Friday, December 27, 2013


Why is this blog named Inspirational Romance?

As an author, I write stories to give hope. Yes, I always add romance as the plot is usually about someone's dreams being fulfilled. Maybe not as they'd visualized but with a wonderful end result. And I always allow my main characters to grow emotionally and spiritually.

There's no doubt hope is what keeps us going...moving forward and never giving up. God has given us that ability. Even so it is still a choice we have to make even when things seem impossible.

Thousands of years ago when God allowed the Jews to be be captured by the King Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of the Babylonian kingdom, He gave them hope for their future. Yes, they'd sinned against His Word, by listening to evil prophets and diviners, consequently being caught up with horrible practices. Yet even after they'd been carried off to a far land he granted them hope. Hope that if they repented of their wrongdoing, He would again bring them back into their own land. In fact He said an amazing thing to them through the prophet Jeremiah. We read: 

"I will fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

We may face some limiting circumstances today. We may have lost a dear one, or are facing financial difficulties, or a debilitating illness. Now is the time to seek the Lord with all your heart. Find your hope in Him for the coming year.

My friend, read John's Gospel and you will find hope in Jesus - the Way, the Truth, and the Life. May God bless you.
Rita Stella

Friday, December 20, 2013


How could one small baby bring peace between men out to harm each other?

That's what Canadian missionary Don Richardson asked himself. He and his college sweetheart Carol had married and then felt the call of God to share the good news with the Sawi tribes-people of Irian Jaya.

After many months working among these volatile warring tribes, one day he threatened them as they began fighting outside his house.

He cried out loudly that he'd go and work among other villagers if they didn't quit their feuding and make peace.  Suddenly one man ran off and took his baby son from his wife. She screamed and wrenched it away from him. Then another man from the opposition hurried to his house and took up his baby son. His wife shrieked and wailed but couldn't stop him when he handed over their baby to a man who he had been fighting. As the man accepted the child others laid hands on it amidst women's cries.

Deeply shattered by this show of great emotion Don asked what was happening. "This is the only way to make peace between us," he was told. "As long as the Peace Child lives we are safe." Don had the answer. He told them how God the Father had sent His only Son as a Peace Child between men. Wicked men killed Jesus, but He rose from the dead because He was God's Son and He lives forever. So they had no need to do this anymore once they believed in Him because the sacrifice of His Peace Child lasts as long as Jesus lives. And He will never die again.

And this Christmas we can thank our Father for sending His Son to give us His peace in our hearts. May you all know the blessing of His lasting peace. Remember there is nothing we can add to His perfect sacrifice, but to accept it and honor Him with our right living.


Follow me on Twitter @RitaSGalieh

Friday, December 13, 2013

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Married for thirty-six years to a patient man who probably should have thought twice before proposing, Ruth Logan Herne loves God, her family, and chocolate -  not always in that order. Mother of six,

Ruthy embraces a ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ mentality after realizing worry produces gray hair and crow’s feet, neither of which has a cheap, quick fix.

Born into poverty, Ruthy brandishes a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps mentality, she abhors whining (except her own),  and small children should be declared miracles, each and every one.

Visitors at her historic (that’s just a nice way of saying “OLD”) farmhouse are treated to wonderful coffee, delicious baked goods, sticky fingers, dusty floors, scrunched towels and Golden Retrievers who drive her husband nuts.

I agree wholeheartedly with Ruthy. Jesus tells us that we can share all our burdens with Him and why worry about things that may never come to pass!

Friday, December 6, 2013


An ad read: “Men, let’s be real men.”The ad proceeded to promote a new testosterone pill. If consumed, this pill promised to boost manliness—increased sex drive, muscles and masculinity.

The most frightening thing about this ad is that it speaks some truth—in the sense that our society 
has managed to reduce manhood to sex drive and muscles.

That is so ridiculously far from a true definition of masculinity. The truth is, women are looking for 
so much more in a man than strong muscles and libido. Far more than cars, athletic ability and 
all the other meaningless things our society uses 
to define manhood, there are some things that actually define the measure of a man.


More than any other trait, women are looking for a man who is open and honest. The thing about honesty is that it’s a sign of security. What you see is what you get, and there is absolutely nothing to hide.

Men, it’s time to stop pretending and start being real—real with your strengths, your weaknesses, your struggles. Real with your hopes, your dreams and your fears. Real with who you actually are; not who you want to be. A man who has nothing to hide becomes the safe place in which a woman can hide her heart. Now that’s straight-up manly.


We live in a society that has fooled us into thinking that women have no control over their emotions and men have no control over their eyes. There is no doubt that we live in a world full of sexual temptation and struggles, but it is also true that we serve a God who gives us victory over our entire being—our minds, hearts and bodies. True masculinity comes when a man has enough honor and respect for the woman in his life to say no to temptations. True masculinity comes from a man who knows his weaknesses, but sets himself up to succeed. True masculinity is found in a man who says no to the expectations of this world and lives for a higher calling.


You can always recognize a real man by taking a look at his heart. Does his heart move for the things that move God’s heart? Is he broken by the pain in his life? Is he moved by the sins he’s working to overcome? Is he affected when things are not as they should be in life, in situations, in relationships?
A real man is one who allows his heart to be moved and then allows his actions to follow his heart. A man who strives for healing, restoration and resolution. A man who strives to right the wrongs around him—and the wrongs within him. Women are looking for men of compassion, tenderness and love because therein we will always find the heart of Jesus. 


What raises a man up more than any other earthly thing is his ability to humble himself. A real man doesn’t need to talk up who he is, because his life does that for him. He can put away the talk, because a man of humility is focused so much more on his walk. He is quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because he has put away his “rights” for the right to be selfless, loving and full of grace.

The greatest example of humility is found in the manliest man: Jesus. A man who laid down his rights and made Himself nothing in order to be an example of undying love and affection to the bride who won His heart. Real men seek to do the same.

Women, it’s time to expect more from men, and then, to wait patiently until you see these qualities at work in his life. Don’t you dare settle for less.
Men, it’s time to say no to the lies that are being poured into your brains. You are worth far more than that. Your masculinity is defined by so much more than you think—and that is what is truly attractive in our eyes.

May God continue to work in the lives of our men, that by His grace they would strive to carry the traits that reflect nothing less than the heart of Jesus.
Now that, my friends, is a manly man.

Excerpt from:  RELEVANT Magazine.  Article by Debra K Fileta

Friday, November 29, 2013


A lovely Thank You
Peter and Christine have known each other for 
years. In fact they both used to attend the same 
church in the same city until each went their 
separate ways.  

They dated once but nothing came of that. Peter 
moved to a southern suburb and Christine joined 
a faith ministry, Gospel Literature Outreach, and
lived and worked in their northern headquarters.

Chris found her busy life fulfilling with travel and 
special friendships she made in the course of her 
work. However as time passed she wondered if 
she would always remain as a single. She decided 
after praying about it, that if she hadn't found 
the right person by the time she reached a certain 
age, then she'd accept that as being a part of God's 
plan for her life.

A day or so after that birthday came she received 
a call from ... Peter! He actually remembered her 
birthday and made contact again.

This time around they both felt at ease with each other and their relationship developed until Peter asked Christine to be his wife.

It was a great pleasure for our church folk to attend the beautiful wedding on a fine day in May.  It is wonderful to see the way this mature couple has found true happiness together at last.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Romance with a Kick of Wasabi

Author Camy Tang explains her very original brand of writing:

Wasabi is a very hot (sinus-clearing) Japanese radish condiment used to give a clean-tasting little spice or kick when eating sushi or any raw seafood. Most of my stories have a hint of romance in it, and wasabi, with its Asian origin, refers to my Asian characters.

Where do you come from Tamy?

I am a fourth generation Japanese American married to a third generation Chinese American (hence my Chinese last name). I grew up in Wahiawa, Hawai’i in the center of the island of O’ahu.

Would you share a little more of your history?

