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Big Thank You to Sisters

I would like to take time on this blog to give a big thank you to my sister who recently took it upon herself to become my public relations person.

She’s already my cover maker and accounting person, for which I am so grateful, because right now it is virtually a non-paying position. By the records she has set in place, you would think I was a top rank author!! Everything so professional and precise.

She just finished my new website on WordPress. I am a technologically illiterate person, so I’ve no idea how she did it, but take a look at it. I think it is great. She gave me a page just for blogs, one for my books and one for introducing me to the world. She, of course, being a perfectionist says it needs more work and keeps searching for better ways.

I thank God she is my sister sibling and my sister in the Lord and that she is using her God-given talent in this way. She also says, give praise to God, since her field is accounting and she has no training in web tech.

I have to give credit where it is due. I know she trusts God, but I also know how very intelligent she is and computer skills come naturally to her. Yes, it is hit and miss learning but she keeps at it until she gets what she wants.

Me? I don’t have a clue where to start except for writing. I’m so afraid of bombing the computer files, I freeze up. Sis says, you can always delete and start over!! Her analytical mind.

Just thought I would share one of my blessings.

It’s a New Year to Praise the Lord

The other day we were talking about the 2000 panic and I can hardly believe that has been thirteen years ago.

It reminds me of many things in our lives, some of which cause such distress leading up to an incident or event and then it becomes the past and we wonder how we got through it but we did.

I try to use the Y2K event when thinking about people who seem to have no hope that there is a better tomorrow. People who may decide what they are facing will never change, will never get better, would do well to count the times in their lives that seemed to be overwhelming for them to get through and how many of those events are now in the past and they did get through.

Many times I think back to school and the anxiety of completing a project or taking a test or having to meet new people. At the time I could see no solution, no good outcome but looking back, after decades, at all the things I came out of on the other side, I see how trivial those times were in the scheme of eternity.

I look at the growing rate of suicides and I mourn and I pray that those in depression would listen to the voice of God. That there will be a time when they will be able to take charge of their circumstances. They will be in control but they need to realize that there is a light on the other side of what they are facing now, and God has a plan for each person if they will listen.

The Word says to Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. The more we commune with God the more we can realize that our desires should be unto Him. That’s where the peace, the contentment, the joy and the bubbling up of Praise for our heavenly Father begins.

The more we follow after God’s plan, the more we praise Him for His everyday goodness, the closer we become a part of Him, the more we will realize this world is not our home, we are just passing through. If we know Christ as our Saviour, our confidant, our friend the more we will realize we have an exciting eternity when we are called home…on God’s schedule, not ours.

So while I’m here I will serve Him and praise Him gladly and look forward with joy, as Paul did, to the time when I finish my course and I receive what God has prepared for those that love Him, those redeemed by Christ Jesus.

I Can Relate

Seeing the tremendous effects of the storm Sandy brought back memories of 2008 Arkansas floods. Gratefully, by God’s great hand we didn’t lose our house. The interior and all our things were mostly destroyed, then when the second one hit a month later, all our things we had out to dry went down river. It was a devastating time but with God’s help and many caring people we came out on the other side.

I would like to encourage any of the flood victims to hang on. It may look impossible right now to recover but slowly and surely things will get back to normal. It took over two years, but we have our house back in order.

Actually much of the stuff we lost I can’t even remember now, but there are some keepsakes, photos and memories that I think about every once in a while. Then I just praise God we lost no life (we were rescued just hours before our house was under seven feet of water in a very miraculous way).

My mother is totally disabled and many times it comes to me about how blessed we were to have God send someone to us. We didn’t realize the magnitude of what was going to happen, and I truly do not know how we could have gotten my mom to safety under seven feet of water. Every time I think  of it, I praise the Lord for His deliverance.

We are praying for those who believe they have lost everything but are blessed with life to start over and also for those who lost loved ones, that God would give the peace and comfort He promises. It is a promise put to test in my life and I found it to be fulfilled to the uttermost.

Not Since August?

I can’t believe I haven’t updated since August. The new book, The Pathway Home has been edited, critiqued, rewritten and over again but I think it is ready to go public.

Hopefully by the first week in October it will be available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords and in print by Amazon’s CreateSpace.

I would like to thank all my readers who have purchased my work and hopefull enjoyed! My series, Norma Jean’s Mysteries is doing very well. My romances have been slow but I am still thankful, I am honored that readers have taken the time to check out my books. Please help me pray that The Pathway Home will be tremendously successful.

I have been reading the blogs I follow or that follow me but haven’t had much time to respond. There is such a diverse bunch of talent out there, it amazes me! God Bless you all.

