Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Dora Hiers

Good morning, dear reader! Today on Women of Faith and Fiction, we are talking with Dora Hiers. Dora and I met online through social media a couple of years ago. I treasure her friendship and look forward to meeting her in person one day. Good morning, Dora. Tell us a little about yourself.

Dora Hiers-author imageLet’s see. It takes a couple cups of extra strong, extra bold coffee in the mornings to rev my motor enough to crank out 1,000+ words on my story before lunch rolls around.  I’m married to a foodie fire chief. We’re eating our way through Charlotte and blogging about our experiences on Fiction Faith & Foodies. And he’s a seriously good cook, too! Smoked ribs, people. Need I say more? Lol.

And…earlier this year two sweet labs adopted us. Well, one is sweet, the other is not-so-sweet, but we still brought that roller derby wannabe home. Picture the little dude using his 100-pound sleeping brother as a launching pad to jump onto the couch. He’s so crazy, you can’t help but laugh.

Que and Bolder by Dora Hiers centerofhiswheel

I DON’T LIKE traffic, bad coffee, technological meltdowns, or a sad ending to a book or movie. That’s why my books always end with happily-ever-afters!

That’s it for me. I’d love to know more about you!

Dora, you are a gem. I love seeing your pics of Que and Bolder and following your food recommendations. Reader, if you are looking for a restaurant in the Charlotte area, be sure to check out Dora’s blog on Saturdays. Good food, people! Moving on to the next question. This month’s theme is thankful. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Well, you see those sweet darlings up there? Not sure what we were thinking adopting a not-even-close-to-being-potty-trained puppy in the throes of winter! Because Que suffered severe separation anxiety, I had to venture out in frigid temperatures and arctic blasts of wind and bucketloads of rain with two dogs every thirty minutes. And then, once back in the warm house, watch the little proceed to wet on the floor! I complained more about that than thanking God for these little sweethearts, and I’m quite sure they were probably inwardly grumbling about the crazy human who dashed outside all the time. Lol. As contrary as it seems, the Bible instructs us to “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT) Not just the joyful, happy events, but even during the painful seasons of our lives. I’m not gonna lie. It’s easy to say, not so easy to do.

I agree with you! I’ve done the potty training in the winter. Not fun. LOL. Now, life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it challenging to remain thankful? How did you overcome?

More than one occasion comes to mind, but the hardest and most challenging season was when we moved from Florida to North Carolina. Don’t get me wrong. We’d been praying about a move for over a decade, and God answered our prayer in a mighty way! NASCAR heaven for hubby, and a chance to work another fifteen years or so in a career he loves. Unfortunately, our youngest son wasn’t quite on board with the move and chose to stay in Florida until graduation. Ripped my heart out to lose 2 ½ years with him, years I’d never get back. On top of that, our oldest son who also stayed in Florida struggled through a real tough period.

Was I thankful? Most definitely not! Honestly, I recall blaming God for not answering our prayers sooner. Why, when we’d been praying for so long, had He waited until our son was in high school?

How did I overcome? Much, much prayer. Christian counseling. An understanding hubby. And choosing to focus on the good rather than the ugly.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. ~Philippians 4:8-9 The Message (MSG)

What was good about our son staying behind? Having family still in Florida to house and love on him. Having enough savings to provide for the additional needs, like a car to get him back and forth to school, and to pay for my/his monthly flights. The soul-deep realization that my heavenly Father had carried me through some pretty rough waters in the past and that I just needed to trust that His path held a higher purpose, one I might not ever understand in this lifetime.

Isn’t that God’s way with His children? Leading us to that realization, to that point of peace and acceptance? And now, dear friends, let me tell you how awesome our God is! Our youngest son actually chose to attend University of North Carolina for college AND because of our NC residency, we paid reduced in-state tuition rates! And our oldest son, his beloved wife, and our two precious grandkiddos live about five minutes from our home now. Wowza! Go, God!

I can so relate. My first born lives 8+ hours away. I miss seeing him daily. And yes, we serve an awesome God. Even though, Levi isn’t with me, I see the hand of the Lord in his life. So thankful for that. Tell us, in what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

I write Christian romance as Dora Hiers and mainstream romance as Tori Kayson, but you’ll find messages of grace and forgiveness and second chances sprinkled in all my stories. All my books are clean and wholesome, so no need to hide them from your kids or grandkiddos.

Dora, thank you for visiting with us and sharing more about yourself. You have a heart of gold, my friend.

Thank you so much for your gracious hospitality, Gail. I’ve enjoyed visiting with you and your friends!

Author Bio:

Journey's End by Dora HiersDora believes that a person should love what they do or choose to do something else. She’s doing exactly what makes her heart sing, and considers every day a gift. When she takes a break from cranking out heart racing, God-gracing romances, Dora adores reading, chowing down on her hubby’s lip-smacking home-smoked ribs, and sipping coffee on a mountain cabin deck. Life’s too short to be stuck in traffic, to drink bad coffee, or to read books with a sad ending. Dora and her real-life hero make their home in North Carolina, but with a world full of amazing places to explore, that’s only a landing point.

Come hang out with Dora on Fiction Faith & Foodies, TwitterFacebook, Pinterest and Instagram. She loves hearing from reader friends at DoraHiers@gmail.com. Dora also writes sweet romance that sizzles under the pen name, Tori Kayson.

 

Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Tamera Lynn Kraft

This morning I am happy to introduce you to friend and author, Tamera Kraft. Tamera is a wife, mother, children’s ministry consultant, and writer. Tamera, tell us a little about yourself.

ResurrectionOfHopeCoverArtI have always loved reading adventures. I love to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in my stories. I have received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and am a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest. My two novellas in print are A Christmas Promise and Resurrection of Hope. My first full length novel, Alice’s Notions, was released in April, and my next full length novel, Red Sky over America will be available February, 2018.

I’ve been married for 38 years to the love of my life, Rick, and have two married adult children and two grandchildren. I am also a children’s ministry consultant and revivalist and the founder of Revival Fire for Kids ministry. You can find out more about me and my books on my website at http://tameralynnkraft.net.Tamera Kraft

Congratulations on your marriage and your awards! And your new house is gorgeous. I know you are exciting about this coming year. Time for the next question. This month’s theme is self-control. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Wow, that’s a hard one. Self-control is not really controlled by our own selves. As Romans 7:19 says, ” For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” The only way any of us can control our speech, actions, and thoughts is by being God-controlled. That’s why it is part of the fruit of the Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit to guide my life, I am fooling myself to think I can control my own actions.

In my own life, I have noticed the closer I am to God, the easier it is to control my tongue and my unruly emotions.  That means I need to focus my mind on the things of God and yield myself to Him. As Romans 8:5 says, ” For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” So I don’t have self-control. I yield to God, and He has control.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. God-control is the key. Next question. Life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to have self-control? How did you overcome?

Only one? I’ve had many times where I’ve had difficulty with self-control. I would blurt out something I shouldn’t or eat that candy bar I shouldn’t eat. Yes, gluttony is a sin. In particular, I remember a season a long time ago where I was constantly falling into one particular sin. No matter how much I tried to control myself, I stumbled back in. The way I got through it was by being honest with God and surrendering to Him. He told me to make myself accountable to another sister in Christ. That was a humbling experience, but when I obeyed God and yielded, it wasn’t long before I was even tempted in that area.

We all have those seasons of diffictulty. Having a prayer partner makes a difference during those times! Now, in what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

AChristmasPromise_medI write Christian historical fiction. All of my historicals are set in American history. That’s an interesting question because I don’t know how to separate out my faith. My faith influences everything I do. It comes out organically in my stories. I was once asked if I will always write Christian fiction. I had to laugh because I don’t set out to write Christian fiction, but my faith is so much a part of my life, it turns out that way.

In Alice’s Notions, my current novel, Alice is a WW2 war widow going back home to a sleepy West Virginia town where she believes she’ll be safe. She finds out there’s nowhere we can hide and be safe. She relies on her faith in God to give her the courage she needs to face the struggles she’s faced with. It also deals with racism and anger when Alice finds out the European refugee she was sent to work at her shop is German. She is angry with all Germans for the death of her husband. She has to forgive and let this go before God can heal her grief.

In my novella, Resurrection of Hope, Vivian has lost everything including her hope. She finds hope again in the form of a friend of her dead fiancée who wants to marry her and take care of her. God weaves hope back in her life as she learns to love again in a marriage of convenience.

In my first novella, A Christmas Promise, Anna learns to trust God with her family’s safety. She and her husband are Moravian missionaries to the Lenape Indians in the Ohio frontier.

I agree.  As Christian writers, our faith should shine forth in our writing. I’ve read Alice’s Notions and recommend it to my readers! Tamera, thank you so much for taking the time to visit and sharing your heart with us.AlicesNotionsCoverArt

To learn more about Tamera visit:

http://tameralynnkraft.net

http://tameralynnkraft.com

http://facebook.com/tameralynnkraft

Alice’s Notions buying links:

Amazon

Desert Breeze Publishing

Barnes and Noble

Resurrection of Hope

A Christmas Promise

 

Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Harriet E. Michael

Good morning, dear reader! I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Harriet E. Michael. Harriet is a wife, mother, grandmother and writer. You can find out more about Harriet and her books on Facebook, Amazon Author Page, and her Blog.

Good morning, Harriet. Welcome! Please, tell us a little about yourself.

Harriet MichaelI was born in the jungles of Africa, the daughter of missionaries. I really was. My parents were missionaries to Nigeria, West Africa and I was born in the Niger River Delta in a little jungle village called Joinkrama. The place of my birth, at that time, had elephants roaming around, monkeys in the trees, crocodiles in the river, and cannibals nearby.

We moved to the city of Ogbomoso when I was three. It was in a part of the country that was not in the tropical rain forest, not in the jungle. I loved Ogbomoso, and all of my childhood memories are from there. I lived through a few years of war—the Biafran War that started in 1967 and lasted until 1970. My family left Nigeria in the summer of ’68 when our term ended, and we did not return. I missed my home so badly! My 5th grade year in the states was one of the unhappiest of my life. I just kept wanting to go home.

A couple of years later, we moved to WV where my dad started a medical practice. I adjusted and grew to love WV & the US. My senior year of high school I was a cheerleader, and my school’s football team won the AAA state championship—still one of the highlight moments of my life.

In ’79 I married John R. Michael to whom I am still married. We have shared many experiences, all of which are fodder for writing. One of the experiences we shared was a time when he served on the board of Trustees of Southern Seminary from 1984-1994. It was a very interesting time, and he had a significant role in some changes that occurred at the seminary then. And like I said, its fodder for writing and is, in fact, the subject of a book we have co-written and are currently seeking a publisher.

But I’m jumping the gun …

I began writing in 2009 and have found my passion in life. I think I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I write mostly nonfiction (both books and small pieces—articles, devotions, etc.) I do have one novel released last March. It is a fiction based on fact, based on the lives and love of my parents.

Today, I have a growing list of published credits (over 150 articles, devotions, stories in anthologies, etc.) and have authored or co-authored six books, three are published, and three are in the process. I am also contracted to co-writing another that will hopefully be released sometime next year.

Prayer It's not about youI am signed under the nonfiction arm of Write Integrity Press, called Pix-N-pens. They published my first book, Prayer: It’s Not About You, my co-writer’s first book, Study Guide of Prayer a companion to my book, and are in the process of publishing two more in our prayer series.

Shirley Crowder, my co-writer, is a childhood friend who used to live across the dirt road from me in Ogbomoso. We played together nearly every day. She teased once and said, “The pickings were slim as far as playmates went on that African mission compound back then.” That may have been true, but God used it to make us friends for life. 😊

Way to go, Harriet! As you know, this month’s theme is self-control. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit as listed in Galatian 5:22-23. It is also often spoken of in passages describing leadership. Certainly, it is a desirable practice to learn.

Well said! On to the next questions. Life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to have self-control? How did you overcome?

One of my struggles with self-control happens when I encounter opinions that differ from mine, especially strong opinions. I see this often on Facebook. I have friends on both sides of issues, whether political, social, or whatever. I too have my own strong opinions, but I have worked at controlling my urge to proclaim them loudly across Facebook, especially when it means blasting against someone else’s opinion. It seems to me that this usually only results in arguments.

I have a couple of friends in particular who come to my mind. I am sometimes saddened to see their often rude-sounding, ugly, criticism of political figures or positions they disagree with.  I think there is a difference between standing one’s ground (which I willingly do, but usually in person) and stirring up people to anger.

When I see these, I’ll admit that many rebuttals come into my mind, but I hold back and tell myself to “walk away.” Consequently, I have maintained my friendships with people whom I could easily have had many heated arguments. Some feel that the arguments are simply good debates, I hold to Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Those are definitely words to live by. Let’s talk writing. In what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

I am a nonfiction writer at heart, and almost all of my writing has been nonfiction, especially Biblical nonfiction. This is one reason, my childhood friend Shirley and I became co-writers in so many books, she too loves to write Biblical nonfiction—books and articles that focus on Bible passages or concepts.

Harriet Michael bookBut I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed writing my novel, The Whisper of the Palms. It has had a good reception, sold well, and I have readers asking for a sequel, so who knows? Maybe some future day, I will write another fiction.

I love nonfiction and fiction also! Harriet, thank you for taking the time to visit with us.

If you’re looking for a fiction or nonfiction book, be sure to add Harriet’s to your TBR list!

 

 

 

 

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