Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Book Nook - The Young Samaritan

Jesus Christ has fascinated mankind for centuries. He is the most written about person in the world with countless non fiction and fiction books available. Each year nearly 200 or more new books are published. Worldwide Jesus continues to dominate writers and people of all faiths. Why is this? Why so many books on about Jesus?

J. Schuyler Sprowles is author of the newly released and critically acclaimed book, The Young Samaritan. Sprowles says much of the fascination as his began not only through faith but due to so many unanswered questions in the New Testament and what we do not know. 

I had a chance to interview him to learn more.

Can you share a little bit about your book, The Young Samaritan?
This is a fictional account of a Samaritan boy’s tumultuous journey in the time of Christ. The boy, Joshua, is awakened in the middle of the night by his mother who tearfully demands that he leave home immediately as his drunken step-father has threatened his life. She sends him to her impoverished and fearful brother who lives along the Old Jerusalem Road. Joshua embarks on his perilous journey through unknown lands and villages where he encounters kind strangers, unsavory characters and even a wild dog who loyally tags along. He eventually finds his way to the ramshackle home of his long lost uncle who hides from the world. A loving bond is formed as the two live off the land and share stories well into the night.
One night they are awakened by the sound of men approaching their encampment seeking shelter. The reader quickly discovers that the late night visitors are Jesus and his disciples. In the coming days Joshua becomes intrigued by these sojourners and he determines to join them.
Although there is sharp resistance to the boy’s desire to journey with them, the brothers ultimately relent.

 Joshua develops deep bonds with the men and is eyewitness to remarkable occurrences involving Jesus. Word of the humble man from Nazareth who performs miracles and defies authorities travels fast throughout the land. Soon large crowds follow this Rabbi as he and his disciples begin a fateful journey to Jerusalem.  Joshua is in the midst of it all. The closer they come to Jerusalem, the more ominous are the threats to Jesus, but the journey continues as Jesus approaches the mighty temple to celebrate the Passover.

In the confusion that follows, Joshua is separated from the brothers in the midst of the swarming multitudes. Later, he discovers Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as he is arrested by the Temple Guards. The journey, however, is hardly over for Joshua as he will stop at nothing in his pursuit of his beloved Jesus.

What led you to write it?
Over the years I have attended numerous bible study groups at various churches and have been most drawn to the four gospel stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Not only are these accounts rich with meaning and purpose, they tell a vivid story of Jesus as he walked the earth as a man and spoke simple words of eternal wisdom to all who would listen. What is made clear in the gospels and what I fully believe, is that beyond being fully human, Jesus was fully divine.

I have long pondered how I could write a story of Jesus’ remarkable journey to the cross in a way that brought the reader into the journey as well. But how could such a story be told?

In the Book of Mark, largely considered to be the first gospel, there is an intriguing passage involving the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane that is not recounted in any of the other gospels. It is Chapter 14 verses 51 -52:  “Now a certain young lad followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him,  and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.” It is this short verse from The Book of Mark that inspired the writing of my book. Who was this young lad? What brought him to this significant place and time? The Young Samaritan is his backstory.

 MM:  What was the most challenging aspect?
 JSS: Any attempt to write a novel that brings to life the scriptures of the New Testament is challenging, to say the least.  I was careful to document whenever I used words from the Gospels.  As I used my imagination to advance the storyline, it was always top of mind for me to make sure that the scenarios and dialog were plausible for the time and in keeping with the intent of the Gospels.  This was a painstaking task but one that was absolutely necessary in order to tell this story with honesty and integrity.

How did you develop the characters?
It was essential that Joshua as the main character exhibited all the strengths and weaknesses of a boy coming of age. I wanted the reader to feel his heartbreak, loneliness and fears, but also his reckless abandon as he ran headlong into an uncertain future and in the process was transformed.
With the exception of Jesus, the old woman known as “Mother” by all in her impoverished village was by far the strongest character of the story. She was a visionary, saint-like character, much like Mother Teresa and a pivotal character in the story.

Another major character was Joshua’s long lost Uncle Cyrus who was afraid of his own shadow. Despite his deep-seated emotional scars resulting from distant years of unspeakable abuse and trauma, Cyrus is as good as gold.  In spite of his hermit-like ways this endearing figure and his ultimate transformation, makes you smile and steals your heart.

