Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Hi all! New book to tell you about by a great author, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, who writes "Endless Adventure, Timeless Truth" stories.
Mistletoe Mayhem, a novella in the Season of Danger collection is available now. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, you will enjoy Jill's work. This is a quick, fun read so I hope you'll pick up a copy soon. It can also be ordered online in digital form for any ereader.
About the book:
A romance-shy veterinarian and a widowed health inspector hunt the killer who used mistletoe extract to poison pets and people in a Tennessee mountain town.
After being jilted by her fiancé, Kelly Granger buries her broken heart in her work as a veterinarian in her home town of Abbottsville, Tennessee, located in the Great Smoky Mountains. She and her assistant, Tim Hallock, battle to save community pets from a violent and mysterious illness. Is this sickness a danger to humans? Her question is answered when state health inspector Matt Bennett is sent to investigate local eating establishments, including Kelly’s sister’s restaurant, for the cause of poisoning among the patrons. Kelly refuses to believe that her sister served toxic mistletoe extract to her customers—yet mounting evidence points in that direction. Kelly puts herself in harm’s way, facing down a vicious dog and even more vicious people, to uncover a common denominator between the human and animal illnesses. Matt has his hands full keeping up with her, as well as proving himself worthy of her trust—and hopefully, her love. Unless she has her heart set on her veterinary assistant, Tim Hallock. The question won’t matter if his investigation sends Kelly’s sister to jail. She’ll never have anything to do with him then. They need to uncover the truth. But will the answer cost them more than their romance? Will it cost them their lives?
About the author:
Jill Elizabeth Nelson is an award-winning author of mysteryand suspense. She writes what she likes to read—tales of adventure seasonedwith romance, humor, and faith. Jill speaks regularly at conferences, writer’sgroups, library associations, and civic and church groups. When teachingclasses for writers, she delights in bringing the “Ahah! moment” to her students, so they can make a new skill theirown. Jill and her husband live in rural Minnesotawhere they raised four children and are currently enjoying their grandchildren.Visit Jill on the web at: www.jillelizabethnelson.com or look her up on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JillElizabethNelson.Author
Or Twitter: @jnelson57.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Need a GREAT Christmas gift for a child in your life? Check out my friend Anni Wolff Shelton's children's book youcanbeyou.net
Anni is an amazing woman of God. She has tremendous gifting and character and an outstanding love for children. She has a heart for them to be validated as who they were created to be.
This book is one of the best things you can do for a child in your life. Hey, this book even ministers to adults who need to know they are okay.
Here is Anni's Facebook page here.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Have a new book to tell you about, just in time for Christmas shopping!
Silent Night, Deadly Night and Mistletoe Mayhem are stories in a novella by Hannah Alexander and Jill Elizabeth Nelson, included in Season of Danger anthology by Love Inspired Suspense.
Release date December 2011
Hannah Alexander's Website.
Silent Night, Deadly Night on Amazon
ABOUT Silent Night, Deadly Night:
After the murder of Tess Vance's fiance, Tess leaves her career as a musical talent agent and retreats home to her brother's rescue mission for the homeless in Corpus Christi, Texas. She finds solace helping others, and peace with ex-cop Sean Torrance, who has also endured great pain over the past year. Just as they begin to think life will settle for them, and their friendship will deepen into something more lasting, Tess finds herself the subject of a stalking, and the stalker hurts her by hurting and killing those she loves, including the homeless.
All of Sean's protective instincts rise to the top when the woman he has grown to love finds herself in danger once again. He'll do whatever it takes to protect her and the others he works with at the mission. As the owner and manager of one of the top radio stations in the region, he finds a way to stop the attacks, but it will mean betraying her trust. Can their relationship withstand the conflict?
About Mistletoe Mayhem by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
Holiday cheer turns chilling in Abbottsville, Tennessee, as danger infects humans and animals. Local vet Kelly Granger knows health inspector Matt Bennett is chasing the wrong target, and will face any danger to show him the truth. Even if working with Matt means risking her life…and her heart.
Hope you will pick up this book next time you're in town!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Here is another heartwarming story from Margaret Daley. I absolutely love this one. Don't miss it!
When I decided to write a series about a town that goes through a hurricane, I wanted to give tribute to all the people who have gone through a disaster and rebuilt their lives. This series was written for the heroes and heroines who help others in a time of disaster.
Blurb for His Holiday Family by Margaret Daley:
When Hurricane Naomi tears through a small Mississippi town, a daring rescue unites two heroes. Nurse Kathleen Hart is a single mom racked by guilt over her husband's death. Firefighter Gideon O'Brien—orphaned as a young boy—has lost too many people he cared for. To rise above the storm's devastation, Gideon helps Kathleen and her sons rebuild their home. As Christmas approaches, they discover that even the strongest of storms can't destroy a romance built on the foundation of faith.
Excerpt from His Holiday Family:
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Gideon O'Brien hopped down from Engine Two and assessed the chaos in front of him. Strapping on his air pack, he started toward his captain. A hand gripped his arm and stopped his forward progress. He turned toward the blonde woman who held him, her large blue eyes glistening with tears. She looked familiar, but he couldn't place where he knew her from. His neighbor's daughter, perhaps?
"My two sons and my cousin—their babysitter—must still be inside. I don't see them outside with the other tenants." Her voice quivered. She tightened her hand on his arm and scanned the crowd. "I'm Kathleen Hart. My sons are Jared and Kip. I tried Sally's cell but she didn't answer. Please get them out." A tear slipped down her cheek.
"Where are they?" Gideon moved toward his captain, his palm at the small of her back, guiding her in the direction he wanted her to go. Yes, he realized, she was his neighbor Ruth Coleman's daughter.
"Sally's second-floor apartment is on the east side, the fourth one down on your right. Number 212. Hurry." Her round eyes fastened on the fire consuming the three-story apartment building on Magnolia Street.
Gideon paused in front of Captain Fox. "Mrs. Hart says her sons and babysitter are still inside. Pete and I can go in and get them." He looked toward the west end of the large structure where the men of Engine One were fighting the flames eating their way through the top level. "There's still time."
"Okay." His captain surveyed the east end. "But hurry. It won't be long before this whole building goes up."
The scent of smoke hung heavy in the air. The hissing sound of water hitting Magnolia Street Apartments vied with the roar of the blaze.
Gideon turned toward the mother of the two boys. "We'll find them." He gave her a smile then searched the firefighters for Pete.
When Gideon found him a few feet away, he covered the distance quickly. "Let's go. There are three people trapped on the second floor. East end."
At the main entrance into the building Gideon fixed his mask in place, glancing back at the blonde woman standing near his captain. He had seen that same look of fear and worry many times over his career as a firefighter. He wouldn't let anything happen to her sons and Sally.
Gideon switched on his voice amplifier and headed into the furnace with Pete following close behind him. Through the thick cloud suspended from the ceiling in the foyer, the stairs to the second floor loomed. Crouching, he scrambled up the steps. The higher he went, the hotter it became.
To learn more about this outstanding author, visit her website at margaretdaley.com
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Recommending Christmas Gifts...two stories in one from Love Inspired authors Brenda Minto and Gayle Gaymer Martin. The title is actually Christmas Gifts, fitting since this book would make a nice one! Go out and get your copy today.
About the book:
CHRISTMAS GIFTS--including Small Town Christmas
Love Inspired Duet - November 2011
Mini-Matchmakers And An Old Fashion Christmas
About the book:When the new second grade teacher, Amy Carroll, meets the precocious twin sisters, she knows she has her hands full, but when she learns they live on the street where she is staying with her grandmother and they have a single father who is handsome and needs help, Amy’s hands are beyond full. But Amy’s from Chicago and falling in love with a small town man is not part of her plan. Can God waylay Amy’s desire to return to the big city? Can Mike Russett open his heart to love?
Martin’s story contains strong characters and touching scenes - Romantic Times
About the author:Multi-award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin writes Christian fiction for Love Inspired and Barbour Publishing, where she was honored by Heartsong readers as their Favorite Author of 2008. Gail has forty-nine contracted novels with over three million books in print. She is the author of Writers Digest’s Writing the Christian Romance. Gail is a co-founder of American Christian Fiction Writers, a keynote speaker at churches, libraries and civic organizations and presents workshops at conference across the US. She was recently named one of the four best novelists in the Detroit area by CBS local news.
