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    Katie Ganshert
    When God Moves

    Hey friends, I have the pleasure of introducing writer extraordinaire, Catherine West today! I’ve known Cathy for awhile now (she’s become a great friend) and I’ve read her work. Let me just tell you, this woman has some serious writing chops. She recently released a new novel, The Bridge of Faith (it’s getting some serious rave reviews) and she also recently signed a book deal with Harper Collins! Watching this woman’s dream come true has been nothing short of inspiring. Without further ado, here’s Cathy (her post may have made me blush a little, and get a little verklempt) …

    cathy

    I can’t remember the exact year I met Katie Ganshert because it seems like we’ve known each other forever. Looking back, we figure it was 2010. We were attending the ACFW conference in Indianapolis. I was without my regular conference buddy, Jenness Walker, that year, and I admit to feeling a little out of sorts. Sure, there were friends around, but it seemed like they were all busy, either volunteering or lunching and dining with agents and editors, and I … wasn’t. I had an agent, but things just weren’t happening in my publishing journey. I was discouraged.

    I knew Katie online, and I knew that we both had the enormous blessing of sharing the same agent, Rachelle Superwoman Gardner, but we hadn’t yet met in person. And when I first laid eyes on Katie, I was a wee bit intimidated.

    I mean, you’ve seen her right? This tall pretty blonde, young woman … I was all like, uh huh, yeah, no way are we going to be friends. Did I mention young? Seems like there were a lot of young blondes at conference that year. I think I made a mental note to go get highlights as soon as I got home. I’ve never regretted that. But I digress …

    So, since I really had no-one else to hang out with, I decided to be bold and approach the group Katie was hanging around. I knew a couple of them, and of course I was welcomed, joined in the conversation, and as soon as Katie said something, with a teeny tiny bit of sarcasm that immediately spoke to my soul, I knew we were going to bond.

    And bond we did.

    picture 1

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    The first picture is 2010, the second, 2013, the last ACFW conference we were both at. I missed last year, and I don’t know if I’ll see Katie this year in Dallas, but I sure hope so. I’m so blessed to have a friend like her, and I know many of you understand exactly what I mean.

    When God Moves …

    Those God-ordained friendships … there’s just something about them, right? God knows what we need when we need it, He also knows who we need, and seems to bring those people into our lives at just the right time.

    Katie’s been a huge encouragement and inspiration to me over the years. I was thrilled when she got her first contract with Waterbrook, and celebrated each time she released a book, and oh, my word, this chick can write. But, all that aside, it’s her steadfast faith that simply blows me away.

    Her journey these past two years – it has brought me to tears, brought me to my knees and brought more questions than I have answers for. In my own struggles, I’d stop and remember the Gansherts, and while we were on different paths, I had to believe, without doubt, that God was with us all. And He would have the victory. He always does.

    I remember the year Katie and I first talked about adoption. They’d made the prayerful decision to adopt their little girl from the Congo, and knowing I was adopted, I think she was picking my brain a little. So I told her my story. Honestly, because, that’s the only way to do it, and if you know me, you know I don’t sugarcoat. It’s not an easy story to tell, but it’s mine and I wouldn’t change it. Because God’s fingerprints are all over it. Just like they’re all over Katie’s. And her daughter’s.

    When God Moves …

    When God moves, we know.

    We’re stopped in our tracks, stripped of breath and powerless to do anything but stand in awe. Sometimes in tears. And then, in that Spirit-rush of feeling that floods the entire body, we realize we’re standing in the middle of a miracle.

    I’ve been there.

    In 2003, God gave me my sister. Circumstances being what they were, my birth mother’s rejection and her complete refusal to tell a soul I existed, we should never have met, let alone forged a relationship that would grow almost overnight. Twelve years on and it feels like we’ve known each other our whole lives.

    That, my friends, could only come from God.

    I shared that miracle with Katie, because I trusted her with it. Somehow I knew she needed to hear it. Little did I know, when we talked that day, just how much she’d need to believe in miracles like mine.

    “I want you to tell this story to my daughter one day,” she said, after I finished, both of us wiping tears. And I nodded.

