I have met so many wonderful friends through books. Some are fictional, and some are flesh and bone friends...but all have made a difference in my life in one way or another. We all impact each other's lives. Sometimes it is by something you say that makes me think, and other times it is by a gesture or kindness. And yet other times it may be something that dug deeper, hurt my feelings, or made me sad. Still you made a difference. Through this blog I would like to introduce you to some people who have blessed me with their writing...and I hope you will be blessed as well!

Coffee or Tea?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Meet Thomas Smith, the author of "Something Stirs"

I am so excited to introduce you to Thomas Smith, the author of "Something Stirs" for my very first interview! I asked him some off the wall questions because I didn't want to sound like every other interviewer...and what I received back was a glimpse into the heart of someone who was born to be a writer. It isn't a hobby or a new career change...it is something that has flowed through his veins since he was in the third grade. I have always believed that we know at a very young age what we are "called" to do...and Thomas Smith is a testiment to that calling. So please join me now as I introduce you to someone you will be hearing a lot more about...Mr. Thomas Smith!

(Q) When you were young, what was the profession you wanted to do when you grew up? Did you know you had a calling to write? (A) Actually, I have wanted to be a writer since I was in the third grade. And even when I was serving churches as the pastor, I was writing stories, plays, essays, and doing freelance projects. So I have always written on some level my entire adult life. And now I am blessed enough that it has become my full-time job.

(Q) Can you foresee a time when you wouldn’t want to write?

(A) No. There may come a time when I can’t, but I would still want to.

(Q) Do you have a favorite spot to go to for your inspiration?

(A) I don’t really have a favorite place to “get inspired.” A writer writes. Period. If you have a deadline you can’t afford to rely on inspiration. The love of writing is inspiration enough. Often people who want to have written (which is much different than writing itself) look for inspiration or an inspirational place. But a working writer or those who are doing all the right things to become a professional writer, write because they want to write. The place doesn’t really matter. Spoken like a true writer with ink flowing through your veins!

(Q) Have any of your characters been written based upon you?
(A)One that I know of, but I’m sure there have been at least a few more. But one I am certain of. Hmmm, can we guess which one?

(Q) Who would you say, besides Jesus, influenced you the most? (A) My parents and my wife. I have noticed you give your wife credit for being so important in your life, and I would like our readers to know Thomas said his lovely and talented wife is Melanie, and she is a big part of his writing!

(Q) What is your favorite scripture?
(A) John 3:30 (“He must become greater; I must become less.”) is a constant reminder of how I’d like my life to be. That is a strong challenge to live your life by.

(Q) If you could live at any time in the history of mankind, when would it be?
(A) I’m pretty content with this time. Spoken like a truly contented man!

Now for something more personal and fun....
(Q)What is your favorite color and why? What do you visualize when you think of that color?
(A) My favorite color is red. I have no idea why. I think it may be because the inside of a watermelon is red and that is my favorite melon/fruit/whatever it is. They also say red is the choice of powerful and influencial men...just a thought!

(Q) What are your favorite foods? (A)Homemade cornbread and field peas. I also love the Wonton Soup Deluxe at Wang’s Kitchen in Raleigh. It is a clear broth wanton soup with 5 different fresh vegetables, shrimp, chicken, and mushrooms added (OK, I know mushrooms are considered vegetables, but I really like mushrooms). It is the best soup I’ve ever had anywhere in the world.

(Q) Do you like to cook? What is your specialty?
(A) I do like to cook. I don’t really have a specialty, but I love to cook Chinese dishes. Especially dishes with a lot of different vegetables. I suppose as a guy I should love grilling and be bragging about my secret homemade rub and special sauce, but my bar-b-que sauce is pretty average.
That's very interesting, since you live in the South! I thought all Southern men were required to excell in BBQ!

(Q) Where would you vacation if you could go anywhere?
(A)I’d go back and take another ATV trip through the Puerto Rican rain forest, then come home and spend Christmas in Williamsburg, VA.
That sounds like a wonderful way to spend Christmas! I love the duel sides to it.

(Q) Lots of our readers have furry family members. Tell me about your favorite pet you have ever owned, or pets.
(A) My favorite pet is our dog Arde (pronounced Ar-Dee). She is 13 years old, has a sweet face, and she makes my wife happy. I’m not sure she’s not people in a dog suit (Arde, not my wife).
Is that like "Chef Boy Ar-Dee?" Yes, exactly! What kind of dog is she? Arde is a springer spaniel.

(Q) Can you share a favorite family recipe with our readers, and tell us a little something about it?
(A) I remember my mother and my grandmother taking old bread and making bread pudding. They often put raisins and nuts in it (especially around Christmas). My mother usually puts in some chocolate chips. Sometimes they’d make a lemon sauce or put a little vanilla ice cream on top. Bread pudding always makes me think of home.

Thomas Smith's Family Bread Pudding

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 (1 pound) loaf sliced white bread (or whatever bread you have handy), toasted
12 eggs
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
5 cups half-and-half
3 cups sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter each slice of bread on both sides. Tear buttered bread into little pieces, and put into a very large mixing bowl. Beat eggs with vanilla, and then pour over bread. Stir in half-and-half and sugar. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg over the top. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool. Serve hot or cold.

Thank you so much Thomas! Bread Pudding is one of my favorites, too. I had never tasted it before moving to the East Coast, and the little deli I worked at made it fresh every morning.No one told me how fattening it was, and I ate a ton of it before my boss suggested I slow down a little, lol! Now I save it for special occaisions.

I hope you have enjoyed meeting Thomas as much as I have, and be sure to read "Something Stirs" available at amazon.com today!

This just in from Thomas...

If this helps, the book is available everywhere but the best online places to order it are Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I've added the links here in case you want to use them. B&N has the best price. Better than Amazon.

B&N -

Amazon -


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Do you believe in Spiritual Warfare?

     In recent weeks I have joined multiple discussions concerning the belief in spiritual warfare, ghosts, the supernatural, and demons. It amazes me that so many people refuse to believe in hell or evil spirits, and yet they believe in angels.
     Like the frog placed in the pot of cold water who never attempts to jump out as the water temperature rises to the boiling point, we have quietly allowed the enemy to fill our thoughts with acceptance and thirsted for more even though we know these things we are watching are wrong for us. Christians are flocking to the theaters to watch movies with explicit sex, witch craft and sorcery, and demons and entities we know we should avoid, but are somehow unwilling to turn away from. Like passing a traffic fatality we know we shouldn't look at, we are drawn to stare for the forbidden sight of the lifeless body sprawled on the pavement or twisted in the wreckage. Even small children watch cartoons that display the occult in every story.  I was recently reminded that every Disney Princess story featured a disfunctional family, single parent, or even magic and spells. So why should we be alarmed ?
     Like everyone else, I have enjoyed the antics of the adventures in Hogwarts, and wanted to find a forever love like Edward or Jacob in Twilight. I never thought for a minute there might be a subliminal message leading us to accept the temptations they offered. I grew up watching "The Wizard of Oz" every year as a tradition! As a girl I wanted to be like Tabitha on Bewitched. Casper was the cutest ghost we ever saw, and everyone wanted to be his friend. Isn't it only natural to want to watch ghost hunters looking for the unexplained?
     What concerns me is where did we start crossing the line? When did it become dangerous?
      How do we explain to our children that anytime you start playing with the dark side you are putting yourself at risk? Isn't that sort of like me telling my children not to talk to strangers...when I talk to everyone I see? I understand people who are afraid of the unseen not wanting to face that reality, but that doesn't change the fact that they are real.
     I have lived in haunted houses, seen the shadows that have no soul disappear into the night, and have watched door handles turn when no one is there to turn them. As a teenager, we used to go tell ghost stories in the old cemetary to scare ourselves...and saw things we never told to anyone after that. I remember someone bringing in a book of shadows and suggesting we try some rituals or spells just to see if they worked. It was surely just a coincidence that someone dove into a swimming pool at the same moment and broke their neck just as we repeated their name. That fatal car accident couldn't have been because we were angry at that girl and did a nasty little spell on her that night to get even...
     How do we explain the pictures we took that clearly showed a demonic face over the shoulder of a man who had sworn allegance to the devil himself and had a 666 tatooed on his neck in a barcode? Is there any way to reason why there are screams on the battlefields of Gettysburg in videos played back when the visitors returned home, or mysterious soldiers marching in time up to Roundtop as the tape recorded it? The evidence is clear, there is an unseen world we do not understand. Just as there are Angels there are the evil equivelent in demons. And there are those who died who are not at peace. We may never understand all of that until we get to Heaven.
     Before our children get wrapped up in a world beyond their control, I believe we need to teach them about spiritual warfare, and warn them about dabbling with the occult. It isn't a game of thrill, or a fun rush to pick up a boring week end.
     That is why I believe Thomas Smith's book "Something Stirs" has such an important message.  Sure it starts off with the stereotypical teenage foursome wanting a thrill and planning a seance to summons up a demon to to their bidding for them...but then it takes the next step. He reminds us that we do not have the power to control these entities...that comes through Jesus Christ alone.
     I remember hearing the furniture moving around in my living room and voices getting louder and louder. I stood and commanded them to leave in the mighty name of Jesus! They only got louder! I called on the blood of Jesus to save me from these frightening beings. He did, but they did not leave...I did. I moved the next day! This book could well be written from a real life event...it could have happened. If we are to fight the enemy we must recognise him and know what we are up against! Soldiers do not go into battle without wearing the armour they are issued, and undergoing training to understand their enemy...and neither should we!
     How well do you really know that abandoned house on the hill that the kids hang out in? Perhaps this story was based on your own neighborhood...how much do you really understand about the world of the undead? Are you sure that doll is where you left it and didn't arrive there on her own power? Is it strangely quiet in yor backyard these days? What really happened to the third of the angels of Heaven who joined allegance with Satan as he left Heaven? Do you know what your kids are planning to do this week end? Just asking...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Do you enjoy the thrill of a bump in the night?

Do you love reading a book that brings chills to your spine as you read it in the night, with subtleties so gentle they sneak up and whisper in your ear and leave you dreaming about it long after you close your eyes? Something stirs in the haunted house on the hill...but it isn't just a haunting, it is more. Four teenagers decided to hold a harmless seance, or so three of them thought. One knew what he wanted. He wanted to summons a demon to do his bidding for him. What he got was a demon who needed blood for strength, and was fighting to enter the portal never finished. This demon was far greater than he could imagine, and was not going to be controlled by some teenage boy...or anyone else. The blood was spilt, the entity was alive and growing...and the four teenagers had no idea what they had done.  Don't let this sound too familiar because that is where other stories end...and the mind of Thomas Smith  begins to take it to new levels. The family who moves in to the house on the hill are so well written you believe you already know them, after all you may have met some of their friends, like Dean Koonz or Mike Dellosso before. The town is charming and the house is a dream, who wouldn't want to live there? That is until noises start, and the destruction begins, and things that go bump in the night take on a new life of their own. Do you like the kind of chiller that has the doll slowly turning her head to watch you while you aren't looking? Do you enjoy the page turning coolness of things creeping around in the night and shadows disappearing between the cracks in the floor? "
    "Something Sirs" by Thomas Smith is the newest release to join the ranks of heart stopping horror, and you will want to remember his name...because he is going to join the masters in his genre! I can see this becoming a movie complete with the haunting music that used to build the thrill in old time greats. Stop by http://ThomasSmithonline.com and get the latest news of his releases, and meet some of his friends. You can order your copy of "Something Stirs" today from Amazon.com I loved it!