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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Into 2010

We have had a couple of weeks into 2010. What do you think of it? I remember my dear friend and youth leader, Barbara Waterbury, reading a poem about how God's mercies are new every morning. The poem was about a young child in a school room doing a writing assignment. The more she wrote the messier the page became. She tried to erase and mark through but the eraser produced holes and smudges. The assignment looked hopeless so she went to the teacher's desk with tears in her eyes. The teacher looked at the page and wadded it up and put it in the trash. The child hung her head down in despair until the teacher produced a crisp clean new sheet of paper and told her to try again.
It continued by saying that when we bring our broken lives to the Lord, He gives us a fresh start. The words of hope in that poem have helped me through some tough times. According to the Scriptures we can have forgiveness and mercy from our Father every morning. Praise God He loves us that much. We don't have to wait until the next new year.

This week I am interviewing an author who signed with another publisher. Meet Donald Vess.

(1.) What is your name and the title of your book(s)?

Donald D. Vess
1.) One Realm After Another-Oct. 1,2009 published (Xlibris Publishing)
2.)Reflections of UnSpoken Words-Author’s copy in my hands Jan.2010-release date July 2010 (Dorrance Publishing).
(2.) What is one thing you think your readers would like to know about you?

My writings are non-fiction. My story is one of many sorrows and tribulations. My evil desires began at the age of 5. My life was changed in one night and ever since then I have searched for comfort inside. It took 40 years to get where I’m at in life. Walking through almost every worldly addiction and desire possible. I am one of the few that has survived a guaranteed life of prison, drug/alcohol addiction or even death.
The night my life changed, I received many spankings because my Dad couldn’t see what I was seeing. It changed me inside as a 5 year old forever. I found within me, a voice of comfort and truth. I have walked with this truth for 40 years now and He (God), has now allowed a miracle in the making be known, seen and now I share a message of hope no matter what your religion or belief. I have been taught by the Holy Spirit to be blind to what the world offers now and to give away the hope, truth, love and understanding that He has filled me with. Life is a parable, the Word of God is a parable, a mystery that surrounds us in our selfishly lived realm. Unselfishness is how I got here, it took a lot of selfishness to get here. The one thing to know about me…I represent our Savior, with truth and it isn’t always accepted. Humbled I am for this moment to share with you.

(3.) When did you know that you wanted to become a writer?

In my elementary school years. My first poem was written to my parents at age 8 or 9 while at summer camp. I had the poem until 2003 when a fire destroyed our home.

(4.) What are your strong points in your writing style or methods?

My strength is found in my trust of the Holy Spirit. His voice I can hear as clearly as my Fiance’s when I do something wrong in the house. He is real, I have tested Him all of my life in many ways. As a rebellious child of both here and of God, I endured much discipline and was well deserving of it. I don’t know why I lived this way, deep inside I always wanted the better things in life. I’ve tasted the life of success and walked away from it many times to fill my evil desires. But through everything, I have always been personally counseled by the Holy Spirit. When I write, it comes with two voices, mine and the Holy Spirits.

(5.) Are you a reader?

I am a vivid reader of the Word of God and have been for the past 28 years . It is no longer just a Bible to me, it (He)is alive and dwells within my heart, soul, mind, spirit and every thought. Opening a Bible now is like continuous conversation outside of myself. I use to read a lot of other Author’s work but I am sorry to say, I read no more books.

(6.) What are you reading right now?

The Bible & whatever is posted on the face book walls by other Authors and the writings that I receive from Authors through email.

(7.) Do you have another book that you are working on and hasn't been submitted for publication? Tell about it.

