Monday, May 23, 2016

I'm Moving!

Hello, dear readers and friends!

You've come to my little nest here for the past couple of years. It's been a wonderful experience, getting to know you each, chatting about books and the way God works in our lives.

Now, I'm incorporating this blog into my new author website. The blog retain its hope-filled name of A Brighter Destiny, but this website gives me the opportunity to share more about my books and events with those who are interested.

To visit my new squirrel-nest, which I'm still in the process of making quite cozy enough:

Thank you for following me here for so long! I can't wait to see you there! :-)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Orphan Journeys Blog Tour {+ a Giveaway}

It's always a joy to see a new, encouraging series take wing. Today, I'd like to highlight a new novella release - the first in a series - by Amanda Tero. At the end of this post, you'll find a giveaway to celebrate the novella's release. :-)

The Orphan Journeys Series:

Journey to Love (Marie's Story, 1901)

By Amanda Tero

About the Book

Now orphaned, Marie is swept miles away from the only life she knew to be sheltered by unknown guardians. Caught in the challenges of a new life, she cannot prevent changes from happening, but she can keep the Bowles and their friends at arm's length. Or can she?

While things appear to transition smoothly on the outside, Marie struggles against the turmoil she faces on the inside. She sees something in the Bowles and her new friends that she had never experienced before...but should she trust what the preacher is teaching when it goes against everything she had accepted as truth? Is God really a God of love? If He is, then is Marie willing to accept it?

Follow Marie as she begins the journey to love.

About the Orphan Journeys Series

Imagine yourself as an orphan, struggling for survival on the filthy New York streets, where disease and crime run rampant. Journey from these wretched streets to a temporary lodging in an overcrowded orphanage and then to the train station. After riding the train for hours, picture yourself lining up with other children, waiting as adults look you over. Would you be chosen—or would you have to hold onto the hope that maybe, at the next station, someone would want to bring you home?

Minister Charles Loring Brace had a vision for New York orphans that brought them through this journey from streets to homes. He began his orphan work in 1853, then in 1854, because of lack of orphanage space, Brace sent the first orphans by train to Dowagiac, Michigan, where the children could be sheltered by local families. The "orphan train" continued until 1929, bringing at least 150,000 children to new homes where they were fostered and, occasionally, adopted.

Brace desired to place children in good, Protestant homes. Many orphans experienced Brace's desire, but some orphans had different stories: siblings were separated, and some couples took orphans to use for cheap labor. Though many orphans ended up as successful men and women, not all of them turned out to be trustworthy citizens.

Orphan Journeys is a fictional novella series based off of the American Orphan Train saga, following orphans not only as they adjust to a new life, but also as they embark upon a spiritual journey.

About the Author

Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

And there's a Giveaway!

Blog Tour Schedule:

3/14 -
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3/14 -
3/15 -
3/17 -
3/19 -
3/21 -
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3/22 -
3/22 -
3/24 -
3/28 -
3/ 29

Friday, March 4, 2016

Spreading Some Mercy {Free Softcover Opportunity}

Hello, dear readers! I'm breaking my usual First-Fridays schedule because I have a delightful opportunity for you that I wanted to tell you about. :-)

I'm preparing to redesign the cover for my first published novel, The House of Mercy, so that the softcover and the e-book will "match." I've been gathering ideas for this on a secret Pinterest board for a while now, and I'm really looking forward to how it all comes together. :-)


I still have a few copies of the softcover with the "old" cover design on it. I'd love for those who haven't had the opportunity to read this book and could benefit from a glimpse of the mercy of Christ to have these final first-edition copies.

And that's where you come in, friends.

If you can give me your word that you will carefully distribute or give away the number of books you request, I would love to send them to you, absolutely cost-free! Yes, I really mean that. :-) I will pay for the cost of shipping AND I will absorb the cost of the books IF you distribute them to people who might benefit from them. That is, after all, the main reason I write: to bring the love of Christ to more people and to bring believers to a deeper experience of His love for them.

Where could you distribute them? Whom could you give them to?

  • Your church library
  • A friend who likes non-traditional Christian fiction
  • A neighborhood free-book-library (a.k.a. community book exchanges, "little free libraries")
  • Your local library - Just ask if they would like to incorporate the book into their collection

So now you might be asking, "I'd like to do that! How do I get one (or more) copies?"
Just e-mail me at: -- or use the contact box on the sidebar of this blog. Let me know how many copies you would like and where I should send them. They will arrive via media mail within a couple of weeks. That's it! :-)

My supply is limited to what I have left on hand, so if you would like to participate in this, please get in touch with me asap. Due to shipping costs, I'm able to ship within the continental U.S. only. :-)

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Grace and peace,

*** Update 3/7/16: All the copies have been taken! Thank for your help in distributing these, friends! :-) ***

Friday, February 5, 2016

First Friday: February 2016

This post is part of a once-a-month series on A Brighter Destiny.