With respect to Jesus and his disciples I did my best to paint a picture of each of them as they are portrayed in the gospels. I added  a few flourishes of my own, still never losing sight of who the disciples were from a historical perspective.

What was the challenge in writing about Jesus Christ from both a historical and religious aspect?
There are a number of occasions in the telling of this work of fiction where I have used the words of Jesus. Although it may not be in the biblical context as presented in the Gospels, I have taken the utmost care to use His words in the most thoughtful manner and hopefully in the spirit the Gospel writers intended. In each case where I adapted a scripture passage where Jesus had spoken, I have made reference with a footnote. Throughout this story there is dialogue between Jesus, His disciples, and the main character, Joshua.  My purpose in these conversations has been to bring to life the extraordinary time when Jesus walked the earth.  In doing so, I have drawn on numerous well-established Gospel accounts as a point of reference to place the reader in the midst of these remarkable events.

 MM: What do you hope the reader walks away with?
 JSS:
It is my hope that the reader feels they have become a part of Joshua’s incredible journey, that it may cause them to reflect on their own journey in life, both with God and with the people who have inspired them along the way. 

Why have so many books been written about Jesus and his times?
I’m not sure I have a good answer for that other than to say that the interest in Jesus is not confined to people who go to church or become theologians. It never has been. Jesus is a universal and timeless figure who actually walked the earth not as a King or a conqueror, but as a humble servant. He continues to fascinate people. Beyond the well-established historical facts there is an eternal reality, Jesus walked the earth fully human and fully divine. Once one completely comes to grips with that profound reality, the perspective on their own life can change dramatically. I’m actually surprised there isn’t a book about the historical Jesus coming out every day!

Why is Jesus such an important figure, even for people who aren’t Christian?
I dare say that if you profess to being a non-Christian yet still view Jesus as an important figure, you may be closer to becoming a believer than you think. In fact, Jesus may be calling you at this very moment! However, regardless of whether you are a believer or not, it is undeniable that Jesus holds a vital place in the history of the world.   

What can non-Christians learn from the historical figure of Jesus and your book, no matter what their beliefs are?
The historical Jesus represents the greatest adventure story ever told. The non-Christian must ask what would enable such a common man to perform miracles. What would cause a man such as Jesus to draw epic crowds, to openly defy the supreme religious leaders of his time and willingly die on a cross for the sake of us all, if there wasn’t something far more vast at work? What we can all learn or consider, whether we are Christians or not, is that perhaps there is a greater truth in existence beyond ourselves. In its own small way, The Young Samaritan suggests that there is.
Regardless of beliefs, however, there are messages of hope, overcoming adversity, loyalty and love throughout Joshua’s journey.
 
What surprised you most while writing this book?
I was surprised at how close I became to the characters and how invested I was in their ultimate destiny. They each spoke clearly to me as to where this story should go. I remain forever grateful to them for their guidance.
 
 Learn more:
www.jssprowles.com

Music Minute - Lisa Richard: If You Could Read My Mind

 “If You Could Read My Mind” YouTube and Spotify

Website

 

It isn’t always a wise move to cover an all-time classic. But if you want to know you’ve done it justice, there are certain signs you can watch for. Like looking out into the audience and seeing everybody on their feet.

 

That’s the reaction Canadian folk-country troubadour Lisa Richard received after she had performed a heartfelt rendition of Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind” to a crowd of 4,000 at the 2023 Stan Rogers Folk Festival.

 

“It was a moment I’ll never forget,” Richard says. “I was surrounded by not only a beautiful crowd but other incredible musicians with whom I shared the stage. I could see tears in the eyes of the audience members in the front rows, as well as my peers on stage.

 

“You could hear a pin drop during the song, but what followed was an eruption of cheers and standing ovations from the thousands of people in the crowd. I was truly so touched by the positive and emotional response that I decided to make it official.”