1.) Through Spiritual Eyes “Fall“- going to publisher in Jan. 2010 (Xlibris Publishing) with 3 follow up titles, “winter”, “spring” & “summer”, to be released in 2010 w/pictures.
This book and it’s follow ups will have on one page, a picture w/ one of my writings from my face book postings. Seasonal pictures w/ a short message of hope.
2.) When A blind Man See’s- it’s going to publisher in Jan./Feb. 2010 (Xlibris Publishing)
This book will be writings from my past. My writings have always been my own hope of a better day. Through the end of my addictions these writings of crying out for mercy and grace were written. It is also compiled with my writings as I walked into a new life without addictions. This that I have in my life now is very new to me, in it’s own way it’s like being 5 years old in a 45 year old body. Life is great but I feel it very important to release hundreds of my past writings just to stay in touch with those that need guidance through life’s trials and tribulations.
  3.) I also have a children’s book that has been written but needs animation. This book will walk 4-6 year olds through each of the 4 seasons with a squirrel as a narrator that the children will be able to name.
4.) I have been working on a auto biography for a year as well that begins when I was 5 years old and was mistakenly given a pain pill and hallucinated all night long, the night before my first day of kindergarten and will go to present date.

(8.) What are your biggest obstacles to writing and how do you overcome them?

Hmmm…I never plan a writing. I could write what’s inside of me all day long. Sometimes the Holy Spirit just says to share this one or that one and I do. : ) I write what I have lived and about what I have gone through in life and that in itself I guess could be a stopping point. Sometimes when I go back in time I will say to the Lord, “hey, you wanna explain this one?” I feel it is very important for us to go back in time with the Holy Spirit. Many of our problems lie in the way we were raised and taught by the world. No one really explains the reasons why we go through ‘hell’ in life. There is reason and purpose though and I learn more each day as we all should. I have many point of views that I keep to myself because I know they’ll cause someone to walk away.It's important to me to touch everyones heart and that can be an obstacle in itself but the Holy Spirit gets me through it. Thank God… : )

9. Please put a description of each of your books here. (back matter is ok)

Describing any one of my books is to describe one of them. There is the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of others hearts that I have prayed for. I wanted spiritual wisdom and knowledge because what I was seeing being taught by man, was self intended and misleading. I have sat back for years sharing the Word in the darkest allies, streets, bars, jails and prisons as one who lived in those places, places where most would never dare go. Now I am out of my self righteous prison pity party and I share what I have been taught by the Holy Spirit to help others get through a moment in time.
Making a difference through poetry…Almost three decades ago, poet-author Donald D. Vess struggled to climb out of a well, a bottomless hole where he continuously searched for the unseen and the true meaning of love. It was in this search that he found the inspiration to write, to converse with the Holy Spirit through the written word. One Realm After Another is a compilation of these conversations—a collection of inspirational poetry that recounts his walk with the Holy Spirit. “My intentions are not to gain for me but for the reader to gain anything or something from what I write. Then, turn a negative into something positive and then, make a difference in someone else’s life.”
Redefine your understanding of unselfishness and wisdom through this book today.
10. How can readers contact you or purchase your books? Please put your website or blog

One Realm After Another, Donald D. Vess, Book - Barnes & Noble

Donald Vess on Face Book

It is great to get to know the writers. If you missed one of the past interviews of the talented authors I have been interviewing be sure to visit my blog and catch up. These are interesting people!

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Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

100 Ways to Simplify Your Life

Publisher: FaithWords; Lrg edition (November 12, 2008)


JOYCE MEYER is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, she has written more than seventy inspirational books, including The Confident Woman, Look Great, Feel Great, and the entire Battlefield of the Mindfamily of books. She has also released thousands of audio teachings as well as a complete video library. Joyce's Enjoying Everyday Life® radio and television programs are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences. Joyce and her husband, Dave, are the parents of four grown children and make their home in St. Louis, Missouri.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $16.99

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: FaithWords; Lrg edition (November 12, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0446509396

ISBN-13: 978-0446509398



Everyone has them: those days where nothing seems to get done, except maybe what you’ve added to your already lengthy to-do list. Are you tired most of the time? Are you spent? Do you find yourself wish- ing for a better day—a simpler day? Too many things compete for your limited resources of attention, energy, and time. You may be suffocat- ing and not even know it. If you feel like this, you’re not alone.

Most people today live complicated lives that leave them frustrated and confused, weary and worn out. But I have good news: your life does not have to be that way. You can choose a life of simplicity, fruitfulness, fulfillment, peace, and joy. I want to warn you, however, unless you are determined not to, you will do what everyone else does. You will get sucked up in the system and spend your life wishing things were different, never realizing you are, in fact, the only one who can change things. Unless we are resolute and remain undaunted in our quest for simplicity, we are destined for complication and frustration.

