Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review and Giveaway for "Because You Care"


by Cecil Murphey
and Twila Belk

I saw this book on a friend's FB page. "Because You Care: Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers" and wanted to find out more about it. I've been a caregiver all my life and I can use all the encouragement I can get. My mother had Rheumatoid Arthritis and I helped care for her as a child. I still take care of my adult disabled daughter as well as my dad for the ten years before he passed away. I think I have pretty good creditials as a caregiver.

 I wanted to know how the authors faced their life as caregivers. Twila Belk and Cec Murphey are the co-authors for this book. Both of these authors are prolific writers and speakers. How do they do it. How do they manage to keep thier own sanity and also have a productive life of thier own?  I hope to have an interview with Twila to add to this post. I'm sure she has a lot to add for other caregivers who are also trying to be writers.

This is a little book, but it packs a whollop. Stories of trials and faith from both Twila and Cec. There are beautiful and tranquil photographs by Betty Fletcher. This book would make a great gift to someone who has the job of being a caregiver to someone they love. It is also nice just to buy for yourself if you are the caregiver and need a little boost.

BACK COVER: As someone caring for an ill or elderly loved one, you understand that your role can push you to the limit, press on every nerve, and yet fill you with a deep sense of love and peace of mind.

Beloved authors Cecil Murphy and Twila Belk know this, too. Beautifully written and full of gentle wisdom, their personal stories of caregiving will help you face some of the ups and downs of your journey.

                                               Feeling guilty for doing too much, or nothing at all.
                                               Answering others well-meaning but insensitive questions.
                                               Watching someone you dearly love suffer or die.

Here the stories from those living the life. Let their encouraging words lift your heart.

From Cec and Twila
(excerpt from first page)
Others may call you brave. They'll use words like noble or sacrificial. They'll admire and applaud you because you've offered your life to make yourself available to someone who needs a long-term caregiver.
"I couldn't do what you're doing for him," a friend says.
You listen to the words your friend speaks, and you like hearing the compiments. Yet as you listen and smile, you don't see yourself as exceptional. You're doing the right thing for someone you love, and that gives you peace. You also know the reason you've devoted your energies to another person.
You can express that reason in a single sentence: "I do it because I care." You might say it's because you love the person, or you may do it because of a strong sense of commitment to God and to your loved one. egardless of how you express yourself, you're determinded to give yourself as fully as you can.
Some days you may not feel like loving anyone. You get tired, lose your temper, or think of the things you didn't accomplish. During the worst times, you wish the situation would change. And in those dark moments, you've probably prayed, Dear Lord, please take this burden from me.
The situation probably won't change for a long time - perhaps years. It's not the kind of life you would have imagined. You probably  envisioned living out your years in blissful peace. Caring for your loved one wasn't part of your dream, but this is the life you have. Despite the moments of sadness, perhaps even regret, your answer remains the same: "I care."
1. Be a follower or become a follower. Please leave your email address so I can contact you.
2. Sign up to recieve my blog posts by email. (these are only a couple a month and usually giveaways you don't want to miss)
3. Let me know if you are a caregiver or if you know someone who is a long term caregiver. What is something you do to cope?
4. The giveaway ends April  30, 2012.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Interview and Giveaway for "Deer Run"



The year is 1790

The American Revolution has long been over, but the wounds of batter still linger in the hearts and minds of many.

A verteran Continental soldier still awaits the return of his missing father, years after the last battle. Haunted by the painful memories of war and scarred from betrayal in love, the young man turns away from faith. The only hope he clings to is that perhaps his father still lives.

Then he discovers his hope is shared by a young woman, who understands loss and the longing for a father. As they encounter this unexpected connnection, their hearts become drawn together. But jealously, slander, and misunderstandings ignite a fire of doubt and mistrust - distroying their relationship.

Can two souls longing for healing and trust, love again? Can faith - and a family - be restored?

Elaine Cooper is an award-winning author currently living in the Midwest. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for her three-part Deer Run Saga that takes place during the period of the American Revolution. The novel is the second in the series. Elaine is a registered nurse and has been a magazine freelance writer for many years.
Interview with Elaine

1. Tell us a little about yourself. I am a wife, mom of two grown sons, and grammie to two-year-old triplets. I am a registered nurse but I now work fulltime at writing. My writing career started in freelance work for newspapers, then as a magazine freelancer. My life is more
hectic now than it has ever been, but I LOVE writing! I am also quite addicted
to tea and coffee. J
Tell us
about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on. “The Promise of
Deer Run,” was released in 2011 and I was so honored to have this novel win the
Romance Category at the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival. I praise God for His
goodness and grace in my writing. This novel is set in 1790 in Western
Massachusetts, and focuses on a young veteran from the American Revolution. He
suffers from, what we now know to be, posttraumatic stress. It is a story about
healing, forgiveness, commitment, and love in the midst of life’s harshest
Why did
you choose this particular genre? I love the history of our country.
Growing up in Massachusetts, I was surrounded by the history of the American
Revolution and just immersed myself in it. Finding out that one of my ancestors
fought in that war—as an enemy soldier from England—prompted the plot for my
first novel, “The Road to Deer Run.” It quickly grew into a three book family
What was
your journey to publication like? When “The Road to Deer Run” was ready to
be sent to an editor, the publishing industry was in a huge spiral downward.
Undaunted by the discouraging news, I opted for self-publishing my first two
books without ever sending in a query to any traditional publisher. My third
book was contracted by Sword of the Spirit Publishing and will be released by
this summer.
What is a
couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now? Right now I am
reading “Map Quilt” by Lisa Lickel, which is a cozy mystery with a touch of
historical drama in the plot. I am loving it! It will be released later in
April. I have lots of favorite books. Of course “The Bible” is THE favorite in
my collection. I love the historical fiction genre: “The Chamomile” by Susan
Craft, and “Daughter of Liberty” and “Native Son” by J.M. Hochstetler are some
of my favorites. I also like contemporary romances, especially by Karen
Kingsbury. But I am one of the strange readers that also likes non-fiction
biographies. What can be more interesting than the true tale of someone’s life?
I read Bob Dole’s biography as research for “The Promise of Deer Run” and was
completely caught up in his amazing story of surviving his injuries from WWII.
What are
you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it? I just
finished Book Three in my saga, called “The Legacy of Deer Run.” It is set in
1800 in Western Massachusetts and involves political intrigue, class struggle,
terrorism at the Springfield Armory, and of course, plenty of romance at the
core of the story. As always in these novels, the themes of faith and
forgiveness flow through the chapters as well.
advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?
Pray! Learn the craft from other writers, but don’t be so overwhelmed by
someone else’s style that you lose your own writer’s voice. Each author has a story
to tell. While there are certain guidelines that are necessary to learn, don’t
get so caught up in technique that you lose a really great story.
Do you
have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you
could share with us? One of the most helpful authors that I know is Cec
Murphy. He gives the most practical, worthwhile advice of almost anyone. Here
is his website:
Is there
anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered? I have to say that the
biggest influence in my writing has been the death of my daughter from a brain
tumor eight years ago. It was on the fourth anniversary of her passing away
that I felt inspired to begin my first book. I was driven in a way unlike
anything I have ever experienced before. I know that the Lord used my writing
to help me heal from this loss, which still grieves my heart every day. My
first book is dedicated to my daughter, Bethany.
let us know where we can find you on the web. You can friend me on Facebook
And I have two
I also write a
blog every Friday at,
every second Wednesday at,
and the first of every month at
No wonder I drink
so much caffeine! J
Thank you so much for being with us Elaine. What an interview!
To enter for a copy of "Deer Run" please:
1. Let me know if you are an old follower or a new follower.
2. Sign up to follow my blog by email.
3. Have you ever read a book set during the Revolutionary War?
4. Leave an email so I can contact you if you win.
5. Contest ends 4/20/12.