Wanting to Update but not Much Time Right Now

I am working hard on my next book, A Pathway Home, so I am a little pressed for time. I do want to keep in touch though so here goes.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

That is one of my favorite scriptures yet to wait is one of the hardest things for me to do. Even as a kid and now as an adult, once I am ready to go, I want to head out, not wait around. With my Dad I would be dressed and ready when he said we were going somewhere and then I would find out he had to shower and dress before we were really going—after tellling us to get ready. To this day if I get ready early, I pace the floor or go way early to wherever it is I am going.

But waiting on the Lord to move upon my books is very hard. I know He has a time and place for the sales to gain momentum and has whispered to me several times, “First it will be hundreds, then thousands and then tens of thousands” BUT He did not give me a time table!!! Waiting is not easy when a lot of hard work has gone into doing a good job with my writing. I have several hundred devoted readers, but I know that it will take more than that to have the “pressed down, shaken together and running over” to supply the need while I continue to care for my Mom 24/7. THEN I realize how much God has brought me through and how merciful He has been, how He has made a way when there seemed no financial way to make ends meet and I have to quote the word.

Praise the Lord for His mercy endures forever. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Teach me Lord to wait.

A New Place to Find My Books

If you have a Nook reader I would like to let you all know that I am putting my work on Barnes&Noble Nook Books. I have three available right now and I am working on getting the others entered. I am praying with the books on different venues they may reach more readers.

I am close to having A Pathway Home complete. I am going to put it through my critique sisters of the Red Ink Society before releasing it to the public.

This book is new for me with men as main characters but I believe it has a lot to say about the effects of war and the soldiers who came home from the win-less Vietnam conflict. I have to say, to me they were the most unappreciated of all the troops, and for no fault of their own. They went to war because their country called and they fought just like in WW I , WWII and Korea (also a win-less war) yet there was no fan-fare for them. We didn’t win. The disabling and amnesia part of the story for me is a parable to the soldiers who fought in Vietnam.

I tend to tell a story very simply and don’t go very deep but I am hoping this goes deep enough to be thought-provoking. I love to write, love to tell a story but this proofing and checking is the part of writing I find exasperating. However when God gives the gift and says to write we should try our best to get out a good product to the readers.

Got to get back to the work of writing. I’ll keep you updated on my successes or failures as I keep on keeping on.

Can My Followers Spread the Word?

I now have six books available on http://www.amazon.com/author/joannsnapp and I am working on three more. Another Norma Jean’s Mystery, a contemporary romance and one that is new for me, a story about a Vietnam vet severely disfigured with amnesia who has returned to the US after years in Cambodia. Set in 1980 before DNA, Toi Gheh is trying to find out his identity with the help of a friend he meets at the VA hospital in Los Angeles. Pray that I do a good job on that one!!

I would appreciate any help you could give me to promote my work. I know people who have read my work find it interesting, good storytelling.

As I have spent the last seven years taking care of my Mom 24/7 it has drained my savings and retirement. I promised Mom years ago after her first stroke, that as long as I was able she’d never be put in a rest home. God is helping me and my sister(works part-time) to keep that promise. I normally do not make my personal life so open, but God says to make needs known so….

My mom is getting to the point it is very difficult for my sister and me to lift her in and out of the car. I would love to get her a handicapped van so we could get her out more often. She does so love to get out even if it is just for doctor check-ups, which used to mean going out to eat!

I know that all my life is in God’s control. I never intended to retire early but it has allowed me to pursue what He has always whispered to me and that is to write. Now that I am officially retired it has helped somewhat financially, thank God, however with using up all my 401K, not able to work outside the last seven years AND medicare doesn’t pay family to be a caregivers, it’s been challenging. God has supplied all our needs even through two floods with no income, so I know He has the way and means to supply what we need.

I do feel that writing is the avenue God has opened up to supply what we need. I’ve worked hard all my life since I was fourteen so I would not ask for hand-outs. I do believe God has given me a product that people can buy and enjoy.

My work is clean and interesting according to my readers so if you know anyone that likes to read clean stories, please direct them to my site on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/author/joannsnapp     Thank you so much and God bless all of you.

To Say Thank You to My Readers

I’d like to thank everyone who purchased and read my books. I’m writing this to let you all know I have a sale on right now for the first in the four book Norma Jean’s Mystery series (more to come) : Herpel Holler Homecoming (ebook format) $1.99 for a limited time. http://www.amazon.com/author/joannsnapp
I want to share one of the stories within the book to give you a flavor for the area and the characters (please read on)
Norma Jean’s First Day Home
There seemed to be something very stable about the land. Not like in the city where you changed jobs or homes or both every few years. And I couldn’t help but think back on my career as chaotic. Even though at the time there seemed to be no other way to go. I had to be there for everything to function. That began to change when Daddy died and my mind began to evaluate what I was really accomplishing with my life.

“Wanna take a walk down to Aunt Ida’s before dark?” Jason questioned.

“That would be nice.” We hoofed it down the road and into what could only be called a country cul-de-sac. The post office and little store used to be located there along with a few houses.

My Great Aunt Ida lived in the same old house she’d been born in above Rocky Bayou creek. She was quite a bit older than Daddy, but how much older she kept hidden with her being so spry.

When we reached the rickety porch, Jason and I found Mr. Landers sitting with Aunt Ida. Mr. Landers served as postmaster in Herpel before all the mail operations moved to Mountain View, and he also ran the small store in the same building, both closed for years now.

“Norma Jean Clark, I do declare.” Mr. Landers, by tradition, called me by my family name, not Evett “Never did see a girl loved Kits candies as much as you. Banana and peanut butter weren’t it?”

“That was it, Mr. Landers.” I came up on the porch and hugged Aunt Ida first then Mr. Landers. I sat down in one of the open chairs. It was always expected in the holler for a person to have more than a few chairs on their porch in case visitors came calling.

“Norma, how long you stayin’ this time, honey?” Aunt Ida didn’t look any older than two years ago at Daddy’s funeral.

“I’m here to stay, Aunt Ida.” I still felt good about saying the words.

“But the land? You got someone wants to buy it.” Mr. Landers’ eyes widened.

“It’s not for sale any longer, so I guess he’ll have to look elsewhere.” I knew there probably wasn’t a person in the holler that didn’t know about the pending sale, and by tomorrow they’d know about the withdrawal.

“I’m mighty glad to hear that, Norma Jean.” Aunt Ida wiped tears from her eyes. “Not much folks left that wants to hold to the land. Most everyone in the east holler has sold out.”

“Can’t make people stay what don’t want to stay.” Mr. Landers sniffed.

“Most of the land ain’t good for nothing but raising cattle, but Norma Jean has a prime piece of land for growin’ crops along with it on her five hundred acres.” Jason sat on the step.

“You and Danny sure made a go of it for a lot of years, that’s a fact.” Aunt Ida nodded to Jason. “Don’t believe my nephew would of sold like some of the old timers, if he was still around.”

“Daddy wouldn’t have survived as long as he did if he’d been off the farm.” I heard my Daddy say that many times, so I knew it to be true.

We chatted for sometime about this and that as twilight set in across the bluffs.
“Is Grandma Grady still living?” She had been the last time I came down. She wasn’t anyone’s granny that we knew, but we all called her Grandma.

“Died this winter.” Mr. Landers bowed his head. “God rest her soul. I won’t be gettin’ her dentures anymore.”

“Her dentures?”

“Yeah. Guess won’t hurt to tell now that Granny and Bart are gone?” Mr. Landers suddenly laughed. “Yeah, it started when I run the store. She’d get that government check and her son would come home just long enough to wipe her out of money, and he’d take off again. Well, she only owned one thing she held as highly valuable and that was her false teeth.”

“Oh my goodness! She sold them to you?” I knew I was back home when the old tales started.

“No, oh no. But I sometimes took things in. Like pawn shops don’t you know.”

Mr. Landers went on. “Well, Grandma Grady would need stuff before her next check and she’d bring her prize possession in and pawn those teeth for money to get by on until she got another check. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had no use for them teeth, but I give her a few dollars to tide her over. Wouldn’t take any charity don’t you know.”

“How’d she eat till she got em back?” Jason got caught up in the tale.

“Guess she gummed her food but first of the month she always redeemed the teeth, and about the middle of the month I got ‘em back.” Mr. Landers chuckled.

“What a story.” I didn’t know whether to believe Landers or not.

“That’s just the half of it.” Landers sat back in the rocker but didn’t continue.

“What’s the other half?” Jason was hooked.

Mr. Landers leaned forward. He knew he had a captive audience. “Bart found out from someone about the teeth. You remember old Bart? Well the happen stance that brought him and Grandma Grady together was connected. Bart, if you recall, had no teeth. When he found out that I had the pawned ones, he asked to buy ‘em. I of course told him no. I said, Miss Grady will be back to get ‘em at the beginning of every month. Bart insisted he’d bring ‘em back at the first of the month and argued they wasn’t doin’ nobody any good sittin’ around. Grandma Grady didn’t have to know and he’d pay me for the use of ‘em to pay off Miss Grady’s bill.”

“Oh, don’t tell me!” I closed my eyes.

“Well, I did it, and Bart was so appreciative. He could finally eat some of the stuff he’d so longed for, at least for half a month. Then he’d bring ‘em back first of the month all clean and back in the jar.” Mr. Landers ended.

“You’re just makin’ up.” Jason sat back down on the step.

“No, no I’m not.” Mr. Landers was adamant. “Every month just like clockwork until Bart proposed to Granny and the teeth stayed in the family.”

“That’s too crazy to be true, Mr. Landers!” I was laughing my head off.

“True, it’s true.” Mr. Landers looked to Aunt Ida. “Ain’t it true, Ida? After Bart died and I’d closed the store she brung those teeth back to me again, and I just give her a few dollars, held ‘em for her and then redeemed ‘em at first of the month.”

“Aunt Ida?” I was flabbergasted.

“We all knew but weren’t no one goin’ to say anything to embarrass Miss Grady.” Aunt Ida nodded and took my hand. “She was a proud woman and wouldn’t want no one to know she was bartering’ her teeth to make up for a lazy bum of a son.”

“She wasn’t cold before Mel Grady sold off her house and land to some man he met in Missouri.” Jason added to the conversation. “I know that for a fact. Some people built a vacation cabin on the land after they demolished her house.”

“I guess we better get on back to the farm.” I stood up and stretched. After that story I truly knew I was home. I reached and kissed Aunt Ida’s soft cheek. “I’ll be back to see you tomorrow.”
**Hope you get a chance to buy some of my work and that you enjoy!  God Bless you all.

The Battle of Good and Evil in the Writing World

I held off on publishing my short story e-book Three Tales to Tingle the Spine debating over whether the three stories were worthwhile to publish, but I have decided to publish them. The reason? The stories are about supernatural occurances that I hadn’t really thought about until they happened to me.

I’m a Christian (if you haven’t picked up on that with my blogs) so I am well aware that there are all kinds of spirits in the world, some I don’t understand how they interact with God’s plan. I know the things in the stories (even though fictionalized to keep anonymous the people involved) were from real occurances. I thought, why not bring up the fact that there is good and evil? We who know the scriptures are well aware of Satan, the demons and angels of darkness that roam the earth. We don’t have to be drawn into the traps of the evil supernatural but neither should we deny they exist. I want to stay clear away from any activity that is not Godly but as a Christian in partnership with God against evil, staying out of supernatural things is not really possible. With the Spirit of God and the blood of Jesus the one thing I don’t fear is anything evil because we know directly God’s almighty power to overcome sin. We are saved from the darkness by Jesus. The Bible and personal experience let me know Jesus is the light that dispels the darkness of evil and gives peace that passes all understanding and lights the pathway I walk.

If you decide to read the stories you will see the supernatural can be fearful at times but will never overcome the blood of Jesus Christ.

Thank God We Didn’t Flood

We live in a place where it may not rain for a long time and then it rains so much that the White River comes over its banks and floods people out. Thank God the latest rains got close but didn’t flood. If you follow my blog you know we were flooded out in 2008 twice, had to be rescued and lost most everything.

With the help of a lot of wonderful people we have the house raised ten feet and after four years this month, we have the house back in order. If I look for facts as how we did it financially I don’t know how but we did.

They say hind sight is 20/20 and if we had known or been more diligent on researching the area, we may not have moved here, but I believe this is the place we should be for now and if we had known we may not have come. Although I don’t like the threat of the White River, you couldn’t find a more beautiful place.

The most important thing I learned from all of this is trust. I always thought I trusted God, depended on Him but I realized through this that I had a lot of self-dependence. Not to brag, but I’d always been the giver and to be on the accepting side was hard and it is a humbling experience. I learned we can do nothing without God.

Trust comes when we realize we have no power without Christ. When we come to the end of what we can do and all we can do is curl up in the Father’s arms and depend on Jesus to meet our needs.

Some people believe that they are in control of life. They say they are successful by their own merits and don’t need a religious crutch. I pray for people who think they stand in their own power. When they meet the timeline of life they cannot control their end no matter how hard they try. No matter how successful and powerful a person is death gets us all. Tomorrow is not a promise here. That’s why salvation in Jesus Christ is so important.

We all have gifts and we can use them for good or evil. God rains on the just and the unjust so success can be to believers or unbelievers. True success however is not measured in material wealth but in how we have lived the life God has given us, what we have accomplished with peace and joy in our soul.

God does not want us to be failures. Success with Christ at the center is success for eternity.