Archive for the ‘Author News’ Category

Ambassador Authors Featured in Hope For Women

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Christian artist Natalie Grant is on the cover of the latest issue of Hope for Women magazine, but inside you’ll find two Ambassador authors featured. This issue is all about being your best, and the editors and creative and design teams have out done themselves once again. There are two articles you do not want to miss in this beautiful issue:

Hope for women fall 2014Page 41: Sherry Gareis, co-author of Declutter Now!: Uncovering the Hidden Joy and Freedom in Your Life and Declutter Now! Study Guide: 8 Weeks to Uncovering the Hidden Joy and Freedom in Your Life writes about the compassion in decluttering people. Sherry provides five steps to shift from decluttering stress to success.

Pages 42-43: Tori Winkelman, author of Faith, Hope, Love and a Whisk, provides Hope for Women readers a reason to not make breakfast so fast. Her article includes three yummy recipes: Mexican Strada Cups, Pineapple Brunch Punch and Lemon Blueberry Bread Pudding.

If you want to sign up to receive a digital copy of Hope for Women magazine check out the Hope for Women Facebook page.

Ambassador Author Featured in Adoption Today Magazine

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November is National Adoption Month. Adoption Today magazine featured Ambassador author Melanie Zeeb Wright and her book Beauty From Ashes: An Eyewitness Account of Haiti’s Tragic Earthquake in their special adoption month issue.

Adoption Today Magazine

Adoption Today Magazine

In her piece Orphans Caught in the Disaster Zone, Zeeb recounts her experience of working in an orphanage when the 2010 earthquake devastated the country. “One of the most unexpected events following the earthquake was the evacuation of the majority of the orphanage’s children. In a process that seemed interminably slow at the time but was in reality quite fast, the Haitian government and the governments of several other nations allowed children already in the process of adoption to immediately join their adoptive families,” writes Zeeb. “Through a series of six evacuations, ranging from individual children sent on government-run evacuations to dozens of children traveling on a chartered plane with orphanage staff and everything in between, ninety percent of our children had left Haiti by the end of January.”

The number of children around the world in need of loving families is astounding. According to the Congressional Coalition of Adoption Institute:

  • In the U.S. 397,122 children are living without permanent families in the foster care system.
  • 101,666 of these children are eligible for adoption, but nearly 32% of these children will wait over three years in foster care before being adopted.
  • According to the U.S. State Department, U.S. families adopted more than 7,000 children in 2012.
  • Last year, Americans adopted the highest number of children from China followed by Ethiopia, Ukraine, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read Melanie’s entire article by visiting AdoptionToday.com.

5 Things About Author Andrea Rodgers

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Andrea Rodgers wrote the recently released novel, The 20th Christmas, available now. Here are Andrea’s “five things”:

The hardest description for me to write about is sense of smell. . .because I don’t have one! There’s an actual name for this: Anosmia. Just as some people are without sight or hearing, approximately two million people are without the ability to smell, although I haven’t met a fellow non-smeller personally. I’m not sure whether I was born this way or if it was due to head injuries as a child, all I know is that it was gone by the time I was four years old and my friends were passing around scratch n sniff stickers! I failed my kindergThe 20th Christmasarten smelling test, but no one took it seriously. They thought I was telling stories. Most people considered me lucky because the only time I heard about anything smelling was if it stunk. I can be in an area with a skunk and not bat an eye.

I signed my first book contract on what would have been my paternal grandmother’s 100th birthday. I feel like it was her wayAndrea signing contract of letting me know that she was aware of my dream coming true. She used to give me a notebook and pen when I visited her, and then I’d sneak away to write. She always asked to read my stories which meant a lot. My grandma loved to read and I wish she could have read The 20th Christmas, especially since several years in a row I bought her a holiday-themed book as her Christmas present. But, I’m so thankful she lived ninety-seven-and-a-half years; she had the best case scenario for life—she was healthy right until the very end and still sharp, always beating everyone at the game of Rummikub.

