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Video Café + #Giveaway with Kelli Stuart

1Bonjour, Friday – and welcome to the Video Café! I’m so happy to welcome Kelli Stuart as a firt-time guest in the café today! She’s sharing about her new book, Like a River from Its Course. (You’ll want to be sure to stick around after our coffee break for our usual #Giveaway…)

If you’re new to the Video Café, Click HERE to see what it’s all about. But if you’ve been here before, you know how it works. Grab your morning cuppa and let’s chat with Kelli!


BONJOUR Kelli — Welcome to the café! Let’s get right to it: Where’s your café today and just what are you drinking? 

 Peppermint Mocha creamer? You are a sister after my own HEART! (Side note: Please tell me you’ve discovered Williams-Somona’s Peppermint Bark coffee? They only have it in season at Christmas, so I ask everyone to buy it instead of gifts. Ha ha! I can drink it all spring that way… I’m passionate about this coffee and I have a feeling you’ll love it too.) 

Now that we have the important coffee discussions out of the way, can we spend some devotional time together? What Scripture is ministering to you today, and why? 

YES… Trusting in Him for the hands and hearts that need to pick up our books — releasing the things that are out of our control — it just makes so much sense. And really, it applies to so many other areas of life. I’m paraphrasing you here, bu the “we have freedom in life because we find our definition in Him” part of this really spoke to me. (Anyone else out there glued to the YouTube screen right now?!) Thank you for sharing your heart with us, because I think we needed this today. 

Our coffee break time is ticking away (mostly because I keep wanting to talk back to the laptop screen. Ha!) But would you mind to tall us about your book debut release? 

How incredible is this coffee break, friends? Kelli – your openness, your faith in God, your ability to share the journey (including the brokenness moments too) brought me to tears. HE IS GOOD — Yes!  The  fact that God whispered to you on that first trip, to hear Maria’s story… “It was a story I needed to tell” are almost the exact words I said when I felt called to write my debut WWII novel. Thank you for sharing your story — and the journey God led you on to complete this book! I simply can’t wait to read it. WOW. Just WOW. 

I know this is a mean question to ask a book-loving author, but what is your favorite book? 

I know. I’m so sorry! It’s such a mean question to make you pick one book. Ha ha! 

Before we all have to skedaddle off to our final day of the work week, can you share one little something we readers might not know about you?

Was anyone else sitting in front of your laptop saying, “Sing, Kelli! Sing!” Ha ha! After that clip, I so wanted you to start belting out show tunes to send us on our way through this morning. 🙂 

Thank you for spending your morning coffee break with us, Kelli. I speak for everyone when I say it was inspiring, encouraging, and so energizing to chat with you. And you’d better believe your debut will be added to my own TBR pile (WWII writing sister)! Please come back and visit soon. 


2Kelli Stuart is a storyteller at heart with an affinity for languages, travel, and history. She is fluent in the Russian language, and has spent the last twenty years researching the effects of World War II on the former Soviet Union. Kelli’s first novel, Like a River From Its Course, is an epic story of war, love, grief, and redemption set in World War II Soviet Ukraine. It releases in June, 2016. Kelli lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband and four children.

You can connect with Kelli at:


Kelli is pleased to offer a copy of Like a River from Its Course to one reader in the cafe.

This Giveaway is for continental US residents only (void where prohibited), and runs from 8/5/16 – 8/11/16 11:59pm EDT. Leave a comment with your email address and an answer to the following question from Kelli’s café visit:


On Kelli’s first visit to Kiev, God laid it on her heart that she’d be going back (which she did, 1 year later). When has God laid something on your heart so strongly that you knew it would come to pass? 

We’ll draw one name of those who comment on this post during the dates listed and announce the winner on this post 8/12/16, so please come back and check to see if you’ve won! And be sure to keep the coffee brewing, because we’ll have more giveaways  in the café as we head into autumn — including some for the upcoming The Illusionist’s Apprentice!

With JOY & coffee talk,


34 thoughts on “Video Café + #Giveaway with Kelli Stuart

  1. I’m a sinner caught up in a cycle of self-dislike. I seemingly refuse to consistently see myself through my Father’s eyes. However, I know He loves me… I know this. I’m so thankful for this. Three years ago He called me to direct a local Classical Conversations homeschool community in my town. I don’t lead… I can’t lead… I might ruin someone by leading! Anyway, He knew otherwise. In faith, I stepped into the director role, and our community went from 11 students to 48 students in just one year. I know He just used me… but I’m ok with that. 😉

    1. This post is so open and… beautiful! I believe many of us struggle with cycles. That’s why grace is so critical in the life of a believer. Proud of you for stepping out, sister!

  2. My oldest son found out he had Hodgkin’s lymphoma a few years ago. I felt a peace in my heart that everything would all right. Twenty years later he is still cancer free and healthy.

    What a fun interview and giveaway! Thanks a bunch!

  3. My over 20 years my husband talked about moving from sunny Arizona where I lived most of my life to go to mid-Missouri. I admit I resisted for a long time until the Lord opened the doors and the time was right. I do not like the winters but I feel so blessed when we can grow our own vegetables and I love the time of harvest. To me it is a miracle to hold a tomato or a cucumber in my hand, knowing it was not my doing but God’s. This summer we just moved closer to our church (3 minutes away) and to be near our friends and we’ve been under a dark cloud with many mishaps, a death last week(my only brother), illness, injuries, house issues and the list goes on. But all in all, we feel blessed. I felt the Lord wanted us to be here to serve Him better and we will not let all these negatives block our passion for our His work!

    1. And no matter how much we might want to control things… God has His plans for us. They can be wildly different tham what we’d have ever imagined, right? 😉

  4. Years ago, God put in my heart to lead Vacation Bible School. This may not sound like a huge task, but at the time, I was painfully shy and not a take-charge kind of woman. It taught me so much, and was an incredible blessing.

    1. Yes! I totally understand! I was also very shy the first time I was asked to be a trainer — to get up in front of a room of people and lead a class… it was too far outside of my comfort zone. But we do learn along the way, don’t we? I love that God knows where to stretch us.

  5. I knew that I was supposed to become my occupation, even though I had never had a previous interest in that field. But things just kept coming at me until I knew which way I was supposed to be going with it. It has been a blessing in my life in many ways.

  6. My husband and I felt that the Lord wanted me to be a stay at home mom and later to be a homeschool family. Both of these decisions we were led but they definitely put us on the wrong side of both question with our families. If we had not believed that He had led us to these decisions we could not have stood against the force of our families.

  7. The Lord has laid a couple dreams on my heart over the last 2 years and the peace that they will happen! I don’t know how or when yet, but I know that He has been nothing but faithful and will see these to fruition!

  8. Thank you so much for hosting me, Kristy! It was an honor to share my story with you and your readers! And also I am TOTALLY going to be on the lookout for that Peppermint Bark Coffee! 🙂

    1. I watched these videos and felt like Anne of Green Gables — you just feel like a kindred spirit, my friend. 🙂 Thanks for spending time with us. It was a pleasure.

    1. Charis ~ Writing fiction? Non-fiction? There’s a group that helped me get my start: the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). You may want to look them up and see if you’re ready to take that step! 😉

  9. Great Video Cafe! Applauding Kelli, and yes I was so hoping she would sing. Like a river from its course sounds like a great read. The most important thing that god has laid before me is my daughters condition. Without revealing everything we found out my daughter would never have children when she was a teenager. She is 31 now, healthy and happy. It was a long road for my daughter and family to travel. But everything happens for a reason. Over the years we came to term with the outcome, it still doesn’t make it any easier. But her happiness is my happiness. Thank you

    1. And so many times, the friends, family and co-workers around the heart who’s received this news don’t know what is the right thing to say. I love that you’re so supportive and concerned about her heart-happiness. What a blessed Mama you are!

  10. God gave my heart the desire to return to Nicaragua after my first time going there in 2006. It took three years, but He took me back there, as I knew He would. I’ve been a total of nine times now, and always love being in the midst of what He’s up to there. It makes my heart so happy.

  11. When I forgot my badge. I didn’t have time to go all the way back home, it’s a thirty minute drive. But out building was one of the most secure. I was about to panic when the Lord laid it on my heart that I would be able to get it. I did. It was storming and the card reader went out so the guard let me in.

  12. I have to comment again because I just now got to watch and listen to your story of meeting Maria and how God led you to write about her and how writing her story kept you from depression. (The video kept getting stuck before.) I can’t wait to read your story, and I also have a love for Ukrainians after spending two weeks there among the churches and teaching the Bible lessons at an orphanage outside Donetsk for a VBS. They are such precious people and I still pray for those in that country, especially those I met while there. They have little, but share it with everyone. They have troubles, but still smile and praise God!

    1. Thank you so much for coming back and finishing the videos, Rose! And thanks for your encouragement. Yes, Ukrainians are special, special people, indeed!

  13. God led me and my husband to serve in AWANA. It was so rewarding to teach the children and listen to them recite Bible verses. We even instigated a Christmas store where children could use their AWANA bucks to buy presents for their family and pets. We had volunteers do the gift wrapping to ensure their gifts were really surprises.

  14. Mine would be the move my husband and I made last year from the farm to the city of Paris, KY. We have a caring church close by and are surrounded by wonderful neighbors and many tall trees outside our back windows. It was the perfect move at the perfect time!

  15. With no children of our own and a fabulous family in our church that raised a number of foster children, my husband and I attended an information session on foster parenting. We both felt God lead us to parent foster children and shortly after taking the classes and having the numerous interviews, we received two active little boys for a couple of months. After they returned to their family, we received a little girl and eventually adopted her.

    I’m really interested to read Like a River From Its Course! Thank you for this delightful video cafe!

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