Thursday, March 31, 2011

Interview by Christian Author Scott M. Shafer About His New Book, What Every Dream Means

Today I am running an interview by Scott Shafer about his new book, What Every Dream Means. I am intrigued by What Every Dream Means  because it's difficult to find a book on this topic that is rooted in Scripture. Enjoy and learn how his new book might help you to understand your dreams.

Question: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you have an academic background that led you to search for answers to the meaning of dreams or did you have a personal experience that compelled you to ask questions in search of answers?

Response: Early in my relationship with Christ, I had an ongoing desire and appetite to hear the voice of God. It was very organic and a natural byproduct of the intimate experiences of God's presence in my life at that time.

To my surprise, I soon discovered (by His grace) that God was already speaking to me, though I didn't realize it initially. I expected God to speak in a totally different way; but He had already been speaking to me in my dreams. Prior to this season in my life, I don't recall having dreams. I don't remember dreams from childhood and I have no memories of any dreams in my life until powerfully encountering the living Christ.

As soon as I realized this was one way God was speaking to me (it was not unusual to have several dreams a night during this time) I began journaling in a process of trying to understand my dreams and their symbolism through prayer and sharing with others. This led me on a journey of study, reflection, meditation, prayer, and working with dreams for some twenty-five years. I have no formal education in psychology or any other tradition, though I am well aware of the many theories, methodologies, and perspectives that are represented in this field.

Question: Is your book What Every Dreams Means based on Scripture?

Response: What Every Dream Means is based on Scripture. It is my belief there are many wonderful principles and truth in Scripture revealed about the topic of dreams and dream interpretation that has been glossed over or ignored by many.

This would include principles related to working with symbolism and symbolic picture language, which is what we often encounter with dreams. Most people in the Western world do not think in these terms, so Scripture is helpful in changing our perceptions by its use of idioms and various kinds of speech.

As we immerse ourselves in the prophetic and poetic language of Scripture—including parables, hyperbole, simile, and metaphors—our insights increase, and this becomes important for interpreting dreams.

Scripture helps us in other ways, such as validating that God speaks to us in our dreams. We can also expect, as prophesied, that during the end times, dreams will play a significantly more important role globally than ever before in history.

Question: How will What Every Dream Means help me to understand my dreams?

Response: First and importantly, it will help you to gain a relational perspective of dream interpretation rooted in an intimate relationship with the living Christ. I prayed about the title of the book and one night as I was drifting off to sleep, I received the title. As it came to me, I knew that I had to write it down before I forgot it.

I've had that experience of forgetting a dream or part of a dream by not writing it down. Those previous lessons helped me in this case with the title of the book and I wrote it immediately before going back to sleep.

In the following days I searched everywhere and realized that the title What Every Dream Means had never been used. All of that is amazing to me, but in a way it probably shouldn't surprise me that God knew all this in advance.

The point I want to make about the title is that it implies several things. Probably the most important thing is there is someone who does know what every dream means and it is God. Everything I do to train and help people with their dreams all comes back to this vital dependency upon God and a relational perspective.

That is contrary to the many things that other perspectives of dreams such as psychology teach. Most often what is taught is a method that does not point to a relationship with the pure source of light and understanding. There are also other ways the book will help you with your dreams.

Lastly and certainly of great importance to me is that as you read What Every Dream Means, it will help you receive freely God's presence by absorbing the anointing that is from Him and that is essential for understanding dreams. This is a key to understanding dreams that I want people to have an awareness of, so that the full extent of impartation can take place in their lives.

Keep in mind Jesus was identified as “The Anointed One,” which implies a great measure of anointing from the Father and Holy Spirit to accomplish His purpose. So we too, like Jesus, in this case, need the anointing of the Spirit for our purpose with respect to interpreting dreams today.

Question: I can think of several instances in the Bible where God revealed profound truths to someone in a dream. Can you share with us a personal experience dream story, either yours or someone else, which is inspirational?

Response: The dreams that are recorded in Scripture are very profound dreams in that many of them, though not all of them, are what I would call prophetic dreams. They revealed the future of individuals or nations.

