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A Simple Matter of Hope and Joy by Nathan Menoian is a Shake Off Winter Doldrums pick #christianfiction #fiction #mustread #giveaway

Title: A Simple Matter of Hope and Joy


Author: Nathan Menoian                    


Genre: Christian Fiction


Book Blurb:   


Eric David Matthews can’t imagine why God would select him for anything. He’s a longtime business owner with no interest in the Creator of the Universe, and no remaining zest for life. Unexpectedly, he meets a woman of devout faith who tells him what Jesus has done in her life. In quick order, Eric turns his middle-aged and mundane life over to God. He soon finds himself in a whirlwind of divinely-guided activity, discovering that the Lord will and can use anyone - young or old. Though the weeks and months ahead aren’t all smooth sailing, Eric remains ever-faithful as he experiences love, joy, sorrow, fear, and rejuvenation. One demanding and persistent question keeps racing through his heart: Does God have a specific calling in mind for him? At just the right time, Eric receives the answer he’s been looking for, along with a brand-new zest for life.




Sometime during the next week, I felt brave enough to call Marsha again. Her magic was unpredictable, and I couldn’t tell what might happen if she answered this time. Just in case, I jotted down some notes. Good thing, too.


The moment I heard her sweet voice, I nearly did forget the reason for my call. I took a hurried glance at my note pad. The words rushed out of me, “Would you like to join me for dinner?” I was nearly speechless when she accepted my invitation.

Our get-together would be at a popular steak house between Detroit and Milford. Five o’clock was the agreed-upon time.


The words, ‘Not a doubting Thomas’, came back to mind. I gave her the happy highlights. “All that you shared at breakfast last Saturday deeply touched me. That night, the Lord grabbed hold of my heart and allowed me to ask Him all sorts of questions.


“God told me how much He loved me. I was overwhelmed by this encounter and experienced a powerful rush of hope and joy racing through my veins. Life has suddenly felt exciting again. And Marsha, all of this happened because you told me what Jesus has done in your life.”


She spoke softly. “Wow, I’m crying. I didn’t expect to hear all this so soon after just meeting you.”


On the day of our date, I arrived a few minutes early, waiting anxiously for Marsha, who arrived on time.


Living single for many years caused me to be less concerned about prim and proper behavior. Though when dining in the company of such a classy lady as Marsha, I knew it would be most important to eat slowly, take small bites, and make good use of my table napkin.


“Try to act sophisticated,” I reminded myself. “Don’t show yourself as a flophouse bachelor. Above all else, refrain from trying to sound clever and witty; definitely one of my faults.”


After a dinner prayer from Marsha, her next words jolted me. “God put you on my mind this week.” Her voice was very matter-of-fact. “What on Earth for?” I asked.


Being the reserved woman she was, I figured Marsha wouldn’t admit if her heart did a little jump and jig when we first met.


Marsha finished another bite of steak before handing me an intriguing revelation. “When you told me how God grabbed hold of your heart, I sensed in my spirit that doors of evangelism will open for you.


“God will give you the words to speak. I don’t know how soon, but in the months ahead you’re going to be a busy man.”


I sat quiet. Her words were humbling, bringing me to confess that I needed to learn more about prayer.


“Prayer is acknowledging God’s authority, greatness, and of course His Deity,” she explained. “We ask for guidance, wisdom, and material things. In talking with Him always be honest and respectful. And remember, listening is of equal importance. God may speak words to you. Prayer deepens faith. Stay diligent in reading the Bible.”


Marsha finished with a tender smile. We continued eating in comfortable silence. Should the opportunity arise, how might I ever describe this marvelous woman to my friends? I am a richer man for knowing her.


After the plates were cleared away, Marsha cleared her throat. “Now please don’t laugh,” she said, “but I secretly wished we could have danced together the morning we met. A ten-second waltz would have filled me with overwhelming joy.”


Her words literally pushed me back in my chair. I couldn’t hide my enthusiasm.


“Marsha, I’m no prime[1]time dancer, but a Pancake Palace waltz was definitely doable! Attractive as you are, I imagine you’re asked out quite often.”


A shy and embarrassed look hijacked her gorgeous face. “Eric, you’d be surprised at how rarely I date.”


Hearing that, I realized I was one of the fortunate few. She apparently found me likable. Even as a devout Christian, she wasn’t afraid to show herself as vulnerable. That brand of honesty connected with me.


A probing question jumped into my brain, and for a moment I held back asking it. I proceeded with caution. “Is it possible to be sold out to God, as you are, and still enjoy a social life?”


Marsha took a slow sip of coffee, as her eyes locked onto mine. What she shared touched my heart.


“I’ve always wanted to be a wife and a mother. But my life has turned out much differently. I’ve felt lonely watching so many of my friends find love and marry. I’ve asked God when it would be my turn…”


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):








What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?


Getting outside to enjoy spring weather, sunlight, taking walks, listening to the chirping birds, and reconnecting with my neighbors. And I can’t overlook how much I enjoy writing. It helps me through late autumn and cold winter months, as well as the flowering days of spring and summer.


Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues? 


It offers readers hope and joy from the perspective of a loving God. With stress and tension swirling around us at an all-time high, it’s good to have something to help take our eyes off the daily troubles, and help us focus on better days ahead.


Giveaway –


One lucky reader will win a $35 Amazon gift card



Open internationally.


Runs March 1 – 31, 2024


Drawing will be held on April 1, 2024. 


Author Biography:   


I was born in Michigan to parents of Armenian descent, and attended public schools in Dearborn and West Bloomfield. Flying kites, bike riding, and participating in neighborhood baseball games were part of my youth; with teamwork a valuable life-lesson I learned as a sprinter on my middle-school track team.


At 19, I joined the U.S. Navy. Afterward, I enrolled in college earning a Journalism Degree from Oakland University. It was there that I invited Jesus Christ into my heart, becoming a born-again Christian.


Throughout my years as a writer: from newspaper reporting, writing editorials, spending twelve years in the Adverting Department with a national discount retailer, publishing a monthly business magazine, and handling a variety of freelance work, I’ve been the recipient of many blessings, friends, and challenging opportunities.


Both of my sons are successful in their chosen careers. Michigan remains my home, and authoring this book is the latest highlight in my writing experiences.


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Lisa J Lickel
Lisa J Lickel
Mar 22

Love the premise!


Mar 19

I read a lot of holiday romances


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Mar 12

Thank you, Nathan, for sharing your book in our Shake Off Winter Doldrums!

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