Thursday, July 30, 2015

YOU R INVITED!!!! Don't miss it! Helping Hands Press "Thirsty Thursday Party" 8/6

It is almost time for another “THIRSTY THURSDAY”

What is Helping Hands Press “THIRSTY” for:Your input! Your ideas! Your feedback!

The authors at Helping Hands Press will be ready to answer your questions, listen to your thoughts, and to help you have a great experience!

The Party starts @ 8PM EST, we hope that you can make it!

The HHP Facebook Page link is:

or join the party on Twitter:

The Party will be simulcast on blogtalk radio also, click the link and be part of the conversation:

WHAT? Another One? - Marta Burden

It all began on my daughter’s 12th birthday. I watched her as she stood at her best friend’s car after school. She would attend a new school the following Monday. We’d recently moved into an apartment across town while waiting for our newly acquired house to be ready. With tears she walked towards my car carrying a small bundle along with her backpack.
“Mom,” she croaked. “This is my birthday and going away present.”

She peeled back the cloth to reveal…a tiny fluffy orange tabby kitten.

I sputtered. “You know how your dad feels about animals. He’s going to have a fit.”
A new round of shuttering tears erupted. “Bu…but it’s a gift from Megannnnnn.”
Dad very reluctantly agreed to keep him. It’s that daddy wrapped around the little finger thing, I’m sure. Bootsie became a member of the family.
Next came Coonie.

She showed up on our doorstep. By then, I was smitten with kittens. I was sure she was just on the chunky side. After all, she wasn’t a year old yet. My children, however, rolled their eyes at me.
“Mom, she’s pregnant!”

I denied it until I felt her belly and little creatures stirred within.
She gave us three balls of fluff, Mowgli, Bagheera and Spot.

We moved once again, lock, stock and barrel of cats. Our neighbor found a white kitty complete with collar wandering in his yard and assumed it was ours. Hubster protested loudly as I pleaded with him to house said offender while we found his owner. After all, he wore a cute little collar with puff paint fish. Surely someone missed him.
Signage, phone calls to the animal shelter, neighbor interviews… nada, nothing.
Angel was added to the menagerie. He’d lie on my chest and suck his paw.
When we babysat my mom’s cat, Kittybabe, we housed and fed 6 felines.

As with all living creatures, their clock eventually strikes midnight and they are gathered to their people. Mowgli left us first after only 5 years. Bootsie grew old and followed.
My mom passed and we adopted Kittybabe.

Somewhere in the story, Hubster worried that we’d become infested with cats. He knew the empty threat of, “if you bring one more cat into the house, I’m leaving you,” wouldn’t fly, so it became, “if you bring one more cat into the house, they allllll go.” That one was heartfelt and serious.
Dear Daughter is now 35. The cats, they came. The cats, they went.
We now have only one bag of fluff. Kleinah.

Kleinah needs serious therapy. We think she’s OCD. We hope it’s just a passing phase while the weather is hot.
She follows Hubster, our son, or yours truly into the bathroom, stands at the sink and waits for water to be dumped on her head and back. No matter how short a time between “showers”, she’s there waiting.
Cats. You either love them or hate them. But they provide hours of entertainment for the whole family.

Marta Burden devotes her time to her love of writing contemporary fiction, devotionals and short stories. Her motto is: “say what you need to say”.

Drawing from her many visits to Israel, Marta seeks to bridge the gap between the Christian and Jewish world.
Marta lives in Northern California with her husband and spoiled cat, Kleinah. She enjoys spending time with her two grown children and eight delightful (grandmothers can say this) grandchildren.

You can visit Marta at:

Twitter: @MartaBurden

Patti J. Smith wants to know “Where would be your dream location for writing?”

As many of you know, I have had the privilege of interviewing some very talented authors on my blog ( One of the questions I ask is, “Where would be your dream location for writing?”

Yesterday, while I was in the shower preparing for a family outing with my husband and dad, I do what I usually do…pray. The solitude and water flowing frees me from all distractions, unclutters the mind and allows me to focus on God. Following my conversations with Him has always been a time of inspiration for me. Unfortunately, by the time I dry off, get dressed and start the day, those inspirational thoughts that could be used in a current or future book slip away in the chaos of life.

With that in mind, a funny thought popped into my head … if only my laptop were waterproof.
I wouldn’t lose the inspiration … the words would flow as freely as the water.

Yep, that’s how my brain works. I even thought about designing something for shower use, until I realized that even if I could, I’d be rudely catapulted out of the inspirational mode as the water turned shockingly cold. Not only that, the water bill would skyrocket and with the drought in Southern California, I would probably be fined for overuse.

There’s always a bath……

Patti J. Smith is a best-selling author of devotionals, light romance and suspense. She was born into a military family in Wimpole Park, England and traveled extensively during her childhood.

Patti worked for the federal government as an auditor, served ten years in the U.S. Army Reserves and recently retired as a background investigator. She is a member of the Association of Christian Therapists, serves as Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats. Patti publicly shares her story of redemption in a variety of venues, has been a guest on Sacred Heart and Blogtalk Radio and appears in the newly-released documentary, "The Sidewalk Chronicles".