Be that said, there are many kinds of dreams a person can experience and not all are of this magnitude. Each dream performs a particular function and has value, even though its function may not be, as in the case of the dreams in Scripture, prophetic dreams. Many of the dreams that an individual may have today are intended to help him pray specifically about topics that God is revealing to him personally.

For example, I had a dream where I was saw myself kneeling in a meadow that felt like the altitude and atmosphere of the mountains in California. I was completely surrounded by trees and brush, and in a place where there were no buildings or structures. It was a remote, natural area.

In the clearing where I knelt, it was the break of day, in the early morning hours. The ground was wet with dew, just beginning or early dawn.

I looked in front of me. A man stood not too far away, maybe twenty or thirty yards, on the edge of the clearing. He said, “The wildlife here will never come near a human being.”

As I heard these words, I looked to my right and there appeared a tiny fawn frolicking very close. A profound energy and happiness exuded from the little fawn as it played in complete freedom. Amazed, I watched, and then from my right and behind me, a doe slowly walked up and rubbed its body against my right shoulder as it passed by. Strangely I felt as though the doe wanted me to pet it. The dream ended.

When I awoke I realized the dream contained a very clear message about the things that defy what “man” says. This man—his reasoning, negative words, and logic—was completely defied by what I experienced with the fawn and the doe, both of whom came near. It was a wonderful picture that has been an inspiration and resource to help me not to listen to all the negative voices that are around me.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, April 4) is the official launch of What Every Dream Means on Amazon. There will be free egifts available if you buy your book within the 24-hour period. Here is the link you will need. Check it out at 

One of the free egifts will be an ebook of my children's picture book The Donkey and the King, so don't miss this opportunity to get Scott Shafer's book, What Every Deam Means, as well as lots of freebies.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Love Better, Five of Fifteen, Based on Ken Kuhlken's Book, Writing and the Spirit

Fear of being judged is a great spoiler of creativity. Unnecessary rules affect me the same way, and I run from negativity like the plague. I have learned it is better for me to be alone when I am "in the spirit" and writing; hence, my frequent trips to Starbucks.

"Perfect love casts out fear" is one of my favorite passages from the Bible. I have come to believe that those who say negative, unloving things-in reviews, in comments, or in other aspects of living-either are insecure or narcissistic. I may not know which, but I avoid those types of people like roaches. I can make my own pity party without their help. Instead, I seek out those who are full of the spirit. Most noticeably in the John 3:16 Marketing Network, we have individuals who are uplifting and caring about others.

I love the song, "We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord..." May we love better as we write because we write what the world needs to hear. As the song goes, "What the world needs now, is love, sweet love..."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Interview with Serafim Gascoigne about his new book Roman Carnival

Today I would like to introduce a fascinating author who writes books for young adults. Meet Serafin Gascoigne as he talks about his life and the launch of his new book, ROMAN CARNIVAL.

Question by Lorilyn Roberts: I recently listened to an interview by you where you talked about your varied background which helps you to create memorable stories for Young Adults. Can you share some of that with us today?

 Answer: I have been a professional musician, an army medic, an intelligence analyst, teacher and computer training consultant on three continents, and finally a pastor/priest here in the U.S.

I worked for British Intelligence in Berlin during the Cold War. This gave me exposure to the Russian language and Christians who had taken refuge in the West, but who nonetheless went through very difficult times when the Soviet army took Berlin. Their stories, in many instances miraculous, set the scene for my future writing. When Russia became open once more, I traveled to Siberia and other places in Russia.

Later I taught in an inner-city school where seventy percent of the students were from the West Indies. I lived in Ladbroke Square, the location of  ROMAN CARNIVAL, a few doors away from the Home Secretary and the film star, Kenneth Moore, and John Cleese of Monty Python fame. I used to see them shopping from time to time.

Question by Lorilyn: I am always interested in whether fiction authors write by "the seat of their pants" or if they outline and develop the plot and then write. How do you come up with your fascinating story lines?

Answer: I develop my characters first and then find a story for them. I usually work out a draft outline which I never stick to! The stories seem to write themselves. I enjoy researching background, looking for unusual details. Did you know that the Romans worshipped the wrong god or that Nero did not play the fiddle (or mandolin) while Rome was burning?

I found some interesting menus such as dormice dipped in honey. Lots of facts that I hope will capture the interest of young readers.

Question by Lorilyn Roberts: Which leads to my next question: Tell us a little bit about your new novel ROMAN CARNIVAL.

Answer: The discovery of an ancient Temple of Mithras causes great excitement among the residents of Ladbroke Square, London.  At the suggestion of the curator of the British Museum, the residents decide to hold a Roman Carnival, complete with fancy dress, refreshments, tours and speeches.  However, unknown to the large crowd gathered for the Carnival, there are “ravens,” Roman assassins from 65 AD.

Intent on invading 20th century London, the Romans, members of the cult of Mithras, are thwarted in their attempt by two school boys, Anthony Archer and Hector Carter. As the drama unfolds, Hector is mistaken for a runaway boy soldier, while Anthony is thought to be Artemius, a high-ranking member of the cult of Mithras.

Mistaken identity or not, these boys begin to play a vital role in defeating the cosmic forces that have entered their time and reality through the Temple of Mithras.  A mysterious figure, the watcher Nikomedes, confirms that this is their destiny; it is part of their ancestral breath. Only Anthony and Hector are capable of sealing the conduit between past and present. How are they to do this? Nikomedes says that they will know what to do when the time comes.    

Unlikely heroes in a battle with cosmic evil, the boys work as a duo, displaying common sense and courage in the face of many unexpected dangers.  Their only weapons against this invasion are their simplicity, honesty, and their ancestral link to the past.  Hector's good and easy-going nature, loyalty to a friend, and courage play an important role in the drama. Anthony is not particularly courageous but together with Hector, he shines as a natural leader in times of danger.

This is a fast-paced historical/fantasy, combining Cockney humor and suspense.

Question by Lorilyn Roberts: With your background you could write for any genera. Why did you choose to write Young Adult books?

Answer: I enjoy reading children’s literature and simply enjoy writing for young readers. I believe that it is important to communicate Christian values through fantasy and for teens through the supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit. ROMAN CARNIVAL is written for a secular audience but the underlying theme is Christian.

I am concerned that many authors of fantasy dwell on masochistic, sadistic, and psychotic role models. Roman Carnival is no moralistic tale, but a scary, fast-paced, time-shift adventure. It's not for the timid.

The underlying metaphysic is that we inherit not only the physical characteristics of our parents, but a part of their spirit too. This is a surprise element in the story.

Thank you, Serafim Gascoigne, for sharing with us your passion for writing for Young Adults. I can’t wait to get a copy of ROMAN CARNIVAL for my 12-year-old daughter who loves Christian fantasy.

Be sure to order ROMAN CARNIVAL on Tuesday, March 22, from at the link:
Details on how you can get free egifts if you buy Roman Carnival on Tuesday will be forthcoming!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Be Perfect , Four of Fifteen, Based on Ken Kuhlken's Book, Writing and the Spirit

The context here of “be perfect” should be considered active, not passive. We can never be perfect in the passive sense, but with God’s help, we look forward to what we can become. We can try to write the perfect story, the perfect book, the perfect whatever, knowing humanly-speaking we won’t achieve it, but also knowing we are a work in progress. If we walk with God, the more we learn about Him, the greater the possibility of achieving perfection.

I believe some saints of the arts have come close. I think about the perfection of Handel’s Messiah and Pachelbel’s Canon. When I was in Italy I visited The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. I stared at the painting for about thirty minutes all alone (a gift in itself) admiring its beauty. Even in its compromised condition, the artwork was perfect to me. The amazing masterpiece brought me into a sweet communion with God which I had not experienced for a long time.

As far as the art of writing, we have the greatest story ever told in the Bible. While there may be copying mistakes, do we really see them? I get so “in the spirit” with the beauty that comes close to perfection that I forget it was written by imperfect human beings.

Why would God not continue to dole out creativity like that today? I believe He does. We don’t strive, but we do give God our all, knowing that when we create, we become most like Him, the Creator. As a child of God, we know He seeks to give us more than we could ever ask. When we think of art and developing the talents He’s given us, we can come close to perfection.

