Thursday, August 26, 2021

Guest Host, Valerie Massey Goree


Thank you, Valerie, for sharing your story with us.



My Writing Journey:


Thank you for hosting me, Kathy.


Authors are often asked about their writing journey. You have probably read many posts on this subject, however, my journey did not start off on a positive note.


I grew up in the former British Colony of Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe in Central Africa. We followed the British educational system, and many of our teachers were from England. Although I believe we received an excellent education, some of the teachers were straitlaced and well, cold. I distinctly remember the teacher we had for 7th grade English. After we wrote our essays, she’d have us stand in front of the class and read them out loud. Then, she would critique our work and allow students to add their pros or cons.


At the time, I didn’t know that I had OCD tendencies. I followed instructions to the letter. I had no imagination outside of the assignment. My math work was immaculate, not always correct, but all my columns of numbers lined up perfectly.


The essay topic for this class assignment was to write about things we collected, for instance coins from foreign counties. My older brother had just left home and had given me his stamp collection. As you might imagine, the tiny square or rectangular stamps lined up next to each other on their special pages indulged my OCDness. Well, whoop-de-doo. I had something to write about. So I planned my essay, and began writing.


Mrs. Teacher—I remember what she looked like, but not her name—walked around the room and commented on what kids had written. One student received flowery compliments because she chose to write about two of her collections. I could do that. I collected many things that caught my OCD eye, items that met my desire for symmetry, or variations in color or size.


I completed my essay on my stamp collection, then added a few paragraphs about how I collected buttons and liked to sort them into colors, then line them up on the parquet flooring in my bedroom. I so wanted to receive compliments and couldn’t wait for Mrs. Teacher to hear my composition.


I have no idea what she said about my stamp collection because all I remember are her harsh words about how silly it was for a thirteen-year-old to be playing with buttons!


As you can imagine, creative writing was not high on my list after that. In fact, I hated writing and dreaded every writing assignment that came my way, even in University. I only began to open up to putting words on paper when I was in my forties.


The first novels I wrote were soundly rejected, but I kept on writing and attended as many workshops as I could. I also joined American Christian Fiction Writers, probably my best writing related decision.


Fast forward to the present. My sixth novel released the end of July. Justice at Dawn is the third story in my Stolen Lives Trilogy. An International Retrieval Organization (IRO) agent in the first novel, Weep in the Night, is highlighted in the second, and an agent in Day of Reckoning is highlighted in the third. Each book features a standalone story. I always knew I wanted to tell Cooper’s story after his brief appearance in the second novel. Why was he single? How did he get his scar? What contributed to him being one-track minded in his work?





Cooper Callahan has been an International Retrieval Organization operative for fifteen years. In all that time he has never worked with a trainee like Kitty Claire Briggs. Overflowing with energy, KC isn’t quiet long enough for him to think. But when the boss assigns them a training mission to follow Sadie, his wife, KC’s serious side emerges.


Sure, former stunt double, KC, wants to be an agent, but she also has an ulterior motive to be accepted by IRO—she wants access to their superior technology. Can she locate her quarry without Cooper finding out?


As Cooper shares the finer points of surveillance with KC, his waning faith is strengthened by her enthusiasm for the Lord and for the job. When the training exercise turns into a real abduction, will KC’s naiveté lead to death or to a successful conclusion to the case?  





American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award winner Valerie Massey Goree resides on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.


After serving as missionaries in her home country of Zimbabwe and raising two children, Glenn and Valerie moved to Texas. She worked in the public school system for many years, focusing on students with special needs. Now retired in Washington, Valerie spends her time writing, and spoiling her grandchildren.


Valerie writes romantic suspense novels, and her tag line is: Stories of Passion and Intrigue. Her novels include: Deceive Me Once; Colors of Deceit; The Stolen Lives Trilogy, Weep in the Night; Day of Reckoning; and Justice at Dawn. Set in Australia, Forever Under Blue Skies, is now available from Amazon.


Valerie loves to hear from her readers.


Check Valerie’s website to learn more about her books:



Purchase links:

Available from the publisher, Harbourlight, an imprint of Pelican Book Group:


and from Amazon: 

Friday, August 20, 2021

We Need Not Fight Our Battles Alone

Psalm 56

Verses 1-2: O God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me. My foes attack me all day long. I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me.


David said he was always being attacked. When I read this, I thought, people aren’t attacking me. How does this relate to me?


And yet, we all certainly do have an enemy.


1 Peter 5:8: Be alert and of sober mind.

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.


I don’t say this to frighten anyone. I say it to remind us to keep focused.


Psalm 56:3: But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.


Like David, we do not need to fear defeat. We are not alone.


Verse 5: They are always twisting what I say; they spend their days plotting to harm me.


The devil uses these same tools to fight against us, but we can follow David’s example of prayer to God.