She lives in Vista, CA with her husband and has three beautiful granddaughters. She is a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admit to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. Her travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji, South Korea and almost all states - including Hawaii and Alaska.

Follow her blog:

Please Say “Hello” to my new “companion”, "The Demons of Abadon" - Larry Peterson

Please Say “Hello” to my new “companion”, The Demons of Abadon. Yes sirree, my new novel is slowly being born and it is an anxious time waiting to see if, upon full arrival, he will be welcomed or not. If you are a writer or author you know from whence I come.

We expend a lot of mental sweat and endure sleepless nights; enhance our crows-feet because of ever squinting keyboard eyes and travel onward and forward oftentimes lost and unsure of which way to turn next. We finish our epic journey and then we dare to do what must be done. Expose ourselves through this creation to the world. Will it be acceptance or rejection?

I know that since I am just one of maybe millions who take fingers to keyboard (it used to be, ‘pen to paper’) I am simply jumping into the deep water with the hopes of staying afloat. I will be surrounded by Naysayer Sharks which have the primordial goal of gobbling me up along with so many others. If I can survive the Naysayers with their never ending appetite I know anything is possible. There is one worse fate: being totally ignored. UGH!!! That REALLY hurts.

Since this is being introduced in a ‘series’ (Volume) format, the complete book launch will take place over several months. The book is a sequel to my first novel, “The Priest and The Peaches”, which was based on a true story about five newly orphaned kids who, against all odds, are trying to stay together as a family. Their primary ally is their parish priest. The five kids are based on me and my siblings but the story has been fictionalized.

A melancholy sense of irony has popped into my world as I proceed with the book. Two of the primary characters in The Demons of Abadon, are based on my youngest brothers, Bobby and Johnny. Bobby passed away in 2007 and the ‘baby’ of the family, Johnny, passed away quite unexpectedly on July 13 (last week). The irony is, of course, that both of them are central to the novel and both of them now being gone is something I never expected. They are both in the first book but they will live on in the new book which, even if it never sells a kazillion copies, will be available for a long time to come.

So, my friends, if you do not mind, I ask you to take a look at this novel. It is about a fierce and relentless battle between Good & Evil and Life & Death. You might leave comments at some of the following places.

WIN a signed copy of Patti J. Smith's "Grave Obsessions"!!!!!!

Three lucky winners will win a signed copy of Grave Obsessions.

The contest runs from 7/28/15 to 8/4/15

Enter here:
or use the Rafflecopter right here on the HHP blog on the sidebar.

Good Luck to ALL!!!!!


During the final, critical moments of a football game, I leaped to my feet with the cheering crowd when the quarterback hit a home run.
Not really—but that scenario illustrates something unbelievable about my writing career. For several years, I covered sports for a newspaper, even though I know absolutely nothing about sports.

I got by quoting those involved in and passionate about whatever sport I was featuring.

People were amazed by my "vast knowledge." Now the truth can be told.

It can also be told about mistakes I have made as a writer. I keep a log to remind myself how easy it is to trip up—sometimes in subtle ways. Errors were often caught by my husband and editor, Dan, whom I call Ol' Eagle Eye. He will spot a mistake and pounce on it.

Here are some examples:
In a query to a publisher, I wrote, "A 100 word blub follows, rather than a blurb.

In a devotional, I wrote about a lethargical dancer, rather than a liturgical dancer.

I addressed an envelope containing my manuscript to Strange Publications, instead of Strang Publications.
For a newspaper story about how a New Jersey transplant initially thought Florida was a new state with little history, I wrote, "A move to Titusville and the historic, LaGrange Cemetery would challenge that perception."
Dan asked me if she had moved to the cemetery.

I re-wrote the sentence as follows: "A move to Titusville and a visit to the historic, LaGrange Cemetery would challenge that perception."

In "Lovers and Secrets," book three of my "Castle in the Sun" romance series, I wrote, "Carlos returned to his room, immaculately cleaned by hotel workers."

Dan asked me if he had been scrubbed down with a big brush.

I re-wrote the sentence as follows: Carlos returned to his hotel room, finding it immaculately cleaned by hotel workers.
Somehow, at the conclusion of a Bible verse in a very serious devotion, an extraneous word became inserted. "But knowing these things and knowing His fate, Jesus still told his disciples, 'I have looked forward to this hour with deep longing, anxious to eat this Passover meal with you.'" Pocahontas
Dan asked me if Pocahontas attended the last supper.

This is but a sampling of my mistakes, many of which got past my spelling/grammar checker. Sharp human eyes always work best.

Stop by Flora's Amazon Author Page:

Joseph Max Lewis reminds everyone to "Watch out for LYME Disease"!

Watch out for Lyme Disease

Last summer my rough haired collie began to limp. At first I thought nothing of it - he’s a big energetic male and will often step in holes, jump up after squirrels climbing trees, try to stop on a dime from an all out run and sprain a leg in the process. After a couple days of shorter walks and limping, it goes away.

Only it didn’t. Then I noticed he didn’t even want to put weight on his one leg. He licked his front paw constantly and had no desire to go on walks, normally the high point of his day.

I took him to the vet who almost immediately said, "we’ll do a blood test to be sure, but its Lyme Disease." The blood work confirmed his diagnosis and after a battery of antibiotics, Ruff made a full recovery, but only because we caught it and treated it right away.