I decided not to go to Medical School (I realize now I would have sucked as a doctor), and instead worked as a biologist researcher for nine years (I know, I know, biologist to novelist? Yes, I’m weird). I did compound development studies for a major pharmaceutical company and product development and method-of-action studies for a smaller biotech company.
My husband and I are staff workers with our youth group at an Asian Christian church in the San Francisco Bay Area. Teens are fun and surprising and a blessing. We also lead a worship team for our church, mostly comprised of teen musicians
And your spiritual journey?
When I first started writing, I didn’t know if God was going to allow my novels to be published, but the entire experience has taught me more about entirely, completely, totally depending upon Him, and submitting to Him aspects of my life that I never realized I was trying to keep control over. A lot of that struggle is mirrored in my characters’ struggles in my books. Give me a minute to tell you my experience with Jesus Christ. In school, I was an outcast and I would have done almost anything to fit in, to be acknowledged as someone worth knowing. He sent real Christians into my life to make me realize that their faith gave them a confidence and stability I didn’t have. He showed me that if I surrendered control of my life to Christ, I could cast aside my old life—the old me—and gain a new life, a new me, someone I’d like much better.
Thanks for sharing with us Tamy.

Friday, November 15, 2013


This touching story was written by an author familiar with life in the American West. Her research into the way things were in the "olden days" is impeccable. Her descriptions of the Colorado landscape and some of its rough diamond characters made me feel as if I were there as an onlooker.

Short Description

Sixteen-year-old outlaw Jeremiah Rebourn is on his way to Yuma Prison. After Indians attack the prison wagon and force it over a bluff, he awakes to find himself the captive of a mysterious old man. For two long years, he digs gold out of the tunnel as a prisoner. 

Author A.J. Hawke
Even after he regains his freedom, the experience leaves him traumatized and he wanders until he finds a place at the mountain ranch of Elisha and Susana Evans. It takes him years to recover from his ordeal. Finally, he has his own ranch; and he meets Emily and marries her. But when a terrible secret is revealed that ties his beloved Emily to the trauma of his past, it threatens to destroy all that he has managed to make of his life. Can he forgive enough to move forward? Will he and Emily be able to turn to God  to rebuild their marriage?

This author touches on the psychological effects of trauma and how other caring Christians can help.

Friday, November 1, 2013


 Tim and Kathy Keller have been married for many years and have found the secret many wish for. 

“A man shall leave his father and 
mother and be united to his wife, 
and the two will become one flesh. 
This is a profound mystery.” -
Ephesians 5:31-32

Within this Christian vision for marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at you and say, ‘I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, now look at you!’ ” Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel. 

My wife, Kathy, often says that most people, when they are looking for a spouse, are looking for a finished statue when they should be looking for a wonderful block of marble. Not so you can create the kind of person you want, but rather because you see what kind of person Jesus is making. When Michelangelo was asked how he carved his magnificent David, his reply is reputed to have been, “I looked inside the marble and just took away the bits that weren’t David.” When looking for a marriage partner, each must be able to look inside the other and see what God is doing and be excited about being part of the process of liberating the emerging “new you.”

This is by no means a na├»ve, romanticized approach—rather it is brutally realistic. In this view of marriage, each person says to the other, “I see all your flaws, imperfections, weaknesses, dependencies. But underneath them all I see growing the person God wants you to be.” This is radically different from the search for “compatibility.” As we have seen, researchers have discovered that this term means we are looking for a partner who accepts us just as we are. This is the very opposite of that! The search for an ideal mate is a hopeless quest. This is also a radically different approach from the cynical or cold method of finding a spouse who can just deliver social status, financial security, or great sex.

If you don’t see your mate’s deep flaws and weaknesses and dependencies, you’re not even in the game.  But if you don’t get excited about the person your spouse has already grown into and will become, you aren’t tapping in to the power of marriage as spiritual friendship.  The goal is to see something absolutely ravishing that God is making of the beloved.  You see even now flashes of glory.  You want to help your spouse become the person God wants him or her to be.

