Secrets Kept is a new release. It's a bargain at only 99 cents. I got my copy today. I look forward to reading more of the wonderful world J. L. Mbewe has created.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Secrets Kept is a new release. It's a bargain at only 99 cents. I got my copy today. I look forward to reading more of the wonderful world J. L. Mbewe has created.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Moonbow, my romantic suspense book, will be published in ebook format on December 17th by Alt Wit Press. I’m so happy to have found such a great publisher, one who believes in me and my book. My publisher commissioned a new book cover. I love it!
Here’s the blurb:
A widow, a doctor, an unborn child. Three lives are at risk in this high stakes suspense. Die Auserwahlten, the Chosen Ones, have impregnated Gisa with an embryonic clone. Is it evil or just a child? It's up to Dr. Rayden Brooks to untangle the web that keeps them captive and to save their lives. But will Gisa trust him?
Thursday, October 10, 2013
This year started out with a bang—a trip to the emergency room in January. And since then, for over nine months now, I have been battling health problems. Add to that the stress of dealing with my ninety-year-old mother’s worsening dementia, and…what can I say? I’ve fallen way behind on my goals for this year.
But things are improving! I am closing in on the last chapters of Moonbow. Based on some early beta reads, much of the book has been rewritten. And I have a publisher. Alt Wit Press will be publishing my book. I will have a new book cover and will reveal it soon—stay tuned.
Also, I plan to do the third booklet in the Rise, Write, Shine series. I was hoping it would be finished by September but that month has come and gone. But soon—I hope!
And, lastly, I hope to write Thunder’s Shadow during NaNo—if Moonbow doesn’t leave me completely exhausted and if my health cooperates and if…well, you get the idea. In other words, if it’s God’s will. I have a ton of ideas for this last book and look forward to getting started on it. It will be published next year…if I get the rough draft written during NaNo.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
Suppression of doubts either completely destroys faith or infantilizes the Christian.
Years ago, my teen children were taught some things I had never considered and led to some questioning. A group of parents said--"Should we pull our children out so they are not exposed to those teachings?" I said something like this:
"Truth is truth. If these teachings are not truth, digging deep will expose their falsehood."
Maybe I was overly optimistic. However, I do believe that doubts, questioning, and searching should never be suppressed. Only by digging deep can we excavate the trenches needed to build a firm foundation.
"The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." ~Acts 17:11 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
In Joshua, Chapter One, God promised Moses much more than the Israelites ever received.
Why? God tells Joshua: I will give you every place where you set your foot. (verse 3) The Israelites simply did not step out in faith to receive all God had promised.
Have we tentatively placed our feet onto the ice, to see if it will break under the pressure, to see if we will fall into the icy depths? Christian writers need to stride into their writing lives strong and courageous.
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. ~Joshua 1:7-9
God will be with us. He will guide us. Our job is to stay focused and to meditate upon his word. Let go of fears and step into the promises of God. He will give us success, perhaps not worldly success, but success nonetheless.
Just put your best foot forward today and claim the promises!
Throw Back Thursday
I found this in my father’s pictures. I’m not sure but I believe it was taken near Ansbach, Germany around 1952.
Cool landscapes—check out more at http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/eco-tourism/stories/too-beautiful-to-be-real-16-surreal-landscapes-found-on-earth
You can catch all of these over on my author Facebook page.
Please consider giving me a “Like” if you have not done so! https://www.facebook.com/SheilaHollingheadAuthor
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Enter to win below the excerpt.
An excerpt from Clothed in Thunder, Sarah Jane's first day at a new school:
Keep on hopping! Visit the links above for other great giveaways.
Friday, September 20, 2013
This is a meme I made from a picture of the pond near our house. God has given us so much beauty to enjoy!
Treasure Tuesday (Sharing treasure from God’s word)
Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them. If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success. ~Ecclesiastes 10:9-10 (NIV)
We know “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword.” ~Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
God’s word is our ax that helps us meet the world head on. Its sharpness will give us the strength we need to “quarry stones” and “split logs” without being fatally hurt by them.
The more skill we have in handling God’s word, the more we can combat the things that threaten to destroy our joy. And truly rejoice!
The sound of silence can be deafening and devastating. Silence is not always golden. Sometimes it indicates a putrefying morality, a fear to speak.
Remember: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. ~Proverbs 25:11
Let's speak and *write* with boldness.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:7
I found this among my father’s pictures. As many know, my In the Shadow of the Cedar series was inspired by my mother and father. In the third book, Thunder’s Shadow, Michael and Dan will be in the military during World War II. Lord willing, the book will be published in July, 2014.
