Saturday, June 30, 2012

The release of my novella, THE BLESSING SEER, is quickly approaching - Friday, July 6.

Today, you can find info about the book on Women of Valley View.
Stop in for a visit. The Women of Valley View blog has a lot to explore.
Thanks for hosting me!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunday in Haiti

Sunday morning we got on the bus and traveled just down the road to a church. It was a block building with wooden benches that two young ushers moved around to accomodate everyone. I thought to myself that we need to send our ushers for training - two young men wore almost uniform-type clothing complete with ribbons hanging from one shoulder. They even saluted each other. But, when people arrived, they would promptly rearrange benches and lead them to seats.

The block walls didn't allow for much ventilation or breeze to flow through. It was hot. This poor Baptist was melting. When I noticed one of the Haitian women start to fan herself, I joined in.

There were three groups who sang special music - all women yet led by men. Two of the groups had "costumes" - matching clothes. Even in the extreme heat, the men still sported long sleeves and the pastor and music director wore full suits. One of our Haitian camp staff translated the sermon. I thanked him afterward with total empathy (having experienced some difficult signing assignments before). During the invitation time a young man and woman came forward. When they started to pray over them, the young woman fell to the ground and began to convulse. Later we learned that she was possessed by a demon who had done that to her. After the service, the Haitian people came by welcoming us and shaking our hands.

The same guy interpreted our worship in the evening back at the camp, but this time he translated into Creole for the Haitian attenders. The pastor spoke on redeeming our time - make the most of these evil times - see it as an opportunity to show Christ. We had another women's group sing accompanied by two guitars, one banjo, and a drum set. I could've listened to them all night even though I didn't know one word they were saying. But, the message showed on their faces.

I reflected on the day wondering if others can see I have Jesus just by the look on my face like the Christian Haitians I had met that day. I thought about the blatant show of satan in the young woman, but how very sneaky and crafty he is in the United States. I do need to make the most of every opportunity, every moment to shine for Christ.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Excited to host Ann Miller on my blog today!

Giveaway: Anyone who leaves a comment with an e-mail address (JaneReader[at]msn[dot]com) will receive a free e-book copy of Kicking Eternity. Those who don’t want to leave an e-mail may contact Ann for their free book at
E-mail From God Guest Post by Ann Lee Miller
An e-mail from God showed up in my in-box last November, during a year I strained to wring out the deeper novel my literary agent was convinced I had in me. I needed to scrape out my emotions and smear them on the page. But I only knew how to shove them inside.
My Chatty Cathy doll tumbled over the stucco banister worn shiny from my family’s hands and those who had lived in the Miami apartment before us. Salty tears tickled my face. I scooped her up in chubby, six-year-old arms and pulled her string. But she who won me countless friends on a year-long Volkswagen van trip across Mexico would never talk again. “Quit your crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about,” my daddy said.
When I was thirteen, Mama drove me and my six-year-old brother away from Biscayne Bay and Daddy. We left the sailboat Daddy built in the back yard—where we and our belongings had been crammed into thirty-six feet that smelled of mildew and last night’s fish. Our blue Rambler braked at a house, peering owlishly through black-framed windows. Inside, cold terrazzo floors echoed our footsteps. Mama looked back at us, Jack-in-the-Box smile stitched in place. “Isn’t this a wonderful adventure?”
At nineteen I hurled myself at Jesus, Someone who didn’t think my emotions were too loud and bothersome, Someone who listened to my heart.
For three decades I locked my childhood and my emotions behind Get Smart steel grates. If I wasn’t such an Eeyore, if I had an ounce of gratitude, I would have said my childhood was okay. A lot of people suffered worse.
A flash of blond hair out a firehouse window unearthed a firefighter’s memory of a fifth-grade girl walking home from St. Hugh’s Catholic School in Miami. He was a sixth-grader who could never understand why his carpool whisked past me day after day as I plodded through a ramshackle, black neighborhood in the sticky heat headed for the marina.
Though we never spoke, the man googled me and e-mailed, “I always thought how sad and lonely you looked.”
I felt as though Jesus pressed three fingers into my right shoulder and said, “Yes, your childhood was sad.” The doors to my past and emotions burst open.
As a child I shut off my voice because it wouldn’t be heard or believed.  Now I’m starting to come all-out with my husband, children, and friends. They listen and believe me. They embrace me. I am showing them the core of who I am. Color and intensity of feeling are shooting through my deadness. I am learning to pen pain and joy.
Ironically, in my writing people have told me for years that my unique voice is my strength. Could there be people desperate for my message, could my words be valuable?
God went out of His way to love a girl nobody listened to, to restore her voice and emotions. How can I not speak?

Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.
Book Blurb: Fresh from college, Raine scores a teaching job at New Smyrna Beach Surf and Sailing Camp. A crush on the camp rebel/art teacher threatens to derail her plans to teach orphans in Africa. The broody recreation director spots her brothers meth addiction and Raine's enabling. Raine believes she is helping her brother--until lives are threatened. 

