Heather Greer

Stories of faith, life, and love

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Don’t Miss This Chance

In honor of Book Lover’s Day on August 9th, I’m participating in the Summer Book Lover’s Day promotion from Celebrate Lit. I don’t want my readers to miss the chance to enter the giveaway, because one person will win a $350.00 Amazon gift card and one will win a collection of 45 books! Below you’ll find a picture of the books included in the collection and the link to enter the contest. Good Luck and Happy Reading!

https://promosimple.com/ps/fd40/summer-book-lover-s-day-multi-author-promo

Just Passing Time

I’ll admit it. I like to play games. Monopoly, Clue, Catan. It doesn’t matter. And it isn’t just board games. Those I can only play with friends or family. I loved playing the Legend of Zelda games and Mario Kart with my kids when they were little. When I bought them Webkinz, I usually bought myself one too. Not only did they feed my love of stuffed animals, they allowed me to play games with them on the computer.

And now that we have phones and tablets with us wherever we go, I have games at my finger tips. This is great when I’m waiting for the doctor, but not so great when I have things I need to do at home. I used to have several games loaded on my phone, but in recent years I’ve limited myself to one. I play Farmville 2. It doesn’t take any thought, and it allows me to interact with other players. It’s perfect for when I’m bored and want something that doesn’t take any energy to do.

But it’s a hazard when it comes to getting work done. It’s not that it’s this super fun, can’t ignore it game. It’s not a challenge. It doesn’t bring some big reward into my life for completing it. It’s not giving me a way to connect with my loved ones like a board game does. There’s nothing special about it, but it draws me to it every time.

It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but left unchecked it can suck away great chunks of time I could and should be using to do other things. I work a full-time job. In addition to that, I write. My writing includes actual writing, blogging, making videos, reading books on craft, interacting on social media, and creating marketing graphics and promotions. It’s a full time job on top of my full time job! I don’t have time to waste.

But there have been times I’ve done exactly that. I’ll be waiting for something to upload, and I pull out my phone while I wait. I tell myself it will be a quick check of the farm, and I’ll be back to work before the upload is complete. Wrong. Ten minutes after the video or whatever has loaded, I’m still planting corn and feeding my sheep. It’s time I’ve wasted that I’m not getting back.

I think, it’s only two more minutes until the new market comes up and I can try to get that lantern I need. What’s two minutes going to hurt? Before I know it, twenty minutes have passed. I never feel like it’s going to be that long, but then it is. I’ve wasted valuable time, and I never saw it coming.

We’re like that in our spiritual lives as well. We know what we should be doing and what we should avoid. But we make little compromises we justify as harmless and start down a path we didn’t intend to take.

We know lying is wrong. Something happens and we omit a detail or two as we explain it. Or maybe we simply exaggerate it for effect. We’ve not lied, really. But then someone questions us about it, and we go a step further. It’s not hurting anyone, and it keeps us out of trouble or keeps us from hurting someone else’s feelings. That makes it okay. Soon, we’re backed into a corner where it’s either lie big or face the music. Each little step along the way has prepped us to follow through with the lie we never thought we’d tell. We’re at sin’s door before we even realize we’ve been walking that direction.

And it’s not only lying. The enemy knows what he’s doing. He knows to hit us in the face with blatant temptation to sin isn’t going to work a lot of the time. But if he can ease us along the path, he has a chance at getting us to fall.

We have to be on guard. We have to watch for the little things and not only the big ones. First Peter 5:8 instructs us to be vigilant about watching out for sin. Our enemy is seeking to devour us. We have to stop seeing the compromises as little and unimportant. They’re the first steps to a big fall.

In my writing life, wasting time with a game isn’t usually a huge problem. I simply have to try harder to make the time up later. It’s an inconvenience that I create. But with the compromises in life, it’s not the same. There’s no making up for the sin we commit. There’s forgiveness, always. But the lasting result of sin is damage done to ourselves, our witness, and our relationship with God. And it starts with one little step when we’re not watching for it.

What activities are time wasters for you?

What I’m Reading: London Tides

Sometimes our past choices leave us wishing we could do it all over again. Maybe it’s the way we treated someone when we were young and impulsive. Or it could have been a chance we didn’t take because of fear. It might even be a path we took against our better judgment that causes us to wonder what life would have looked like had we listened more to those who warned us to go in a different direction.

Even if we don’t wallow in regret, I think we all face those “what if” thoughts on occasion. Second chances don’t come along for every situation, but sometimes life brings us back around to familiar places and faces. This can be a second chance to get it right, or it can be what tempts us back into old patterns.