 

The result is her new single, a studio recording of the song that features her backing band of Warren Robert, Dana Westall and Scott Ferguson as key collaborators. Neither a slavish imitation nor a disrespectful disfigurement, the cover retains the acoustic guitar and strings of the 1970 original but adds tasteful drumming and a skipping, almost country-fied electric guitar. Ferguson produced the track, and Robert provided the suitably haunting orchestral arrangement. Yet the focus remains on Richard’s affecting warble as she digs deep into the deceptively pretty-sounding chronicle of disappointment and divorce Lightfoot once took to the top of the charts.

 

“I’m super excited to share my version of ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ with listeners, alongside a music video crafted by the brilliant Scott Ferguson,” Richard says. “Gordon Lightfoot is a Canadian treasure, and I hope this version will be one he would be proud of.”

 

This isn’t the first time Richard has gamely followed in the footsteps of an icon: A version of Dolly Parton’s immortal “Jolene” that she performed alongside Vince Gill and the Time Jumpers in Nashville has been seen by over 150,000 viewers online. And in her time in the spotlight, she’s variously been called “a soulful Anne Murray” and compared to the likes of Cher, Wynonna Judd and Tracy Chapman.

 

It helps that Richard is equally adept at country, pop, folk and rock. And the music world has duly taken notice of those abilities. Born in New Mills, New Brunswick, and now based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Richard has performed for audiences across North America and Europe. Her album, Promises Kept, was nominated for the 2022 Country Recording of the Year award at the Music Nova Scotia Music Awards (where Richard had been nominated for Country Artist of the Year in 2018). Her previous single, “Uniforms,” was named the 2018 CIOE East Coast Music #1 song of the year, achieved rotation on Sirius XM CBC Country radio, and was also featured on WSM Grand Ole Opry radio.

 

Richard has won the CBC Searchlight Top 10 Regional Contest (Nova Scotia) and was a nominee for multiple Josie Music Awards and International Singer Songwriters Association Awards. She’s recently showcased at NewSkool Rules in the Netherlands, as well as playing the 2023 East Coast Music Awards, 2023 CCMA Music Awards and that fateful gig at the 2023 Stan Rogers Folk Festival.

 

Richard is about to head out on her Promises Kept tour, and of course “If You Could Read My Mind” will figure prominently in the set. You don’t need to be clairvoyant to know you shouldn’t miss it.

 

Thrifty Thinking - Low-Cost Fun Hobbies

 Times are financially tough, and it can be so difficult to find educational ways to keep our kids entertained and off their phones.  

That's why Solitaire Bliss surveyed 1000 Americans about what hobbies they love, why they love them, and which have been best for their families AND their finances.🤪👯‍♀️ 

Key Findings:

  • Music production, comedy groups, and meditation have the best bang for your buck.

  • Cooking and baking, car repair and maintenance, and bowling are the hobbies with the worst bang for your buck.

  • The average American devotes 9 hours per week to their hobbies.

  • Stress relief is the #1 desired outcome for engaging in hobbies.
  • Over half (55%) agree that inflation is making their hobbies less accessible to them. 

Take a look at the full report 

Area Attractions - Best Cities for Spa Lovers

 

Which cities offer the best options for booking a relaxing spa day?

With the global wellness tourism industry expected to hit a record $1 trillion in 2024, Pool Gnome ranked 2024’s Best Cities for Spa Lovers.

We compared nearly 500 of the biggest U.S. cities based on 3 categories. We looked at the number of spas, average consumer ratings, and local demand, among 6 total metrics.

See the 10 best (and 10 worst) cities for spa lovers below, followed by key takeaways. (Don’t see your city below? Check out the full ranking.)
Best Cities for Spa Lovers
RankCity
1New York, NY
2Los Angeles, CA
3Houston, TX
4Las Vegas, NV
5
6
7
8
9
10
San Diego, CA
Chicago, IL
Atlanta, GA
Tampa, FL
Miami, FL
Dallas, TX
Worst Cities for Spa Lovers
RankCity
1Cicero, IL
2New Britain, CT
3Wyoming, MI
4Rialto, CA
5
6
7
8
9
10
Ogden, UT
Longmont, CO
Antioch, CA
Brockton, MA
West Valley City, UT
Lowell, MA

Key Insights:

  • Big, glamorous cities — such as New York (No. 1), Los Angeles (No. 2), and Houston (No. 3) — landed at the top of our ranking with abundant high-quality spas, and plenty of residents seeking a zen moment. 

