keep your focus on Jesus.

When we spend time in God’s Word, commit ourselves to prayer, and view things from an eternal perspective, change is much easier to endure. I love the words from the beautiful hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

And most importantly…Lean on the One who never changes.

In a rapidly changing world, it’s reassuring to remember that there is One who never changes. The Lord remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. He can be counted on and is always faithful. He will walk with us through change, whether the disturbing change of morals in our society, other changes both good and bad in the world around us, or changes in our own personal lives.

In light of that reassurance, we can endure anything that comes our way.

Other posts you may have missed

6 prayers to pray before you start your day

book news & giveaways

what are you thinking?

11 ways we become our culture

launch team opportunities

the top 10 blog posts of 2022