Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Jordan's ego is too big for his golden britches on #thebachelorette

I don't think I've gotten to start and stay on track with the live airing of The Bachelorette once this season. I tried once.

Tonight, I taught VBS, came home, ate dinner, started some photo uploads, and at 10 PM am just getting started. Seems to be the time I get going every time. 

So, we were at the cocktail party when the episode ended last week. Clay went home with a broken wrist, and that's where we left it. Tonight, Becca is still talking to some guys. She and Blake talk about how many children they want to have and what they want to name their daughters.

All the men sit around seriously discussion the severity of David's fall from the bunk bed. Jordan has an odd camera interview where he says he talks to God daily and some people that go against him wind up hurt. I guess he is alluding to having God smite David. Jordan's ego is too big for his britches.  

Speaking of Jordan and britches, when he gets time alone with Becca, she gives him a pair of golden shorts. Like Joseph and his coat of many colors... (Sorry, that's the lesson I covered multiple times tonight - three official lessons taught.) The man thinks there are men in the house who thinks he is the best looking man in the house. I don't know that any of them think that.

David arrives back at the mansion to a warm reception from the men. He looks rough. Becca takes him off to talk. So that he doesn't have to stand through the rose ceremony, she gives him a rose early so he can go rest. He shows off the rose to the men, then heads up to sleep. 

Now for the rest of the roses...

Recap: Chris and Colton have roses from last week's dates. Clay got a rose on his date, but went home to have wrist surgery. David got the pity rose. (Jordan just used the same term, after I did, which makes me sad.)
  1. Jason
  2. Wills
  3. Nick (Who is wearing a track suit for some reason. I don't know why. Didn't notice before.)
  4. Christon
  5. Lincoln
  6. Blake
  7. Garrett
  8. Leo (Surprised he is still there.)
  9. John
  10. Connor
  11. Jordan (grrrrr...)
  12. Jean Blanc
That means that Mike and Ryan are gone. They weren't memorable. Mike and a man bun, but I had to try to figure out Ryan's name to type it here. 

It's time to leave the mansion. They all pack up to leave for Park City, Utah.

Becca comes to visit the guys in their cabin. She picks up Garrett for the one-on-one date. He got the first impression rose, so she's had a thing for him from the get go. She admits he gives her butterflies and she finds him attractive (to the camera, not to him). Becca thinks her dad would have liked him. 

Back at the cabin, the men try to convince Lincoln that the world is not flat. Something about a belief in friction... Supposedly, he is serious...

Back to the date. Onto the ski lift. Since they are at Olympic Park, they are going to go bobsledding. They are being coached by 2006 silver medalist bobsledders who were a team and fell in love. (Raised eyebrow. #convenient) They actually do a four man bobsled. 

As they go into dinner time, Becca says the day was a 10 out of 10. She tells Garrett that he reminds her of her dad because of their love for adventure and the outdoors. 

When it's time to talk about past relationships, Garrett talks about the last time he was in love. He reveals he was previously married. They were together for a year and a half before they got engaged, a year before they got married, then were only married two months before they got divorced. Hmmm. That's when he realized he feel in love and got married to the wrong person. This raises red flags.

Date card time... "Jordan, Chris, Blake, Nick, John, Lincoln, Leo, David, Connor, Christon, Jason, Colton, Jean Blanc..."

That means Wills is the one left for the other one-on-one date. 

Becca starts asking more questions about Garrett's ex-wife. He says she was emotionally abusive, building him up and tearing him down. She drove a wedge between him and his family. Becca asks about what if he's not ready when the time comes to propose. Garrett says he's had two years to start to heal and won't say "I love you" until he's serious about someone. 

He does end up with the date rose. Time for a concert and dancing to Granger Smith. 

The date... lumberjack competition. The Lumber Jack and Jill fell in love through the sport, by the way. 

First up, everyone tries their hand at splitting wood with an ax. Most of the guys do well. Some embarrass themselves. There's an ax throw and log flipping. All this is practice for the big competition. 

The men are divided into teams and compete relay style. The Golden Ax goes to John. 

