Author Kelly Martin has a new release.

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 Hello, Reader! I’m so excited to have a chance to promote my good friend, Kelly Martin’s new book! Please make sure you check out her work. It’s wonderful. Besides, who doesn’t love a good Beauty and the Beast story?

He could very easily
picture his life like this. With a woman who loved him and smiled at him like
he wasn’t a monster.
Except he was.
 
The Beast of Ravenston
takes Elizabeth from Betraying Ever After
 and throws her into a place she fears more than
any other… Ravenston. A small town in the middle of a thick forest, Ravenston
is home to the Duke– Nicholas Wellington– a man who not only has been scarred
by a fire but is a man to be feared. He lives up to his reputation as ‘The
Beast’.
Nicholas wants to know
who set the fire that disfigured him which means helping Mr. Dodsworth. Help
Mr. Dodsworth– get the name– get his revenge
Except what Mr.
Dodsworth wants Nicholas to do is worse than anything he’s done in his past:
 make the girl pay.
Can Nicholas do what
needs to be done to get his revenge? Or will Elizabeth steal something he
didn’t know he still had– his heart?
 
* Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Smashwords *
Leave a review:
BUY LINKS:
Barnes and Noble: N/A
~Kelly Martin’s Internet Dwellings~
 
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Book Trailer Love Fest

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Voting begins . . . NOW!

Book Trailer Love Fest 2

Show your support of over 30 authors including USA Today bestsellers by voting in the first ever Book Trailer Love Fest. Watch the trailers, vote in the polls, and share the contest with your friends! The voting is live from February 15th to February 22nd. Winner will be selected on the February 23rd. This is a fun, free contest made to support all authors! So hop on over to booktrailerlovefest.com and get your vote on!

Here is a list of authors participating in the contest:

USA TODAY Bestselling Authors:

DelSheree Gladden

Noree Cosper

Rainy Kaye

Angela Fristoe

Amazon Bestselling Authors:

Devorah Fox

Alesha Escobar

Emerald Barnes

Fiona Skye

Frank E. Bittinger

Award Winning Authors:

J. Andersen

Jennifer Chase

Also featuring these fabulous authors:

Charles Ray

Jennifer Fisch-Ferguson

Susan Laqueur

L. Bachman

J.R. Smith

Lindsey L. Loucks

Sessha Batto

Angelica Dawson

Yolanda Renee

Katherine Jean Pope

Jamie Marchant

Everett Robert

Charity Tober

Tam Linsey

W K Pomeroy

Jordan Mierek

Elle Boca

Isabella Tredway

Elle Jacklee

Be Offensive

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I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time now. Something’s been holding me back. i think there’s an element in most of us that wants to be liked. I’m no different. I don’t want to offend people. Once you read this post, you’ll find that last statement ironic.

This week, I sent my final edits to my editor. It’s for my YA dystopian that will be published by Brimstone Fiction, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in the fall of 2015. Pressing that send button was amazing, and terrifying, and wonderful, and terrifying, and humbling and terrifying…you get the idea. There’s something about putting a book out there for the world to see that is…well…for lack of a better term…terrifying.

I want people to love my work. After all, I’ve spent years writing, tweaking, editing, rewriting, brainstorming, and developing. My heart and soul are in that work. And suddenly (as suddenly as publishing works) the public gets to judge  it. Anyone who has ever created anything wants others to like that creation, be it our kids or the work of our hands. We don’t go into the project saying, “Oh, yes, I hope people will hate it.” At least, I’ve never known anyone to do that. We want people to like our creations. Such is the case with my book.

There’s one little problem with that. You see, I write about things that are offensive. My first book covered the abortion topic. No matter what side I wrote, no matter how well it may have depicted the issue, I have offended someone. While this new book doesn’t come right at the issue like my first book did, it, too, touches on topics that will offend people. (Yes, even a Young Adult Dystopian novel can be offensive.)

But I’ve learned it’s okay to be offensive.

I’m a Christian. That statement alone may offend some people. But I’m not willing to deny that faith to make people comfortable. I know that my faith is offensive. I say there is one way to heaven: Jesus Christ. Those not willing to accept that will be offended by that statement. I say that once you have a relationship with Christ, you will change. (Not that those changes are necessary to create that faith, but rather a response to it.) Having to change is offensive to some. There are many things I say are right or wrong based on my faith. Others may disagree. Actually, others do disagree. By saying x, y, or z, all sorts of people will think I am horrible. But I’m okay with that. I have to be.

Christ told us that people would hate us and persecute us for his name. Christianity isn’t all flowers and confetti. It’s hard work to forgive those who have hurt me. It’s hard to conform my life to the image of Christ; I fail often and receive God’s forgiveness all the time. I am by no means perfect. Thankfully, my relationship with God takes care of that. Making these choices and telling others about Jesus will be offensive to many. But I’m willing to be offensive to people in order to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

So when my book hits the public, and I get a few scathing reviews, I will remind myself that God’s message of life is more important than my feelings at the moment. (Hopefully they won’t all be bad. 🙂 ) When I make people uncomfortable with my words in order to tell a story of redemption, I will remember that God’s view of me is more important than people’s view of me.

So, I hit send. My book moves one step closer to being in print. One step closer to offending someone, but also one step closer to bringing hope to someone who may desperately need it.

I’ll be offensive for that any day… will you?

Pain and Pride

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I’ve been putting this piece off for a week because honestly, I don’t feel like crying again. But I know if I wait too long, I’ll not do it justice. So I’ll attempt to convey a little of my heart to you today.

Recently, our good friends Bob and Bri and their family made a move to Texas. Last Sunday we packed up their house and loaded them on the truck. You may say, “What’s the big deal? People move all the time.” That’s true, but this was a little more personal. The day was filled with tears, for these weren’t just friends, they were family. They are family. We shared our hearts with each other. We shared birthdays and holidays. Bri was and is my heart’s sister even though we weren’t technically related.

We used to joke that God made us enough different so we wouldn’t compete but similar enough to become best friends. When I first met Bri through my sister-in-law, Jeanine, I was teaching high school English outside of Rochester. We happened to be teaching the same book at the same time, so Jeanine suggested I contact her friend Bri to get some creative ideas. “Sure. No problem,” I said, but in my mind, “I” was the better teacher! Then I found out that she sang. Not just a little singing in church, but really SANG. But in my mind, “I” was the better singer. HA! I laugh at this now because I know Bri thought those very same things. As far as the teaching goes, she was and is the better teacher, but that’s okay because I have this writing gig I’m working on. Over the years we discovered how our gifts were not in competition with each other.  God made her a soprano and me an alto so our voices would blend and complement each other to bring glory to Him. There was no competition necessary.

I say all that to show a little of what our relationship was like. With her leaving, my heart was breaking. Here was my friend, the one God designed to complement me, and she was leaving. Her voice will no longer be a part of our worship team. Her gifts are being used elsewhere. That’s okay. I know God has good plans for her, but I don’t have to like it.

Last Sunday was her last week in church. Everyone knew it. The entire congregation recognized how difficult it was for the worship team to get through the songs with Bri sitting in the pews. We sobbed through the lyrics, “You give and take away. You give and take away. My heart will choose to say, ‘Blessed be your name.'”

But that wasn’t the hardest part. I was struggling to keep myself together and still give praise to the God who deserves it no matter what we feel. Then my son and my nephew did something that turned the whole church to teaian.nathan.cam.prayerrs.

At the end of the service, Pastor Joe offered prayer for anyone who wanted to come forward. The band started to sing when I saw three little heads clearing the seats and moving toward the front. Ian, Nathan brought their friend Cameron, Bri’s son, forward for prayer. They were having a hard time losing their friend, but they knew that in the midst of their hurt, they could turn to the God who had them all in his hands. No one prompted them. They chose it all on their own.

At the same time my heart was breaking, it burst with pride that my son and my nephew knew to turn to God in their hurt. Jesus said “Let the little children come to me.” Scripture also states, “A child will lead them.” That day, our church was moved by the heart of two little boys who wanted God to take care of their friend.

So today, I’m thankful for my son’s and my nephew’s heart for Jesus and for their boldness to step out and teach people generations older than them what it means to trust God. I’m also thankful that my God here in New York is the same God in Texas.

The Day I Saved My Father’s Life

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P1030215The phone rang. There wasn’t even a hello when I answered. Instead I heard, “You need to do something before I hurt your father.” (Paraphrased so as not to convict the guilty.) Thankfully, my father was in jail already, but not wanting my mother to join him there, I figured I better find out what was wrong.

“What’d he do now, Mom?” I found this very statement funny, seeing as how he’d spent the last few days behind bars doing a prison ministry. It couldn’t have been too bad if he hadn’t been home, right?

Wrong.

“There’s wine all over my wall. He put that thing in the living room, right next to the BEIGE wall and it’s splattering all over.”