Otherwise, why would demons waste so much time destroying creative minds? Look around and see the beauty; it is all around us—in nature, in museums, in music, and in books. God’s creative spirit indwells and woos us to believe in miracles, in redemption, in love, in hope, in art. The world needs us and God blesses us with our creativity for His good pleasure.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Exclusive Interview with Award-Winning Author Elaine Cooper

by Award-winning Author Elaine Cooper

I want to introduce a delightful author whom I met on Facebook, Elaine Cooper. She came to my aid when someone stole my identity on the social networking site--before she even knew me. She later joined the John 3:16 Marketing Network and has been a tremendous encourager to me as well as many others. She has a servant's heart in so many ways and a beautiful style of writing.

With great joy I share this short interview of Elaine Cooper in anticipation of the launch of her new book, The Road to Deer Run, on Tuesday at Amazon.

When did you develop your love of writing?

I have loved writing since I was very young. My father encouraged me to write a story about my lost hamster when I was 11 and I have been hooked on creating stories ever since. My skills were honed in the 1980’s when I did freelancing for two local newspapers. Talk about fast deadlines! But I loved writing at home so I could be there for my children.

I took a hiatus from the keyboard when I felt led to go to nursing school and become a Registered Nurse. This was definitely a God-inspired decision as several years after I graduated, my own daughter was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. At that time, I took a leave from my nursing job because Bethany needed care 24 hours a day. I resumed freelance writing, but this time for a magazine writing health-related topics. I occasionally toyed with the idea of writing a book.

Tell us about your new book The Road to Deer Run; what it’s about and how you came to write it.

It was the fourth anniversary of Bethany passing away when the idea for The Road to Deer Run was birthed. It was such a strong sense of knowing in my heart that this was what I was going to write but it’s difficult to describe. I just knew.

The Road to Deer Run is set in 1777 in the midst of the American Revolution. The story does not take place on the battlefield but rather in a small village in western Massachusetts where the residents are deeply affected by the war. The plot involves the discovery of a wounded British soldier by a young American farmwoman. He is dying and she is terrified. How will she handle the situation when her heart hates the Redcoats, while at the same time is filled with compassion for a dying soldier?

The ensuing days and weeks challenge everyone’s faith and fortitude, as well as their ability to forgive. Slowly, hearts and souls begin to heal. And in the midst of the hatred and discord, seeds of love take root among the weeds of bitterness. The Road to Deer Run is inspired by my own ancestors from the era of the American Revolution

If you wanted to share one thing with the world that speaks to your passion, what would you say?

My passion is to help others who are truly in need. My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 31:8-9 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

When you look at the world in need, it can be overwhelming. But I truly believe that, while no one person can meet everyone’s needs, God places opportunities in our path where we can make a difference in some way to help others. It may be as small as buying a meal for someone or it may be a much larger mission. But whatever that mission is, God will reveal it to us so that we will be useful vessels to come to the aid and defense of the poor and needy. We just need to be willing conduits of His love.

To read more about The Road to Deer Run, visit, but wait till Tuesday to purchase. We want to help Elaine reach best-seller status on Amazon during her offical book launch!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Amazon launch of Stacy Padula's book, When Darkness Tries to Hide

Today marks the release of Stacy Padula’s latest novel, When Darkness Tries to Hide.

As a special promotion, today’s buyers will get free gifts & a chance to win Boston Red Sox tickets, gift certificates, & other prizes for each copy of When Darkness Tries to Hide that they purchase.

For details on the book, launch, and promotions please visit:

Enjoy this interview with Stacy Padula:

Author of When Darkness Tries to Hide and The Right Person

Q: How did you become interested in writing?

A: I wrote my first book when I was in Kindergarten; it was a short story about a puppy. Then my writing just continued…I wrote books all through elementary school and continued beyond. I finished my first draft of When Darkness Tries to Hide when I was 15 years old. I had read a lot of different books while growing up that had been about high school. When I entered high school I was completely shocked by what was going on around me! It was nothing like Sweet Valley High or the Babysitters Club. There was an abundance of backbiting, backstabbing, substance abuse, and kids just being mean to each other. I felt that there needed to be a realistic book series out there for kids to read so that they could be prepared for the social battles of high school. So, I wrote The Right Person, which is the first book in the Montgomery Lake High series. I fell in love with my characters, and the subject matters, so I decided to write a sequel (which is now When Darkness Tries to Hide). I have recently finished the 5th book in the series, and I plan to keep writing as long as I am able to!

Q: What should people know about When Darkness Tries to Hide?

A: The book picks up two months after where The Right Person left off. There is a terrible storm that brings destruction to the town and into the lives of some of the characters. One of the characters, Andy, gets injured and another character, Jason, feels responsible. (Although no one knows at first exactly why Jason feels that way.) The story follows many characters reactions to the accident, and how everyone comes together to help Andy. Jason is the central focus of the story, and the transformation he goes through as a result of feeling responsible for what happened to Andy. The main point of the story is the battle between light and darkness, and how people often do not realize they are living a dark life because everyone around them is living the same way, until a ray of light shines in and breaks through the darkness.

Q: Have any experiences from your own life affected the storyline of the book?

A: I have not written about anything that has happened to me exactly, but everything in the books is based on things I have witnessed teenagers go through, or emotional/social/physical/spiritual battles that I have fought in my life. The books are filled with lessons I have learned from my own experiences, but I have woven those lessons into the completely fictitious world of Montgomery Lake High. It is my hope that teens and pre-teens can learn from these lessons and not go through as much pain as I had to in order to learn them!

Q: What is it like waiting for each book to be published?

A: It is exciting!! My next book, which will be published apart from the series as a novel, is called Montgomery's Masquerade: The Battle for Innocence. It is a prequel to the series that takes place when the main characters were in 7th grade. I just got it back from my editor, who is actually from Pearson Publishing, and I am excited to review her edits and send it along to my publisher, Strategic Book Group. They had read the rough copy earlier this month and accepted it. The whole process has many steps, and a lot of approvals that need to be signed off on. It is excited to see the internal layout of the book. I get to work with my publisher's book designers to bring the book up to the vision that I have for it. This, along with approving the front and back cover designs, is a very exciting part of the process. I always get butterflies in my stomach when I open up the first printed copy of each book. The process can take anywhere from six months to a year, depending on many different circumstances. I enjoy being a part of the process. It is always a learning experience, and I find that very rewarding!

Q: Do you have a "life verse" that you have claimed? If so what is it and why is that verse so meaningful to you?

A: Psalm 84:11 has significant meaning to me. It states that God withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly. This verse is a reminder to me that anything that I pray for and do not receive is not really good for me, and that I only desire it because I have limited understanding of what is best for me. God knows what is best, and as long as I am walking with Him, He will not withhold anything good from me. So whenever God closes a door in my life, I recall Psalm 84:11 and find great comfort and peace within its promise.

Q: Who (or what) is your greatest encourager when you write and why?

A: I have a wonderful support system of family and friends who encourage me in my writing. What encourages me the most, though, is the world of Montgomery Lake High that exists within my mind. It is like God has put this world in my head, and these characters that are so real to me, and I write to express what is within me: a message of faith to reach out to the youth.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like your readers to know about you that would give us even more of a glimpse into your personality and passions?

A: “Passionate” would be the best word to describe me. When I'm into something, I'm into it with my whole heart. I love my life and think God has blessed me with the best friends, best dog, best job, and the best mother in the entire world. Writing is my favorite pastime. I have learned a lot about conquering fear this past year. The ocean moves me. I love North Carolina and feel like a part of my heart is there. I love to learn and figure out how things are connected. I see deeper meaning in everything. I believe love is the answer to life's toughest questions. I have "songs" with the majority of my friends and hope the lyrics always mean something to me. My faith is in Jesus Christ, and I'm in love with Him. I have a strange fetish for football movies. I am an avid skier. I have a lot of hope and believe nothing is impossible with God.

Please visit: for more information on the Montgomery Lake High book series.