That night, Becca comes to the conclusion Jason is a good kisser. Jordan is wearing his golden underwear. He takes off his pants to prove it. Then he goes back out to the men sharing them off. 

Chris and Colton take Jordan out to tell him what they think about how he's behaving. That goes over real well.

Jean Blanc gives him some perfume because that's his thing. He awkwardly tries to kiss her. It didn't go well. She's probably relieved Leo interrupts. He goes back for a second conversation. Becca tells her he's coming on too intense and she's not sure she's on the same page. She decides to cut him loose and walk him out. He asks about the gift he just gave her. It gets weirder. He says something that makes her question which parts of what he said were honest. He takes back what he said about falling in love with her when she doesn't reciprocate. It puts her in a funk, so she goes back in and tells the rest of the guys she wants them to be sincere with her. She decides not to give out the date rose. 

The next day before her date with Wills, Becca is still shaken up. She starts off the date for apologizing for her funk. They set off on a snowmobile. The whole thing seems mellow. 

The dinner portion is a snoozefest too. They talk about his last relationships. They talk about their fears... his is not being enough for someone. He gets the date rose. 

All the men sit around being filmed at cabin on the morning before the rose ceremony. Chris Harrison comes in and tells them Becca knows what she wants to do, so there won't be a cocktail party before the rose ceremony. 

Garrett and Wills have their roses...
  1. Leo (Still surprised he's there.)
  2. Colton
  3. Blake
  4. Jason
  5. Connor
  6. Lincoln
  7. John 
  8. Chris
  9. David
  10. Jordan (UGH!)
That means the men headed back to where they came from are Nick and Christon. 

Next stop... Vegas. I think David and Jordan go on the two-on-one!

Sunday, June 17, 2018


I love having a big group! I snagged this video on our Unity Sunday where all the Churches of Christ in town come together for worship. These are actually all our kids, but most everyone was sure to be there that morning.


By John W. Thompson; © Kruger Organisation
Used by permission. CCLI # 1132191

(girls echo)
Oh Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true.
With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living
Sanctuary for You.

It was you Lord, who sent the Savior
Heart and soul Lord, to every man.
It is you Lord, who knows my weakness,
You refine me with Your own hand.

Lead me on Lord, through my temptations
You refine me from within
Fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit,
And take all our sins away.

Lord teach Your children, to stop the fighting,
And start uniting, all as one.
Let’s get together, loving forever
Sanctuary, for You.

And when He comes with shouts of glory
And our work on earth is done
O, how I long to hear Him saying,
“Faithful servant well done.”

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I lack the ability to take decent selfies

I know you have read my complaints about the lighting in my house before. I have a really hard time taking good pictures because of the lighting. There's not tons of natural lighting in the house, and as far as light fixtures are concerned, it's still not well let. Then, there is fluorescent lighting. Bad, bad, bad. That and my phone takes horrible pictures. Horrible, horrible pictures. 

Here are two terrible examples of selfies. Before and after getting my hair cut yesterday.

First of all, this is a picture trying to show how long my hair had gotten. The back was or seemed longer than it shows here. This is me trying to get the shot in my very small, oddly shaped half-bath upstairs lit with a twirly bulb. Plenty of light. Just hard to tell it here. The rest of the upstairs is very dark, especially with the heat shield curtains closed and the bulbs needing changed in the fan. The second one just went out. I always change them at the same time. 

Anyway, my hair was long, made for a great long ponytail when straightened, but was a complete hot mess in more ways than one when I didn't tame it.

The lighting for pictures in my living room is always bad. Without the light above my head (in the pic) on, it's really dark (one light bulb), but with it on, it's a weird affect.

Oh, and no, I didn't dye my hair. I don't know why it's so dark. That's my other point. The effects are weird. I also think I look cheezy and have additional chins when I smile thus no smile.  

You should have seen the pile of hair I left on the floor. Now, I HAVE to straighten or curl it. That is one of the perks of working at home, by yourself. If you don't fix your hair, it doesn't matter because no one will see it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Really good news and stupid bad luck

I have some really good news... in addition to good things I have going on with "Audra Jennings PR" as I call it, I'm joining the team at New Growth Press as Publicity and Social Media Manager! 

I have worked with the team on various projects for I can't tell you how many years! (I think probably 14... something like that.) I worked on publicity for the first book they released. I am excited about the new adventure.

It's the first time I've worked on staff for a publisher, so even though I get to do a lot of what I have done before, I'll get to venture into some new areas too.


After lunch with the owner today, I ventured home to set up a new computer. I haven't worked on a Mac in forever, but shouldn't be a big deal.

Shouldn't be...

I set up a new Apple ID at the same time I set up the computer password. Then, I did updates that restarted the computer before getting the validation email on the account. That completely locked me out of the computer and I spend over two hours with Apple support and went through FOUR support reps. That's partly had to get higher level of support part I got disconnected from the second guy.

Then, after I got into the computer, I got locked out of the ID for another 24 hours. It was a mess!

Talk about feeling like an idiot. I felt like a giant loser.

Technology has been the farthest thing from my friend lately. I feel like I haven't gotten squat done in two weeks. I have literally lost track of the number of times I have talked to AT&T via phone and chat on their website. My internet connection has mucked up everything I have been working on. Supposedly they were going to send me another router because mine was faulty (same diagnosis as my old one about two weeks ago), but that order never went in. Finally, they have decided it is a line issue and will be out on Saturday between 8 AM - 8 PM. It's a good thing I planned to be home anyway.

So help me, after Saturday, it better be fixed. I have work to do!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Even more odd things going down on #thebachelorette

Urg. I had watch the last ten minutes online. 
Here I go back posting this week’s episode of The Bachelorette again. I was going to work on it after getting back from Peyton’s softball game, but my parents’ air conditioner went out and they needed to come over here to sleep, so it wasn’t a good time to start work on it.

Of course, here I actually am on Tuesday after long day. Terrific in that there’s a good job announcement to make (more on that tomorrow’s post), but also maddening in how I ended up on the phone with tech support for two hours. (This time not with AT&T, but had to be on chat with them yesterday, and I’m waiting for another new router. Because my internet keeps spacing in and out, I am having to type this as a word doc to paste into the blog.)

Anyway… 10 PM Tuesday hoping to get this in before I fall asleep typing from the chair in my living room.

This week’s episode starts on a rainy day where David is complaining about Jordan, especially his roaming unclothed. Jordan talks about David being a dry chicken with no sense of humor who is always cooking scrambled eggs.

Colton is still wondering where things stand with Becca. I finally understand what her issue was with him dating Tia. She thinks he’s only there because he was hoping Tia would have been The Bachelorette. I didn’t put that together until she talked about it in the previews. I don’t know why I didn’t get that before. I just didn’t.

Chris Harrison arrives with the date card happy that Jordan has on some clothes instead of just his swimsuit. He asks what else is going on. He tells them that Becca has gotten really serious. There will be two group dates and a one-on-one. No two-on-one to get rid of David and Jordan at the same time or Lincoln and Connor.

After leaving the card, Blake reads it. “Wills, Jason, Jordan, David, Jean Blanc and Colton. It’s time to relax.”

Jordan is annoyed about going with David. Colton is ready to make a move and get past the speed bump.

Before the men arrive, a bunch of the women from last season join Becca for mimosas. They are going to the spa and will be the extra eyes and ears. Becca brings up Colton to Tia. Bekah (the weed farmer too young for Arie) asks questions and puts together the Colton hoping Tia was the bachelorette part. I’m not sure if that sentence made sense.

Becca informs the men that they are the ones doing the pampering instead of being pampered themselves. The men go in and meet the women. Colton thinks it’s one of his worst nightmares to be there with Tia given he was on thin ice.

When Becca introduces the men, she stumbles over remember Jason’s name. He didn’t go on a date last week, so out of sight, out of mind.

Jason and Colton talk about the awkwardness of Tia being there. He’s the only one that knew about the Colton situation from Colton himself.

I’m never going to get the episode finished. I already had to pose to rest my eyes.

One of the things the women are watching is to make sure the men are actually paying attention and spending extra time with Becca.

Becca takes Tia off to talk. Tia says Colton told her about getting picked on the show soon after when they met. She still doesn’t know if he has the right intentions, so will have to talk to him later. I’m tired of hearing about it already.

