Thursday, December 29, 2011


I would like to introduce our third guest blogger, Gina Conroy. 

It’s Christmas Time In New York City
by Gina Conroy

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas…”
When I think of Christmas,  I think of New York City. The chill in the air. The bright tree in Rockefeller Center. Watching skaters navigate the ice with grace, buying chestnuts from a street vendor to keep warm, and the Rockets Christmas show.
I’ve only attended the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes a couple times in my life, but both times they made an indelible impression on me. One when I was little. I remember standing in line holding a brown paper bag full of chestnuts too hot to eat. I remember the chill in the air, the long time waiting in line, and warming my hands from the warm paper bag. I don’t recall the Radio City Christmas Show, but I remember my mom telling me about how her mom would always take her into New York City to see the Christmas show. I wanted my children to have the same experience, but we lived smack dab in the middle of the United States. When I heard the show would be playing in Branson one year, I made reservations for the show and was more excited than my children.
When we walked into the theatre, I couldn’t remember the details of the show. Didn’t even know if the show would be the same, all I knew was that it was  spectacular and I couldn’t wait for my children to experience it.
The show lived up to its name. It was spectacular! The costumes, the music, the dancing, the Rockettes chorus line, even Santa showed up. It was a lively, show that kept the attention of my small children, but what I didn’t know was that it was going to be a moving spiritual experience for me that I would remember for a life time.
The moment came after all the glitz and glamour. The show was almost over, but the lights dimmed.  Then “the show’s pinnacle since 1933” began. In reverent procession the live nativity, with hundreds of people and live animals, started down both isle telling the story of the first Christmas without words.
My breath caught and my spirit was stirred as the wise men and their entourage brought their gifts to the baby Jesus. The king of the Jews whom they had come to worship. I’m not sure how long the procession lasted, but it was long enough for me to worship like they did.
All the “spectacular” of the show faded away and in that moment, in a dark theatre it was Christmas. God’s presence moved me, his love, the gift of his son, floored me. And no other Christmas show has come close! 

For more information on the show visit the Radio City Christmas Spectacluar  and to see if there’s a show near you.
Gina Conroy used to think she knew where her life was headed; now she's leaning on the Lord to show her the way.  She is the founder of Writer...Interrupted  where she mentors busy writers and tries to keep things in perspective, knowing God's timing is perfect, even if she doesn't agree with it! ;) She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, and her first novella, Buried Deception, in the Cherry Blossom Capers Collection, releases from Barbour Publishing in January 2012. On her blog Defying Gravity and twitter she chronicles her triumphs and trials as she pursues her dreams while encouraging her family and others to chase after their own passions. Gina loves to connect with readers, and when she isn’t writing, teaching, or driving kids around, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Book descriptions:
My Novella: Buried Deception
Mount Vernon archaeology intern and widow Samantha Steele wants to provide for her children without assistance from anyone. Security guard and ex-cop Nick Porter is haunted by his past and keeps his heart guarded. But when they discover an artifact at Mount Vernon is a fake, Nick and Samantha need to work together, set aside their stubbornness, and rely on each other or the results could be deadly. Will Samantha relinquish her control to a man she hardly knows? Can Nick learn to trust again? And will they both allow God to excavate their hearts so they can find new love?
Four townhouse neighbors encounter romance and mystery near our nation’s capital. In State Secrets, White House assistant chef Tara Whitley and FBI agent Jack Courtland stop a plot to sabotage a State dinner—and find love still hidden in their hearts. In Dying for Love, attorneys and opponents Ciara Turner and Daniel Evans uncover love while searching for justice. In Buried Deception, archaeologist Samantha Steele and security guard Nick Porter dig up love while uncovering a forged artifact.  In Coffee, Tea and Danger, amateur sleuths Susan Holland and Vince Martinelli find love while investigating a string of mysterious accidents.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


In Fruita, Colo. 

By Guest Blogger
Ada Brownell 

I’m Ada Brownell, retired newspaper reporter from The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado and a free lance writer who has sold to Christian publications since age 15. I’m the author of two books. Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal . recently released on Amazon and should be available soon at other outlets. Another book is Confessions of a Pentecostal, published by the Assemblies of God. Both books will be available soon as e-books. 

        In the late 1930s, my parents packed a few dilapidated possessions, leaving enough space for their seven children in the flat-bed truck with sideboards.
        The old tires spun through the dusty Kansas roads and then took the narrow paved road toward Colorado, through the mountains, and on to the Grand Valley.
        For the moment Mama forgot the time Dad had to find his way to the house during a dust storm by following the clothes line. She didn’t think about the long days and nights she spent covering her children’s faces with wet rags so they wouldn’t get dust pneumonia during the storms.
        She hoped the severe poverty caused by The Great Depression, the drought , dust storms and grasshopper plagues was finally over.
        My oldest brother, Virgil, went with Dad to check out the Western Slope of Colorado to see whether they could buy a little parcel of land and move. They bought a little farm in Fruita, 10 miles west of Grand Junction, the large city in the area where the Colorado and Gunnison rivers intersect.
 Along the highway Virgil stood up in the truck and watched as they left the flat brown plains behind. Virgil had his share of heartaches, too. The Shetland pony he loved so much got into Grandpa’s grasshopper poison and died. Virgil had covered the garden with screen wire—even the onions—and the grasshoppers ate it all, even the onions right out of the ground, leaving vacant holes.
        I can imagine Mom, pregnant with me, praying things would be better now. Then suddenly she felt the cool fresh breeze through the open truck window. They’d hit areas of irrigated land and green lush blankets of hay and winter wheat covered the valleys to the edges of the white-topped mountains. Some of the fertile soil was being plowed; some tender plants were growing here and there.
        When they reached the Grand Valley which would be their new home, Mama felt she’d landed in Paradise. Flat-topped peach trees blossomed in the valley next to Palisade, and climbed all the way up to Orchard Mesa and covered it.
        “Won’t there be danger of frost?” she asked Daddy.
        “Maybe, but some peach ranchers use smudge pots and it will save most of the crop.
         Homes everywhere had green irrigated lawns and flowers blooming. Wild flowers even blossomed along the road.
        The tiny white house Dad bought had only two bedrooms and a back porch, but Mama was delighted.They hung a curtain to divide the largest bedroom. The three boys slept on one side; the four girls on the other.
 It was only about a mile to the bridge that crossed the Colorado River and then the red Rocky Mountains that held the Colorado National Monument in their bosom rose high in the sky. The view out the windows of our home was better than paintings for the walls.
        Lush fertile land surrounded the little home and Mom and Dad had 10 acres. The garden was huge and Mom and some of the older children worked in it many hours from early spring until fall—when I was born. That made 10 of us in the house for Daddy to feed.
        Daddy and Virgil got a job shoveling coal from railroad cars onto trucks and were paid $1 for a 12-hour day.
        Times were still hard, but things were better than Kansas.
        A local church in the midst of a great revival heard a large family was moving to town and began praying for us. The lady across the street came over carrying her Bible. Mom had been raised in a Christian home, but her tattered spirit lay dry and nearly empty.
        God sent a good Christian friend to every one of my older brothers and sisters when they started school. Soon the whole family was serving God, full of joy.  Singing and music filled our house. I grew up in that kind of atmosphere.
        Because they canned and preserved everything they could, our table was spread lavishly with fruits and vegetables and unexpected company was never a big deal. All we had to do was go out in the chicken pen, to the garden or down to the cellar and we ate better than lots of folks eat today. Mom often asked the preacher, evangelists and missionaries for dinner.
        When we had company, as soon as someone prayed Mama looked around the table at each of us and said “FHB.”
        That meant “family hold back” and make sure the guests have plenty to eat.
        When I was age 8, my parents bought a big two-story house in town with four bedrooms, three porches, and room for my married siblings when they came home as well as guests. They still had several acres, a milk cow, chickens, raised other animals and grew most of their food.
        I live in Missouri now and when I go back to Fruita, I am amazed at the beauty there. What an awesome Creator we have!  


Thursday, December 22, 2011

HANUKKAH -- The Festival of Lights

by Molly Noble Bull

The Menorah, The Jewish candelabrum or lamp stand, ordinarily has only seven candlesticks—three on the right side, three on the left and one big one in the middle. But the Hanukkah lamp stand is different. It has four on the right side, four on the left and one big "Servant" candle in the middle. The servant candle is used to light all the other candles. 
Hanukkah is also known as the Feast of Dedication and the Festival of Lights to celebrate the eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt in the 2nd century. Christians believe the servant candle represents Jesus—the Light of the World. 
As the story goes, the Jews had only enough oil to light the Menorah for one day. Yet a miracle took place. The lamps remained lighted for eight days.
I read that the first Hanukkah took place after the Old Testament was written. Though the Jews celebrated Hanukkah, it is not mentioned in the Old Testament. However, Hanukkah appears to be mentioned in 2 Chronicles chapter 7 and verse 9. I report. You decide. 
[And on the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days and the feast seven days.] 
So perhaps it was mentioned in the Old Testament after all. In any case, according to the New Testament Jesus celebrated Hanukkah. See the Gospel of John. 
[And it was at Jerusalem the Feast of Dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not; the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believed not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish; neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my father are one.]
John 10: 22-30  
In 2011, Hanukkah began at sundown on December 20th, ending at sundown on December 28th. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lessons from Little People

by Teresa Slack
This is the most fun time of year to have kids in your life. No way you can be a Grinch while witnessing the wonder and excitement on their faces as they take in all the sights and sounds of the season.

So what can we learn from them as we consider the goals we set back at the launch of 2011 and the realization of how short we've come in reaching those goals?

(I don’t remember where or when I first stumbled across this list. I made a few tweaks to apply it to writing, but you can apply it to any goal setting or dream building you want. I hope it encourages and inspires you to try something new today.)

1. Everything can be a game. Add a little fun to your writing. Compete with yourself. Aim for personal records. You might find something that works no one else has ever thought of.

2. Don't walk when you can run. Every day is full of opportunities to increase your productivity. Don’t hold back. Don’t be afraid of breaking the rules. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Just take off and enjoy the wind in your hair.

3. If you don't like it, don't write it. Don’t write what you think the market is looking for. By the time your book is written, tastes and trends would’ve changed anyway. Write a book you would want to read.

4. Laughter feels good. Kids seem to inherently know that laughter can ease blood pressure, help your brain function, give you energy, and help you reach your goals.

5. Playtime is important. We get so caught up in work, and "have-to's" that we forget to take time for ourselves. Not only does relaxing make life worthwhile, it has real health benefits.

6. The world should be full of color. Splash your life and experiences with as many colors as possible. Try new things. It will benefit everything you put your hand to.

7. It's always more fun with friends around. Children tend to gravitate toward other children. It gives them spirit and makes them want to play all day. Whatever you’re striving for, find a group that understands what you’re shooting for and will support you in it.

8. Adventures are found outside, not inside. Every kid knows that the good stuff is in the great outdoors--fresh air, wide open spaces, limitless possibilities. You can't find those things cooped up in your tiny, stale office. Open the door and start a new adventure every day.

9. It's important to use your imagination. You can be Major Fantasia or Stupendous Woman any time you want. Give yourself permission to believe in your own super powers and let your mind take you wherever it wants to go.

10. Anything is possible. No fear, no self-doubts, no negative self talk, no self-criticism, no worries, no destructive anxieties or thoughts of failure. To a child, he/she can do anything. And do you know what? They're right.

11. You have your whole life ahead of you. Here's your chance to do it right.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


by Molly Noble Bull  

 The first sentence of a novel should grab the reader’s attention instantly. We call this a beginning hook. The beginning hook should introduce a problem or reveal something about the main character. Can you spell provocative?
Think of this one sentence as a headline, book title, or chapter title. The one sentence can ask a question, and the shorter the better.
.   If you absolutely can't come up with a headline, write the first line of a dialogue. But that first line of dialogue MUST be interesting, causing the reader to want to read more in order to find out what is going on and what will happen next.
Below are some examples. 

She'd seen him again.
(This opening came from The Rogue’s Daughter—one of my published novels.) 
Was he dead? 
Where was Sally? 
Why did he come here after all these years? 
What does he think he was doing?
A bang broke the quiet of the small library.  
Was someone following her? 


"I'm not marrying him, Father." Melissa North turned toward the door. "If you try to force me to, I'll run away."       
"He's the murderer, and he knows I know." Jane Scopes pulled her suitcase from the top shelf and carried it to the bed. "I'm leaving." 
"I'm taking the next stagecoach out of Tombstone—whether you like it or not."

I would like to propose a challenge. Write a beginning hook of only one sentence for either a prologue or a chapter one and post it at the end of this article as a comment. I will comment on your hooks.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Molly Interviews Jennifer Slattery

Molly Noble Bull:
Hi. Today I am interviewing Jennifer Slattery. She writes for Jennifer Slattery Writes for Christ to the World Ministries, the Internet Café Devotions, Samie Sisters, and the Christian Pulse. Visit her devotional blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives out Loud to find out more about her and her writing. Welcome Jennifer. Tell us what you mean when you say, “Just the Right Time?”  
                                                                         Photo of Jennifer Slattery

I don’t know about you, but often I think God and I are on totally different schedules. When I want to go forward, He pulls me back. When I’m dragging my heels, He nudges me forward. Over the years, I’ve learned by experience His timing is always perfect.

I agree. The Lord’s timing is always perfect. Please, tell us more.

The Bible is full of divine moments enacted after long, difficult waiting periods. Consider the ancient Israelites and how they slaved in Egypt waiting for their deliverer. Or think about David, the anointed king, who spent years hiding out in caves as the ruling king sought his life. What about Joseph? You remember him—the dreamer—the one who would one day rule over his brothers? The one who was thrown in a pit, sold into slavery, spent seven years in prison, to one day stand as the second in command to all of Egypt. What do you think he was thinking while he slept on the prison floor?

My mind would say that the Lord forgot about me, if I found myself on a prison floor. My heart would say, “Have faith in God.” What say you?” 

How many nights did his heart cry out to God, asking, “Where are you? When will Your promise come?” But each time God did come through, at just the right time.

God is good. But imagine what the Children of Israel must have thought, waiting for the promised Messiah. 

For years the people of Israel waited for their Messiah. They had the promises—from Genesis chapter three all the way through Malachi. While evil kings rose to the throne, Isaiah spoke of an eternal just Ruler. When the Israelites were taken into Babylonian captivity they cried out for a Savior. I’m sure many felt as if God had abandoned them. That God couldn’t see them.

I’ve been in that situation—many times.

But God hadn’t forgotten, and He wasn’t off-duty. He was waiting for just the right time. Jesus came at just the right time. 

He always does.

Step back about 2000 years to the Roman world. Greek and Roman development helped make the first century AD the perfect time for Christ to come on the scene. The roads created by the Romans increased traffic and commerce, allowing the rapid-fire spread of Christianity to the ancient world. The Romans developed a sense of unity under their universal law that helped pave the way for the idea of monotheism. (A large proportion of ancients were polytheists.)

Monotheism. The dictionary calls that the doctrine that there is only one God. And polytheism is the belief in and the worship of more than one god. So what you are saying is that the Romans were prepared for the worship of only one God at just the right time. Awesome.

“The sense of solidarity within the empire created an environment favorable to the reception of a gospel that proclaimed the unity of the human race in the fact that all men are under the penalty of sin and in the fact that all are offered a salvation that makes them part of a universal organism–Christianity.” (Cairns, p. 35)
Non-Romans could become Roman citizens and people could move freely throughout the Roman Empire. Such travel would have been difficult prior to the reign of Augustus Caesar in 27-14 BC. As Rome conquered neighboring lands, natives began to question their polytheistic views. If their gods had abandoned them into the hands of another, then perhaps their gods were not as powerful as they thought. 

Interesting. And then what? 

And then came the Greeks and the expansion of ideas that they brought. They brought a universal language that later aided in the communication of the gospel. They also brought the study of philosophy and a love for debate. Philosophers like Plato and Socrates encouraged people to look for an eternal Being. All of these things set the stage for Christianity.

Isn’t it amazing that God had all this planned hundreds if not thousands of years in advance? 

And I could go on, but in a nutshell–Christ came at just the right time. At the fullness of time. When all the pieces of the puzzle were locked in place.

Praise the Lord.

Just like Paul says in Galatians 4:4, “But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.”
And the Bible records this story–God’s love story–throughout its pages. A love story that will ultimately conclude in a great wedding feast. Are you coming?

Jennifer, do you have any closing words for those who need this message the most?

Maybe you’re in Babylonian captivity right now, crying out for a Savior. Now is the time of salvation. Maybe you’re enslaved by the problems of this world. God sees you. He loves you. And He’s coming. Even now He’s working out His plan. His good plan. His loving plan. Hold tight.

Thanks, Jennifer. You have inspired me, and I feel sure you have inspired others as well. I hope many will comment on this interview. 
I would like to close with a blessing found in the six chapter of the Book of Numbers, verses 24 to 27.

[The Lord bless thee and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name on the children of Israel; and I will bless them.
Again, please leave a comment. Then stay tuned for the bibliography. 
1)      Cairns, Earle E. Christianity Through the Centuries. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan; 1954.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


by Molly Noble Bull

Along with our regulars, I am opening the Writers Rest blog to guest bloggers. What I want are interesting settings from around the United States or elsewhere. Tell us about your hometown and state or a town and state or country you especially like.
I am also open to Christian movie or DVD reviews. If you are interested in doing a blog on any of these topics, post a comment at the end of this blog, telling the area of the country you would like to write about or the movie you want to review.
Near the end of the actual blog, you may tell about your newest book. Photos of towns, states, countries, movie posters and book-covers are welcome.

The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities by Margaret Daley, Ginny Aiken, Jane Myers Perrine, Ruth Scofield and me, Molly Noble Bull.
To find this book at Amazon or a walk-in bookstore, write Molly Noble Bull in the search slot.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Making a list & checking it twice.

We all have one. That hard to shop for person on our list. My friends tell me I'm the ONE on their lists. Every year around Thanksgiving they ask what I want for Christmas and I can't think of a single thing to tell them. It's hard to tell someone what I want. Most of the time it's even hard to know myself.

Coming up with a Christmas list for myself is tough enough. Harder still are gift requests you can't put under a tree. So let's play around a little. If you could wish for anything this Christmas that doesn't fit under your tree, what would it be?

Let's have fun here & be totally selfish and self-serving. No wishes for world peace or that everyone would finally learn the true meaning of Christmas. Those are great but for another post. For now tell us what's on your wish list that can't be bought or wrapped with a big red bow. Maybe a secret desire you haven't even told your friends or loved ones about. Like to get a book published. Or lose 30 pounds. Or fall in love. Or go skydiving.

For me, I would like more time to devote to my writing career. But maybe more time isn't what I need. Discipline should probably be the first thing on my list. Or a renewed passion to actually put those words on paper.

What about you? What's on your list that can't be put under the tree? Have fun with your answers. You're even entitled to a whole list. And shoot for the stars. After all, it's Christmas.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: Seven Days in Utopia

Reviewed by Molly Noble Bull

A strong opening hook and a Christian message are musts for me in books as well movies. However, settings come close behind, and Seven Days in Utopia, starring Robert Duvall, was set in a beautiful place—Utopia, Texas.


The setting was especially meaningful to me because it was set in the Texas hill country on the Sabinal River, and my family ate many a meal at the Lost Maples Café—featured in the movie. Yep, the Lost Maples Café is a real place, and several scenes were set in that restaurant. We even ate there before it was remodeled—way back when you had to go outside and up a flight of stairs if you needed to go to the restroom.
The plot is about a golf pro who thinks winning at golf is the most important thing in the world. After spending seven days in Utopia, he realizes that there are other things in life more important than hitting a little ball with a stick. This movie has a good Christian message. Nevertheless, the ending was weak.
Several conflicts mentioned in the movie were never resolved. I sat there in my chair, waiting for part 2 to begin, but it never came. We were told to go to a website to see if the hero made his last golf shot.
Before Mel Gibson’s movie about Jesus came out, my then pastor said that Christians didn’t know how to make movies. Mel Gibson proved him wrong. The people that made Seven Days in Utopia are learning.
I will see the sequel to this movie whenever it comes out because Seven Days had a Christian message. I just wish the screenplay had been a little stronger. 

I cannot end this article without mentioned my newest book, The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities by five Christian novelists. They are Ginny Aiken, Margaret Daley, Jane Myers Perrine, Ruth Scofield and me, Molly Noble Bull.

This book will soon be available in paperback from Westbow Press. But you can read it right now as an e-book at a cost of $3.03, if you go to Amazon and write Molly Noble Bull in the search slot. 

Friday, December 2, 2011


Tonight (December 2, 2011,) I plan to watch the Christian movie Seven Days In Utopia on Dish Network—Pay per view. If you have Dish Network, you can watch it too. God willing, tomorrow I will do a movie review of that movie.
I am looking forward to seeing Seven Days in Utopia because we lived within twenty-five miles of Utopia, Texas for about twenty-five years. Utopia is in the heart of the famous Texas hill country and beautiful. 
For us, this will be a sort of "going home" time.  
Stay tuned.