When two Christians who fully understand this stand before the minister all decked out in their wedding finery, they realize they’re not just playing dress-up.  What they’re saying is that someday they are going to be standing not before the minister, but before the Lord.  And they will turn to see each other without spot and blemish.  And they hope to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servants.  Over the years you have lifted one another up to me.  You sacrificed for one another.  You held one another up with prayer and with thanksgiving.  You confronted each other.  You rebuked each other.  You hugged and you loved each other and continually pushed each other toward me.  And now look at you.  You’re radiant.”

Tim has written many books on this subject and you will find them on AMAZON.COM

Friday, October 25, 2013


Meet Cheryl and Mel Hoddes. This husband and wife team up to write Christian medical romance and suspense novels. The way they first met really intrigued me.

"You're a doctor?" Cheryl leaned toward Mel and raised her voice to be heard over the din of restaurant diners. "You could help me paralyze someone, then, couldn't you?"
Mel stared at her with some trepidation. This was the "nice young lady" his pastor, wanted him to meet?
"I only want to paralyze him temporarily, of course," Cheryl continued.

Mel glanced toward the nearest exit.

"I'd better explain myself," she said with a smile. "I write novels. I'm doing research for a book."
Ah, interesting. He relaxed slightly and gave her all the information she needed in good, graphic detail. He couldn't understand why she only ate half a slice of pizza the whole evening.
This was Mel's introduction into Cheryl's world of fiction. It was Cheryl's introduction into the life of an emergency room physician. They were both fascinated. A year and a half later, they were married.
 The fascination grew as Mel downloaded at the end of his workday — never betraying patient confidentiality. Cheryl's imagination took over, and together they generated ideas for a completely new story, with a completely new novel. With Mel's medical input, encouragement and help with plotting, and Cheryl's writing skills gleaned over 13 years, they developed their first ER-style novel.Cheryl is also a Christy Award -Winning author

The Hoddes (pronounced Hoddees) have loved working together ever since that first meeting. Cheryl has been a professional writer for 19 years now. Mel is a board-certified ER physician with a degree in osteopathy. They work together under the pen name of Hannah Alexander.

KEEPING FAITH is their latest novel

Friday, October 18, 2013


According to author, Gary Chapman,  there are five of them. He says to understand them is the secret to love that lasts.

Sounds extremely helpful doesn't it?

Anything that promotes long-lasting love is a big plus!

How wonderful to reach your golden years and find that love has not only lasted but has grown deeper and more beautiful.

Find on

What are these five different languages?

Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

A character with this love language will show love--and receive love--by saying it out loud. This character won't 'feel' loved unless the other person says it, writes it as a note, or expresses love via some form of words.
This is the character (typically female) that is always at the other for 'spending time with me'. They need eye-to-eye contact.
This one is easy to pick ... they never show up at a party or dinner without something in hand, usually gift wrapped. A character whose love language is gifts will keep mementos, and delights in surprising the other person with gifts. 

She is the first to offer to clean up after a church pot luck. He has changed the oil in her car faithfully for 20 years and held down a steady job...because he loves her.

This is apparently the most common love language to men, usually expressed through sex or frequent touch--a hand to a shoulder, or sitting close on the couch. 
PROBLEM: The wife who just wants a hug vs. the husband who always buys flowers. 


Friday, October 11, 2013


Award-winning novelist and missions journalist Jeanette Windle shares her unusual story.

My husband Marty and I are both missionary kids raised in Latin America. Though my parents were missionaries in Colombia's Amazon guerrilla zones, my husband reached adolescence in the Bolivian Andes.

We first met in Bible college (Canada), and college we attended was extremely conservative regarding interaction between opposite genders, even classroom and dining-hall seating strictly segregated. So male and female of the human species had little opportunity to strike up an acquaintance. The only exception being ministry outreach assignments. Most of the Latin American missionary kids and foreign students signed up for the same Spanish-language outreach in Calgary, Alberta.

