Monday, April 21, 2014

The Friendship Village with Elaine Fraser

Let me introduce you to Elaine Fraser who just happens to be my critique partner at the moment (and a very lovely and patient one at that! )
To celebrate the upcoming launch of my Spiralling books in paperback, Elaine has popped in to share with you all about friendship. 
Please make her feel welcome. 

The Friendship Village

The “checking Facebook” ritual which takes place several times throughout the day is essentially very much the same as crossing a village square, exchanging greetings and pleasantries. It is a way to check how people are doing, what they are talking about and how they are feeling. Facebook makes it possible to receive an immediate update on important personal events and which news stories that people are currently discussing. Mikael Eriksson Bjorling

I have five hundred and eighty five friends on Facebook, yet I have only a handful of friends I could call at 4am and ask for help.

I take a long time to make really close friends, but once I cross over that line from acquaintance into deep friendship, those friends will be friends for life.

The quality of our friendships, beyond the casual checking in on Facebook, is where we build our village.

Our friendship villages are made of people who we may casually interact with as we pass through our day, others are people we journey with, share with and depend on. We crave intimacy. We need warm, dependable, secure relationships to help navigate life.

Our best friends are often the old friends- friends who know your history and know you. You don’t have to explain-they just know.  

Old friends accept us as we are and put up with our quirks and idiosyncrasies. However, we all change and grow and the people who have known you the longest may find it hard to absorb this change and reconcile the old you with the new you.

New friends may bring a fresh perspective. When you’re in a rut, they may see something that you haven’t seen before.

Friendships, like any relationship, take work, but are worth the effort. Building quality into our friendships means that we will have companions on our journey.

Whether new or old friends, the important thing is that life is a journey best shared with friends.

Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm & constant.  Socrates

Elaine Fraser, author of ‘the Beautiful books’, is from Perth, Western Australia.  For many years she taught English and Drama in secondary schools.
Although Elaine is best known for her non-fiction work: Beautiful: beauty tips for the soul and Too Beautiful: more beauty tips for the soul, she has branched out into fiction.
Perfect Mercy , Book #1 in the Beautiful Lives series was released in 2012.

Book #2 Love, Justice will be released in 2014, and Book #3 Amazing Grace is in the works.

‘I try to write books that are honest, concerned with real lives and real issues with a spiritual edge. My books are contemporary, don’t always have the perfect ending, but always have hope. For example, Mercy Hamilton, the central character in Perfect Mercy, finds out that life isn’t always perfect.’
Then, she looked up to heaven and thanked God from the bottom of her heart for where she was at that moment. She didn’t know what tomorrow would bring, but at this minute, in this place, she was thankful.

Travel is an important part of Elaine’s life and she spends up to three months of the year away from home.
‘People say I have the dream life. I get to do what I love – write, study, travel, mentor writers and enjoy living in one of the best cities in the world with my wonderful husband, young adult children and golden retriever, Bear,’ Elaine says.
‘I agree with Marc Anthony when he said, If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life.’

Thank you Elaine, so many great thoughts and insights in your Friendship Village post. 
Those who are reading, I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments... 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Brother's Keeper with Rose Chandler Johnson

I met Rose a little while back now, and have enjoyed her wise words of wisdom. When I asked her to be a guest on my blog and write a post on friendship to celebrate my upcoming release of Spiralling Out of Control and Spiralling Out of the Shadow in paperback, this is what she sent me - an excerpt from her book. I do hope you enjoy it.  

My Brother’s Keeper

And the Lord said unto Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” And he said, “I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9 (KJV)

            My youngest son has five older siblings, all of whom in one way or another take it upon themselves to look out for their brother. From the time he was born until now, their joy and love for him compel them to spend time with him and to contribute to his care. Being older, stronger, and wiser than he, they realize they can assist in his upbringing in countless ways. He reaps the benefits of their attention, guidance, and care.
Jesus called brethren all those who did the will of His father. As Christians, we follow His example. Those who are weak and needy among us need our attention and care. Like little brothers, they need stronger and wiser brothers and sisters to spend time with them and give them the love and encouragement they need to grow in faith. 
My friend Janet first spoke to me about Jesus Christ and His love in 1977. She has modelled that love through the years. The priceless gift of her friendship and Christian witness has strengthened me through good times and bad. I have been greatly blessed by my Christian sister.
We all need someone to take our hand and guide our steps at some time along the way—
 til we all come in the unity of the faith (Ephesians 4:13a).

About the book.... In the South, nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced
tea. Nothing, that is, except experiencing God in those small, everyday
moments. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is a deeply personal collection
of spiritual treasures designed to help readers experience new mercies
each morning. Seasoned with insight and grace, this tender devotional
points to the divine presence of God in everyday moments. Whether
purchased as a personal resource or given as a heartfelt gift, God, Me,
and Sweet Iced Tea will help readers develop a daily habit of turning to God in those quiet moments of reflection.

Rose Chandler Johnson’s devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments was released in July 2013. Her devotions, poems, and articles have appeared in numerous Christian publications. She enjoys writing for her popular blog, Write Moments with God, and engaging with her readers. Rose is from Burke County, Georgia and has lived in Martinez, GA for the last twenty-eight years. She has been a French and English teacher for the last twenty years. Rose enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their families.

Get to know Rose a little better here ...

God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is available for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble,, and through your local independent book stores.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Friendship discoveries from Imogen's Chance

This is the first of several posts coming about friendhsip. Please make Paula Vince welcome...

There is a strong friendship base at the heart of ‘Imogen’s Chance.’ On the surface, other themes may seem more dominant, such as healing and secrets. But when I began to think about it, friendship is the life blood in this story. And like the real heart in the body, it isn’t visibly evident but upholds everything else in the lives of my two main characters.

Even though she has been away from the Dorazio family for several years, Imogen has always remembered and cared about her old friends. Finally, she decides to return to Australia, to try to sort out a mess she’d made years ago.

Asher finds himself in the sort of fix nobody ever wants to face, with a frightening medical diagnosis. He discovers that this is the sort of situation in which real friends become obvious. There are two particular girls in his life. One proves herself to be a pure jewel. She stands by him and does her utmost to help, no matter what. The other finds it difficult to cope with her strong reaction to his news. She drifts away, not quite as committed. The interesting thing for Asher is that neither girl behaves how he might have expected her to.

Real friends sometimes find themselves in Imogen’s position. They are afraid to speak up or take action, for fear of what people may say. Yet they grit their teeth and do what they think will most benefit their friend, regardless of possible rejection. That’s real friendship.

Real friends are willing to overlook the mistakes of people they value, even if they are big mistakes. When Asher finds out about the shocking event in Imogen’s past, it leaves him reeling. He must remember the example of genuine friendship she has offered him in the past. This is the only thing which will help him weather what he has discovered, when he is challenged to be as good a friend to her as she has been to him. Will her original offer of friendship create a ripple effect, which will help bring the best out of him?


Oh my goodness... you have to read Paula's latest book, Imogen's Chance  ... I loved it! 

She has given herself a chance to fix her personal history. But will old mistakes bring up new emotions?
Imogen Browne longs to make up for past mistakes before she can move on. She quietly resolves to help the Dorazio family, whose lives she accidentally upset. Her biggest challenge is Asher, the one person who may never forgive her. And he is facing a crisis of his own. Imogen must tread very carefully, as trying to fix things may well make them shatter.
A sensitive story about misplaced loyalty, celebrating life and falling in love. Can family secrets concealed with the best intentions bear the light of day?

More about Paula... 

Award-winning author, Paula Vince loves to evoke tears and laughter through her novels. A wife and homeschooling mother of three, she resides in the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia. Her youth was brightened by great fiction and she’s on a mission to pay it forward.

Her novel, Picking up the Pieces, won the religious fiction section of the 2011 International Book Awards.
Her novel, Best Forgotten, was winner of the 2011 CALEB Award in the fiction category and also recognized as the best overall entry for the year, chosen over memoirs, devotionals and general non-fiction.

Paula’s books are a skillful blend of drama and romance tied together with elements of mystery and suspense.

Find out more at

Paula is the author of Picking up the Pieces, The Risky Way Home, A Design of Gold and Best Forgotten. Her new novel, Imogen’s Chance, will be published in April, 2014.

Paula is also one of the four authors of The Greenfield Legacy 

I love Paula's statements on 'Real Friend'. If you have some to add... please pop your statements beginning with 'Real Friends... ' in the comments below. 

Celebrating the release of Spiralling Out of the Shadow ...