  • California dominated with 70 cities relaxing in the top half of our ranking. The bountiful spas in Los AngelesSan Diego (No. 5), and Sacramento (No. 23) stand out with average consumer ratings above 4 stars. Smaller cities like Santa Maria (No. 49), Fairfield (No. 72), and Bellflower (No. 86) might have fewer spas to choose from, but their average ratings are above 4.5.

  • Sunny Southern cities impress with plenty of spas and high local Demand25 Florida18 Texas, and 11 North Carolina cities finished in the top half of our ranking, with many offering numerous top-rated spas.

  • Connecticut cities distinctly lack access to spa treatments, with only one city — Danbury (No. 242) — scoring in the better half of our ranking. With few top-rated spasHartford (No. 308), New Haven (No. 368), Bridgeport (No. 446), and Stamford (No. 472) likely disappoint locals with higher-than-average Demand for a spa day.
     

Read the full story here: https://poolgnome.com/blog/studies/best-cities-spa-lovers/ 

Other helpful links:


About Pool Gnome: Planning to install a pool or hot tub? Need help maintaining the one you already own? Let Pool Gnome connect you with local pool and spa professionals to help with all your installation, repair, and maintenance needs.

More from Pool Gnome: 

Parenting Pointers - Is ADHD Being Missed in Girls?


Imagine that you are watching an elementary school classroom while a lesson is in progress. Many children are sitting quietly in their seats, facing forward, with their eyes on the teacher. There may be one or two who are fidgeting in their seats, calling out responses without raising their hands, making comments to their neighbors, or dropping their pencils and other belongings. The teacher pauses to give these children a little more attention, reminding them to wait their turn, stay seated, and not talk to nearby classmates. There may be another child who is sitting quietly, facing forward. She appears to be present and focused, but she is in fact lost in her thoughts and has missed much of the lesson. Though her learning may be as strongly impacted as that of the other students described above, she is much more likely to go unnoticed in the busy classroom setting. 

ADHD, which stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is one of the most common behavioral disorders in children. It is a neurodevelopmental condition, which means that it starts in childhood and affects brain development, particularly in the prefrontal cortex. Individuals with ADHD struggle with executive functioning skills, which are higher-order cognitive skills that include the ability to focus and sustain attention, inhibit impulses, initiate, plan, organize, and prioritize, and complete tasks and activities in an efficient manner. There are three main symptoms associated with ADHD, and these must be observed in more than one setting (e.g., both at home and at school). These include difficulty focusing/sustaining attention (particularly on non-preferred activities), and/or difficulty inhibiting impulses, and/or difficulty regulating physical restlessness. While the challenges related to hyperactivity and impulsivity are often most salient, there are in fact three different subtypes of ADHD: 

Predominantly inattentive presentation (sometimes known colloquially as ADD), which refers to individuals who have significant challenges with attention/distractibility, but not with hyperactivity or impulsivity. 

Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation, which refers to individuals who have significant challenges with hyperactivity and impulsivity, but not with inattention. This is not a common subtype. 

Combined presentation, which refers to individuals who have significant challenges with both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. 

Boys are diagnosed with ADHD almost two times as often as girls, although research suggests that ADHD affects boys and girls at similar rates. As such, many girls with ADHD are not being identified. Girls with ADHD are more likely to have the predominantly inattentive presentation, which is less readily detectable, especially in settings such as the classroom (where the squeaky wheel is often more likely to get the grease). Teachers are less likely to notice the more subtle difficulties that these girls experience, and even if these students start to fall behind academically, they are often misdiagnosed, most commonly with anxiety and/or mood-related issues. While these girls may in fact be experiencing emotional difficulties, the cause may be rooted in their undiagnosed and untreated ADHD. Girls with ADHD are also vulnerable to executive functioning challenges, such as weaknesses with prioritizing, time management, planning ahead, and organizational skills. These difficulties may go unnoticed until academic

demands increase in middle school and later in high school, and it is not uncommon for girls with ADHD to elude diagnosis until they are older. 

Other common misconceptions related to ADHD may also affect diagnosis. For example, ADHD refers more aptly to a “dysregulation” of attention than to an attention “deficit.” As such, individuals with ADHD have much more difficulty focusing/sustaining attention and persisting with tasks that are not intrinsically interesting to them and/or are perceived as difficult or stressful. However, many individuals with ADHD can hyperfocus on areas of interest. Parents may wonder how their child who spends uninterrupted hours reading graphic novels or playing video games could possibly have ADHD. 

If you suspect that your daughter may have ADHD, we encourage you to consult with an appropriate professional (e.g., a pediatrician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or neuropsychologist). In addition, we recommend that you speak with your daughter’s teacher, to ask about the sorts of subtle issues that may be occurring in the classroom. We also encourage you to speak with your daughter herself. She may be able to share her experience with you, so that you can learn about her perception of the situation and her potential symptoms. Once a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan can be put in place to support your daughter at school, at home, and in other settings. This may include speaking with your medical doctor about medication management, talking to school staff about accommodations to support attention in the classroom (e.g., preferential seating, frequent breaks, checking in for understanding), as well as supporting any emotional sequelae that may arise (e.g., individual therapy to help with anxiety symptoms). 

Remember that while difficulties with attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity can result in challenges, there are also advantages to having a different thinking style. Individuals with ADHD are often excellent at creative thinking, can focus passionately on preferred topics (which can be a great advantage when channeled into vocational endeavors), are generally more spontaneous and willing to take risks, and are often very resilient. Different thinkers can and do make wonderful things happen! 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS 

Dr. Katia Fredriksen received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a certificate in French language and culture from Princeton University. She went on to earn her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from University of Massachusetts Boston, and her clinical training included inpatient and outpatient psychotherapy and assessment with children, adolescents, and adults. Her graduate research focused on health behaviors, including sleep and substance use. Dr. Fredriksen completed her post-doctoral training at a private practice in the Boston area, where she focused on autism, genetic disorders, learning disorders, and attention and executive functioning in a pediatric population. 

She has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences. Dr. Fredriksen continues to lecture to parent groups and professional organizations.

She was born in France to a New Zealander mother and a Norwegian father, and she moved with her parents to Norway and then to the Washington, D.C., area, where she grew up. Returning to her roots, Dr. Fredriksen spent a year studying and working in Norway and New Zealand. She now lives in the Washington, D.C., metro area with her husband, two children, cat, and parakeet. 

Dr. Yael Rothman was born and raised in Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biopsychology and cognitive science. Following college, she had the privilege of spending a year in Cambridge, United Kingdom, doing research focused on autism spectrum disorder and tuberous sclerosis complex. She then spent a year in New York teaching young children with autism before earning a doctoral degree from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. Dr. Rothman completed her internship at Children’s Hospital Colorado and her postdoctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. She spent four years working as a pediatric neuropsychologist and was an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Rothman currently works at the Stixrud Group in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she completes comprehensive evaluations for children, adolescents, and young adults who have a wide range of conditions that impact learning, behavior, and/or socioemotional functioning. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Rothman also has been involved in clinical research, with a primary focus on autism spectrum disorders. She has presented at several national and international conferences, published more than a dozen articles in peer-reviewed journals, and given lectures to parents and educators. 

Check out their Instagram page @neuropsychmomdocs and learn more about Different Thinkers: ADHD at www.boystownpress.org.


Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Music Minute - Paige King Johnson: I Thank God

 Country music singer/songwriter Paige King Johnson kicked 2024 off in full force at the Carolina Country Music Awards winning “Songwriter of the Year” during the ceremony. Continuing with the momentum she is excited to release the music video for her current single, “I Thank God.” Recognized for her strong devotion to family and faith, Johnson uses her exceptional vocals and songwriting talents to thank God for all aspects of her life and musical journey. Written by Johnson and Mike Astrachan, the music video for "I Thank God," will premiere on The Heartland Network tomorrow at 2 PM ET & PT. It will also be premiered digitally by Nashville Music Guide and the acoustic video was also premiered by Beliefnet. 


Listen/stream/buy HERE.
To view Johnson’s premiere with Nashville Music Guide, visit HERE.
To view Johnson’s premiere with Beliefnet, visit HERE.

“Being able to film this music video in my home church in North Carolina was so special & important to me,” shares Paige. "That building has been a major player in my life & my music since the day I was born. I’m so grateful to get to show the world this holy place & the beauty we were able to capture that day! On the other hand, my goal when recording the acoustic video was to take the viewer to a very different place that also feels very sacred to me - my grandpa’s barn - to let them hear a very sacred song. This song was written plain & simple & honest, and that’s the best way, in my opinion, for it to be heard.”

Paige King Johnson was recently featured in Cowgirl Magazine as part of a special behind-the-scenes video with Grand Ole Opry member, Pam Tillis, who has directed three music videos for Paige. Highlighting their relationship and showcasing Pam’s nurturing encouragement as a mentor, every viewer has a backstage view of their creative process.

To view Paige King Johnson and Pam Tillis’ Behind The Scenes video, premiered by Cowgirl Magazine, visit HERE.

Paige King Johnson is now the host of her own segment on NBC’s WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina called “Minutes of Music.” Johnson sits down with artists coming to the region for live concerts and local entertainment. “Minutes of Music” has recently featured interviews with ShaktiAsad Mecci & Colin MochrieDean Sams of Lonestar, and Grand Ole Opry member, Martina McBride. For more information, visit PaigeKingJohnson.com and WRAL.com.

Paige King Johnson On Tour:
FEB 23 - Pinehurst Brewing Company / Pinehurst, N.C.
MAR 02 - Stouts and Ales / Coats, N.C.
MAR 05 - Rebel Rouser Writers Round / Nashville, Tenn.
MAR 06 - Music Row Freakshow Writers Round / Nashville, Tenn.
MAR 08 - unWINEd Wine Bar & Beer / Surf City, N.C.
MAR 15 - The Barrel Room / Norfolk, Va.
MAR 16 - Buggs Island Brewing Company / Clarksville, Va.
MAR 17 - Unruly Women Collective / Garner, N.C.
MAR 21 - Napper Tandy’s Public House & Restaurant / Angier, N.C.
MAR 22 - Trali Irish Pub & Restaurant / Raleigh, N.C.
MAR 23 - Sampson County Ag Day / Clinton, N.C.
MAR 28 - Shaka Taco Hampstead / Hampstead, N.C.
MAR 29 - The Seashore Eats & Drinks / Oak Island, N.C.
APR 12 - Abbey Road Tavern & Grill / Fuquay-varina, N.C.
APR 18 - Napper Tandy’s Public House & Restaurant / Angier, N.C.
APR 19 - Cabarrus Brewing Company / Concord, N.C.
APR 22 - The Listening Room / Nashville, Tenn.
APR 24 - Smokin On The Row / Nashville, Tenn.
APR 26 - Pinehurst Brewing Company / Pinehurst, N.C.
APR 28 - Old Barn Winery & Vineyards / West Jefferson, N.C.

To keep up with everything Paige King Johnson, visit HERE and follow the socials linked below.

 

Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | Website

 

About Paige King Johnson:
Born in a quiet North Carolina town just 22 miles south of Raleigh, as a young 9-year-old girl, Paige King Johnson spent her summers under the crepe myrtles imitating the styles of Loretta, Patsy, Waylon, and Merle. Having a grandpa as her biggest fan also meant receiving the gift of her first guitar – a baby Taylor – and enrolling in lessons. As she grew older, Johnson added “opening act” to her resume, supporting chart-topping artists like Scotty McCreery, Neal McCoy, and James Otto. Upon starting school at Belmont University for Music Business, Johnson honed in on the magic that had heavily influenced her as a child: the art of storytelling through songwriting. The famous Bluebird Café was just one of many writers’ circuits around Nashville that provided a safe space for Johnson to meet other writers. In the last four years, Johnson has traveled back and forth between Nashville and the Carolinas, playing shows like the North Carolina State Fair and running her dinner theater, Country on the Outskirts of Town, that she founded in high school. Johnson’s quarterly show provides an atmosphere for locals to enjoy Southern cooking, fellowship with friends, and the sounds of classic and current country music with some gospel thrown in. A four-time Carolina Country Music Awards Winner for Female Vocalist of the Year, Country Emerging New Artist, Single of the Year, and Tour of the Year, Johnson’s devoted homegrown fan base continues to expand farther than just her backyard. For more information, visit paigekingjohnson.com.