Most people on both sides of my family hate to write, although it’s likely that I inherited the writing gene from my maternal side. My grandma’s brother wanted to be an author but had to go to war and work to pay the bills—however, he was briefly a writer for the Kansas City Star Newspaper. His grandmother was the first in our family to come to the United States from Naples, Italy. Her father died when she was young, and when she was sixteen her mother married a man with two teenage sons so she was sent as steerage on a ship to a convent in New York. Supposedly, she had a great passion for storytelling—it was what got her through depression as she didn’t have an easy life. Despite the nuns at the convent introducing her to their gardener whom she married, moved to Kansas City, and had three children with (+three who didn’t survive past infancy), he turned out to be an alcoholic and she was a widow before the age of thirty. She was a strong, independent, successful woman ahead oAndrea author shotf the times, though. She opened a produce store, candy shop, and had an apartment complex built for her family to live and rent out—and lived to be almost 100 years old. It’s a fascinating story and I would love to use it as inspiration for a novel someday. I feel a connection to these two ancestors—like, I’m not only pursuing my dream for myself but for them because they wanted to be published and weren’t able due to their circumstances.

Andreas first bookI’ve improved on my titles since my childhood stories. I recently came across a box of my first work and I laughed my way through reading them. Some are as follows: Doritos Don’t Care, Where The Cornfield Is Alive, Potato Chip Sundaes, and The Truth About Dillyanna (I made up the name Dillyanna when I was in fifth grade and thought it was the coolest name ever. I’m sure my daughter is very glad I didn’t stick with it and name her that)!

I love music. My artistic/creative energy has always gone toward writing, but I still appreciate all of the other arts. If I had any singing ability, I would have gone that direction. Music really helps me get into the zone of writing if I’m stuck. Many of my stories are inspired by songs that I hear, such as “Breath of Heaven” which is the theme song for The 20th Christmas!

5 Things About Author Kathy Howard

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Kathy Howard wrote the upcoming novel, From Dishes to Snow. Here are Kathy’s “five things”:

I ran from books until I was in my thirties. Growing up, I wanted nothing to do with reading. I truly despised any book of any topic. Even the idea of reading was hard to swallow. Now, give me a good movie and I was in, but a book – you couldn’t pay me enough. I come from a long line of readers and it pained my mother to see a love she cherished skipping the next generation. Years later, after I had completed my schooling and was no longer told what to read, I finally learned to enjoy the subject. In fact, I can honestly say, reading is now a passion of mine. It took years for my mother to adjust to my new hobby, and I can still see her shaking her head saying, “I never thought I’d see the day.”

From Dishes to SnowI am an extremely picky eater. My parents tried, to no avail, to encourage my taste buds in a normal direction. The fact of the matter is, I am and always will be a picky eater. I can count on one hand the essential foods I prefer to eat. I try to venture outside of that number for the sake of my family, but I don’t go far. Because of my lack of food interests, I don’t know how or what to cook. So, when writing about the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals in From Dishes to Snow, I had to turn to others for help. If I hadn’t, the main characters might have had boxed mac-n-cheese, deli sliced turkey, and store bought cookies.

My grandparents mean the world to me. I am blessed to still have three living grandparents at my age. And I’m even more blessed to have the ones I have. All three of them have had an enormous positive impact on my life. Their walk with the Lord and their constant love and encouragement have been a guiding light, an example to follow. I wanted to bring them into the book. Several of the characters’ names are theirs, whether in exact form or a slightly altered form. The descriptions of the elderly neighbors fit each of my grandparents in some way or another. I will always picture my beloved Granddaddy, Granny, and Grandma each time I read my first novel.

The mountain house in the book is based on my family’s actual mountain cabin. My grandfather built our red mountain cabin when my father was just a child. It was a simple house with no hot water or connection to the outside world. Not much changed throughout the years as my family made dozens of trips to the higher elevations each year. We had to boil water for baths or hot cocoa, just like it says in the book. Because there were no phone or television, I dreaded going as a teenager, not wanting to miss out on weekends with my friends. However, once we arrived, we did nothing but hike, play cards, grill hamburgers, dance in the kitchen, and laugh. My fondest memories are from my time in those mountains and in that little red house. I can still remember hearing oldies music play in the next room as my brother and I made shadow puppets from our bunk beds at night. My father knew it was important to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of our busy schedules and reconnect with each other without the distractions. We were and still are a close-knit family and I am grateful to God and my father for giving us that mountain get-away.

