What’s the Maine Idea?

Whenever my daughter or I propose an overseas vacation, my husband always staunchly shakes his head and says, “There’s too many places in the states we haven’t been to.” Today author Joi Copeland shares her travel experiences and how a place she visited was nothing like she’d imagined. And that picture she sent us? Adorable!

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What’s the Maine Idea?
by Joi Copeland

I’m starting a new project called Christmas Snowe and Peppermint Cocoa. I love peppermint mochas so whenever I can add a part of my favorite drink to a story, I will! I decided to write this story located in Maine. Camden, Maine, to be exact.

old-people-545232_640You see, my grandparents are from Maine, and I’ve always been fascinated with this culture. I can remember my grandparents, who are both still alive, talking about “pahking the cah in the pahkway.” I loved hearing them argue, too. It was always, “I would have had dinna ready, deah, if you’d be home when you were supposed to.” Then my grandfather would reply, “Honey…” and on and on their “argument” would go. I never heard them raise their voices to each other. Oh, my Papa is loud, truth be told. When he enters a room, not a soul doubts his presence. But never at each other.

While doing some research on this story, I’ve discovered how fast Mainers, or Mainahs, as they call themselves, speak. They put Californians to shame! And I’m originally from California and can talk pretty quickly. I had to watch a video three or four times to understand what one gentleman was saying. They certainly have different names for words, too. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing research on this fantastic state!

mountain-91385_640I suppose my “Maine” idea is this: each state has its own charm, its own special characteristics that we don’t realize. I’m from California, and while it is not my favorite state, there are some cities that hold special memories for me. Currently, I live in Colorado. This state owns my heart, to be sure. It’s beautiful, snowy one moment and sunny the next. The mountains take my breath away. Coloradoans have their own way of life, too. I’ve seen people run in the snow just to exercise.

With fifty states to our country, I look forward to exploring as many of them as I can. But I don’t want to stop there. I look forward to seeing the beauty of other countries, too.

This weekend, if you can, take some time to explore a part of your state. And then spend some time dreaming up a vacation you want to take with your family to a different state. Experience the beauty and wonder God created!

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CopelandphotoJoi Copeland is married to a wonderful man, Chris, and has three amazing boys, Garrison, Gage, and Gavin. She lives in Denver, Colorado, but within the year, hopes to be living in Galway, Ireland.

Joi’s love of writing began at a young age. She wrote short stories for several years, and in 2009, she began writing her first novel, Hope for Tomorrow.

Meet Joi on her web site, www.joicopeland.com and Facebook.

Joi’s books include:
Hope for Tomorrow, book 1
Hope for the Journey, book 2
Hope from the Past, book 3
Letters of Love
Christmas Rayne, a novella
Sheriff Bride Rob’s Story, a novella (Paperback is available here.)

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Letters of Love
Find it on Amazon.

Two men fighting for their country.
Two women dealing with tragedy alone.
Two different stories, two different eras, one common thread.

Sophia Philips, a wife and mom, finds herself missing the two most important people in her life. One ripped from her because of war, the other by death.

Sophia’s grandmother, Lucia Snell, gives her an early inheritance; letters written to her by her husband while stationed in China during World War II. Lucia believes these letters will help her granddaughter heal from the heart-wrenching tragedy she faces.

Will Sophia carry the anger, bitterness, and guilt within her or go to the only One who can heal her from the pain? Will she find the strength to carry on and the will to survive through her grandparents’ Letters of Love?

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Let’s talk about it: How fun is it to dream of traveling! Have you ever been somewhere that spoke the same language but had a dialect you had trouble understanding? What has been your favorite state you’ve visited? What did you love about it? Do you have any suggestions for places to visit and enjoy God’s creation? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. We can all use getaway ideas!

The Story Behind the Story

Have you ever kept a secret from your family? Imagine that secret finding its way into a book…

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The Story Behind the Story
By Ane Mulligan

The second book in my Chapel Lake series, Chapel Springs Survival, came from a real life event—and became a mother’s retribution. Insert creepy music and evil laughter.

The day started out normal, boring even. Then I got a phone call from our eldest son.

“Hey, Mom. I emailed you some pictures. Take a look and call me back.” Click.

He hung up. Without even asking how I was.

wedding-photos-885886_1280I hurried to my computer and opened his email. The first photo was of a nice looking, very Latin appearing young woman. Something told me she wasn’t from here. I clicked on the second photo—a photo with her in a wedding dress.

I hit speed dial.

It seems our eldest son, a widower with two children, had gotten himself a 21st Century mail order bride. He met her in a chat room for women in Columbia, South America, to meet and marry American men. They communicated for a year. Then, he flew to Columbia and married her.

Without us knowing anything.

He came back and spent the next year trying to get her into the U.S. legally.

Did I mention it was without us knowing anything?

He didn’t tell us until she got here. Our two grandchildren knew. His brother knew. But we ID-10067291didn’t. Do you remember that old margarine commercial, where the woman said, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature” and zapped someone?

That’s what I said. I told him for not telling me, it was going in a book. And it did.

Now, I have to tell you that any similarity between our son’s story and my book stops there. Our daughter-in-law turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to our Michael. We adore her and our two step-grandsons and the newest Mulligan grandson. Yes, they had a baby about a year after Zully got here.

