Today’s Word of Promise

lukeEveryday, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk.

Today, I listened to Mark 14 through Luke 5.

The part that stood out to me today came from the first chapter of Luke.

In Luke 1:13-17, the Angel Gabriel told Zacharias, who was married to Elizabeth and both were “advanced in years”, that she would have a son and his name would be called John (the Baptist).  Zacharias said:

And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”

And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” Luke 1:18-20

Then, the same angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would bare a son and that his name will be Jesus. And Mary said:

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:34-37

So, Zacharias said, “How can I know this?” and he was punished by Gabriel for his lack of faith. And, Mary said, “How can this be?” and she was rewarded with an answer.  What was the difference?

I think it was in intent, for God knows our hearts. I think Zacharias intent with his question was to say, “I’m old. My wife is old. What you say will happen cannot be. How can I know this?”

I think Mary’s intent with her question was, “I am a virgin. What do you need me to do to get pregnant, because clearly there are logistics involved. I believe you, I just need to know ‘how’.”

I think Mary had faith, and Gabriel knew it. I think Zacharias had no faith, and Gabriel knew it. So while their questions might have sounded the same, their hearts were opposite.

Which tells me, it’s okay to question logistics when God has given you a task – as long as you understand that the logistics have already been handled and you keep the faith that God knows of what He asks you.

May God bless you and bless your day. Find a word of God speak to you today.

halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


Categories: Life | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Name That Serial Killer Contest

a carol for kent topIn my upcoming book, A Carol for Kent Book 3 in the Song of Suspense Series, I have a serial killer who needs a nickname.

The victims are young women who are all tall and thin with red hair. The killer dresses them up in professional clothes, down to matching shoes and jewelry. Then they’re strangled with violin string and posed them, spread eagle, with  red candles at their heads, each hand, and each foot. This happens in Richmond, Virginia.

So … name him. Leave it in the comments below. What would the press call him? If I choose your name, you will win an autographed copy of A Carol for Kent, or all three Song of Suspense Series books in ebook – your choice.

Here are the first three paragraphs of chapter 1, to give you an idea:

CAROL Mabry stared down at the body on the floor of apartment 3G. The dead woman wore a gray silk pantsuit and pink silk blouse. Her hair was perfectly coiffed into a French twist, and her makeup looked like it had been applied professionally. Pink beads adorned her neck, hanging loosely against her breasts. Pink ball earrings were clipped to each ear.

She lay spread eagle on the ground, her eyes a blank stare in the direction of the ceiling.  Some sort of wire around her neck had cut into her skin, making it look like she had on a red necklace.

At her head, at each of her hands, and at her feet, fat red candles burned. The crimson colored wax had run down the candlesticks and pooled into the beige carpet.

 

Categories: A Carol for Kent | Tags: , | 17 Comments

Today’s Word of Promise

markEveryday, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk.

Today, I listened to Mark 5 through Mark 13.

The part that stood out to me today came from Mark 5:25-34:

Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”

Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”

But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.

Crowds were thronging around Jesus – likely pressing against him, pushing him, touching him.

Throng is defined as: a multitude of people crowded or assembled together; crowd.

A single woman among the throng touched his garment, and he felt it.

What made her touch so different from all of the others around Him? What made Him feel her touch more than someone who might have pushed against Him in the crowd?

He said it to her, “Your faith has made you well.”

How much more faith did she possess than the multitude around Him, desperate for Him to heal them? So much more that when she touched His garment, He felt the power go out of Him.

Christ has said in Matthew 17:20, “for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Is my faith strong enough that Christ would feel me touch His robe among the multitude? Would that single touch, fought for against the throng, heal me? I pray that my faith is that steadfast. I pray that God will be pleased with my faith.

May God bless you and bless your day. Find a word of God speak to you today..

halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Interview with Medical Thriller Author Richard Mabry and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m excited to introduce you to Richard Mabry, author of Christian medical thrillers.