Available online and in all stores where books are sold.
To Purchase online click link.
Excerpt Chapter 1
“Mrs. Fredericks.” The office secretary leaned into the room. “Mr. Russet is here to see you.”
“The twins father.” A heavy sigh whisked the air. “Ask him to wait a moment.”
Amy took another step toward the door. No doubt the sigh signaled trouble.
“Please wait a moment, Miss Carroll. “The twins will be in your class. It might help you to meet the girls. They have a propensity for getting into trouble.” She motioned. “They’re right across the hall in the cafeteria. It’ll give you a heads-up for Monday.”
Trouble. Amy swallowed. “I suppose that would be. . .practical.”
“Yes, and you’ll keep an eye on them while I talk with their father.” She chuckled and motioned her to follow.
Amy followed her across the hall and spotted the girls seated on each side of a cafeteria bench, cuter and sweeter looking than she’d imagined. Though not identical twins, their features were similar with bright Caribbean blue eyes.
The child with a tawny ponytail swung her legs over the bench. “It wasn’t me, Mrs. Fredericks.”
“Yes, it was.” The blonder twin slipped from her seat, her hair gathered into a ponytail on each side of her head. “Holly tore up my drawing in art class.”
“Please sit for a moment.” She gestured to the benches. “I want you to meet someone.”
They scrutinized Amy with a mix of speculation and determination. “Miss Carroll. This young lady is Holly.” She rested her hand on the one with honey brown hair and the deep frown. “And this is Ivy.”
Ivy gazed at her, curiosity written on her face.
Holly and Ivy? Amy wondered. She stepped closer. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Mrs. Fredericks eyed them. “Miss Carroll will be your new teacher on Monday.”
Holly’s ponytail flipped as she swivelled toward Amy while Ivy stared at her wide-eyed.
“I’ll leave you with Miss Carroll, and you can have a nice talk.” She turned to Amy. “I’ll be back shortly.” She strode away but paused before exiting. “When I return, I’ll introduce you to the girl’s father. I’m sure you’d like that.”
“Our dad?” Two voices rang in unison.
Amy wasn’t sure she wanted her first parental contact to be with an irritated father, but she offered a nod. When she turned, the twins were peering at her again, Holly with her arms crossed at her chest and Ivy with her fist jammed into her waist.
She slipped around the end of the bench and sat at the table. Behind those sweet faces, Amy sensed sadness. She looked from one girl to the other. “What are you doing in the cafeteria.”
Holly looked away. “Mrs. Fredericks made us sit here.”
“Hmm?” Amy tapped her finger against her cheek. “I wonder why?”
Ivy bit her lip. “Kids who misbehave have to sit in here and wait.”
Holly’s frown deepened. “I didn’t do anything bad.”
Ivy pressed her face closer to Holly’s, her look searing through her sister. “You tore up my drawing.”
“But you said it wasn’t any good.”
Ivy fell back to her seat. “If I wanted to tear it up, I would have done it.”
“That’s right, Ivy.” Amy focused on Holly, monitoring her tone. “What kind of pictures were you drawing?”
Holly’s shoulders relaxed. “Pictures of Pilgrims and Indians for our social studies.”
Amy nodded. “For Thanksgiving.” Blending learning with fun was good classroom planning.
“Uh-huh, and. . .” A movement by the door caught her attention.
“Daddy.” The girls shot from the bench and ran to a harried looking man who stood inside the doorway, his hands tucked in his jacket pockets.
Amy’s heart gave a twinge. A five o’clock shadow encompassed his lean jaw, his chestnut hair tousled as if he’d run his fingers through it many times. His straight eyebrows stretched above his caramel brown eyes, flashing with emotion.
He rocked on his heels. “You must be Miss Carroll, the new teacher.” He strode toward her. “I’m the girls’ father, Mr. Russet. It’s nice to met you.” Frustration winked behind his pleasant grin.
Amy met him halfway while the twins hovered at his side. She dropped her palm into his, aware of his warm grip. “Good to meet you, too.”
Behind him Mrs. Fredericks grinned. “I’ll see you on Monday, Miss Carroll.” She gave her a wave and vanished.
When she looked back, the man studied her with curiosity. “I’m sure we’ve met.”
Amy drew back. “Met?”
“Years ago at Ellie Carroll on Lake Street.”
“Yes, that’s it.” Amy’s memory gave a tug.
“We live across the street.” The twins voices melded together.
She stood bewildered.
His grin widened. “Maybe eleven years ago.”
“I don’t think so.” Yet a memory shimmered in her mind. “I was eighteen then.”
“I was twenty-three, working as a handyman.” He grinned. “Maybe you’ll remember me as Mike.”
“Mike?” The recollection jarred her. “You dug out Grams old shrubbery and planted new ones.” She pictured him in the summer sun, his muscles flexing while his shirt hung on a deer ornament in the tree-sheltered yard.
Amy studied his face. His unruly hair hadn’t changed. She remembered how it ruffled in the breeze, his lean handsome face taut with concentration. She’d flirted with him. But when she went inside, her grandmother notified her he was newly married. Heat rose up Amy’s neck with the recollection. She hoped he didn’t remember she’d toyed with him.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Hey all, there are devotions for moms, devotions for kids, devotions for dads, pastors, etc., etc.
How about some devotions for writers?
Nowadays one thing writers of all levels hear is how we must build platforms in able for our books to be successful. While the "religious" response might be that we don't want to be successful, the truth is that sales numbers matter to publishers when they go to consider a newish author.
Why build a platform?
I think the better question is why not. If you are targeting a traditional publisher, know that if they sign you as an unknown, unpublished, unproven author, they are taking a great financial risk. It's a great extension of unproven trust that publishers take on debut authors. So I think it's an extension of honor to do everything we can to build our platforms.
Building a platform equates to building a readership. If no one is reading your books, I hate to say this, but publishers won't be likely to offer a second contract.
How do we build a platform? Ask God. He'll give you creative ideas. He'll tell you how much time and dime to put into marketing, etc. Then don't spend one less second or one more cent than what He tells you. Ask God to draw people to your books. I promise, if you have honored Him with your work, He will.
In building a platform, don't be fake. Don't reach out to readers simply to get books sales. Nothing is more annoying than an agenda-driven blog post or someone on Facebook constantly talking about themselves. I know this because I've made the mistake in my not understanding how to go about things. We are told to market yet not shown really how.
In asking God about marketing, wanna know what He told me? He told me, "Don't market, Cheryl. Just love your readers. Love them like I love them."
Wow. Will that sell books? Who cares. It's not about selling books. It's about loving people. Books should encourage people, make them laugh and hopefully draw them to God. That encouragement is an extension of love.
The best way to market is to write darn good books. Aim for excellence with virtue. In marketing, let your motivation be to care about people. To really get to know them and know what you have to offer them, not seek friendship dependant on what they can do for you.
Matthew 7 teaches us how to treat each other. Verse 24 (NIV) says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock..."
Platform=foundation. Build it on Him. He is love.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
I have a new book by the delightful Lyn Cote to tell you about from Love Inspired. Check it out!
About the book:
Lawyer Eleanor Washburn defends wayward teenagers and supervises volunteers for Habitat for Humanity without missing a beat. But she is unnerved by fascinating single dad Pete Beck—especially since his chaotic life includes a little girl wishing for a mother. Sweet Cassie has Eleanor yearning for what's been missing from her lonely existence. Soon, both dad and daughter are chipping away at Eleanor's defenses. Can she find the courage to risk losing her heart to this ready-made family?
About the author: When Lyn Cote became a mother, she gave up teaching, and while raising a son and a daughter, she began working on her first novel. Rejection followed. Finally in 1997, Lyn got "the call." Her first book, Never Alone, was chosen for the brand new Love Inspired romance line. Since then, Lyn has had over thirty-five novels published. In 2006 Lyn's book, Chloe, was a finalist for the RITA, and her book Her Patchwork Family and Her Healing Ways were finalists for the Carol Award in 2010 & 2011,, two of the highest awards in romance. Lyn also features stories of strong women both from real life and true to life fiction on her blog http://BooksbyLynCote.com Writing books at her lake cottage in northern Wisconsin, Lyn hopes her books show the power of divine and human love.
Learn more at
For the latest Christian Fiction Market Update go to Lyn's publisher updates here.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I have a new book to tell you about by an amazingly gifted author, Donita K. Paul. Here's the scoop on Dragons of the Watch. Be sure to pick up the others in this series too!
About the book:
With the final installment of the “Twilight” film series scheduled to be released in October, vampires and zombies are set to be among the year’s most popular Halloween costumes. Many parents feel torn between their child’s love for imagination and not wanting to encourage the darker side of fantasy. How can they encourage reading and wonder, but without all the junk? Meeting that precise need, popular and trusted author Donita K. Paul brings us her newest tale of dragons, adventure and faith in The Dragons of the Watch (October 4, 2011 from WaterBrook Press).
The Chronicles of Chiril continue as Ellie and Bealomondore find themselves trapped in an isolated city guarded by dragons and separated from everything they know and love. How can they escape? Along the way they meet a group of wild children and a very old man, whose needs they must meet before they can find their way home. With the help of the dragons of the watch, they discover that their fate depends upon their ability to recognize and step in line with the Creator’s will.
Mrs. Paul has created a fascinating and detailed world where dragons and humans “mindspeak,” tiny creatures are heroes, and gateways serve as doors to an entirely different place and experience. With a warm, accessible and humorous tone, lots of action, and avoidance of the heavy, dark elements found in much of today's fantasy fiction, The Dragons of the Watch is a great family read. On a deeper level, it also encourages discussion of how to interact with those who do not share one’s faith in a foreign culture or one’s own city. The book includes a map and a glossary of characters and terms, and fans can go even deeper at DonitaKPaul.com with puzzles, recipes, resources for aspiring writers and links for homeschooling families.
Here is an excerpt:
Ellie sat on her favorite boulder and looked Tak right in the eyes, telling him what was on her mind. “Gramps shouldn’t have taught me to read.”
Tak responded as he usually did when he received Ellie’s confidences. He lowered his head, placing it on her knee for a rub.
Ellie obliged her pet, stroking the white hair between his nubby horns with one hand while digging in the pocket of her homespun pinafore with the other. The mountain breeze toyed with the paper she withdrew. With difficulty, she smoothed the small poster out on her other knee. Dirty and wrinkled, it still made her heart beat a little faster.
Royal Wedding and Coronation:
Prince Jayrus, Dragonkeeper and Paladin
All invited to the celebration.
“All invited. But Efficinderpart Clarenbessipawl and her goat Tak can't come. No chaperone, no travel. Ma and Da aren't interested. And Gramps just laughs. 'You'll see. You'll see.' is all he says. He should take me himself.”
Her younger brother’s shrill yell came from the knoll rising out of the river to the east. “Ellie! Ellie!”
He stood on the hill, grinning like a bear with a paw in the honey hive and his face red from running. His stubby tumanhofer body bounced with excitement. He held his fists above his head and whirled them around in circles. Something had set him off.
She stood and hollered back. “You be calling me by my proper name out in the open ‘n at the top of your lungs, Gustustharinback. Ma will tan yer hide if she’s finding out you disgrace the family with such shabby care of our dignity.”
When he saw her, he cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, “Yere wanted at home. Itta be good news.”
That information didn’t impress her. Probably a delivery of the bolt of muslin ordered, which meant she’d be cutting and dying lengths for making new clothes. Not exciting news at all.
“Can it wait?” She gestured behind her to the scattered goat herd. “I’ll have to gather Tak’s clan if I’m to come home now.”
“I’ll come help you.” Gus charged down the hill toward the footbridge across the river.
Ellie stared at him for a moment with her mouth hanging open. The good news had nothing to do with cloth. Her brother would never voluntarily come help bring the goats in for something as mundane as new clothes. And he scurried down the path, slipping some on the loose rocks. But the precarious descent did not slow him a bit. Even in the narrower patches where exposed roots of arranndon bushes tripped careless hikers, her sturdy brother skidded downward.
Folding the Royal Celebration notice into a small square, Ellie stuffed it back in her pocket. She turned away from watching her brother’s progress and nudged the goat. “Come on, Tak. You find the nannies, and I’ll find the billies.”
Ellie went one direction and Tak another. In a few minutes, she located the fifteen goats who regularly hung together. Mostly young males, these animals preferred the rockier terrain. She suspected it had to do with their perpetual game of I’m-up-highest.
She clicked her tongue and tapped her staff on a rock. Their heads rose as if all attached to the same string though they didn’t come right away. Each one chewed what was in their mouths and casually left their places one by one. Taking a serene amble down the hillside, they passed her, heading toward the bridge and home.
When the last one clomped by, Ellie rested her staff on her shoulder and followed. Tak already had the nannies plodding along the bank toward the footbridge. Gustustharinback trailed the nannies and carried the smallest of the baby goats in his arms.
He shouted when he caught sight of his sister. “Hurry! Aunt and Uncle Blamenyellomont are at the house. I can’t tell you the surprise, and I’m gonna burst with keeping my tongue from waggin’ and you from knowin’.”
She tapped her staff on the rock beneath her feet. The billies scampered before her, picking up her impatience and gratefully heading for home. Even after eating all day, they appreciated the handfuls of button-grain they got from the farmer’s younger children.
With the goat hooves pounding on the wooden bridge, Ellie couldn’t hear or be heard. So she waited until she’d caught up with her brother on the other side.
“What’s with all the folderol, Gus?”
She watched as he forced a glare onto his face, erasing the impudent grin he’d been wearing. “You are to call me by my proper name if I have to call you by yours.”
“There’s a difference between shouting ‘Ellie’ and speaking ‘Gus’ quietly.” She grabbed his arm. “Now tell me, or I’ll toss you into the river.”
He pressed his lips together and gave her his most obstinate glower. The corners of his lips twitched, and she knew he wanted to laugh. She let go. She couldn’t really dunk him while he carried the small kid.
“Why are aunt and uncle here?”
“Can’t tell you that either. But they’s only stopping, not staying. We better hurry.”
Ellie lost Gustustharinback’s help as soon as they came in sight of the pens. He scuttled down the last hill and opened the gate but then ran through the goat barn, across the yard, and into the house.
Cheryl here...did you like that?
Purchase Dragons of the Watch on:
Barnes and Noble
Mrs. Paul has also released a prairie romance, Taming the Wild Wind. Check out her website for details.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I have another fabulous book which has two stories by outstanding authors, Debby Mayne and Trish Perry. I love the cover on this, don't you?
Bio: Award-winning novelist Trish Perry has written nine inspirational romances for Harvest House Publishers, Summerside Press, and Barbour Publishing, as well as two devotionals for Summerside Press. She has served as a columnist and as a newsletter editor over the years, as well as a 1980s stockbroker and a board member of the Capital Christian Writers organization in Washington, D.C. She holds a degree in Psychology.
Trish just released Love Finds You on Christmas Morning, written with Debby Mayne. Her nostalgic romance novel, Unforgettable (Summerside Press), released in March and Tea for Two, Book Two in her Millicent’s Tea Shop series (Harvest House), released in April. She invites you to visit her at www.TrishPerry.com
About the book: Love finds a home on Christmas morning in two heartwarming holiday stories.
Deck the Halls (Debby Mayne): In 1925, the wealthy William Tronnier becomes smitten with the lovely but penniless Lillian Pickard. Not one to give up easily, William pursues Lillian even though she does everything in her power to resist falling in love with a man from a completely different social class. As Christmas descends on the picturesque town of Cary, North Carolina, William plans to make Lillian a proposal she can’t refuse.
‘Tis the Season (Trish Perry): When personal chef Nikki Tronnier moves back home to Cary, North Carolina, she plans to fulfill a lifelong dream and buy back the family home built by her great-grandfather for his bride. But before she is able to make an offer, someone else buys the house. Just as she prepares for a fight, she learns that the very person who stole her dream is the man who has also stolen her heart. Unaware, handsome new owner, Drew Cornell, seeks Nikki’s help in restoring the home to its historic beauty in time for Christmas.
Barnes and Noble purchase link.
Christianbook.com purchase link.
Amazon purchase link.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Here's another great book by a fantabulous author!
Against the backdrop of 1901 Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and the surrounding countryside, one simple kiss draws two people into a discovery that will forever change their lives.
Marriage seems the only option for Keara McBride and Elam Jensen after Keara's father gambles away her home and ends up in jail, and Elam's children need a mother's care. When the Jensens seal their vows at the altar with a kiss, however, their marriage of convenience seems much less convenient. The first kiss they share before a church filled with witnesses ignites a beacon of attraction that leaves them both feeling guilty. Elam's wife, Gloria--who was also Keara's best friend--has been dead less than a year. How can they betray her like this? And yet...oh, that kiss. When a stranger who bears a striking resemblance to Gloria shows up injured on the front porch on Elam and Keara's wedding night, the whole family is thrown into confusion, suspense and danger. But does this stranger also hold a key to the Jensens' future happiness?
Published by Summerside Press
The Wedding Kiss on Amazon.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
I am very excited to recommend this book to you. Margaret Daley is an amazing author, mentor and friend. I hope you enjoy this story. Be sure to order it online or ask for it in stores.
Here's the scoop:
“A wonderful love story in the American Tapestries series with characters who are trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives after the War of 1812. Daley turns the ugliness of war into a new beginning for the ones who pick up the pieces. Her characters are willing to do what they need to in order to survive, but also are willing to give a friendly hand to those around them.”
Reviewed By: Patsy Glans from RT
From This Day Forward
By Margaret Daley
Rachel Gordon is stranded in South Carolina, pregnant, a recent widow when her husband fell overboard on the voyage to America. Nathan Stuart, a physician who came home from serving in the American army during the War of 1812, disenchanted with his life and the Lord, rescues Rachel and saves her life. Feeling responsible for her, Nathan tries to discourage her from living at a rundown farm her husband bought to start a new future in America. He wants her to return to England.
Rachel refuses to go back to England where her father disowned her for marrying against his wishes. The farm is all she has, and she is determined to make it on her own. But Nathan has other ideas and becomes her farmhand to discourage her from staying in America. Instead he ends up protecting her and being challenged by her. Can two wounded people heal each other?
Chapter One Excerpt:
“We are going to die,” Rachel Gordon’s young maid cried out.
Rachel looked up at the clouds rolling in. Dark, ominous ones. She shivered and pulled her shawl tighter about her as the breeze picked up. A storm brewed, and she still had several miles to go until she reached her new home in South Carolina. “God willing, we will make it, Maddy.”
Fear deepened the lines on Maddy’s plain face. “’Tis like the squall on the boat.”
Lightning flashed, momentarily brightening the shadows of the forest. A clap of thunder rumbled the ground. Maddy screamed. The old gelding that pulled the cart—all Rachel’s meager coins could afford—increased its speed, weaving from side to side. Out of control.
Determined to be there before nightfall and in one piece, Rachel gripped the reins and fought to slow the maddening pace of the horse. Finally it resumed its plodding step. The weather-beaten cart she had bought near the dock in Charleston hit a bump in the road, jostling her into Maddy. Her maid clutched the seat with one hand and held onto Rachel with the other.
Steadying herself, Rachel rested her wrists on her rounded stomach. She had more than herself and Maddy to worry about now. Her life had changed so much since she left her ancestral home in England. She had married, conceived a child, and was now a widow, all in the space of a year. And worse, she was going to a place she had never seen because she had nowhere else to go. Her husband had used most of their money to purchase this plantation she was traveling to. It was her future, whether she wanted it to be or not.
The warmth of a spring day quickly faded as the sky grew blacker. Rachel stared at the menacing clouds through the treetops and realized she would not make it to her new home before the storm broke. She scanned the area for a place to seek shelter.
Sinister shadows lurked just beyond the road. Again she shivered, her imagination conjuring images of wild animals staring at her from the depths of the forest. She’d heard stories about the bears. Huge. Fierce. Sharp teeth and claws. Shifting on the seat, she darted a glance from side to side, feeling as though she were some beast’s next meal. She could not stop, even if it poured down rain.
Oh, how she missed England, with its gently rolling hills and refined beauty—not this raw wilderness. Like a fish floundering on land, she did not belong here. Nothing in her life had prepared her for this strange environment.
Drops of water spattered her. The wind picked up.
“That man on the boat told me about a big cat. They are out there.” Maddy whimpered, draping her shawl over her head and hunching her shoulders. “Lord, have mercy on us.”
Rachel forced herself to keep her gaze fixed on the road ahead. Once they were at the plantation Maddy would settle down. The squall two days out of Charleston had nearly sunk the ship they had traveled in. Surely this storm would not be as bad.
Taking deep breaths, Rachel calmed her racing thoughts and heartbeat. Pain spread through her lower back. She gripped the reins, the leather digging into her palms. The pain dulled to an ache. Another deep inhalation and the panic nibbling at her composure abated. Soon she would be at her new home and could sit in front of a warm fire, put her legs up, and rest. Hopefully the letter her husband had sent ahead would alert any staff to her arrival. Her glance strayed to the tall pine trees, swaying in the gust. Everything would be all right when she arrived at Dalton Plantation.
But even with Maddy next to her on the seat, the feeling she was the only person in the world overwhelmed her.
The wind picked up, whipping strands of her long brown hair that had escaped its coiffure about her face and threatening to whisk away her bonnet. Lightning zigzagged across the sky, followed by thunder. Maddy jumped in her seat. The gelding’s ears flattened.
A chill embedded itself deep in Rachel. She arched her back to ease the pang still plaguing her. Suddenly lightning struck a tree nearby, its flash a beacon in the growing darkness. A crack as the pine split into two pieces echoed through the forest.
Immediately afterward, a boom of thunder cleaved the air. Maddy shrieked. The horse increased its pace while a few more splotches of water splashed Rachel. Then all at once rain fell in gray sheets.
The gelding lurched forward even faster. Rachel grasped the reins, trying to maintain control. She pulled on the leather straps to slow the horse. Nothing. He kept galloping down the road, oblivious to his surroundings, as though the hounds of hell were nipping at his hooves.
Are you hooked? Go get the book and read the rest. I don't think you'll be sorry.
Check out more about this amazing author and woman of God on her website and blog.
Margaret is currently serving as President of American Christian Fiction Writers www.acfw.com
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Hey all, here's a new book to tell you about. This one is very unique. It has fabulous spiritual elements and the author is a devout follower of Jesus who writes from a Christian world view. This book would be a GREAT alternitive for teens who love secular vampire novels.
Here's the scoop!
PLAIN FEAR: FORSAKEN
Hannah Schmidt, a young Amish woman mourning the mysterious death of her beloved Jacob, must decide between two brothers, between good and evil. When she learns her first love is now the vampire Akiva, she must forsake him and cling to a new love, a lasting love, one that will save her soul.
"Amish and vampires? Really? Yes, really. I’m asked a lot how this book came into being. Forsaken actually began as a joke. I was at a book signing and another author and I made a joke about we should write an Amish/vampire story because those were the twogenres that were selling so well. Well, it really was a joke. I didn’t rushhome and start writing the book. But I suppose some seed was planted in my warped little brain and took root.
Soon a character was speaking to me about her story and wanting me to write it. I resisted. But there was a very intriguing element that I couldn’t seem to ignore. To me, this was a Phantom of the Opera type story, with a love triangle, and a clear dividing line between good and evil. So I wrote the prologue and first chapter. Then I set it aside because I was busy meeting other deadlines. Besides what was I to do with an Amish/vampire story?
I mentioned it eventually to a couple of writer friends. They laughed but in a good way and encouraged me to write it. Well, I wasn’t so sure although I was becoming obsessed with the story. I spent a lot of time in prayer over this book, because I don’t want to write something that God doesn’t want me to write. Also, I knew I’d have to leave the Christian market and sell it in the secular market. I wasn’t about to make that move without God’s clear direction. And he began to show me in more ways than one that this was the book He wanted me to write.
More than a year passed, and I was at a writer’s conference minding my own business and not pursuing this story at all. An editor said the perfect submission would be…you guessed it! An Amish/vampire story. So I made an appointment to meet that editor and just talk about the idea. It almost felt like when an addict first admits she has a problem. I felt like I was teetering on the edge when I said, “I’m a writer and I’ve written an Amish/vampire story.”
Well, she requested it. What I love about this story is that it shows the battle of good and evil. Evil doesn’t always appear with pitch fork and horns. Quite often, evil is appealing and attractive and hooks us in before we realize what has happened. Such is the case with my heroine Hannah. She simply loved a boy. But she opens her heart and her mind too easily and the consequences could be devastating. Even though this story is published in the secular world, it has a powerful spiritual message, a message the world needs to hear."
---Leanna Ellis-author of Forsaken
Winner of the National Readers Choice Award, Leanna Ellis writes women’s fiction. Known for her quirky characters and wacky plots, don’t let the quirkiness fool you as Ellis probes deep in the heart and plucks at the heartstrings. She livesdeep in the heart of Texas with her husband and children and an assortment of dogs and cats, including her crazy labradoodle, aka Hilo Monster, and her new kitten, Sawyer.
Forsaken's Amazon Link.
Forsaken Excerpt Link.
Leanna Ellis on Facebook.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Hi all! I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of American Christian Fiction Writers' 2011 Blog Tour. I am SOOO excited about conference! This year in praying about what to talk about, I felt like God wanted me to touch upon a few things but mainly how ACFW is not only a wise business investment but a means to mentor.
The most common question I’ve been asked since being published has been, “How did you do it?” My answer is always, unequivocally, “With the help of others who were willing to mentor me.” The next question (especially if the asker is also an aspiring author or a closet writer) is usually, “How did you meet them?”
When I first started writing, I had no idea there were online communities or writers conferences. By God’s leading, I found the Steeple Hill (now Love Inspired Books) message boards where I met people like Margaret Daley, Allie Pleiter, Deborah Clopton, Mae Nunn, Lenora Worth and others who heavily encouraged me to join ACFW. Joining the organization and going to their conference were the two most common (and most beneficial!) pieces of advice I received from published authors.
I’m so glad I listened!
I know that I know that I know that ACFW is the largest contributing reason to the fact that I’m published today and that my career and my craft continue to grow. The ACFW conference is a place where you can come face to face and heart to heart with people who are willing to reach back and help you along in the way of mentoring, just as they have been helped by someone a little ahead of them on the road. The face-to-face networking with other authors, agents and editors is absolutely crucial in my opinion if you are serious about being a career writer.
It might seem like a huge amount to spend but think of it as a business expense/business trip. In publishing, so much of the work and time and money is front loaded. But with any start-up business, the money has to be invested on the front end.
Yes, conference is expensive but the benefits you receive from going will last a lifetime. The conference is unique in that it focuses solely on fiction. It is also very God-centered. You will come home spiritually refreshed if you let God have his way.
If you’re not in a place where you need a mentor, how about going in order to mentor someone else in a casual way? Every year I hear of people (usually first-time attendees) who are so frightened and nervous that they spend the entire conference secluded in their rooms. This deeply saddens me and I always wish I knew who those people were because I’d go knock on their door, give them a hug and then a good tug and bring them downstairs into the fold to see the friendship and blessings they are missing.
Look outside of your circle of friendship to see if God can help you spot someone who feels alone or overwhelmed or scared.
I guarantee they are EVERYWHERE.
Ask God for discernment to show you who is in need of a friend, someone to reach out even if they look confident on the outside. I urge you to go with a heart to serve the organization and others. You can never out give God!
I believe that everyone has something to give and something to receive at conference. I hope you will step aside and give God room for His agenda. Open your heart to be mentored and to be a friend to someone who might be scared out of their wits. People are worth the investment of time and money and heart. The future of your writing career and the connections you will make are worth it.
We dearly hope to see you at the conference in September!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Hey all, here is another book recommendation by an author I'm fond of. This one is unique in that it is an ebook by a popular author before ebooks were popular! How's that for a riddle? LOL.
Check out Rachel's book and consider downloading it onto your ereader or computer.
Long before the Kindle, the Nook, or the Sony reader. Long before the iPad was a spark in Steve Job's eye, I sold an e-book. I'd written this rancher girl story for Heartsong but they had a book very similar coming out by Kathleen Y'barbo (don't think I've let her forget it) so they turned me down.
Writer's-Exchange was leading the way in those days in epublishing, a small venue from Australia, my second favorite country, so I sold them Belle and Burke's story.
With the advent of e-readers, this story is finding a new audience and I thought I'd share it with you. As the used cars sales men say, "It's priced to sell!"
Here's what a reader said about This Time
This story made me feel hope, that all wrongs can be righted and that something you believe is gone forever can come back to you. Belle and Burke are great characters.I recommend this book. --One of my favorite Rachel Hauck books
About the book:
Oklahoma Rancher Belle Jamison's world topples when her best friend announces that Burke Benning, their former classmate and an NFL superstar running back, is coming to their fifteenth class reunion to act as Master of Ceremonies. Twelve years earlier the handsome athlete broke Belle's heart by deserting her minutes before their wedding ceremony.
Burke's retirement from professional football brings him home to Haskell for good. While his new career in life is uncertain, he knows he must deal with his hurtful actions toward Belle. A mountain of unspoken words looms between them and only the grace and peace of God can help them overcome.
Seeing Burke stirs the love and pain Belle still has hidden in her heart. As they rebuild their friendship and rekindle a lost love, Belle must choose to forget and trust him once more.
Will their desire for love overcome the devastation of the past? This time, will their love last?
Link to the book is here.
To learn more about Rachel, visit her web site here.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Recommending another wonderful read by a fantastic author. Check it out!
by Deborah Raney
Forever After is the second book in Deborah Raney's Hanover Falls Novels series from Howard/Simon & Schuster. The first novel in the series, Almost Forever, won the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit.
Synopsis: Lucas Vermontez was a proud firefighter like his father. Now, not only has he lost his father and his best friend, Zach, in the fire at the Grove Street Homeless Shelter, but the devoted rookie can no longer do the work he loves after being crippled in the tragic event. When friendship with his buddy's beautiful widow turns into more, he wonders what he could possibly offer Jenna. Jenna Morgan is trying to grieve her husband's death like a proper widow, but the truth is, she never really loved Zach. His death feels more like a relief to her. But that relief is short-lived when she loses her home and the financial support of her in-laws. Now the secrets of her past threaten to destroy her future. Almost Forever, Book 1 in the Hanover Falls Novels series, won the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in 2011.
DEBORAH RANEY's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after 20 happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Her books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Deb also serves on the Advisory Board of the 2500-member American Christian Fiction Writers. Her 20th novel released this month from Howard/Simon & Schuster. She and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy tending wildflowers and native grasses in the Kansas prairie garden in their large back yard. They also love traveling together to conferences, and to visit four children and three little grandsons who all live much too far away.
Visit Deb's website here.
Here is the book trailer:
Thursday, June 16, 2011
It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that after the writing of this recommended book, Stephen Bly passed away. He is sadly missed in the writing community, as well as among readers. I hope that you will pick up copies of this book by an outstanding author. Please keep his wife Janet Bly, also a writer, in your prayers.
About the book:
Catherine's got to escape from her hometown in Virginia. She heads west to marry a childhood friend she hasn't seen in 17 years. She needs a fresh start and he's got a booming business in Paradise Springs. She'll do almost anything to get there. . .except reveal her true last name.
Race heads west set to avenge his brother's death, with a body aching for sleep, and determined to avoid the conniving lady with a throw-away heart. But it's a long, cramped, chaotic train ride from Omaha to Sacramento.
The only thing these two agree upon: they despise each other. And something evil's on board. As they gnaw on each other's nerves, a holdup, hijack, kidnapping and gold mine swindle shove them together, then push them apart. Fiery, opinionated and quick to react, can they team up long enough to throw the devil off the train?
Stephen Bly was a Christy Award winner for westerns and author of 105 books of fiction and nonfiction, some of them co-authored with wife, Janet. They live in north-central Idaho at 4,000 ft. elev. on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. They had 3 married sons, 4 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild.
Throw The Devil Off The Train can be ordered through your favorite local or online bookstore, such as www.Amazon.com. It's also available through Blybooks.com
Here is a Stephen's Elk Chili recipe in Stephen's own words:
Many of you have asked me. . .well, only one, maybe two. . .for my world famous recipe for chili. This is an expected and anticipated dish at every Wild Game Feed potluck at our northern Idaho church each November. It’s also a staple at our Broken Arrow Crossing events in the summer. Broken Arrow Crossing is the false-front town I’ve built beside our house. Wife Janet calls it our ‘theme yard.’
So, now the secret’s out. You can create your own chili sensation, Bly-style.
2-4 pounds of elk meat (for my pals in Quebec, that’s Wapiti meat)
1 16-ounce jar of Pace salsa (“medium” for most gringos; I prefer “hot”)
2 cans of Hormel Chili With Beans (life is too short to wait for beans to soak)
1 green bell pepper (make sure it’s crisp…the red or yellow bells will work good too)
Several fresh jalapeno peppers (don’t wimp out; leave the seeds)
An unending supply of Montreal Steak Seasoning
Red Tabasco Sauce
Apply for an out-of-state elk tag from the Idaho Fish & Game Department. Clean your Winchester 1895, 405 caliber rifle. Fly to Idaho and camp deep in the forest along the upper stretches of the north fork of the Clearwater River. Shoot your elk (whether you taxidermy the head or not is your decision). Pack meat in dry-ice and take it home with you on the plane. OR. . .accept that package of wild game meat your brother-in-law keeps trying to give you every Christmas.
The night before. . .put one cup of water, 2-4 pounds of elk (steak or roast) in the crock pot. Season with Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste. Turn that sucker on low, then go to bed.
Sometime the next day. . .drain most of the juices off the meat (yes, you can make elk gravy for breakfast, provided you don’t put it on biscuits that come out of a tube). Place meat in very large pan (the one on the bottom shelf at the back that takes forever to yank out). Dump in your two cans of Hormel Chili Beans (or more if you’re feeding the starting offensive line of the Green Bay Packers, or their equivalent). Important note: never use cheap canned beans that taste like they were soaked in fast food restaurant catsup.
Gut out your bell pepper and carve it into ½ inch squares, then sauté (that means fry ‘em in a skillet, but don’t burn ‘em black or let ‘em get mushy). Toss them in the big pan.
Cut the stems off the jalapenos, quarter them and toss them in. If your fingers blister while cutting the peppers, you have to invite me over for supper. Add a bunch more Montreal Steak Seasoning (bunch=6 tads) and red Tabasco.
Stir everything together and simmer the chili for an hour or so. (Simmer is what happens when you ought to throw another log in the stove, but you wait until half-time of the football game and the fire almost goes out.)
Now, it’s time for the taste test. After stirring the chili again (wooden spoons seem to be less susceptible to corrosion), take a small taste. You may want to add more Tabasco. (Note: if an obnoxious nephew is visiting, let him test the chili. It’s about right if he spends the rest of the day out in the yard with his head buried in leaves, sand, or snow.)
Serving size: this varies. Most times, the bowl is scraped clean with only 10 to 12 people. But, with luck, there will be some leftovers and you’ll get to have it cold for breakfast for several days.
Cheryl Wyatt on behalf of Janet and the late, great Steve Bly.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Hey gang, here is another wonderful book by an outstanding author. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Donita's dragon stories. They're for all ages, and would make GREAT gifts for teen and tween readers as well as adults in your life who love fantasy fiction.
Here's the info. Pick up the book and enjoy!
ABOUT THE STORY:
Before DragonSpell, on a different continent and a different time, a young emerlindian’s desperate decision threatens to disrupt the foundation of the world.
Tipper has been caring for her family’s estate for years now, ever since her father disappeared, making a living by selling off his famous artwork. Then she learns that three statues she sold were carved from an ancient foundation stone, and the fabric of her reality is crumbling. She must find the three statues and reunite them, positioned exactly in the right form.
She must free her father and save the world. But she can’t do it alone.
Her ragtag band of adventurers includes Beccaroon, a giant parrot; Bealomondore, an aristocratic young artist; a handsome dragonkeeper prince; the Wizard Fenworth; and the tumanhofer librarian Librettowit. Together they travel through valleys and kingdoms and consort with purveyors of good and agents of evil to find and reunite the missing statues. Will they learn to rely on Wulder’s grace and guidance along the way?
Dragons of the Watch will be the last book in this series. It comes out in October.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Donita K. Paul retired early from teaching school, but soon got bored! The result: a determination to start a new career. Now she is an award-winning novelist writing Christian Romance and Fantasy. She says, “I feel blessed to be doing what I like best.”
She mentors all ages, teaching teenagers and weekly adult writing workshops.
“God must have imprinted 'teacher' on me clear down to the bone. I taught in public school, then home schooled my children, and worked in private schools. Now my writing week isn’t very productive unless I include some time with kids.”
Her two grown children make her proud, and her two grandsons make her laugh.
Visit Donita's website here.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Recommending a new Love Inspired book by fab friend and author, Roxanne Rustand.
Here's the info!
About the book:
SECOND CHANCE DAD is a story about a newly graduated physical therapist who will do everything she can to give her son the safe and nurturing life he needs. The hero is a former emergency room doctor who is filled with guilt and remorse about a car accident that took the life of his pregnant wife. He is disabled and has walled himself away from living, but she cannot give up on him or she may lose the one job that will allow her to stay in the town where her son is receiving the special programs he needs.
Roxanne Rustand is an award-winning author of thirty romance and romantic suspense novels. She also contributed to the serial mystery, ORCHESTRATED MURDER (a trade paperback for Iowa Public Radio.) She now writes inspirational fiction, and is completely thrilled about this change in her career!
Back in 1995, Roxanne’s first manuscript won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart in Long Contemporary, and in 1998 her second manuscript was a Golden Heart finalist. More recently, A Man She Can Trust (a February, 2006 release) won RT Bookclub Magazine‘s award for Best Superromance of 2006.
Roxanne was nominated for RT’s Career Achievement Award in 2005.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, International Thriller Writers, RWA, Author’s Guild, Novelists Inc., the Faith, Hope and Love chapter of RWA, RWA’s Mystery & Suspense Chapter, Christian Writer’s Group International, and the Heart of Iowa Fiction Authors.
Out on their acreage, Roxanne and her husband have three horses, two border collie mixes (one adopted from a shelter–a sweetie named Elmo), and an abundance of barn cats who much prefer cat food to mice. Roxanne has a Master’s Degree in nutrition, is a registered dietitian, and until leaving her position to write full time, she worked as a clinical dietitian at a residential psychiatric facility.
Visit her website here.
Monday, May 16, 2011
New book recommendation! Rachel included a recipe...see below and enjoy!
Here's the scoop on the book from Rachel, amazing author and ACFW conference worship leader. Don't miss this great read!
Dining with Joy by Rachel Hauck
Thanks for having me today!
I’m no genius in the kitchen, but my heroine, Joy Ballard, finds herself doing a job she can’t do for all the right reasons. She’s a cooking show host who can’t cook!
When I started this book, that premise got a good laugh from those who heard it. Then, I’d ask, “But what’s that story about?”
The person would shrug. “I don’t know.”
“Yeah, me neither.”
I had to ask a lot of questions about what a woman hosts a cooking show when she can’t so much as fry eggs. I didn’t want an insincere, lying heroine. She’s not a manipulator or conniver.
Joy simply found herself filling a job she was asked to do – by her father. She was great in front of the camera. Just not behind the stove.
Not long ago, I stood on stage at church with my worship team praying before the service started. Head back, eyes close, I said in my heart, “Lord, help us. You have to help me. I’m so weak in leading worship. I cannot do it without You.”
While I’m a decent singer, and I can lead the people to worship Jesus, I’m not a musician. I’m not one who can skillfully bring the band and the worship sound together. And until I found myself with a “starting over” band, I never realized how gaping this weakness was for me.
A few days later, I was thinking of all the great worship leaders, singers and musicians. Of great writers. And I just felt weak and inadequate in the two main callings of my life.
Again, I went to the Lord. “Why can’t You find a good worship leader for church? Why can’t you help me be a more successful writer? I see people who are good at what they do, succeeding.”
This is what He said to me. “… most people won’t give me their weaknesses.”
I was stopped cold. I understood that a lot of times God invites us on a journey to participate with Him in some aspect of our lives or others, but because we are not good at that thing, or because we are weak with fear or shame or whatever, we say no.
It’s in our weaknesses His strength is manifest. God is not looking for mighty men and women, He’s looking for weak men and women in which HE can show His might.
Don’t misunderstand, God loves excellence, skill and devotion. While leading worship practices, I have to be excellent as I can be to bring the team and songs together.
I’ll never have a recording or national ministry as a worship leader, but for our little church in Florida, I’m God’s girl. For now.
That, in some ways, is Joy’s journey. She said yes to her father’s desire.
Can we say “Yes?” to our Father’s desire for us? Offer Him all of our strengths AND weaknesses? He’s more than willing to overcome.
In my story, Joy’s secret is revealed and takes a pretty good tumble, but love is waiting to catch her. In the form of cowboy chef and hero, Luke Redmond.
Sigh… Love wins.
One of the things Joy discovers along the way his her father’s banana bread recipe. It’s delish!
Here it is:
Charles Ballard’s Banana Bread
From Connie Spangler
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1t. baking soda
3 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
1/4 cup plus 1 T. buttermilk
1/2 cup choc. chips
1/2 cup p.butter chips
In a large bowl stir together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine eggs, bananas, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in chips. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until it tests done. Cool on a rack 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Tips for baking banana bread:
DON'T over mix the batter, just until moistened. Banana bread is always best if after its cooled to wrap up and serve the next day.
Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and writes books from the second floor of what she calls her “turret tower.” A gift from the Lord. Besides “Dining with Joy,” Rachel has written fourteen other novels. Also out is “Softly and Tenderly” which Rachel wrote with country artist, Sara Evans.
Visit her web site here.
Monday, May 02, 2011
Here's a new book by Angela Hunt that I am recommending for you. This is very poignant and one you won't want to miss.
About the book:
The Fine Art of Insincerity
Three Southern sisters with nine marriages between them — and more looming on the horizon – travel to St. Simons Island to empty their late grandmother’s house. Ginger, the eldest, wonders if she’s the only one who hasn’t inherited what their family calls “the Grandma Gene”— the tendency to enjoy the casualness of courtship more than the intimacy of marriage. Could it be that her sisters are fated to serially marry, just like their seven-times wed grandmother, Lillian Irene Harper Winslow Goldstein Carey James Bobrinski Gordon George? It takes a “girls only” weekend, closing up Grandma’s memory-filled beach cottage for the last time, for the sisters to unpack their family baggage, examine their relationship DNA, and discover the true legacy their much-marrying grandmother left behind.
The Fine Art of Insincerity is a stunning masterpiece. I was pulled into the lives of Ginger, Pennyroyal and Rosemary--sisters touched by tragedy, coping in their own ways. So real, so powerful. Pull out the tissues! This one will make you cry, laugh, and smile. I recommend it highly. --Traci DePree, author of The Lake Emily series
“Only Angela Hunt could write a relationship novel that’s a page-turner! As one of three sisters, I can promise you this: Ginger, Penny, and Rose Lawrence ring very true indeed. Their flaws and strengths make them different, yet their shared experiences and tender feelings make them family. From one crisis to the next, the Lawrence sisters are pulled apart, then knit back together, taking me right along with them. I worried about Ginger one moment, then Penny, and always Rose—a sure sign of a good novel, engaging both mind and heart. Come spend the weekend in coastal Georgia with three women who clean house in more ways than one!”
Liz Curtis Higgs, best-selling author of Here Burns My Candle
THE FINE ART OF INSINCERITY
“You can’t tell your sisters,” my grandmother once told me, “what I’m about to tell you.”
I listened, eyes big, heart open wide.
“Of all my grandchildren—” her hands spread as if to encompass a crowd infinitely larger than myself and my two siblings—“you’re my favorite.”
Then her arms enfolded me and I breathed in the scents of Shalimar and talcum powder as my face pressed the crepey softness of her cheek.
My grandmother married seven times, but not until I hit age ten or eleven did I realize that her accomplishment wasn’t necessarily praiseworthy. When Grandmother’s last husband died on her eighty-third birthday, she mentioned the possibility of marrying again, but I put my foot down and told her no more weddings. I suspect my edict suited her fine, because Grandmom always liked flirting better than marrying.
Later, one of the nurses at the home mentioned that my grandmother exhibited a charming personality quirk—“Perpetual Childhood Disorder,” she called it. PCD, all too common among elderly patients with dementia.
But Grandmother didn’t have dementia, and she had exhibited symptoms of PCD all her life. Though I didn’t know how to describe it in my younger years, I used to consider it a really fine quality.
During the summers when Daddy shipped me and my sisters off to Grandmom’s house, she used to wait until Rose and Penny were absorbed in their games, then she would call me into the blue bedroom upstairs. Sometimes she’d let me sort through the glass beaded “earbobs” in her jewelry box. Sometimes she’d sing to me. Sometimes she’d pull her lace-trimmed hanky from her pocketbook, fold it in half twice, and tell me the story of the well-dressed woman who sat on a bench and fell over backward. Then she’d flip her folded hankie and gleefully lift the woman’s skirt and petticoat, exposing two beribboned legs.
No matter how large her audience, the woman knew how to entertain.
I perched on the edge of the big iron bed and listened to her songs and stories, her earbobs clipped to the tender lobes of my ears, enduring the painful pinch because Grandmother said a woman had to suffer before she could be beautiful. Before I pulled off the torturous earbobs and left the room, she would draw me close and swear that out of all the girls in the world, I was the one she loved most.
Not until years later did I learn that she drew my sisters aside in the same way. I suppose she wanted to make sure we motherless girls knew we were treasured. But in those moments, I always felt truly special.
And for far too long, I believed her.
© 2012 by Angela Hunt, used by permission. Do not reprint without permission. For more information, visit www.angelahuntbooks.com
Order Angie's book here.
To download the Angela Hunt iPhone/iPad app, go here.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Hey all! I have another great book by talented author, Trish Perry.
About Trish: Award-winning novelist Trish Perry has written eight inspirational romances for Harvest House Publishers, Summerside Press, and Barbour Publishing, as well as two devotionals for Summerside Press. She has served as a columnist and as a newsletter editor over the years, as well as a 1980s stockbroker and a board member of the Capital Christian Writers organization in Washington, D.C. She holds a degree in Psychology.
Trish’s latest novel, Unforgettable, released in March from Summerside Press and is also one of my recommended reads, and Tea for Two released in April. She invites you to visit her at www.TrishPerry.com
About Tea for Two:
Zack Cooper tries his best to raise his children, but he's losing his grip on them in their teen years. They've both had scrapes with the local law.
Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel has the perfect woman in mind to help Zack. Counselor Tina Milano meets weekly at the tea shop with her women's group. Milly encourages Zack and Tina to work together to draw the teens back before they get in even hotter water. Milly never thought things might heat up between Zack and Tina. Or did she?
Tina's connections with the Middleburg police department prove a mixed blessing for Zack and his kids. Both her best friend and old boyfriend are officers on the force.
And when Tina's women's group gets wind of her personal pursuits and clashes, they want to help. The group's meetings at the tea shop take on a slightly different flavor. Tina wonders who, exactly, is counseling whom.Hope you will check it out!
As an added bonus, Trish has provided the recipe for Chocolate mousse cake:
6 ounces crushed malt balls
8.8 ounce container mascarpone cheese
7 ounces heavy cream, whipped
3 seven ounce packages white chocolate & Macadamia cookies
1 cup Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur (for non-alcoholic version use Irish Crème coffee
10 ounces chopped dark chocolate
2 eggs (room temperature)
¼ cup caster sugar (very fine granulated sugar)
¾ cup heavy cream, whipped
Make chocolate mousse—
• In microwave-safe bowl, microwave chopped chocolate until almost melted,
stirring after each minute. Set aside to cool slightly.
• Beat eggs and caster sugar with electric beater for five minutes.
• Stir in cooled chocolate.
• Fold in ¾ cup whipped cream.
• Refrigerate until needed.
Set aside ¼ cup crushed malt balls.
Fold together mascarpone, 7 ounces whipped cream, and remaining malt balls. Remove
the base of an 8-inch spring form pan and place the ring on a large serving plate (ring
will serve as a mold for the cake). Cut a strip of parchment paper and line side of ring.
Dip cookies, one at a time, into liqueur and place in single layer in mold to cover base.
Spread half mascarpone mixture over cookies. Top with another layer of cookies dipped
Spread chocolate mousse over cookies. Top with one more layer of cookies dipped in
liqueur. Spread remaining mascarpone mixture over cookies and sprinkle with the ¼ cup
reserved malt balls.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. Then remove spring form, peel away parchment paper,
cut, and serve.ENJOY!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Howdy again! I have a delightful treat for you today...a recipe by author and friend Lyn Cote who has a WONDERFUL new book out. Here's the info! Hope you'll pick this one up.
Daddy in the Making is the 2nd installment in New Friends Street series but each book can stand alone. ISBN-13:978-0-373-87663-1
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired Romance
Released Apr 2011
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Brought together by a Matchmaking Dog--
Dr. Jake McClure’s basset hound has fallen in love. With a single mom, her adorable twins and the orphaned kittens they rescued. Man’s best friend suddenly won’t budge from Jeannie Broussard—and Jake can understand why. Jeannie is full of love, laughter and everything Jake has been missing in his life lately. As Jake spends time with Jeannie and her girls helping to build her Habitat for Humanity house and rescuing stray animals, a bond forges between them, and soon Jake is wondering if he’s the perfect fit in this fatherless family....
To purchase, drop by http://booksbylyncote.com/SWBS/
New Friends Street: Where love and dreams find a home.
When Lyn Cote became a mother, she gave up teaching, and while raising a son and a daughter, she began working on her first novel. Rejection followed. Finally, Lyn got "the call." Her first book, Never Alone, was chosen for the new Love Inspired romance line. Since then, Lyn has had over thirty novels published. In 2006 Lyn's book, Chloe, was a finalist for the RITA, one of the highest awards in the romance genre. And her Her Patchwork Family was a Carol finalist in the short historical category in 2010. Lyn’s brand “Strong Women, Brave Stories,” always includes three elements: a strong heroine who is a passionate participant in her times, authentic historical detail and a multicultural cast of characters.
Lyn also features stories of strong women both from real life and true to life fiction on her website homepage, http://www.LynCote.net. Lyn also can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
Drop by and "friend or follow" her. Now living her dream of writing books at her lake cottage in northern Wisconsin, Lyn hopes her books show the power of divine as well as human love.
One of the secondary characters in this book, Millie, is famous for her Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Here's Lyn's recipe.
Lyn Cote's Baked Macaroni
I adapted this recipe from my 1940 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. I've cut the fat content from the original and changed to whole wheat or SMART TASTE macaroni to up the fiber. So you can indulge with this recipe, knowing that it's healthy!
1 lb. whole wheat macaroni or Ronzoni Brand Smart Taste pasta (fortified with Calcium, Vitamin d and Fiber)
6 Tb butter or margarine
¾ c. flour
5 c. skim milk
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 lb grated medium cheddar cheese (Or if you want to give this a Mexican flavor, substitute pepper jack cheese.)
1 c. bread crumbs (or crushed tortilla chips)
Cook macaroni, drain and put into greased, deep casserole dish or bowl. Make the white sauce and take pan off heat (to keep the cheese from becoming stringy). Add 2/3rd's of the grated cheese. Stir till melted. Pour over macaroni. Sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs over top. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. May serve as side dish or main course.
Drop by http://www.LynCote.com to learn more about Lyn's literary concoctions. And catch up on her free read, La Belle Christiane, an original manuscript never published, a new scene every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Sunday, April 03, 2011
I'm recommending another wonderful book just in time for Mother's Day giving...
Here's the scoop!
THE STORY JAR
by Robin Lee Hatcher and Deborah Bedford
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A lovely novel of three women, their stories threaded together through the concept of
The Story Jar…
The jar itself is most unusual—not utilized in the ordinary way for canning or storing food, but as a collection point for memories. Some mementos in the jar—hair ribbons, a ring, a medallion--are sorrowful, others tender, some bittersweet. But all those memories eventually bring their owners to a place of hope and redemption in spite of circumstances that seemingly have no solution.
Fresh, insightful, yet courageous in the face of difficult life issues, this collaboration by two talented writers first profiles a pastor’s wife with two young daughters who faces cancer just as her own mother did before her; and then a remarried mother working through a difficult relationship with a rebellious runaway daughter. The third woman, alone with two teenaged boys who no longer pay much attention to her and seem headed for trouble, discovers the long-lost “story jar” and its significance. She comes to realize she can bring her own sorrows and frustrations to the feet of the Good Shepherd, the Great Physician, the Healer of the brokenhearted. She too will have memories for her own story jar.
“…It captures with surprising sensitivity…communion with God, and some excruciatingly exquisite moments of parental love…” Publishers Weekly
Included in the book are heart-warming tributes on motherhood fro novelists such as Jerry Jenkins, Francine, Rivers, Karen Ball, and Debbie Macomber.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She makes her home in Idaho where she enjoys spending time with her family, her high-maintenance Papillon, Poppet, and Princess Pinky, the kitten who currently terrorizes the household.
When Deborah Bedford isn't writing, she spends her time fly-fishing, cheering at American Legion baseball games, shopping with her daughter, singing praise songs while she walks along the banks of Flat Creek, and taking her dachshund Annie for hikes in the Tetons where they live.
A note from Robin:
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY JAR
by Robin Lee Hatcher
In September 1998, I received a story jar as a thank you gift after speaking at a writers’ conference in Nebraska. The small mason jar, the lid covered with a pretty handkerchief, was filled with many odds and ends – a Gerber baby spoon, an empty thread spindle, a colorful pen, several buttons, a tiny American flag, an earring, and more.
The idea behind this gift was a simple one. When a writer can’t think of anything to write, she stares at one of the objects in the jar and lets her imagination play. Who did that belong to? How hold was he? What sort of person was he? What does the object represent in his life?
Writers love to play the “what if” game. It’s how most stories come into being. Something piques their interest, they start asking questions, and a book is born.
A week after receiving my story jar, I attended a retreat with several writer friends of mine, Deborah Bedford included. On the flight home, I told Deborah about the jar. The next thing you know (after all, what better thing is there for writers to do on a plane than play “what if”?), we began brainstorming what would ultimately become The Story Jar. We decided very quickly that we wanted this to be a book that celebrates motherhood, that encourages mothers, that recognizes how much they should be loved and honored.
The Story Jar was first published by Multnomah in 2000, but eventually went out of print. Thus Deborah and I are delighted that Hendrickson wanted to bring it out in a new, revised version because we believe these stories can inspire others, just as it did this reader back in 2001:
"I am an avid book reader and have read thousands of books––maybe more––since the age of 5. I can honestly say that [The Story Jar] has touched me more than any other I have read. I cried, I laughed, and I relearned things that I had forgotten long ago as well as realizing things I never knew. Thank you for sharing your stories with your readers. They are truly inspiring. I plan on giving it to all the ‘mothers’ in my life for Mother's Day."
You don’t have to be a writer to want a story jar. It can be a family’s way of preserving memories. Consider having a family get-together where everybody brings an item to go into the jar, and as it drops in, they tell what it means to them, what it symbolizes. We can learn something new about our loved ones when we hear their memories in their own words. Or do what my church did a number of years ago to create a memory for a retiring pastor. Inspired by The Story Jar, members of the congregation brought items to the retirement dinner to put into a story jar or they simply wrote their memories on a piece of paper to go into the jar. It was our way of saying thanks to a man and wife for all of the years they’d given in God’s service.
A story jar can be a tool for remembering all the wonderful things God has done in our own lives. As Mrs. Halley said, not all of God’s miracles are in the Bible. He is still performing them today in countless ways today, changing lives, healing hearts.
In the grip of His grace,
Robin Lee Hatcher
Where to purchase:
The Story Jar on Amazon
The Story Jar on ChristianBook
Robin Lee Hatcher's Web site.
Deborah Bedford's Web site.
Enjoy the book...and your mom this season and always.