I recall a time when I was complaining to God about my schedule being absolutely insane. How could anyone be expected to do all I had in front of me? Then the realization hit me that I was the one who made my schedule and nobody could change it but me. You can spend your lives wishing things were different, but wishing won’t change anything. Smart decision making and decisive action is what changes things. If you picked up this book looking for change, are you willing to make a decision and follow it up with action?

I wasted many years hoping life would change and things would calm down until I finally realized life itself doesn’t change; in fact, it has the potential to get worse. I understood my only real option was to change my approach to life. I had to say no to another day of rushing around and feeling frustrated. I didn’t want the doctor giving me another pre- scription to mask another symptom of the real problem—stress.

In my search for simplicity, I have come to believe life can never be simple unless I learn to approach all things simply. It is my attitude toward each event in life that determines how easy or complex each situation will be. Perhaps life is complicated because people are compli- cated. Is it possible that life is not complicated, but rather, individuals complicate life in the way they approach it?

I discovered it wasn’t really life or circumstances or other people as much as it was me that needed to change. My problem wasn’t the problem—I was the problem! When you spend your life in frustration trying to change the world and everyone in it, you fail to realize it could be you just need to change your approach to life. It can be very easy for someone to live an entire lifetime and never entertain the notion that the way they do things is the real problem.

Have you ever attempted to have friends over for what you initially intended to be a simple afternoon of food, fellowship, and fun, but somehow, it turned into a complicated nightmare? I remember those days vividly. I’d be at church on Sunday and, without much forethought, invite three couples over for the following Sunday to a barbecue. My initial thought was hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, baked beans, potato chips, and iced tea. My motive was fellowship and fun, but by the time the guests arrived, I didn’t even want them there. Fun was not going to happen, at least not for me. Why? I turned my simple get- together into a nightmare of preparation, expensive food, and fourteen people instead of the original six. My complicated approach to life and my complicated thought process convinced me hot dogs and hamburg- ers weren’t nice enough so I bought steaks we could not afford. My potato chips turned into a huge bowl of homemade potato salad. The simple baked beans became four side dishes I labored over.

Insecure and wanting to impress everyone, I had to spend the week cleaning and getting everything in the house to the point where I thought it would be impressive. Of course, the lawn chairs were old, so I bought new ones. I got angry at Dave because I thought he wasn’t help- ing me enough, and by the time our friends arrived, I resented them, wished they hadn’t come, and had a miserable day of pretending to be the happy hostess when in reality I was frustrated and miserable.

I could not figure out why I wasn’t able to enjoy much of anything in life until God revealed to me I was killing my joy with complication. For years, I prayed God would change the people and circumstances around me when, in reality, He wanted to change me and my approach to life. He wanted me to simplify so, ultimately, He could be glorified.

Let me share with you 100 ways to approach living that can simplify your life and, in turn, release and increase your joy. I believe they will dramatically improve the quality of your everyday experience if you incorporate them into the way you do things. Jesus said He came so we might have and enjoy our life in abundance (see John 10:10). His prin- ciples are simple. Faith is simple! Trusting God is simple! A childlike approach to Him is simple! The plan of salvation is simple!

Jesus offers us a “new way of living,” and I believe it is a simple, yet powerful way that enables us to enjoy everyday life. Are you ready to simplify your life? Are you ready to say good-bye to the complexities you’ve allowed to take over? Let’s get started.

Do One Thing at a Time

The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is, on the contrary, born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything elseówe are the busiest people in the world.


Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].

—Hebrews 12:2

When we do things without truly focusing our minds on them, we immediately decrease our strength to do the work before us and do it well. By putting our hands to one thing and our mind to another, we divide the muscle behind our abilities and we make the task much more difficult. It’s like removing an egg yolk from the egg white—both can be used separately but the result isn’t as effective (or tasty) as it would be if we leave the egg whole. However, by directing all of our faculties to the one thing we are doing on a particular day, at that hour, at that moment, we find it much easier to do. The ability to concentrate and stay focused can only come from discipline.