I am a LONG time fan of medical thrillers. I think I am fascinated by the science as well as the thriller part of the story.  Richard is a retired physician and medical professor, which means that his science is going to be scary accurate – as only the best medical thrillers are.

(An aside: My main character in A Carol for Kent is named Carol Mabry! How cool is that? It’s not a common last name.)

Please welcome Richard Mabry.  I hope you enjoy his interview as much as I did. And — His publisher, Harper Collins Christian Fiction, is giving away a paperback copy of Critical Condition!  See the Rafflecopter below for details.

Mabry headshotTell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a physician, retired after 36 years of practice, the last ten as a professor at a prestigious medical center in Dallas. I’m not a writer by temperament, and still am amazed to find myself preparing for the publication of my seventh novel of medical suspense.

Tell us about your current release.

Critical Condition deals with the struggles of a female physician struggling to overcome an incident in her past that still haunts her while dealing with problem after problem in her life in sister who’s a recovering (she hopes) addict, a father who has just been diagnosed with leukemia, and an almost fiancé to whom she can’t quite commit. Then, when a stranger is shot dead on her front lawn, the phone calls begin, saying, “Tell me what he said before he died, or you’ll be sorry.”

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful?

When I first began writing fiction, there was no doubt in my mind that it would be from a Christian worldview. After my first few published novels, I’ll admit I had ideas of “crossing over” to the general market, but each time I tried to craft a story that would sell there, I found that I couldn’t do it. This wasn’t necessarily because it would compromise my standards. John Grisham is a great example of a Christian author who is popular in the general market but because I felt more comfortable being a bit more overt in my Christian message than most of those writers.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher?

I’ve found that I’m not alone among writers in suffering from what I call the “imposter syndrome.” From day one, every success has brought me visions of someone popping up to say, “You’re not that good.” I think we’re all afraid of being average, but the only way around that is to continue working to make each work better than the last and accepting any success as God’s gift for our lives.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

I’m a believer in what Stephen King calls turning loose ‘the boys in the basement.’ When I’m stumped about where a scene should go, I put it aside and let my subconscious work on it. I go for a walk, read a novel, watch a TV program. Almost always, I get an idea of what to do next. I’ve found that, like trying to remember a name or date, the harder I try the more it seems to slip away, so I work to put the problem out of my mind until the solution comes to me.

Critical Condition cover revisedHow did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher?

When I started in writing, ‘self publication’ was a dirty word, often called ‘vanity publication.’ The only legitimate way to seek publication was via a traditional, royalty-paying publisher. Of course, all that has changed over the past few years, and many writers whose works had previously been released by traditional publishers have chosen to self-publish some of their work. I still like the idea of the developmental and marketing assistance a publisher offers, even if the process is slow and the monetary rewards may be less.

What made you take the plunge and finally do it?

When I was in medical practice, although I wrote or edited eight textbooks and had more than one hundred papers published in professional journals, I never aspired to non-medical writing. Then, when my wife of forty years died suddenly, I felt a desire to share my journaling with others who were hurting. I had no idea how one wrote a book, much less got it published, but I attended a writer’s conference to gain such an understanding. That’s where I not only learned enough to get started on what ultimately became The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse, but was challenged by James Scott Bell and Alton Gansky to try my hand at writing fiction. Four years, four unsuccessful novels, and forty rejections later, I got my first contract for the book, Code Blue.

Where ’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea?

On a visit back to Southwestern Medical Center where I was a professor for ten years, I entered the faculty parking garage, looked around me, and thought, “This would be a great place for a kidnapping late at night.” From that idea came the initial scene of my novel, Stress Test.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality?

I put a little of myself into each story, but I probably identify most closely with Dr. Shannon Frasier, the protagonist of Critical Condition, for one reason, she has to face a lot of problems -  personal and professional – and sometimes feels overwhelmed. I can’t get into specifics without spoiling the plot for readers, but let’s just say that I understand some of those situations.

***
Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and author of “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have been a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel, finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award, and winner of the Selah Award. His latest, Critical Condition, is his seventh published novel.

Links to buying his novels from all major booksellers are found on his website . You can follow Richard on his blog, on Twitter , and his Facebook fan page.

Find Critical Condition at the following locations:

Richard’s publisher, Harper Collins Christian Fiction, is giving away a copy of Critical Condition to one lucky reader!  See the Rafflecopter for all of the ways you can enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


Pin It
Categories: Readers Write to Know | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Please Help A Melody for James Final in the Prestigious RONE Awards!

2013_RONE_Nominee_200A Melody for James, Book 1 in the Song of Suspense Series, is up for InD’Tale Magazine’s prestigious RONE Award in the Inspirational Category.

Phase II of the awards is a public vote.

Please go to this link and cast your vote for A Melody for James. You do have to log in to vote, but it’s free.

Thank you so much for your support.

About A Melody for James:

A Melody for James: Part 1 in the Song of Suspense series

A Melody for James: Part 1 in the Song of Suspense series

A Melody for James is the first book in a set of Christian contemporary romantic suspenseful thrillers from best selling inspirational novelist, Hallee Bridgeman. The exciting new SONG OF SUSPENSE series premiers everywhere fine books are sold June 15, 2013 with book 1, A Melody for James.

Recognition:

Clash of The TitlesA Melody for James was voted the Clash of the Titles WINNER in July 2013.

Book Of The Month FictionA Melody for James was voted The Book Club Network‘s August 2013 Fiction Book of the Month.

Book Of The Year FictionA Melody for James was the first runner up for the 2013 Fiction Book of the Year as announced in the February 2014 edition of Book Fun Magazine.

Read the Book:

A Melody for James can be purchased in e-book format at the following places:

Deeper Shopping, Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks , Apple iTunes Store , Kobo, eBookIt, Lulu, Bookie Jar

Olivia Kimbrell Press
EBook ISBN: 978-1-939603-07-4

A Melody for James can be purchased in paperback at the following places:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million

If you’d like an autographed copy, please visit my store at Squareup.com!

Ask your local library to order this title:

Olivia Kimbrell Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-939603-08-1
ISBN-10: 1-939603-08-0

Author Video:

The Back Cover:

Strangers meet during an unexpected layover. Hours later, their hearts sing a harmonious duet.

Melody Mason finds James Montgomery sincere, honest, and keenly intelligent with a tenderness that contradicts his broad stature. Melody lifts James from the depths of all- consuming grief for the first time since his wife’s murder. Uncannily, they learn that they share much in common. They begin to wonder whether God brought them together.

Though determined to unite, sinister events take an ominous turn. The couple won’t even see each other for four long years.

Melody rises to stardom as America’s newest Country Music sensation while James brings a billion dollar technological breakthrough within reach.

The two finally reunite and find the connection between them has only grown stronger in tempo, joining them like notes in a symphony. But once more, a terrifying hidden truth secretly sneers at their hopes for happiness. After so long apart, the couple must work in close concert.

They have to put all their faith in God as they solve the deadly mystery that ties their lives inexplicably together time and again.

Excerpt from the Book:

Chapter 1
ANGELA MONTGOMERY nearly missed it. She had lost herself in memories of her recent birthday celebration marking the passing of her 30th year on earth. Her husband, James, her junior by 2 short years, had gone all out. Being “much” younger, he had decorated the entire house with black balloons and held a surprise “wake” for the passing of her late youth. Daydreaming and lost in feelings of love and adoration for her beloved groom, Angela nearly failed to recognize the moment when it happened.

When her consciousness shifted from her reverie back to the present, for several breaths she simply stared at the smart board in front of her and ran through the calculations again. Then she tried to ignore the little shivers of nervous excitement that danced up her spine.