    I’m going to hold her to that.

    When God moves, we know.

    We lift our hands in praise and remember where it all began. Remember that through all our shortcomings, lack of faith and desperate cries deep into the night, God was there. We know.

    He gives us miracles. Miracles we don’t deserve, but are so, so grateful for. He gives us the stories to tell.

    And so we share them.

    Has God moved in your life recently? Tell us about it!

    bridgeINSPY Award-winning author Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children.

    Catherine’s latest novel, Bridge of Faith, is now available on Amazon, and it’s on sale TODAY for only $0.99! She’s also having a Facebook party with some really fun giveaways!

     k

    Find Cathy Online:

    website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Pinterest | Google+ | Amazon

     

    Katie
    Comment Link 9 Comments

    You’re Far from Common

    I’m so excited to have Jessica Patch here on the ol’ bloggity-blog today. Do you know Jessica? If you don’t, you should! Not only is she an awesome person in general, her writing is ah-mazing!  So without further ado, here she is, folks …

    Jess color headshot

    Ever felt like you had no idea what your purpose was? Ever asked God, “What am I supposed to be doing in life?” You take a bird’s eye view of your life and you don’t see any way that God can use you. You read blogs and Facebook posts and instead of inspiring you, it’s depressing. People are reaching millions through their words, through mission trips, and the list goes on.

    And you?

    You live in a middle class neighborhood, with a middle class income, 2.5 kids (I never know what the .5 is for, but I’ve always wanted to use it so here it is), you have a pet that drives you crazy, and you drive a minivan.

    Typically, you run late for, well, everything. You might stay home to work or you might venture out to work. Your job is average. In fact, most days you don’t even want to be there. Your hair is in serious need of color or a cut. You’re still wearing clothes from five years ago and they’re too tight. While you long to be a Sephora kind of woman, you’re just a Cover Girl. You do the same thing day in and day out.

    You wouldn’t call your life beautiful. You’d call it…reality.

    I know you. I am you.

    My fictional character in Just the Way You Are knows you, too. Her name is Audrey. She has an unpretty past (unpretty is a word so let it go). She’s living her life. Day in. Day out. She has a lot of regrets and wishes she could be more like Sierra Bradley. Sierra, in Audrey’s eyes, is a Sephora woman. She owns her own business. Audrey still works for the same sisters she’s worked for since she was sixteen. She can’t afford her own business. Sierra can sing like an angel. Audrey won’t even let the shower head hear her for fear she’d never get a hot shower again. She wishes she could be like her best friend Eden, who is organized and always on time, who knows just what to say at the right time…

    Ever compared yourself to others? Wished you had someone else’s gift? Yeah. Me too.

    Audrey decides to be more like those people. She thinks it will help her become a better match for the single pastor who has his eye on her.

    But what Audrey doesn’t realize, and what you may not realize, is God made you unique. I know, we say that all the time until it becomes cliché, and we don’t even believe it.

    But it’s true.

    When He formed you He embedded interesting things into your DNA: The ability to sing and hear parts, to stay in the pocket and on perfect pitch along with the love for music. Maybe you have an amazing eye for color and you can walk into a room and envision beauty and warmth. You might be really great with words, poetic and beautiful. You might be athletic. You enjoy cooking and are excellent at it. You love to bake. You love children and are good with them. All you did in high school was babysit! All those seemingly common things. All those ordinary things…

    They’re beauty to God. Because He gave each one of those gifts to you. To make you who you are. To be used for His glory.

    Take that ability to make a cozy home and share it with others. Host a small group or Bible study. Go into a single mom’s home and help her create the same atmosphere for free! Using things you’ve found at garage sales or using what she has. When she comes home after an exhausting day, her home becomes her sanctuary and it gives her a measure of peace. A gift God gave you has now been used for His glory. A reminder every day for her that He loves her and has her in His hands.

    If you love to bake and cook. Host a progressive dinner to give your small group a fun night. Take your deliciousness to teachers, new moms, families who are grieving. Everyone knows fellowship over food is king! J Share your gift to bring joy into lives. Take a dish to your new neighbor. Bake a birthday cake for a mom who can’t bake but wants to do something special for her kids. Maybe she can’t even afford a cake. But you have the ability. Do it. It’s a beautiful thing.

    If you scrap book, start a local group and invite the one who cooks lol! She can bring dessert. Who knows what a stress reliever that will be to a mom how needs a night out. It’s fun. It’s ministry. And who knows what divine appointments await.

    Use what God gave you. No you might not be in Africa feeding tens of thousands of starving children. But you are pouring renewed hope into a frazzled mom.

    You might not be singing to a theater of people. But you’re touching a tired working woman who needs recharging for a week to come as you sing to a church body of 75 people.

    You might not have your own decorating show, reaching millions. But you are bringing some joy into the life of someone who needs to feel secure and safe.

    You might not be writing the best seller novel, but you’re touching hearts as you pen little notes of encouragement to the people in your community. A good word in due season is gold!

    Maybe like Audrey in my novella, you just need to see that God loves you and can use you, just the way you are.

    It’s a thing of beauty. You are beautiful. Your gifts…they aren’t common. They’re beautiful.

    “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23 HCSB

    “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 HCSB

    Just the Way You Are - High Resolution

    When Pastor Gabe asks Audrey Gilbraith to use her mad florist skills to help him design a prayer garden, she’s all in, especially since it helps take her mind off the fact she’s about to lose her job and her apartment. But working closely with Gabe and not falling for him is complicated. She’s not pastor’s wife material, and she has the past to prove it.

    Gabriel Brookson wants out of Audrey’s friend-zone, but when he pursues her romantically, he ruffles more than a few feathers in his congregation. How much is he willing to give up for this wonderful, quirky woman, and will Audrey accept him if he risks it all?

    Just the Way You Are is now available on Amazon for only $2.99!

    ~~~

    Jessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. When she’s not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her sneaking off to movies with her husband, watching way too much Netflix with her daughter, dominating her son at board games, and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she’ll probably never cook. Her debut novel with Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense will release in early 2016. She is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.

    Sign up for Jessica’s newsletter http://www.jessicarpatch.com/p/blog-page.html to receive books 3 & 4 for FREE! (Books will be sent to your inbox later this year!)

    Connect with Jessica on: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST (where you can take a peek at the cast of Just the Way You Are and get a peek into some fun scenes in the novella), or her WEBSITE.

    Check out her first book in the Seasons of Hope series, Hope Under Mistletoe on AMAZON. (Katie here. Seriously, do it. I loved this novella!)

    Katie
    Comment Link 2 Comments

    E-Book Sales, Y’All!

    instagram ebook sale

    My debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, is on sale for $1.99!

    Since this is the story that started my career as an author, it will forever and always hold a special place in my heart. I wrote it after spending an entire summer binge-reading craft books. I brought it to the very first writing conference I went to (ACFW in Denver, Colorado) and nervously pitched it to an agent and an editor–both of whom would become my agent and my editor.

    It’s the first story that went through the editing process at a real-live publishing house, growing me as author in a way craft books couldn’t. I got all verklempt when I saw the cover. Absolutely giddy when I held it in my hands in actual book form for the first time–tangible proof that this dream I dreamed for so long had come true.

    And then it went on to become a Christy Finalist and a Carol Award winner, two experiences that left me pinching myself.

    Never mind my affection for Evan Price. :-)

    All this to say, I’m very excited to share this with more readers! If you’re looking for a cheap book to sample, I hope you’ll consider Wildflowers from Winter. If you’re not sure, you can read some sample chapters. You can also enjoy some bonus features by clicking on the Wildflowers from Winter book page. Last I checked, it’s currently on sale for $1.99 on Amazon and CBD and should be soon on other retailers as well, wherever e-books are sold.

    Even better news? If you’re looking to load up your e-reader before the summer or before a Memorial Day weekend road trip, Wildflowers isn’t the only e-book on sale! My friends Hillary Manton Lodge, Joanne Bischof, and Lori Benton have books on sale, too!

    ebook sales four books

    Happy reading, friends! I hope Evan and Bethany’s story blesses you!

    Katie
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