Welcome to my little bit of cyber-space. It is my prayer that all who enter here may be richly blessed by the God of all grace. All praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all my readers!

Thanks to all who have read and left comments on my blog posts this year. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Check back the first of January to see our latest winner and our new book contest.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Book Review--Longings of the Heart by Bonnie Leon

Have you ever wanted to take a trip to Australia? Well, you could watch the movie that is out by that name, or in the almost three hours it takes to view the movie, you could read and enjoy Longings of the Heart and enjoy a great story set there while learning about the history and scenery of Australia. And you won't even have to leave your nice warm house to drive to the theatre. (It's 5 degrees above zero here in KY as I type this!)

This book is the second in the author's Sydney Cove series. The first one is entitled To Love Anew, and they are both published by Revell. Here's some of the back cover copy to whet your appetite:

"Hannah and John have embraced the wondrous land of Australia as their own. As they venture into the unknown to start a sheep farm, they must rely on God and each other to scrape out a living and fulfill their dreams of having a family of their own. But life on the fledgling ranch is fraught with pitfalls and hidden danger. And the past is finally catching up with them.

When a mysterious woman shows up in town, Hannah is in danger of her own dark secrets being revealed. Can John and Hannah weather the storm? Or will the harsh realities of life tear them apart?"

I hope you will order this book from Revell or check for it at your local Christian bookstore so you can be swept away to the sunny shores of Australia. It's summertime down under!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Time for a new winner and new book review--A Taste of Murder by Virginia Smith

My fabulous hubby who does most of my book drawings has selected Karin as the winner of Rhapsody in Red, so the book will be in the mail as soon as she sends me her mailing info.

Anyone who posts this month will be eligible for a drawing on Jan. 1st for an autographed copy of A Taste of Murder by Virginia Smith. (see picture of Virginia and post on Nov. 2)

This is one of the five books I read this past month and I really enjoyed it. It is set in Owensboro, Ky which is just a couple hours' drive from where I live. Jasmine Delaney is a member of a musical ensemble which has been hired to play at a wedding in Owensboro during the Kentucky Bar-B-Q festival. Ginny Smith combines murder, a budding romance and lots of local color into an entertaining read which will keep you reading and turning pages. I was happy to read in her newsletter today that this book will be the first of a series of three, one highlighting each ensemble member. Check it out at www.VirginiaSmith.org and order some of her other books. Just remember to leave a post here this month if you wish to be entered in the drawing. The two rules are you must have a US mailing addy and I have to have some means of contacting you if you win. Happy reading!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Book Review--Rhapsody in Red by Donn Taylor

Well, this post is 28 days after my last one, but I did manage to keep my promise to post again this month. Barely! My husband and I returned this past Tuesday from a 10 day vacation--5 day cruise to Mexico and then a stay at Orange Beach, AL. I was without computer access the whole time, but did have plenty of time to read!

First I want to give my own personal review for Donn Taylor's book Rhapsody in Red. I will draw tomorrow, December 1st, then post the winner of this book. They are in for a real treat. Donn's writing and characters draw you in from the very start. There is a musical quality to his writing and a musical theme throughout the book that adds much to the storyline. I even suggest you play some of the classical pieces his hero, Preston Barkley, is hearing in his head, while you are reading this book, to heighten the mood and the effect of the words.

I don't want to give away much of the plot line other than the back cover blurb I quoted from in my last post. I will share that Donn is a master at working all the subplots together seamlessly into a whole that will keep you guessing who the murderer is because he introduces us to so many well-written red herrings that you may not figure out the villain until almost the very end like Professor Barkley. The last line of the book leads me to believe there will be a sequel, and I certainly hope so. Preston Barkley now seems like a friend with whom I want to stay in touch. So, hurry up and write more, Donn.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Contest Winner, New contest and Excuses, excuses...

The winner of Ann Gabhart's The Outsider is Diana. I know she will enjoy it muchly. I saw Ann a couple of weeks ago at her booksigning in Lexington, KY, and she said a sequel is in the works, so I am eagerly awaiting it! Ann is on the left in the red jacket and Virginia Smith who also signed books that evening is in the red jacket on the right. I'll post more about Virginia later on this month, so check back to read about her and one of her new books. The other two ladies are members of our Unity Christian Church book club, Ellen Whitaker and Thelma Taylor, who also attended the signing at Joseph-Beth with me.

This month's book contest is for Rhapsody in Red by Donn Taylor. Don is another ACFW member whom I have met at conferences, along with his lovely wife, Mildred. Although I am only about 1/4 way thru this book (see excuses below!), I can already tell you that I am very impressed. Not only has Donn hatched a plot that has me wanting to stay up past my bedtime to see what happens, he has also done it with the cadence and lyrical writing one would expect from the poet that he is! Here's a blurb from the back cover copy to whet your appetite and make you want to leave a post so you have a chance to win this book:

"Preston Barclay is a self-made recluse (and he likes it that way). Teaching college history allows him time to grieve the loss of his pianist wife and find relief from the musical hallucinations that have been playing in his head since her death. But when he and a headstrong colleague, Mara Thorn, discover the body of another instructor on campus, Press's monotonous solitude is destroyed. When the preliminary evidence singles out Press and Mara, they must take some chances (including trusting each other) to build their own defense--by bending the rules just a bit...Otherwise they both might end up unemployed, behind bars, or worse..." Sound exciting? Leave a post!

Now for the excuses part. I really hate to make excuses for not finishing this book sooner and for not blogging more this past month, but...I was taking two online classes, plus working on getting my final rewrites done before sending my two requested proposals off, plus had friends visit for nine days... So, although November looks to be a busy month also, I pledge to write at least one more time this month--once I get said proposals sent off and read Virginia's book so I can post a review of it. Hope you will check back and keep me accountable!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Book Contest Winner and new contest for The Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart

This month's contest winner of the two Trish Cunningham mysteries by Candice Speare is Cecilia Dowdy. I hope she is ready to read because you won't want to stop these books once you get started. I can't wait to read the next book in this series!

Our next book drawing will be for a new book by a multi-published Kentucky author--Ann H. Gabhart. I met Ann at one of our Kentucky Writers' meetings and at the booksigning where I bought this book . This story centers around a place not too far from my home and Ann's home--Shakertown. In fact, she only lives 30 miles from Shaker Village and "has walked the same paths that her characters might have walked in generations past. Her thorough research provides a convincing and colorful backdrop for The Outsider"--back cover copy

This is a historical story of love and of decisions which will affect the characters throughout their lives.

I, too, have walked the paths of Shakertown and toured the buildings where the Shakers lived and worked. In fact, I have a funny story to tell about one of the times we visited there. My husband and I decided to spend the night for an anniversary trip one year. We stayed upstairs in one of the buildings. I awoke early in the morning and told my hubby he had to hurry and get up because I smelled smoke and thought the building was on fire. It turned out that the shop downstairs dyed the wool and I smelled the fires the workers were preparing for that job!

I am happy that Ann's publisher, Revell, has provided a book for me to use in this drawing so I can keep my own copy. All those who leave a blog comment with a US mailing addy and a way for me to contact you will be entered. (except for Cecilia. She'll have to wait a month to win again to give more people a chance.) Happy reading!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2008 ACFW Conference

Last weekend I attended the 7th annual ACFW conference held in Minneapolis, MN. I want to share a few of the highlights with you and some pics, too.

I again had the privilege of traveling from Kentucky with Ruth Seamands, who at 91 is the Mama of our group. We arrived on Wednesday, and I spent part of the afternoon helping ready the bags for the attendees. That night a group of us went to TGIF's for supper. Here are Ruth and I with Kim Sawyer (check out her site at http://www.kimvogelsawyer.com/) and Margie Vawter.

On Thursday morning I was honored to introduce Margie Lawson as our Early Bird speaker for the second year in a row. After taking her class last year at conference, I devoured all three of her online classes this past year, and rewrote my WIP using her techniques. I am already signed up for her October advanced class. If you have taken a Margie class before, you know how helpful this will be, so hurry on over to http://www.margielawson.com/ and sign up!

