Day 26



When you sit down and think about it, there are so many things to be thankful for, aren’t there? As an Australian, Thanksgiving is one of those traditions that isn’t part of our culture (although I’d much rather it be than Halloween which has crept into our culture in recent years). As an author, I’ve mentioned Thanksgiving numbers of times in my books, especially as I’ve participated in Canadian Thanksgiving meals a few times now. As a Christian, I know we’re called to be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5. 18).

So what am I thankful for? I’m thankful for my family, friends, readers, books, writing opportunities, travel, my dog, my house, clothes to wear and food to eat, a safe land to live in here in Australia. I’m most thankful for our loving heavenly Father, our Creator God, the one who used words to create “In the beginning,” the One who deposits some of that creativity in His creation, allowing us to create too, whether it’s through books, music, art, dance, gardening, whatever. I’m truly thankful for the opportunity to create, and I hope my books reflect just a smidge of God’s awesome grace and mercy and love for His creation.

And I’m so thankful that my relationship with God isn’t dependent on how good I am or how much I do for Him but is simply based on this truth: “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Now that’s something to be thankful for every single day!


Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and LM Montgomery, Carolyn loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her contemporary romance series includes the Original Six hockey romance series, Muskoka Romance series, and the Independence Islands series, and her historical series include the Regency Brides and Regency Wallflowers series.


The following Carolyn Miller books are published by Celebrate Lit Publishing:

Restoring Fairhaven

Regaining Mercy

Reclaiming Hope

Rebuilding Hearts

Refining Josie



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Day 22


Thankfulness when You Don’t Feel Thankful


November is the time of year when we’re supposed to consider the many blessings of our lives and express thankfulness for them. Honestly, everyone’s thankful list can sometimes end up sounding very similar, not that it is bad at all. Especially in this country, many of us are so very blessed to have family, friends, homes, jobs, food, recreation, and so much to be thankful for. I’m sure this series has highlighted so many reasons to be thankful.


But what if you don’t feel thankful? What if you’re going through challenges in your life? You know all the reasons in your head for why you should be thankful, but feeling it is something entirely different. To clarify, this is not where I’m at currently in my life. Maybe that’s the reason I can look back and recognize the times when thankfulness wasn’t easy. And I know some of you are probably in that place right now where talk of thankfulness inspires guilt more than pleasure. You’re not where you want to be, and it’s so difficult to manufacture a sense of thankfulness for the desert you are currently wandering through.


As I reflected on this subject, I thought of two times in my life when I really didn’t feel thankful at Thanksgiving. About a dozen years, ago, my husband hurt his back and couldn’t work. He had to take disability from work, and we didn’t know what our future held. It was a horribly rough year all around. In November of that year, he had back surgery to repair a herniated disk. We hoped all would be better. But before he exited the hospital that day, the disk re-herniated. He still couldn’t work. A few weeks later, he ended up in a second surgery to attempt a repair. But this time, the surgeon said the damage was so significant, he couldn’t guarantee a prognosis.


It was during this time that I wrote my first book to be published. I felt the pressure of not knowing what would happen. From the time I started Baggage Claim to the time it was published in December was about six weeks. The story of how it came to be published is another tale. You can read part of it on my website.  At the time, I sure didn’t feel thankful at Thanksgiving. It was a stressful time, and I had no idea what lay ahead for us.


Looking back now, I see God’s hand in every detail. I don’t know that I would have written that book if I hadn’t felt the pressure and uncertainty of my husband’s injury. If I did write a book at some later point, it certainly wouldn’t have been that specific book. I don’t think I would have felt the motivation to try something so wild as indie publishing.


My husband recovered and returned to work following his second surgery, but the experience was life-changing for him as well. He returned to work on a different path that has led to so many other blessings for our family. The publishing of Baggage Claim was a pivotal moment for me. It took off, achieving greater success than I thought possible, launching my career as a writer, and fulfilling a life-long dream that has allowed my writing to bless readers around the world.


Though I wasn’t thankful then, I am so very thankful now. I’m thankful for every little detail of that difficult time, every single tear. Because if one little nuance had been different, I wouldn’t have landed on this path. It was all God, and I wouldn’t change any of it.


I recall another time in my life when tears were much easier than thankfulness at Thanksgiving. I’d been in a car accident in September of that year. The guilt and uncertainty were suffocating and would continue for two years following. Even now, seven years later, I still feel the anxiety whenever I think of that time. The trauma still visits me when turning left at an intersection. If presented with the choice of a redo on that moment, I would honestly still take it. The trauma was so bad that I would change it all to make the memory go away. But if I changed it, I would have to change the book that followed—a book that has impacted the lives of people around the world.


I wrote A Cinderella Christmas as a fictionalized retelling of my own experience. The book would have never been written if I hadn’t gone through that accident. The idea hadn’t existed in my head beforehand, and I would have never been able to tell such a story without the personal depth and emotion of experiencing it myself. In turn, a quick perusal of the reviews on Amazon clearly reveals the impact of the story and message. I will never know all the good the telling of my own pain has resulted in. How many others have seen those on the sidelines of their own lives? How many have worn Cinderella shoes because of my book?


So, I am thankful. To be clear, I am not thankful that I went through that experience. Saying so would be a superficial lie that minimizes what happened. But I am thankful for a God who redeems. He took my pain and ugliness and turned it into something beautiful. I have overflowing thankfulness for the One who redeemed my brokenness and used it for the healing of others. He drew a phoenix out of my ashes, and gave it wings to fly around the world.


Are you familiar with the word Ebeneezer from the Bible? It means “stone of help” and is found in Samuel 7. After defeating the Philistines, Samuel raises his Ebeneezer, declaring that on this spot, God defeated the enemy. Notice that this Ebeneezer wasn’t raised during the battle. They were thankful following it. Samuel placed this stone as a marker to remind them that God’s faithful help won the battle for them. Though it can be difficult to be thankful when you’re in the midst of battle, it is beneficial to reflect and raise an Ebeneezer afterward, acknowledging that you have made it to this spot by God’s help.


There is a reason I chose this date for my thankfulness blog post. Today is my birthday. On this day, I’m raising an Ebeneezer, looking back at my life and recognizing that I’m at this November 22, 2023 by the hand of God. I’m so very thankful that God took a little girl with big glasses and chose her to redeem in every way. He saved me, brings good out of my circumstances, and redeems my failures for his glory. It’s beyond my comprehension to think of the ways He uses my life and writing for His work.



If you are in a place where you can’t manufacture thankfulness for your current situation, look back. Find an Ebeneezer. Be thankful that God saw you through the past deserts and battles, blessing you because of them. If you can’t be thankful for your circumstances today, be thankful for the God who fully intends to redeem those circumstances and use them to bless and heal. Know that God is the same today as He has been throughout your yesterdays.


Someday, you will be able to look back in the same way, recognizing the hand of God in your present circumstances. Then, you’ll be able to raise another Ebeneezer, experiencing the full breadth of thankfulness for a loving God who works all things together for good for the purposes He has for you. For those reasons, even in the midst of darkness, you can experience thankfulness today—thankfulness for all God has done. And all He will do.


May your November 22, 2023 be a thankful one.


Amanda Tru is a best-selling author of over thirty Christian fiction books. She writes page-turning fiction to inspire real-life stories. In her own real story, she sheds her super-hero writing cape to be mommy to four kids in a small Idaho town.


The following Amanda Tru books are published by Celebrate Lit Publishing:

Where Treasure Lies





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Day 21


I’m thankful for a country where we can still worship Jesus freely. I’m thankful that He gives us His word to guide us. No matter what comes, Jesus is worthy of my praise. It really helps me to shift my perspective from my situation to beyond myself. I have been listening to Brandon Lake’s “Gratitude” non-stop.



Author of Biblical fiction, avid reader, pastor’s wife, Naomi Craig loves reading the Bible and imagining how things were at the time. When she’s not serving in various areas at church, trying to stay on top of mountains of dishes or convincing her rescue dog, Freeway, to be cute on command for Instagram reels, you’ll most likely find her enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee. Naomi co-hosts #BehindTheStory with Naomi and Lisa, an author interview show on YouTube and your podcast platform of choice.

The following Naomi Craig books are published by Celebrate Lit Publishing:

Rahab’s Courage

Ezekiel’s Song

She’erah’s Legacy

Keeping Christmas Volume 1






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Day 20



With Thanksgiving not being something that is observed in Australia, I didn’t grow up with any traditions surrounding this holiday. In fact, it wasn’t something I ever thought about unless we were talking bout the Pilgrims in history class. November was the start of holiday decorating. Some early-bird decorators had their Christmas tree up in October even.
After I got married and moved to my husband’s hometown in Ohio, I was quickly introduced to his family. They took me in and welcomed me as one of their own, treating me like a daughter, granddaughter, and sister, and at the same time, they introduced me to all of their holiday traditions. Including Thanksgiving.
The day looks a little different now than it did back then. We no longer make the trek over to Columbus to spend the day with Josh’s grandparents. However, the day still revolves around family. They knew when I moved here that I’d have no family of my own, so they took me in and treated me as one of their own. And it’s for that family that I am most thankful this year.


Originally from Australia, Joanne Markey now lives in Ohio with her husband and seven children. When she’s not reading or writing, you might find her wandering the property with her kids in search of whatever seasonal treasure they’re trying to find. 

The following Joanne Markey books are published by Celebrate Lit Publishing:

Persuade Me

Persuade Me Not

When the Curlew Calls



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Day 19



This year has certainly been a year full of challenges. But God is good – always – and I was able to see Him working through every circumstance. I think that’s what I’m most thankful about, how He has turned things that seem bad on the surface into huge blessings! My father-in-law moved in with us in January and passed away after only two weeks. But as much as we wished to have him for a long time, he was also diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Instead of having to suffer through the treatments, he is at home with the Lord. My son moved several states away, but we’ve gotten to visit him twice in the last six months, and we talk more with him and his wife than when they lived nearby. And while my oldest daughter’s new full-time teaching job means I don’t get to see her very often, I’m the number one sitter for precious grandson and get to take care of him weekly, sometimes several days a week – to my delight. These are just a few examples, but I would say that I am most grateful and thankful this year for being able to see God work throughout all the circumstances of my life.



Marji Laine is a graduated home-schooling mom of four with one of her kids staying in the nest for a little longer. She and her hubby of 36 years also share their North Texas home with a rescue named Rosie (AKA: Madam Barksalot) and their daughter’s Shepherd/Husky puppy, Anastasia. When Marji isn’t editing or publishing the books for her authors at Write Integrity Press, she indulges in penning her own mystery, suspense, and romance novels and directing the publishing efforts of a local charity. She loves her newest role of G’momma to a precious little boy. She enjoys acting in musical comedy, has directed many stage productions, leads a ladies’ Bible study, and sings alto in her church choir and on worship team. She prefers mountains to beaches, dogs to cats, NASCAR to football, Magnolia pie, white roses, emerald green, and the GAC Family channel. You can find her at her website:


The following Marji Laine books are published by Celebrate Lit Publishing:

A Giant Murder

A Troll Falls



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Day 23

Gratitude changes perspective



A few years ago, I read a book by Tricia Goyer called The Grumble Free Year. The concept was to take a year to shift your attitude from one of grumbling and complaining, constantly feeling sorry for yourself, to an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness and seeing the good things in life. At the time, my kids were little, and there was a lot of complaining going on. If it wasn’t a complaint on my part, it was the kids. Since the kids and I spent a lot of time together because I was home-schooling them, there was a lot of grumbling.


Honestly, just seeing the title made me conscious of how much grumbling I was doing. And since our kids follow whatever we do, my children grumbled and complained. It was at that moment that it was pressed upon my heart to start the good in things and not complain when things didn’t go my way.


In Matthew 15:17-18, Jesus said, “Don’t you realize that whatever goes into your mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated? But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, which defiles a man.”


What is spoken has the power to shift the atmosphere of the room, change a perspective about a person, and can be very telling about our hearts. If we call ourselves Christian, but we’re always talking negatively and degrading, we are discrediting ourselves and our walk with Christ. But if we speak with thankfulness and appreciation, it is a testament to how we recognize what His salvation has done for us.


When we allow our perspectives to change, gratitude comes more freely.


For example, I live in Michigan, and most of our trees have dropped all their leaves. I’m not too fond of this time of year, but as I sit at my dining room table and watch the leaves fall like snow, I am reminded of the beauty of the changing seasons. I see the reminder in nature that we will go through moments where everything feels dead. But in my heart, there is peace. Because spring is coming, a new life can be birthed. I don’t look forward to the cold, but there is joy in my heart, knowing that none of this is permanent and God is still working.


As you come together with your loved ones or savor a meal in solitude, make an effort to appreciate the blessings in your life by expressing your gratitude to The Father and let perspectives begin to change.



Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband and three teen-aged children.

She doesn’t mind alternating between the world of writing and the reality of being a mother, but she would rather sit with a good book or a good friend and a cup of coffee.

When she isn’t penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books for her blog, Back Porch Reads.

To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit


The following Melissa Wardwell books have been published by Celebrate Lit Publishing:

Scrumptious Independence

Heart Pressed

Seasoned Grace

Blended Lives

Delicious Devotion

Keeping Christmas Volume 2

An Unexpected Gift


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Day 29


There are so many things in my life and the world that I am thankful for. If I were to write a list, it could probably rival the length of a novella. Family. Friends. Career. Housing. Food. Health. You get the picture.


I’m going to focus on something that doesn’t usually get mentioned on the “What am I thankful for?” list.




I’ve prayed for so many things over the course of my life. There have been yeses but there have also been nos and not right nows and even some I have betters. The yeses are great. But sometimes, those nos hurt. They hurt a lot.


Do you know what I’ve learned in my life? Exactly what Jeremiah wrote to the people exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)


The nos weren’t because I was bad or that I didn’t deserve what I was asking for. It’s because he has a plan for my life. One far beyond my understanding. He has seen my life from beginning to end. He knows the endgame and that endgame is so much better than I could ever imagine.


