Monday, February 19, 2018

More Than Rubies

 A wife of noble character who can find. She is worth far more than rubies. Proverbs 31:10

Proverbs says “a wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies”, a statement that intimidates most women. It makes me think of my mom. She made her family her entire world. She loved my dad with a love that’s still single-hearted twenty-two years after his death, and we knew she loved us. That sacrificial love that dominated her life reminds me of the Proverbs 31 woman. My lullaby was often the sound of her sewing machine as she made our clothes.

The woman described in Proverbs 31 intimidates us because we believe she was some kind of super-woman, impossible to emulate. However, I think we’re seeing a glimpse of her entire lifetime, not one single day. She provides an example of the attitude all women should have toward the importance of serving as a wife and mother. This outlook is worth more than rubies to the Lord.

This interpretation is rare in our world today. However, we must undertake our task with eager hands, seeing it as important above all but our relationship to God. Her arms were strong and her lamp burned late into the night as she cared, not only for her own family, but those who suffered need.

This woman’s husband was well respected and she behaved in manner that honored him. The influence she made through service to others gave her the reputation of possessing strength and dignity. Rather than eating the bread of idleness, she prepared for her family’s needs far ahead of time. She undertook her God-given task as a wife and mother with a seriousness we are to emulate.

Her husband called her blessed, not only for her abilities as a homemaker, but for a spiritual life and commitment that served as an example. To make the Lord our highest priority, spend time in His word, seek His wisdom, pray for our family, and serve them with joy causes us to become the woman God created us to be.

There is winsomeness about a woman who puts her husband and family first. Nothing is wrong with having a career. Today’s economy often requires that women work outside the home. The key lies in what we see as our ultimate purpose, and that key is found in scripture.

If we first bless our families, the Lord will bless us in every area of life. Then we will be seen as more valuable than rubies, for our commitment, example, and the blessing we bring to others.

© Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, 2011 and January 19, 2018

Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Historical Writers of America, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 41 years. They have two adult children. If you’re interested in connecting with her, you’re to follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, or Amazon

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Interview with Author Stacey Weeks

Hi all, I would like to introduce author Stacey Weeks to you today. Here is a little about her:

Stacey is from the play-until-the-streetlights-turn-on and come-when-your-father-whistles generation. She's a cool-off-in-the-sprinkler, drink-straight-from-the-hose, and fish-off-the-pier kind of girl. She is loyal even when others are not.
She has wrestled with brothers, played Barbie with neighbors, and stayed up too late reading just one more chapter. She's from BIG Sunday dinners, steaming hot tea, and Saturday morning coin-sized pancakes. She grew up with Tupperware, paper bag lunches, Yorkshire pudding, and mashed potatoes.
Lots of mashed potatoes.
Her family is a finish-what-you-start, bargain-shopping, home-cooking, and respect-your-elders kind of family. She is one of four children framed in memories on a wall. She jumped off docks, endured eight-hour trips that took twelve, and sat in the middle bench seat of the family sedan.
She is a wait until you enter the house before driving away kind of mom. She boils the kettle in a crisis, and she knows that a job worth doing is worth doing right.
She is a fixer of old things, painter of everything, cleansed and forgiven child of God. She believes that nothing matters more than the Lord Jesus Christ and who she believes He is.

Welcome! We're so glad you could visit us today. 
Thanks, I’m happy to be here!

What made you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always loved to read and for a long time I thought other people wrote books. It wasn’t until I took a few online classes and began to study writing that I grew serious about it and thought that maybe, just maybe, God would bless this desire to write for His glory.

What is your favorite thing about being an author?

I love how it allows me to freely express myself and work through personal issues. It lets me experience things I would never consider without the excuse of book research. I love brainstorming with other writers. It is so much fun to plan a friend’s book because I can let my imagination run wild and carry none of the responsibility of pulling the story together.

Where did the inspiration for your latest book come from? 

I save newspaper articles with strange but true reports. A daring water rescue inspired one scene from In Too Deep. I used the idea near the end of the book, so I plotted the book backward – from end to beginning.

How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing? 

Most often, the truths that God is teaching me and the ways that He is stretching me also becomes the growth arch for my characters. When my character, Grace, was reading Proverbs searching for wisdom  - so was I. As she meditated on a beautiful passage in Job –so was I.

What do you want readers to come away with after reading your books?

I want readers to know that God is bigger than their circumstances. I want them to understand that even when life is unfair and we can’t make sense of it – God is always perfectly loving and leading us. His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours that we cannot understand them, but we can trust Him.

What is one of your favorite scenes in [book name]?

I’m drawing a blank! I can’t say any scene sticks out, but I love to read Sandra Orchard (Christian fiction) and Tess Gerritsen (medical crime). Critical Condition is my favorite book Orchard wrote and Playing with Fire by Gerritsen.

When you are stressed, maybe a deadline’s approaching too fast, what is your favorite snack food? Or so you have another way to cope?

I paint things or recover / repurpose something. I’ve painted upholstery, shoes, and even a carpet. I go for a run. If I keep my hands and feet busy with hard work it clears my mind and helps me focus when it comes time to sit down and work.

If time and money were not a concern, what one skill would you like to learn?

I would love to attend a seminary class on studying and teaching Scripture. I’ve taken online classes and really enjoyed them, but I would really love the feedback a professor or classmates would provide.

What is your favorite thing about where you live?

We live on a quiet cul-de-sac and our kids can safely play road hockey, basketball, and ride their bikes out front. I love to sit in my chair by the window and read while watching them.

What are you working on next? 

I’m waiting to hear back from Pelican Book Group about a Romantic Suspense tentatively titled Lethal Legacy: Travel writer, Jessie Berns, returns to her hometown to find answers about her brother’s suspicious death. With the help of an old friend, Detective Rick Chandler, they pursue a truth that someone is willing to do anything to keep hidden—even kill again. They uncover decades-old secrets that expose hidden sins and threaten the lifestyles of high-powered people in their small community. As they close in on the devious mastermind manipulating the town, it becomes frighteningly clear to Rick that Jessie is not the one calling the shots in her private investigation. She is the killer’s new target.
While I wait, I am working on a new untitled novel: When a drug scandal rips apart Jay Holloway’s perfect life, he learns that nothing was what it had seemed. Faced with losing everything, he finally becomes a man of God. But to save his family, he must fight more than a corrupt underworld intent on framing him. He must confront and conquer his strongest opposition yet: his wife.

Like a sunken treasure wedged in the lake floor, Grace Stone’s heart is submerged in the past. Her only hope in easing her guilt over her role in a tragic drowning is launching a Water-Survival program at Camp Moshe, but success depends on Grace risking everything on the man hired to rebrand the Christian camp.
Kye Campton’s extreme sports campaign lands him in hot water with the cautious instructor. His usual confidence wavers when it becomes increasingly evident that the camp’s fight for survival is against more than a declining economy. Will Kye be able to save the camp—and Grace—from a saboteur determined to see the place close for good?

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Fun with Kathleen Rouser

 I'm excited to welcome a blogging buddy of mine to Stitches Thru Time today.
Welcome Kathy! We're so glad you could visit us today. Let's start off with you telling us about your book.

Here’s the back-cover copy for Secrets and Wishes:

Stone Creek, Michigan - April, 1901: Maggie Galloway and Thomas Harper clash after their sons collide in a fistfight. Both widowed, they're each doing their best as a parent to their children. Outgoing Maggie has dreams for a home of her own and a business to provide for her son as she searches for God's path for her life as a widow. Reserved Thomas struggles to establish his new pharmacy and take care of his four rambunctious children, while wondering how a loving God could take his beloved wife.

When Thomas becomes deathly ill, Maggie is recruited to nurse him back to health. Taking the children in hand, as well, is more than she bargained for, but she is drawn to help the grieving family. Both nurse and patient find themselves drawn to each other but promptly deny their feelings.

A baking contest sponsored by the Silver Leaf Flour Company brings former beau, Giles Prescott, back into Maggie's life. When Giles offers Maggie a position at their test kitchen in Chicago, he hints that, along with assuring her a good job, it will allow them to possibly rekindle their relationship.

But then a charlatan comes to town, and tragedy soon follows. Maggie and Thomas discover the miracle potions he hawks aren't so harmless when an epidemic hits Stone Creek. Thomas and Maggie realize they must work together to save lives.

Maggie finds herself caught up in battles within and without: The battle to help the townsfolk in the midst of illness and chicanery, and the battle to know which man, Thomas or Giles, deserves to win her heart. 

Where did the inspiration for your story come from? 

The heroine, Maggie Galloway, is Reverend Ian McCormick’s feisty widowed sister who keeps house for him as a secondary character in Rumors and Promises. She also kindly befriends Sophie Biddle despite the rumors about her. I enjoyed writing Maggie’s character and the way she teased her younger, taller brother by calling him “little brother.” As her character grew through her actions and the humorous brother/sister banter, I became quite fond of Maggie and decided she needed her own story.

Turn-of-the-century pharmacist, Thomas Harper, was a peripheral character in my first novella, The Pocket Watch. I thought it would be interesting to bring Maggie and Thomas together by intertwining their lives in Secrets and Wishes. I was fascinated by the role of the druggist over one hundred years ago and what passed for safe remedies. It was interesting research.

How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing? 

My desire is to serve the Lord Jesus with my writing, using it to point others to Him as the solution. However, my goal is to write my stories in such a way that they exemplify the struggles and lessons learned through life and faith without coming across as preachy.

With my two novels I have had theme verses that have been in the background of writing them. For example, in Rumors and Promises, the theme verse was Exodus 20:2 (KJV) – I am the Lord thy God who brought thee out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Both of my main characters, Sophie and Ian, had to be healed from hurts and mistakes from the past. They needed to learn more about God’s grace, mercy, and power as they made choices and lived out their daily lives.

The theme verse for Secrets and Wishes is: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22 (Authorized KJV)

Maggie and Thomas, both in the midst of grieving, are trying to figure out how to be parents without the help of their deceased spouses and not expecting love to come into either of their lives. Yet, God has different plans for them than they expected, plans of healing and hope.

There is also quite a bit of humor in this book, some of it stemming from the fact that Maggie and Thomas are opposites that attract. It also stems from some of the comical situations with their children. I hope my readers will find some healing humor in the story despite the serious situations as the Lord works in interesting ways in Maggie and Thomas’ lives.

I kind of sum up the faith and spirituality part of my writing in my bio this way: “She longs to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives.”

Why did you choose this genre?

I’ve currently been focusing on inspirational historical romance, because I enjoy reading a good historical romance and also learning about how people lived long ago as well as helping transport readers to times past. Knowing people went through harder times than ours and came through victorious is an inspiration to me. Writing about love overcoming obstacles in bygone eras I hope will encourage my readers.

What are you working on next? 

I’m blessed to be working on a novella for Barbour’s Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection coming in 2018. My story is about the Mackinac Point Lighthouse and involves a shipwreck survivor with amnesia and the lighthouse keeper.

Very interesting. Looks like you have some great stuff going on. Thank you so much for being with us! 

Thank you, Amber, for having me as a guest on Stitches Through Time! It’s been a pleasure.

About the Author:
Kathleen Rouser is the award-winning author of Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and the novella, The Pocket Watch. She is a longtime member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Kathleen has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. She lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of 36 years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest. Connect with Kathleen on her website at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser.