Barnabas Award

“You have been chosen for this recognition because of the encouragement and inspiration you bring to your readers.”

I was thrilled to receive this nomination from Michelle, the Mimosa Blossom. Thank you, Michelle.

Barnabas has been one of my favorite characters in the Bible from the moment I heard a minister speak about him. Why? Because he is known as the son of consolation.

If you search your concordance or Bible app for Barnabas, you’ll find several things about it. We meet Barnabas in Acts 4.

And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Acts 4:36-37 (KJV)

And that was just the beginning. When reading Acts, one may get carried away with Paul’s life. But nestled among Paul actions, is the story of Barnabas. For instance, when Paul came to Jerusalem desiring to join the disciples, they were afraid and didn’t believe Paul was truly a Christian. It was Barnabas who collected Paul and brought him to the disciples and told them of Paul’s conversion. Later, Barnabas traveled with Paul until Paul refused to take John Mark with them on a mission trip. Rather than leave John Mark behind, Barnabas chose to travel with him while Paul chose Silas as his traveling companion.

Do you see the pattern?

Barnabas helped those in need. His actions encouraged his friends to keep going. Barnabas was a son of consolation, or as other translations say, son of encouragement.

The way this works:

Thank the person who nominated you and share their blog.

Think of five bloggers that encourage and inspire you and nominate them.

List five things about yourself.

Lastly, ask your nominees five questions. Why five? Because it is the number that signifies grace.


First, let me say, I know how busy life can be, so if for any reason you cannot post an article, please, do not worry about it. I receive encouragement for my spiritual walk, writing, and family life through so many blogs that I only wish to share my appreciation. Encouragement is why I blog. The rule states five nominees. So here goes . . .

Melinda Inman

Jeanne Takenaka

Karen Friday

Wendy MacDonald

Melissa McLaughlin

5 Things About Myself:

I love Jesus. I run to Him first.

I’m hopelessly in love with my husband.

I’m working on two projects (fiction and non-fiction).

I’m a farm girl.

I am an introvert.

The Questions

Question: Who in your life is your biggest encourager?

Answer: My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Question: How do you see yourself as being an encouragement to others?

Answer: Through my friendships, hugs, and blog

Question: When was the last time someone gave you words of encouragement?

Answer: This past week

Question: When you’re down, what encourages you to get back up and keep pressing on?

Answer: God’s Holy Word, worship music, encouraging articles

Question: Who was your greatest encourager when you first accepted Christ?

Answer: Holy Spirit as He led me through the Word and in prayer.

Thanks again, Michelle! My Questions for the nominees are the same as above.

Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Bonita Y. McCoy

Hello, dear reader! Thank you for joining me. Author Bonita Y. McCoy is with me this morning. Bonita and I work together on Inspired Prompt. I asked her to come and share her new book, Twisted Plot with you today. Let’s get started!


Who is Bonita Y. McCoy?

Bonita Y. McCoy is a woman who is saved by grace and depends on God’s mercy every single day. She is a wife to a wonderful man and a mother of three grown sons and two daughters-in-law.


Love the picture! Bonita, who is your all-time favorite character? This can be one of your own or another author’s character.

That’s a hard question. There are so many good ones. I don’t have a favorite. I guess one would be Scrooge, another Elizabeth Bennett, and Rebecca in Ivanhoe.

All great characters. Now, please share what your latest book is about?

My latest book is a cozy mystery called Twisted Plots. It is published by Winged Publications. The tagline reads “Amy Kate Anderson is southern trouble in high heels.”

Unique cover! ❤ Let’s talk about your writing process.

Gosh, my writing process has been going through a lot of transformations over the years. When I first started, it took a while for me to get the characters and settings figured out. Now, my character sketches go much quicker and unless I’m working on a new series with a new location my settings don’t take as long either. 

I do character sketches, then move into the plotting of the story. I usually have a beginning scene in mind before I ever start the plotting and then I try to plot out 30 scenes. I write in scenes not chapters. I also try to know my theme for the story because that helps me stay on point and not chase as many rabbits. Once I have the 30 scenes, I start the actual writing, knowing that other scenes will come to light as I go along.

Character sketches are my favorite part of writing. What is your favorite marketing tip?

I have two marketing tips that I am putting into practice myself in 2020. One, you can’t do it all, so choose one aspect of marketing and learn to do it well, and two, actually do market your books. You must market in order to grow your readership and your business. I learned this the hard way.

I agree. Learn something well and do it. Moving on . . . What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Read as many of the books on writing as you can. When I asked the Lord in 2019 what I needed to focus on for my writing, He said craft. So, I started reading the books on the craft and boy did I learn a lot. Time well spent.

Studying the craft is very important. Do you choose a word or a scripture for each year or each story? If so, please share.

I go between these two. Some years I have a scripture. Some years I have a word or phrase, and some years I have both! This year I believe the word for me and my husband is streamline. We are streamlining several aspects of life.

I could use a little streamlining myself. LOL! Next question . . . Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have always written. When I was in Junior High School, I was on the journalism staff for two years. Then as a senior, I worked on the yearbook staff and at a part-time job doing ad layouts for a newspaper over Christmas. So, when it came time to choose a major, I picked journalism. It seemed a natural thing.

It always amazes me how we find our gifts. From where does your inspiration come for your stories?

All over! The weirdest things will spark a new thought or idea for a book. I have a box where I keep them all written down, so I’m never out of ideas.


Final question . . . I believe it’s important to encourage each other in our daily walk. Would you share a word of encouragement with our readers?

God knows you inside and out. Trust Him to lead you right where you need to be. If you are walking with Him, He will never leave you nor forsake you. God is a sure thing.

I agree, Bonita. Thank you so much for joining me. Reader, you can connect with Bonita by following the links below.

“I don’t have a favorite. I guess one would be Scrooge, another Elizabeth Bennett, and Rebecca in Ivanhoe.” ~ Bonita Y. McCoy via @GailJohnson87 #interview #writing

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About the Book

Amy Kate Anderson is Southern trouble in high heels.

A Fire—

A Murder—

What’s happened to her quiet little town of Pine Lake?

Book shop owner, Amy Kate Anderson, thought she was having the worse day ever … until they wheeled a body out of the coffee shop next door and her friend, Matt Murphy, co-owner of the Beans and Leaves, became the number one suspect for the DA.

Can Amy Kate find a way to help her friend and keep her dreams for her bookshop from going up in smoke? Or will the handsome Lieutenant Gabe Cooper have his way and leave Amy Kate fishing for clues among the ashes?

In this delightful whodunnit, the people of Pine Lake, Alabama, will welcome you with open arms to their small town, but be careful, mystery, murder, and Amy Kate’s trouble magnet lurk around each corner.

The Perfect Word

Catherine Drinker Bowen won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 1958. I’d say she found the right words. 🙂

Unable to find the right word can be frustrating. The more we write (and read), the better chance we have of finding the perfect word. Happy writing, friends!

How do you feel when you find the perfect word?

Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Unable to find the right word can be frustrating. The more we write (and read), the better chance we have of finding the perfect word. #writetip #amwriting @GailJohnson87