I prayed every time I sat down to write. While writing From Dishes to Snow, I tried to put aside myself, though unsuccessfully at times. I gave the book and its direction to God. Before a writing day began, the words were prayed over. I did not have an outline because I had no idea where the story would go. I just sat down, prayed, and trusted that God would take it where He wanted it. It was an incredible experience, not knowing what was going to happen, and then suddenly realizing I was writing the last chapter – the story had found an ending. My prayer today is that I heard God correctly and did not write anything I shouldn’t have. God may take this book and reach hundreds of individuals or He may take this experience and reach just me. Either way, From Dishes to Snow is not mine, it is God’s and I have already been blessed by what He has taught me on this journey.

5 Things About Author David Garcia

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author David Garcia wrote the book Portrait of a Powerful Last-Day Christian, available now. Here are David’s “five things”:

We spent 9 years as full-time missionaries. From January, 1976-July, 1980, in the inner city of Bronx, New York (where Nellie and I were born and raised), working in an inner city church doing evangelism and discipleship. Also from July, 1980- November, 1984, in Zimbabwe, Africa, right after the government changed from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. We were involved in church planting, evangelism, discipleship, and directed a bible school.

Portrait of a Powerful Last-Day ChristianWe have been pastoring Grace World Outreach Church, Brooksville, Florida for 26 years. This is a multi-ethnic and multi-generational church of 1,600+ people, with a strong emphasis on evangelism, missions, and discipleship.

I travel world-wide teaching in churches, leadership seminars, pastors schools. I especially have a passion for teaching teenagers and young adult singles on biblical romance and godly relationships. In addition, in the pastors schools I train pastors in Kigoma, Tanzania covering subjects that include Leadership, how to disciple new converts, marriage enrichment, authority over demonic powers, dealing with witch doctors, healing, and bible prophecy. I have a team from our church in the area who are reaching unreached people groups which include the Tongwe and Regwe people. In addition, I also minister in Mindinao, Philippines conducting evangelistic crusades, leadership training, and discipleship. I serve as an apostolic advisor to two organizations: one in Dipolog & the other in Pagadian City. The group in Dipolog is also reaching unreached people groups in the remote areas. In addition, Inhave a passion for the UK and have preached in churches in Hull, Wolverhampton, London, and Manchester. I have a conviction that since Britain planted the seeds of the Gospel in our country & is now post modern with less than 2% of the population saved, that as the US Cuvier j invests in the UK, revival will come to the US.

My wife Nellie and I are avid college football fans. Since she is a Florida State Seminole and I’m a Florida (Univ of Florida) Gator fan (both teams are state rivals!), football season is very interesting in our household and church!!!

I am an avid reader of history, especially military history. I have a large collection of war movies including the Civil War, World Wars 1, World War 2, and others. I firmly believe if we do not learn from the past, we are bound to repeat the same mistakes in the future.

She Speaks: Being the Author God Wants You To Be

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The following is a guest post from Ambassador author Carrie Daws about her recent experience at the She Speaks Conference, held July 24-26 in Concord, North Carolina.

Overwhelmed. Doing my best. Uncertain. Spinning my wheels.

These are the phrases I would have used to describe my author plan. I know God gave me books to write, but getting the thoughts from my head to your hands is not simple. Bookstores are flooded with a plethora of resources to help me, but I can’t read them all and sometimes they contradict. And who am I to write a book anyway? The great writers are doing a fine job without me. Are you as frustrated as I am?

she-speaks-Walking into the She Speaks Conference by Proverbs 31 Ministries this year, I expected to walk away with tools for marketing, ideas to spark creative juices, and lists of things to do. Instead, God infused my thoughts with truth.

What you think disqualifies you, is exactly what God is going to use to change someone else’s life.

Glynnis Whitwer

I’m not Francine Rivers and may never be as popular as she is, but the truth is that God already has Francine and doesn’t want me to be her. He created me to be me, to accomplish His purposes my way. And the shortcomings and inadequacies I see are often the very things that draw others to me, and thereby to Him.

Authors Carrie Daws, Shaunti Feldhahn and Kathy Barnett at the She Speaks Conference.

Authors Carrie Daws, Shaunti Feldhahn and Kathy Barnett at the She Speaks Conference.

God has something amazing for me to do. He is doing amazing things in the process.

Shaunti Feldhahn

Shaunti’s statement is one of those truths that I know but struggle to remember. I understand that God has a great plan that includes me, and I acknowledge that He wants to use me to accomplish incredible things. But the truth is that each step along the way is also amazing. It may not feel like it at the time, but when I stop to reflect back on the journey, I see those little moments that became stepping stones that got me where I stand right now. Every step is amazing.

You already have what it takes to accomplish His plans for you.

Renee Swope

This proclamation by Renee really caught my attention because I struggle every week to understand more about writing and HTML codes and best social media practices. I seem to be a constant flurry of learning what is just outside my grasp of understanding. Yet the truth is that God didn’t give me an assignment and send me on my way. He also gave me everything I would need to accomplish the assignment! Sometimes it’s in the form of books and blog posts and Google searches, and sometimes it’s through real people who make the keystrokes for me. But I am not alone on this journey that often feels very solitary.

Our passion cannot be our words. Our passion must be the Word.

Lysa TerKeurst

I endeavor to find the right words and put sentences in the order that will have the biggest impact. And while that’s important, the truth is that the time I spend with God in His Bible is more important. I must be filled with Him so I can overflow with love and grace and compassion. Otherwise, the words I find will not be the ones that change lives and make His name known.

She Speaks Carrie and Kathy

Ambassador authors of The Warrior’s Bride, Kathy Barnett and Carrie Daws.

This is not a game. We write to free people from bondage.

Christine Caine

Sometimes I put off writing because no one asks for an account of my time. Sometimes I put it off because it’s hard, or boring, or frustrating. Sometimes I just put words on paper and throw them out to the world without really considering what I just wrote. But Christine is right: our writing is not a game. God wants to use me and my writing—all my writing—to affect change. To love people. To free them from the bondages in which our enemy wants to bind them. This is a battle where sometimes, many times, I do not get a second chance.

So while I also learned a couple new tidbits about Pinterest and what Lysa TerKeurst strives to put into every chapter she writes, I walk away from She Speaks with encouragement and motivation from God, whom I’m reminded is my biggest cheerleader. What an amazing thought!

 

Learn more about Carrie Daws at CarrieDaws.com. Her newest book, The Warrior’s Bride: Biblical Strategies to Help the Military Spouse Thrive, will be released in fall 2014.

Ambassador Authors in the News

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Several of our authors have enjoyed media attention in recent days and weeks. Here are a few of their interviews and reviews:

  • Author Donna Thornton talked about her new book The Easter Donkey on WYFF.
  • Dr. Andrew Davis was a guest on the Janet Mefferd Show to talk about his new book An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture.
  • The Kearney Hub previewed Holly Mthethwa’s upcoming book Hot Chocolate in June. The Lady Prefers to Save calls this book a must-read for spring!
  • Longing4Truth.com provided a great review of Peter Hubbard’s book Love Into Light.
  • The Easter Donkey received a grWYFF Easter Donkeyeat review from Thoughts from Mill Street.
  • MyJourneywithCandida.com gave Scotties Learn About Respect a wonderful review with lots of photos.
  • Thoughtsprayersandsongs.com gave Craig Lounsbrough’s newest book An Intimate Collision a four star review.
  • Pamela’s Heavenly Treats reviewed Speed Bumps and Roundabouts by Pip McCracken, giving the book four stars.
  • Crossing’s Redemption, Carrie Daws latest novel, received a wonderful review from Paula Lynn McGrew.

Five Things About Author Joanie Bruce

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Joanie Bruce wrote the recently released book A Memory Worth Dying For, available now. It’s the anticipated follow up to her first novel, Alana Candler: Marked for MurderHere are Joanie’s “five things”:

I surprised my family when I told them I had a book accepted for publication. None of my family, even my husband, knew I was writing until I was completely done with the first manuscript. Fear of being incompetent as a writer kept me from sharing with my family, but love of clean, Christian suspense/romance books kept me writing anyway. My inspiration for improving my writing style comes from being an avid reader of “how to” books—how to create characters, add conflict, build suspense, and write from the correct point of view. Many of my friends are surprised that a former first grade teacher would find writing about murder and intrigue interesting, but I find it both challenging and fun. It’s a rewarding way to honor the Lord with the abilities He has given me.

