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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Speaker Jeanette Levellie Gives Heartwarming Encouragement

Jeanette's speeches serves 2 scoops of grace with chuckles on top. Don't miss her heartwarming encouragement to spur you onward!

Fees: Love Offering + Travel Expenses

Travel: USA

Categories: Cancer Survivor, Marriage, Editing, Relationships, Emotional Healing, 

Speaking Topics
  • Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top
This encouraging, humorous message can be used for a one-time event or divided into three parts for retreats. 

With touching and funny examples from her own life and biblical truths, Jeanette shows how we can extend grace to ourselves and others. She ends the message on a humorous note, detailing the emotional, physical and spiritual benefits of laughter. 

Jeanette weaves humor and music throughout the message, and interacts with her audience, for a feel-good experience.
  • Touching Lives

Are you in a place you’d rather not be?
Are you waiting, waiting, and waiting some more for a prayer to be answered?
Do you wonder why certain events in your past took place?

In Touching Lives, Jeanette Levellie will take you on an encouraging journey to help you discover some of the why’s in life’s puzzling circumstances. 

Using biblical illustrations and stories from her own life, Jeanette undergirds your faith in God’s willingness to turn every tragedy to triumph, and use you to bless others. 

After hearing Touching Lives, you will never again say, “I am just a __________.” Instead, you’ll confidently declare, “I am touching lives right where I am today!”
  • Spur One Another On

A cowpoke-themed program uses the acronym S.P.U.R. to encourage us to help fellow believers flourish in Jesus. 

Jeanette uses music, God's Word, and audience participation in this lively message, showing how to:

Speak words of encouragement, 
Pray for others, 
Understand others' points of view, and 
Rejoice with those who rejoice
  • From Couture to the Cornfields

In this humorous message, Jeanette compares living in Los Angeles most of her life to living in rural Illinois, where she and her husband moved in 1999 to pastor a country church. 

Get ready for a hilarious adventure of city-life vs. country livin', complete with wardrobe change by Jeanette, and ending on a heartwarming note that focuses on being a good neighbor.

  • Time Management for Part-Time Writers

If you have kids at home, work a day job, or got an A+ in Procrastination 101, you will benefit from the tools Jeanette has used to write and publish hundreds of columns, articles, and a full-length book—in her spare time. 

Discover how to employ the unique strengths of your personality to accomplish more as a part-time writer. Jeanette presented this workshop at the Northern Inland Christian Writers Conference in 2012 and received stellar reviews from participants.


“Jeanette combines wisdom and gentle humor to mend tattered souls. Her sweet spirit and selfless attitude rest upon her listeners like a nurse's reassuring hand. She is one of the most compassionate, encouraging Christians you will ever meet.”
--- Cammie Quinn, Author

"Very enthusiastic. Fun presentation - great ideas and usable solutions. Wonderful presenter."

"Very usable information. Lots of take home resources."

"A beautiful person who spontaneously gave me assistance.”

--Attendees at Inland Northwestern Christian Writers Conference

A spunky, sometimes reluctant pastor’s wife of thirty-plus years, Jeanette has published Stories in Love is a Verb with Gary Chapman, Falling in Love with You (Oak Tara Publishers), and Guideposts anthologies (Tragedy to Triumph and Love and Forgiveness); Articles in Vista, God’s World Today, The Christian Communicator, Birds & Blooms, Country, and Country Extra magazines; Devotionals in The Upper Room, Daily Hope, Light from the Word, and Glimpses of God; Verses for Celebration Greetings; Poems for La Leche League International calendars. 

She is the author of the humorous devotional book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top: Sweet, Funny Reminders of God’s Heart for You, a bestseller in the humor category on Amazon, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in April, 2012. 

Jeanette’s bi-weekly humor/inspirational column, God is Bigger, has been a popular feature in the Paris Beacon News since 2001. She writes at least twice a week for her blog, On Wings of Mirth and Worth,, and regularly contributes to award-winning writer and editor James Watkins’ Hope and Humor website,

As a former history/government teacher with an Associate’s degree in English, Jeanette enjoys speaking to church and civic groups, offering hope and humor in every message. She is a trained vocalist, has recorded two records with her family, and written several songs. Her hobbies include reading, gardening, traveling, and finding ways to avoid housework. 

