Today I’m excited to welcome Joanie Bruce for an author spotlight. Read through to the end to find out how to enter the giveaway.
As an avid reader, Joanie welcomed the transition from reading to writing and considers it a wonderful way to honor the Lord. She has written three published Christian suspense novels, a Christmas Trilogy, and a novelette. She lives with her husband on their cattle farm in Georgia where they raised three wonderful children. She enjoys playing with her grandson, writing from her home in the country, painting portraits, playing with various hobbies, and taking long walks on the farm.
Amazon Author page: https://amzn.to/2rmaldx
Dear readers, I prayed diligently about what to share with you today. I felt so blessed, and I wanted to share that feeling with you. In so many ways, God shows us His love through the kindness of others. While I was praying, this amazing thing happened, and I believe this will bless you as much as it blessed my husband and me.
The other day we went through the drive-thru line to buy lunch at a fast food restaurant. When we pulled up to the window, the cashier informed us that the family in the car ahead of us had already paid for our order. As that car pulled out of the driveway, we waved at two smiling faces looking back at us in the rear window.
What a sweet thing to do, and how exciting to realize that the parents of the two young faces in the backseat of that car were teaching their children a lesson … to show kindness and love to others without expecting anything in return. They were “passing it forward.” So my husband and I did the same thing; we paid for the food ordered by the car behind us. That little act of “passing it forward” and seeing the smiles on the faces of the people in the car behind us put a smile on our lips and joy in our hearts. We were showing a kindness to make someone happy.
I’m sure you’ve felt the excitement that floods through you when you do something special for someone unable to act for themselves or when you make something easier for someone struggling? A spoken word of encouragement, a meal for a grieving family, a ride for someone who has no way to church. There is nothing like that feeling of joy.
In today’s world of selfish, greedy oppressors, no one is immune to the Devil’s network of bullies, but we can counteract that negative behavior with love and kindness. Our actions have consequences, and that means we can either hurt someone with our word and deeds, or we can uplift and encourage with what we say. When we choose to follow the example of Jesus Christ and show love to others, it causes a domino effect. Kindness breeds kindness. And that one good deed can start an avalanche of good will. It can change the world.
An act of kindness is like a ripple in a pond. When the first good deed is done, ripples of kindness spread endlessly.
“…it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35b
What about you, dear readers? Can you share with us a time when you helped someone and felt that surge of joy? Leave your answer below and your name will be entered in the giveaway for a paperback or ebook copy of A Memory Worth Dying For. (*winner may choose any format.)
Author Interview Questions:
- What (2 or 3) fun or unique things can you tell us about yourself?
a) I’m also an artist, and I recently illustrated my first children’s book which released in April.
b) I’ve milked cows by hand. (We own an operated a dairy farm for 33 years.)
c) Pres. George W. Bush and his wife own a portrait I painted of the President in a cowboy hat. Laura Bush saw the painting and sent word that she would like to have it, so I mailed it to them during his last year in office.
- What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
I think the most important thing a reader can do to help an author is to spread the word about his/her books: write reviews, tell their friends, promote them on social media. When our readers help us in these ways, it encourages us to write more stories. Without our readers, we are lost.
- What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read as much as you can in the genre in which you enjoy writing. Don’t give up! Listen to your critics and learn as much as you can from them to improve your writing. Keep a good book on editing in your research library. Try to make your reader feel something while reading your story … an emotional response is imperative if you want the reader drawn into your story.
ABOUT “A Memory Worth Dying For”
“Do Not Return To Texas!” Marti Rushing gets the message, loud and clear. If she returns to Texas, her life is in danger. If she stays in Tennessee, she’s safe. But when she receives a letter telling her that Daniel, her ex-husband and the love of her life, is dying, she is compelled to defy the stalker and return to Texas to see him.
Three years ago, Daniel accused her of things she couldn’t remember doing. Without waiting for an explanation and after four wonderful years of marriage, Daniel kicks her off his family’s Quarter Horse ranch. Now, three years after their separation, he walks into her art reception in Tennessee and acts as if he doesn’t remember her. Does the memory loss have anything to do with the letter she received, or is Daniel pretending? Is he the one stalking her, or is it someone with a deadly, sinister motive?
Ignoring the deadly warnings, she leaves for Texas, but on the way there, the attempts on her life begin. Will she be able to evade her pursuer’s attacks? Or will Daniel’s face be the last one she sees?
Carson City, Texas
Marti gripped the car seat in front of her with rigid hands.
“Please, Vinny, slow down, or let me out.”
“Aw, come one, Marti. Don’t be such a scaredy-cat. I know what I’m doin.’”
Vinny’s wife, Angela, grinned and turned around to glimpse at Marti in the back seat. “His NASCAR reflexes are still there, hon. He can make a car do amazing things.”
Marti leaned back in the seat and tried to relax. Tucking an auburn curl behind her ear with one hand, she massaged her stomach when she felt the baby kick with the other. She swirled circular patterns on her stomach and yearned to be anywhere but in this speeding car.
Up ahead, a crooked stop sign balanced half way between a vertical position and the pavement. Instead of slowing up, Vinny’s foot forced the gas pedal further down to the floor.
“Watch me beat that old rattle-trap, Angie darling.”
Marti’s stomach clenched. With tightness in her throat, she watched a beat-up red truck plowing toward the intersection. The truck was traveling too fast. They weren’t going to make it to the stop sign first. She inhaled a stale gulp of air and watched in horror as the truck barreled toward them.
Marti closed her eyes. If she ignored the truck, maybe it would disappear.
What a Ninny! It wasn’t going to disappear.
Lord, please make it disappear.
Dread forced her eyes shut, but terror opened them up again. The truck was still there, and it wasn’t slowing up. The driver couldn’t see them through the willows blowing on the side of the highway.
She held her breath while Vinny sped through the intersection, foolishly ignoring the proximity of the two vehicles. The front bumper of the truck passed within inches of the back corner of their car.
A long horn blared behind them as the truck flashed by—the sound hollow and metallic in the damp humid air. The tires of the truck squealed briefly, and Marti’s imagination supplied the smell of hot rubber.
She watched the red truck round the sharp corner behind them and disappear. A gulp of air cooled her parched throat, and a sigh of relief made its way to her lips. She turned to the front. “Vinny, please …”
Suddenly she felt the car slide on the muddy road and hydroplane on top of the puddles of water. Her brother-in-law let out an expletive, then wrenched the wheel to the left.
Inside the car, Marti had the surreal feeling of being suspended in a boat on top of frothy waves. The car skated steadily sideways until Vinny lost control, and the right side of the car lifted into the air. Marti experienced a floating sensation and braced her hands on the car frame.
Lord, please help us.
The car tilted. Hard metal met her body when she was thrown against the side door. Broken glass scraped her arms and face.
The car tumbled. She crossed her arms over her stomach and tried to protect her baby from the blows. Screams filled the night air, and she heard crunching … metal ripping apart. The car beat at her whole body. A heavy blow to her arm was the last thing she remembered before something hit her in the back of the head, and the whole world swirled into oblivion.
A pain in her stomach woke her. Groaning filled the air around her until she realized it was coming from her own throat. The taste of her lips was bitter, but wetting them was impossible. Her mouth was parched, and there wasn’t enough moisture to keep her tongue from sticking to the roof of her mouth.
Towering over her, a strange woman gazed down at her. Marti stared up at the blurred face.
“Who … who are you?” Marti’s voice was just above a whisper.
The woman hovered over her. “Don’t you know who I am, Marti?”
Marti shook her head then another pain in her stomach doubled her over, and the woman moved to help her.
“Don’t worry, honey. I’ll help you. You’re gonna have this baby right here, before the ambulance gets here, aren’t you?”
“What h-happened? Where’s Daniel?” Marti grabbed the woman’s hand as another contraction filled her body with agony.
“Just relax, honey. I’ll take care of everything.”