Besides being an authW by Joanie Bruceor, I’m also an artist. The Lord has blessed me with the ability to paint portraits and has given me the wonderful opportunity to have pictures hanging in the governor’s private office in Atlanta, Georgia, the late Senator Charlie Norwood’s office in Washington, D.C. and a portrait of George Bush in the private collection of George and Laura Bush in Texas. The funny thing about this talent is that I never knew I could draw—especially not portraits—until about eleven years ago. God’s timing is always perfect!

I love music and play several musical instruments: piano, pedal harp, harmonica, and a little guitar. When I was in high school, I took drum lessons and played privately for a couple of years. I have to say, though, that the piano is my favorite. When I’m upset or tired, I play for relaxation and for inspiration. I’ve written several arrangements for popular hymns, and I thoroughly enjoy making up new arrangements on the piano. There is only one problem with this skill: I hate preforming in front of others. I hardly ever write my arrangements down because I play them from memory, and I’m sure you know how memory plays tricks on you when you’re in front of a crowd.  =)

I’ve actually milked a real cow. My husband was raised in the dairy business and was managing his own dairy when we married. Before we sold the dairy cows in 2012 and changed totally to beef, we celebrated thirty-three years of running our own dairy business. I have milked cows by hand, put on automatic milking machines, run calves through the pasture trying to steer them toward the loading chute, and fed baby calves with a bottle. For this city gal, born and raised in the city, living in the country was an experience. But I have to say … country living is the BEST. I love watching the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets from our house sitting high on the hill, and watching the beef cows grazing in the pasture in front of our home. There’s nothing like country living!

I hate loud noises that scare me to death: Balloons, mouse traps, smoke alarms, canned biscuits, and thunder are not my favorite things. I make my husband replace the battery in the smoke alarm when it warns of a weak battery because I can’t stand the anticipation of waiting for that loud “beep” that surprises you when the battery is first installed. I also make him open the canned biscuits, crescent rolls, or cinnamon rolls before I cook them. That “pop” when they burst open almost gives me a heart attack.

Ambassador Author Partners with the American Widow Project

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The following is a guest post from Ambassador author Beth Marshall. Her book A Time to Heal: A Grief Journal is an amazing resource for those who have lost a loved one. Beth recently partnered with the American Widow Project and hosted a workshop at the group’s Southern Hospitality Getaway.

It sounded like a typical coastal weekend as I approached the wrap around porch of the beach house. Conversation and laughter coming from inside- flip flops and sandy clothes on the rocking chairs. As the front door opened, I was introduced to twelve beautiful ladies. They had traveled from San Diego, Virginia, Minnesota, New Jersey, all over the country for a few days together at Folly Beach, SC.

American Widow ProjectIt had been a rainy start to the weekend, yet I didn’t hear the first word of complaining. I did hear about their surfing adventure and the amazing surf instructors who taught them the ropes. It was late March so I asked how they had survived the chilly Atlantic Ocean. Wet suits, they answered. One person compared the wet suit experience to trying on Spanx… only without the flattering results.

Twenty-four hours earlier most of these women were meeting for the first time; but the thread that instantly knit them together was a strong one. The event was the American Widow Project‘s Southern Hospitality Getaway. Each of these women has a story of crushing heartbreak, as she became part of a group she never expected to join- American military widows.

We introduced ourselves and started the workshop entitled, “This wasn’t supposed to happen!” What an understatement. We discussed the importance of honoring our heroes by writing about their lives.  Later we brainstormed ideas for dealing with stressful holidays- Valentine’s day, for example when it seems the world had been taken over by Hallmark cards and red hearts. A painful reminder of their new-found singleness.

We talked about the crazy things people say after a sudden death.

  • The good ones always die young.
  • At least you’re young, you can marry again.
  • I know just how you feel, my dog just died.

Seriously?  We referred to that part of the workshop as, “you can’t fix stupid.”

People from all over South Carolina sent gifts to honor our guests – beautiful music, Palmetto Moon gift cards, journals, hand crafted note cards and mug rugs, fried peanuts, pralines and shortbread-ish cookies. Southern goodness beyond words.

The American Widow Project founder and Executive Director, Taryn Davis has created an incredible environment for military widows to connect with other women who truly understand their pain. The events provide a place where it’s okay to cry; but it’s also okay to smile, laugh and embrace life again. I want to say a giant thank you to the hard-working staff, volunteers, and especially event coordinator, Danielle Schafer for making this life-changing weekend happen.

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