I think of the here and the now. Maybe a little into the future. And only of myself or those in my immediate vicinity But God has seen it all. He has seen my life, your life, the lives of everyone on earth. And His plans are intricate and our lives intersect and He has a purpose for everything that happens, whether it is good or bad. It’s not something our human minds can comprehend.


“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9).


So the next time you hear No, remember He’s working on something amazing.


Jennifer Pierce currently lives in Arkansas with her husband and two children. Her debut novel, Hidden Danger, is a 2019 Selah Award winner, and her second novel, Expecting Danger is a 2019 Selah award finalist. Her third novel, Deadly Connection released on October 20, 2020. Giving Grace, a contemporary romance Christmas novella released on November 13, 2020. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and River Valley Writers.


The following Jennifer Pier books are published by Celebrate Lit Publishing:

Tropical Target




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Day 27


I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who knows us so well, He attends to every detail of our lives. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos going around the world, but how amazing is it to know He’s holding it all in the palm of His sovereign hands?

It is astounding that I can sit at the Father’s “feet” every morning and hang out with Him. It gives me just a small taste of what heaven will be like. When I sit at the Thanksgiving table this year, I will be praising my Lord and Savior who has provided so abundantly the family and friends in my life. I never want to take those gifts for granted.



Award-winning author Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance, and writing—and puts it altogether in inspirational women’s fiction. Two of the three novels in her Apple Hill Series (set in Northern California) were inspired by actual events. Her Southern fiction Bedford County Series is set in Tennessee where she now resides with her real-life hero (and husband).


The following Jennifer Sienes books are published by Celebrate Lit Publishing:




All That Glitters

Saving Faith

Wish Upon a Star

Night Songs

A Sojourner’s Solace

These Simple Gifts

Keeping Christmas Volume 2

Shadow Dancing

Itty Bitty Faith

Tangles and Tinsel


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Day 28


Choosing one thing to be thankful for is always a challenge. God has gifted me with so much. I think, though, that what I’m most thankful for in this season of my life is God’s faithful presence. The past few years have been filled with challenges that have rocked me to my core. This journey is not one I would have chosen, but as I look back over the struggles, the tears, and the doubts, I see His faithfulness. He’s been with me all the way, even when I was angry at Him, even when I didn’t understand why He was allowing things in my life. Through all of this, He’s taught me so much about Himself and my constant need for Him. Slowy, the sandpaper of His truth is rubbing away at the rough edges of my life, shaping me into the beautiful creation He intends for me to be. It is so encouraging to know that no matter what the future holds, He is there. He has always been there. And nothing that happens can happen without His loving permission.

Hannah Prewett is a wife and mom of three teens who enjoys finding wonder and magic in the everyday. A Disney nerd, unicorn enthusiast, and collector of vintage 80s toys, she loves traveling to the ocean, taking walks, and searching closets for Narnia. She thrives on creating stories through words, art, and photography, and her main desire is to use those stories to point others to Jesus and help them find their true value through His love.


Hannah will be partnering with author SE Clancy to  illustrate our upcoming book, The Daily Kale, which will be releasing in March of 2024.




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Day 18


Authors have a lot to be thankful for. Of course, that’s like saying doctors, mothers, children, postal workers… We all have much to be thankful for, but I thought I’d share some of the things that bless me personally as an author and make me thank the Lord and others.

I’ve seen a lot of memes and posts with ideas for blessing authors. The suggestions range from posting a review to sharing the book with a friend or asking the library to snag a copy.  All those things are things that I am grateful for.  I so appreciate when a reader recommends my book in a post asking for suggestions.

But the thing that I so appreciate most from readers are the messages, emails, and even comments on posts that tell me how something I have written has blessed them. Proverbs 16:24 says “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones,” and it’s so true. Even emails from readers who ask when the next in a series or a character will be released tells me that what I spend so many hours doing is still serving the Lord by serving His people.

So while I’m grateful for the Lord’s goodness in allowing me to “do this writing thing” (as one woman put it), I’m also grateful for you—for reading those books and sharing with me how the Lord blessed you through them.


Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


The following Chautona Havig books are published by Celebrate Lit Publishing:

The Last Gasp

The Last Gasp Audiobook

The Nutcracker’s Suite

Dual Power of Convenience 

Dual Power of Convenience Audiobook

Christmas on Breakers Point

Christmas on Breakers Point Audiobook

Bookers on the Rocks

Bookers on the Rocks Audiobook

Flipping Hearts

Flipping Hearts Audiobook

Finding a Memory

A Ransomed Grete

Under the Hibiscus

Book, Chapter, & Vows

Keeping Christmas Volume 1

Keeping Christmas Volume 2


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