The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6 to be anxious for nothing. Anxious people are always trying to live ahead of where they currently are. They spend today trying to figure out tomorrow and the result is the loss of simplicity. God expects us to trust Him with tomorrow just as He instructed the Israelites to do when they crossed the barren wil- derness, pressing toward the Promised Land.

Practice living one day at a time; give yourself—your thoughts, your conversation, your energies, every part of you—to the day at hand.

100 Ways to Simplify Your Life

1. Develop an ability to give yourself to what you are doing. You will sense an awareness enabling you to enjoy the current activity, instead of going through each day in a blur of activity and confusing thoughts which leave you drained and exhausted.

Do you fear you will not accomplish as much if you try to live this way? It’s true you may not do as much, but you will also enjoy what you do a whole lot more. One key to simplicity is realizing that quality is far superior to quantity.

The Blog Tour for "Nan's Journey" Begins July 23

It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and his/her book:

Nan's Journey

Tate Publishing & Enterprises (January 2, 2008)


Littau is a life-long resident of Perryton, TX. She met husband, Terry at the Apostolic Faith Bible College in Baxter Springs, Kansas in 1974. They married March 1, 1975 and reside on a small acreage near Perryton where they enjoy spending time with their family and friends. They raised three sons and now have three daughters-in-law and four grandchildren added to their family. They also enjoy visiting with their extended family located in Perryton, Clear Lake, Laverne, and Amarillo.

Author Elaine Littau is a busy woman who by profession is the church secretary for Harvest Time First Assembly of God Church in Perryton. Among other things she has led women’s groups and taught preschool, and was a mentor for the M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in her community. She has been active in Toastmasters and enjoys painting, crafts, and playing piano and organ. She was recently appointed to the Campus Education Improvement Committee for Wright Elementary in Perryton. She belongs to Christian Storytellers and Faith Writers writing groups.

“Nan’s Journey” was written over the course of several years. “A salvation message is at the core of the book.” Littau says. “If it weren’t for the Lord, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. I truly enjoy meeting new people.”

Littau is currently working on two other books that are continuations of “Nan’s Journey.” Book signings and speaking engagements are currently set up for venues in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Oregon.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises (January 2, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602478325
ISBN-13: 978-1602478329


Chapter One

It was late. The moon had risen and the night symphony was in full force. Crickets chirped at their rivals, the frogs, and dominated the night chorus. Only one sound in the forest was foreign—a whimper from under the ferns. At the base of the largest pine in the woods was a small form crying, moaning, and whimpering. Black hair, matted and dirty, hung in long ropes down the front of the tiny girl. She had been in this spot for hours. At least that is what it felt like to her. Stretching, she cried out in pain. The blood-covered welts burst open to bleed again. Her back was wet with blood, and her dress was torn and useless.

Why had she dared to speak to the woman that she was obliged to call mother in that way? She knew that talking was not allowed from children before chores were finished. The accusations being made by “Ma” were totally false and she could not let Elmer take the blame for something she herself had forgotten to do. She shut her eyes tight against the memory, but it intruded anyway.

She had just gotten up to take the water off the stove to make up dishwater for the supper dishes. Ma had stepped outside the room to turn down her bed and prepare for sleep. When she reappeared in the kitchen, she realized that the wood supply next to the stove was low. Elmer was standing next to the table gathering the plates for washing. “Elmer, where is the wood you were supposed to bring up to the house?” Before he could answer, a hand had slapped him across his face. Getting back onto his feet and standing as tall as a five year old can stand, he looked her in the eye and said, “Ma, I was sick today, ‘member?”

“So, Elmer, you’re going to play up that headache trick again. Nan, didn’t your good for nothing Mama teach you people how to work, or are you just lazy?”

“Our Mama was good! Don’t you say mean things about her!” Nan yelled as her heart raced at the assault against her real Mama’s character.

“What about it, Elmer, are you like your weakling Mama or what?” Elmer’s eyes became very large and filled with tears. He could barely remember his real Mama, but when he did, he remembered soft kisses and sweet singing and a beautiful face. “I’m sorry; I’ll get the wood now.”