For this Colombian MK fresh from the tropics and in the throes of cultureand weathershock (I'd ever experienced that white stuff called snow, much less at 40 degrees below zero!), that Spanish outreach ministry and its team members became a homeand familyaway from home. Including a certain Montana-born, Bolivia-raised missionary kid one year ahead of me in Bible college. My husband insists he remembers vividly my expressed opinions that I would never consider marrying a "gringo" (North American foreigner), much less a blonde-haired, blue-eyed one, since growing up in Latin America had imprinted "tall, dark, and suave" as my idea of handsome. He on the other hand was convinced I was destined to be his wife from the day we'd discovered that God had laid on both our hearts during high school the same life verse (Philippians 1:6). 

Somehow by my second year, he'd changed my mind that a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Montana boy was any less romantic than those guitar-strumming, petal-strewing Antonio Bandera-lookalikes who serenaded outside my bedroom shutters back in Colombia's guerrilla zones (No joke! My father had three teenage daughters at once, and he used to threaten violence to the town youth for any serenading after midnight).  I always add the caveat that I didn't really marry a "gringo", since Marty too is a Spanish-
fluent MK and plays a rather romantic guitar himself!

That was going on thirty-three years ago.  Since then we've 
raised four kids, traveled in ministry through more than thirty countries on five continents. 

The smallest flame shines brightest against the darkest night

2013 Golden Scroll Novel of the Year

 If absolute power breeds absolute corruption, what happens when a multinational corporation with unlimited funds hires on a private military company with unbridled power? Especially in a Congolese rainforest where governmental accountability is only too cheaply for sale and the ultimate conflict mineral is up for grabs. 

Thanks Jeanette. I cannot wait to begin reading this suspense filled story myself.

Friday, October 4, 2013


How could she believe in her future when she couldn't escape her past?

The completely updated version of my historical romance, Signed Sealed Delivered will be on AMAZON Kindle by mid morning. Oct 4.

Years ago when I studied art at Sydney's National 
Art School I discovered its previous occupants were not as carefree as we art students. It was known as the Darlinghurst Gaol. Great sandstone buildings fanned out from a central roundhouse which once served as a chapel. That's where I first wondered about its many sad stories, especially if one was truly innocent. I asked myself if any Christians incarcerated there had given up hope.

The cast of characters whose lives entwine with governess Megan Trevallyn's destiny follows:
Cornelia Cantrell, scheming mistress of the Mayfair Mansion; Captain Cantrell, her love; Lieutenant John Stafford, her nemesis; Ezra Montefiore, an ardent suitor; and her Christian mentor, Caroline Chisholm, the bane of all who practice excessive adherence to rules and regulations of the new colony.
< The gates of Darlinghurst Gaol today

As Book I of the Watermark Women Trilogy it stands alone, but for readers who are waiting for the next two books in the series, I have hopes of announcing a decision  shortly.

Friday, September 27, 2013

BLACK & BLUE SARI - Loss of a dream

Kamal Dhillon is an author, an inspirational speaker and a domestic violence counselor. Her book, Black & Blue Sari, is a harrowing autobiography of the abuse and torment she suffered through by the hands of her husband after her marriage. Her story and message is one that will affect you, disturb you, enrage you and will open your eyes to the reality and severity of domestic violence.

After an arranged marriage into an influential and wealthy family, the life of a young South Asian girl is drastically changed for the worse. Married in her late teens into a very wealthy and influential family, Kamal dreamed of a life as a princess. This dream soon faded and Kamal realized the harsh reality of her new life.  

With promises of a fairy tale life echoing in her ears, she is thrown into a world of abuse, violence and torture. Afraid for the lives of her family and children, she constantly looked death in the face but survived to tell her story. She found real peace in her life when she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour.

Black and Blue Sari is a true story about the cost of leaving a toxic relationship and how the transition can empower you and those around you. 

Domestic violence is an epidemic that leaves no community unaffected; one in every four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. 

For those who have found their dreams crashing around them, her book, BLACK & BLUE SARI will be both an eye-opener and of real comfort.

