Linda's Cozy Mysteries

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sold out? You Bet!


Carla McDougal, Author of "Sold Out"
I had the pleasure of meeting Carla McDougal when our kids were still in high school. They were a tight-knit group of friends, but she and I had never met! Carla was already speaking and had quite a church following at that time, but she just starting to put those wonderful words into print. Anyone who knows Carla, knows she has a heart for God, and it flows from her heart to the page. I hope you will see that for yourself as you read her books.  ~Linda Kozar


Where did you get the idea for your new book, SOLD OUT Live for Jesus?

In October of 2014, Philippians 1:21 lingered in my heart, "To live is Christ, to die is gain." I couldn't get it off my mind. Over and over I asked God, "What does it mean to live is Christ, to die is gain?" In the stillness, I heard, "Live sold out to Me. Let every action, thought, and conversation reflect an attitude that says, "I'm sold out to Jesus." Suddenly, the cover of the book popped into my head. A woman with a sign covering her face that reads, "SOLD OUT Live for Jesus." A message embedded deeper still, "It's not about me, but all about Jesus." Without a doubt, God embedded in my heart, "This is your new writing project!" I praise God for the unique ways He works, for it's all about Him.


What is the purpose behind the name of your book––SOLD OUT Live for Jesus? 

God desires for us to live each day with purpose. From the moment we wake up, God waits for us to connect with Him. His voice calls, but do we listen? SOLD OUT encourages readers to find purpose in life by drawing nearer to Jesus in real and practical ways. The heartfelt messages and analogies bring laughter, tears and understanding to God’s Word. Be inspired to live in victory and sold out to Jesus through your thoughts, words, and actions. SOLD OUT not only nourishes the soul but also ignites a purpose for living. 

What inspired you to write SOLD OUT Live for Jesus?

At age 40, I heard a phrase that rocked my world. Changed my perspective. Moved me to tears. These nine words opened my eyes to view God’s purpose for me in a whole new way... “Life is not about me, but all about Him.” Under the umbrella of God’s Word, my focus changed from what I can do for Jesus to surrendering it all to Him. Over the past 12 years, God has used this statement to shape and mold my writing. The front cover of SOLD OUT is symbolic of what I want my life to be. Just like the sign covers the woman’s face, I desire for others to see Jesus working in my life. SOLD OUT focuses on living out God’s Truths in every conversation, action, and thought.

Is SOLD OUT Live for Jesus a devotional or an individual read? Can it be used as a Bible study for groups or individuals?

SOLD OUT Live for Jesus is unique because it serves as a devotional and Bible study in one. This format caters to those craving to dive deep into God’s Word and is just right for those without much time on their hands. SOLD OUT is designed both for group studies as well as an individual read. Either way, the reader will be molded to look more like Jesus by the end of the book. I am in the process of writing the SOLD OUT Leader’s Guide, which will aide the leader in facilitating an in-depth group study. The guide scheduled to release January 2016 as a free PDF download from the Reflective Life Ministries website which is www.reflectivelifeministries.org.

God desires for us to live each day with purpose. From the moment we wake up, God waits for us to connect with Him. His voice calls, but do we listen? SOLD OUT encourages readers to find purpose in life by drawing nearer to Jesus in real and practical ways. The heartfelt messages and analogies bring laughter, tears and understanding to God’s Word. Be inspired to live in victory and sold out to Jesus through your thoughts, words, and actions. SOLD OUT not only nourishes the soul but also ignites a purpose for living.

Share with us your favorite entry from SOLD OUT Live for Jesus.page1image31336

Wow, this is a tough question. But, the entry PRAY 911, from chapter one, pops into my mind. In the midst of an oppressive time, or should I say a spiritual attack from the enemy, I was scheduled to speak at a women’s retreat. The oppression was so heavy and burdensome. Doubt plagued my mind. The morning of the event, I was sitting in my prayer chair and opened my Bible to Psalm 91. The first verse seemed to jump off the page, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Peace washed over me. God’s Word strengthened me for the event that evening. The next day I shared my experience with a close friend who said, “Next time text me to pray for you.” Her words continued to linger in my heart and mind. Later in the day, I read Psalm 91:1 again, and this is what I saw––911. My heart pounded with excitement! Immediately, I decided when oppression comes my way I will text PRAY 911 to my prayer team. I jumped up and started praising God. A smile emerges when I think of how God used this real life situation to teach me His spiritual life lesson.


Besides SOLD OUT Live for Jesus, have you written any other books?

SOLD OUT is my third book. The 1st book I wrote is a ten-week bible study called "Reflecting Him." Like Jesus's parables, Reflecting Him uses familiar objects to identify the connection between our physical and spiritual lives. God wants to be a part of everything we do, and this study is designed to help you become aware of His life lessons twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. My second book is called "My Prayer Chair," which focuses on encouraging the reader to engage in ongoing conversations with God, 24/7. My grandmamma is the inspiration behind My Prayer Chair. Her love, trust, and ongoing communication with Jesus played an important role in molding my prayer life. My Prayer Chair won multiple awards in 2013, and is now available in Spanish, and as an audiobook through Audible, iTunes, and the RLM website: wwwreflectiveministries.org/shop. All of my books are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Lifeway, and other online bookstores

Just for fun... How do you deal with writer’s block?page2image20304

Prayer. Waiting. Listening. For me, prayer is the key to writer's block. Communicating with God opens the door to the waiting room. In the stillness, I listen and anticipate His voice behind me saying, Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it" Isaiah 30:20. 




Friday, March 27, 2015

Babes With A Beatitude: Cuppa Tea and Cupcakes--A Pleasant Way to Celebrat...

Babes With A Beatitude: Cuppa Tea and Cupcakes--A Pleasant Way to Celebrat...: Cuppa Tea and Cupcakes Spring is in the air. Palm Sunday and then Easter are fast approaching and the sun is warm and welcoming. A...

Cuppa Tea and Cupcakes--A Pleasant Way to Celebrate A Spring Day With Friends!



Cuppa Tea and Cupcakes


Spring is in the air. Palm Sunday and then Easter are fast approaching and the sun is warm and welcoming. At least where I live.

So why not celebrate in a simple way? A simple afternoon tea with close friends is a great way to entertain on a dime. 

First: Text a sweet invitation to your friends. Use an image you own (like the one I purchased from Fotalia above) or if you have skills, draw or paint an image of a darling little cupcake. Take a picture and send it with your text invite.
You are invited to enjoy an
afternoon "Cuppa Tea and Cupcake"
with Linda Kozar and friends
on_____________
at her home
__________________________
RSVP_____________________
You're presence will be the 
icing on the cupcake!


Second: Gather what you need to host your tea. If you own a few teapots or can borrow a few, let's be honest, teapots make a tea party a tea party! So gather those teapots. Do you have tea cups? Same advice. If you don't own enough tea cups for your guests, borrow some or cruise the dollar store for plain cups and saucers. You can embellish them by placing pink cupcake papers flat on the saucer, tying bows out of thin satin ribbons on the cup handles or even painting little hearts or other designs on the cups. Pair a small plate, spoon, and napkin with each teacup and set the table.



Third: Choose your tea. It's always best to have a variety of teas on hand. But a good crowd pleaser is usually an English Breakfast Tea. If you can afford it, buy a Mango, Raspberry or Strawberry Tea for those who enjoy a fruity flavor. And a Chai for those who like spice. Keep some non-caffeine options open too. Chamomile tea has a pleasant taste and has a calming effect. Perfect for those with busy lifestyles. 

Fourth: Bake your cupcakes! Use a mix, ladies. This is an easy tea. Not fancy or elaborate. All we're serving are tea and cupcakes. If you live near a Trader Joe's, I adore their Vanilla Cake Mix. There are flecks of vanilla bean throughout and each bite of cake is heavenly. Easy to make too. A piece of cake! (Sorry, I couldn't resist).



How about two kinds of cupcakes? Cake mixes (especially with coupons) are reasonably priced. Serve a chocolate fudge cupcake right alongside your vanilla cupcakes. Or strawberry cupcakes with a batch of Dreamsicle cupcakes. Let the ideas flow! Bake and ice your cupcakes the morning of your tea so they're tender and fragrant. Plate them on a pretty tray with a tiny vase of fresh flowers from your garden or a sprig of herbs. And voila! Your table is set.

Fifth: Now to brew the tea. Word to the wise. Never try to brew tea in a coffeemaker. The residual oils from the coffee beans will spoil the taste of your tea. Trust me--I tried.

Gather
  • A tiny pitcher of milk or cream
  • A small bowl of sugar or sugar cubes (*You can pipe some leftover icing on each cube if you have some left from icing the cupcakes. Place leftover icing in a small sandwich bag, then snip a tiny opening off one corner of the bag, hover the corner over the cube and gently squeeze).


Boil a large pot of water, or use a teakettle if you have one on hand. The first thing you should do is pour boiling water into the teapot you plan to use. Put the lid on. Cover the pot with a tea cozy and let it sit for a few minutes. Warming the teapot in this manner will keep the tea hot a lot longer. After a few minutes, dump the water out, then place your loose tea or teabag into the pot, fill the pot with boiling hot water and replace the lid and tea cozy (or clean dishtowel). In a scant few minutes of seeping, your tea will be ready to serve!


Now enjoy a pleasant afternoon of good tea, glorious conversation and delicious cupcakes with dear friends. What better way could you celebrate a delightful spring day?

When The Fat Ladies Sing Mystery Series: 

Misfortune Cookies (Book 1)
A Tisket, A Casket (Book 2)
Dead As A Doornail )Book 3)
That Wasn't Chicken (Book 4)
Felony Fruitcake (Book 5--A Sweet Petite Christmas Mystery)
AND COMING SOON--Weighty Matters!

Read my latest article on Cozy Mystery Magazine. Marvelous Mystery Titles 

For a treasure trove of terribly terrific titles, go to my Pinterest page.

Read Two Left Feet, a funny story about learning how to dance with my dad.

Get a SNEAK PEEK at the book cover for my upcoming release!

And listen to the Along Came A Writer Radio Show (formerly Gate Beautiful). We're Christian authors interviewing four or more guests in our two-hour show--authors, screenwriters, agents, editors, and other publishing industry professionals. Find out how they got started in the biz. Learn useful writing hacks and tips, trends, industry news. And LOL at our funny rapid-fire questions at the end of each interview. Click the link above or below to listen to this month's show.

Along Came A Writer Radio Show



Linda Kozar (http://christianauthorsnetwork.com/linda-kozar/) and (www.lindakozar.com) writes both fiction and nonfiction titles, but is well known for her cozy mysteries. She founded and serves on the board of The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter, blogs regularly on Cozy Mystery Magazine and is the lead host on the Along Came A Writer radio show. She and her husband live in The Woodlands, Texas and enjoy spending time with their two grown daughters.