She and her husband Kevin relocated from Los Angeles to Paris, IL. in 1999 to pastor Nevins Christian Church. They are still trying to adjust to the frigid winters, but they love the warm country folks. Jeanette and Kevin are Mom and Dad to two adults, grandparents to three children, and servants to four cats.

Twitter: @JenLevellie

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Speaker Jill Richardson Gives Advice on Recovering from the Mommie Dearest Syndrome

Pen Name: Jill Richardson

Fees: $75-$500, +Travel

Travel: Midwest states. Contingent upon fee offered.

Categories: Cancer Survivor, Marriage, Editing, Relationships, Emotional Healing, 

Speaking Topics
  • How Come I Was So Nice Before Having Kids?

An exploration of the changes motherhood brings and the anger we never expected to erupt in our storybook lives. Are you the only one who feels like Mommie Dearest? Or is it normal? Can patterns change it before it's too late? An honest look at anger management for parents in the trenches. What causes it, and how can we deal with it?
  • Perfect is the Enemy of Good Enough

Are you exhausted by living amid the cult of excellence? Convinced that anything less than 110% is losing? Scared that making mistakes means you are a failure? Or do you have the subversive suspicion that, sometimes, good enough really is good enough? Follow Jill with steps to 'recovery' of your life and freedom to be Jesus' idea of "perfect."
  • I've Got a Gun in My Garage, a Sword in My Car, and a Body in My Freezer - Life Lessons from Community Theater

Life is full of improvising, creating something out of nothing, getting out there ready or not, and helping others take the lead. A humorous look at what God has taught me through ten years leading community theater.
  • Happily Ever After

Recapturing our children’s imagination in the age of technology. Are we losing that spark of creativity in this generation? What's bad about that? How can you combat the trend when everything around your child aims to turn him into a button pushing pint- sized zombie? Practical plans for fostering imagination.

  • Don't Forget to Pack the Kids

Two options for this travel talk: 
1) Taking your kids on a mission trip--Don't think it can be done? Think again. The benefits, joys, and challenges of serving with your kids, as well as the surprising ability you have to do it now. 
2) With experience in travel writing, I spend a lot of time planning and executing the perfect family vacation. Which doesn’t exist. How to: travel with kids and sanity intact, plan for all ages, take the dream trip you didn’t think you could afford, and volunteer together on vacation.


"Jill's many years of experience in ministry, drama, and writing give her a unique blend of gifts that is a blessing to both the church and the community. Her creativity and artistry are rare qualities, and her voice is one that needs to be heard."
Erick Ewaskowitz, Lead Pastor, Resolution Church

"Jill is a well traveled and published author with a relevant message. She will delight the listeners, and they will leave with a broader knowledge of who they are as well as having enjoyed her fellowship."
Diana Flegel, Agent Hartline Literary Agency

"I personally kept all Jill's freelance articles in my files and used them as illustrations. She speaks and writes from personal experience and from creative stories and in a very clear way."Ken Henry, retired pastor, Minneapolis First Free Methodist

Jill has been a high school teacher, pastor, editor, and writer, and the field is still wide open for future options. She speaks and writes on a wide range of topics, having published hundreds of magazine articles, one novel, one book of plays, and two non-fiction books. 

Jill has a BA in English and Education from Washington University in St. Louis and an MDiv in theology from Bethel University, St. Paul. She serves as Pastor of Discipleship at Resolution Church in Oswego, Illinois.

Jill speaks on an eclectic range of topics to church, school, and retreat groups in Chicagoland and surrounding areas.

A mother of three interesting girls and wife of one fabulous man, in her spare time, Jill enjoys gardening, directing and performing in community theater, reading, travel, and being a gymnastics mom.

Twitter: @jillmarierichar

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Path of Freedom by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

#christianromance, #christianfiction

(1858, North Carolina)
Quilts of Love Series, Abingdon Press

When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple. With only her mother’s quilt as a secret guide, the foursome follows the stitches through unknown treachery.

As they begin their perilous journey, they hope and pray that their path is one of promise where love sustains them, courage builds faith, and forgiveness leads to freedom.

What People Are Saying!