You can catch all of these over on my author Facebook page. Please consider giving me a “Like” if you have not done so! https://www.facebook.com/SheilaHollingheadAuthor
Thursday, September 19, 2013
I have a strong personality trait—I crave change. I also have a strong creative streak and get antsy wanting to create. The decision was made to change the covers of my two published books for young adults. And, so, I contacted Lynnette Bonner and we put our heads together. She did a beautiful job on the new covers. I’m enamored of them and have to stop what I’m doing and pull them up to just stare for a minute.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
So, unless you live under a rock, you probably saw the hullabaloo about the performance of Miley Cyrus on VMA Awards.
But wait…I’m confused. Haven’t we had other performers doing similar things? Didn’t Michael Jackson grab his crotch many, many years ago? Don’t we have the Madonnas and Lady Gagas? Don’t we have commercials that sell products using sex? (The latest I’ve seen—Liquid Plumr).
Why the outrage over Miley Cyrus? True, there has been outrage over some commercials and some other performers but mainly among conservative Christians. What is the underlying reason for the attack against Miley Cyrus?
As a conservative Christian, I agree that commercials and many entertainers are portraying porn, including Miley Cyrus.
However, the shock and outrage is coming more from our expectations than from the reality.
Branding is an interesting concept. It is not simply the artist who brands him or herself. Branding comes from the fans also. We have branded Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana. She can skirt on the edges of the brand but can never fully break free. There have been exceptions where a few performers have reinvented themselves, but it is an arduous process that takes creativity and talent. Why go from a respected, well-liked singer to one people abhor?
Basically, these are my points.
1. Miley Cyrus became a mega star based on her likability, not on sex appeal. She needs to embrace that—if she has not done irreparable damage.
2. Branding comes as much from fans as from ourselves. Let’s own the important part our fans play in the branding process.
3. Our outrage should encompass all the manipulative, dehumanizing actors, performers, advertisers, politicians, television shows, movies, books, etc. out there. It’s time to wrench our country’s future back on the right path.
After all, the United States of America has its own brand.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Let’s keep our country worthy of the blessings of God.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Most of us love the Andy Griffith shows. In “Opie’s Charity” we have an example of a child embarrassing a parent. Opie gives only three cents to a charity fundraiser. Andy becomes angry after he asks why, and Opie explains that he is saving up his money to buy a present for his girlfriend. (And this, THIS, is what Jesus meant by not judging. Later we find he has a good reason to give his girlfriend a present.)
Here’s the entire plot: When the town do-gooder, Annabelle Silby, informs Andy that Opie contributed only three cents to a fund raising drive, Andy attempts to teach Opie the importance of giving with hilarious results. Shortly after Andy's lecture he meets Tom Silby, Anabelle's husband, on the street. Andy rushes Tom into the office out of public view. Andy then explains to Tom that as far as he and the rest of Mayberry is concerned, Tom is dead. His wife had told everyone that he was hit by a taxi in Charlottesville. Tom reveals that he wasn't killed at all, but simply got enough of Anabelle's nagging and left her. Rather than admit she lost her husband, Anabelle pretended that Tom was killed and proceeded to have a funeral. After visiting his grave, Andy convinces Tom to go home to Anabelle and patch things up. Back at home, Andy tries again to convince Opie to give more than three cents to the children's fund. When Opie refuses, stating that he is saving his money to buy his girlfriend Charlotte something, Andy gives up and send him off to his room without supper. Aunt Bee then turns the tables on Andy, lecturing him about having the same foolish pride as Anabelle Silby. Andy sees the error of his ways and decides to let the issue drop. Opie then reveals he is saving his money to buy Charlotte a coat because her family is poor and cannot buy her a new one. Andy realizes that his own pride has got the best of him. ~http://mayberry.wikia.com/wiki/Opie's_Charity
So, the parallel plot also shows embarrassment—this time between a husband and wife. Damage to relationships occurs when we hide our problems instead of openly dealing with them. Embarrassment comes from an inflated ego. This is why we are told in the Bible to humble ourselves before God. Humbleness leaves no room for embarrassment.
When we are disappointed and embarrassed by others, we often end up rejecting them. In this case, Andy sends Opie to his room without supper; Anabelle pretends Tom was killed. Rejection leads to feelings of worthlessness, and in many cases, the behavior only worsens.