Verse 7: Don’t let them get away with their wickedness; in your anger, O God, bring them down.


We must not forget the tender way God watches over us.


Verse 8: You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.


Look at the promises we share with David.


Verse 9: My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side!


Verse 13 For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.


Verse 10: I praise God for what he has promised; yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.         

Friday, August 13, 2021

I want to be Open About My Mental Illness

When I was a young Christian, I was convinced my depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder were due to my own sin. I refused any medical help until my husband Murray insisted I go to a doctor.


I’m not saying sin isn’t involved. I am only too constantly aware of my own sin and its consequences.


But I believe all illness, including mental illness, is due to a fallen world. Because of thousands of years of sin, of turning away from God’s good way, because of people mistreating other people, their own bodies and souls, and mistreating the world around us, our world has digressed to illness, war, tragedy.


The answer to all of this is a relationship with Jesus and a future in Heaven. In the meantime, however, God has generously given us much assistance to go through this life of struggle, including medical treatment.


I again and again praise God for the miracle of medical assistance and medication.


I believe mental illness, as well as diabetes, heart disease, broken bones, and much, much more, can be helped by medication and other medical treatments.


I have gone for counseling, and I am sure this is a helpful tool. At one time in our lives, my husband and I believed that my being hospitalized in a psychiatric ward was the best solution. And I can’t praise God enough for the medication which continues to be such a balm for me.


For many years, I was ashamed of my mental illness. Now I believe those of us with that illness should not be any more ashamed than someone with diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, etc. No more than other disabilities, such as my blindness or hearing impairment. This is an illness which can be helped by medical assistance—praise God!


James 1:16-17: Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.


As our minds become more clear, we can be more fully involved in the help Jesus wants to give us.


Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


For many years I’ve been touched by this passage, but recently I’ve come to a new understanding of it. Jesus isn’t offering to give us more burdens. He says he will yoke himself to us to help us carry those burdens that we already have.


I’m embarrassed to share this, but even more important, I want others who suffer this illness to know they don’t need to be, shouldn’t be ashamed.


Psalm 103:4: who redeems your life from the pit

       and crowns you with love and compassion,


I feel that God has redeemed my life from a pit, and I want others suffering from this illness to know that there is hope. 

Friday, August 6, 2021

More Than A Carpenter, by Josh Mcdowell

More Than a Carpenter by Josh Mcdowell. This is an older book, copyright 1977, but I often enjoy reading, or rereading, and learning from older books


Josh Mcdowell was a writer and speaker I heard of when I was in college in the early 1980s. Teachers at my church said he spoke on apologetics, which they said did not mean he apologized for his faith. The definition I found for apologetics is: reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.


More Than a Carpenter is a book which discusses evidence for believing Jesus is God.


Mcdowell mentions many verses from my favorite book of the Bible, the Gospel of John, as well as other New Testament books, to show that Jesus did claim to be God.


If he claimed this, then, Mcdowell says, we have to decide if he was a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord.


Many people claim that Jesus was a good teacher, a moral man, but not God. However, if he claims to be God and is not, he is certainly not moral or a good teacher.


Why not a lunatic? Descriptions of his actions and words are not those of a lunatic. And, although some who claim to follow Jesus have done horrific deeds in history, many of his followers have performed much kindness and built up services of care to people throughout the world.


Mcdowell discusses evidence for Christ and the Bible from legal and historic verifications.


The Bible has much more evidence from the number of its documents which remain, and how close they are to the actual time of Jesus’ life, than any other ancient document. People do not argue whether these other documents are true, such as the writings of Aristotle and Caesar.


Mcdowell discusses writings by others from the time of the early church, outside the Bible, which talk about Jesus. Archaeology confirms the historical accuracy of the bible.


People have been willing to die for a lie. But would that be true of the disciples? They did not expect Jesus to die. The Jews believed their Messiah would set up an earthly kingdom, save them from the oppression of the Romans.


When Jesus was arrested, most of the disciples ran away from him. After he died, they were discouraged, scared, and hid. But, shortly afterward, they turned bold and, even when arrested and beaten, they kept on teaching about his resurrection bravely. A legend which was not true would have taken a long time to develop, but they started doing this immediately after he died.


Can we trust the disciples? They were seen as moral people. They were so dramatically changed from what they had expected the Messiah to be, and from the cowards they were after he died. They were willing to stand up boldly, even though they were arrested, beaten, and most were killed, for their faith.


Scientifically, we cannot prove that Napoleon or George Washington lived. We cannot perform an experiment and prove it right before our eyes. We believe it because of the testimony of those in history.


This book discussed the Old Testament prophesies and predictions about the Messiah, hundreds of years before Jesus was born, which he fulfilled.


Mcdowell described his own story of becoming a Christian and the changes that happened in his life.


We have faith in Christ, not blind faith, but intelligent faith.