Welcome Mary Manners and WISDOM TREE

Sometimes the last thing we think we need is exactly what God has planned

After the death of his parents, Jake Samuels has enough on his plate—including a fledgling church to lead and a mischievous younger brother to raise. The last thing he needs is a rambunctious woman to contend with.

Carin O’Malley is dealing with the death of her brother and a new job as an English teacher at East Ridge Middle School where Corey Samuels reigns as King of Chaos. The last thing she needs is to fall in love…especially with a handsome and complicated preacher like Corey’s brother Jake.

But when Corey’s antics toss Carin and Jake together, the two must draw from God’s wisdom to find refuge in His perfect plan.

This is a Tour Wide Giveaway-
Please enter by Rafflecopter BELOW THIS POST. Each commentator from each stop will be entered into a grand giveaway for a chance to win one of the two prizes up for grabs – a $50 Gift Card (Amazon/BN – winners choice) and a print set of (5) books (Wisdom Tree when it debuts in October). Winners will be chosen August 14th.
I’m so excited to welcome Mary Manners back to Heart racing, God-gracing Romance with her fall release, Wisdom Tree

Welcome, Mary, and congratulations!! Thank you so much for joining us today.

Mary Manners is an award-winning author of inspirational romance who lives in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband and daughter. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Smoky Mountain Romance Writers.
In her free time, she likes to garden, take long walks with her husband, and read romance novels in a hammock beneath century-old shade trees.  http://www.marymannersromance.com/

Mary invites us to get into the holiday spirit with her post, Christmas Lights. So, light your pine scented candles, flick your fave tunes on, and kick back and relax with this sweet devotional.

Christmas Lights
You are my lamp, oh Lord, the Lord that turns my darkness into light. ~2 Samuel 22:29(NIV)
Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. ~Psalm 43:3(NIV)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~Psalm 119:105(NIV)
When the subject of Christmas gifts comes up, most people think of packages wrapped in colorful paper and shimmery bows, sitting under the Christmas tree, just waiting to be opened.
When I think of Christmas gifts, I think of my dad, who passed away ten years ago this holiday season. He was a man of many gifts, including the joy he shared for the traditions of Christmas.
Dad loved light—especially the light that brightened a fresh-cut pine tree in honor of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Each December first, like clockwork, Dad piled his family—all seven of us—into our Chevy station wagon and drove us to the tree lot where, shivering in the Chicago-winter cold, we oohed and aahed over each and every tree until we found the perfect one.
Once home, with the tree safely arranged in a metal stand and watered, Dad climbed the ladder to our attic (a mysterious place, indeed) where the Christmas lights were stored. He’d lower the battered cardboard box (re-used, season after season) to the floor below and dust it off.
Then my brother and sisters—five of us—gathered ’round him in the living room and waited, eyes huge with wonder, as he carefully unraveled the strands of lights and tested each one. No matter how stubborn the bulbs, dad always managed to get them working.
Beautiful, vibrant colors turned the room to a kaleidoscope, dancing over walls and windows with the feel of winter magic. One by one, my siblings and I each took the place of honor beside Dad, helping him to adorn the tree with light. Pine sap clung to our tiny fingers, but we didn’t care. All the while, our hearts soared with happiness and child-like wonder.
Finally, Dad gently gathered the Christmas star from the box. Hushed with awe, we waited while Dad chose one of us to hoist to his shoulders for the greatest thrill—placing the treasured beacon of light—the Baby Jesus Star—atop the highest limb. Somehow, Dad always sensed who needed that extra touch of attention, and there was never any argument.
With the lights in place (just in time for nightfall—always) we circled the tree and held hands to sing Silent Night. In the earliest years, the tune didn’t always carry and the words were sometimes off, but Dad didn’t mind. He knew we understood what the tree—and especially the lights—symbolized…the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. The most wonderful gift of all!
It’s sometimes easy to get lost in the tangle of this world—the troubles and stresses that everyday life presents. Sometimes we feel as if the darkness will consume us. During these most trying times, we must move toward the light, and the Father who loves and guides us. He will remove the darkness and fill us with His holy light.
Heavenly Father,
I pray you take the darkness and fill me with light. I ask to be a beacon to others, that they may know Your goodness and the hope You bring. Please guide and keep me. Amen

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23 thoughts on “Welcome Mary Manners and WISDOM TREE

  1. Love the Christmas story! I could really feel the love and care that Mary's dad took to make the Christmas tree holy — as in “set apart for a purpose.” It's been difficult for me to find the Christmas spirit ever since a good friend of mine was shot at Christmas several years ago. He died a year later from his injuries. But this little devotion helped me find a glimpse of it again. Thank you so much for posting it. 🙂


  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, Angie. I hope that the good memories of your friend outshine an extremely painful time for you.

    I especially love the reminder here: When pain and troubles overwhelm you, remember to move towards the Light. 🙂


  3. Angie, I am so very sorry for the loss of your friend. I'm glad this devotional helped ease your pain and bring a bit of light to your sadness. Thank you for sharing and God bless you as we head toward the holiday season once again.


  4. I understand some people are experiencing problems with Rafflecopter. Please leave a comment on my blog, and you'll be entered into the drawing. Thank you so much for your interest in WISDOM TREE, and I appreciate your patience!


    I would like to win these books. Christmas is my favorite time of year and I wish people would live everyday as Christmas (not the gifts but the Spirit). Maybe I feel this way because my birthday is Christmas Eve.

    Debbie Curto
    Thank you for the chance to win


  6. Ah…love paying a visit to Christmas in July! Lovely devotional, Mary – and what wonderful pictures you paint. God's blessings to you and the upcoming release of Wisdom Tree. I don't need to be entered in the drawing, I was treated to a pre-read and HIGHLY recommend. Dora, you're the hostess with the mostess! ❤


  7. Well sometimes a “good” bad boy is someone who is really trying hard to be good but just can't help himself! I'm thinking of my 59 year old husband. He tries to be “good” but the bad boy comes out. (He thinks he is a great prankster!) While growing up he ran with the wrong crowd but God got a hold of him and has done marvelous things in his life.

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  8. Isn't it amazing the difference in attitudes around Christmas? I'm with you, Debbie!

    You're a Christmas Eve baby? My younger son was born on 12/23. I'm glad Mary's devotional touched a sweet chord with you.

    Thanks for your patience with Rafflecopter and your persistence in entering the giveaway. I appreciate your visit!


  9. It's hard to define a good – bad boy. Perhaps someone who has lost their way, but eventually comes back to what is right & true.



  10. I think I good- bad boy is someone who may get into some trouble but matures as he gets older.

    sonflower277 at gmail dot com


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