When Becca arrives for the evening part of the date, Wills pulls Becca off first. Snooze.

Becca tells Jason she really did remember his name and that he makes her a little nervous (in a good way). They start a make-out session.

Jordan talks in front of the other men about getting an email congratulating him on 4000 matches on Tinder. They ask him how much swiping he had to do and how much time he had to spend each day.

When David talks to Becca, he’s obnoxious. I hate the sound of his voice right now. He tells her he gets along with everyone except Jordan who walks around undressed. (Jordan wasn’t completely naked even though everyone else was in suits. Yes, he was being a turd and should have gotten dressed instead of wearing a blanket to the rose ceremony, but why bring it up.) Becca interrupts him to remind him of the chicken suit. He also tattles on the Tinder thing.

Becca comes back around later congratulating Jordan on his matches. David and Jordan have some battle of the words. Jordan goes to talk to Becca next. She says he has a sense of humor. He says he has a hard time finding a hard time finding 100% match on intensity. He defends his masculinity while being in his element of pampering. His ego is HUGE.

When Jordan joins the group again, it’s David vs. Jordan. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I think some of the guys are creating a drinking game with all this. David accuses Jordan of being there to build his modeling career. Jordan starts bragging on himself and his image and his professionalty. Jordan and his made-up words may be the most annoying thing about him when there are so many annoying things.

Back at the house, the next date card arrives. “Chris - Let’s make your heart sing.” That’s all there is to that.

Group date… Colton and his blahblahblahblah to Jason. Becca still yadayadayada… here for me… She sits Colton down to talk about it. He wants her to know he’s being serious. For all the muttering and nothing particularly convincing in the conversation that I heard, I’m surprised that Becca gives Colton the rose.

Next day… next date… Becca and Chris head off in a limo. They arrive at Capitol Records. When they go in, Richard Marx is playing the piano. I don’t know how Chris recognizes him. Lines had to be fed to him. Yes, I know who he is, but after 20 something years since his last hit, I wouldn’t recognize him.

Becca tries to sing, “Right Here Waiting for You” with him, and it is painful. Richard says for the date they will be writing a song. Chris has a mini meltdown because he’s afraid of being vulnerable this early on. There’s some sappy sharing of bad lyrics/poetry. Awkward. Richard plays the guitar some. Becca and Chris dance around the floor.

Then there is a 10-15 minute interruption with live news break of President Trump and Kim Jong-Un -shaking hands. The show then resumes in its entirety, but my DVR is going to cut off before the end. I’m going to have to pull that up online which annoys me.

The final date card of the night arrives, “Clay, Leo, Christon, Ryan, John, Garrett, Mike, Lincoln, Connor, Blake - we can tackle anything together.”

Nick is the odd man out without a date. Both football players should have been on the same date to side into teams. In middle of all the men, Jordan tells Colton he has a question for him that he can ask there or pull him aside to ask. Jordan asks him about the Tia thing. David starts in on Jordan again.

Dinner with Chris… rehash what had made him nervous - writing things down and expressing himself. He didn’t want to build up feelings to be brought down. He starts talking about his father leaving his family on New Years Even when he was 7 years old. It’s an odd transition/time to reveal this. Evidently, he wrote a letter to his dad after many years, and his dad didn’t write back. This was why he got emotional. He gets the date rose.

Cue private concert with Richard Marx. I can’t name one song he sang other than “Right Here Waiting for You.”

At the house, David is carried out of the house on a stretcher. Basher from Oceans 11, I mean Lincoln talks about how there is blood everywhere and how they hope David lives. A dramatically edited moment that concludes with Jordan sitting by himself in the living room before cutting to commercial.

A shot of a little bit of blood on the floor opens the next segment of the show. Some of the men talk about the bloody scene. Chris Harrison shows up at Becca’s hotel to tell her that there was an incident and one of the guys was rushed to the hospital and is in intensive care. Busted nose. Busted face. Becca asks who did it. All this is told very dramatically. Then, Chris Harrison reveals this happened after David fell out of bed. Becca and Chris call him. David laughs it off saying he’s used to sleeping in a king-sized bed.

