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Archive for the ‘Christian and Inspirational’ Category

 

Hello. I hope your holidays are going well. Mine is super crazy. I hope I never release a book during November and December again! I gave up on the idea of decorating this year and just stuck my 2 foot tree-in-a-burlap-sack on a bookcase by the window. I tossed six ornaments, a string of lights and a star on it and called the whole decorating thing done. But I have been super busy with other things to occupy my time instead. Read on….

First, I signed up with BookFunnel. This is a cool site where I get a bunch of free/ discounted downloads for my Kindle. I even have this grand illusion one day I will get to read them.

The first book I want to offer on BookFunnel is my romantic comedy novella, “It Happened at the Park”, now free for the taking but only until January 1, 2018. You might be prompted to sign up for my newsletter, which only comes out about 3 or 4 times a year max. You always have the option to unsubscribe to that after you get the free download of “It Happened at the Park.”

If all goes well, I plan to offer other books for free periodically. Here is the tagline:

Cassidy’s a career girl, not a dog mom. Then she inherits her sister’s two pampered pups. Hopeless, she meets Ethan, the hunky dog park ‘daddy’.

Get your FREE copy of It Happened at the Park at this link:          https://dl.bookfunnel.com/nt4dxa0w0t

It Happened At The Park - Tara200

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Okay, next up, I have two full-length novels releasing very shortly. And I’m also promoting the heck out of them on virtual blog tours.

Set against the exciting backdrop in the chase for the Triple Crown and filled with mystical surprises. Season is not a witch, but she can make a horse run and Ty’s heart race.

Season Moriarty is part fey and part druid. She can see the future and alter it. She welds control over the natural elements of earth, wind, fire and water as well as manipulating life and death. And she is an accomplished racehorse trainer, able to get any horse to run like the wind. Now Season has landed the dream job that will test all of her skills and abilities.

Ty Masters runs his horse racing business with an iron fist. No one dares to question him. He hires Season based on her reputation. Then they meet. Immediately, she questions him, challenges him, infuriates him, intrigues him, captivates him, and even intimidates him a little. Then she spellbinds him. But can she make a Triple Crown winner out of his willful colt?

Mysterious threats to Ty’s racehorses bring him and Season together in another kind of race against the clock. As the stakes for the Triple Crown rise and the identity of who wants to destroy Ty, so does the undeniable interest and the fiery sparks between them.

Wild Whispers cover

First, on Magic of Books Blog Tours, I am promoting “Wild Whispers”, a contemporary romantic suspense with mystical elements. (read: it’s a cool book with lots of good stuff). The tour is going on now, until December 12th and there is a giveaway raffle for a $10 Amazon gift certificate. Yes, you are required to sign up for my newsletter to qualify, but I promise they don’t come out that often.

The link to follow the “Wild Whispers” pre-release tour is: https://magicofbookspromo.blogspot.ca/2017/12/pre-order-tour-for-wild-whispers-by.html

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Then, January 29th- February 2nd, “Wild Whispers” will be on Reading Addiction Blog Tours, also with a neat giveaway of a signed paperback copy of my backlist Romantic suspense novel, “Chasing the Painted Skies”.  Link is: http://readingaddictionvbtreviews.blogspot.com/

“Wild Whispers” officially releases December 12th and will be available on Kindle, Nook, and all your favorite devises and paperback.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2AyCG72

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wild-whispers-ryan-jo-summers/1127561125?ean=2940158952869

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/762819

Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/shop/ryan-jo-summers/wild-whispers/paperback/product-23410521.html

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Up next is a sweet, contemporary Christian romance. “Rainbows in the Moonlight”.

A Southern romance novel about family, forgiveness, starting over, and love.

 Koda Jacobs urgently needs a nanny–right now. Fresh from prison, Dalton Clayton needs a job–and just about anything will do.

 Divine Intervention steps in and tosses Koda and Dalton together. Koda struggles with the conflicts of her impulsive decision to leave her babies with an unknown, convicted felon. That just can’t be wise, can it? But she can’t help but see how quickly the children bonded to him and trust him. Or the reassuring sense that this is just right. Meanwhile, Dalton stumbles through the spills and thrills of two young children, and his growing interest in their mother. A chance meeting brings him back to his estranged family as well.

Over time mutual attraction forms between  Koda and Dalton as the bond between Dalton and the children deepens. A sweet, southern romance full of forgiveness, second chances, and fun kids.

“Rainbows in the Moonlight” releases in e-book format December 20th.

The Magic of Books blog tour begins December 26th, and once again I have a $10 Amazon gift card up for grabs. The Reading Addiction book tour runs February 5-9, 2018 and I am giving away a free, signed paperback of my backlist Christian romance novel.

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In even more exciting news, my Christian romance to release last November, “Beside Still Waters”, will be available in paperback starting January 10th, 2018 on Amazon. You can pre-order it now at this link:  http://amzn.to/2C0aG9V

BesideStillWaters850

Top Journalist and corporate climber McKayla Buchanan is sent to a remote California mountain camp for inner-city, at-risk teens. Accustomed to political and high-society assignments, she is suddenly a fish out of water. At Camp In As Much, she meets eight hostile and distrustful teens, assorted volunteers, rescued horses—and Clay.

Clay Michaels is the man who founded Camp In As Much and made it the success it is now. His hope for the highly recommended journalist is to come and write a feature to send seeds out to form other camps like his nationwide one. He never considered the reporter would turn out to be a lovely woman, or for him to have such an attraction to her.

Between McKayla’s worldly experience and Clay’s strong faith, they form a partnership to help with the endless challenges of the kids.

While McKayla’s assignment is supposed to be temporary, it isn’t long before she and Clay are each wishing it could last longer. A serious situation will force McKayla to decide if she can give up her worldly ways and place her faith in the same higher source that Clay does.

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And lastely, (whew!) I am also promoting a holiday buy for a good cause (because I don’t have near enough stuff to juggle just yet). You might remember my collie, Ty, who I adopted March 2015 from the Collie Rescue of the Carolinas. He arrived with so much emotional baggage, we almost needed a U-Haul to bring it all with us.

It has been a rough and wonderful and never boring journey with Ty, helping him overcome his past. He’s pretty well adjusted now, almost three years in, and I am very happy with everything about him. Over the months, I journaled and blogged the steps, successes, failures, doubts, and included loads of photos. This past summer I created a self-published novel on Kindle KDP and have it available in Kindle and paperback up on Amazon.

A portion of each sale will go back to the Collie Rescue of the Carolinas. Now there is a holiday purchase you can feel doubly good about!

kindle https://www.amazon.com/Tys-Journey-Sharing-Lessons-Adopted-ebook/dp/B073MSG8SM

That’s Ty on the cover. He is such a pretty, happy boy, isn’t he?

Paperback: http://amzn.to/2AJeRHg

https://www.amazon.com/Tys-Journey-Sharing-Lessons-Adopted/dp/1521728518/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1512842610&sr=8-3&keywords=ryan+jo+summers

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Okay, that’s it. I did mention there was a lot going on, right? If you want to keep up with my comings and goings, below are my social media links. Some I am more active on than others, and a lot of it depends on my writing/editing/promoting/ and life schedules.

Oh yeah! I nearly forgot…how could I possibly forget this? Edits will begin soon for the January 2018 release of Limitless Publishing’s “Craving Country” anthology. I am one of the contributing authors to this collection with my short story called “Crazy Woman Creek”.  Follow my media sites for updates as things unfold for “Crazy Woman Creek” and the “Craving Country” anthology collection.

Website: www.ryanjosummers.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RyanJoSummersAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RyanJoSummers

Blog: https://www.summersrye.wordpress.com 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/phoenix690322/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6604705.Ryan_Jo_Summers

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Now I am off to read a download on my Kindle. Wish me luck.

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via Wednesday Writer Welcomes Ryan Jo Summer and Rainbows in the Moonlight

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Lately I’ve been thinking about perspective, and how I often need adjustments to mine. I get caught up in dwelling all about me, and my wishes and needs, and sometimes forget about others. Then something happens and I get a eye-opener. So, I’ve listed a few situations that have another side that offers a whole new perspective.

 

When one is having a bad day– running late, and nothing going right, and you see a car while doing your morning errands…then seeing that same car again later in the day on the back of a tow truck, this time with crumpled damage.

When one has to take a detour— how much of an inconvenience will this be?… and then hearing about someone who had to have their keys taken away and can’t drive any more.

When the drive-thru messes up one’s order… and then they pass a homeless, hungry person or the line at a soup kitchen or a church with a reminder of a food drive.

When one has a bad hair day– it’s frizzy, unruly, or won’t cooperate… and then crosses paths with a cancer fighter who is bald from chemotherapy.

When one doesn’t like anything — can’t find any decent clothes in the closet or the dishes are mismatched or furniture is old and ratty….and then the neighbor’s house burns and they lose everything they have.

When one has a fight with their spouse, parent or child and is justifiably angry… and then pass by a funeral.

When the newspaper is wet, damaged or not delivered at all…. and then encounters one who doesn’t know how to read.

When it hurts– one twists their knee/ankle or somehow hurts themselves….and then encounters someone missing a limb (or some other obvious limitation)

When the friend/ relative/ date stands one up…then learns of a lonely or bullied person who commits suicide ( or tries to) because they felt they were alone or un-loveable.

These scenarios are not meant to be depressing or upsetting. They were intending to remind myself, and anyone else who needs a gentle reminder, that no matter how bad things may seem right now…there is always someone else who is experiencing it worse. It’s all in our perspective.

It seems on the days when I am feeling sorry for myself over some grievance is when I am graciously handed such a reminder that it’s not all about me. The car occurrence really did happen this weekend. While out running errands, I spotted a car that for some reason stuck out to me. A couple of hours later, I spotted it again while I was going to meet a friend, this time loaded on the back of a tow truck.  Suddenly my rushed schedule paled in comparison and I scribbled most of these situations on my way to my appointment.

 

 

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images-31Lately I’ve been thinking about making it through things. It could be an event, a period in our life, an illness, a test, a divorce, a wedding, a meeting, a drive, or just whatever “it” currently is. And the interesting thing is the “it” tends to change as time progresses, but there always seems to be some form of “it” that we are always just trying to make it through. Or at least it seems like that for me.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been battling a cold-turned-acute bronchitis. Simply put: I have physically felt miserable just about non-stop for many endless days. And during this time I’ve had overlapping pet care dates scheduled and multiple doctor appointments while still maintaining my full time job and attempting to catch up on writing chores and household responsibilities whenever I could in between. You could safely say I’ve felt stretched like the cookie dough under a rolling pin.

So I’ve had a whole bunch of “it’s” to make it through. Some were fairly short, like the drive to and fro the various places I needed to be, or the doctor appointments, and those brief moments where I could knock a few to-do items off my list. Other things are longer, like waiting for the bronchitis to run its course and the gut-retching cough to go away and waiting for test results to come back.

About a month ago I started reading a book, called “You’ll Get Through This” by Max Lucado. I like his writing style, and to be frank, the title appealed to me. It is a study of the life of Joseph from the book of Genesis, and how his life was a series of making it through some unfortunate experiences. He had misfortune, one after another, and always ended up triumphant in the end. I’m not looking for triumphant. I would be satisfied with a short break in between things I need to make it through. A period of calm in which nothing is expected of me except to just breathe.

I’d love just a temporary respite to soak in the afterglow of nothingness. A time to drift, not needing to do, to be, go, have, say, or get. Anything.  My very own “Calgon, take me away!” moment.

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However, this raised a bigger question in my mind. Why do we feel we have to make it through “this”? Or climb the mountain? Or clear the hurdle? Or whatever metaphor you happen to personally like. Maybe we’re watching the  clock slowly creeping toward five o’ clock (or our own individual quittin’ time), counting down days until some big event or turning the pages of the calendar wondering where it all went or any other method of getting through. It seems life has become one big never-ending series of the next big-something. Something to dread or something to enjoy, something to endure or something to revel in. It’s always the wait for it to get here, the actual time spent, and the period immediately after to breathe deep or wipe the sweat away.

Sometimes for me that’s the time to grab chocolate and coffee. Celebrate. I’m big into celebrating even minor, small happenstances. Competing projects, surviving rough patches of time, and accomplishing challenging tasks will all garner the reward of chocolate and coffee and a few moments of treasured nothingness– to soak in the glow of satisfaction.

But still, I wonder, if there is some way to live a life that isn’t constantly filled with the sense of “I will make it through this” or worse yet, “I have to make it through this.” Can we just reach a point were life is lived, hourly or daily or by the minute, without the constant looking beyond the “right now”? Where escapism isn’t required or used as a reward for surviving? Because, in all honesty, I suspect my chocolate and coffee treat is sometimes a means to escape as much as a celebration for success.

 

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Today, January 27th, is National Chocolate Appreciation Day. This could be like a nation-wide holiday. To celebrate, I thought I’d recycle a page someone featured on their blog earlier this year.

 

Cake Therapy

birthday-cake-2

choc cake finished productThere was a time when Ryan Jo Summers didn’t know if she was going to live until her next birthday. Undergoing surgery after surgery on her pelvis, only to suffer from an abdominal condition that nearly killed her.

After a two week stay in the hospital in a drug induced coma, she was finally able to go home.  She’s here on Fun Friday to share her sweet poem, Cake Therapy, and talk about a lovely recipe about the cake that she had to bake as a symbol of her year of suffering. The cake was difficult to bake, but well worth it.

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Cake Therapy  by Ryan Jo Summers

 

I had wanted to bake a cake, a hard one

a challenge, meant to be both therapy and fun.

A ‘difficult’ rated birthday cake, chocolate of course

To mark my birthday this year, my forty-forth.

Good intentions, I thought, to bake a grand layered cake

for my hard fought birthday, take to work, and celebrate

This year has brought many ups, down, trials and changes

and therapy I find often comes in phases.

 From measuring, leveling, mix and stir

until all the ingredients begin to blur

 A certain sense of unity

can be found by following the recipe

 Next into the oven, then the washing up

bowls, spoons, soapy water and the cups

Except something went unexpectedly wrong

overflowing, the pans set off the smoke alarm’s song

I know it’s part of what I had asked for—the challenge

so gamely the cake base I did try to salvage

 So tonight the failed effort goes into the trash bin

And tomorrow I shall attempt to bake a cake again

 Perhaps this foiled start is a symbol, a sign

Of the journey this year I have taken, the hills I have had to climb

 

So that is the poem I wrote while recovering. That was a few years ago, but I’ve never tried the cake again. I still have the recipe, so if you’d like a copy, just mention your contact method in the comments and I’ll get it to you.

Happy Chocolate Appreciation Day!! Go have a bite of your favorite chocolate treat and celebrate all the hills you have climbed.

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Last year, about this time, I posted on the evolution of my blog. It had turned five years old and had taken a few radical turns over those years. My ponderings were on those twists.

This year–as my blog turns an incomprehensible six years old–I find those original thoughts to still hold true, with a year’s worth of experience to add to. However, first, a review of last year’s post:

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Jan 1, 2016: In a few months my blog will turn five. I can hardly believe it. Just like I can hardly believe it’s already 2016. As I was taking the calendars down last night, I considered the fact it didn’t seem that long ago I put them up. And now I’ve turned their pages twelve times. I’m sure a few of you can relate.

And that got me to thinking about this blog. It hardly seems possible I started it, albeit very reluctantly, back in May of 2011. I had very little knowledge of what a blog really was, let alone the purpose of creating one. Yet I had been told if I wanted to be a serious writer, I needed one. So voila, Summersrye was created. Had I known then what I know now, I’d have skipped the nickname thing and just used my proper name. But I like Rye, and not knowing any better, it seemed acceptable. Honestly, I don’t recall how I ended up at WordPress. It might have just been the first blog site that popped up when I plugged in a Google search.

keyboard and notebook

I went through recently to see what kind of posts I’ve written and the transformation this blog has undergone. The results sort of surprised me. My first post was May 11, 2011, called “Starting out”. That was pretty much it for 2011. In 2012 there were a whole 17 posts. The content changed directions twice. First I was going to take a non-fiction manuscript and blog it piece by piece. Feedback was nil. I even sent out a post asking “Am I doing this right?” of which I got one response back. Okay, at least someone out there in cyber world was aware I was blogging.

directions sign

Then I got the contract for my first book, “Whispers in her Heart”, the book that would forever change my life. I was going to be a published author. Time to get really serious about this blogging thing. Right? My posts changed from the random and non-fiction snippets to lots of “Whispers” stuff.Whispers cover from amazon

2013 I posted about 48 times, (give or take one) I was learning book promotion and it showed. I started putting in progress on edits and cover creation as well as teasers for “Whispers”, and a few pictures of my first book signings. I included poetry and shared life happenings. I opened up just a little, trying to remember if anyone was reading this, they were a real person on the other end of the computer screen. I shared photos of my pets, who are part of my life. I shared personal reflections and works in progress.

chasing ideas

2014 I continued sharing anecdotes and photos of my pets. I was now reading other people’s books and trying my hand at posting my reviews. I was following other blogs and re posting things I found interesting. Now I had a few books out and was regularly sharing status and updates on “Whispers”, “Shimmers of Stardust”, and “When Clouds Gather”. I posted more times than ever before.

Recipe for writing success

2015 was much the same. Book reviews. Pet anecdotes. Personal situations. Personal reflections. I was getting pretty personal this year. My family of books was growing. Now we added “Chasing the Painted Skies” and “Sizzle in the Snow” Anthology plus more works in progress and two more slated for 2016. I had people contact me asking if I would please read and review their books. I added the new feature somewhere along the way of hosting authors, interviewing them and talking about their books. In exchange, I was usually hosted on their blogs. Giveaways were another new feature in 2015.

All in all, not bad for a kid who few thought would ever make a writer. I recall hiding in my closet, pounding away on an old manual typewriter I bought at a garage sale. I baby sat so I had money for paper, notepads, and pens. Finally my mother gave me an electric typewriter for either my birthday or Christmas when I was around twelve. To have access to the electric outlet, I had to move out of the closet and into first my bedroom and then a corner of the long harvest table situated in the living room. I guess she wanted to see her daughter once in a while.

old typewriter

So while looking back, I also want to look forward. What do I want this blog to accomplish in our brand new 2016? Well, I want it to be a communication point. First, I want to be able to share news with readers about new books, giveaways and anything else share-worthy. I want to continue having others from other houses on my blog, sharing news about their exciting new releases. Bonus if they offer giveaways too. I want to grow the book reviews. In fact, I just finished a sassy little story last night and will be posting a review this weekend. And I have that author scheduled to be hosted on the blog in a few weeks.

Writing is a gift

Of course I want to share stories and pictures of my zany pets. They are the world to me, as many pet owners will testify. I’d be tickled if readers shared their wonderful pet pictures. I will also continue to share personal reflections and observations. Sometimes life gets rough or crazy and it’s nice to talk about it on a blog. It may not fix it, but it makes handling it a little easier. I follow a few blogs of people who do that very well. I’ll probably go back to posting some of the poetry from time to time and maybe some short flash fiction or sample chapters. That has been in the back of my mind for a while too.

Happily ever after

The end result, I want 2016 to be a year of growth and connection both for this blog and my writing career.

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, now it’s time to turn the calendars to 2017. I have added a pet sitting service to my life this year, which does had the unfortunate side effect of eating into my writing life. The bonus is I have met some interesting people and wonderful dogs and cats this year. I have settled comfortably into the house I bought in late 2014, but still have two rooms to paint (still!) and a few odd chores here and there I tackle when I need a break from writing.

What I would like to do with this blog in the coming months is much what I’ve done the last two years–share book reviews, host authors and their works, and continue the ‘Been Thinking About’ posts. Naturally I want to keep sharing misadventures of my pets, though my rescue collie, Ty, has his own blog I struggle to keep up with here on WordPress. Since I have two more books coming out in 2017, I want to share the steps from edits to covers to final release. I have a special giveaway planned for the first one, a Food & Love anthology coming up around May (ish).

Since I have two works in progress, and one more I hope to start soon, I want to share sample chapters. The opening chapters to one is already on my website at http://www.ryanjosummers.com. And I would like to encourage everyone to leave a comment with what they would like to see included in this blog, or more or less of any feature.

Lastly, I wish everyone a happy and healthy and wonderful new 2017.

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Timely, real writing, with humor, for serious issues. Good Boy is a Good Job.

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I first began reading A Good Boy because it was set in an area I am familiar with and I was curious to know if the author could credibly write with knowledge or had he simply tossed a dart to a map. I was pleasantly surprised to find he was indeed credible and detailed in the building of the setting. Even those not familiar with the area will become comfortable with the setting.

There are doubtlessly people and churches just like the author portrayed here, as I have known some of each. A dying church is a sad reality, as is teen suicide and questionable parenting; and our hero, Wesley Ames, was tasked with a difficult job. And plenty of obstacles along the way.

The book, while based on the trials and tribulations of a good preacher, is not preachy. The reader will not be lectured to. Non-Christians will appreciate the authentic flavor and humor of a real-life story. I found myself sympathizing for Wesley’s friend Gary Meade as he stumbles through a forced diet by his well-intending and loving family. And holding my breath with dread as I waited for another avalanche of ill-timed misfortune to befall the plucky Preacher Wesley. As he moved from good experiences and unfortunate situations, the guy earned my vote. He is a good guy trying to do the right thing while surrounded by stumbling blocks called people.

Such is the reality of Bradshaw’s writing. I truly hope there will be more books like A Good Boy coming from Mr. Bradshaw in the future.

*Note, I received a copy from Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

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