The third picture was taken at our awards' banquet. Mama Ruth in the middle is dressed in her sari, flanked by me and my wonderful roomie, Jennifer Johnson. Check out Jen and her books at http://www.jenniferjohnsonbooks.com/

The only bad part about conference is leaving and knowing that you won't see many of your new and old friends for another year. But, we have our ACFW loop to keep us in touch. If anyone is reading this who is interested in writing fiction, hurry on over to http://www.acfw.com/ and sign up for the best writing organization in the world!

Monday, September 15, 2008

So Long, Farewell, auf Weidersehen, Adieu...

In a day and a half I will be on my way to the airport to fly to Minneapolis for the annual American Christian Fiction Writers Conference, so this will be my last post until after I return.

I am so excited at the prospect of seeing old friends from past conferences and meeting new friends in person with whom I've only cyber-chatted. I also have a book critique scheduled and meetings with an editor and agent, not to mention all the great classes we'll have from early in the morning to the Late Night Chats. But my favorite part of conference is the times of Spirit-led worship. There is something very special about hearing 500 voices lifted in praise to our God. No matter what style of worship we are used to in our home churches, we all come together to praise Him. "Your Name is a strong and mighty tower, Your Name is a shelter like no other, Your Name--let the nations sing it louder, for nothing has the power to save like Your Name!"

Please pray for all of us travelling and attending the conference, and all those unable to attend. May we all learn to better use our talents for Him alone Who is worthy of our praise.

Monday, September 01, 2008

And the winner for last month's comments is...

Robin Johns Grant. As soon as I receive her mailing addy, Ramona will mail Robin an autographed copy of Sweet Forever. Congrats to Robin, and many thanks to Ramona! The rest of you need to go to http://www.heartsongpresents.com/ and order you a copy before they are all gone!

This month's winner will win 2 books by Candice Speare...

Murder in the Milkcase--Will Trish Cunningham's discovery sour her on milk forever?
Band Room Bash--This murderer is playing for keeps.

These books are the first two in the Trish Cunningham murder series. And I can't wait for the next one! Trish is a mom, wife, stepmom and business partner who somehow manages to do all that and still get involved in her town's murders. Candice, another fellow ACFWer, writes about murder in a fun, unconventional way that will keep you reading while laughing and identifying with the characters. You can find out more about her at http://www.candicemillerspeare.com/ and if you don't want to wait a month for the drawing, you can order them now at http://www.heartsongmysteries.com/

Happy reading everyone!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nashville, Indiana-- His Book Shop and The Cornerstone Inn

I didn't post last weekend after a three day trip to Nashville, Indiana with a longtime friend. I had never been before, but my friend Jane goes every year. And now I can see why she enjoys it so much!

We stayed at a lovely Christian B&B named The Cornerstone Inn. (see picture above of me and jane in the swing in front of the Inn.) The rooms are decorated mostly Victorian style, and each room has an open Bible. There are also Bible verses on lovely pictures throughout the building. They already have expanded to another building where they have a floor of suites called The Upper Room! And they are in the process of building cottages next door to the original Inn. Even if the rooms weren't so nice, I would stay there again just for the delicious food! They have a wonderful buffet breakfast each morning with at least two hot dishes and a table full of baked goods. Then each afternoon and again in the evening they put out several more snacks and sweet treats. Plus tea and coffee are available all day and night.