“Heeyyyyy …” Donald Andrews clicked a few keys on the laptop in front of him, magnifying the image on the smart board screen so that it covered the entire wall. “Did we just …”

Angela rose, her legs feeling uncharacteristically stiff, and walked forward while staring at the screen. “You know what, I’m cautiously going to say yes. Yes, we did.”

Alvin Berry let out a loud, “Whoop!” He removed the ever present knit cap from the top of his head and tossed it into the air. The group collectively looked at each other and grinned. Years of work, and the breakthrough sat right there on that smart board, staring back at them.

“We should celebrate,” Lorie Frazier announced. She pulled her glasses from her nose and casually tossed them onto the stack of papers in front of her. “We need to celebrate, then we need to call a press conference. But only after we get to the patent office.”

Angela looked back at the screen. “We have to be sure.”

“We’re sure,” Alvin said. “Look at that beauty. It is so simple yet so elegant.”

“Call James,” Lorie said. “Tell him to make us a reservation in the most ridiculously expensive restaurant Atlanta has to offer. Tell him we’re going to celebrate.”

Despite her naturally conservative nature, Angela started to let the feeling of giddy excitement take over. She laughed and hugged Don as she pulled her cell phone from her pocket.

Her husband would probably jump up and down or do a little dance of celebration. She felt like she might just as easily be making a call to announce that she was expecting their first child instead of the conclusion of this long project.

For five years, she and this amazing team of engineers had worked to perfect this revolutionary data storage solution. For five years, usually working six days a week, usually not less than twelve hours a day, they’d toiled in this basement lab in her inherited home. While she’d hoped and prayed for all that time, now that the reality of what they’d accomplished actually shone back at her from that beautiful smart screen, she realized she hadn’t ever really been certain they’d succeed.

But they had.

She got James voice mail. “Darling,” she purred, knowing he’d hear the smile in her voice, “We did it. We’re done. I cannot wait to show you. Come home. Come see. We need to celebrate.”

As soon as Angela hung up, she gave Lorie a hug and said, “I vote for cheesecake.”

“Copious amounts,” the nearsighted genius agreed. “Oh! With strawberries! And really good coffee.”

Angela felt her heart skip when the red security light started flashing. Her eyebrows crowded together in confusion. Why was the intruder alarm going off now?

Angela had inherited the farmhouse from her late uncle at the age of 17 and lived there throughout her lengthy matriculation at Georgia Tech. For a brief time when this venture was just beginning, she and her brand new husband, James, as well as their business partner and his best friend, Kurt, had all lived there under the same roof.

During the initial months and years, Kurt and James had renovated the basement entirely; installing a T1, a two post rack of networking gear, a four post rack of high performance servers; and most importantly, a state of the art security system, designed and built by her brilliant husband himself. For the last five years, they had hardened the basement into a panic room with steel reinforced doors, magnetic locks, and pinhole security cameras. It took two-factor authentication to even get into the room.

When the magnitude of the fact that the security alarm was still sounding sunk in, Angela whirled around until her eyes met with Don. When she spoke, she hated the shrill edge of panic she detected in her voice. “Back it up to the Snap.”

His fingers clicked on the keys with the speed of machine gun fire as spoke. “There’s no time. We didn’t do an incremental yesterday because the waffle was running a defrag.”

“Right. Execute a differential and encrypt it.” She waited a few heartbeats while Don’s fingers played out a staccato percussion on his laptop.

With confusion clouding his eyes, he looked up and announced, “Our hard line is down.”

Alvin pressed a series of keys on his computer and several small screens appeared on the smart board, all showing different angles of her home. Men in masks moved through the empty house with military precision, high powered and very deadly looking carbine rifles tucked tightly into their shoulders at the ready. They stared around every corner through the sights on the short rifles.

Lorie gasped and said, “What is going on? Who are they?”

