Welcome Guest Blogger Salena Stormo


Salena, what is your favorite thing to write about, (i.e., forgiveness, rebellion, etc)?
Definitely forgiveness. Like all of us, I have faced moments in my life where I had the choice to hold onto anger and resentment or let it go. I knew that God wanted me to let it go. I didn’t want to live a life full of bitterness or teach my child to hold grudges so after much prayer I learned that forgiveness is a very powerful thing and whether the person accepts it or not isn’t always the issue. It’s what you do with your life going forward for the glory of God that matters. I want people to read my books someday and say “WOW, forgiveness IS powerful! It can change people and draw them closer to Him.

What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
With this story, I hope the reader will get a glimpse into the life of a truly amazingly sweet woman who left her mark on this world and impacted the people around her through the simple act of love.

If you could travel back in time when and where would you go?
I would love to go to the mid to late 19th century. This country was changing drastically with the end of the Civil War, the formation of the basic civil rights, reconstruction, the creation of the cowboy, and taking industry to new heights. It is hard to imagine the amount of emotion and drive people had back then to fix the problems and get back on track to making this country something to be proud of.

What project are you currently working on?
I am working on a series of books set in the hill country of Texas immediately following the Civil War. It is about Tyler, a Yankee soldier and his young daughter who move south after the war, and after the loss of his wife. He meets Faith and realizes he saw her during the burning of Atlanta, Georgia. It is a story about how their lives intertwine to bring about a healing process and a love so strong that no battle lines could destroy it.

Excerpt from Quilted Love, by Salena Stormo

      The memories flood my mind as my eyes grow heavy. I close them and drift off to a familiar and happy place long, long ago. I'm sixteen again. My auburn hair is being teased by the Texas wind as I struggle to pull it into a bun and pin it in place. My calico dress whips against my legs as I place my bonnet neatly over my head to block out the intense morning sun. This is the land I love; the land of my ancestors and it is embedded with history I will forever carry with me, no matter where life takes me.
      I see the covered wagon as it sits beneath the tall oak tree at the bottom of the hill. It is exactly as we left it when we stopped to rest for the evening. I arose early to wash the clothes at the nearby creek before we continue our journey west. We have only been traveling a few days and yet home already seems so far away. My husband is hitching the team to the wagon and securing our belongings. He is meticulous as he checks everything one last time. Still a boy in so many ways and yet advanced for his years. We are both young, really. As ma said we were to young to be married and heading west to start a life for ourselves. But we are full of dreams and ambitions so we smiled and comforted our families as we made our plans to go to New Mexico.

Quilted Love was inspired by my great-grandmother and originally I wrote it for my mom. She loved it so much she encouraged me to get it published. I sent it off to one place, Harpstring Magazine, and wouldn't you know they published it in thier December 2011 magazine.

Quilted Love is about a lady who, during her last moments, reflects on her life and all the blessings God bestowed upon her. Her love of quilting is intertwined in the story because my great-grandmother loved to make quilts. I will always remember her sitting in her favorite chair by the window with her latest quilt over her lap. 

Also, don’t miss the release of another short story “The Gift of Yesterday” that will appear in Harpstring Magazine’s February 2012 issue.

You can purchase Quilted Love at: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/308785

Stop by http://throughhiseyestoo.blogspot.com/ and read about some talented Christian authors.
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When Wishes Really do Come True, by Paula Rose Michelson

Did you ever wish that before you finished asking for what you wanted the person smiled and nodded YES! Well that’s exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago as I crossed the railroad tracks and entered yesteryear or as the residence of San Juan Capistrano call it, the Los Rios Historic district.

If you’ve been on the journey with me for a while my going to the historic district to speak with merchants about hosting a Book Signing Event for Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing would appear to be a perfect fit. If you haven’t, to bring you up to speed, I must share that while glancing up I saw an artistic woman crossing the tracks out as I crossed into the historic past. I had to fight the urge to turn and dog her steps, and I did because I knew that someone leaving in the middle of the day was not what I was looking for. No! I was absolutely certain that what I needed was someone who had a place that harkened back to old Spain, or if that were not possible, someplace where people leisurely lunch or sip tea.

At sometime in the future one of those places might contact me. However, I wasn’t going to wait. So crossing the tracks once more, I scanned the street and realized that the once vacant store front that had stood empty for years whose weathered window panes had allowed a recently re-transplanted native to view the collectables in its widow now housed a gallery. And having at one time been a rather good facsimile of an aspiring artist, I darted within as I joyfully called, “Hello!”

I was greeted by another equally joyous, “Hi!” as the woman who I hadn’t followed turned and look at me. If I were writing a book rather than a blog I might say that when our eyes locked it seemed to me that we understood each other at first sight! And since I’m writing this that’s what I’m going to say! A quick conversation and a commitment from Randi to host a Book Signing on Valentines Day followed. Before I turned to leave the shop, I handed Randi a copy of my novel.

As she escorted me to the door, her friend and fellow artist asked about the Star of David she’d been working on. When she smiled and held it up for him to see, I realized that it was one of a kind, and I wanted it. I reminded myself that I wasn’t there to buy jewelry no matter how beautiful and perfectly made it was. However, I couldn’t stop myself from saying, “If I sell some books I will buy one of your pieces!”

Randi pointed to a mirror. As I watched she put the bobble around my neck and fastened the clasp. “You gave me a book. I’m giving you a necklace.”

I came to San Juan looking for a place that would host a book signing. I left San Juan knowing that I had received a gift I will always treasure, and no, although I love it, it’s not the necklace; I’m speaking of Randi’s friendship.

If you’d like to join Randi, her artist friend and me, on Valentines Day, we’ll be at The Black Cat Gallery, 26755 Verdugo St., Suit 200, San Juan Capistrano 92675
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