From the Cornerstone Inn you can walk to anywhere in Nashville. We went to several stores and watched a lady play 35 bells all by herself on Thursday night before closing time, then went to a very professionally done play presented by the University of Indiana players. On Friday we made our rounds to the rest of the shops. Nashville has three scrapbook stores where I bought some unique papers. I had looked thru one of the travel guides and saw there were two bookstores in town, so I told Jane we had to go to them. My favorite was called His Book Shop. When we walked in, I said, "I could stay here all day." I meant it literally. We did stay for over an hour, browsing the well-stocked bookshelves and chatting with the owners, Terry and Rusty Caldwell. They had recently purchased the shop and have many old classics as well as new books on the Christian best-seller list. See picture above of Jane in front of the store. Check them out at www.hisbookshop.net
Friday evening we went to a fun patriotic show called America, the Music. Nashville is definitely a family place. Several of the shop owners and workers were Christians who spoke of how their town was becoming better all the time. If you have ever visited Nashville, I hope you will list your favorite places. I certainly plan to go back again and encourage you to visit also!

Monday, August 11, 2008

25 Great Bits of Advice and Guest Blog

I was already planning on blogging today to let everyone know that I am guest blogging tomorrow on Kaye Dacus's blog at www.kayedacus.com about the top 10 things I have learned at ACFW writers' conferences. Kay is having guest bloggers this whole next month as a build up to our annual Christian writers' conference in September, so I hope you will check it out and leave a comment there or here. Remember that anyone with an address in the US who leaves a comment on my blog during the month of August is eligible for the book drawing. (See last week's post for more info on that.)

Also I received an email today from a special "Forever Friend" from my college days--Judy Alexander from Ohatchee, Alabama. I usually don't post email forwards here (I don't think I ever have!) but this one was too good not to share. I'm gonna print out a copy for my frig and suggest you do the same. Thanks, Judy! ps. Perhaps everyone can tell us what their favorite bit of advice is or one they are going to start doing every day.

Subject: 25 bits of advice ~ so good!
1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.
3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'
4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants. 5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries,wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. In stead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
12. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
14. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
17. Forgive everyone for everything.
18. What other people think of you is none of your business.
19. GOD heals everything.
20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.Your friends will. Stay in touch!!!
22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.
24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
25. Please send this to everyone you care about.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Book Contest winner and a chance to win Sweet Forever by Ramona Cecil

Happy August everyone! Diana is the winner of the drawing for Mustering Courage by Lynn A. Coleman. The first number my hubby picked belonged to Tiff (Amber) Miller Stockton, but she re-donated the book as she had already read it. Thanks, Tiff, for your generosity! This month's contest will be for an autographed copy of Sweet Forever by Ramona K. Cecil. Ramona has generously offered to sign and mail a copy to our winner chosen from all those who leave a comment this month. So, let me tell you a little about this wonderful book and its author.

I met Ramona at one of the first ACFW conferences and we have kept in touch ever since. She lives in the neighboring state of Indiana, and she and I and our dear hubbies spent the day in Madison, IN a couple of years ago, touring the town where her debut novel is set. She is the proud mom of two daughters.

If you like historicals , especially one set on a riverboat and river town, then this is the book for you. Here's the back cover copy: "A notorious riverboat gambler killed Rosaleen Archer's husband and has taken her captive, forcing her to do unspeakable things. Convinced God hates her, Rosaleen looks to luck for help as she attempts to escape when the riverboat explodes. She awakens in the arms of a stranger who carries her from the riverbank to a new life and a fresh start, outwardly free of her past. Reverend Jacob Hale senses Rosaleen's innate distrust of God, but as she reveals her past to him, he understand. He finds himself irresistibly drawn to this lovely creature, but can love survive between them despite their differences? Can Jacob convince Rosaleen that God loves even her? Can Rosaleen ever escape the pain and shame of her past?"

To find out, order this book from http://www.heartsongpresents.com/ or leave a comment with your email info to have a chance at winning a copy. It is book # 792 on their site.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Dichotomy--sad, yet rejoicing at Homecoming of Kristy Dykes

Today is a sad day for myself and many of our ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) members. Most of us learned this morning of the death of our dear sister Kristy Dykes. Below is a copy of the announcement her hero husband Milton made on her website.

Kristy Dykes
August 2, 1951 ~ July 21, 2008
My beloved is healed and is dancing on streets of gold. I will share soon about her glorious transition from my hand into the hands of her Lord and Savior. She is rejoicing with her mother, father, and dear loved ones in heaven. Milton

Rose again: Yet, even in our sorrow, we rejoice to know that she is in the Lord's Presence and no longer suffering from the brain tumor that took her earthly body.

I encourage you to check out her website at www.christianlovestories.blogspot.com and read all of her early blogs about her marriage to Milton and then continue on to the more recent ones where Milton did as Kristy asked and continued to blog throughout her cancer and treatments. All of the stories are of what true love is all about. You will laugh and cry along with Kristy and Milton as you enter their lives through their honest and heartfelt writings. And you will learn what a true Christian marriage is meant to be.

I hope you will also check out the list of Kristy's books and order any that are available. You will be blessed by the writings of this preacher's wife who touched many lives through her writings and her giving nature. I will cherish her memory and the autographed books I have of hers.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Blog Tour for Amber Miller's debut novel--Promises, Promises

I am very pleased to be part of Tiff's (Amber's first name) blog tour for her first novel. Tiff and I used to be in a critique group together, so I had read the first part of this story in its beginning stages, and was glad to finally get to read the happy ending! I hope you will order this book from the author at www.ambermiller.com/books.html

The story is set in 1739, and Tiff does a great job with the historical details, from the setting and clothing of the era to even a visiting sermon from Jonathan Edwards. I'm going to copy the back cover copy to whet your appetite for this delicious read.

"Raelene Strattford knows God has promised never to leave or forsake her. But after the catastrophic deaths of her parents, she doesn't believe it. What kind of God would take a girl's family and leave her alone in a wild land where women have no voice?

Gustaf Hanssen has admired Raelene from afar for awhile, but his poor attempt at courting her in the past has made him unwelcome in her life. When Gustaf promises Raelene's dying father that he will take care of her, he finds himself bound to her happiness, her success, and her well-being in ways he never imagined.

To keep his word must Gustaf really oversee all of Raelene's affairs, find her a husband, and maintain her farm, while she does nothing but scorn him? Can God reach through Raelene's pain and self-centeredness and give her the love that awaits, if only she will accept His will?"

I hope you will order this book from the author at www.ambermiller.com/books.html While you are on her website, you can also check out Tiff's own "Storybook wedding" with pictures of her and her hubby, Stuart Stockton, who also happens to be an author. In fact, when I first saw Promises, Promises, I emailed Tiff to ask if they used her and Stuart as models for the cover!

Book two in the series, Quills & Promises, just released this month, so you can also order it at the site above. Here's the book blurb for that one:

Innocence paired with wisdom beyond her years--

With these traits, Elanna Hanssen unwittingly captures the attentions of Major Madison Scott. Her honest desire to understand the war fascinates him, and he resolves to get to know this perspicacious young lady better. When he is called away to fight the French and the Indians, they begin a correspondence, cautiously baring their hearts to one another. Elanna has never known emotions like these before, but she is drawn to the integrity she sees in her major. When a writer for the first newspaper in the colony questions the major's credentials and activities, however, will she allow her heart or her head to rule? Can true love grow over such distance and around such obstacles?

Author bio: Amber Miller is an author and freelance web site designer who lives with her husband in beautiful Colorado Springs. They don’t have any children yet, but they do have a vivacious puppy named Roxie, who is half Border Collie and half Flat-Haired Retriever. Already nearing 65 pounds, she keeps them on their toes. And with her penchant for rising at 6am on the dot, Roxie is giving Amber and her husband a good taste of what it's like to be parents. Amber has sold four books to the Heartsong Presents line of Barbour Publishing with the promise of two more before the end of the year. She is currently pursuing an expansion into trade-length historical fiction as well. Other writing credits include several writing articles for various publications, five short stories with Romancing the Christian Heart, and nine contributions to the book, 101 Ways to Romance Your Marriage. A born-again Christian since the age of seven, her faith in Christ has often sustained her through difficult experiences. She seeks to share that with others through her writing.

Check out more about Tiff and her books on the following sites:


Shirley Connolly (July month-long feature) - http://apenforyourthoughts.blogspot.com/

July 7 - Margaret Daley (bio) http://margaretdaley.blogspot.com/
July 7 - Dawn Kinzer at From Dawn til Dusk, Musings of a Night Owl http://dawnkinzer.blogspot.com/
July 8 - Donna Moore at Write by Faith http://writebyfaith.blogspot.com/
July 8 - Kim Woodhouse at God's Grace, Love & Forgiveness http://www.kimberleywoodhouse.com/
July 9 - Margaret Daley (interview) http://margaretdaley.blogspot.com/
July 9 - Amy Riley at The Friendly Book Nook http://thefriendlybooknook.com/
July 10 - Jenny Blake at Come Meet AusJenny http://ausjenny.blogspot.com/
July 11 - Rose McCauley http://rosemccauley.blogspot.com/
July 11 - Shauna Sturge at The Coffee Stop http://shaunasturge.blogspot.com/; Long and Short Reviews http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/
July 12 - Carolyn Strawder at Quiet Time with Carolyn http://www.quiettimewithcarolyn.com/Serenity
July 14-19 - CAN! blog spotlight http://canblog.typepad.com/canbookmarketing
July 14 - Martha Rogers at Martha Writes http://marthasbooks.blogspot.com/
July 15 - Leslie Sowell at A Little Bit of Sunlight http://www.footprintsinthesand.us/blog
July 16 - CFBA blog tour date (various blogs) http://www.blogger.com/
July 16 - Novel Journey / Novel Reviews http://noveljourney.blogspot.com/ / http://novelreviews.blogspot.com/
July 17 - CFBA blog tour date (various blogs) http://www.blogger.com/
July 17 - Eileen Astels at A Christian Romance Writer's Journey http://eileenastels.blogspot.com/
July 17 - Cheryl Wyatt at Squirrel's Treehouse http://scrollsquirrel.blogspot.com/
July 18 - CFBA blog tour date (various blogs) http://www.blogger.com/
July 18 - Cara Putman at Cara's Musings http://carasmusings.blogspot.com/
July 18 - Tyora Moody at CB Reviews http://www.faithwebbin.net/cbreviews
July 19 - Stacy Johnson at Vader's Mom http://jeffstacyandvader.blogspot.com
July 21 - Camy Tang at Camy's Loft http://camytang.blogspot.com/
July 21 - Jennifer AlLee at Musings on This, That & The Other Thing - http://jenniferallee.blogspot.com/
July 21 - Trish Perry (interview) at Reading, Writing and the Stuff In-Between http://www.trishperry.com/
July 22 - Cindy Woodsmall at the Plain Talk Blog http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/category/plain-talk/
July 23 - Delia Latham at The Melody Within (review/interview) http://themelodywithin.blogspot.com/
July 24 - Margaret Chind at Creative Madness http://cherryblossommj.blogspot.com/
July 25 - Delia Latham at The Melody Within (guest blogger) http://themelodywithin.blogspot.com/
July 25 - Christa Allan at Fictionary http://cballan.wordpress.com/
July 26 - Paula Moldenhauer at Grace Reign http://gracereign.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

7th Annual American Christian Fiction Writers Conference

There's a lot of buzz about the upcoming ACFW conference in Minneapolis, MN, September 18-21, 2008. To find out more details and read more blog entries about it go to http://www.acfw.com/ or www.acfw.com/conference. I've been reading several of the blogs and thought I would do something a little different--an acrostic like some of the chapters in the book of Psalms. So, here are a few of the many things I am looking forward to at conference!

Angie Hunt, our keynote speaker
Christian friends
Fellowship--the best this side of heaven!
Wow Worship!

Classes galore
Old friends
New friends
Forever friends
Eating with friends, and editors and agents
Reminiscing about past conferences
Excitement of new contracts
Chocolate party and choir
Expectations of God's blessing

I've already registered and got my hotel and plane reservations. Hope you'll join us for all this and more!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Book Drawing Winner is...