Grace Brennan, the main character in Carla Laureano’s London Tides, finds this out the hard way. Years ago she walked out on the man she loved to prove herself as a photojournalist. In honor of her brother, she wanted to change the world through showing the devastation and need of people in high conflict areas. And she succeeded, until she was faced with one loss too many.

Knowing she can’t face the horrors any more, she seeks out the one place and person that feels like home, London and Ian MacDonald. She knows it’s a long shot. Ian gave up his Olympic dreams to make a life with her, a life she rejected without reason or warning. But she has to try.

Ian knows there are things Grace isn’t telling him, but he’s drawn to the woman he never stopped loving despite the risks. He gives Grace a second chance, but he’s also forced to deal with his own choices from the past. He stopped living after she left him, and he’s never really started again. Until her return.

Grace has returned to faith, and she’s determined this time with Ian will be different. Neither let faith enter into their relationship decisions in their previous time together, and they ended up going places they shouldn’t have. Grace is also aware some of her coping mechanisms out in the field were not healthy, and she has decided to leave all of that behind. She is a different person now, and she won’t do the things she’s done before.

When a deep tragedy occurs, Grace falls into old patterns. Has she really changed at all? Is her faith real or just something she’s pretending? Can she be a new person with the weight of the past she’s refused to deal with clinging to her? If she can’t, is there any hope for her and Ian to have a future? She’s been given a second chance, but is it only going to end like it did the first time?

As I read about the sinful choices Grace fell back on, I was tempted to be disappointed with her. But God reminded me of the times I’ve also resorted to old behaviors. While they may not have been the same struggles, they were just as wrong.

Second chances are tricky, for Grace and for us. London Tides reminded me of that. It also reminded me how thankful I am that there’s no limit to God’s forgiveness when I fail to be the new me and fall back into the behaviors of the old me.

Have you ever gotten a second chance? Did it turn out the way you expected?

My Summer Vacation?

I think it’s safe to say, this summer has not gone as anyone expected. I usually spend a lot of my summer growing as an author through writing conferences. This year, I was looking forward to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. While it is an amazing conference experience, it is also where I was to find out if Grasping Hope won the Selah Award in the Contemporary Women’s category. The conference was moved to November. I’m praying it gets to happen.

I also planned to attend other conferences. They were cancelled. I did, however, get to “attend” a couple virtual conferences. The Kentucky Christian Writers Conference did an amazing job presenting a virtual conference. I’ll be putting this conference on my list from now on. So, while they were different than I expected, I did get the chance to learn and grow as a writer this summer.

A new experience I’m enjoying is working with a speaking coach. I’ve directed a youth camp for years, as well as teaching Sunday school for various age groups. I’m not a stranger to creating and presenting lessons, but I want to move beyond the informal speaking I’m used to doing. Just as in my writing, I want to make sure I’m a strong speaker before I dive into the world of women’s conferences and other more formal speaking events. It’s a lot of homework, but I like it!

Working in a doctor’s office as a receptionist for my full time job, I found out I was essential during all this Covid stuff. I used to think essential was good. I’m rethinking that belief! Changes happen on a daily basis, and the work day leaves me drained when I finally get home each evening. That’s part of the reason I haven’t been as consistent as I usually am. I’m working to correct that. Please be patient with me.

I launched the third and final book in my Faith, Hope, and Love series in July. I’ve loved telling Katie’s story, but I’m excited about the next one I get to tell. If you haven’t checked out Relentless Love, you can find it here. https://www.amazon.com/Heather-Greer/dp/1649170076/

Whether I could actually have a vacation or not this summer, I’ve kept busy. What about you? What adventures have you had this summer?

What I’m Reading: The Enlightenment of Bees

I’m usually a straight up Christian fiction girl. I’ll throw in an occasional clean read or inspirational read, but I want to choose it for myself. I like to read Christian fiction, because I want to be encouraged in my faith. I want to be challenged to grow closer to God as I read. I want to read about people who, while living very different lives from me, are making choices based on the Biblical worldview I hold.

When I saw The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden on the shelf at a local used book store, I was instantly drawn to it. The title alone is enough to peak interest. With equally interesting back cover copy and a Christian publisher, I went ahead and added the book to my stack.

I was a little caught off guard by the story being more what I would consider inspirational or clean reading. I expected Mia’s faith to factor into the decisions she made and how she chose which paths to take. I expected her relationship with God to grow through the challenges and triumphs she faced. And while I realize every Christian book doesn’t have to “preach” to you in an open way, I believe to call it a Christian book, the faith element should at least be present in ways the reader can see.

