TGIM Books: What inspired Fire Light Fire Bright?

Many people have asked what was my inspiration for writing Fire Light Fire Bright.  I guess I would have to say, the Vietnam War.  I lost some close friends there and I wanted to write this book as a tribute.

I originally planned for the Vietnam Veteran to be the main character and, of course, be the  hero. However, as I began writing, my characters developed minds of their own, and they sort of took over.  My vet was pushed to the background, and Dodge, the sheriff, moved front and center.  I started putting in hints to make the readers suspect that the vet was the bad guy. Then to really muddy the waters, my mind did a complete reverse and I decided I really would make him turn out to be the guilty party.  Then, I changed my mind again.

I seesawed back and forth throughout the entire writing process.  To tell you the truth, I wasn’t positive who was going to be the one, until I wrote the final chapter.

***Spoiler Alert*** Nope, not going to do it.  You’ll have to read the book to see if he turns out to be the good guy or the bad guy.

Fire Light Fire Bright

The small north-central town of Glenwood, Texas is being methodically burned to the ground. Every few days another fire. Acres of scorched pasture, and skeletal remains of the once majestic trees that surrounded the township attest to the skill of the arsonist. Sheriff Dodge Brewster is frustrated by his inability to find even a single shred of evidence.

Several teenage girls in surrounding communities have been brutally raped. When the rapist finally targets Glenwood, the girls are not only raped, but murdered also. Deep in the woods outside of town, a Vietnam vet lives as a hermit. The people of Glenwood accuse him of every misdeed that occurs. The arson, rape and murders are no exception. They are demanding that Dodge arrest the vet, but new evidence in a turn of events point to his own friend.

Will Dodge be able to prove his friend’s innocence? Will he have to arrest him? Or will he go along with the townspeople and arrest the Vietnam vet?

Elsie Varn Harrell Virtual Book Club

Date: Sat, January 13, 2018

Time: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM CST

Cost: Free

Where: Online

Renée Walker bids TGIM “Farewell.”

Today I come to you with a saddened heart, but solemn gratitude in writing this announcement. As of Friday, October 13, 2017, I have decided to pursue other avenues in my writing career. My passion for writing comes from reading many books in my childhood. I still have the same adrenaline rush when I open a new book, which has the distinctive smell and feel that only true readers enjoy.

“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a book.” – J.K. Rowling

My passion for screenwriting has opened new doors for me.  We are currently filming a TV series that requires the majority of my time and attention. TGIM and Writing for the Soul Workshop will always have a special place in my heart. I would like to thank the amazing Eric Jones for giving me the opportunity to work with him. I value the teachings and the publishing experience I received. Eric is not only a creative entrepreneur but also a good friend.

I bid a farewell and great success for TGIM.

Renée Walker

Note from our CEO

I’ll never forget the day that I first interviewed Renée for the internship position as publisher with us. I knew then, that she would be a tremendous asset to this brand. What I didn’t know, was that she would leave behind a legacy. Literally.

Right after successfully completing her on-boarding and training, Renée went on to adapt our writing program for adults who wanted to share their stories with the next generation. We named it the Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Legacy Program. Under her care, the program went on to publish its first book entitled, ‘Timeless Memories‘.

Words can’t express how grateful I am to Renée for all she accomplished while with us, or how proud I am of her latest work as a screenwriter entitled: “Let The Church Say …” that will premier this Saturday during the Rack Focus Film Festival at The Texas Theater in Dallas.

Renée, I am forever grateful for all that you’ve done as publisher here at TGIM. You set a really high bar for our next intern. But, I’m most grateful for our friendship. Break a leg this Saturday! 🙂

 

Family Man by Bettye Westbrook

My name is Bettye Jones-Westbrook.  I was born in a family of ten siblings. Six sisters and four brothers. My parents did the best that they could to raise us with God’s help.  My parents were not educated.  My momma learned to read when my oldest sister started school. They learned together.  My daddy never learned to read.  Education was important for his children though, so we had to go to school.  Daddy was the first-born out of his siblings.  His father’s name was Matthew, and he was born during slavery. When slavery ended, my grandfather had no family except his father and mother, because his two brothers were sold during slavery.

 

Daddy worked hard farming, and at the end of the year, he would just break even. One day, Daddy came home and said to my mother that they did not make it.  Because he did not break even, they lost the farm. But he had an option to stay on the farm and continue work for the person that he was share chopping with …but God.

