Monday, June 23, 2014

The Comfort Zone Issue with Barbara Ann Derksen

Please make my friend Barbara Ann feel welcome today as she shares her thoughts on friendship 

Friendship is a Comfort Zone Issue

When considering friendship, and since making friends is difficult for me, I decided to look up the word comfort zone. Wikipedia says, "The comfort zone is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition." Because I am a writer/introvert, staying home, not talking to people – for a time – suits me just fine. The idea of stepping out of my comfortable existence to take the time to interact with strangers causes stress – sometimes. But Jesus asks us to step out of the boat – the comfort zone.

The online dictionary adds, "A person's personality can be described by his or her comfort zones."  Have you ever watched the popular kids at school or those who seem to be a magnet in most social circles? They are comfortable, or seem to be, in their own skin. They appear happy with who they are and what they can accomplish so they appear successful.

A friend expects nothing but time. A friend is an encourager, someone I can count on when I need a shoulder to cry on and who is open enough to allow me to reciprocate when the time comes. Friendship is a risk. Whenever we fall in love with anything or anyone, we risk the pain of losing them. The risk takes us out of our comfort zone, doesn't it?

Another friend who asks me to regularly step out of my comfort zone is Jesus Christ. I know that whatever He asks me to do, will make me a better person, enlarge my vision, build my self-esteem, and grow me as a Christian. Stretching what I believe about myself is all part of it, but it also stretches what I believe about God, too. I learn to trust God a little more than before and I learn that He is faithful...always. He’s a true friend.

Barbara Ann Derksen, currently resides in Steinbach Manitoba. She began her writing career in Iowa in 1996.  There, she served as a journalist for American newspapers for 8 years with over 2000 articles published in those papers as well as in some international magazines. Derksen, a Canadian by birth, honed her craft in the US but returned to her Canadian roots in 2008. She has 19 titles to her credit with another one in the works.

Visit her website at ... 

Please check out Barbara's latest book Essence of Evil

Evil pursues Christine, in this the second book of the Finders Keepers Mystery Series. Retreat is not an option but her move forward makes her vulnerable to the very evil that took her parents' lives. Faced with yet another missing child, she embarks on a search that takes her out of her comfort zone to question her chosen career, her abilities, and her belief system as she helps stricken parents find closure. Christine finds herself confused about her growing interest in Jeremy but she is distracted by the essence of evil that surrounds her.


Thanks so much for visiting today Barbara 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. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

He Who Has a Friend with Carole Brown

Please welcome Carole Brown to my blog
~Author Spotlight ~
He Who Has a Friend . . .

A friend is one who doesn’t walk in front of me leading me to wherever they go.
A friend isn’t one who follows me, no matter where I may lead.
But it’s a person who walks beside me, sometimes arm in arm, other times with a small distance between us, giving me room to make my decisions.

I’ve had, and have, those kind of friends:

Ÿ  My mother who has listened, cried with me, laughed and shared and been there forever for me.

Ÿ  My husband who vowed to love and cherish me, who’s supported and encouraged and walked beside me when I’m afraid and nervous and lonesome.

Ÿ  My friend Dreama. We may see each other once, or twice if time and circumstances are convenient, but our friendship is solid, and I know will continue through the rest of our years.

Ÿ  Connie, my sister-in-law, who’s love of children and of family and her husband--my brother--are two values high on my list. She’s just made that way.

Ÿ  And God. The best friend a person could ask for. One who goes far and above what we could ask. The one who understands us better than we do ourselves; the one who loves us best.

I could go on and on. But suffice it for me to hope that:

I may be there for a mother who’s suffering from dementia now, to understand and love her as much as she has me, that I may support my husband’s projects and walk beside him every step of his journey, that I may continue friendship with my friends, laugh and rejoice with them as they have me, and that I may be as faithful of a friend as they have been to me.

And may I most of all, be the kind of friend who trusts and believes God knows best for my life, and support his decisions for me as he has for my desires and life.
He who has a friend

check out Carole's latest book... The Davis couple load up their RV and eagerly head for the Smoky Mountains, with the Mountain Mist Campground at Pigeon Forge as their final destination.
Newly retired, Denton hopes to use this trip to rekindle the dwindling flame of his marriage. In spite of her protests, he is sure his wife looks forward to the rest and relaxation as much as he does.
They barely arrive at their destination when a risk-taking motorcyclist speeds past them, followed by a careening sports car.
Denton remembers the fatal tangle of his nephew ten years earlier ... with the bike Denton taught him to ride.
Things continue to go south the rest of the evening, culminating in Denton finding a body sprawled in the brush beside the path to their cabin.
The man's booted feet toe down, as if they had dug into the ground, and biker gloves on his hands indicate Denton may have seen him earlier in the day.
Denton squats and presses two fingers alongside the neck of the victim. No pulse, just as he expects.
The bullet hole in the victim's head says it all. Denton has a job to do and a mystery to solve.

Carole Brown not only has her debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel. On November 18, the first book in her mystery series, Hog Insane, released. It’s a fun, lighthearted novel introducing the characters, Denton and Alex Davies.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Connect with her here:

She is also part of several other blogs:
Barn Door Book Loft:

Carol, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts today. I am so enjoying this series. 

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This post is part of the Friendship series ... We're celebrating the upcoming release of the Spiralling books in paperback - 19th July - Can't wait!!