Her book can be purchased at AMAZON.COM

Friday, September 20, 2013


In our local paper I read about a couple who had been married for many years and had just celebrated their wedding anniversary.

Mr Leo Antich had some advice for young couples. He said, The key to a successful relationship is to understand each other and be able to compromise.

That sounded like some very wise words. In my kitchen I have a plaque with similar thoughts and I'd like to share it with you:


Two heaping cups of Patience,  One heartful of Love, Two handfuls of Generosity,

One headful of Understanding , and a dash of Humour.

Sprinkle with Kindness, Add plenty of Faith and mix well.

Spread over a Period of a Lifetime and serve to everyone you meet.

I'd like to add this saying: A married relationship can be like a triangle. The two base points are man and wife, with God at the top. The closer each comes to God the closer they come to each other.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Author Heidi Glick shares the background of her book with us:

At first, Dog Tags started out as a romance novella. I subbed it to a publisher, and it was rejected. But the story wasn't ready for publication. I revamped it as a suspense novel. I wanted a hero with real struggles, and I wanted a villain who would capitalize on the hero's weaknesses. The book's themes include forgiveness, loss, and fear. Because these are common themes that most people deal with, I'm hoping that the book will speak to many readers. In 2011, my father died from Alzheimers, and so I've used that experience to help me write this book.

 And the following gives us a closer look:

When disabled ex-Marine Mark Graham reconnects with his best friend’s sister, he finds himself falling in love. But Beth Martindale’s presence is a constant reminder of events he’d rather forget. Mark wants to move forward, but the secrets surrounding her brother’s death as well as his own confinement to a wheelchair threaten to tear them apart.

When a psychopath who calls himself The Knight fixates on Beth, Mark is determined to give her the protection he failed to give her brother on the battlefield, yet he discovers that a wheelchair isn’t the only impediment he has to keeping Beth safe.
Will terror win or can Mark find the strength of mind and body to rescue Beth and find his own redemption?

 Heidi's personal story:

The youngest (and perhaps loudest) of three children, I was born in Lancaster, PA (think Amish country). At the ripe old age of six, this sinner found a Savior, and so it’s no surprise that I write inspirational suspense stories.

I’m married to my college sweetheart, John, and live in a northern suburb of Cincinnati. John and I have two dogs (a Chihuahua and a Schipperke) and a happy baby boy.

Interesting facts about me include I’ve visited 46 states; I’ve lived in California, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Canada; I’ve had someone nab my bag from me at the Las Vegas airport; I’ve been hit by a car; and I’ve been extricated from a overturned vehicle using the Jaws of Life.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Submitting in Marriage? Who me?

Author Anne Hamilton has a refreshing look at what the
Bible refers to as submission. Especially of wives submitting
to their husbands.

She shares that 'nasu' the Hebrew word for marriage has a root meaning "to lift up".And is kin to a word meaning
"armour-bearer". That's a great thought as the armour-bearer was the one who stood the closest to his leader andprotected him.

Ecclesiastes 4:12, says it this way. A person
standing alone can be attacked and defeated,
but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.

Anne goes on to say:
This why marriage partners are called into submission: so they can lift each other up above the conflicts of life, carry each other when the battle is too intense and bear them safely through until the trouble is over. 

Jesus is the covenant  defender of those who belong to Him. So is the Holy Spirit. Marriage partners are are called into the covenant defence of each other This is the true nature of submission: covenant defence.

I highly recommend this book if you are willing to dig deeply into the historical meanings of words and phrases. It's not a book to skim through. I'm so glad I made time to read this and cannot do it justice here. It can be purchased from Even Before Publishing.

Anne is an award–winning author who is experienced in editing both non–fiction and fiction. She works part–time for United Christian Broadcasters Australia as the Australasian sub–editor of the devotionals, The Word for Today and word4U2day.

She has a background in teaching mathematics (thirty years experience),  reads extensively in her  areas of specialty, and researches widely into Hebrew thought. Her specialties are: Christian fantasy, Christian adventure/thriller, YA books, devotionals, meditative theology (as distinct from academic theology.)