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria and spread by ticks. Really small ticks, so small you may not find them. Lyme is everywhere, but here in the states its most common in the northeastern US, along the Pacific coast, and in the Midwest. I can’t stress how important it is to catch Lyme early and treat it. Besides the pain your dog will suffer, untreated Lyme can cause kidney disease, at which time it doesn’t always respond to treatment, and leads to a painful death. Here are the most common signs of Lyme Disease and remember, these symptoms often come and go: fever, no appetite, swollen joints, dogs not wanting to move because of pain in the joints, going lame, limping, shift weight from one leg to another, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes.

Certain things increase the odds of your dog getting Lyme, like living in the high risk areas and spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in the woods, bush, and tall grass. For some strange reason our collie loves climbing into shrubbery, rubbing his face into the branches, backing in and rubbing his rear end into them We’ve no idea why, but it obviously places him at high risk, so we try to keep him out of bushes and always check him for ticks after walks. We also use high quality tick and flea collars or treatment and keep them current.

We had Ruff vaccinated against Lyme even though some Vets question if you should. That’s an individual decision you should make with your Vet. I can tell you watching my dog suffer is not something I want to see again. When we heard Lyme Disease, we thought "oh no," but thank heaven it was treatable. Within a week Ruff was back to his old self and so will your dog - just keep an eye out.

Joseph Max Lewis author of The Diaries of Pontius Pilate, Separation of Church and State and Baghdad Burning.

Joseph Max Lewis served as a member of an Operational Detachment in the U.S. Army's Seventh Special Forces Group, the storied Green Berets. During his service Lewis received antiterrorist training and his detachment was tasked to "Special Projects." Afterward, he served as an instructor at the Special Forces Qualification Course. Lewis attended the Pennsylvania State University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the University of Tel Aviv in Israel, and the University of Pittsburgh, receiving degrees in International Politics and Law while being certified in Middle East Studies.

After living and studying abroad, first in the Middle East and then Southeast Asia, Lewis returned home to practice law. He’s a columnist in the New Bethlehem Leader-Vindicator and author of The Diaries of Pontius Pilate, Separation of Church and State and Baghdad Burning. He currently lives, writes, and practices law in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Christmas in July" STARTS NOW! Grab 30% OFF everything in the HHP Store!

"Merry Christmas" in July everybody!!!!!!

RIGHT NOW until July 31st grab 30% off of every ebook-audiobook-paperback in the Helping Hands Press Store!

Please use the coupon code ChristmasInJuly at checkout to receive the discount!

Here is the link to the HHP Store,just click and go-HAVE FUN-Merry Christmas in July!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Writing While Walking - Sue Badeau

As a writer, many times I have a multitude of ideas percolating in my head, brewing, brewing, brewing until they are just right for pouring out onto paper, rich and full-bodied and ready to share with the world. But then there are those other times when the idea-well has gone dry and my brain feels parched and empty.

Where will I get inspired? How will I write something meaningful on days like that? For me, the best way to find the nuggets of inspiration that can be cultivated into stories, devotions or blog posts is to take a walk in my own neighborhood.

In the spring and summer, my neighborhood is vibrant with the explosion of big, bold flowering trees like azaleas that grab hold of your attention and don't let go so sometimes it is easy to miss the hidden gems in quiet places like tiny Lily's-of-the-Valley. Some days, when I talk my morning walk, I specifically seek out these miniscule pockets of beauty. It’s an exercise akin to listening to the still small voice of the Spirit within us - shhhhh - can you hear it? These walks provide peaceful and quiet moments of reflection, giving me the breath and space to tune in and listen to that still small voice - where do you go to tune in and listen?

God tells us, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) Sometimes when we are in familiar territory, we get into ruts and see only the same old, same old. When I begin my walk each day, I ask God to surprise me with something new. And just when I think I've seen everything there is to see on my walking route, He answers my prayer - something new captures my eye and surprises me. I see a new flower or color, a glittering rock, the play of light and shadow on a thicket of leaves. These surprises captivate me and challenge my thinking in ways that renew and refresh my idea-well and soon, I feel it percolating with new ideas. I almost can’t wait to get back home to begin writing. In that same passage in Revelation, God’s very next words areWrite this down.”

One day, I noticed an almost barren corner, a vacant lot next to the last house on the block. No color, even the dirt was so faded it barely had any brown left in it. Pebbles were dull, broken beer-bottle glass wasn’t reflecting any light from the sun. And then, I spotted a yellow flower all alone bringing beauty to its little corner of the world. I stopped and spent a quiet moment with this little flower, captivated by the richness of its yellow petals. It was small, and alone, but it stood tall and strong. This moment of beauty, this tiny surprise gave me the beginnings of a story, a story with this message: “never be afraid to be yourself even if you are totally different from everyone around you!”

What will surprise you today? Will you keep your eyes open and head up expecting to be delighted and surprised? I do my best creative thinking when I am willing to tune-in, listen and wait patiently for the surprise that is waiting around the next corner. And then, I write it down.

Love children (mom to 22, grand mom to 35, great grandmom to 7!) chocolate, camping, road-trips, writing, reading mysteries and more, standing up and speaking up for those without a voice. I have worked in children's services, policy and advocacy for 35 years. Married to my best friend, I divide my time between my home and kids in Philadelphia and traveling to speak and teach on the topics I am passionate about - healing and hope for children who have experienced trauma, foster care, adoption, permanent families for all kids, and more. My faith is my rock. After the 3rd of our 3 terminally ill children passed away in 2012 we decided the time had come to write our story and so we are proud and excited to share "Are We There Yet? The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting & Raising 22 Kids" with you all!

Drop by Sue's Amazon Author Page and find out more about her and her many titles:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Visit Best-Selling Author Anne Baxter Campbell @ the Valley Home Educator's Conference!

Valley Home Educator's Conference
Modesto Centre Plaza, 1150 9th Street, Modesto, CA
July 24 (10 am-8 pm) and July 25 (8:30 am -6 pm)
Anne Baxter Campbell will be giving a workshop on Friday called "Teaching Facts with Fiction," and she will also be autographing her books both days.

Anne Baxter Campbell is a writer with a deep love of God, family, and friends. She also has an overwhelming fascination with the Bible and biblical history. Add to that a basic romantic bent, and there you go.

Please drop by Anne’s Amazon Author Page to see all of her titles and much more…

A Full Understanding of Unconditional Love - Patti J. Smith

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow. If we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation; if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement, which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

Three years ago, my parents were advised to move closer to family due to their advanced age and my mother’s dementia. My husband and I offered them our home and they accepted, which thrilled but also humbled us immensely, knowing they trusted us with their care.

We were both working full-time but a year after they arrived, my mom’s dementia worsened and she was diagnosed with cancer. At that point, I left my job and became a full-time caregiver. While the cancer was eating away at her body, the dementia was doing the same to her mind … I called it “the light switch.” I never knew if I was going to be greeted with a smile or a torrent of critical and hateful comments. At first the tirades devastated me, even though I knew it was the dementia. It would have been so easy to lash back and walk away, but I couldn’t. She was my mom and I loved her. I would pray and wait for a while, and eventually my loving, kind mom would return.

Those episodes, although painful, were also a blessing. It was God’s way of showing how our roles had reversed. You see, I was raised in a loving, Christian home, but in my late teens I turned away from God and ventured into a life of promiscuity and alcoholism that lasted for over twenty-five years. Both of my parents suffered a great deal, having to deal with my antics and the cruel (albeit true) gossip of a small town, but I think it hit my mom hardest. For some reason, I directed all my vile and demeaning comments towards her. Through it all, not once did she close the door. She continued to pray while encouraging, advising and guiding me until I found my way home.

In February 2014, she slipped into a coma and started her journey to Heaven. I sat with her, held her hand and sometimes laid my head on her chest. I would whisper, “I love you,” over and over again and thank God for this woman who not only gave me life, but gave me something I will carry forever … a full understanding of unconditional love.

This was an article written by Patti J. Smith and published in the June 2015 edition of The Southern Cross – Official Newspaper of the Diocese of San Diego.

Patti J. Smith was baptized into the Catholic faith in 2006 and is a parishioner at St. Timothy’s in Escondido. She writes Christian devotionals, light romance, and suspense. One of her devotionals, “Moments with God”, is a collection of rosary meditations on forgiveness, caregiving, daily living and healing from abortion. Other devotionals focus on depression, addiction, and grief, using personalized scripture.

She is a member of the Association of Christian Therapists, serves as Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats in San Diego. She publicly shares her story of redemption at a variety of venues, has been a guest on Sacred Heart and Blogtalk Radio and appears in the newly-released documentary, “The Sidewalk Chronicles”.

She and her husband, Michael, live in Vista, CA with her father and uncle. Along with caregiving and writing books, she enjoys blogging, reading and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic.

Want to know more about Patti and all of her titles? Stop by her Amazon Author Page:

James J. Griffin thinks it's the "Perfect Time of YEAR to write or read" DO U AGREE?

It's mid-July, and the weather in most of the country, and even in our neighbor to the north, Canada, is hot, humid, and sweltering. It's the perfect time to write, or read. Nothing heavy, nothing that requires a lot of thinking, just some good escapism, an easy read to while away a couple of hours at the beach, in the mountains, alongside the lake or pool, or during the inevitable rainy day on your vacation.

Just about any genre will do, as long as the story takes the reader away from their present world and into the world of your story. Romance, westerns, fantasy, mystery science fiction... you name it, if it helps the reader enjoy a few hours of relaxation, it's the perfect summer book.

James J. Griffin, while a native New Englander, has been a student of the frontier West from a very young age. He has travelled extensively throughout the western United States, and has visited many of the famous Western frontier towns, such as Tombstone, Pecos, Deadwood, Cheyenne, and numerous others.
Jim has also been an avid horseman all of his life. He bought his first horse, a pinto, while he was a junior in college, and has owned several American Paint Horses, including his current mount, Yankee. He is a member of the Connecticut Horse Council Volunteer Horse Patrol, an organization which assists the state park rangers with patrolling the state parks and forests.
Jim's books are traditional Westerns in the best sense of the term, with strong heroes who have good moral values. Highly reminiscient of the pulp westerns of yesterday, the heroes and villians are clearly separated with few shades of gray. No anti-heroes to be found here.

Find out more about Best-Selling Author James J. Griffin by visiting his website:

PERSPECTIVE: Maybe I Should Look At My Driving Habits-Anne Baxter Campbell

Young woman in the cafe, I wish you could have seen yourself from my perspective.

My husband and I took our seats in the cafĂ© just ahead of another family. They sat at a table not far from ours. Grandma and Grandpa, Mom, four-year-old son, six-year-old daughter, and baby, maybe six months old. Cute kids that probably just came from Sunday school—the active little boy kept breaking into one phrase of a song I know and used to teach to my Sunday school kids: “Happy all the time.” He had those words down pat. (Other words that he probably didn’t remember yet: “Since Jesus Christ came in, and took away my sin, I’m inright, outright, upright, downright happy all the time.)

Like most four-year-olds, he talked a lot—at least to Grandma and Grandpa. His sister was much quieter, didn’t talk all that much. She sat between her brother and Mom. Baby, on Mom’s other side, was apparently hungry—fussy at first until the waitress brought some crackers. Grandpa sat on baby’s other side, Grandma next to Grandpa on one side and to the boy on the other.
Grandma and Grandpa interacted with the kids quite a bit. Mom not so much. In fact hardly at all, except to tell the kids to be quiet or sit still. She looked bored and irritated, who knows at what. She was carefully made up and coifed—attractive, except for the expression on her face. I didn’t see or hear her say anything to the two older folks.

It wasn’t long before she pulled out her smart phone. Apparently the little girl wanted to see something on it because Mom snapped, “There’s nothing on there to see, see?” She showed the phone to Little Girl for possibly as long as a second before she turned it back to herself and began texting with her pretty decorated fingernails. Or maybe she was surfing the internet or playing a game. Impossible to tell from where I sat.

She came to life finally when the food was brought. Hers was a salad, apparently with meat of some sort on it, but obviously not enough meat. She complained first to her table mates and then to the waitress, and while she wasn’t yelling, the rest of the room could clearly hear her. The manager came and talked to her and then disappeared back into the kitchen.

At that point we were leaving, so I don’t know if or how the situation resolved. I don’t know what was going on behind the scenes, what would motivate the young woman to behave like she did. Grandma and Grandpa looked uncomfortable.
Unimpressive behavior. Or maybe very impressive, but not on the positive side. I’m betting Grandma and Grandpa paid for lunch. At one point Grandma hurried and got the baby’s car seat and helped get the now-sleepy baby settled. Where was the gratitude?

I wonder what I look like from God’s perspective. Do I ignore Him or people who need my attention? Do I forget to express gratitude to Him and to the people He sends into my life? Who is looking at my actions and getting a negative impression? Hm. Maybe I should look at my driving habits.

Anne Baxter Campbell is a writer with a deep love of God, family, and friends. She also has an overwhelming fascination with the Bible and biblical history. Add to that a basic romantic bent, and there you go.

Please drop by Anne’s Amazon Author Page to see all of her titles and much more…

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Coming Soon: A Multi-Author,Multi-Genre Ebook Bundle that is sure to DELIGHT!

During July 23rd's "Thirsty Thursday" Party there will be a wide variety of Mutli-Author,Multi-Genre ebook bundles released!

The first ebook bundle we are previewing contains Suspense,Amish Romance,YA Fantasy,Historical,and Paranormal.

Below you will find the story synopsis of all five.

Are you wondering what the price may be? You will be able to get all five of these stories for $2.99!

150 years ago the history of America changed forever. Live 1863 through the stories of some of our finest writers – the passion, the romance, the tragedy, and the triumph.

The plantations. The Underground Railroad. Chancellorsville. Vicksburg. Gettysburg. Little Round Top. Chickamauga. Chattanooga. Missionary Ridge. The soldiers in the field. The families at home. The nurses in the hospitals. The speeches at Richmond and Washington. The prayers in churches North and South. It’s all here in one of the most dramatic series ever produced.Join us for one of the most exciting events in American inspirational publishing – Helping Hands Press presents CRY OF FREEDOM!

Charity Davis has not seen her husband Mitchell since he enlisted in the Confederate army in 1861. But war comes to northwestern Georgia in September 1863 at a place called Chickamauga Creek and her husband's regiment has to march past the farm on its way to the battlefield. A bullet wound from a sniper brings Mitchell to his own farmhouse to seek help and to recover. Unexpectedly, Charity and Mitchell have the gift of a day together, a day when the war is far away, when the sun is golden, and when they are like bride and bridegroom again on the farm they first came to twenty years before.

Johnny plans the perfect heist; can the return of a lost love on the night before the heist save him and his partner Marv from making the biggest mistake of their life? Big Rev is the preacher at a local church; he has a gift from God that others don’t always perceive as a gift. Scott Black is a recently separated rookie cop hoping to patch up his troubled home life and tries to make sense of his estranged wife and his new life as a cop. Kyle just recently started driving an armored truck and has no idea his partners are planning a heist and do not intend on leaving witnesses, and Juan Perez is the leader of an Hispanic gang with a new gang member and a plan of his own. Their lives will all cross in this inspiring story filled with love, greed, revenge and redemption.

