Monday, May 19, 2014

Come walk beside me ... with Anusha Atukorala

Please welcome Anusha Atukorala today as she shares her thoughts on friendship with us...

Come, walk beside me…

The word ‘Friendship’ rings in my ears like the song of a nightingale, clear, sweet, melodious. It brings a sequence of beautiful pictures to my mind. A group of schoolgirls chattering, giggling, squealing, having fun together; a teenager talking to her best friend into the wee hours of the morning; two women praying over the phone, connected heart to heart, even if 3000 miles apart; myself, typing my daily email to my beloved Mum, (my special Friend) with a glad song in my heart; enjoying a cuppa with a brand new friend and loving it; listening to, learning from and doing life with a special someone in my life. The list goes on and on.

Friendship. What does it mean? What does it bring to our lives into our lives? Is it needed? In my own life, friendship has to be one of the most precious blessings I've enjoyed. Life would not be life without it. It has brought me joy in deepest measure time and time again; with God – my closest friend; with my husband of 28 years – who’s my best friend; with many other amazing wonderful, remarkable friends over the years; a delicious creamy icing on the cake of life completing it as nothing else could ever do.

Tweet: Friendship: come walk beside me with Anusha Atukorala http://michelledevans.blogspot.com.au/ @MichelleDEvans
What then are the qualities then of a true friend? Understanding and empathy should be high on a friend’s list, don’t you think?. Making time for each other is vital. But being apart doesn’t matter either because of course the heart to heart connection between true friends never dims. True friends are always there for each other. They don’t judge. They listen instead – they listen well with their hearts, to both spoken and unspoken words. A true friend sings the song back to her friend when she has forgotten the words. She holds her hand when it is needed. She believes in her friend and helps her believe in herself.

A friend stays silent when words are not needed. Sheds tears with her when her friend grieves. Rejoices when she has cause to celebrate. Accepts her friend just the way she is, warts and all. God created friendship when he created Adam and Eve. He brought meaning into their lives not just through their walk with Him but also through their walk with each other. And so we can agree with Albert Camus today. Having someone beside you who loves you unconditionally through the joys and sorrows of one’s journey is one of the sweetest, brightest and deepest joys in life. Friendship is a gift beyond compare.


 "Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend." —Albert Camus

Anusha Atukorala is a Writer and Speaker who’s passionate about life, Jesus, family, friendship, the beauty of Creation, Writing and Encouraging others. Her first book 'Enjoying the Journey' was published in 2010 and contains 75 stories of lessons from day to day life. She has contributed to 10 'Australian stories' books over the last 7 years since she began her writing journey. Her website and blog, Dancing in the Rain can be viewed at:


Thank you for your thoughts on friendship Anusha, I love that quote by Albert Camus. For those reading, do you have a favourite quote on friendship?


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This post is part of the Friendship series ... We're celebrating the upcoming release of the Spiralling books in paperback. (date to be announced soon - VIP readers find out first) 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Join the Chorus with Adele Jones

Please welcome my friend Adele Jones as she share her thoughts on friendship with us today... 

Join the Chorus
The Helen Earley Ensemble © 2013 photo credit Helen Earley
I love the power of a choir; the depth of expression and stirring parts. Choirs are safe places where abilities can be explored and excellence grown organically in the fertile soil created by other contributors to the composite voice. With a skilled choir backing them, a soloist can be catapulted from great to exquisite!

In life, each of us have our own choir – and hopefully more than a duet! These are the people who beautify the melodies of our life; friends and family—those who enhance our capacity, urge us to greater things and turn even the thinnest voice into a delicate melody others long to hear.

I love my choir. Life without them would simply be an ear jarring attempt at an ill–practised oratorio. I’ve also known times when individual choir members have sung poignant, God–timed recitatives in the gaps where my aria has sagged to tear dampened breathiness.

It’s as equally wonderful to be in the choir of someone else’s successes – and heartaches, failures, disappointments. A thrilling chorus of triumph is much sweeter when shared. When calamity strikes, the gentle refrain of a choir can sustain and heal, ushering a moon–like luminance over our shadowed journey. With the crescendo of dawn, radiant melodies can rouse anticipation, reminding us that after every night there is a new day.

The choir is not the soloist; but what a privilege it is to sing. Pity those who live without it – but therein lies an opportunity to start a new choir and gather members. Sometimes people just aren’t quite sure how to enlist their own vocals section and need a little help. And just remember, when you’re in someone’s choir and you’re called upon to do a solo, those you’ve been backing will be found creating the moving harmonies you need to turn great into exquisite.



Adele Jones lives in Queensland, Australia. She’s had a variety of short works published and has two novels scheduled for release in 2014—a YA SciFi and a historical fiction. 
Her writing is inspired by a passion for family, faith, friends, music and science – and a broad ranging imagination. To find out more visit www.adelejonesauthor.com




Adele, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here today. This is such an encouraging reminder to cheer one another on. Congratulations on your upcoming releases - Can't wait to get my hands on them!

Become one of Michelle's VIP readers to receive your free book today! 
This post is part of the Friendship series ... We're celebrating the upcoming release of the Spiralling books in paperback. (date to be announced soon - VIP readers find out first) 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Friendship: more than Facebook activity with Lynne Stringer

Please make my friend, Lynne Stringer feel welcome as she shares her thoughts on Friendship today... AND help her celebrate her recent release. (congratulations on your book launch over the weekend!)

Friendship: more than Facebook activity
I’m the kind of person who finds it difficult to make friends. You might not believe it, looking at my Facebook profile; I have nearly 300 on there.
I think we’d all agree that friendship is more than just a number on a Facebook page. I think Facebook is a wonderful way to find out what’s going on in our friends’ lives when finding time to catch up is difficult. It has also helped me reconnect with a few people I’d lost touch with. It’s an enabling resource, but I think it can encourage laziness when it comes to friendship. After all, are we really maintaining a friendship simply by ‘liking’ a status update on our friend’s page? It’s not the same as talking to them and seeing how they are going.
I may find it difficult to make friends, but maintaining them is important to me, maybe because of the difficulty I have with making them in the first place. I find that I go to a lot of effort to maintain them. It can be tricky, but I’d encourage you to do the same. I know it’s hard in our busy world to find the time, but I think it’s important.
Here’s a few ways you can make sure you keep in touch.
·         If you say to a friend ‘we should get together some time’ don’t walk away without doing it. Get out your schedule and arrange a time then and there. You’ll never get around to it otherwise.
·         If a friend says something on Facebook that worries you, send them a private message to make sure they’re okay. Better still, pick up the phone and call them. It may be just what they need.
·         If you haven’t seen a friend of yours either in person or on Facebook for a while send them a message and make sure they’re okay.
Tweet: Friendship: more than Facebook activity with Lynne Stringer http://ctt.ec/rXe8D+ @MichelleDEvansThere are many other ways you can maintain great and meaningful friendships, but these three can help you get started. Remember, your friendships are dependent on your input to maintain them. Everyone loves a great friend. I certainly do.


Lynne Stringer has been passionate about writing all her life, beginning with short stories in her primary school days. She began writing professionally as a journalist and was the editor of a small newspaper (later magazine) for seven years, before turning her hand to screenplay writing and novels. Her lastest novel, The Reign , was released on 1st May. It is the final book in the Verindon trilogy.
For more information visit www.verindon.com

Lynne currently works as a professional editor and proofreader. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and young son. 


 

Thank so much for visiting today Lynne and sharing your thoughts on Friendship. 
This post is part of a series on Friendship as we lead up to the release of the paperback version of the Spiralling books. 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Friendship and Dead Dreams with Emma Right

I would love for you to make Emma feel welcome today as she visits and highlights the themes on Friendship from her new release Dead Dreams (special launch price for a short time only 99 cents) 
It's a cliff-hanger that will leave you wishing you had book 2 in your hands! 

Also... Emma is part of the John 3:16 group launch this month ... visit HERE for your chance to win a $50 Amazon Voucher. 

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
Jesus said this in John 15:15. I just love the fact that He, the Creator of the universe, calls us a friend, and puts us on the same plane as Himself.

A good friend though, is hard to find, and wise is the person who chooses her friends carefully. That was a part of the theme in my young adult psychological thriller, Dead Dreams, Book 1, —choosing the right friend. But finding a good friend is not as easy as it seems. Hindsight is always 20-20. When a young person is growing up and discovering about the world and establishing herself as her own entity, sometimes even rejecting her parent’s values and beliefs, so many things seem appropriate, exciting and even right.

We've all been there—at least some of us who are over 21—revving to grow up, the world at our feet, the stars reachable. Wonderful, wondrous future. But in wanting to get there, we forget to smell the roses, we trample on thorns and we get sorely poked and pricked, and alas, some of the barbs could be poisonous. Except for the Grace that watches over me, over us, all it might have taken for any of us to have taken that wrong path was that detour, that wrong turn, that grabbing of something that looked too good to pass up on. This, coupled with a strong desire to make it in life, might blind any of us, and we can end up grabbing at the adder's tail.
A true friend can sway a person from the worst decision and a false one can do just the opposite.
That is the story of Dead Dreams; of Brie O'Mara, a good girl; someone who'd never even gotten a traffic ticket, even a Miss Goodie Two-shoes. But, let's face it; we can all be tempted, just a tiny bit. And sometimes that's all it takes to have things spiral out of hand.
Of course, for us who are a little more mature it’s easier to tell deceit from truths, but someone who’s eighteen or younger might have to learn things the hard way. Which is why I constantly pray for my children to make friends who can steer them toward the proper road. And the best person I know who can always be there for them and guide them is Jesus. So I keep pointing them to Him and hope that their mistakes,(for all young people make mistakes in some form or other) won’t cost them too dearly.
I hope readers will enjoy Dead Dreams and take something out from it. I have always enjoyed a good thriller mystery so I wanted to write a young adult book that has a strong message yet is still filled with intrigue, mystery, and suspense. Hence, Dead Dreams. It is a part of a series, and the first book leaves questions that will be answered in book 2.

Book Trailer:   DeadDreams, Book 1



Book Blurb: Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family in the sidelines, an heiress for a roommate, and dreams that might just come true. Big dreams--of going to acting school, finishing college and making a name for herself. She is about to be the envy of everyone she knew. What more could she hope for? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality. 

Dead Dreams, Book 1, a young contemporary adult psychological thriller and mystery.

Rated PG.



AUTHOR BIO:
Emma RightAward Winning and Best Seller author, Emma Right, is a happy wife and Christian homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired Dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. When she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.
Emma worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children. Emma Right is currently features in Authors’ Network latest book, 50 Great Authors You Should be Reading. She can be contacted through her website at http://www.emmaright.com/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/YoungAdultAndKids


Tweet: Friendship and Dead Dreams with Emma Right... http://dld.bz/dp7QB @MichelleDEvans
Thank you Emma, so many great points there! We all make mistakes (not only young people), and surrounding ourselves with a couple of good friends can make this time so much easier to get through.
This post has been part or our Friendship series ... celebrating the upcoming paperback release of Spiralling Out of Control and Spiralling Out of the Shadow