Let me make this point very clearly—not being embarrassed or disappointed does not mean we allow misbehavior from our children or that we don’t work out problems with our spouses. It means we are open and honest. Our job as a parent is not to make sure our children reflect us in a good light. No, no, no. Our job as a parent is to raise our children to make correct choices, to train them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Nurture them. Even when they have a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. Or, perhaps, especially.
from Keisha S Caldwell on Facebook
Laugh for the Day via Facebook
I sneezed on my computer. Carl said, "Quick--clean it before it gets a virus." *groan* ~me
Thought for the Day via Facebook
When we are young, our love is written in the stars. When we grow old together, our love is written in the scars. ~me
Helpful Hint for the Day via Facebook
Friday, August 9, 2013
My brother sent me a link this morning about a mysterious priest who appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. You can read the story here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/07/angel-crash-missouri/2630227/
It reminded me of an event that happened to my husband when he was twenty. He was driving through downtown Opp, Alabama when a man stepped in front of him. The man fell on the hood of the car and then rolled to the pavement. By the time Carl reached the man, he was face down in a pool of blood as if dead. A crowd gathered and paramedics arrived. Carl moved back and watched helplessly.
A middle-aged lady with black hair walked up to my shaking husband and wrapped an arm around him. “He’s all right,” she said. A peace descended and later Carl searched in vain for the woman to thank her for her comforting words and presence. When he asked around, no one in this small town recognized the description. No one had seen her, or anyone else, talking to Carl. All agreed that Carl had been standing alone.
Later, a trip to the hospital revealed the man had torn ligaments in his hand but otherwise was fine. The blood had come from hitting his nose on the pavement, and the blow had also temporarily knocked him out.
So, who was the priest in the article? Who was the woman? What do you believe?
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? ~Hebrews 1:14
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
People do not always use Facebook to their advantage. Writers and especially Christian writers must guard their countenance. Of course we don’t want to be accused of this: You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. ~Matthew 23:27. My mother always said, “Pretty is as pretty does.” We need to cultivate beauty by studying God’s word. Let’s reflect the happiness from within us.
1. So don’t be all like--
(FYI:The Muslim man is the one kicked out of an event because he was too good looking.)
2. Cultivate kindness and your fans will love you.
3. But stay humble. And don’t make a big deal out of it.
4. And be careful of ranting or you’ll look like this:
5. Maybe you don’t want to be the fluffiest person around…
6. But let’s work to cultivate the right image to sell our books.
7. Because who wants to lose readers?
8. When we’re really looking for this:
Let’s make Facebook our happy place!
Saturday, July 20, 2013
For seven years, Alex has lived with a painful memory - the memory of her parents' horrific murder. As the sole witness, she has kept quiet about the identity of the murderer to protect herself and her family and friends, but when a journalist over hears her secret and writes about it in the local newspaper, Alex is plagued with fear that her parents' murderer will soon find her - and silence her forever.
Alex is catapulted into a race against time to save her own life and bring her parents' murderer to justice. She will face many secrets, lies, and betrayals before the truth about their murder is revealed.
Despite being a cop, Jimmy can’t protect Kandi from the one thing that haunts her. She’s in danger and doesn’t even know it. After it happened, her brain repressed her memories of the accident, and now, she’s taking a Biology class under a man who wants to see her dead. The memories have started coming back, and it feels like she’s miles away from him. How can he protect her when she doesn’t even know she needs protecting?
Can these characters pierce their way through the darkness?
She's an auntie to two beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews (and another unknown gender coming by the end of 2013) who take up the other half of her time, but she couldn't imagine spending her time in any other way!
She's a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Modesty is a topic that has been bandied about quite a bit recently. What is modesty? I say it’s an ever moving target. I assure you that if most Christian women transported back fifty years with their current wardrobes, church folks would be horrified.
This is an area that we cannot dictate to others. Here is a common-sense yardstick—if you feel uncomfortable wearing it and if it draws unwanted attention from others, choose something else instead. (If you find yourself among the people of Wal-mart photos, probably not modest either.)
Nowhere does it tell us what we are allowed or not allowed to wear. Nowhere does it tell us what TV shows or movies we are allowed to watch. It does say--Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~Philippians 4:8.
If a TV show or movie is not those things to you, then don’t watch. But each person needs to judge those matters for his/herself. We cannot impose our thoughts of what is “good” or modest upon others.
Where the Bible teaches clearly—for example, murder is wrong—then we do have the right and, furthermore, the responsibility to judge others.
Otherwise, leave the judging to God.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Ayianna discovers there is more at stake here than just her mother's disappearance and her familial duty to her betrothed. The sorceress has cursed the plains people, and it is a race against time to release them before the sorceress resurrects an ancient evil.