Fear and panic tried to take over. Her stomach turned into ice and Angela felt like her breathing wasn’t productive, like she could never get a deep enough breath. Focus, she said to herself. You will have time to be scared when it’s over.

“Can you remember how we got here since the last backup?” Angela asked Alvin, her hand pointing in his direction like a knife blade. If she’d ever met anyone whose memory rivaled her husband’s, it was Alvin.

His voice sounded flat, emotionless. “Yes. Of course I can.”

She watched a crouched figure outside the entrance to the lab tape two liter plastic bottles filled with water to the hinges of the security door. The security that James and Kurt had installed was tight, state of the art even, and the door was sealed. But no seal in 100 miles would withstand the blast of a shaped charge pushing water ahead of a supersonic shock wave. It would slice through the steel door faster than the world’s most powerful cutting torch.

Whomever these people were, they had known the defenses they would have to overcome. They were prepared. They had planned. They had obviously even rehearsed as was apparent in their staged and perfectly timed precision movements. And the most dangerous thing Angela and her team had for protection once that door came down were a few custom computer viruses.

She’d known the risks. The success of their project was potentially worth upward of a hundred billion dollars in the first year alone, and that was on the conservative side. The long term applications of the soon to be patented technology could not even be calculated. The reason they worked out of her home instead of in some downtown lab was for the secrecy of the project, a vain hope of security by obscurity.

They’d taken additional precautions which Angela belatedly realized she had characterized as “paranoid.” A commercial exothermic incendiary device much like a military grade thermite grenade perched atop each server array that would, when detonated, melt their way through the machines at over 4 thousand degrees Fahrenheit, effectively destroying everything in a completely unrecoverable fashion. They would burn 3 times hotter than molten lava and the crew would have to be careful not to look at them since the radiant energy was bright enough to blind them without a welding visor.

“Then destroy it. Destroy it all.”

Lorie’s finger hovered over a steel pin. “You’re sure?”

The explosion above them shook the room. Alvin rushed to the inner door and made sure the panic room door remained bolted on all four corners. Angela closed the lid on her laptop and slid it into the 2 inch air gap between network switches. Then she draped her hand on Lorie’s shoulder and whispered, “Do it.”

She closed her eyes and started to pray as the room around her grew suddenly very hot and smoke started billowing up to the ceiling. “Lord Jesus, if I live through this, let me remain in Your will. But if I come home to you, sweet Jesus, please watch over my husband. Let him feel your comforting love and let him find the destiny you have in mind for him.”

Smoke alarms went off and the lights flickered. Then she felt herself being picked up and thrown aside, riding on the wave of a perfectly timed blast. As she flew backward from the shock of the multiple explosions blowing open her steel door she prayed even harder — she prayed for courage, for protection, for strength.

As she landed and fell against the tower of computer drives, she watched the thermite spill and splatter like lava, setting the entire area on fire. Her last thought was of pain as a spray of burning powder fell on her chest.
endscene

Categories: A Melody for James, Novels | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

She GOT It!

A Melody for James: Part 1 in the Song of Suspense series

A Melody for James: Part 1 in the Song of Suspense series

I have to say, I am T-H-R-I-L-L-E-D about a recent review on Amazon for  A Melody for James by a reviewer named “mirpags”:

Hallee Bridgeman is such a great writer! She uses fiction almost like how Jesus used parables…to teach and portray a truth. I don’t normally write reviews, I just don’t have the time, but this author is definitely worth the review.

I could pull a dozen profound reviews that actually left me in tears, but this one floods my heart with joy! Why? Because this is my Mission Statement:

To prayerfully craft stories as modern day parables to uplift fellow believers and minister to seekers in our fallen world.

Wow. To have affirmation that I’m on “mission”. Wow.

Thank you so much to the reader who took the time that she stated she doesn’t have to encourage me on such a level. You have no idea.
halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


Categories: A Melody for James, Reviews | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment