Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Carole Brown

Good morning, dear reader! Welcome to Women of Faith and Fiction Tuesday. Today, we’re talking with Carole Brown. Carole’s latest release is A Flute in the Willows, Book Two of The Spies of WWII. Let’s begin…

Good morning, Carole. Please, tell us about yourself.

Personal

Carole BrownHere’s my official bio:

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

What a fantastic life, Carole. Congratulations on the ten books! Let’s talk about the professional side of your life. Where did you get the idea for your latest WIP or your current release? And what inspired you to choose the setting of your story?

Professional

a-flute-in-the-willowTwo things gave me the idea of writing A Flute in the Willows, Book Two of The Spies of WWII.

First, my mother’s pictures and tales of living through WWII. These piqued my interest and steered me in the direction of writing a novel set during this time.

Second, we had an older gentleman friend who’d written a book about a civilian spy. It was always rumored that he was that spy, but he never confirmed it. That thought encouraged me to write my own take on spies.

I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio for a brief time, working there, before I was married. I liked that city, and when deciding on the setting, I knew it would fit perfectly. And, of course, Germany was a major player during WWII. How could I not bring touches of it into the books?

The story sounds intriguing. Readers, don’t forget to check out A Flute in the Willows to find out what happens to the hero. Carole, what is your favorite thing to do when not writing?

I shared my official bio above, but here are a lot more personal items that would fit in this bracket:

  • I love being with my family. Whether on vacations to the beach or mountains, whether just a brief stop-by visit or a dinner at home or out somewhere, we so enjoy it all.
  • I love sharing laughter and quiet fun times with my hubby. He’s not only my hero, my best friend and lover, he’s also a wonderful Christian man with a big heart.
  • I adore living in the country with my own hot tub, our animals, my water garden, fireplace, the view, and I like the quiet. Most times. 🙂
  • I love traveling with hubby and family. Though we’ve visited so many states and a few countries, there’s much more to see and do!
  • I love being a child of God. He’s our best source of strength and encouragement and the greatest leader of life I could ever ask for.

 
I enjoy living in the country too! Here’s a fun question. Please share a writing quirk—a ‘must have’ or a ‘must do’ to get words down on paper.

Quiet. I like quiet when I write. Sometimes I will have soft music in the background, but not often.

Amen. Some days you just need peace and quiet. Next question… This year’s theme is First Things First. Setting our priorities is a must if we’re to be about our Father’s business. What advice would you offer someone struggling to spend time with Him? And, how has spending time with Him changed your life?

Inspirational

  • Be serious about this decision. Easier said than done, I know. But it’s the one thing that will help you make the decision and to keep at it.
  • Study your daily activities. Is there an allotted time when you’re more liable to be free? Can you get up fifteen minutes or a half hour earlier? Being faithful, I think, is more important than the length of time. God knows us, the intent of our hearts. Tell him about your difficulty in doing this and listen to what he has to say.
  • Remember, a verse a day, a five-minute sincere prayer, a few moments of contemplation or listening to what God wants to say to you: these are a start in the right direction. We’re not all made alike, but in God’s likeness, so our times of devotion may all be different to fulfill our spiritual needs. Be diligent, and God will reward you with His sweet presence.

As far as I’m concerned, I’ve found through the years that to stay close to God is a great advantage to me. When others are gone or don’t understand, or whatever, God knows. He is so whatever-I-need, yet he’s also faithful and true to rein me in or correct me when needed.

Working in ministry along with my hubby has taught me too that hard times come. Discouraging. Depressing. Tough I’m-not-going-to-make-it times. Somehow God pulls me through, and I feel stronger and more confident that He is, oh, so sufficient!

Well said, Carole. Thank you so much for joining us today. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better!

Readers, Carole is giving away a digital copy of A Flute in the Willows to one commenter. Leave a comment to have your name entered in the drawing.

Click to Tweet: It was always rumored that he was that spy, but he never confirmed it. That thought encouraged me to write my own take on spies. #Women of Faith and Fiction #interview

Bio

Carole BrownBesides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Connect with Carole:

 

Dead Leaves and Bald Trees

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

Are you ready for fall?

I was asked that question last week.

And All at Once, summer collapsed into fall.

Fall? I’m still in July. Where did the summer go?

It’s not that I don’t like fall. I love fall with its delicious aromas, warm blankets, and firelight. But this year, we had a lot of rain, and most days I waited, stuck inside.

Stuck.

Isn’t that the way things go at times?

Stuck in a season.

Stuck on an idea.

Stuck with a feeling.

Stuck waiting for a miracle.

Stuck.

Here’s the thing. When I’m stuck, I’m no longer moving forward.

So I decided to get unstuck. Not in the disarray-discomposure-or-incoherence sort of way, but in the able-to-move-freely, happy-to-be-here, looking-forward-to-it kinda way. 🙂

Why?

Fall is a physical and spiritual reminder to let things go that I cannot change.

The trees are about to show

For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Job 14:7 KJV

Even the dead leaves of autumn and the bald trees of winter testify of hope. There is always hope no matter the season. His name is Jesus.

No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring

Maybe I won’t get the answers I long for in every season. But I can’t allow it to steal my joy or my hope. Nor will I lounge about in the current season pondering over things I cannot change. I must move on.

Autumn

Blessings await me in this coming season. If only I can recognize them when they appear.

I loved autumn, the season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it

The Lord is always with me wherever my foot may trod. He will not leave me nor forsake me. I have hope. I am not alone.

Neither are you, my friend. No matter the season you’re facing. You’re not alone. The Lord our God is with us leading the way.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11 KJV

During this season, I plan to fall deeper in love with the Lord and let the dead things go. How about you?

Click to Tweet: Even the dead leaves of autumn and the bald trees of winter testify of hope. @GailJohnson87 #fall #hope

Praying for you. Thank you for reading and commenting. You are appreciated.

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Growing In the Hard Places

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:7 KJV)

Butterfly couple

I have lantana growing next to the deck surrounding my pool. Last month, I noticed a branch straining against the lattice.

Lantana

Later, that same branch pushed its way through the opening in the lattice to enter the darkened world beneath the deck.

lantana 2

It remained hidden until last week when it popped its head up between the decking and the new multi-colored blooms burst forth in the sunlight.

Although it is now in the scorching heat of the last days of summer, I’m not worried about it. The roots run deep beneath a patch of shaded wet earth that shields it from drought. As you can see, it’s flourishing. I should cut it so I can paint/stain the deck, but I won’t because I know how hard it worked to reach the sunlight.

Sometimes we have to change positions to get where we’re going. We may have to stretch or even shrink to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.

Either way, growth isn’t easy. To grow, we must choose. Do I stay in my comfort zone where I am secure, or do I brave the unknown and seek the treasure God has in store for me?

Perhaps you’re squashed against a boundary with nowhere to turn.  Maybe you’re facing dark nights of uncertainty with the hounds of hopelessness nipping at your heels. Perchance you’re reaching as far as you can reach in prayer, but still, you can’t feel the touch of the Master’s hand. Take courage, dear one.

You are stronger than you think for your strength comes from our Lord Jesus Christ. His power gives us the ability to endure everything.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:11-13 KJV)

I do not believe that we can learn contentment without experiencing growing pains. Therefore, I have to believe that we can grow in the hard places if our roots are clinging to the Rock of Ages. He is our Bread and Water supply.

So I encourage you, dear reader, keep reaching heavenward. Soon, the darkened valley will give way to an expanse suffused with sunlight. Then, the Lord will unveil your beautiful colors for His glory alone.

Click to Tweet: Sometimes we have to change positions to get where we’re going. We may have to stretch, or even shrink, to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.

Thank you for visiting and reading. You are appreciated more than you know. 🙂