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Thursday, May 30, 2013
Zombies are everywhere—books, TV, movies; even the Centers for Disease Control put out an article on preparing for the zombie apocalypse. The Walking Dead on AMC accounts for much of this interest. The third season’s finale broke a record for the most watched drama series on cable TV. And, yes, even children know all about zombies.
My grandsons had a conversation a few days ago. The four-year-old said, “My daddy loves zombies and I do too.” The seven-year-old responded, “You can’t love zombies. They’ll eat your brains.”
Yes, we’re all familiar with zombie shows. I’ve noticed the zombie apocalypse in the shows I’ve seen is a microcosm of our world. It’s our world intensified. What would that do to our faith? How would we, as Christians, react when we see the chaos and evil around us?
Zombies, as most know, are single-minded in their quest for brains. Nothing stops them. They move slowly, yet steadily, towards their goal. They can lose an arm and will use the limbs that remain to claw through solid boards. If they lose legs, they crawl through mud and filth. Their thirst for brains cannot be quenched.
And that’s the same kind of world we live in. The world is relentless in it’s pursuit of our souls, never stopping in its quest. How do we combat it? The same way survivors combat the zombies.
When fighting the undead, the combatants don’t worry about how fancy their homes are, if they’re wearing the latest fashions, if they’re driving the latest sports model—they have no concerns about the material world around them. They are focused on defeating the enemy.
They actively search for the best weapons, the sharpest swords to chop off zombie heads, the strongest homes to ward off attacks, the most trustworthy friends to help with the fight.
And that, my friends, is the same way we fight the world.
We seek good companions to help us stay strong: A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ~Proverbs 18:24
We remain righteous to fortify our homes: The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. ~Proverbs 3:33
Good to know for the zombie apocalypse and good to know in the here and now.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Excerpt from Shine that will be published at the end of the year.
Someone told me yesterday that nothing polishes boots better than a little spit. Having a scientific bent of mind, I wondered about “spit.”
I know that real “spit,” saliva if you prefer, moistens our food and helps it slide down our esophagus easier. Even the most delicious food becomes challenging if saliva is not present. We choke on it.
In the same way, if our writing does not contain “spit,” readers are going to choke on it. They may manage to swallow, but it will be difficult.
Besides moistening food, saliva also contains enzymes that begin the breakdown of food. I’m guessing here that the enzymes might be the reason spit works better than plain water. The enzymes help eat away the gunk clinging to the boots.
In our first drafts, we also have gunk. Our “spit” will remove the gunk and let our words shine.
Spit is rather disgusting, and, yet, it gets the job done. Anyone who has ever spit polished a pair of boots will tell you it takes a lot of elbow grease and a lot of time.
Many people want to be writers. What many do not realize is the messy, disgusting part of getting the manuscript polished to a perfect shine.
How many are willing to take the time and effort needed to bring their writing to a stage of palatability for their readers?
Notice the title of this series? Rise, Write, Shine? Today, let’s make it:
Rise, Write, Spit-Shine!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
And then one day he discovers his special power when a girl, Jessamine, falls from a tree. More secrets reveal themselves as he grows to adulthood and discovers those around him are not whom they seem. Will Jessamine help him stand on moral precepts? Will Gareth allow even a chink in the armor he is encased in?
This is a fun read with likable characters. It delves into equal rights for women, steam punk, and the land of fairies.
However, there were a couple of problems—one was that the “bad guys” seem to come out of nowhere. I would have liked to have seen more scenes leading up to the ending. And, speaking of the ending, it seems over before beginning. Also, although I skim when confronted with long descriptions, at times it was difficult to visualize the surroundings due to the sparseness of detail.
Despite the minor problems, overall, I enjoyed the book and can’t wait for the next in the series.
**I received an ARC for a fair, honest review.**
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Had a great day yesterday at the Weogufka Center that is dedicated to supporting Alabama Writers and Artists. I got to visit with some authors and met some wannabes too. It's always great to share your passion with others and speak words of encouragement while receiving encouragement.
These were the authors invited: Brenda Ladun from Birmingham Alabama; Col Alton Barnes, Sheila Hollinghead (me!) from Opp Alabama; Annie Brown from Birmingham Alabama; Ron Tew from Pensacola Fl; Cabot Barden from Talladega Alabama; Sandra Davis from Gulf Breeze Florida; Charles Davis Gulf Breeze, FL; Rick Watson from Empire Alabama; Michele Linn Boartright from Sylacauga Alabama; Joe Teel from Brent Brook Mission; Tiara Hawthorne from Brantley Alabama; Denise Cook-Godfrey from Sylacauga Alabama; Noah Sanders Hanover Alabama; and Pamela Ree Pearson from Sylacauga Alabama