Jordan puts a rail on the bed to keep it from happening again.

Moving along to the group date. A couple of female football players come out to show them how it’s done. They go through drills and try to show off.

Clay shows his aggressive side - we’ve only seen nice Clay so far, and Becca likes seeing him in his element.

They suit up in full gear to really get into the game. They are all playing to win. Clay does not want to lose (he ties the game in the last play) and hurts his wrist. They have to call in the medic.

The evening portion of the date takes place in an antique shop. That’s bizarre and random.

Blake is already talking about how weird it is being on a group date after being on the one-on-one. He calls her his girlfriend and this makes her giddy.

Clay comes back to the date with a sling. An ortho has to check it out tomorrow. She tells him about how it was fun to see him in his element, but he didn’t rub it in to anyone.

When they all come back together, she wants to give the rose to someone who makes her feel like a princess. She gives it to Clay.

Here is where I have to try to get the online video to work for me. My internet connection may give me fits!

Cocktail party time!

Nick is plotting his move. Without a date, he has to make up for lost time. When Becca arrives and makes her toast, you can really hear her ice rattling in her glass.

But first, Connor has to take her out to the driveway for some t-ball because he acknowledges he’s not much of a football player.

By this point, Clay has seen the ortho who told him he needed to have surgery to fix his wrist. She doesn’t want to lose the chance of having something with Becca, but needs surgery so he can play football and earn his pay for the next few years. He has to sit down and talk to her about it. He claims it’s the hardest decision he’s ever had to make. He knows it’s the choice he has to make… to leave. Now, he was sitting on a bench in front of the fireplace, and when he gets up, he puts weight on his splinted wrist as he uses that hand to push himself up. If it was hurting that bad, he wouldn’t have been doing that. He tells Becca he has to leave to provide for his family. She was starting to have feelings for him. HMMMM.

This really upsets Becca, and that’s where we have to leave it for the week. I hate it when we don’t get the rose ceremony at the end of every episode. Urg. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Blue Skies and Rainbows

I do have a couple of new videos I need to upload, but I haven't had a chance. Besides, my internet has been so terrible, I don't know if they would load right now. A new router is hopefully the fix. 

Blue Skies and Rainbows
By Gary L. Mabry

Blue skies and rainbows,
and sunbeams from heaven,
Are what I can see,
When my Lord is living in me.

I know that Jesus is well and alive today.
He makes His home in my heart.
Never more will I be, all alone since He,
Promised me that we never would part.

Green grass and flowers,
all blooming in springtime,
Are works of My master,
I live for each day.


Tall mountains, green valleys,
The beauty that surrounds me,
All make me aware,
Of the One who made it all.


I’m not ashamed of
the Gospel of Jesus,
For it is the power,
That saves us today.


Friday, June 8, 2018

I Read with Audra

I am working late on a Friday night trying to catch up on some work. Technology has been my enemy the past couple of weeks, and I'm paying for it.

One of the things I am working on is my first blog tour under "Audra Jennings PR." It is so weird doing things with my own name on it and branding myself. As I first started on this venture of PR on my own, I wasn't sure what exactly it would look like. I decided I wasn't going to start a "company" as such out of the gate, but just be a one woman show and go from there. I also thought if I did something under a name other than my own people wouldn't be familiar with who the new "company" was. I'd have to work so much harder to let people know this other name was me. I've been around long enough for people to know who I am. 

For bloggers who want to show they are a part of my tour group, I wanted to create a blog button that goes along with my five minute logo I created because I needed to have one. I'm trying this one out.

If you are a blogger, author or publisher and want to know more about what I do, email me! ajenningspr@att.net.

I do traditional publicity (Christian media interviews and article placement), set up blog tours, help authors with their social media management and graphics, and virtual assistant work.

I will also have another work-related announcement to make next week. Stay tuned for that!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

How do you stop a worry?

How do you stop a worry?

by Barb Roose, author of Winning the Worry Battle

For those who struggle with worry and anxiety, each day can feel as if they are fighting a losing battle. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. Research also reveals that women are twice as likely to be affected by Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and specific phobias. From personal experience, author Barb Roose understands what it means to battle with worry. She has written Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua (Abingdon Press) to help other women gain victory over their anxieties.  

The following article was written by Barb Roose based on her book. 

Do you every wonder if you can stop a worry? Yes, you can!

Think about your mind like a train engine and your thoughts are the box cars attached to engine. Right now, are the box cars of your mind (thoughts) carrying peace onboard or are they carrying anxious thoughts? Take it one step further, do you have a short worry train or are is your worry train long enough to hold up traffic and make everyone late for work?

When the boxcars of your mind are filled with worry, those toxic thoughts can derail your hope, joy, or happiness. Not only that, but a mind weighted down by worry moves slowly. Proverbs 12:25 says that “worry weighs a person down.” It’s hard to figure out what you need or feel because you’re so weighed down by worry.

Even though those toxic thoughts might be contained within your mind, but their poisonous fumes leak out and create panic in your heart and wreak havoc on your body.

Is it even possible to stop your unstoppable worry? Yes, it is!

In Matthew 6, Jesus is preaching His famous Sermon on the Mount. In verse 27, He poses a stunning question that would have stirred the hearts and minds of his listeners: “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

That was a mic-drop moment. Jesus wasn’t just talking to unreligious pagans; rather, He also addressed those in the know. The ones who showed up to church each week, looking spit-shined and spiritual with Sunday Bibles in hand, or at least a YouVersion app downloaded. He was talking to people like us, who had listened to the messages, prayed the prayers, and yet, still worried way more than they should have. Even today, Jesus wants to know why we’re still worrying, when we know that it doesn’t work.

He’s got us on this one, doesn’t He? All of our worries don’t add a moment to our lives. But they do add cars to our worry trains and slow us down a little each day. Yet,  we think that our worry is working for us? Allowing our worry to masquerade as anything other than worry is like pretending our toxin-filled worry train is a hot air balloon.

Notice that Jesus said worry doesn’t add a single moment to our lives. What are some of your life’s favorite moments? Some of my precious moments include the first time my husband kissed me, the day I graduated from college as a young wife and mother, the first time I held each of my children, and the moment I held my first book in my hands. I could write a list of a thousand favorite moments from my life, and not one of them would begin with “the time I worried about _______________.”

Every worry-filled boxcar weighing down your mind steals a precious moment from your life. None of us want our precious moments with our friends or families or our free time to be stolen by worry. But how do we get those moments back?

If you want to stop your unstoppable worry, it begins with learning how to re-build your mental train of thought. You’ve got to learn how to leave the worry boxcars behind and choose wisdom boxcars instead. Wisdom boxcars are filled with God’s Word, which breathes life and hope into your present and your future, instead of weighing you down like worry does.

I’d like you to try called the “God morning/God night” technique, which equips you to intentionally build your thoughts on God’s peace, courage and strength at the beginning of your day and as you finish the day. Worry often strikes early in the morning before our day begins or at night when we’re reflecting on our day.

For the “God-morning/God-night” technique, you’ll need a “starter train set.” Here are five short verses that can begin your new quest to win your worry battle. Read these verses aloud each morning before you get up and moving each day, and read them before you settle down at night. If you read these verses with the intent to memorize them, eventually they will replace some of the worry boxcars in your mind. The more verses you remember, the more worry boxcars will disappear.

Take a moment and read them aloud right now:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
   do not depend on your own understanding.
—Proverbs 3:5

When I am afraid,
   I will put my trust in you.
—Psalm 56:3

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
—Philippians 4:13

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
—1 Peter 5:7

The Lord gives his people strength.
   The Lord blesses them with peace.
—Psalm 29:11

Next, grab two sheets of paper or notecards and write these verses down. Leave one card next to your bed and attach another note card next to your bathroom mirror. Why two? If you oversleep (like me) you might forget to look at the card next to your bed. However, when you brush your teeth, the backup card is right there for you to read. Another option is to type these verses into your phone calendar with a morning and evening alarm.

If you’ve already memorized these verses, then keep building your train with more boxcars of God’s peace and promises. Choose five more verses that directly address worry and write them on note cards. We need to give our minds something to connect to each morning before those worry boxcars link up and spread their toxic fumes all over our lives.

Here’s a final thought: Every worry gets stopped in its tracks by the Word of God.

Barb Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about connecting women to one another and to God. Her goal is to equip women to win at life with Christ-empowered strength and dignity. Roose enjoys teaching and encouraging women at conferences and events across the country and abroad. Her latest book is Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua along with the companion Bible study.

Readers can also keep up with her on Facebook (BarbaraRoose), Twitter (barbroose), and Instagram (barbroose).

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

International aid worker shines a light on important women’s issues

International aid worker shines
a light on important women’s issues
Through the story of two sisters, Rachel Linden
challenges women to live courageously

Sometimes a story can be used as an escape from the troubles of the world, but other times a story acts as a beam of light, illuminating situations we are not as aware of otherwise. With Becoming the Talbot Sisters (HarperCollins/Thomas Nelson; May 1, 2018; $15.99), author Rachel Linden hopes to shed light on issues important to women around the world and encourage them to live what she describes as “every day brave.”

“Every day brave is a simple concept but it’s not easy,” Linden explains. “It means standing with courage against life’s fear and challenges, no matter the circumstances. As women we can face tremendous challenges in our lives – in our careers, our family and romantic relationships, our roles as wives and mothers, sisters and daughters, in so many areas of life! Being every day brave takes guts, grit and a steadfast hope and determination!”

Becoming the Talbot Sisters tells the story of estranged twin sisters living very different lives on opposite sides of the world who begin to rebuild their relationship and learn to support one another as they face challenges ranging from miscarriages to sexual assault to career woes.  Readers are introduced to Waverly Talbot, a celebrity chef with her own successful home-entertaining television show. She seems to have the perfect life, yet she and her husband have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly’s heart: to become a mother. One miscarriage after another has strained their relationship, and Waverly is at the point of despair, believing that she may never have a family of her own.

Meanwhile Waverly’s twin sister, Charlie, buries bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worker in Budapest, Hungary. Charlie is passionate about helping exploited women and aids in the rescue of women trapped in human trafficking in Central Europe. When the aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy.

When the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, Waverly makes a bold move and shows up unannounced in Budapest. From there the sisters embark on an adventure across Central Europe that takes an unforeseen turn forcing them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other.

The sisters’ stories draw from many aspects of Linden’s own life and she hopes to highlight the prevalence of the various struggles so many women face. “The main themes – women having courage to face infertility and miscarriage as well as sexual exploitation and trafficking – are all very personal for me. I lost my first child to miscarriage, so I identify deeply with Waverly’s story. Though many women face the same struggle to start a family, it’s not something we talk about because it’s so personal and painful,” the author explains. “I also worked for five years with a faith-based organization in Budapest where much of the book is set, focusing significantly on women who experienced trauma and exploitation, so the work that Charlie does in the story is something I am very passionate about.”

According to new estimates by the International Labor Organization, roughly 4.8 million people, mostly women and children, are in forced sexual exploitation. It’s an enormous problem, but one that is shrouded in secrecy. Linden hopes to bring attention to the vastness of the situation by making it personal and relational. “For years I’ve wanted to write a story about women who are caught in sex trafficking, but from a relational, women-centered angle. I wanted to tell a story about these women in a personal way with compassion and clarity rather than a sensational way that can cause further harm. “

Linden will be donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of Becoming the Talbot Sisters to Hope Dies Last, an organization focusing on creatively addressing the root causes of trafficking and sexual exploitation as well as supporting other anti-trafficking organizations in Budapest and around Europe. To learn more about the work the ministry does, visit www.hopedieslast.org.

About the Author

Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures living and traveling in fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her stories. She holds an MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College and a BA in Literature from Huntington University. Linden also studied creative writing at Oxford University during college.

Currently, Rachel lives in beautiful Seattle, WA with her husband and two young children. She enjoys creating stories about hope and courage with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy. Her first book, Ascension of Larks, released in 2017. Becoming the Talbot Sisters is her second release.

Find Rachel Linden online at www.rachellinden.com, on Facebook (authorrachellinden) and on Instagram (rachellinden_writer).