Friday, May 29, 2015

What Fantasy Warriors and Scary Creatures would you like to see in “At the Corner of Crossroads and Cosplay”?


Cosplay: the art or practice of wearing costumes to portray characters from fiction, especially manga, animation and science fiction movies or books.

Nerd: an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a non-social hobby or pursuit.

Hopefully that helps set the scene. Imagine a convention hall filled with socially awkward people dressed as their favorite movie or comic book character. You should have a pretty good idea of the uniqueness of it all.

Comicons can be found in most every state in the US and many major cities around the world. They are now the setting for major movie studios or video game designers to announce their newest projects. Hollywood movie stars are not the only celebrities to be found there either. Comic book artists and 1980’s B-level TV actors are the royalty of modern conventions. Comicons are wild, extravagant and attended en masse by nerds and the nerd chic.

WHAT IF some of the characters at these conventions were not playing make believe? What if they were real?

WHAT IF the highest fantasy warriors and scariest creatures could be real and waging a battle in plain view?

After all, bringing fantasy to life is essentially the definition of cosplay in the arena of a Comicon.

What Fantasy Warriors and Scary Creatures would you like to see in “At the Corner of Crossroads and Cosplay”?
We would love to know!!!!!!!

Leave a comment here under the blogpost, use the “Contact Form” on the sidebar or be brave and take part in the Survey at the top of the page in the Sidebar.

Thank you so very much.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

George Taylor interviews Sue Badeau on this week's Podcast!


My wife and I met up with Sue Badeau outside Atlanta one Saturday afternoon. She graciously agreed to be interviewed about her work with adoptive and foster children and as a writer. We talked about her involvement in the Sweetland series from Helping Hands Press and I play some excerpts from the two books I have recorded for her. Summer in Sweetland: Never Too Old and Roots and Wings at Loonstone Lake: Call of the Loon. Thank you, “Dr.” Sue Badeau, for a wonderful Saturday afternoon and a fun interview.

To tune into the show just click on the link! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gelatisscoop/2015/05/29/george-taylorsue-badeau-and-curt-and-sandra-lovelace

From Free Agent to Franchise Player in the Field of Faith - Patti J. Smith


From Free Agent to Franchise Player in the Field of Faith

One thing a football fanatic does while waiting for the next season is to watch players move from team to team through trades.
Along with being a football fanatic, I am a writer with WMS (Whirling Mind Syndrome). Free Agent Frenzy got me thinking (uh-oh) about my faith journey in football terms.

For many years, I knew God existed, but didn't want to be part of His league; His regulations were too restrictive and I wanted to do it "my way". It wasn't until I entered the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous that I realized "my way" was slowly killing me ... emotionally, physically and spiritually. This revelation resulted in a status change. I joined His league as a free agent. Being in the league was a step in the right direction; however, it was not enough. I needed a coach with a clear and concise playbook and team to guide and encourage me. The League's Commissioner, in His infinite wisdom, knew the answer and sent a delegate from Team Catholic, who invited me to participate in their training camp.

Training camp was an opportunity to learn the team's methods and techniques before committing. The Assistant Coaches were patient and understanding, explaining the playbook one page at a time. I grew to understand and appreciate not only the Team, but the League as a whole. The Team’s approach to offense and defense made sense to me. What attracted me the most was learning fumbles are not game-enders, but opportunities for growth by accepting responsibility and making the necessary corrections in execution. All that is required is humbly asking the Commissioner, through the Coach, to absolve wayward plays and provide a means to reconcile with the Team and League ... deleting constant replays of guilt and shame.
By the end of camp, I no longer wanted to be a free-agent. I wanted to be a franchise player with a permanent contract with Team Catholic. I signed the dotted line on April 8, 2006 and never looked back.

Where can you connect with Patti?
Visit me at my blog: http://gridirongrannyfootballfanatic.blogspot.com/
Visit my author's page: http://amazon.com/author/pattijsmith
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/gridirongranny
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gridirongranny5
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/gridirongranny
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/giridirongranny

Teens critique Marcia Lee Laycock's "The Ambassadors" Series!


I've been in classrooms many times, asked to talk with students of various ages about being a writer. But this was a bit different. This time the students had been assigned to read and then write about my novel. I was nervous as I entered and stood before a bunch of staring eyes but then I started talking about the book, when and why I wrote it and what God had done in my life. The eyes softened and heads sometimes nodded. There was even a smile or two now and then. In the end a group gathered around me to chat some more.

It seemed they like the book. Here are a few of their comments from teens at CACHS:

"The Ambassadors had many positive elements. I valued the scripture that was included in this book. It was an excellent reminder of God’s presence in our lives. It is easy to overlook that God is always working behind the scenes on our behalf and this book displayed His work in a tangible way. I loved some of the little surprises in the plot. I think this book is an excellent read for Christian adolescents."

"As a devoted and voracious fantasy reader, I enjoyed this book. Marcia Lee Laycock is a very good writer and utilises excellent imagery – for example, early in the story she aptly paints an immense mountain scene that drew me in and took me there – to a place of awe and chilly thin air. I would recommend this book to young Christian readers because it provided an easily understandable explanation and demonstration of salvation and child-like faith."

"The Ambassadors is a decent book with twists and turns in the plot which all good books should have. The character development is really good. I lived how Eghan thinks within himself, often debating whether he things the faith of his friends is worth the risk. I was kept interested as the story constantly shifted from each character. The ending was fascinating as the characters’ lives all became intertwined with each other bringing the plot to an intense climax. The plot is captivating as it intensifies slowly throughout the whole book and peaks a the right time."


"Marcia Lee Laycock’s novel, The Ambassadors displayed many good uses of imagery. In the mountains, she describes the valley beneath the late summer sun and all of the flowers blooming with bright colours. In her way of writing the scenery is described so vividly that I could picture in my mind."

"Laycock used very good imagery and comparisons in her novel. For example, in the beginning of the novel she writes: “Consciousness seeped into Eghan like the mists that slipped seductively down from the mountains – slowly – so slowly his mind fought to clear the haze away.” This is a good book that I would recommend to a young Christian audience."


Drop by Marcia Lee Laycock's Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Marcia-Lee-Laycock/e/B007ATSV1E/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_4?qid=1432823925&sr=8-4




Joseph Max Lewis - Collie Rescue - and some Do's and Don'ts regarding flea control!


For over 15 years I’ve been involved in Collie Rescue including adopting the more difficult to place males that have gone stray. For those not familiar with the breed, Male Standard Rough Hair Collies (like Lassie) go about 80 to 85 lbs and are covered with a thick, beautiful double lair coat which attracts fleas and ticks like a magnet.

Here are some dos and don’ts regarding flea control. AS ALWAYS, CONSULT A VET!!!

DO’S: Talk to your vet first. In the end it’s your decision and though new agey type vets will try to sell you product, you must still get their input first. Personally, I use and have always used an old fashioned flea collar. Make double sure you get and defer to Vet advice if you have a dog that’s already on meds, is weak, old, a puppy, pregnant, sick, nursing, or has a history of adverse reactions to meds. Buy your flea remedies from a vet or big box retailer. There’s some real junk out there, especially online. Knock off meds and remedies can hurt or kill your dog. Watch for signs of an adverse reaction, redness, skin irritation, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, trembling, depression, agitation or seizures. If that happens, yank the collar. If you’re using a topical, wash the dog with just a touch of soap, then rinse and rinse and rinse while you’re on the phone with the Vet. If you use oral flea prevention and get a bad reaction I have no idea what to do besides calling the Vet - it’s one of the reasons I don’t like intrusive stuff - what can you do?

DON’TS: Don’t use cat or other meds or remedies on dogs, it can hurt or kill them. Don't administer anything more than once and only within the instructions. Know how much your dog weighs and dose ONLY as recommended. Don’t guess or try to save money. Follow the instructions. Anything else is an over dose!

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joseph-Max-Lewis/390366621022306

Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008ZHHUBW

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.

Grab the FREE audiobook sample of William Tasch's "Backslide" right NOW!


William Tasch's "Backslide" is being made into an audiobook! It will be available next week,June 4th,during our next Thirsty Thusrday Party.

Would you like to listen to the FREE sample? Just use the "Contact Form" on the sidebar and we will be happy to send it to you!

Here is what "Backslide" is all about and a little bit about William Tasch:

Paul Compton was a star quarterback on the football team in his high school. His family had money until his father lost everything. Paul is reduced from being the good looking kid who had the friends, money and girls to taking a job at a local burger joint. It’s there Paul is introduced to the charismatic Cole Jeffries who always has a smile on his face and is constantly talking about salvation. Paul soon comes to salvation along with his once very vain sister.
Several years later, Paul finds himself married with two kids and his longtime friend Cole is now married to his sister and is a televangelist. Paul finds himself weighted down by the stress of balancing work, marriage, kids, church, money and life in general. On a business trip he makes a mistake that spirals him out of control. He is overcome with regret and eventually finds himself out of a family, drinking heavily and sinking farther down than he’s ever been.

William Tasch (1962-present) was raised in a small town in Wisconsin and was the youngest of five children. After graduating high school and working for a while, he joined the army and his world travels began. He also married his wife Deena and raised a family of three kids while traveling around the world. He finally settled down in Southern California where he works in law enforcement and enjoys writing in his spare time. He enjoys writing Christian fiction with everything a good book should have, suspense, love, action, twists, humor and a positive message.

Drop by William Tasch's Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/William-Tasch/e/B007XTR0SG/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1432821188&sr=8-1

What does Jen Cudmore's Western novel "Athena Creek" and Kelly Clarkson's "Before He Cheats" have in common?


“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” William Congreve

I’ve always liked that song from Carrie Underwood “Before He Cheats.” I believe any woman (or man) can imagine what they would do to an unfaithful partner for revenge if there were no consequences.

Would we trash a vehicle, like in Carrie’s song? I think many of us would.

Slash the tires? Sure!

Scrape the side with a key? You bet!
Smash the headlights with a baseball bat? Bring it on!

I went through a phase where all I wanted to read was western and prairie stories. I think I read all of Lori Copland’s books in one year! Then one day as I was listening to Carrie’s song, I began to wonder what the same situation would look like back in the 1800’s.

Thus, the birth of a book. Which lead to a series of three stories set in the West right after the Great Migration over the Oregon Trail. I smushed fictitious Clayton County between Klickitat and Skamania counties in Washington state.

In Athena Creek, Lynette lives with her parents in a little community near the Columbia River. When her intended cheats on her, she comes to that cliché crisis of deciding her future. Unfortunately, her retaliation gets her into a bit of trouble. Find out what she does with chocolate cake, a Winchester Rifle, and a Mustang in The Lawmen of Clayton County: Athena Creek.

“Gunner was now preoccupied on the other side of the house. All thoughts of destroying his property vanished. She’d best get across the yard before he noticed her there.
“Then another idea formed I her mind, one that made her downright giddy.”

- Excerpt from The Lawmen of Clayton County: Athena Creek

Set in the rugged Oregon Territory of the 1850’s, the first of three fast-paced historical romances features a new marshal who remains determined to uphold the law—despite a feisty young woman who intrigues him. When Lynette Ellis’ hot temper lands her in jail on her first night in town, she attempts to repair her reputation in town, and with the marshal, Trace Ingram. The suspense builds as investigation of three mysterious deaths appears to point to Charles McCrae, the businessman who recruited Trace. Charles usually gets whatever he wants, except for beautiful saloon singer Niccola Canalis, who turned down both his marriage proposals. Niccola, desperate to escape her employer’s clutches, needs a man willing to stand up to Charles. As Trace digs deeper for the truth, he begins to realize just how powerful Charles really is. With the help of Niccola and her bodyguard, he believes he can bring Charles to justice, but then Lynette gets caught in the plot. Can Trace stop Charles before anyone else gets hurt?

Drop by Jen's Amazon Author Page to see all of her titles and much more: http://www.amazon.com/Jen-Cudmore/e/B00D9EMQ7Y/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_4?qid=1432818859&sr=8-4


Thursday, May 21, 2015

How would you like to be able to listen to over 20 audiobook samples by going to just one place?


How would you like to be able to listen to over 20 audiobook samples by going to just one place?

The audiobook genres cover everything from Fantasy and Sci-Fi to Devotionals and almost everything you can think of in between!

What do you have to do to get the link to go to this magical place?

Pretty simple: just fill out the “Contact Form” on the left sidebar of the HHP Blog and we will send you an invitation to enter.

The newest audiobook sample is Tony Hilling’s “The Voice of Aedistamen-The Child’s Arrival”.

IF YOU COULD ASK GOD ONE QUESTION, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
WOULD IT BE ABOUT EVIL, OR SUFFERING?
IN THE “VOICE OF AEDISTAMEN” AN EPIC, BIBLICAL FANTASY BY TONY HILLING, THERE IS A CHOSEN PEOPLE WHO ENDURE MUCH EVIL AND SUFFERING. BUT THERE’S MUCH MORE.
THEIR GOD HAS A MIND TO SAVE THEM…

Coming Soon: Mark Venturini "Whispers From Forbidden Earth-Blood Tithe-V2-Nightmares in The Dark"


A boy and an elf have been chosen: one for the Blood Tithe, the other for the Binding Ceremony. Two children chosen on two worlds. For Jason Snider, the Tithe means nothing short of forfeiting his life for the faeries of the Winter Court. For the elf Strum, the Binding means joining his mind and soul to a mad, tormented mage.

So Jason and Strum are running for their lives, one on Earth, the other on Eversong. The chosen have become the hunted.

Now, even more than their own lives are at stake. Jason and Strum must both decide to confront their pursuers in order to save their fathers.

Hi, I'm Mark Venturini, author of fantastical story for both children and adults. Will you join me as we journey through the Place between Places, that magical place between here and there? Perhaps you've seen a few of my shorter stories or flash fiction pieces over the years. I live in Southwestern PA, where I am happiest taking long walks with my wife, Kathy, and our dog, Bella. I love kayaking and backpacking through the back-country with close friends . . . and of course reading fantasy.

Check out my blog, Journey Through the Place Between Places, where I chat about anything that strikes my fancy: http://markventurinijourney.blogspot.com/

And my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MarkVenturiniAuthor?fref=ts



Helping Hands Press "Spring Super Sale"!!!!!


SPRING SUPER SALE!!!

RIGHT now until June 18th everything in the Helping Hands Press Store is 25% OFF!!!!!!

When you checkout, please put the code word SpringSuperSale into the coupon area to receive the discount.

Everything is on sale in the HHP Store-ALL audiobooks, ebooks, paperbacks and all pre-sale titles.

We will be adding in as many of our ebooks on a daily basis as we can, so please check back often.

Here is the direct link to the Helping Hands Press Store: http://shop.myhelpinghandspress.com/



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Grayden St. Cyr is about to RIDE again in Murray Pura's "Silver City-V2-Honey, This Ain't My First Rodeo"


Grayden St. Cyr’s eyes went to steel.

“Most of the time I’m just dealing with broken and misguided and wrongheaded people with a chunk of bad boy in them,” he said. “But now and then I have to face real evil. When that happens there is only one thing to do if I want to save innocent lives.”

Six men glared at him.

“Step aside,” their black-leathered and black-bearded leader growled, towering over Grayden. “We’re not here for you today. Walk away, Marshal. Walk away and let us at ‘em.”

Grayden put his right hand on his holster. “Women and children. A crippled man. You think I’m going to walk away and let you slaughter them? That’s not how it goes down in New Mexico.”

“They crossed us.”

“I know about crosses. It’s because of a cross that I’m not going anywhere.”

“Are you crazy? There are six of us.”

“When it comes to evil there’s just one.”

“We’ll cut you to pieces!”

The six men moved like lightning and whipped out their MP5 machine pistols.

Grayden St. Cyr was just a shade faster than lightning. Not much. Just enough . . .



Please meet YA Fantasy and Children's Author Larry Peterson!

Larry Peterson Sr is an author and Catholic/Christian blogger and has written over 500 blogs. He was born and raised in the Bronx and moved to New Jersey when he got married. Eventually he and his family settled in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. He started writing newspaper commentary in the late 1980’s.

His books include the novel, The Priest and the Peaches” and the children’s book, “Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes”. He is in the final draft of his latest book, The Demons of Abadon, which is the sequel to The Priest and The Peaches.
Larry’s first wife died of cancer (Melanoma) in 2003. He married again in 2006. His new wife also had been widowed. Ironically, she came down with cancer (Lymphoma) in 2011. In the fall of 2014 she was also diagnosed as having early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Larry says, “We are both doing fine. Having Faith is a beautiful thing.”

Where can you connect with Larry on social media?
Website/Blog: http://www.slipperywillie.blogspot.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Priest-Peaches-Larry-Peterson
Goodreads:www.goodreads/LarryPeterson.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/slipperywillie
Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/larrytpbx


What is on the MIND of Voice Actor George Taylor of Narration by George this WEEK?


This week’s podcast comes courtesy of a blog posted by a young man studying at The Princeton Theological Seminary. He asks the question which titles our podcast: How Would Jesus Date? Intriguing to me. Even better are the thoughts he shares with us. Thank you, John Paul Cooke for sharing these thoughts and allowing me to use them in this podcast.

To listen in to the Podcast just click on this link:http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gelatisscoop/2015/05/22/voice-actor-george-taylor-of-narration-by-george-shares-his-thoughts

About George: Born in Alabama, I was a gypsy for much of my life. I’ve been privileged to live in amazing places from Washington, D.C. to Orlando, FL, and even Minot N.D! I now make my home in the Chattanooga, TN area. I came here in 2000, and with the exception of a short sojourn away due to family responsibilities, this has become my adopted home town. (Check it out here.)

I have been a communicator all my life. Starting with theater in high-school and college, I have worked with people through sales and sales management or customer service positions for my entire professional life.

I am married with one son and a step-daughter and two granddaughters and a grandson on the way!

http://narrationbygeorge.com/


Thursday, May 14, 2015

@TonyHilling:I THOUGHT THE WORLD WAS BLEAK UNTIL…


I THOUGHT THE WORLD WAS BLEAK UNTIL…

Have you ever started reading a book, enjoyed it, but had to put it down? A few summers ago, I started to read the celebrated “Game of Thrones”, by J. R.R. Martin. I was in Vernon, British Columbia on holiday and managed to read about 250 pages or so before I just set it down. It was an interesting read, the characters came alive, and I was dying to find out more about the plot. But it was just too dark…for a holiday in Vernon anyway. I’m fairly familiar with mediaeval English history, and Martin seemed to use this epoch as a model for his fantasy novel. The story is like a replay of the Wars of the Roses between the rival houses of Lancaster and York; but with one difference. Imagine such a time without any of the moderating influences of the Christian faith, and you have “The Game of Thrones.” It’s a novel about a fallen world with fallen heroes and villains where there is no possibility of redemption. Why? Because the Redeemer is absent. Perhaps in this work, Martin has hinted at our own postmodern, uber-existentialist generation where he proposes that every last deity has died and the landscape reveals an unyielding, unforgiving blackness.

“Eh…objection, Your Honour?” I say, as I tentatively rise up (as John Mortimer would put it) ‘on my hind legs.’ And I thought Aedistamen was dark! Mr. Martin has outdone me in bleakness. You see, I have this naïve penchant for happy endings. I am such a wuss! I have to find the good somehow. “The Voice of Aedistamen” has slavery, betrayal, infant sacrifice, battles where innocents are slaughtered, fallen heroes and villains too. It even boasts a mythical beast that has a taste for human flesh. But it has something more: the Ghaedesh-Mor: the Holy One of the Bladowrete, the God of Aedistamen.

I know, it’s all that God-stuff again. As one lawyer friend said to me, “Why don’t you just grow up, Tony, and accept that there’s nothing.” I guess it’s because I believe that there’s something, or Someone. And I just had to put Him in Aedistamen as the main Character. And what’s with all this butch stuff anyway? We pop out of the womb helpless, squalling and squawking, and we exit stage left, still dependent on our care-givers, with more questions than answers. Yeah, “homo sapiens” is really tough. Right! Anyway, rant over with, I’m determined to finish “Game of Thrones.”
So I suppose it all depends on your worldview. Mine is biblical. And, like most readers, I took a sneak peek to the end of the Instruction Manual. And guess what! There’s a happy ending! So if you pick my book up, please don’t put it down. Unless it’s to go grab the Haagen Daz!

Tony Hilling is a retired pastor, lawyer and writer. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland and now makes his home in Western Canada. “The Voice of Aedistamen” is his first novel. You can reach him at:
https://twitter.com/TonyHilling
https://www.facebook.com/tony.hilling
https://plus.google.com/u/0/

@LindaMassucci poses the question: What is a HERO?

What Is A Hero?
The dictionary defines a hero as somebody who is admired for outstanding qualities or achievements. What defines an outstanding quality or achievement? Does outstanding mean beyond everyday life accomplishments?
In today’s world, we can rapidly name an actor, athlete or musician we would call a hero. These people have accomplished or created something that many could never conceive. On the contrary, it is the ‘non-heroes’ who experience life accomplishments every day; living with grace, ethics, and honesty.

In my youth, I recall my heroes as the people who always protected me, taught me wrong from right, practiced what they preached, and loved me enough to give consequences for immoral actions. Living everyday with grace, ethics and honesty is difficult to achieve for the most strong and powerful, as we are reminded daily from television and other social media.
My heroes never made the news or were viewed as strong and powerful. Their titles were dad, mom, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, neighbor and teacher. They were my heroes not because of one outstanding accomplishment, but because of their consistent & unwavering dedication to all the small accomplishments. Nurturing children who understand the value of living everyday with grace, ethics and honesty was their greatest achievement.

Philippians 4:8-9
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Linda Massucci grew up in a small town in Connecticut. She first enjoyed creative writing in elementary school and continued to write short stories in high school. At college, she wrote a short story for a Christian Marriage class and was told her writing was very similar to John Steinbeck. As an avid reader, she looks for books that inspire, educate and use her imagination.

Linda’s books allow the reader to contemplate the importance of family, faith, values and how the actions each person takes in life always affect other people. Her first published book from Helping Hands Press is titled ‘Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine’. The following is an excerpt from the book:

I can't recall the first memory I have of my Grandpa Frank, but I can recall the many Sundays at his home just listening to him speak. He told of stories of coming to America with ten dollars in his pocket and his best girl by his side. When he laughed, you could see his stained teeth from all those cigars he smoked since the age of twelve. His face was worn from working outside at the trolley yards and his hands had calluses and scars. Grandpa Frank was a slim man with wavy white hair. I'm sure, in his youth, he must have been an attractive man, but to me he was just my Grandpa Frank. An old man who always had time to sit with me and listen to my worries, hopes and insecurities. Whether I was eight years old or sixteen years old, I could always depend on Grandpa Frank for a listening ear. He was never hard to find either. From my house to his, it was a quick bike ride and all downhill too! Pass the town bank, cross the street at the market, turn left across the tracks, and you entered the Italian side of town. Grandpa Frank and Grandma Marie moved into the two story white house after they left Brooklyn. Grandpa said the Italian section was called Goat's Island, because so many of the families had goats in their yards. I don't remember Grandpa Frank having goats -- I guess he got tired of taking care of them. There was one thing he never got tired of caring for, and that was his grapevine. (Prologue)

Linda Massucci captures the heart of family values in 'Legacy of Grandpa's Grapevine'. The flashbacks throughout the story will find the reader laughing and reflecting about their own family memories and adventures as a child. The bond between the main characters, Elizabeth and Grandpa Frank, will have readers wanting to be a part of their special relationship.
Linda enjoys writing about her travels across America, blogging about her beloved dog Maggie who passed away to young, dabbles in landscape photography, cherishes every opportunity to walk on the beach at sunrise & sunset, and values spending time with family & friends. She enjoys a non-competitive game of golf & hopes to play at Pebble Beach someday. You can follow her blog at www.lindamassucci.wordpress.com, or her other social media sites: www.facebook.com/lmmassucci Twitter handle: @LindaMassucci or at pinterest.com/lindamassucci

Which cover do you think @MarciaLaycock should use for her new Devotional "Northern Reflections"?

Having lived in the Yukon Territory for more than twelve years, Marcia Laycock has many stories to share that reveal a unique place and lifestyle. The stories also give a unique perspective on the beauty of God’s creation, His mercy and grace and His deep love for us.
Marcia Lee Laycock is an award-winning writer and speaker. She has written a regular devotional column for over 20 years and has five books in print as well as several ebooks, available through Helping Hands Press or on Amazon.
To sign up to receive Marcia’s regular emailed devotionals, or to book her for a speaking engagement, contact her at marcialeelaycock@gmail.com


Thursday, May 7, 2015

How I Accidentally Wrote a Novel - Sheila Seiler Lagrand


How I Accidentally Wrote a Novel
Sheila Seiler Lagrand

Kathi Macias has been a faithful writing friend and a gracious mentor. So when, in mid-2013, she announced that she was editing a volume of Christmas stories and asked who might like to contribute to the book, I raised my hand. I didn’t think she would actually select me, since I write nonfiction.

So when she said sure I was thrilled. And then I was terrified.

I spent a few weeks wondering what I had been thinking when I asked to participate. Then I got an idea. Then I wrote the story: “Yankee Doodle Christmas.” I sent it off to Kathi and the publisher and figured that was the end of that.
My daughter and son-in-law were stationed in Guam at Christmastime of 2013 and I spent the holidays with them. While I was there, I received an email from the publisher of Kathi Macias’ Twelve Days of Christmas. He asked if I wanted to continue the story that began in “Yankee Doodle Christmas.” He proposed that I write a chapter a month, and then the entire collection would be released as a paperback.

I must have been crazy from the tropical heat, because I said sure. I was thrilled. And then I was terrified. Actually, I was double-terrified, because I had also accepted the publisher’s invitation to join a team of authors to produce a three-volume series, The San Francisco Wedding Planner. In June I’d been a nonfiction writer. By January I was under contract for two fiction projects.

Fulfilling these obligations grew me. A writing instructor from my youth said sometimes you have to lie to tell the truth. She was referring to stories based on real-life experiences, but as I wrote Remembering for Ruth, a complementary axiom became clear: When I’m telling a made-up story, I still have to tell the truth. If I write a story set in, say, Cleveland in 1979 and describe actions that defy the laws of gravity, my story won’t be believable, because it doesn’t take account of truth.
Human hearts have their truths, too, and those truths demand honor in stories. I bet you can recall a story you read that didn’t feel real or true. If I write a story that defies the truths that pulse through our very veins, my story won’t inspire or frighten or sadden or delight or satisfy anyone, because nobody will feel truth in it. This, my friends, is why we embrace a little extraterrestrial who wants to phone home. This is why we can tell the good guys from the bad guys in a work of science fiction. Stories make sense to us when they illuminate truth.

While I was working on Remembering for Ruth I also discovered that I like to draw. A lot. A big whole lot. Colored pencils were my gateway medium, but now I’ve moved up to art markers and acrylic ink and even . . . working on canvas. Before I started writing a novel, I would have told you that I am the least visual person you could ever imagine. But I can’t make that claim anymore. Writing a novel grew me that way.

What I hope you will tuck into a quiet little corner of your heart is this: when you get a chance to step beyond your comfort zone, don’t be afraid. Or be afraid and take the step anyway. Go with it and grow.

Sheila Seiler Lagrand lives with her husband Rich and their three dogs in beautiful Trabuco Canyon, California. You can visit her website, connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and check her boards on Pinterest.

You can also visit Sheila's Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/Sheila-Seiler-Lagrand/e/B00H9PH5SY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The War Years: A Memoir - Peggy Blann Phifer


The War Years: A Memoir

I was one month shy of three years old the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Of course I didn’t understand what that meant. I remember sitting on my mother’s lap as we listened to Roosevelt’s Day of Infamy speech on a Philco radio…the big kind that stood on the floor with all kinds of knobs and dials.

I didn’t understand the import of the President’s words, but I saw the worried looks on my parent’s faces, so I knew something was wrong. But all I thought about was what Mom had told me just the day before…I was going to have a new baby brother or sister soon.

I didn’t understand, or even realize until much later, that my dad wasn’t called up. When I was about one year old, Dad had completed his Master’s Degree in Chemistry and had a job that was important to the government. We had just moved into a brand new house in Stamford, Connecticut, but Daddy’s job was in New York City, so he commuted.

My sister was born in April, and my brother came along in March, 1943, on St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t remember a whole lot about those early years except the heavy blackout curtains, ration cards, Green Stamps, gold stars in some windows, rolling string, painstakingly peeling the foil off gum wrappers and rolling them into a ball, and Mom volunteering to roll bandages.

I was six when the war in Europe ended, and just recovering from chicken pox and not contagious. My dad was in California at the time and wanted us to come to him by train. Sadly, my sister and brother had just come down with the chicken pox and couldn’t make the trip. So they stayed with my maternal grandparents while Mom and I made that memorable cross-country train ride.
I’ll never forget that time. Grand Central Station in New York was packed with servicemen, some returning home, some headed to the west coast to be sent to the Pacific against the Japanese army.

The train consisted mostly of soldiers and sailors getting off and others boarding. My mom, a true redhead, and me with curly blonde hair and missing my two front teeth, gained a lot of attention from these heroes. We never lacked for anything. We traveled Pullman and the black porters treated us like royalty.

Meeting up with Dad in San Francisco, we returned home in his 1937 Flivver by way of Route 66. We stopped one night at the Grand Canyon where they had penny machines filled with corn to feed the deer. We were shocked to see snow on the ground in the morning. It was summer. There wasn’t supposed to be snow.

Then east through the desert, passing Indian tents along the road, selling baskets, pottery, and woven blankets. We’d stop now and then, but Dad kept an anxious eye on the gas gauge, praying we’d make it to the next gas station.
My sister never forgave me, blaming me for giving her chicken pox. She never did get to ride on a train.

Stop by Peggy's Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Blann-Phifer/e/B006UU9RQ2/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1430965413&sr=1-2-ent

New Release! The Audiobook of Joseph Max Lewis' "The Declaration of Independence-John Hancock"


Helping Hands Press is very happy to announce the release of Joseph Max Lewis "The Declaration of Independence-John Hancock" in audiobook!

Voice Actor George Taylor from Narration by George handled the narration duties.

The cost of the audiobook is $2.99!

Here is the link for the audiobook in the Helping Hands Press Store:http://shop.myhelpinghandspress.com/Audiobook-The-Declaration-of-Independence-John-Hancock-97885170.htm

There are now 20 different audiobooks in the HHP Store spanning all genres,both fiction and non-fiction!


Would you have signed?

Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, and Francis Lewis, stories are all here in the Complete Series II by best-selling authors Murray Pura, Amber Schamel, and John V. Amodeo,

What was going on the morning of the signing in Philadelphia? These four amazing authors have brought that to life.


The Declaration of Independence series asks all of us that one soul searching question. If you were rich, if signing meant defying the world’s superpower, if failure meant your family would be left destitute and you would be hung by the neck with your hands tied behind your back until you strangled to death, would you have signed The Declaration of Independence? Would you have risked your privileged life so that others might live in freedom?

That was the question facing John Hancock and in the face of overwhelming odds he answered, “Yes.”

“We must all hang together,” Hancock said, before almost choking on his disastrous choice of words. Men’s faces clouded. They realized they stood on the brink, but could still step back. As had so often been the case, it was Benjamin Franklin who saved him, who saved us all.

“Yes, we must indeed all hang together,” Franklin replied in an equally loud voice. He took a moment to push his spectacles up his nose. “. . . or most assuredly we shall hang separately.”

The hall burst into surprised laughter. Men now smiled, grimly perhaps, but they lined up and took their turn, signing the most important document in the history of the world. Only Franklin, Hancock thought to himself.

Join Hancock, Franklin, Jefferson and the other Founders on one of the most momentous days in human history, July 4, 1776.

Janice L. Dick:The Power of the Spirit in Our Writing

The Power of the Spirit in Our Writing

Do you ever wonder if the hours, days, weeks and years you spend at your computer arranging words is making any difference whatsoever in the grand scheme of life? I do.

Since 1989, I’ve spent much of my time writing fiction. A lot of people don’t understand what I do, or why, but I keep writing because I think that’s what God has called me to do. In all those years, I’ve written lots of short pieces but only six books (four currently published). But does it make my world better? Does it leave a legacy for anyone besides my immediate family?

Life as a writer can be challenging for a number of reasons:
- being misunderstood by friends and neighbors
- spending an incredible amount of time writing a story to be read in a few hours
- not making anywhere near the money people make at a “normal” job
- too much sitting / possible carpal tunnel syndrome / squint lines…

But recently, I heard something that made me recommit my writing life to God. I attended a denominational conference at which I met some friends I hadn’t seen in years. A man we’ll call Paul approached me and said, “I’d like to thank you for your books, especially the first one.” People have said this before and I thank them humbly, because I’m well aware of my inadequacies as a writer.

Paul went on to say he had given my first book to a senior friend whose life was headed in a bad direction. This man, a member of a much-maligned people group, identified with the disparaged Russian peasants in my historical novel. Not only that, but he came back to Paul and asked, “What kind of ceremony do I have to go through to be saved?”

This is where I choked up. A lost man felt the call of Christ through one of my books. If just one person has been brought into the Kingdom of God, then all the time, misunderstanding, lack of income, and any new lines on my face, was worth it. In actual fact, it was not my words that reached Paul’s friend. It was the Spirit of God working through the simple efforts of a willing writer.

We may be discouraged by our meager efforts, but God is not. He asks for our obedience, our commitment. “God does not call the qualified; He qualifies the called.” I’ve used that quote before and will use it again.

So keep writing. Stay in relationship with Christ and keep setting those thoughts into words. There are challenges in any kind of work, and you never know the result of your obedience in the lives of other people.

Drop by Janice's website:https://janicedick.wordpress.com/


Helping Hands Press "Thirsty Thursday" Party PLUS author and muscian Tony Hilling May14th!

Tony Hilling visits THE G-ZONE blogtalk show as they simulcast Helping Hands Press "Thirsty Thursday" Party!

The link to listen in on the blogtalk radio show is:http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gelatisscoop/2015/05/15/helping-hands-press-thirsty-thursday-party-author-and-muscian-tony-hilling

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 HHP Facebook Page link is: https://www.facebook.com/HelpingHandsPress

Perhaps his Breton, Celtic fathers are the reason for it -- the story telling, I mean. Because it spans three careers as priest, lawyer, and Christian pastor. Then, there’s the other side, of course: the female line, which is a proliferation of the Gaelic Celtic.

What’s story telling got to do with lawyering? If you’ve never appeared before a judge, told him a story (a true one) about the case in question, and have little penchant for narrative, don’t ever try it! There are few things more mentally painful than the sarcasm of the judiciary. Similarly, don’t ever expect your congregation to listen to you if can’t put together a modern day parable that is faithful to the New Testament variety. You’ll wind up preaching to yourself and getting frightfully bored.

Add to this a balladeer’s gift of writing soul-seeking songs and performing them on stage, and you begin to apprehend him.

And perhaps it’s because this rather strange Scot did not quite fit in those ‘aforementioned’ careers that he finally decided to get serious about narrative and create some stories of his own, from scratch of course. Or maybe it was simply because, true to his counter-cultural, God-smitten, Celtic ancestors, he wanted to tell stories about a faithful Presence in a godless age.