Speaking appearance at Park Elementary School

Hades is 1 of 3 books I've written on the Greek gods.

I’m thrilled to be invited to speak to the 6th grade class at Park Elementary School on February 3. our subject will be the Greek gods. My thanks to teacher David Pyle and school principal Andrea Baker for inviting me.


The students are studying Greek mythology so it should be interesting. I’ll show them my three Greek gods books on Hermes, Hades and Hephaestus and explain what makes these gods unique.

Hermes was the messenger god.

After school, I’m headed to the Fairmount Public Library to give a book talk from 3-4pm. Thanks to librarian Linda Magers for helping with this appearance!

A bio on Taylor Swift was my first book.

My nine non-fiction children’s books will be on display. These include biographies of country music singer Taylor Swift and Disney actress Selena Gomez; three books on the Greek gods; Celebrities Giving Back and Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia.

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia contains 10 recipes/10 crafts.

Autographed copies of my books will be available for $15 each (cash only).

In celebration of my children’s book on Indonesia called Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia, I’ll distribute free candies from that country to visitors.

If you’re in the area and can stop by, please do! It should be a fun visit!

The Value of Modesty

This article on the topic of modesty was published in The Lookout in recent years. It is still an important topic today for Christians to address. I guess modesty always has been an important topic – or does no one else remember mini skirts and hot pants?


Let me know what you think of these thoughts and please feel free to share yours as well.


My daughter Lindsay wore a pretty camisole under her sundress for a cute look.


When I began working at a small college as the Circulation Desk supervisor of the campus library in August 2000, my responsibilities included monitoring 14 students who worked in the library. This meant not only supervising their work activity, but their appearance, as the library staff considered the Circulation Desk to be the basis of a visitor’s first impression of the library itself.


My training to the students involved informing them of the library’s dress code and training them how to use the computers and answer general questions. For the first few years the first part included little more than my relaying to those of both sexes that they were not to wear wrinkled, faded, torn clothing and their hair should be dry and combed when they came to work. Most of my attention was directed towards procedural training.


Gradually, that emphasis changed. By 2005, the amount of time I had to spend on what clothing was allowed in the library had increased exponentially. No matter how many times they heard the guidelines, the students, mostly female, reverted to wearing what were popular styles of the day– see-through blouses and skin-tight T-shirts; tight jeans with a low waistband; undergarments that, for some reason, were thought to be of interest and therefore on display.


Nearly every day I had to approach one of the female students and inform her that the blouse/pants/shirt/skirt was too tight/see-through/short/low (sometimes it was a combination). It didn’t occur to them that the low riding jeans or low-cut blouse that looked fine while the wearer stood straight up showed too much when the wearer bent over to retrieve an item under the desk. Each time a student came to work, I had to ensure his or her outfit was suitable. If not, she had to return to her room to change before clocking in.


Never mind the wrinkles or faded looks from earlier years’ clothing styles. I would have been happy to have the students wear old T-shirts from the local thrift store. In fact, I recommended they all shop there to find clothing to wear in the library and save us all a lot of grief.


My daughter Mandy pairs a beautiful batik blouse w/ white cami and stylish jewelry for a pulled together, modest look.

While raising two teenaged daughters at the time, I understood some of my students’ dilemmas. It was not then, and is not today, easy for young people learn what is modest clothing and what is not. At that time when my daughters and I shopped, we could barely find clothing that covered the normal length of the torso, was not too sheer, or startling in its degree of attention-grabbing, body-hugging fabric.


Some of today’s immodest fashion styles almost seem ridiculous. Why would a female wear an empire-waisted shirt, a style popularly used by pregnant women to minimize their size?


Of course, in recent years pregnancy has become its own problem in modesty. When a pregnant woman wears a T-shirt so tight over her swollen abdomen that her belly button sticks out, as well as part of her skin where the shirt neglects to cover, I have to assume she has no other item in her closet to wear. I mean, she wouldn’t wear such an uncomplimentary-looking garment if given a choice, right?


Unfortunately, the media is doing all it can to undermine any effort towards modesty. A few months ago, my husband was thumbing through a magazine I had brought home from the public library and found a jeans clothing ad that shocked him. A female model who was nude on her upper half was lying on top of a male model, also shirtless, on a sofa. Other shirtless models stood around looking at them. Of course, they all wore the same style of jean, which was “supposed” to be the focus of the ad.


Who were they trying to fool? The focus of the ad was to give the idea that the wearer of those jeans would be attractive to members of the opposite sex. My husband and I threw the magazine in the trash. I’m sorry to say, while disturbed by the ad, I didn’t follow up with a complaint letter to the magazine’s editor that I would never again read that magazine.




Another mother did better in trying to stop immodest behavior. In an article published in a Christian women’s magazine a few years ago she told of an incident at a shopping mall in which she had noticed a young girl, accompanied by three teen boys, enter a women’s lingerie shop. Curious about the group’s intent, the woman followed the group inside. She watched in dismay as the young girl, who seemed cowed by the boys, modeled a couple of skimpy outfits picked out for her by the guys. After realizing the intent of the group’s foray into the store – simply to appease the lustful gazes of the males – this mother approached a sales clerk and demanded she make the group of teens leave the store. “I can’t do that,” the clerk said. “They might buy something.”


Furious, the mother marched over to the group and told the boys to leave the store or she would call the police for harassing the younger girl. They did so with obvious reluctance. The mother then spent several minutes trying to encourage the girl to find other people to hang out with.



Romans 12: 1-2: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”



With guidance youth can make good fashion choices as young adults. Our daughters flank our son, Chris.

Mom and Dad should set the tone for modesty in the home. By wearing clothing that is clean, well-kept, comfortable, and attractive without being an item that leads someone’s eye to a private part, the child will understand our bodies were not put here to be flaunted or to “catch” someone’s attention.


Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (I Peter 3: 1-4)



Here are some modesty in fashion guidelines for females:

  • Skirts should be no shorter than four fingers above the top of the kneecap.
  • Dresses should have sleeves and not be strapless or spaghetti (or other thin strapped) dresses, even if worn with a wrap.
  • Undergarments should never become outer garments. Bra straps should not be exposed.
  • Blouses and shirts that are too loose can be as immodest as tight ones, especially if they fall away from the skin when wearer is bent over.

While it is discouraging to think of the negative influence the media and peer pressure can have on our young people, there is some hope. Last week, while working in a middle school library, I was approached by a sixth grade boy. He handed me a recent copy of Sports Illustrated magazine.


“There’s a picture in here that isn’t right,” he said, opening the magazine to a certain page. In the center was a photo of a young female model from the waist up showing much cleavage. Despite the library’s stance on censorship (the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is not forbidden), I told the little boy that it was indeed an inappropriate picture and I’d take care of it.


“Thank you,” I told him, planning to remove that page from the magazine and throw it away. His little head nodded and he left for class. Hopefully he will always keep those standards of decency where modesty is concerned.


For more information about modesty in fashion guidelines for girls go to http://www.purefashion.com.


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Canterbury Book Fair offers opportunities for authors, readers

Speaking at Canterbury Book Fair luncheon 2011

I’m thrilled to be asked to return as a featured author at the 2012 Canterbury Book Fair scheduled for April 16 from 4-7pm. This special day/time is an opportunity for local librarians/teachers to peruse books recommended by Canterbury staff and parents.

If all goes as planned, I will have copies of all of my books for sale at $15.00 each; autographed copies are available. I also plan to offer food samples from recipes from my Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia book. I’ll be easy to find with the good smells of spicy food and me wearing a chef’s apron with my book’s cover on the front!

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia contains 10 crafts/ 10 recipes.

These photos are from my appearance in 2011 as the fair’s Guest Author. I spoke at a luncheon of parents, school staff, and volunteers totaling an estimated 80 people. What a joy it was to discuss children’s books with so many caring individuals!

The book fair is open to the public Tuesday, April 17 through Thursday, April 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Wednesday, April 18, evening hours extend until 8 p.m. The week’s activities include book talks by local authors, food from local chefs, and art by local artists.

My friend Laurie Gray is the author of the Young Adult novel, Summer Sanctuary.

For more information about the Canterbury Book Fair go to canterburybookfair.org as the dates draw closer.


I’d love to speak to more students about the joys of reading and writing. Please contact me at ***kjreusser@adamswells.com*** for more information.

(Remove the ***’s)

Take care,

New book offers ways to handle guilt

Shirley Brosius has been a friend since we met at Sandy Cove Christian Writer’s Retreat in Fall 2006. We seemed to be the only non-fiction writers there as newspaper writers and gravitated toward each other.

At that time Shirley had authored a beautiful devotional book, Sisterhood of Faith (Howard Books), 365 life-changing stories about historical and contemporary Christian women who have made a difference in the lives of others.

After the conference, our friendship continued as Shirley and I formed a Mastermind group — a daily 5-minute phone call in which we checked in with each other about our writing goals for the day. It kept us accountable and developed a close friendship.

The Mastermind continued for a year until I started working full-time. Since then, we have kept in touch by frequent email and Facebook. Shirley is a gifted speaker and I’m happy to introduce her and her newest book which she wrote with two friends:

Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides

(WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson)


Shirley Brosius, Janine Boyer and Kim Messinger

ISBN 978-1-44973-263-9


1. Why did you write Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides?

Many women believe they need to be everything to everyone. Stay-at-home moms feel guilty for not earning a paycheck. Working mothers feel guilty at leaving their kids with a babysitter.

Janine, Kim and I wrestle with feelings of guilt. Kim is a teacher and Janine works in a family business. Both women have families. I am a Stonecroft Ministries leader and speak at several events each year. My extended family includes a husband, children and grandchildren. We three want to nurture everyone in our lives, but we often fail because we are so busy. Then guilt sets in and we’re unhappy.

During the time we’ve known each other, we’ve talked about our feelings and realized God does not want us to live under an umbrella of doom and gloom of guilt. We wanted to write a book that revealed ways God wants us to counteract guilt.

Shirley Brosius, Janine Boyer and Kim Messinger sign copies of their book Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides.

2. How did you three authors meet?

Janine, Kim and I met at a small group Bible Study in 1998. We led our first women’s church retreat in 2005. It felt so good that we named ourselves Friends of the Heart. Today we conduct 15 events together each year. Our website is www.friendsoftheheart.us.

3. Tell us how Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides is designed.

The book contains 183 devotions which are organized around the letters in ‘GRACE’ –God, Relationships, Acceptance, Challenges and Emotions.

The header of each page is “A Guilt Trip to Avoid”. The subject might be feeling like a poor role model. A personal experience story relating to that situation follows, then a scripture verse. The devotion ends with a brief upbeat “Take the Joy Ride” paragraph, which applies the scripture to life and helps women deal with guilt in a godly manner.

4. How long did it take to write the book?

We wrote the devotions from 2008 through 2011. The book was published in December 2011.

5. How did you come up with ideas for the devotions?

Any time a personal experience caught our attention, we wrote about it. For example, in summer 2011 my granddaughter Elizabeth arrived at my house to attend a local day camp. The first day she fell off her scooter and broke her arm. The doctor said she could not attend the day camp.

There was nothing I could have done about the accident and Elizabeth didn’t make me feel guilty about not going to the camp. But I still felt guilty about it. I reminded myself that God uses every experience from our lives to help us grow spiritually and prayed we would all learn something through it. David wrote about guilt in Psalm 38. When I wrote about this incident for the devotion, which I called ‘Not on My Watch’, I used this verse to reinforce that if we confess our guilt, we can trust God who holds us in his hands to keep us safe.

6. How can we purchase Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides?

It is available as a hard copy (soft cover) and as an E-book. We hope to sell copies during speaking engagements but will be happy to send copies via regular mail. Those interested in the book should contact me at sbrosius@epix.net.

Available in softcover, ISBN 9781449732639, list price $17.99; hardback 9781449732646, list price $35.95; and e-book 9781449732622, $3.99 formats.

Also available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or WestbowPress.com.

7. What advice would you give someone who wants to write a book?

Learn all you can, wherever you can. Go to writer’s conferences. Take local classes. Pray. And grab every opportunity to write!

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Crafters Bless through their Talents

Nancy Bell holds an angel gown made by Stitchers of Hope, Faith and Love

I love interviewing people who give to others. The Ossian (IN) Church of the Nazarene has a group that gives much to people who are hurting. By using their crafting talents, this great group of men and women have blessed many. Do you know of a group or person who blesses people with their talents? If you’re a writer, spread the word about them. If you’re not a writer, consider joining the group or assisting them in some way. You’ll be blessed too. This article appeared recently in the Ossian Sun Riser and the Bluffton News-Banner.


When Nancy Bell of Ossian decided to learn to crochet in March 2009,

she enrolled in a class on the subject at the Senior Expo sponsored by the Bluffton Parks and Recreation Department. Her sister Alice had died recently and Nancy was given several skeins of yarn that had belonged to her.

Nancy had also found a craft book on prayer shawls at a store. All of these factors formed a sign to Bell, who knew how to quilt and do counted cross stitch but not crochet. “I didn’t know how to make one  stitch,” Bell said, “but God told me, ‘Here’s yarn and a book and people to help you learn. Go for it.’”

Dozens of handmade items are created by The Stitchers of Hope, Faith and Love

At the Senior Expo classes Bell learned about the local volunteer group Stitches of Hope which distributes free handmade crocheted and knitted and sewn caps to medical patients around the country. After learning the basics of crochet, Bell joined the Stitches of Hope group and began making caps for adults and children.

Wanting to encourage others in her area to volunteer, she organized a craft group at the Ossian Nazarene Church where she and her husband, Bill Bell, attended. The group called Stitchers of Hope, Faith and Love began meeting each Friday at the church from 10am-12 noon. “We offered free instruction and supplies to anyone who wanted to make chemo caps,” said Bell.

The group has grown to include approximately 30 people from various churches — Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Methodist. “The members tell me they want to do their crafts for a purpose,” said Nancy.

Stitchers of Hope, Faith and Love meet weekly at Ossian Nazarene Church.

The group is not limited to women. Bill Bell is one of the members. “I can’t get him away from making caps on a loom,” said Nancy.

The group also makes angel gowns and prayer shawls. An angel gown is a gown to be worn by a stillborn baby. Nancy learned about the need for these while listening to a TV show. “A nurse was interviewed who had delivered stillborn babies and never had anything to dress the baby in before taking it to see his parents,” she said. “She said it would be so helpful to have a beautiful gown for this purpose.”

Each prayer shawl, angel gown and cap is dedicated on the church’s altar before being distributed. “We dedicate them to God’s glory and pray for the recipients that they will be comforted and know they’re loved,” said Nancy.

The Stitchers of Hope, Faith and Love group is prolific in its production. One month they created 146 caps, six prayer shawls, and seven angel gowns. They have given the caps to the Stitches of Hope group and distributed the other items to hospitals in Bluffton, Fort Wayne and Decatur.

The group’s love for others is not all outgoing, according to Nancy.

“Some members say this group is what they live for,” she said. “We’ve developed tight friendships and I consider these people my sisters and brothers.”

At the meetings, members share prayer requests and pray together. In September three ladies in the group were baptized. “We’ve seen people come to Christ as a result of this group,” said Nancy. “It’s a miracle.”

Although she had never led a group before, Nancy Bell is happy with her role as coordinator for the Stitchers of Hope, Faith and Love. “I had always wanted to do some type of outreach,” she said. “I’m so grateful to have this group to work with.”

Note : For more information about helping a group like this check out www.Stitchesoflove1.blogspot.com.

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Happy Birthday, Sis!

2 sweet women in my life -- Mom & Lyn in 2009

Today I don’t have anything writing related, but just wanted to wish my sister, Lynette Johnson, a happy birthday. She has supported me with writing ideas and encouragement throughout the years. I hope she has many happy days in the year ahead!



Look for a Miracle

Each flower is a miracle from God

And when Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” (Acts 12:11, New American Standard Bible)



Recently, a friend confided that he needed a drummer for his Christian band. Being a non-musical person, I couldn’t help or recommend anyone. In fact, the only – and best – thing I could do was pray for his need, which I did. The next morning my sister emailed me about a mutual friend, “Did you know Rui plays bongos?” I hadn’t known. After a flurry of emails, I connected the two musicians and they’re planning to meet. God makes miracles!


Last week, my neighbor was despairing over his recent diagnosis of a debilitating disease. If he couldn’t work, he couldn’t make a house payment. Our families prayed together. The next day, he received an unexpected check in the mail, enough to make two house payments! God makes miracles!


Do you look for miracles in life? Peter wasn’t expecting a miracle, but he got one that saved his life. Situations don’t always happen the way we want them, but we need to believe God is working for His glory. If and when His plan is revealed to us, we can thank Him for making it happen.


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