Monday, July 21, 2014

Could there be More to Life than Romance? with Lillian Duncan

Please welcome Lillian Duncan to my blog ... I must admit her heading grabbed me to read more ... 


There’s more to life than romance.
An odd statement coming from someone who writes romantic suspense novels, but the truth is the truth. We can’t survive on romance alone. We need all sorts of connections with other people—not just romantic relationships.
As in life, not everything is about the romance!
Friendships are important! That’s the theme of my Sisters By Choice series. Even though the books are romantic suspense, they show deep friendships between the women in the books.
Women who are willing to help others in a crisis. Women who will go the extra mile—take the extra time—use the extra energy to help. So much so that they are willing to risk their own life.
Now that’s a friendship!
BETRAYED tells the story of Maria and her daughter. They are in Witness Protection after a devastating betrayal by her husband. (You’ll have to read the book to find out what he did.) Maria trusts no one, but she is forced to trust others to keep her daughter safe. As the story proceeds she learns that family isn’t just about blood.
Family is about sharing life together. Being there for each other in the good times and the bad. Those bonds are formed as we go through life together. Those bonds can take strangers, acquaintances, and even friends, and transform them into family.
In my own life, I’ve been blessed to have three such friendships. And those relationships have helped me get through some of the tough times in my life. But they’re also about having someone to share the good times with. Laughing, giggling, and happy tears are better when they happen with a friend.
So remember, there really is more to life than romance. We need friends and family—whether it’s by birth or by choice.

BETRAYED by Lillian Duncan
Amazon link:

The Witness Protection Program claims it can keep anyone safe if only the person follows the Maria follows the rules. Every rule. She gives up everything--her friends, her family, her past, even her name--to ensure her daughter has a future.
Reborn as Veronica Minor, Maria struggles to build a new life amid the beauty of her flower shop in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio. A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood. A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster.
 When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she's wrong? Not knowing whom to trust, she trusts no one...and that's her first mistake, because the nightmare isn't over--her dead husband just called from the grave.

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder and mayhem.
Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit:  She also has a devotional blog at:  as well as her personal blog, Tiaras  Tennis Shoes at

Thanks so much for visiting today, Lillian, and sharing your thoughts on Friendship. 

This post is part of a series on Friendship as we celebrate the release of the paperback versions of the Spiralling books .


Monday, July 14, 2014

What We Can Learn with Judy A Lair

Today we have Judy A Lair visiting and sharing some fantastic lessons learned from her Jack Russell. 

What We Can Learn From Mankind’s Best Friend

The first time I met GracieLu, she was dragged out of a van in a school parking lot. Matted hair, malnourished, and terrified, this wire-haired Jack Russell had obviously lived a hard life. Anxious to leave, the owner shoved a bag of dog food into my hand, then quickly got in the van and left. Poor GracieLu, she had no idea who I was nor where she was going.
Gently picking her up, I drove to the condo where I lived with my son Ben. Knowing Ben was soon heading off to college, I wanted to adopt a friend to keep me company. GracieLu stood in the same place for a long time, trembling and uncertain. Ben walked into the room. Hearing his deep voice, Gracie peed on the floor then rolled over submissively, her eyes begging Ben not to hurt her.
My heart broke seeing her fear, knowing there was no way for me to effectively communicate she was safe. Over the next six months, GracieLu experienced consistent love and came to see we were different than her former owners. What a blessing to watch her excitement when I came home, unabashedly demanding my attention, showering me with kisses.
When people are treated poorly by others, we often shut down, hesitant to open ourselves up for fear of further hurt. However, being made in the image of God means we’re relational beings. Shutting off from relationship deprives us of comfort, encouragement, support, and enjoyment leaving folks isolated, cynical, and bitter. You can be disappointed and rejected without being devastated and withdrawn. GracieLu gave me a chance to show my true character, and she joyously accepted all the love I offered. Spend time with God, share your sorrows and pain about those who’ve hurt you. Then ask Him to bring a true friend into your life.

Judy A. Lair, LPCC
Twitter: @JudyLair
Judy Lair is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in private practice in Worthington, Ohio. She graduated from Ashland Theological Seminary with a Masters in Clinical Pastoral Counseling in 2002. Her relational, client-centered godly approach builds strong therapeutic relationships, supporting others in their transformation journey. Born in Boise, Idaho, Judy moved to Alberta, Canada when she was in elementary school, then to Hershey, Pennsylvania for high school. Judy lives in Columbus, Ohio and enjoys spending time with her son Ben, who recently graduated college with a double degree in Journalism and Sports Management. Judy is the author of From the Other Side of the Couch: A Biblical Counselor's Guide to Relational Living
From the time Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, humankind has lived out of a rule-oriented, standardized framework. This strategy is great for getting tasks done, but significantly impacts the ability to do relationships well. Self-protection, anxiety, depression, bitterness, and resentment indicate a fear-based life. Learning how to love God, ourselves, and others requires a transformative process. Living a Relational lifestyle brings the happiness, contentment, and joy humans crave. Change is possible, and the reflective questions at the end of chapters help you personalize the journey. My Roadmap to Freedom shows how to walk through the valley of woundedness, liberate your feelings from captivity, wrestle inaccurate beliefs into submission, plant your flag on the mountain of truth, and learn how to live in godly freedom. Together, we will ask God to bring you context, clarity, compassion, and understanding about the pain and hurt you’ve experienced and their impact on your present life. I can tell you I absolutely, positively, completely believe in God’s heart for you and your healing—because I know His heart for me. This book welcomes you into my counseling office where I share the insights God has given to me on both sides of the couch.

Thanks so much for visiting today, Judy, 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, this Saturday 19th July. 


Monday, July 7, 2014

Friendship Across the Years with Jeanette O’Hagan

Please help me welcome my friend Jeanette today... 

Friendship Across the Years

I didn’t come easily to making friends. This verse in my poem ‘A Long Time Ago’ captures something of how I felt in the primary school playground.
It was
the closed games
and head shakes
acid that etched
corroding self-confidence
as yet again
I trembled “Can I play?”
Averted heads
closed looks
leaving me to wander
and circle
overtures of friendship
adrift in solitary pursuits
until at the end of the day
I could return to riotous play
and daring adventures with
my brothers.
Verse 4 A Long Time Ago by Jeanette O’Hagan 29 January 2014
Books were my friends. And, yes, as the years passed I did get better at making school friends as well but we moved often – over eight different schools. So every year or two I would have to start all over again.
I spent much of my school years finding friends between the pages of a book and in my own fertile imagination. Yet as I read Anne Shirley’s adventures and especially her enduring friendship with Dianna Barry, I felt a sense of discontent. 
“Mum, why can’t I find a special bosom friend like Anne?” I’d ask.
I can’t remember Mum’s answer but that question haunted me for a long time. And I began to believe that something was wrong with me. Later, I did make friends even if I only stayed a year or they were the ones to move (which also happened).
C S Lewis’ portrayal of Aslan and Patricia Saint John’s books Treasure in the Snow and A Tangled Wood Secret brought me closer to another friend – One who would always be with me. I would often chat to Him and His presence was comforting and almost physical at times. And the most liberating thing was that I didn’t have to earn His approval for Him to love and accept me. God’s friendship was freely given and always to be depended on. I think that realisation gave me the freedom to stop worrying (as much) about whether other people liked me or would accept me – and to begin thinking about loving them.
These days I have many friends, good friends I can talk to. I guess what I’ve learned is that:
  • If I want friends I need to be a friend. Not that everyone responds positively if I reach out to them. Some people are so suspicious and ornery that they don’t trust my friendly overtures. Or maybe they just don’t like me or have too much to cope with at the moment. That’s okay because others do respond. 
  • I need to sow time, effort and care into my friendships. Friendship is about give and take. So I have also had to learn how to receive as well as give which can be hard for a fiercely independent person like me.
  • You can have more than one best friend.
  • Taking offense is the death of friendships while understanding and forgiveness helps them flourish. I have a vivid imagination and when I’m feeling a bit fragile it can be easy for me to slip back into the ‘old tapes’ of my childhood – seeing rejection in certain actions or words. Yet more times than not, that is not what my friend meant.
  • Friendships go through seasons. Over the last couple of decades I’ve usually had a least one confidante – someone I can share freely with - but it hasn’t always been the same person as her and my circumstances have changed. There’s an ebb and flow with friends that’s part of the seasons of life.
  • Whatever happens, God is my friend – and not just mine for His love encompasses us all.
I’d like to finish with a poetic tribute to a lovely group of ladies whose friendship I value (and to my Mum, my sister, my husband and to my other best friends like Carol, Alison, Margie and Gail who have enriched my life across the years).
On Wednesdays
At Word
We women
To sip our teas and coffees
And natter
And natter
With our friends
While our children study
or play
Thus whiling

We debrief the week past
Our triumphs
And woes
From our children’s clever antics
the state of the nation
Global reclamation
Theological debates
The marvels of science
Or historical fates
To kitchen disasters
And latest craft craze
No topic verboten

So we are sorry (a little)
If we are too loud
Or agitated
Or take up to much space
But you see
This is our tradition
Since our children
were kinders
No matter that
They are now

Special rendition
A teaser of heaven
All sisters
At Word.

Jeanette O’Hagan c 24 January 2014

Jeanette has practiced medicine, studied communication, history and theology and has taught theology.  She is currently caring for her children, enjoying post-graduate studies in writing at Swinburne University and writing her Akrad fantasy fiction series.  She is actively involved in a caring Christian community.

You can connect with Jeanette on


Websites: OR

Twitter:  OR @JeanetteOHagan


Thanks so much for visiting today, Jeanette, 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, Saturday 19th July.