"Jennifer Hudson Taylor weaves a delightful and endearing story of two characters who must fight their personal feelings and prejudices toward each other in order to follow their convictions. You’ll laugh and cry as Flora and Bruce face very real circumstances. Path of Freedom is a story not easily forgotten!"
Cindy Woodsmall,
New York Times best-selling author

"A beautiful quilt. A desperate journey. Jennifer Hudson Taylor's Path of Freedom takes readers on an adventure rife with romance and enough suspense to keep you up nights, proving that freedom comes in many forms and is always sweetest when from the heart!"
Laura Frantz,
author of The Frontiersman's Daughter

"Jennifer Hudson Taylor has penned a heart-warming medieval romance full of mystery and intrigue with HIGHLAND SANCTUARY. This book grabbed my attention from page one and kept it as I prayed for Serena to recover from her mystery illness and find true acceptance and freedom." 
Laura V. Hilton, 
author of Patchwork Dreams

"I looked forward to reading a book about historical quilts. I liked the important part the quilt played in the story. The characters leapt off the pages and straight into my heart. I was sorry to see their story end."
Lena Nelson Dooley, author of
Maggie's Journey and Mary's Blessing

Watch the Video Book Trailer & Share It!

Where to Purchase Path of Freedom

Path of Freedom

Chapter One
North Carolina, 1858

A shiver of excitement rushed through Flora Saferight at the thought of their upcoming trip to Virginia. It had been at least two years since she‟d seen her aunt and uncle, and even then they had traveled as a family by wagon. Now she and her younger sister would be making the trip by train.

“I think this is sensible for our journey.” Standing in Gilmer General Store, Irene held up a red shawl with a lining. Her blue eyes shone bright in the hope of Flora‟s approval. Blond curls framed Irene‟s heart-shaped face beneath her white bonnet. With a delicate nose and smooth skin heightened by a blush of enthusiasm, Irene was considered the beauty between them.

“Mother would prefer a sensible cloak,” Flora said. “Charlottesville can get awfully cold in the fall.”

Her sister bit her bottom lip and lowered her gaze in disappointment. A dramatic sigh slipped from her lips. Flora glanced around the general store and spied a rack of cloaks in the far corner by the front counter.

“Why not try one of those?” She pointed beyond a table displaying hats and bonnets, hoping to lift Irene‟s spirits. “Since we don‟t have time to make a new cloak and thee has grown out of thy clothes from last winter, I‟m sure Mother would approve.”

“True.” A bright smile lit Irene‟s face as she sailed over to investigate. “Now that I‟m taller than thee, I won‟t be inheriting thy clothes.”

The shop door opened, ringing the tiny bell at the top.

“Good morning,” Mrs. Edwards, the store clerk, called from where she stood on a small stepping stool, stacking bolts of fabric on the wall shelves.

“Morning.” Bruce Milikan stepped inside wearing a white buttoned shirt, tucked into a pair of black trousers. His reddish blond hair lay against his neck beneath his tall black hat. Heat pooled in the pit of Flora‟s stomach. She took a deep breath, eager to escape before he noticed her.

Bruce glanced back to ensure the door closed properly. Flora gulped and turned, taking advantage of his momentary distraction to hurry behind a shelf of oil lanterns.

“Flora Saferight!” His deep voice flowed over her like bittersweet honey before she reached her destination. She waited for the sting of a familiar insult. Other girls may have enjoyed his teasing and attention growing up, but she hadn‟t. She closed her eyes, cringing as his booted footsteps charged across the wooden floor.


She clenched her teeth and forced a smile as she squared her shoulders and prepared to greet him. Staring stared into his broad chest, Flora had to lean back to gaze into those amazing green eyes. When had he grown so tall?

The freckles she remembered had faded beneath a ruddy complexion and a slight tan. A smile eased his lips, revealing straight teeth—too perfect in her opinion. If only he would smile a little wider, then she‟d have the satisfaction of seeing the gaping hole on his left side. Too bad a fall from a tree had been responsible, for she would have dearly loved to claim the honor—especially after he‟d teased her about her two front teeth.

What was wrong with her? Guilt sliced through Flora. Her thoughts were much too bitter for a proper Quaker. They had been children. Still, all his barbed words had cut her to the core and continued to sting like a nasty bee buzzing around inside her soul. “Good morning, Bruce Milikan. I wasn‟t aware thee was back in town.”

It had been eight months since she‟d last seen him, but she did her best to avoid him prior to that.

“I arrived home a fortnight ago.” He blinked and his smile waned. “For a moment, I thought thee might be trying to avoid me.”