 

I can remember how Daddy would only buy what they did not raise on the farm.  He came home with a barrel of flour, sugar, salt and the major items. Momma would use the flour sacks along with some cloth to make our dresses. I can remember momma looking in the Sears catalog to make our dresses, and that was a gift from God.  Daddy was the best dad. He would take us riding in the horse and wagon.  He owned a horse named Bob, and a mule named Ole Jim.

 

At the age of twelve, I can remember my daddy saying, “Yes sir” to a white boy my age. I stood there feeling so awful, and I think the young guy was embarrassed too. But that was him, and the time he was from.  You see, Daddy was born July 3, 1903. My parents bought their first truck in 1953, and my brother was the driver.  

 

My daddy loved God above all.  He was the janitor at our church.  He also served as a deacon.  I can remember momma telling us that she taught daddy a verse in the Bible each week, so when he helped with the devotion, no one would know that he could not read. What love!

  

My Daddy would take us to Church every Sunday.  Ironing, playing ball and cards was not allowed because Sunday was Holy.  With the help of God, my daddy kept his family together. He was a family man. God blessed him to see six of his children grown and doing well and a host of grandchildren. He had one son in college, and two in school when he went home to be with the Lord. I loved my dad, and I thank God for him. When up against the odds, he didn’t give up. He made a stand and trusted God for everything.

About Timeless Memories

For centuries, we have used story telling as a way to maintain our traditions, values, and history.  As we have transitioned to the 21st century, we use the internet and social media to share who we are -creating a gap in our story telling traditions for those that experienced some of the most prolific events of the last 100 years.  The Great Depression, two World Wars, miraculous medications and awesome inventions mark some of the incredible happenings witnessed first hand by today’s seniors, many of whom do not use email or the internet.  The stories of how we lived life before computers may be lost in the shuffle from paper and pen to bits and bytes.

Timeless Memories: Our Legacy for Your Generation is a compilation of stories, poems and reflections of the seniors participating in our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Legacy Program.  This one of a kind program offers a platform for our writers to leave a footprint of their history to this generation and beyond.

A portion of all sales benefit St. Luke A.M.E. Church in Waco, Texas, provider of Writing for the Soul Workshop Legacy.

Buy The Book $12.99Download The eBook

New in September: Dreams Never Lie by Elsie Varn Harrell

Dreams Never Lie by Elsie Varn HarrellJosh Howard is only eight years old when the little girl next door, Doni, is kidnapped and killed.  Josh vows to catch her killers when he grows up.  As an FBI agent, he knows the chance of solving the case after so many years is slim to none, but he still dreams about Doni.

Josh is assigned a serial murder case in which the victims are tortured and raped before being killed. After a long string of murders with no leads, Josh starts receiving coded messages from the killer, warning when another attack will take place.  Then, there are hints that connect the killer to Josh’s new wife.

As Josh faces one of the most perplexing cases of his career, his personal life is now in shambles.  Will he be able to stop this maniac before he strikes again?  Will he be able to save his marriage?  Is his wife the next intended victim?

Buy The BookDownload The eBook

About Elsie Varn Harrell

Elsie was born and raised in Brooksville, Florida a small town about 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. She moved to Texas with her three children in the 1980’s where she met her husband on a blind date. The lovely couple recently celebrated their 30th anniversary.

Elsie lives in a small town in Texas where she is an active member of a Baptist church. Elsie is an insurance agent, and is also hard at work on her next novel. She loves the north-central Texas area as is evident in her books.

More by Elsie Varn Harrell

The small north-central town of Glenwood, Texas is being methodically burned to the ground. Every few days another fire. Acres of scorched pasture, and skeletal remains of the once majestic trees that surrounded the township attest to the skill of the arsonist. Sheriff Dodge Brewster is frustrated by his inability to find even a single shred of evidence.

Several teenage girls in surrounding communities have been brutally raped. When the rapist finally targets Glenwood, the girls are not only raped, but murdered also. Deep in the woods outside of town, a Vietnam vet lives as a hermit. The people of Glenwood accuse him of every misdeed that occurs. The arson, rape and murders are no exception. They are demanding that Dodge arrest the vet, but new evidence in a turn of events point to his own friend.

Will Dodge be able to prove his friend’s innocence? Will he have to arrest him? Or will he go along with the townspeople and arrest the Vietnam vet?

Buy The Book $16.99Download The eBook

 

TGIM Celebration Release: Loopholes by Paul Kurko

One year ago, Paul signed with TGIM Digital Publishing and released Issues. This year, celebrate with us by ordering Paul’s second release: Loopholes.

Loopholes by Paul Kurko

Life is a roller coaster for all of us. No matter where you are in life, no matter your age or your station, life has a way of throwing us curve balls.  Sometimes, it seems like you are on top of the world, only to have events change suddenly so that you are struggling.  Other times, you may be in dire circumstances with no hope, when suddenly, against all odds, a loophole changes your situation for the better.

Loopholes is a journey through those times in my life when God showed up in a big way; those circumstances where I should have lost my freedom, or even lost my life because of the decisions I made, where suddenly I was delivered from the worst possible consequences.  God’s grace is real.  And while we all suffer the ups and downs of life, I hope these stories from my life can show you that God is always working behind the scenes as our Divine Counselor, finding those loop holes we didn’t even dare to hope for.

Buy The Book $12.99Download The eBook

Booking for Paul Kurko

20170624_201819861_iOSEnlighten, entertain, and encourage your group by booking Paul Kurko for your next event. His motivating and inspiring message touches the hearts of diverse audiences from all walks of life.

“Paul’s story really encouraged me, and reading his book gave me hope. It was like I was drowning in life, and Paul threw me a life jacket. I was afraid to pursue my dreams until Paul spoke to us.” -Cameron White, Student

The cost of $700 is definitely less than the benefit you get when you book Paul for your next event. Your group will step beyond motivation into impact, and leave with tools they didn’t have before. The price includes 50 of Paul’s books entitled ‘Issues’ that he will autograph for your group. You may purchase copies at a discounted rate if you need more. Price does not include travel. Use the Contact Form below to book Paul Kurko.

TGIM & Texas ReEntry: Justice Reinvestment for a Better Tomorrow

TXRS LogoTGIM and Texas ReEntry Services, INC have partnered together to implement Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as a realistic criminal justice  strategy that safely reduces the State’s costly reliance on incarceration– creating stronger families, less taxpayer waste, and safer communities.

TGIM developed Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as a resource in direct response to the growing number of young people who are either falling through the cracks at school or are already entangled with the court system. The goal of the program is to identify youths who are going to have a turbulent transition into adulthood and offer a positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives. It wasn’t until recently after talking to Kay Smith, Texas ReEntry’s Director that I realized the curricula was leaving out the very nucleus in a young persons life: ADULTS.

After weeks of meetings with Kay and her Board, TGIM is pleased to announce that we’ve adapted our curriculum to now include individuals on probation and parole. Texas ReEntry allowed TGIM to come in during their Job Readiness Training to do an Information Session in an effort to expose Writing for the Soul Workshop™ to their clients to get feedback. 100% of the clients we surveyed said they would attend the program! One said he’d come even if he had to walk to get there. Here is an interview from one of their clients:

Sometimes it takes a trip to jail or even prison for a person to realize that their life has become unmanageable. By then, so much damage has been done.  As a felon, it’s hard to get a job or even a place to live.  Most commit more crimes to survive because their inability to  read and comprehend along with their criminal record makes it impossible to get and hold down a job.  The vicious cycle of doing life in prison on an installment plan (in and out of prison) begins.

These men and women need to know that their past does not define their future.  Writing for the Soul Workshop™ will offer them the same support and resources that our youth access.  Along with the Anger Management, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention, and the Job Readiness Training that Texas ReEntry offers, they have added our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as a viable component as well. Our partnership allows Texas ReEntry clients to:

· Experience writing as therapy

· Access to counseling

· Nutritious snacks (Brain Food) to stimulate creativity while writing

· Lasting, positive friends and mentors creating an ongoing network of support

· Increased proficiency in both reading and writing

· Participants become published Authors, and can promote that skill on every future resume and job application

· Participants earn royalties based on individual book sales

· Participants establish strong accomplishments that will help with future entry into colleges and the job market

WFTSW LogoThese unique wow factors go beyond helping participants develop a love of writing; they produce long-term behavioral changes and helps participants make positive life choices. While it may seem incredible that a writing workshop can impact behavior so dramatically, Writing for the Soul Workshop™  is more than just a writing workshop, it is an opportunity for individuals to see a different perspective, to interact with others that truly care about them and their story, and to know that telling their story opens up new opportunities.
Writing for the Soul Workshop™ offers these men and women another chance to make a positive and encouraging difference in the world through their storytelling while allowing participants an opportunity to build self-worth, and learn a new trade.  After all, we all have a story to tell!  Just like youth attending Writing for the Soul Workshop™, they too will earn royalties when they share their stories for group publishing in our books and in The Writer’s Block.

Want to know more about our program or donate to Texas ReEntry to help with expenses? Use the Contact Form below for questions or click here to make your donation directly to Texas ReEntry. Texas ReEntry Services INC, is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization.