Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

CONFLICT AVOIDANCE
Friday, November 1, 2019 by SUSAN G. MATHIAS

PLEASE WELCOME

SUSAN G. MATHIS

TO

FICTION SPECIAL

 

I hate conflict. I don’t like getting into disagreements with my husband. I don’t like having a spat with a friend. As a parent, I hated the constant conflict resolution that was needed when my two kids didn’t get along. As a teacher, I sure didn’t enjoy being the one who had to break up the many tiffs between pubescent girls. And as a Grandma? Well, let’s just say that I sometimes choose to become an ostrich. 

So when I began writing fiction, I had a problem. I knew that conflict is the main ingredient to a good story, and if I was going to write good, compelling fiction, I had to have compelling conflict that would hold the reader’s attention. But how was I going to address the very thing I was tempted to run from? I had to settle that question, and quick!

Although conflict is often present in almost every day of most of our lives, we often overlook or ignore it. For me, when confronted with conflict, I tend to self-talk, fret, stew, worry, and struggle with sleepless nights. But those ways of dealing with conflict won’t make a good story.

Conflict is uncomfortable, and most conflict just plain hurts. But that’s what keeps readers reading. Like you and me, readers want to know how others deal with conflict, how characters try and fail and try again and finally succeed.

Because it’s hard for me to invent conflict when I want to avoid it, I had to be aware of this weakness. So when I was doing my rewrites and editing, I often had to add an element of conflict or deepen it. In Sara’s Surprise, there’s a lot of conflict going on—conflict I drew on from personal experience.

Have you ever been harassed by an employer? I have, and it’s pretty traumatizing. In this “Me Too” movement, lots of women are speaking up about their trials and tribulations in the workplace, so I decided to explore the topic. 

In Sara’s Surprise, her boss abuses her in lots of ways, as was all too common in 1873. Women had no recourse and often feared they’d be blamed and dismissed from their jobs, so they kept silent. Back then, women were often devalued, unappreciated, underpaid, and treated poorly. And men took advantage of the cultural norms of the day.

As a single mom in the early 1990s, I was treated poorly too, and I regret that I was afraid to speak up and expose the nasty man who threatened, teased, and tormented me. As a leader in the organization, that should never have occurred, but it did. Thankfully, today’s climate is more open to reporting such abuse.

Sara’s Surprise explores this problem from several angles. But amid Sara’s trials, she falls in love and learns a lot about the art of baking French pastries. And the lovely Christmas surprise will delight you this holiday season. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and enjoy the story. 

ABOUT SARA’S SURPRISE

Sara O’Neill, works as an assistant pastry chef at the magnificent Thousand Islands Crossmon Hotel where she meets precocious, lovable, seven-year-old Madison and her charming father and hotel manager, Sean Graham. But Jacque LaFleur, the pastry chef Sara works under, makes her dream job a nightmare. https://lindarondeau.com/snarksensibilitySean Graham has trouble keeping his mind off Sara and Madison out of mischief. Though he finds Sara captivating, he despises LaFleur and misreads Sara’s desire to learn from the pastry chef as affection. Can Sean learn to trust Sara and can she trust herself to be an instant mother?

ABOUT SUSAN G. MATHIS

Susan G Mathis is a multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Katelyn’s Choice, the first in The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, is available now, and book two, Devyn’s Dilemma, releases in April 2020. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are available now. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more information.

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children's picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs, enjoys traveling globally with her wonderful husband, Dale, and relishes each time she gets to Skype with her four granddaughters. 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Saras-Surprise-Susan-G-Mathis/dp/1087235715

Website: www.SusanGMathis.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanGMathis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@SusanGMathis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susangmathis

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susangmathisaut

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6044608.Susan_G_Mathis

 

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COCKROACHES AND LIGHT
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11/1/2019

A GOOD QUESTION
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11/1/2019

LOVE'S ALLEGIANCE
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SEE? GOOD.
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LOVING THE BABY BOOMER GENERATION
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WRITING THE PAST: THE DUST BOWL
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EXPERIENCING GOD'S LOVE IN A BROKEN WORLD
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11/1/2019

MAKING PRETTY THINGS
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THE STREET SINGER
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PLUG INTO GOD'S POWER
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11/1/2019

ARE YOU TOO OLD TO BECOME AN AUTHOR
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JANUS JOURNALS
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ENJOY THE MEAL
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DRIVING ON FLAT TIRES
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WHERE I WAS PLANTED
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11/1/2019

WAITING FOR THE TEST
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11/1/2019

IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME
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TO THE RESCUE A SHORT STORY
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THE LEAST OF THESE
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KEEPING IT FRESH
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SUMMER PLANS AND OTHER DISASTERS
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11/1/2019

MY COMFORTER SAW IT COMING
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11/1/2019

OVERFLOWING WITH BLESSINGS
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11/1/2019

AND THEN BLOOMS LOVE
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11/1/2019

IN THE MONEY
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11/1/2019

HAVING THE PRIME OF MY LIFE
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11/1/2019

AMMO (An Original Shorty Story)
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BLESSINGS IN AN IMPERFECT WORLD
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11/1/2019

GOLDEN GIRL
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11/1/2019

POWER UP
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11/1/2019

BOOKENDS
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WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW
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THE PINK BONNET
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UNDERGROUND
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Food, Families, and Fond Memories
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11/1/2019

KATELYN'S CHOICE
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THE POWER OF LOVE
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HOSEA'S HEART
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FOR THOSE OVER FIFTY-FIVE
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FAITH AND HOPE
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A CONVENIENT COMPASSION
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NEXT GENERATION
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FALLEN LEAF
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TONGUE-TAMING 101
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Mimi and Bop
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GRACE & LAVENDER
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WHAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION
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NEVER TO OLD TO START OVER
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JULIA
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R and I
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AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE
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KATELYN'S CHOICE
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MY SINAI SAGA
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THE WRITER'S CALLING
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When Valleys Bloom Again
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You Asked for It
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PLAYING THROUGH THE FOG
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One Door Between Us
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Counterfeit Detectors
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SOMETIMES WE JUST NEED TO TURN OFF THE GPS
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BURIED MOUNTAIN SECRETS
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LANDING HARD
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DON’T CALL HER MA’AM
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CAPTURE ME
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LOVING ONE ANOTHER
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When Your Past Looms Longer than Your Future
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UNDER PRAIRIE SKIES
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TAKIN' IT TO THE LIMIT
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OUR MCDONALDS
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A Tender Hope
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DON'T HIT THE FAN
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BORN TOO LATE
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PARHELION
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NOT OF THIS WORLD
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PERSPECTIVE
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CAROLINA GRACE
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THE POWER OF "WITH"/OVERCOMING ANXIETY
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IS IT THE BEGINNING OR THE END
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A LOVE MOST WORTHY
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HITTING YOUR SPIRITUAL GROOVE
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MY TO-DO LIST
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YOU'RE AMAZING
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STIRRED, NOT SHAKEN
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ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
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LOVE'S RESCUE
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COURTING DANGER
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A CHURCH PLANTER'S WIFE
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MAMA, I CAN'T TAKE A BATH THERE'S A FISH IN THE TUB
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JOHN ALDEN ... A SHORT STORY
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FIG LEAVES RIPPING?
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EAT RIGHT NOW LIVE LONGER LATER
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THE OTHER NEIGHBOR
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A BEFORE I
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AM I STRESSED?
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NO TURNING BACK
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EVERYDAY CHOICES
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SHOULD VS WANT
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ALLEY'S PERFECT ANGEL
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YOU ARE THE APPLE OF HIS EYE
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I'LL BE ALONE FOR CHRISTMAS ... YOU CAN COUNT ON ME
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A SILVER MEDALLION
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WHY WE SING JOY TO THE WORLD!
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THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE
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THE AMISH MIDWIFE'S SECRET
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Coming Home For Christmas
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LIVING WITHOUT REGRET
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CHRISTMAS WITH THE ENEMY
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WHY DO WE NEVER LEARN
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GROWING UP CAN BE FUN SO IS GETTING OLDER
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RETURN TO WALHALLA
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SAVED BY THE LAMB
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SOARING WITH BROKEN WINGS
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HOMELESS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
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FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
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HAIR CALAMITIES AND HOT CASH
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NEVER TOO LATE
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MEET ME IN GALVESTON
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The Not So Good Good Old Days
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HARVEST OF BLESSINGS
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MEET JENNIFER SLATTERY
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HONESTLY SPEAKING
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Perceptual Blindness
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THE PUTTING GREEN WHISPERER
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The God of the Mundane
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WHEN I WAS THREE
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He Passes By
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Bryan's Homecoming
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11/1/2019

EMERGENCE
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THE PURSUIT OF PEACE
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Live Long and Prosper
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THE REAL DEAL
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Antiquainted Man
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SOMETHING NEW
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11/1/2019

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED TAKE A BUBBLE BATH THEN TRY AGAIN
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REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS
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FOOTPRINTS
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FUNNY WITH A POIGNANT MESSAGE
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MUTUAL SUBMISSIVENESS
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CASTING STONES
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HEADLINE HYSTERIA
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COUNTRY ROADS
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STUPIDITY IS NO EXCUSE
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Beauty Queen and Humorist Shares Her Latest Book
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AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH/WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/CHAPTER 2A
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WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/CREATED TO BE SALT PART B
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WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/ CREATED TO BE SALT/PART A
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CELEBRATE YOUR FEMINITY
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THE FIFTY-FIFTY CONUNDRUM
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THE ROCK OF OUR FUTURE
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FRIENDSHIP IS STICKY BUSINESS
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PASS THE LOVE, PLEASE
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STRANDED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
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BATTLE WITH A BUMBLEBEE
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BATTLE FATIGUES
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ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF
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LOVE IN A SUITCASE
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FRIENDSHIP IS STICKY BUSINESS
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ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM
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11/1/2019

KERI'S CHRISTMAS WISH
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Raising a Child With Autism
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SHOULD OR WANT
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CONFESSIONS OF A GARDENS SLUGGARD
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GRANDMA PRAYED WHILE IRONING
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The Day Super Mom Died
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FOLLOW WHICH LEADER?
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ROYAL LEGACY
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MY SHEEP KNOW MY VOICE
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THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING
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THE POWER OF ONE
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11/1/2019

A LIFELONG PURSUIT
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A TEENAGED ROBIN HOOD
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NUGGETS OF GRACE
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THE CHOICE TO FAIL
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DOUBLE CHOCOLATE TROUBLE
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JUST LIKE MY DADDY
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PATIENT PRAYING
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MEET DARLENE FRANKLIN/SCAVENGER HUNT/LAST STOP
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PATIENT WISDOM
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OF PETS AND PERSISTENCE
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God's Server Never Shuts Down
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Blessed to be a Blessing
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Mama, I Can't take a Bath 'Cause There's a Fish in the Tub
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SOUR GRAPES OR BLESSED FRUIT
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11/1/2019

IT'S WHAT THEY DO
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MEET JOHNNIE ALEXANDER
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FROM LIGHT TO BRIGHT
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SURRENDERING TO THE CALL
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MY QUEST
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MY INTIMATE JOURNEY WITH MY HEROINE BY NIKE N. CHI
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ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF
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When Art Imitates Life: An Author's Book Journey
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Settled By Faith
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JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING
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From Little Golden Books to Summer's List
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THE EDUCABLE MOMENT
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There's love in them there casseroles
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Searching for God With All My Heart
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I RUN TO YOU
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Sweetening Our Sour Grapes
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THE FALL THAT LIFTS
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A Walk With God
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Disappointment and Discouragement
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STIRRING TRUTH
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PENNED BY GOD'S OWN HAND
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The Masterpiece
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RESTORED HEARTS and a Writer's Journey
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THE WRITER'S JOURNEY: Meditations on the Road
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DIALOGUING OUR FEARS
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WHY A BOOK OF PRAYERS?
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From Lettuce to Pages
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AND NOT TO YIELD
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BONNIE LEON WRITES TO ENCOURAGE THE DISABLED
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FAITH WORTH THE FIGHT
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CANT HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER
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THE WINDING TRAIL
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The Flavorful Church
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Commitment Phobia
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God knows our hearts
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God Had Other Plans
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BE ANGRY AND SIN NOT
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God's Writer: Jan Elder
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THE CURE FOR THE WEARY SOUL
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Surely Goodness and Mercy Gail Kittleson
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OF THEE I SING
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A HUNGER FOR GOD
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What Do We Ask God For?
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BUCK STORM SINGER/SONGWRITER/STORYTELLER
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STRESS: THAT OTHER HOMEWRECKER
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A Dream Come True of Being A Writer
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COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR
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Meet Shannon Vannetter Christian Author
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JOY COMES IN THE MORNING
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EMPTY NETS
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Bucketwish
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Loyalty that Springs from Spirituality
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Wonderfully Made
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Lighthouse of the Carolina's Author Carol Heilman
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HAPPY NEW YEAR
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