Patti's Porch

FINDING PERFECT PEACE AMIDST CHAOS by KRISTEN JOY WILKS
Tuesday, June 25, 2024 by Patti Shene

FEATURED BOOK:  Phooey Kerflooey

AUTHOR:  Kristen Joy Wilks

PUBLISHER:  Independently Published

GENRE:  Middle Grade Adventure

SERIES OR STAND ALONE:  Stand Alone, for now

TARGET AGE:  Ages 9-12

 

 

 

IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME AUTHOR KRISTEN JOY WILKS TO PATTI’S PORCH. KRISTEN SHARES HOW SHE AND HER QUIRKY CHARACTERS FOUND PEACE IN THE MIDST OF CHAOS.

 

 

 

FINDING PERFECT PEACE AMIDST CHAOS

 

 

 

by

 

 

 

Kristen Joy Wilks

 

 

 

I grew up at an off-grid Bible camp in the middle of the forest. Camp is a blast. It is fun and adventurous and rowdy in all the best ways. Camp is also chock-full of chaos. Finding a moment of peace in a camp setting can be a real struggle. Perhaps this is why I found myself writing a character looking for perfect peace with a new puppy, rampaging squirrel, and daredevil brother causing a constant squirl of chaos around him?

 

 

 

During my childhood, I remember standing in the pantry at the back of the camp kitchen scarfing down my dinner while kitchen chaos reigned around me. Summer adventures most often included camp staff and crazy games that involved chocolate syrup and gummy worms were normal fare. There were so many things I loved about my childhood at camp, but the struggle for peace was real.

 

 

 

I grew up and married a camp director myself. We raised our three sons in the middle of our own camp chaos and so I have real experience in my book character Marcus’s shoes. In Phooey Kerflooey, we get a glimpse at his struggle in chapter two.

 

 

 From Phooey Kerflooey Chapter Two . . .

The squirrel was now officially rampaging.

Had the squirrel set out to prove his chaotic prowess before Conner returned from getting his stomach pumped? It was like the wretched rodent heard that Conner was the most destructive living thing in town and had taken offense.

Marcus plopped onto the pebble walkway and sighed, taking in the swath of destruction. Hammocks, ravaged. Homemade comics, mangled. Baseball gloves, nibbled to death. Even their shoelaces were in tatters. 

This must be why there were so many “Don’t Feed the Wildlife” signs in National Parks. Not for the bears. No, they were worried people would feed the squirrels, encouraging this kind of rampant destruction.

If only they had a dog. A puppy would provide good, wholesome, non-life-threatening fun for his little brother—and chase the squirrel away, too. Marcus could snuggle a dog instead of biting his fingernails in constant terror for his younger sibling. He glanced at the glossy wooden sign Mom had hung over their new back door.

You will keep in perfect peace . . . all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Isaiah 26:3

Marcus scowled, looking around their dogless, squirrel-ravaged yard. They had a long way to go to perfect anything, much less perfect peace. Perfect chaos, maybe. Conner was bored, Dad and Mom were stressed, even the squirrel seemed unhappy.

They’d lived in all-out pandemonium for so long. What would perfect peace even look like? Marcus pulled in a deep breath and closed his eyes.

The faint warmth of sunshine pressed against his eyelids and a stiff spring breeze brought the scent of grass from other people’s yards. Maybe Dad would laugh and make more cheesy puns. Mom wouldn’t pace at night or spend so much time searching “How to calm hyper children” on her phone. Conner would find adventure, even in his chair. Marcus would make homemade comics with his brother again. They would finally have their own dog. A dog who would chase away that psycho squirrel.

Perfect peace.

It was pretty much the opposite of a squirrel rampage or a wheelchair flipping end-over-end down concrete steps, wooden steps, brick steps, or a homemade jump. Marcus opened his eyes. There had to be something he could do. Some way to help his parents, calm his brother, chase off the squirrel. A way to get that perfect peace from the sign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marcus’s big scheme . . . a new puppy! What do you think? Will a new puppy solve all their problems? Well, I will let you discover that on your own, ha! I’ll make it easy, the ebook is free for anyone signing up for my newsletter.

 

Scan here for Kristen’s newsletter.

 

 

 

 

As far as my real search for peace in the middle of chaos, that was no less problematic, but God is faithful even in the rowdiest of environments. You see, I didn’t want my husband to become a camp director. Why? I knew exactly how hard living and working at a camp would be. I’d already seen the ups and downs of camp life and there would be no honeymoon period for that particular job. My husband had intended to become a youth pastor. I knew that would be difficult as well, but I didn’t know all the details. Camp ministry, my eyes were WIDE open!

 

 

But God . . .

 

 

We were going to say no, but God called us. It was one of the clearest moments of hearing from God that I’ve ever experienced, and we’ve never gone back. God called us to something truly difficult, but worthy of our time and tears. Camp is full of chaos, but God has given us peace in the middle of everything. When we are overwhelmed and the needs of campers and staff are so far beyond what we can help with or heal, God lifts us up and carries us forward in His arms.

 

 

I do not regret following my Lord into the chaos of camp ministry, for as Marcus from Phooey Kerflooey finds out, peace comes with trust and eyes that are fixed tight on our Lord.

 

 

 

Blurb for Phooey Kerflooey:

A puppy will fix everything.

A boring new house?

Boring house + puppy = adventure!

An attacking squirrel?

Evil squirrel + puppy = a squirrel-battle extraordinaire!

A daredevil brother who zooms into constant peril?

Rowdy sibling + puppy = calm days snuggling their furry friend!

What could possibly go wrong?

When Marcus’s dog dreams finally come true, something is indeed terribly wrong. Phooey Kerflooey is eighteen pounds larger than expected. She will only eat organic lunch meat and drink from a china teacup. Plus, she is terrified of absolutely everything, including his brother’s wheelchair and that troublesome squirrel.

How can Marcus find “perfect peace,” like in Isaiah 26:3, when God has given him a whole lot of chaos?

Through a raucous tornado of personal growth, the boys and Phooey work together to save the day. But when the dust (and squirrel poo) settles, can they convince Dad and Mom to let them keep their puppy princess?

 

 

 

Kristen Joy Wilks writes from a remote mountain meadow that alternates between quiet and chaos. The mom of three sons, a cat named Whisper Persnickety, and Nessie Karu their giant Newfoundland puppy, she lives with her camp director husband at Camas Meadows Bible Camp where she is photographer and camp storyteller. Kristen once climbed a tree and snuck into church through the balcony to return a library book (and check out another) and has been pursuing stories ever since.  Her writing highlights the humor and grace God gives amidst the detritus of life. 


Comments

Natalya Lakhno From California At 6/27/2024 5:28:58 PM

Aww...he's adorable!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Isn't he, though? I just love him! Thanks for stopping by, Natalya!

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WELCOME AUTHOR CAROL McCLAIN
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1/12/2019

WHAT'S NEW FOR YOU IN 2019?
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1/5/2019

WELCOME AUTHOR TABITHA BOULDIN
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12/29/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR MICHELLE DE BRUIN
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12/22/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL PALLOTTA
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12/8/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR JUNE FOSTER
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12/1/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR LINDA SHENTON MATCHETT
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11/17/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR PEGGY BLANN PHIFER
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11/10/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR VIRGINIA VAUGHAN
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11/3/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR NAOMI MUSCH
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10/28/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR BARBARA M. BRITTON
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10/19/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR ALEXIS GORING
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10/13/2018

WELCOME WRITER JAMES WILCOX
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9/29/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR MARY L. BALL
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9/22/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR GLENN HAGGERTY
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9/14/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR J. E. GRACE
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9/1/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR LYNNE BASHAM TAGAWA
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8/25/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR H L WEGLEY
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8/18/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR JASON JOYNER
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8/11/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR DONNA SCHLACHTER
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8/4/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR LISA LICKEL
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7/20/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR HEATHER NORMAN SMITH
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7/14/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR REBEKAH MILLET
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6/30/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR CARRIE DAWS
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6/23/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR HOPE N. GRIFFIN
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6/16/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY
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6/11/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR TONI SHILOH
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6/2/2018

GDPR and ME
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5/26/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR BETH K. VOGT
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5/12/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR TAYLOR BENNETT
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5/5/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR PAT NICHOLS
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4/27/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR NATHAN MAKI
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4/21/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR GLENN HAGGERTY
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4/13/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR CYNTHIA ROEMER
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4/7/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR CATHERINE CASTLE
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3/31/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR SHELLY ROARK
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3/23/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR AMBERLY KRISTEN CLOWE
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3/17/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR ALICE K. ARENZ
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3/3/2018

WELCOME AUTHORS JULIE AND HANNAH ARDUINI
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2/17/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR BARBARA M. BRITTON
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2/10/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
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2/3/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR KELLY IRVIN
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1/27/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR H L WEGLEY
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1/20/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR SHERRI STONE
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1/13/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
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1/6/2018

WELCOME AUTHOR AMY ANGUISH
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12/30/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR PAULA MOLDENHAUER
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12/23/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR AND POET JEROLYN LOCKHART
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12/16/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR LINDA SHENTON MATCHETT
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12/9/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR LUCETTE NEL
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12/2/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR AMY C. BLAKE
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11/25/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR AND YOUTH MINISTRY DIRECTOR ROB COOK
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11/18/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR BARBARA M. BRITTON
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11/11/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR TONI SHILOH
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11/4/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR LAURA V. HILTON
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10/28/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR SARA L. FOUST
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10/21/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR MICKI CLARK
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10/14/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR LEEANN BETTS
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10/6/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR AMY C. BLAKE
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9/30/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR OLIVIA RAE
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9/23/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL PALLOTTA
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9/17/2017

WELCOME WRITER KARIN BEERY
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9/9/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR LATAYNE C. SCOTT
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9/2/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR LAURA V. HILTON
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8/26/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY
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8/20/2017

WELCOME WRITER JENNY HARRISON
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8/12/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER HALLMARK
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8/4/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR CHRISTINA LORENZEN
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7/28/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR CYNTHIA ROEMER
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7/21/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNA BRANDT
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7/15/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR KRIS VALDEZ
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7/8/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR ELLE E. KAY
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7/1/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR REGINA RUDD MERRICK
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6/24/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR LEE CARVER
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6/16/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR KIMBERLY ROSE JOHNSON
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6/9/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JULIE ARDUINI
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6/3/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JOHNNIE ALEXANDER
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5/27/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR VALERIE COMER
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5/20/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JODIE WOLFE
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5/13/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR DELIA LATHAM
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5/6/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR DEANNA KLINGEL
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4/29/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNA VICTORIA
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4/21/2017

THE SMALL MIRACLES
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4/17/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR TAMERA RAFT
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4/1/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
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3/25/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR ALEXIS A. GORING
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3/10/2017

THE HIGH CALLING OF MOTHERHOOD BLOG TOUR!
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3/8/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR SUE BARR
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3/4/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR KIMBERLY ROSE JOHNSON
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2/25/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR ROBIN PATCHEN
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2/18/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JUNE FOSTER
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2/11/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR PATRICIA BRADLEY
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2/4/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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1/29/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR LILLIAN DUNCAN
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1/21/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR MARY L. BALL
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1/14/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR VALERIE COMER
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1/7/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JOI COPELAND
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12/17/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR TERRI WELDON
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12/9/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR LEEANN BETTS
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12/2/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR RENEE BLARE
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11/5/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
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10/29/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR CLEO LAMPOS
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10/14/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR KELLY KLEPFER
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10/1/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ANGELA D. MEYER
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9/16/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR DONNA SCHLACHTER
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9/3/2016

WHEN GOD SAYS "NO!"
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8/22/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL PALLOTTA
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8/13/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JAMES CALLAN
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8/6/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
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7/29/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR CHRISTINE LINDSAY
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6/3/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR LEANN BETTS
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5/20/2016

Manners Are Golden ~ What the Bible Says by Nike Chillemi
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5/7/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR DIANE KALAS
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4/16/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR TANYA EAVENSON
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4/1/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY
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3/18/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JODIE WOLFE
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3/4/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR KARIN BEERY
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2/24/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ANGELA RUTH STRONG
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2/6/2016

REVIEW OF SNOW OUT OF SEASON BY CHRISTY BRUNKE
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1/29/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ELAINE STOCK
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1/16/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL PALLOTTA
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1/2/2016

IS CHRISTMAS REALLY OVER?
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12/26/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
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12/13/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
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12/13/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR BROOKE COX
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11/29/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR H L WEGLEY
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11/6/2015

PERSPECTIVE
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11/1/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
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10/23/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SALLY CHAMBERS
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10/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA POLLARD
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10/9/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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10/3/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR PAULA MOWERY
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9/11/2015

LIFE AFTER LIFE BY JUNE FOSTER
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8/22/2015

INTRODUCING A NEW BLOGGING COMMUNITY
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8/9/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN ANNE MASON
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7/24/2015

WHY WE WAIT
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7/11/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MISTY BELLER
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6/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR ELIZABETH MADDREY
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6/13/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DONNA DOUGLAS
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5/22/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
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5/9/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR LEE CARVER
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4/10/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR VALERIE COMER
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3/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MARIAN MERRITT
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3/14/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR AMBER STOCKTON
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2/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE ALMONY
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2/14/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JAMES CALLAN
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1/24/2015

A MODERN DAY MIRACLE
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1/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE PEASE
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1/10/2015

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART SEVEN
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12/27/2014

AUTHOR GINA WELBORN RETURNS
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12/20/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN ANNE MASON
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12/18/2014

WHAT DOES ADVENT MEAN TO YOU?
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12/14/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR PEG PHIFER
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12/8/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JANET K. BROWN
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12/6/2014

AUTHOR H. L. WEGLEY WRAPS UP PURE GENIUS SERIES
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11/29/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART SIX
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11/22/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR BILL GARRISON
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11/14/2014

WHAT DO YOU MISS?
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11/8/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAMILLE EIDE
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11/1/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART FIVE
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10/25/2014

DINOSAURS AND THE BIBLE
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10/19/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR GINA WELBORN
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10/10/2014

POINT TO POINT TO POINT
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10/5/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART FOUR
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9/27/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
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9/19/2014

BY THE NUMBERS
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9/15/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ADA BROWNELL
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9/5/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY
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8/30/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART THREE
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8/23/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA DeMARINO
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8/16/2014

SITTING IDLE
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8/10/2014

It's Hot Out Here! by CHERI SWALWELL
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8/3/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART TWO
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7/26/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
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7/20/2014

WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?
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7/14/2014

AUTHOR H. L. WEGLEY RETURNS
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7/5/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART ONE
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6/27/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
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6/20/2014

UNEXPECTED ACTS OF KINDNESS
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6/16/2014

REVIEW OF THREE NON-FICTION BOOKS
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6/7/2014

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR RENEE BLARE
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5/30/2014

SEVEN WAYS TO STRETCH SPIRITUALLY BY ADA BROWNELL
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5/17/2014

WHEN FINE IS NOT REALLY FINE
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4/23/2014

MOMMY MEMOIRS BY ANN VAN DE WATER
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4/19/2014

PLAY BALL!
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4/17/2014

JOE THE DREAMER BY AUTHOR A. B. BROWNELL
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4/12/2014

ON THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS BY H. L. WEGLEY
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4/4/2014

THE THIEF BY STEPHANIE LANDSEM
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3/29/2014

HUMOR AT THE HOSPITAL
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3/26/2014

HEAR NO EVIL BY MARY HAMILTON
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3/22/2014

WHEN THE ROAD GETS LONG AND LONELY
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3/19/2014

INTRODUCING RYAN'S FATHER BY JUNE FOSTER
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3/15/2014

WHERE ARE YOU THE MOST VULNERABLE?
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3/13/2014

INTERVIEW WITH WRITER BROOKE COX
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3/8/2014

Patti's Porch Welcomes Author Rebecca Carey Lyles
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3/1/2014

Flying for Jesus by Lee Carver
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2/22/2014

Putting Out the Fleece by Paula Mowery
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2/15/2014

What We Can Learn From the Olympics
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2/12/2014

Hush, Little Baby by Deborah M. Piccurelli
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2/8/2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside!
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2/5/2014

A Matter of Perspective
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2/1/2014

Introducing The Pure Genius Series by H. L. Wegley
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1/25/2014

Monopoly!
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1/21/2014

welcome author Cheri Swalwell
Patti Shene

1/17/2014

What Did You Mean By That?
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1/14/2014

Wildlife Video
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1/10/2014

My Best Reads of 2013
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1/8/2014

The Dumbest Kid in School
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1/3/2014

Good-bye to 2013
Patti Shene

1/1/2014

Focusing on What Christmas Really Means
Patti Shene

12/22/2013

One Spectacular Christmas Display
Patti Shene

12/19/2013

Where are You Going This Advent Season?
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11/29/2013

Shared Experience
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11/24/2013

Facing the Monster
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10/25/2013

Review of Reign by Ginger Garrett
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9/27/2013

I'll Be Happy When...
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5/14/2013

Sing Praises - Whether You Can Sing or Not
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5/5/2013

I Can't Do This!
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5/2/2013

BREAKING THE RULES
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4/28/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR TINA PINSON
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4/21/2013

Vulnerability to Fear
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4/17/2013

Faith and Fear
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4/15/2013

Those Temporary Interruptions
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2/21/2013

Grand Prize Winner at Int'l Wildlife Film Festival
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2/7/2013

Starsongs Giveaway Contest
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2/3/2013

Taking Stock
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1/30/2013

Welcome Author Janet K Brown
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1/26/2013

Winter - Bah Humbug!
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1/22/2013

Welcome Author Tanya Eavenson
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1/19/2013

Welcome Author Margaret Brownley
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1/16/2013

Travel Writing = Nearly Shooting Peacocks
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1/12/2013

Water, Water Everywhere - or Maybe Not
Patti Shene

1/9/2013

The last Day of the Christmas Season
Patti Shene

1/5/2013

Accountability in the Extreme
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1/2/2013

The day after Christmas
Patti Shene

12/26/2012

It's Dec 22nd - And We're Still Here!
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12/22/2012

The Next Big Thing - Blog Hopping
Patti Shene

12/19/2012

Vanquishing the Christmas Blues by Linda Rondeau
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12/15/2012

Christmas Rayne by Joi Copeland
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12/12/2012

The Christmas Stalking by Lillian Duncan
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12/8/2012

News From Nashville & Beyond
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12/4/2012

Author Susan Sleeman offers great advice about wor
Patti Shene

11/13/2012

Welcome Home!
Patti Shene

11/13/2012

Confessions of a first book editor
Patti Shene

11/13/2012

Going Home
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11/13/2012

GPCWC in Restospect
Patti Shene

11/13/2012

Vacation in the Adirondacks of New York
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11/13/2012

I am pleased to welcome author Staci Stallings
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11/13/2012

Meet Award-Winning Journalist And Author Ada Brownell
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11/13/2012

An Interview with Author Eddie Jones
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11/13/2012

Nano Day 11 - um - day 1?
Patti Shene

11/13/2012