Back Cover Copy: Stuck in sleepy New Smyrna Beach one last summer, Raine socks away her camp pay checks, worries about her druggy brother, and ignores trouble: Cal Koomer. She’s a plane ticket away from teaching orphans in Africa, and not even Cal’s surfer six-pack and the chinks she spies in his rebel armor will derail her.
            The artist in Cal begs to paint Raine’s ivory skin, high cheek bones, and internal sparklers behind her eyes, but falling for her would caterwaul him into his parents’ live. No thanks. The girl was self-righteous waiting to happen. Mom served sanctimony like vegetables, three servings a day, and he had a gut full.
            Rec Director Drew taunts her with “Rainey” and calls her an enabler. He is so infernally there like a horsefly—till he buzzes back to his ex.
            Raine’s brother tweaks. Her dream of Africa dies small deaths. Will she figure out what to fight for and what to free before it’s too late?
Twitter @AnnLeeMiller

Endorsements for Kicking Eternity

First Place
Long Contemporary
2009 Romance Writers of America
Faith, Hope, and Love Contest

“In Kicking Eternity, Ann Lee Miller masterfully weaves the delicate web of emotions experienced in that turbulent ‘twenty-something’ stage of life. Powerful family dynamics, intense loyalty challenges, and tender new loves find their niche in your heart as this story unfolds layer by lovely layer.”
Mesu Andrews, Author of  Revell titles Love’s Sacred Song, and Love Amid the Ashes, which won the 2012 CBA Book of the Year, New Author Category

“Ann Lee Miller writes stories straight from the heart with characters who'll become friends, remaining with you long after you turn that final page. You won't want to miss Kicking Eternity!”
Jenny B. Jones, Author of the Katie Parker Production Series from Think and The Charmed Life Series, and other single titles from Thomas Nelson

"I've lost hours of sleep reading Ann Lee Miller's work due to her uncanny ability to yank me into a story with authentic, lovable, yet challenging characters."
Lynn Rush, author of WastelandAwaited, and Prelude to Darkness from Crescent Moon Press

Friday, June 22, 2012

Creating a buzz!

My friend and author, Eileen Rife, is stirring up a little buzz about the release of my debut novella. Please visit her blog for the details.

Thanks, Eileen!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Impressions

Our mission team disembarked the plane that had taken us from Ft. Lauderdale to Port au Prince, Haiti. As I emerged my first impression was HOT. I toted my carry-on and backpack to an awaiting school bus. I found a seat for myself and my daughter and we settled in to watch the first scenes of Haiti out our window.

I have promised the Lord that I will never complain as I used to about the way people drive in America. Driving in Haiti is an ongoing game of chicken using your horn to announce your intention to pass other vehicles. Our Haitian driver knew two speeds - 100 MPH and stop. With the bumpy roads, the trip felt like an amusement park roller coaster. I do not ride roller coasters, and now I know why. If I wasn't a woman of prayer before, I was after that wild ride!

Out the bus window I saw people - men, women, and children just standing or sitting. They stared as we drove past. Some had little makeshift stands selling canned goods, fruits, sandals, and many other things I didn't recognize. I saw shelters made of block as well as tent-like structures and houses made with whatever could be found. I couldn't imagine what the place had looked like before groups had come in after the earthquake to clean up because it looked as though nothing had been done. Still there were crumbled structures and heaps of rubble.

Have you ever seen a face whose expression is devoid of hope? Those were the faces staring back at me. I felt I had little to offer and yet I had the Hope to share. I was eager to tell them of the hope found in Jesus Christ. As the week progressed, I met Christian Haitians whose faith in Christ made me ashamed of mine.

I'll be sharing more about my experiences in Haiti. Please pray for the efforts of our missionaries, Chris and Kelly, whom we worked with while there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Normally I post on Mondays, but I didn't get up until 11:00 yesterday after arriving home from Haiti at two in the morning Sunday. I feel a little more human after a lot of sleep.

Thanks to all of you who prayed for my daughter and I while we were in Haiti. We will relay stories and testimonies via this blog in the coming days. So much to tell you that we have to process first in our own minds. I hope to be able to share some pictures as well for you to see what kept us busy from first peek of light until well after dark.

While I was away, the release date for my debut novella was announced. THE BLESSING SEER will release on July 6th. I will be giving more information on this momentous occasion as well.

Suffice to say - God is so good to me, one who is undeserving and yet humbled and grateful.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Deep breath - inhale, exhale. I'm doing a few deep breathing exercises to calm my spirit. Bright and early Friday morning (5 A.M.), my daughter and I embark on our journey to Haiti. We will be there a week having opportunities to get a camp ready for Haitian children and to do Bible schools with the kids in some of the surrounding villages.

Something incredible must be on God's agenda because the enemy has been against me all this week, placing doubt in my mind. Please pray I will focus on the Lord.

Please pray that our travel is safe and smooth - going through customs isn't fun these days. Ask that God would calm our spirits.

Please pray for our health as we are there. The whole group will be taking meds for Malaria while we're there, hoping for no side effects. We have a few in our group who have allergies and a couple who have knee issues.

Please pray for our effectiveness is sharing God's love even if it is only through our actions. Pray also we will be able to proclaim the hope found in Christ which these people so deperately need.

Please pray that we will listen to what God might have to teach us away from the hustle and bustle of America.

Please pray for our families here in the US.

To say we covet your prayers is putting it mildly. We are thankful we can ask our brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for us wherever you are and wherever we are.

We will bring you a report of God's work when we return.

If you are on Facebook you can check out a daily update and even pictures by liking Crossings Camps.

Thank you.
Your Sis in Christ,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Have you ever been outside at night trying to walk? Maybe you were walking on the beach during the evening or you might have been hiking a path and the sun goes down before you have reached the end.

When I've experienced a night time stroll, I find myself walking much slower for fear that I might stub my toe or trip over something. Without a light, I could stumble over an unseen obstacle or lose my way. I could even get hurt.

But, if I bring a flashlight, my confidence increases, and I walk much faster. Why? Now I can see any obstacles and avoid them before they cause me harm. I can stay on the path and not get lost.

"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105

God wants His children to think of His Word like a flashlight. Without His instructions and warnings, we are wandering around in the dark. But, when we study His Word, we are led in the right paths and don't have to fear stumbling.

Are you in His Word? If not, don't wander around in the dark, risking getting lost from the path you should be taking. Read His Word and let it light your way.

Don't know where to start? Read all of Psalm 119. It contains the many benefits and importances of obeying God's instructions.