Johnny thinks he has the perfect plan to pull a heist on the armored truck he rides in and his partner Marv is in on it. The night before the heist an old girlfriend shows up in Johnny’s life and now he’s having second thoughts. Johnny is also worried about the driver, the plan calls for the driver to be killed, but can he really go through with it? With a group of Hispanic gang bangers watching, a larger than life preacher and a rookie cop all thrown in the mix, get ready for Armored Redemption, The Plan.

When Keeva and Maeve, two angel sisters trying to earn their wings, are sent on their first mission, they meet a pair of sassy elderly twins, Lucille and Martha, who live across from them. Trouble begins when one of the angel sisters sets her sights on the handsome grandson of the elderly duo, Chef Nick Barber. On the most important day of the chef’s life, angel sister Maeve decides to wreak havoc in his restaurant. Sweet sister, Keeva, does her best to clean up her sister’s chaos, but can she do it in time to save the reputation of the renowned TV chef? And, will she be able to save the sassy elderly twins from possible death? It will take more than angel power to unite these four sisters in harmony and to keep them all alive.

Mark Miller, author of the fantasy-adventure series The Empyrical Tales, joins Giovanni Gelati.The G-Man faces his biggest challenge yet: to make his wife happy!
This family-friendly adventure takes the reader from an abandoned storefront in Trenton to a whole new world. Giovanni is in search of the perfect gift for an anniversary present and he may have found it. The strange man at the shop gives Giovanni a scroll and in the process makes him the Prince of Trenton. It is up to Giovanni to deliver the scroll to Mrs. Gelati and find out what awaits them when they untie the mysterious red ribbon. Miller seamlessly weaves his fantasy world with Gelati’s bold humor, making this a fast, fun adventure for all ages.

Jonathon was raised on a small, poor patch of hardscrabble at the edge of the Amish community. His was the last house before the double overhead power lines quit, just stopped, ending at the creosote pole, like long, skinny fingers pointing towards the Amish.

The dilapidated dwelling seemed perpetually in danger of falling down. The paint on the siding was long since gone, the bare wood turning dark gray, like a land-based shipwreck. The rocky ground hadn’t seen grass since his mother left when he was five. The run-down homestead was a stark contrast to the neat, fresh, well-kempt grounds and white, always white, houses, of his simple Amish neighbors a mile down the gravel road.

Get ready, for this is unlike any other Amish Romance you have ever read,get ready for Roger Rheinheimer's "Amish Snow"!

It's almost here: CHRISTMAS IN JULY!

The next time we gather for another Helping Hands Press "Thirsty Thursday" Party will be July 23rd.

The party will have a fun theme "Christmas in July"!

The will be giveaways,trivia,and a HUGE SALE!

Our Facebook and Twitter will be chock full of Christmas Spirit from July 23rd to July 31st!

Stay tuned to the Helping Hands Press blog,Facebook,Twitter,Pinterest,....the stockings will be full!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! We have gone over ONE MILLION VIEWS on the Helping Hands Press blog!

We want to thank everyone that has been nice enough to stop by the Helping Hands Press blog and support our Author Community!

The author's of Helping Hands Press take great pride in trying to bring to you engaging,compelling,and interesting blogposts for you to read each and every week.

Reaching this milestone is humbling for all of us.

Thank You!

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Please help Roger Rheinheimer pick a cover for "Land of Milk and Honey"!

Land of Milk and Honey
Chapter One
“Wheeee, danke, danke, danke!,” five year old Sarah Scholtz yelled, her bare feet pattering rapidly around the warm oak flooring of her home. She was young enough that her parents still let her go without a kap on her head, and her long blond pigtails flapped against the back of her little blouse. “When do we go, when do we go?” She was tugging on the corner of her mother Naomi’s apron.
Naomi glanced at her husband Nathan, waiting for him to answer, “I think we will go next week, maybe Friday, maybe Saturday. I will find out who is available to drive us.”
Nathan and Naomi had wed when they were sixteen, and Sarah was born ten months later. There’s was the kind of union the Englische wrote about in those live-ever-after romance novels; dedicated, loving, perfect. So the tension in the household this morning was unheard of. It all started with Nathan’s decision to take Sarah to the “big city.”
“Nathan, I think this is a bad idea,” Naomi had said quietly so as not to be overheard by their ever attentive daughter. “Why didn’t you talk to me about this first? You know I worry about the big city, with the shootings and homeless.” She had begun to cry. “I wish you would have talked to me before you said anything to Sarah. Now she is so looking forward to it.”
Nathan had taken his young wife’s slender strong hand in his own calloused and burly hand, torn between wanting to please the love of his life and his God given duty as head of the household. “Naomi,” he had begun, his deep voice uncharacteristically hesitant. “We are chust going to the shopping mall on this side of Philadelphia. I wish you would not worry. God will take care of us. Has He not blessed our union so far?” The strength of his argument had emboldened him, after all, who could argue that God had indeed blessed his young family. “We will be fine. I want Sarah to see what the Englische world looks like. One day, when she is an adult, she will need to make a choice, and she will not be able to make a choice unless she knows what the alternatives are.”
And so the argument ended. Not an argument, actually, a short discussion that ended with Nathan’s final statement.
And indeed they had been blessed. Nathan had been given ten acres from his father, from the family farm, and in that well-known and wonderful tradition, the community had built them a nice three bedroom, one bath home. His father had made it clear that Nathan was welcome to join the family farming enterprise any time he wanted, and to join in with his two older brothers to run the large crop and milk cow operation. But in the meantime, Nathan was drawn to a job in the village, a well-paying job helping the local cobbler repair the many boots and shoes continuously worn out by the hard working Amish community. Naomi didn’t understand why Nathan preferred to spend time away from his family, and while she would have preferred other smells besides leather, glue and shoe polish, she accepted it because it made him happy.
She had heard the discussions he had with his father.
“I’m hoping, Nathan, that one day you will see it in your heart to stay here on the land with your family. I know you for now feel like it is your calling to work with the leather, but…” and the old man’s voice would trail off. Nathan had taken to not responding as a young boy, saying nothing, and had learned that his father would just let it drop, whatever it was. Nathan had an independent streak in him, but had never been any trouble, unless one would call working with the leather as trouble.

It was hard to tell how old he was, like so many homeless. He was probably about six feet tall, if he had stood up straight, and while not skinny certainly not with any spare deposits for the upcoming winter. He preferred to hang by himself, and kept all of his worldly possessions with him in the shopping cart he found abandoned under the old concrete river bridge. He had lived there for several months, but the droppings from the roosting birds were a problem, even for one not used to a regular personal hygiene regimen.
“I have heard that one can stay warm and be given some food,” she said, speaking slowly and pronouncing every syllable of every word as if they would disappear if she didn’t emphasize them. She had been talking about the huge, sprawling shopping mall on the east side of Philadelphia.
“It will take two days to get there, and what if they won’t let us in?” He spoke casually, with the articulation of an educated man. “I’ve heard those same rumors, but I don’t know anyone personally that has had any success there, do you?”
She paused, making sure she fully understood the question before responding, and then in her slow, fuzzy, enunciated way, said, “No, Jason, I do not know of anyone that has had any success there. But I am for sure not to stay here for the winter because we will most surely freeze to death.”
He started to say something about them not being a we, but decided against it. He almost said something about the shelter, but held that back as well. The director had made it pretty clear that Jason was not welcome back, even though he was very clearly an innocent victim of the incident. It occurred to him that he did not know her name. She had often commented on how handsome he was with his long blond flowing beard and hair, and piercing blue eyes. She actually said piercing on the third try, stumbling on her two first attempts. He didn’t mind snuggling with her, it helped ward off the cold after all, but that was all. After what he had gone through, he wanted a simple, uncomplicated life, at least for a while.
“Listen, I am willing to walk with you to the mall, but after that I need to be by myself, ok?” He avoided looking at her.
“Sure, Jason, I do understand, I do. Thank you for walking with me to the mall, I would like that.” Not a hint of sarcasm. He owed her nothing, she knew that.
They began gathering up the few but precious belongings from their campsite, placing them in the shopping cart like they were valuable jewels. The last item was a torn and stained blanket, thrown over the contents to protect them from prying eyes and quick fingers.
Jason began pushing the now-loaded cart up the sloping concrete walk, the right rear wheel making a thump each time the spot with no rubber hit the concrete, probably why the store threw it away. Jason looked down at his grimy hands and laughed to himself. What a contrast to the life he lived before the economic apocalypse, he thought grimly. And where was that God he was raised to believe in.

Roger spent the first eighteen years of his life in northern Indiana, in the middle of Amish country. His father was the only doctor for a small town of a little over a thousand people, and had a hitching rail on a side street by his office for the Amish patients. His father bought an eighty acre farm, and Roger and his older brother worked it, raising cattle and growing crops.

While he was still in high school, Roger learned woodworking skills from Elmer Schlabach, his Amish mentor. They built houses in the old-fashioned tradition; hand-mixing the concrete for the foundations to building kitchen cabinets in Elmer's well equipped shop. To this day, Roger enjoys using his wood crafting skills, making acoustic guitars and furniture.

Roger earned an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Psychology from a small private college in the Shenandoah Valley, took a Creative Writing class, loved it, and published a short story called "My Brother." He was a regular contributing writer to the college newspaper.

Drop by Roger's Amazon Author Page:

Sue Badeau was nice enough to share the Opening Prayer for tonight's "Thirsty Thursday" Party!

“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

Dear Heavenly Father – We come to you with open hearts and troubled minds. In recent weeks we have celebrated many of our freedoms on this earthly sphere, yet we have also been challenged and troubled by expressions of hatred, evil and violence that have plagued our communities, nations and even our churches. Tonight we ask you to teach us the meaning of freedom in the truest and best sense. Enable each of us to use the many freedoms we are privileged to possess as opportunities for love and service to one another. As we seek to honor You by being the brilliant “fireworks” display of your love in our lands, help us to remember that loving one another means to serve the least, the lost and the last. Give us hearts bursting with love for those who are hurting, in prison, lonely, sick in body, mind or spirit, the orphan, the widow and all others who need your love showering down upon them and around them. Thank you for this author community and for the gifts you have bestowed upon each of us and grant us, Lord, the deep desire, the will and the intention of using these gifts to bring the light of your love even to the darkest and loneliest corners of our world. We give you our hearts, our minds and our spirits. We give you our conversation this evening and ever after as fuel for the lamps of love in this world. Amen.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

God Bless the Signers-Larry Peterson

A cover letter, dated in Philadelphia, July 6, 1776, was attached to the Declaration of Independence and sent to the British authorities wherein John Hancock states:

Gentlemen, Altho it is not possible to forsee the consequences of human actions, yet it is nevertheless a duty we owe ourselves and posterity in all our public councils to decide in the best manner we are able and to trust the event to That Being who governs both causes and events, so as to bring about his own determinations.
Impressed with this sentiment, and at the same time fully convinced that our affairs will take a more favorable turn, The Congress have judged it necessary to dissolve all connection between Great Britain and the American Colonies, and to declare them free and independent States as you will perceive by the enclosed Declaration, which I am directed to transmit to you."

How many of us have actually thought about the 56 men who signed this document and willingly presented their names to the British? Did you ever think about the fact that at that moment in time, they all became traitors to the British crown. They and their families were in mortal danger from that moment on. Notice in the first paragraph in Hancock’s quote, the use of the phrase, "That Being", referring to God. That was their ultimate motive--to be FREE, and that very first freedom they were willing to die for was RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. These men pledged to each other the following: "with a firm Reliance and the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor". This is in the very last line of the Declaration of Independence.

So on July 4th we not only celebrate our American freedoms we honor those men who fought and died for it. Signers of the Declaration were farmers and merchants and lawyers and men from all walks of life and they joined together to pass down to us their hopes and dreams and were willing to die for their principles and many of them did just that.

Now it is 2015 and our religious freedoms are under attack. Make no mistake, they are. The very principles that the founders of our country were willing to die for are being seriously threatened. A secular world has declared a war on God and would like to see His name removed from anything in the public domain. Our own president, when talking about the Declaration of Independence, has omitted the word "Creator" many times.

He is making a mistake. "Our Creator" is at the very core of what this nation stands for. We may have taken a detour here and there but, I believe, that when all is said and done it will always be "God Bless America" and "God Bless the USA". He is in our genetics and our DNA and, according to science, you cannot change DNA.

We ask God's blessings for all of us Americans, not only on this 4th of July, 2015 but every day during this year and all coming years.

"In God We Trust".

Larry Peterson was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. A former metal lather/reinforcing ironworker, he left that business after coming down with MS. He, his wife and three kids moved to Florida 30 years ago. Larry began doing freelance newspaper commentary after graduating from Tampa College in 1984.

He also has a blog where he posts weekly commentary. He lives in Pinellas Park, Florida and his kids and six grandchildren all live within three miles of each other.

Drop by Larry's Amazon Author Page:

Do you have an issue with BALANCE? - Janice L. Dick

I have an occasional issue with balance, apparently due to the aura that accompanies silent migraines. The problem sounds innocuous, but it can be debilitating. You can have all the ideas you want, but if you can’t sit up or hold your head steady, you can’t record those thoughts on the screen.

There’s a balance issue with writing as well. I believe in using social media; I’ve listed a few of my sites below. I must be traceable. If people can’t find me on the World Wide Web, they won’t buy my books. I must also be available. I interact with readers and writers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc., to become known there as a writer but also as a friend and colleague. I understand this concept and am learning to apply it to my promotional plan.

However, my time is limited. If you are on social media, you will realize how quickly time can fly away, disappear, never to be reclaimed. I must find a balance, a way of managing my time so I still have opportunity to write. Because really, if I don’t have anything new to offer, I have nothing to promote. Losing too much time on social media sites can be debilitating to my writing career.

How do I find a balance? I would suggest it’s different for each of us. Some writers are able to consolidate their social media, taking more time at the outset to understand and manage their sites with Hootsuite or Tweetdeck or similar helps. This saves them time later and they are able to concentrate on their writing. I admit to being a learner at this. I still spend more time on social media as a promotional tool than advisable with respect to my allotted writing time, but I don’t intend to deny its use completely.

As with vertigo, the problem can be more serious than we think. Taking time to learn the sites and to manage them efficiently is necessary to balance in a writer’s life. So I plan to schedule in some learning time. Perhaps I’ll begin with Ruth L. Snyder’s Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps, to be released shortly. But right now, I’ll return to the work of editing my current manuscript. So I will have something to promote.

Janice L. Dick began writing intentionally in 1989. From 2002 to 2004 she released three historical novels. The first two were awarded first place in The Word Guild's Canadian Christian Writing Awards and the third was shortlisted for the same award.

Besides a fourth historical novel, Other Side of the River, Janice has also written a contemporary cozy mystery, book reviews, guest blogs, articles, short stories, and devotionals. She also has some editing experience.

Writing memberships include wwwInk in Humboldt SK, InScribe Christian Writers' Fellowship, American Christian Fiction Writers, The Word Guild and Saskatchewan Writers Guild. She is an Advanced Toastmaster Silver.

Janice lives with her husband on a farm on the Canadian prairies. They have three married children and ten amazing grandkids.

Drop by Janice's Amazon Author Page: