Monday, August 27, 2012

Romance and a Cup of Tea

This guest blog post today at Grace & Faith Author Connection is my tongue-in-cheek look at the Christian Fiction Romance novel.

Check it out!

Romance and a Cup of Tea












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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

WIN A FREE COPY OF "MISSING"

My book, MISSING, is part of the BookFun.org anniversary celebration. I'm giving away 2 autographed copies. To enter visit the link below and answer on of the two questions provided.

http://www.bookfun.org/group/tbcnfeaturedauthors/forum/topics/august-2012-featured-author-suzanne-d-williams-missing-2-book-giv

The giveaway lasts from August 25-August 30, 2012. On August 31st, I will pick 2 winners. Hope to see you there!

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday's Photographs

These photos are technically from last week when I missed my deadline to post. But enjoy them anyway.

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies

Here's a video of these butterflies.

Longtail Skipper Butterfly
Longtail Skipper

Gulf Fritillary Butterflies
Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

This next shot is a severely cropped image of a Barn Swallow that visited with a flock on the 10th. They are fun birds to watch. You can see in the second image how they swoop over the yard.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallows

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Guest Post - Crafting A Great Romance by Staci Stallings

I am excited to have Staci Stallings, a well-established Christian Fiction romance novel author, as guest on the blog today. Staci has a gift for writing love stories and including in them a strong element of Christian faith. So I wanted to know, how does she do it?

Don't forget to download your free copy of her book, To Protect And To Serve. I've read this one and it's super!

From Staci:

I love romance. I love to watch people fall in love ... not lust.  Love. And there's a difference.

When people fall in lust, they are attracted to a body--a temporary entity. They expend a lot of energy trying to impress the other person. They might go out on dates, give expensive gifts, and even sleep together soon after meeting. This is not love. 

Love is deeper, more profound than who slept with whom last night. Our society has lost its sense of love because love requires being there in the good times and the bad times--not just as long as it's easy or it works. Real love is about going beyond yourself and doing what's best for the other person even if it's difficult or inconvenient for you.

In my books a lot of times the characters in the prospective relationship have emotional baggage they really need to put down in order to move forward. Love gives each character a safe place to do that even though it might be extremely hard to get to them to the point of wanting to.

For example in this new book, "To Protect & Serve," Jeff Taylor is the epitome of shy. He can hardly get two words out with the guys around. Bring a woman around, he's sunk. At first you kind of sense that about him, but you don't really know why. As he and Lisa begin to get to know one another, those walls start coming down and you learn why he is so shy right along with Lisa, and a connection cannot help but be formed to this man who has been hurt so deeply.

That's what real love is about--breaking down those walls, allowing this person you're in the relationship with the time and space and safety to come out from behind their walls and learn to be real.

So when I write a romance, I'm not writing about two people who fall into lust. I'm sharing about two people who are learning what real love is. And this book does that in spades.

First there's the fact that Jeff is so shy and Lisa hates guys with a purple passion because of how she's been treated over the years. Those walls take a long time to breach. But then about the time those start coming down, real life hits.

You know, the real life you don't often think about in romances--where bad things happen and you're having to navigate them with this person you are only beginning to learn to love. Oh, those are so rough because you just want to make everything better, but you can't. They are hurting. You are hurting. And life is really a struggle.

However, I believe it's in those times that real, true, deep love is forged, or the relationship breaks completely.

So how do I craft a great romance? Mostly I just let the characters tell their stories, and they take care of most of it. But ultimately I remember that really falling in love is about more than clothes hitting the floor and how much one person "wants" the other. It's about learning to be there for each other and about living through things together, making memories together, and growing into something whole and new and beautiful as individuals and ... together. That is what falling in love and being in love really means. And that's what makes a great romance.


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Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. Staci has a special surprise for you today and tomorrow only...








FREE ON KINDLE TWO DAYS ONLY!
August 15 & 16


Staci's "Amazing!" novel:

To Protect & Serve

"Reading To Protect & Serve, I'm taken away to another world, a world I want to be a part of and never leave. Staci's characters are real with real everyday problems. I love that.

Oh, and the firemen in this story, they're smokin' hot! Especially the hero!"
--Debra, Amazon Reviewer

When control freak Lisa Matheson falls for handsome but shy firefighter, Jeff Taylor, it's possible that life might just be going her way for a change. The only problem is she can't control of Jeff or the death wish he seems to have...

Available as a free download from Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/Protect-Serve-Courage-Series-ebook/dp/B008391QB2

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This Is Love by Rev. Becky Combee

My mother, Becky Combee, has generously decided to make her book available as a free Kindle download for two days. This book is the culmination of five years of hard work for she and I. I believe its message is needed today in the body of Christ because walking in God's love brings peace and freedom. Included in the back of the book are her personal teaching outlines. And you won't want to miss my dad's illustrations.

FREE ON KINDLE
AUGUST 15-16TH

THIS IS LOVE
by Rev. Becky Combee



Bio:
Reverend Becky Combee has been teaching Bible principles in home and church groups for over 30 years. Under the ministry of Pastor Reggie Scarborough, Becky was ordained in 1996.  She ministers the Word of God in her local church, across the United States, and around the world.  She is known for her Bible knowledge, unique humor, and artistic sketches. Becky and Wayne Combee are committed to the Word of God as truth and the Holy Spirit as God who reveals truth.  It is their heart's desire to clearly define the Word of God to all who will hear in our world.


Back Cover Blurb:
God’s command to “love one another” is the heart of the Gospel message, the central theme of our obedience to God, our Father, and Jesus Christ, our Lord. The foundation of this love is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Becky Combee examines God’s magnificent love from the manifestation of its grandeur to the glorious victory of faithful Christians. Her detailed explanations are clothed in Scripture and completely outlined for other teachers.

Follow the footprints of the Word of God as we discover:

The New Testament command of love
The determination of man’s flesh
The role of anger and revenge
The great attributes of love
The place of meditation
The possibility of change

And so much more!

Book Trailer:

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why I Wrote Missing?

I am privileged to write a guest blog post today at Grace & Faith Author Connection entitled, "Why I Wrote MISSING?" 

I encourage you to check it out!

Missing-FRONT


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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Living In A Bed of Roses

And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.  (Mark 4:35)

"God never said it's gonna be a bed of roses," they say.

Oh, really? So what then? I should go through life expecting something bad to happen to me? Always on the edge of doubt and despair? Because you never know when the bad stuff will come along.

Puh-lease, girlfriend. There's no Scripture for that.

"But look at the story of the storm in Mark 4," you say. "Didn't Jesus send them into the storm?"

Uhm. No, He didn't. If you think that, you don't know Jesus very well. Jesus didn't send them into the storm. He didn't consider the storm at all.

What do I mean? Look at Abraham. What does the Scripture say?

And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:  (Romans 4:19)

Abraham didn't consider his body at all.

God speaks to him, tells him he'll be the father of nations. At no time did Abraham sit down and say, "Now, wait a minute. I'm too old. Sarah's too old. My body can't do this. What if something happens to her? What if she can't carry the baby to term? What if ... What if ..."

No. He said, "Okay," and GAVE NO THOUGHT to the state of his body.

So going back to the lake - Jesus says, "Take me to the other side." That's all He meant.

He didn't say. "Take me to the other side, but maybe there will be a storm. Maybe during the storm, you'll get afraid, and then I can teach you a scriptural principle. I think I'll take advantage of the upcoming storm."

Jesus didn't make any decision based on what bad thing might happen.

In fact, in this case, He fell asleep. Had they not woke Him up, He wouldn't have known there was a storm in the first place!

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?  (Mark 4:38)

Here's a revelation for you. The disciples had every right to fall asleep too.

"What?"

You heard me. Jesus himself asked them, "Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?" (verse 40). I mean, they were in the boat with Jesus. Of all the people to be in a boat with during a storm He's it! And if Jesus is asleep, then He must be pretty confident we're going to make it there. Then He isn't spending His time worrying about the storm, the size of the waves, the strength of the wind, if the boat will capsize or not.

He wasn't doing any of that. He was sleeping!

What if the disciples had followed his example? What if they had laid down and said, "Cool. He's asleep, so I'll join Him." What great faith!

Jesus didn't consider the storm, and so neither will I. I refuse to go through my life expecting bad stuff to happen to me. Instead, I will prepare my footsteps through daily meditation in the Word of God. I will spend time in prayer. I will keep my faith strong and place my expectations in God's desire for me to live prosperous, healthy, and successful.

In short, I'm expecting a bed of roses.

Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see.  (Hebrews 11:1 GW)
 

A person who has doubts shouldn't expect to receive anything from the Lord.  (James 1:7 GW)


What we expect will be what we receive. If I'm full of doubt, then James says I cannot expect anything from God. Yet look at Hebrews. I can expect what I cannot even see.

There isn't a doubt in my mind that God wants good things for me. It is God's will I have the bed of roses. It's His will I get up each morning singing "Hallelujah," ready to take on each day by faith. He wants me walking hand-in-hand with the Holy Spirit, who teaches me all things. (Jn 14:26) He protects me with His Almighty presence everywhere I go. I am never afraid of "height nor depth nor any other thing." (Rm 8:39) I consider only the blessing He has given to me.

God has provided it everything I need to live a long, happy, victorious life, and it's up to me to decide, like Jesus did that afternoon on the Sea of Galilee, if I'm gonna sleep in the boat or worry about the storm.

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19)


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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Author Interview

I was privileged to be selected for an author interview at http://soiinterviewedanauthor.blogspot.com/2012/08/missing-suzanne-williams.html. I have to say of all the interviews I've done, this one was the most fun. I hope you'll take the time to read what I had to say about my latest book, MISSING, and about writing in general.

Included in the interview is an excerpt of the Vietnam War story in the book.

I am currently at work on the sequel, entitled FOUND, due out in November. I also have another fiction book entitled, Love & Redemption, to come out sometime next year. There is other news on the far horizon in the nonfiction realm, which I will hang on to for now.

Hope you enjoy the interview and God bless!

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Photographs

This week I have photographs from around the garden. The Mexican Sunflowers and Black-eyed Susans look ratty. But my Knockout Roses are doing well, also the Firespike. Firespike is popular with hummingbirds.

Knockout Rose

Firespike is sensitive to frost, so this one grows underneath the eaves of our house. It blooms mainly in the late summer and fall. It has no noticeable fragrance.

Firespike

Our water garden is beautiful right now, but different this year from last. I think, however, that is part of what I like about gardening. From year to year, its appearance changes. You never know how it'll turn out or what will bloom more than anything else.

Water Lilies

Lastly, we seem to have a good crop of Green Tree Frogs this year. If you don't like frogs, then you need to know these are native to Florida. It is good to see so many because the nonnative Cuban Tree Frogs eat them and will decimate their population if left unchecked. Here's one turned brown from his time in my watering pail.

Green Tree Frog

Green Tree Frog

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Steve's Digicams - Negativity

My August 2012 article is now online. In this article, I delve into something called "negative space" and its affect on a photograph. Guest photographer, Nathaniel Smalley of Feather Focus Photography has contributed his image, Peek-A-Boo, to the article. Enjoy! And leave a comment. I love hearing from people.

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Story Saturdays

FREE to Email Subscribers This month's free book is "A Cowboy For A Lifetime". The deadline to sign up as an email su...