That being said, I did enjoy this book. Rachel Linden tells an interesting story that does challenge the reader. There were several times I found myself taking screenshots of the pages so I could revisit beautiful, thought-provoking quotes. There are lessons in the pages ranging from caution in shaping our lives around childhood perceptions to realizing people are more than what we see on the outside to being open to taking risks.

One of the most prominent and challenging ideas sparked through Mia’s story is presented through a character named Delphine. It blends with the lessons Mia learns from other women on her journey and provides her the final confirmation of the direction she should go. Saying her good-byes to Mia, Delphine says, “Remember, Mia, your place in this world is the space where your greatest passion meets the world’s great pain.”

For Mia, this means accepting that the thing she’s felt is not enough to give to the world is really the best thing she can give to others. She can be herself and make a difference.

For me, the message is a reminder. While faith may not have played a part in Mia’s decisions, it does in mine. Mia’s story reminded me that God wants to use my passions, talents, and personality to reach out to others with His love. Her journey gave me an outlet to examine my own life and see if I’m doing that faithfully. Even her lack of seeking His guidance was a gentle nudge to seek His plan for me as I look for the paths I should take and which ones I should avoid.

The Enlightenment of Bees may not be what I expected, but it was a well-told story that left me encouraged to let God use me to reach others in need.

What I’m Reading: Before I Called You Mine

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost

We understand actions have consequences. We teach young children not to touch the hot stove because they will get burned. We show them how to look both ways before crossing the street. We explain that a failure to do so could get them hit by a car. Every day we have choices to make, and intellectually we understand each of those choices will come with a consequence.

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a writer. I also knew I needed to have a “real” job to pay the bills until I became an award-winning, best-selling author in the Christian market earning a salary that would allow me to live comfortably without any other income. I’m still waiting for that to happen!

Honestly, I could probably spend time writing full-time, if not for one choice my husband and I have made. We sent our children to a Christian school for their education. Some years, we paid tuition for four children at a time. Now, we are down to one. He has another year left, and he wants to finish up at the school where he started.

Our choice to give our children this education brought with it the consequence of me having to work until tuition is paid off. It is a choice I would make again, but it doesn’t mean I don’t wish I could have both my child in Christian school and a full-time writing career. I serve a God who can make it happen, but most times He lets us live with the consequences of our choices. Sometimes it’s about giving us the choice of whether or not we will follow what He has put into our hearts to do.

It’s this kind of decision Lauren Bailey faces in Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese. Lauren feels God has called her to adoption. The rules in adopting from China are simple. She can adopt as a single woman, or she can wait until she’s been married for a specific amount of time and adopt as a couple. Since her previous boyfriend ended their relationship, that doesn’t seem like a viable option. She starts the process to adopt as a single woman.

Keeping with her plan to avoid romantic attachment and possible derailing of what she knows God wants her to do is easy, until she meets the sub across the hall. Joshua is everything she ever dreamed of finding in a man, and he’s completely into her. The timing couldn’t be worse.

Lauren is determined to keep on her path to adopt and keep her growing friendship with Joshua. But as they grow closer, she is forced to a hard look at what she’s giving up and what waits for her in return. Being a mother to a child in need has fueled her decisions for so long she’s almost forgotten the time when her heart wanted more. Now that her dream of love has reawakened, Lauren fears whatever decision is made, her heart will break in the process. Only God can make both her dreams come true. But will He? Or will He allow her to live with the consequences of her choice?

Whether you’ve been in Lauren’s shoes or not, you’ll find yourself crying with her in the hard times and hoping with her for God’s best in her life. You’ll cheer her on as she learns some important truths about herself. And you’ll walk away from the story with a greater understanding of the heartaches and joys those who choose adoption face as they become family to those who have none.

Release Day: Relentless Love

This is an exciting day for me. The third and final book in my series releases today! Relentless Love is available on Amazon in ebook and paperback forms.

While I can’t enjoy a physical release party, you’re all invited to my FB live party. The giveaways have already started, but you can do any of the daily challenges between now and June 6th to get in on the fun. Plus, Saturday, June 6th at 1pm I’m hosting a virtual launch party. I’ll do Q & A, read an excerpt, and announce the giveaway winners. You don’t want to miss it!

Join the Fun!

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll have a week of fun challenges and giveaways leading up to the June 2 release of Relentless Love! Head over to my Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHeatherGreer and join the Relentless Love Book Launch Party event. Due to Covid-19, the event is going to be online instead of in person. In addition to the week of giveaways, I’ll have a grand prize giveaway on Saturday, June 6th. All prize winners will be announced during the live portion of the June 6th event.

What I’m Reading: Forever Music

We’ve all seen the saying admonishing us that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing while expecting different results. But I’m also pretty sure we’ve each found ourselves in a situation like that at some point in our lives.

It’s easy to do. And, honestly, it isn’t always as clear cut as the phrase would make us believe. What’ s that other saying? If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

The funny thing about quotes and quips is that what works great in one situation could bring disaster in another. They’re usually more accurately described as principles, not laws of life. It’s important to recognize the difference.

Just ask Josie Daniels, the main character in Forever Music by Hope Toler Daugherty. When she meets Ches, it’s apparent he’s a successful, driven business type. Josie has been there, done that. Her former boyfriend, BJ, taught her the hyper focused, career driven type is not for her when he broke her heart.

But Ches is more than he first appears. Friendship develops, and Josie quickly realizes keeping her distance is going to be harder than she thought. Her daily monologue includes reminders that she’s traveled that road before, and it led no where good. He’s a lawyer with a girlfriend. There is no room for her in his life as anything more than a friend.

Josie knows their friendship is good for Ches. He knows it too. But will their friendship survive as their feelings for each other deepen? Will her heart’s refusal to accept the truth that she’s repeating history leave Josie with her newly healing heart shattered once more?

There are no easy answers for Josie and Ches, no matter what wise sayings might indicate. The answers aren’t always easy for us either. That’s why we need to anchor our thoughts and decisions in scripture, pray, and follow God’s leading even when it goes against common thought.

Throughout the story, Josie comes to a deeper understanding of this truth. She learns the answers she seeks aren’t always as black and white as she’d like. Pain does come when we cross lines we shouldn’t, but it can also come when we’re not making bad choices.

Forever Music is a great story with relatable characters that drew me in and kept my attention from the first page. I enjoyed the reminder that although situations may be similar, we need to rely on God’s wisdom instead of our own (or that of bumper sticker wisdom) to make our choices. It won’t make things easy or prevent hurt, but it will mean we can go through those times with grace and peace knowing we’re inside God’s plan for our lives.

What I’m Reading: Secrets Over Sweet Tea

Bread pudding. Five years ago, I would have said those words didn’t belong in the same sentence much less their ingredients in the same recipe.

I love bread. I love pudding. But the concept of pudding made out of bread sounded incredibly mushy and gross. To be honest, it still does. However, the reality of bread pudding is no longer something that causes me to scrunch up my nose in disgust.

One day, I got brave. Though at the time, I may have wondered if it was bravery or stupidity that lead me away from more known desserts like cheesecake and chocolate lava cake.

My husband and I were at an Irish Pub, and I was taking risks and trying new things. It was my birthday, after all. And the restaurant’s limited dessert menu left me with a choice between three items. I found myself requesting the bread pudding, and am I ever glad I did. I could be wrong, but I believe I heard angels singing as I took that warm, comforting first bite. Paired with salted caramel ice cream and filled with the flavors of fall, this dessert was as close to perfection as anything I’m going to find this side of heaven.

My foray into the wonderful world of bread pudding was unexpected but definitely worth it. I love it when something works out differently than I thought but much better than I’d anticipated.

That’s exactly what happened as I read Secrets Over Sweet Tea by Denise Hildreth Jones. I picked up the book on a whim in a used bookstore my husband and I frequent. With all the seriousness going on in our world currently, I wanted a light read, full of humor and good times. The cover was inviting, the author new to me, and the back spoke of a boisterous southern pastor’s wife. It sounded like a perfect little ball of fluff for my weekend.

Scarlett Jo Newberry is as full of life and love as the back promised she would be. Not your typical pastor’s wife, her outgoing, outrageous personality is a turn off to some, but as people warm up to the woman underneath they see what an asset she is to their church and community.

But this story isn’t all fun and games. There’s a lot of heavy stuff in the secrets her congregation tries to hide. From adultery and addiction to divorce and sexual assault, all the characters twined together in the story have a serious, real to life issue they’re trying to keep secret. When truth comes out, the resulting mess is not easily contained.

It would have been easy for Secrets Over Sweet Tea to leave one bogged down with the reality of it all. It would also have been easy for the story to make light of the heavy issues and avoid any talk of repercussions. This story doesn’t go either of those directions.

Real issues are dealt with in truthful, scriptural ways. Discussions around how each person’s decisions affect those around them are realistic and honest. But the story balances the heaviness of the themes with faith and the vibrant personality of Scarlett Jo. The end result is an entertaining, truth filled story that makes you want to go back for seconds.

https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Over-Sweet-Tea/dp/B00FE3IFB4/

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