That, however, wouldn’t have made a good story. There was no conflict. But add Claire Bennett into that mix, and there’s plenty. To find out how it turns out, you’ll have to read Chapel Springs Survival.

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Chapel Springs Survival, book 2 in the Chapel Springs series

A mail-order bride, a town overrun with tourists, and illegal art.  Chapel Springs Survival Cover

How on earth will Claire and Chapel Springs survive?

Claire Bennett’s Operation Marriage Revival succeeded and life is good. That is until the mayor’s brother blabs a secret: Claire’s nineteen-year-old son has married a Brazilian mail order bride. When Claire tries to welcome her, she’s ridiculed, rebuffed, and rejected. Loving this girl is like hugging a prickly cactus.

Lydia Smith is happily living alone and running her spa—then the widow on the hill becomes a blushing bride. Then her groom’s adult son moves in—on everything.

From the first sighting of a country music star in The Painted Loon, Chapel Springs is inundated with stargazers, causing residents to flee the area. When her best friends put their house on the market, Claire is forced to do something or lose the closest thing to a sister she’s got. With her son’s future at stake and the town’s problems to solve, it’s Claire’s who needs a guardian angel.

Other books:
Chapel Springs Revival
Chapel Springs Cookbook
Way Down Upon a Suwanee Murder: a short story

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Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Novelist and playwright, Ane is the executive director of Players Guild@Sugar Hill, a community theater and president of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket. She resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a dog of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane at her website, Novel Rocket, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and her Amazon author page.

Let’s talk about it: Wasn’t Ane’s story fun? How do you think you would have handled a secret like that? Have you kept a secret of that magnitude before? How did others react? Share in the comments below. We can all learn from and encourage–and laugh with–one another!

Behind the Story

Do you ever doubt that God has a plan for you? Do you wonder, if He does, what that plan might be? What happens when He reroutes us? I don’t know about you, but unknowns, detours, and abrupt changes make the plotter-planner in me nervous. And I can really relate with today’s guest–believe it or not, I never intended to be a fiction writer! And Author JC Morrows never intended… Well, you’ll see.

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Behind the Story
by JC Morrows

The book series I’m in the middle of is different from anything else I have written . . . ever. When I started writing, it was for the secular market. However, all of those novels have now either been rewritten for the Christian market or scrapped.
Several years ago, I decided to make a fresh start with my writing . . . not long after I made the decision to re-dedicate myself to God. However, I was still writing fantasy. Fantasy is my first love in literature, my go-to genre, my preferred reading. It just makes sense that I would write what I love to read – and I was . . . until God let me in on HIS plan.
notes-514998_1920I was struggling with the story I was working on. I knew where I wanted it to go, but I wasn’t sure how to get it there. So I said a prayer. I asked God what HE wanted me to write about. And He gave me this story.
Suffice to say, I could not type fast enough to keep up with the inspiration that was quite literally gushing out through my fingertips.
I wrote the entire series in less than two months. I didn’t stop to edit. I didn’t stop to plot. Sometimes I barely stopped to sleep. I just kept going – following God’s leading. It was an AMAZING two months!
Since then, I have worked diligently to stay true to the story God gave me. It’s not always easy. My brain always wants to go somewhere fantastical . . . somewhere alien or otherworldly . . . somewhere I feel comfortable.
I don’t feel comfortable in this story world at all – and I was very concerned with how it would be received. But God has blessed me in that area as well. I had a fantastic launch team – and now an equally wonderful street team. Both online parties I hosted were a tremendous success. The first book in the series hit #1 on Amazon’s Best-Seller list on release day and has sold like I never could have expected.shadow-824128_1280
So, whenever I start to doubt myself, I say a prayer and go ask my team what they think of the newest installment . . . or I go look at the rankings in Amazon. And I am reminded that God has a plan – and just because I don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
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A Desperate Escape:
A Secret . . . A Confession . . . A Decision that will change the A Desperate Escape - JC Morrows
lives of an entire country.
The palace is scrambling to recover from a brutal assault . . . the country is in disarray . . . and the royal security team is on edge like never before.
Kayden entered the palace under a lie . . . a lie that has now been exposed.
And now . . . Prince Dvarius has to decide what to do with his reluctant assassin.
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JCM 2b - 06-2015JC Morrows – Bestselling author of YA Christian speculative fiction, drinker of coffee and avid reader – is a storyteller in the truest sense of the word. JC has been telling stories in one form or another her entire life and once her mother convinced her to write them down, she couldn’t stop.
She finished her first speculative fiction novel purely for the enjoyment of her mother – also known as her biggest fan.
She gives God all of the glory for her talent and ability!
Find JC on her website: http://jcmorrows.com, and at Amazon, Goodreads, her NewsletterInstagram, TwitterPinterestFacebook, and Tumblr.
“And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” Habakkuk 2:2 KJV
Let’s talk about this: I shared at the beginning of my post how I never intended to write fiction, and I fought God’s call for a long time. But man, had I know the incredible joy I’d receive every time I sat behind my desk, I would’ve surrendered much sooner! God is good. God is loving, attentive and faithful, amen?
 Has God ever called you down a road you were unfamiliar with? How did you feel about that? Do you have any Scripture that God gave you to encourage you? Share in the comments below.