“No, Elmer, don’t. I promised you I’d do it today when your head was hurting, but I forgot. I’ll get it after I do these dishes.”

“Listen here, Nan, I’m the boss around here and Elmer will do what I say, when I say, and you will respect me.”

Nan’s eyes widened.

“Don’t look at me like that, little girl.”

Nan held her breath.

“Well, I guess you will be making a trip to the wood shed…with me!” Ma had grabbed her by the arm and jerked her along behind the shed. The strap was hanging there, waiting. Whippings were becoming more and more frequent. After Ma’s husband left, they had taken on a more cruel form. The last whipping was more like a beating. It took days for the marks to scab over and heal. Little Elmer had come in that night and brought some horse medicine from the barn and applied it to the oozing marks.

The next afternoon when the schoolteacher came over, Ma had already formulated a story. “Mrs. Dewey, we missed Nan and Elmer today at school. Are they sick?” Ma lied the first time in her life and said, “Well Miss Sergeant, since Mr. Dewey is going to be gone for another four weeks, I need more help around here to get things done. I’m holding the kids out until he gets back.” Week after week went by, and Mr. Dewey still hadn’t come home. Everyday Ma grew more and more angry. It became more and more impossible to please her. When she began hitting Elmer, it was too much. Nan had to do something— right or wrong; things couldn’t stay the way they were.

The coolness of the earth had settled into Nan’s bones. She stood silently for a minute and carefully crept up to the farmhouse. As she opened the door, she saw that Elmer was in the pallet at the foot of the stove next to her bedroll. Ma was asleep in her room. The door held open with a rock. Slowly she began peeling off the dress and the dried blood stuck to it. She reached for the old shirt she normally wore over her wounds and under her dress. She had washed it today. It had bloodstains on it, but it would keep her from ruining another dress. She retrieved the old work dress that she wore when chores were messier than usual; it was the only one left. She put it on swiftly and shook Elmer awake with her hand over his mouth. “Baby, we must leave. Do you understand? Stay quiet and I will get some stuff to take with us.”

She found large old handkerchief and began looking for food supplies. There was one sourdough biscuit and about a cup of cold brown beans. She located her tin cup and another rag. She would probably need that. Three matches were in the cup on the stove. She would just take two. Suddenly she heard a sound from Ma’s room. A scampering sound… just a rat. Ma turned over. Her breathing became deep and regular. For once Nan wished that Ma snored. She tied the handkerchief in a knot over the meager food supplies, grabbed their bedrolls, and slowly opened the door.

“Come on, Elmer. Can you carry this food? I’ll get your bedding. That’s a good boy. We must hurry!”

The cold air bit at their faces, but they walked bravely on.

“Elmer, we must go tonight so we can get as far away as we can before Ma wakes up and sees that we are gone.”

For the next half hour the pair walked in silence through the familiar woods past the graves on the hill. In one, a mother dearly loved, in another, an infant who had died the same day as his mother, and the third, a father that only Nan had memory of. Elmer was only two years old when Pa died in the logging accident. Nan snapped out of her reverie and urged Elmer on. Molasses, Pa’s good old workhorse, stood in the pasture. He skidded the logs Pa cut with his axe. His legs hadn’t healed quite right, but Mama hadn’t let Mr. Dewey kill him because he was all she had left of the husband of her youth. Molasses was a faithful friend to Nan and Elmer. He stood there and waited for them to mount him.

“Molasses, take us to…” Nan realized then that they had nowhere to go. Mrs. Dewey had said that they were ungrateful little imps who didn’t realize she and Mr. Dewey were taking care of them out of kindness, and they could easily be put into an orphanage. Nan didn’t know anything about orphanages except what Mrs. Dewey…uh, Ma had told her. “Molasses, just take us out of here.”

Cruise Blunder

Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Westminster CO

Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Westminster CO
Great book signing in Colorado!

Mardel Bookstore in Littleton, CO

Mardel Bookstore in Littleton, CO
Booksigning - Elaine

Elk's Resolve Proof is Here