Recently, Dad’s taken to the occasional glass of wine to ease a head cold. What better way to have access to the stuff than to make it oneself? Much like other people I know, (Read: men…sorry guys, it’s true.) Dad doesn’t like to read or follow directions when doing a project. He’ll figure it out along the way. Not really a great idea when it comes to wine making. At least when this was his first time sans our friend Harry, the expert wine maker.

I rushed to my mother’s house and inspected the carboy. After swatting away several fruit flies and examining what looked like blood splatter all over the beige wall, I determined that he’d never put any water in the air lock. It was now filled with grape juice.

“Oh dear.” Now, whenever it bubbled, it shot juice everywhere.

“Grab me a rag, Mom. I’ll clean it up.”

She stood behind me, arms crossed. “You don’t need to clean it. I’m capable of cleaning it, but I’m going to leave it for… ‘your father’.”

I could almost hear it in the pause. The ‘duh, duh, duh’ your father. Emphasis on ‘your’. Somehow when he does things like this, he becomes ‘my’ father instead of ‘her’ husband. I gave her the tried and true, “You CHOSE him.”

I smiled. “How about we take a picture instead?”

Mom agreed, and after snapping a few crime scene photos, I went to work, wiping the walls, cleaning the carboy, and refilling the airlock.

“You always come to your father’s rescue. You’re protecting him,” she said, half snickering.

“No. I’m protecting you. I’d hate to see you in prison next to him after killing him for getting juice on your walls.”

We both laughed.

Thankfully, when my dad returns from prison, he’ll live to see another day…as long as he stops making wine.

Editor’s note: When Dad returned, he insisted he put water in the airlock. But he did say he owed me for this one.

Heart of Worship

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Tonight, I took the kiddos out for a special treat: Chinese food. We met Grandma at the restaurant and enjoyed a nice evening. #1 even ate frog legs for dinner. On the ride home, #2 asked for me to turn on the radio. For some people, radio music is a constant in the car. For me, I can only stand people talking constantly for so long. But I obliged and turned on the Family Life Network. Soon the car was filled with praise music. Not only that, but they were songs we were all familiar with.

#2’s favorite song came on: Mighty to Save. It’s not an upbeat, boppy kind of song most kids like, but for some reason this contemplative power ballad touches my daughter’s heart. Then I noticed something.

The first was The Bug, buckled snuggly in her car seat, trying to sing to the song. The artist sang, “Everyone needs compassion,” and Bug would sing “Asion” “A love that’s never failing.” “Ailing” “Let mercy fall on me.” “ON MEEEEE!!”

The sound made me glance in the rear view where I noticed something else. #1, in the far back seat was singing in a way I’ve never seen him sing. His eyes were scrunched in concentration. He was swaying to the beat, his head bopping with the rhythm. He was lost in the music. More than that, he was worshipping. There was nothing between him and God. His heart was evident to me in that single glance.

Instantly, I prayed that God would grow his heart of worship. That there would be no desire greater than his love and need for God.

Then I looked at #2. Her eyes were closed, and she was singing. With no one watching, she was spending time with God. It was amazing to be a part of that moment. All three of my kids were loving God with all their hearts.

Before I knew it, tears were streaming down my face, and I thanked God for the privilege of being present in a moment of true worship.

I think many times we as adults bring our junk with us when we worship. There’s always something impeding us from a true, innocent connection with our heavenly father. Not so with the young ones. I think this is why Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” When they choose to spend time with God, it’s just them and God.

Maybe I’ll try that next time.

Got Something to Say?

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With the help of Mr. Agent Man, I’ve convinced my dad to start a blog. He thinks he has nothing of value to say. “It’s like literary refrigerator drawings. You know, you hang them on your fridge and only mom or grandma and grandpa think they’re great,” he said. “Besides, there’s a difference between having to say something and having something to say.”

What he doesn’t realize is that over the last two years as he has forced himself to look at the positive things in his life, he’s influenced a lot of people.

“Dad,” I said. “You don’t seem to realize that in this world of cynicism, people appreciate someone who can look at the blessings. You’ve already touched many people through your Facebook posts. Why not a few more?”031-edit

“So, what’s the purpose of having a blog then if I already have the Facebook stuff?” he asked.

“To reach a whole new audience who can be blessed by your words.”

 

Now, I have to prove him right! I need your help. Hop on over to Refridgeratorwordart.blogspot.com and give him a follow or comment. He’ll blame me, but it’ll be totally worth it.