February is upon us! Here's what I've been up to and am looking forward to this coming month.

What I'm thankful for: snow enough for sledding in January; the blessing of watching a DVD of Reverend Adrian Rogers' memorial service; warm sweaters and hot coffee; the old hymns sung at a hymn-sing at our church the other evening; the example of those who have gone before and give me courage.

What I'm reading {fiction}: Still working on The Curate's Awakening by George MacDonald (edited by Michael Phillips) - It is truly excellent, but I've had not too much time to read (leisurely) lately.

What I'm reading {non-fiction}: My love for C.S. Lewis is no secret. I was beyond excited to receive Allister McGrath's C.S. Lewis: A Life for Christmas this year - an intriguing look at this "mere Christian", paying particular attention to his intellectual/mental journey.

What I'm reading {devotions}: After spending time in the Epistles this fall and early winter, I've returned to the Book of John. I'm also continuing and getting a lot from Streams in the Desert.

What I'm looking forward to: Valentine's Day comes very soon! :-) This has been a treasured holiday in our family since I was a little girl. We love to decorate in red and pink, wear our Valentine's Day socks, of course, and make a heart-shaped pizza. This is our pizza from last year: It was very delicious! :-)

What I'm writing: The third book in the A Time of Grace trilogy has been drafted! :-) I'm cleaning up the rough draft before sending it on to my critique partners over the next couple of weeks or so. This book hasn't been christened yet (i.e. no title), but I'm hoping to share a back cover blurb soon with you. Thanks so very much to those of you who have continued to lift this book up before the Lord God - I greatly appreciate each one of you.

What have you been up to, friends? Any books I should put on my TBR list? How do you celebrate Valentine's Day in your family?

Grace and peace,

Friday, January 8, 2016

On the Word Becoming Flesh {thoughts on A Time of Grace, book 3}

One of the more interesting parts of writing is when my characters do something and God uses that Something to help illuminate the depth of something so familiar to me in the Scriptures.

That happened this week as I wrote through a pivotal scene in book three of A Time of Grace, and I'd like to share my thoughts with you -- maybe you'll find some food for thought, too. :-)

In that scene, Sarah Picoletti meets face-to-face with someone to whom she's been writing for years but who has never written back to her. And in that face-to-face encounter, she discovers a startling Realness to her relationship with this person {who shall remain unnamed, for spoiler reasons}.

When I wrote that scene, from Sarah's perspective, it reminded me so much of John 1:14 -- "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

And thus my thought began to rabbit-trail... :-)

  • Isn't that just what God did? The Father had been "writing" to us - His beloved lost children - for many centuries. But then Jesus came, in the flesh, when the Letter of love took on human bone and sinew...
  • And, in a way, is that not what we do as believers? As "little Christs"? We are God's little letters of grace and truth come to life - miniature editions of this same God-centered drama - Christ in us "becoming flesh" and living out His life through us - for don't we have in us the "hope of glory"?
  • And, in a way, extending that a bit... the whole of Christ's life and ministry becomes flesh in and through us -- thinking of 1 Peter 2 {clickable link} -- if we are faithful.
Well, I'm off to keep writing, friends -- Looking to finish the rough draft of book 3 soon and thankful for your prayers for me.

May you have a blessed weekend!

Grace and peace,

Friday, January 1, 2016

First Friday: January 2016

"See then that you walk circumspectly {"looking all around you"}, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
Ephesians 5:15-16 {nkjv}

The Holy Spirit has been pressing these two verses on my mind and heart in recent months, and, as I pin a new calendar up on my door and see the year 2016 greet me, my prayer each day will be, by His grace alone, to "redeem the time" by walking in such a walk that I understand and do the will of the Lord, day by day, moment by moment. 

With that said, a happy New Year to you, friends! May we spend the next one in the new Jerusalem with our Lord and Savior.

Here's what I'm up to in January:

Looking forward to...
Sledding with my niece and nephew; drinking hot chocolate; feeding the sweet squirrels who congregate outside our windows; savoring the last few days of Christmas lights before they get packed away for next year; the sight of crisp stars in a velvet winter sky.

Finishing up 1st Peter in my quiet-time; beginning L.B. Cowman's Streams in the Desert {a wonderful Christmas gift!} as my yearly devotional; starting the second book in Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion trilogy; finishing Brother Yun's Living Water.

Finishing the rough draft of book 3 in A Time of Grace and getting that off to my gift-from-God beta readers. :-)

What are you looking forward to this January, friends? What's on your reading/writing list for this month?

Grace and peace,