Flora lifted her chin and met his gaze. “Do I look like I‟m avoiding thee?” She folded her arms across her chest and glared at him with what she hoped was her best disapproval.

“Goodness, Bruce Milikan, thee acts as if I knew thee would walk right through that door. Since when has thee known me to back down from anything?”

His lips curled as two thin lines framed each side of his mouth into a smile. He shook his head in slow motion. “No, Beaver Face, no one could ever accuse thee of ignoring a challenge.” He shook his head with a reminiscing chuckle. “Thee is the most headstrong girl I‟ve ever known—and foolhardy at times.” He folded his arms and stared down at her as if she were still a wayward child.

“Foolhardy? Beaver Face? Really Bruce, one would hope thee would eventually grow up and leave the childhood name calling behind.” Flora bristled, heat searing through her boiling blood as it scalded her heart. “We may only be a year apart in age, but thee hasn‟t changed one bit.”

“Come on, Flora, I didn‟t mean it like that. It‟s more of an endearment now.” He stepped closer, leaning forward. “The rest of thy teeth have grown in and are now perfect.” He glanced behind him as if to see if anyone else was listening. “I‟m sorry. I wish I‟d never called thee that. I‟ve sure spent the rest of my days paying for it.”

She stepped back, too confused by his nearness and stunned by his apology. Flora swallowed, clearing her mind. The childhood taunts she could forgive, but the idea that he would insinuate she‟s foolish when she‟d worked so hard to become a proper young lady of eighteen, chafed her?

“Apparently, thee isn‟t sorry. For thee just called me foolhardy. I‟ll have thee know, there‟s a good doctor in Virginia who thinks very highly of me. As a midwife, he believes I‟ll compliment him his practice rather well.” Clint Roberts had only mentioned it once in a letter, but she chose to interpret his words to mean that. No need in letting Bruce know she exaggerated.

“What doctor?” The light left his green eyes and his lips dropped in a frown. “Is thee courting a doctor?” He shifted, placing his fists at his side.

Irene walked over with a dark purple cloak draped over her arm. The bell rang and a new customer walked in, greeting Mrs. Edwards.

“It‟s true,” Irene said. “Flora met him two summers ago when we were visiting our aunt and uncle. They've been corresponding ever since.”

Thrilled that her sister would come to her aide, Flora beamed at Bruce. “See? Perhaps thee is the only one who harbors such an opinion of me.” She stepped around him and joined her sister‟s side. “I‟m content to reside myself with the knowledge that I‟ll always be an ugly Beaver Face girl to thee, and thee will always be a mean-spirited bully to me—a childhood nightmare I‟m more than happy to forget.”

She linked arms with her sister and turned, leading Irene to the front counter. “For that dear sister, thee may have a purple cloak. Thee deserves something a little less…plain today,” Flora whispered in her ear.

“Flora, thee has an imagination to feed a pack of werewolves.” Bruce called from behind. “Thee is twisting my words. It isn‟t like that.”

“Indeed,” she mumbled loud enough for only Irene to hear. “The years have been much worse.”
* * *
It took three trips, but Bruce finally hauled all the supplies he‟d purchased to the wagon parked out front. He dropped the last twenty pound bag of flour in the bed and rubbed the dust from his hands.

An image of Flora Saferight came to mind. She wasn‟t as plain as she thought. In fact, she had grown into a beautiful woman, but he couldn‟t give her the satisfaction of knowing he thought so. Flora possessed blue-gray eyes that could captivate a man until he lost his senses. Her coffee colored hair matched her spirited personality, vibrant and alive.

Why had he called her foolhardy? He touched the palm of his hand to his forehead in disbelief. Now she had another grievance to hold against him in addition to his long list of past sins. While some of her decisions were impulsive, and she needed more time to mature, he didn‟t think of her as a child either. Flora was an enigma with the cunning ability to challenge and frustrate him. Yet, in spite of her annoyances, she intrigued him.

Wagons and carriages rolled by crunching pebbles and dirt in the road. Two women stopped to converse on the corner in front of the barber shop. He strained to see if they were Flora and Irene, but when they turned, he realized it was a mother and daughter.

Disappointment fueled his chest. He wanted to find out more about the doctor in Virginia. Was she serious about this man? Bruce strolled around the wagon and prepared to pull himself up into the seat.

“Good day, Bruce Milikan.” A familiar voice called from behind.

Bruce turned to see Pastor John Allred striding toward him from across the street. He had to dodge a rider before he reached Bruce. They shook hands in a firm grip, greeting each other with smiles.

“Glad to see thee back. When did thee arrive in town?” John asked.

“Almost a fortnight ago. I‟m sorry I missed meeting past week, but I plan to be there this Sunday. It was a long trip to Indiana. I‟ve been trying to catch up on some chores around the farm.”

“No need to explain.” John shook his head and waved his hand to dismiss the issue. “Thee is doing important work for the Lord. That‟s the main thing. Was the mission successful?”

“Yes, but I‟m looking forward to seeing everyone again and catching up on all the news. I just ran into Flora and Irene Saferight.”

“I heard they‟re about to leave on the train to Virginia.” John rubbed the back of his neck.

“Speaking of which, there‟s something I‟d like to discuss with thee. Would thee be willing to come over for supper tonight?”

Bruce rubbed his chin. What would Flora‟s trip to Virginia have to do with him? Curious, he nodded. “I‟ll tell Mother not to expect me for supper when I return. Flora mentioned a doctor she met up there two summers ago. Does thee know when they‟ll be leaving?” Bruce hoped his voice sounded casual. “I thought she was planning on being a midwife around here.”

“I don‟t reckon her plans have changed.” John shook his head, his brown eyes lit and a smooth grin spread across his face. “In fact, she helped Hazel Miller birth her latest child. I think Flora will prove to be one of our best assets to this community.”

Not if she moves away to Virginia. The sudden thought made Bruce‟s stomach churn. She was too young. What was she thinking? He‟d only been gone eight months. How could things change so fast?

“Well, Pastor John, I‟d better get these things home and put away so I can make it over to your place in time for supper.”

“Good idea, Bruce.” John slapped him on the shoulder. “I‟ll see thee in a little while.”

Bruce gave him a nod and climbed into the wagon. He took the reins, unset the brake, and guided the horse down the street. Bruce road past fields of tobacco and rows of tall corn until the two-story gray house came into view by early afternoon.

His mother came out on the porch, shielding her brown eyes from the sun. Her plump form was a welcome sight as she pulled her tan shawl tight around her and patted the silver bun on the crown of her head.

“Looks like thee brought the whole store back from town.” Her soft voice teased. She hurried down the porch steps toward the wagon and peered over the side.

“Just half of it.” Bruce winked, giving her a grin as he jumped down. When she smiled back, a ring of wrinkles encased her loving eyes, reminding him of how much she had aged in the last two years.

With two older brothers and a sister grown and married, his parents were now sixty. Only Bruce and Silas, his younger brother, remained on the farm.

“I ran into Pastor John while I was in town. He asked me over for supper. Said he needed to discuss something with me.” Bruce laid a hand on her shoulder. “So don‟t make a plate for me this evening.” He kissed her cheek.

“I hope he doesn‟t have another mission for thee so soon. Son, I believe in the work thee does for the Underground Railroad, but after so many months of traveling, thee needs a break. Can he not find someone else this time?” His mother wrung her hands as she followed him to the back of the wagon where he unhitched the latch and pulled down the gate.
“I‟m not sure, but I‟ll be fine Mother. Thee knows if I don‟t go, Father will. He‟s content to let me take his place, but he won‟t stand by and let the Milikan‟s miss out on what he thinks is an opportunity to save a life.”

“It‟s so dangerous!”

“Which is why Father should stay here. He can‟t handle the outdoor elements and the vigorous running and climbing over the mountains like he once did.”

“Holly!” His father rode his horse in a canter toward them.

Bruce and his mother walked to meet him where he slowed to a stop. His gray whiskers and side burns looked white rather than gray beneath his black hat with the sun casting him in a silhouette from behind.

“Some of the cows escaped.” He took a deep breath. “Part of the fence must have been weak”

“I‟ll help thee round them up,” Bruce offered.

“Thee can help after unloading.”

His father nodded toward the wagon. “Know where Silas is?”

“He was in the barn working on that harvest machine that Bruce made a while back.” Mother said. “Can‟t get it to work right.”

“I‟ll need his help. He can work on that later.” Father started to pull away, but she reached up and laid a hand on his arm.

“Eli, Bruce has another meeting with the pastor this evening.”

His father paused and his hazel eyes met Bruce‟s. “Do I need to be there?”

“He didn‟t mention it,” Bruce said.

“Well, all right then. Let us know if it‟s another mission.” His father rode away.

“I wish thee didn‟t have to go.” His mother sighed, watching her husband ride toward the barn.

“It may not even be about a new mission. Pastor John may only want a report on the last mission to Indiana.”

She grabbed his arm and smiled with relief. “Thee is right. I hadn‟t even thought of that. Perhaps that‟s all it is.”
* * *
Flora didn‟t slow until the post office was in sight. Her sister breathed heavy from their brisk pace, hauling her new cloak over her arm.

“I still don‟t see why thee wouldn‟t let me stop long enough to put my cloak in the wagon. Besides, I thought we had more shopping to do.” Irene glared at Flora while they waited for a buggy to pass before crossing the street.

“I promise. We‟ll go back and finish our shopping after I‟m sure Bruce Milikan is gone.” Flora charged into the street and stomped across the dirt road.

“Thee cannot avoid him forever. Forgive him for the past and let it go. He‟s right. It was a long time ago.”

“It‟s true that Beaver Face was a long time ago, but his calling me foolhardy this morning isn‟t.” Flora blew out a puff of air. If it were possible for a human being to explode, she‟d be in a million pieces right now.

She swung open the post office door and an elderly woman stumbled out.

“Oh! Pardon me.” Flora reached for the woman‟s elbow to steady her.

“Goodness!” The gray haired woman righted herself and smoothed her skirts. She lifted her chin and glanced up at Flora and then Irene with brown eyes of stone. “You young people need not be in such haste. I daresay, this post office won‟t grow legs and walk, you know.”
“Yes, ma‟am.” Flora pressed her lips together to keep from laughing.

Inside, Flora blinked, adjusting her eyes to the darkness. She strode toward the open window where Joseph Miller, the clerk, greeted her with a genuine smile.

“Howdy, Miss Saferight and Miss Saferight.” He nodded to Irene standing by Flora. “Hazel and the baby are doing very well. You did a fine job delivering my baby girl.” He rubbed the top of his bald head, a thin layer of brown hair stretched from ear to ear.

“I‟m glad to hear it. I hope to stop by for a visit before we leave on our trip to Virginia,” Flora said.
“Hazel would like that. I think the confinement is starting to get to her.”

“It won‟t be long before she‟ll be able to go out into society again.” Flora pulled out a folded letter addressed to her aunt. “I need to send this to Charlottesville, Virginia.”

“That will be one penny.”

Flora dug into her skirt pocket and handed him the required change. Once they finished their business at the post office, they stepped outside the small wooden building into the bright sun. She shielded her eyes. She loved North Carolina in the fall. Soon more color would fill their world and cooler weather would bring in the harvest.

“I promised Mother we‟d stop by the train station and find out the prices of the tickets,” Flora said, as they made their way toward South Elm Street.

“This is exciting!” In a sudden burst of energy, Irene caught Flora‟s pace as a smile tilted the corners of her mouth. “Just think, we‟ll be going through the capital city of Raleigh and then into Virginia in comfortable passenger seats. No slow, bumpy wagon with a hard wooden seat for days on end.”

The sound of a distant train whisle bellowed through the air. White smoke shot into the sky over the gray roof of the wooden train depot as they neared. A shiny black engine appeared beyond the building, hauling several linked caboose cars taking off in an eastward direction. More steam unleashed its power, hissing and groaning against the wheels as they churned over the rails. The massive iron machine started out slow, but gained speed and momentum with each thrust.

They reached the side of the depot and rounded the corner of the building to the front entrance. Flora collided into a moving object and gasped, straightening her bonnet.

“Oh dear, please excuse me.” a woman said.

Flora glanced up. Concerned green eyes met her gaze. Whisps of auburn hair framed the woman‟s young face beneath a white bonnet. Recognition gripped Flora‟s muddled brain as she took a moment to sort through her childhood memories for a name.

“Kimberly Coltrane?” Flora tilted her head and gulped, hoping she‟d remembered correctly.
“Yes.” She blinked and after a moment her eyes widened. “Flora and Irene Saferight?” Her mouth dropped open, before she covering it with a delicate hand. “How long has it been?”

“It seems like thee moved from Centre to New Garden four or five years ago,” Irene said. “Thee has turned into a beauty.”

Her rosy glow deepened and she looked down. While she wore a simple gray skirt and white blouse, Flora agreed that Kimberly could never be considererd plain.

“What brings thee to Greensborough?” She glanced from Irene to Flora, raising an arched eyebrow.
“Shopping,” Irene said, holding out her new cloak.

“It‟s lovely,” Kimberly ran a gentle hand over the purple garment. “I wish I was in town to shop. I came with my father. He‟s inside buying a ticket for a business trip to Raleigh. Earlier I had to wait on him in the hardware store.” Her eyes brightened, almost like sparkling emeralds. “Guess who we ran into?”

Irene and Flora exchanged knowing glances.

“Would it happen to be Bruce Milikan?” Flora asked, trying not to show disdain in her expression or tone.

“Exactly!” She grinned, blinking in surprise. “He‟s changed so much. He‟s as tall as my father now. They discussed farming methods in the hardware store.”

“Indeed, we saw him in the general store.” Flora shifted in discomfort as Kimberly‟s expression transformed to a dreamy daze.

“Who would have ever guessed that Bruce Milikan would turn out to be so handsome.”

Kimberly touched her hand to her chest. “He‟s such a gentleman and so attentive. I hope he meant it when he said I‟ve grown into a sophisticated woman and he‟d stop by and call on us when he‟s in town again.”

“He called thee sophisticated?” The question tumbled from Flora‟s tongue before she could hold it back. Disappointment stabbed her anew, twisting her heart.

“Yes.” Kimberly folded her arms as if hugging herself and her smile widened. “Father seems to be impressed by him as well. He‟s talked of nothing else since.”

Rare jealousy sparked a flame in Flora‟s wounded chest. She had always wondered if Bruce Milikan was incapable of tenderness and pleasant gallantry. Now she had proof. He was more than capable—just not with her. The realization brought anger and then a fresh wave of bitterness.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Author & Speaker Linda Rondeau Gives Hope & Motivation

Speaker Linda Rondeau

Linda gives hope to families battling cancer and motivates couples to recharge their marriage.  

Pen Name: L Rondeau

Fees: $75 + travel beyond 50 miles from home

Travel: East Coast USA

Categories: Cancer Survivor, Marriage, Editing, Relationships, Emotional Healing, 

Speaking Topics
  • Breast Cancer Awareness

My cancer was discovered after I visited my doctor with a painful knee problem. She realized I was overdue for a mammogram and insisted I get one. Since there is no history of breast cancer in my family, I was surprised when I was diagnosed with invasive cell carcinoma of the breast. That put me on an emotional and physical roller coaster ride. Yet, through the experience, I found God in a way I might not have otherwise.
  • The Senior Writer

Seniors are entering the writing field in unprecedented numbers. The older writer faces numerous challenges that younger writers cannot even imagine. What are these challenges and how can seniors best equip themselves to meet them?
  • Where Did Prince Charming Go?

Keeping marriage alive for the long haul. Marriage is under attack as never before in our culture. This is especially true for couples who have been married a long time. What can older couples do to keep love alive in their advancing years?
  • Thanking God for the Burrs in Our Relationships

Finding healing for damaged relationships. Rondeau relates her own experiences of healing from a troublesome relationship with her mother that spanned decades.

  • Self-Editing for the Fiction Writer

Self-editing is much more than spelling and grammar checks. Rondeau helps the beginning author to look objectively at their manuscript, delving deep to enrich their stories.


"Linda entertains as well as makes us think..."
Kris Moore

"I enjoy Linda's wit and depth of insight."
Charlotte McQuinn

"Linda is a deep thinker and I enjoy her spiritual insights..."
Judy Genaway

Breast cancer survivor, Rondeau's books are critically acclaimed and include: The Other Side of Darkness (winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel), America II: The Reformation, Rains of Terror, and the Christmas special, It Really Is a Wonderful Life. A former social worker, Rondeau is known for her poignant messages of hope during times of crisis. Rondeau resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her most patient husband and is active in her local church. She is a member of the Florida Writers Association, and American Christian Fiction Writers. Rondeau is noted for her work with senior writers and mentors writers of all ages and genres. Rondeau spent over thirty years in Community Theater and sometimes presents skits and monologues in her speech appearances.

Twitter: @wrondeau

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