Megan DiMaria. My son is staying here tonight so he got the honors of drawing her name for this month's contest. Mary May Larmoyeux's book on Help for Busy Moms is on its way to her. I started out last month with a blogging blitz, posting 4 times in 4 days, then didn't post again the rest of the month. I promise to do better this month. I already am taking part in two blog tours next week--July 9th for our upcoming ACFW conference and July 11th for Tiff (Amber) Miller's first Heartsong book, so be sure to check back next week for those.

One reason I failed to post was that I went to Florida for a few days with our youngest daughter to give her time away to study for her dental boards she is taking on July 7th. Prayers for her to pass would be muchly appreciated. Another reason is that I have spent most of my "spare" time this month (LOL) working on an anthology proposal with 3 other authors. We just sent if off today and are praying that it will be picked up by Barbour Publishing. It was fun working with this wonderful group of ladies and discovering some new characters! Now tomorrow it will be time to go back to the rewrites of my women's fiction.

The prize book for this month is by Florida author, Lynn A. Coleman, who also is one of the founders of ACFW (originally ACRW). Anyone interested in writing and/or reading good Christian fiction should definitely check out their site at www.acfw.com. The title of the book is Mustering Courage. Lynn is a great writer who was very gentle with me when she did my first ever crit at my first ever writer's conference. She gently told me that my book should start with chapter 3! So leave a comment with your email addy if you wish to be entered in the drawing. And check back next week and post again if you want to be entered more than once. Anyone in the US is eligible except for the past month's winner.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Why Did A Big Honkin' Chicken Cross the Road?

I'm a member of Brandilyn Collin's Big Honkin' Chickens Club (BHCC)--people who read her women's fiction, but not her "seatbelt suspense" books. I love everything about her writing, especially her "feel like you're in their skin" characters. But, she is currently only writing suspense novels, so I have been in a dilemma the past couple years. Do I dare cross over to the dark side or do I read her Bradleyville series over again and again? (If you haven't read them, stop right now and rush out and get them!)

Brandilyn herself told me that Violet Dawn, the first book in the Kanner Lake series, is a little milder than some of her other suspense books, so I promised her I would read it and have been gathering up my courage. This past weekend our whole family spent 3 days in a cabin in the Smokies, so I figured it would be a good un-scary time to start the book with 11 people in the house!

Since I knew the first scene took place in a hot tub I decided to begin my read there, but you will notice in the picture that I only put my feet in the water. Once you read the book, you will find out why. BWAAAAH! And once you start reading it, you won't be able to stop even if you are a scaredy-cat like me! I stayed up past midnight last night to finish it, and now I want to read the next one in the series, Coral Moon, because one of the minor characters in the first book is the main character in the second one, plus I want to find out what is happening with the other inhabitants of Kanner Lake. In other words, I got hooked by one of the best "hook-ers" in the business of writing Christian fiction.
So travel on over to Brandilyn's website at http://www.brandilyncollins.com/ for more info on all her books and/or to join the BHCClub. And if you are interested in writing, you have to check out her other site http://www.forensicsandfaith.blogspot.com/ for some of the best writing tips and market info around. Plus the true story of Brandilyn's healing! Enjoy! Just don't blame me if you never want to get in a hot tub all alone again!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Our latest winner is...

MaryAnn Diorio. Hers was the name drawn by my dear hubby, so a copy of Searching for Spice by Megan DiMaria is on its way to her. Enjoy! Everyone except MaryAnn is eligible to win June's prize which is a non-fiction book entitled Help for Busy Moms by Mary May Larmoyeux. Check the blog for May 1st for the other requirements.

I met Mary May at last year's ACFW conference in Dallas. When a group of us went out on Friday night, Mary and I sat beside each other at a Mexican restaurant. (Where I got a bad case of food poisoning, but that's another story!) Mary mentioned that she had a book coming out in the next year. We exchanged business cards, and I offered to review it on my blog, so here it is:

Mary and I are in the same stage of life--married children and grandchildren, but her book would be helpful for busy moms of any generation. I especially enjoyed the examples she gave from her own parenting years when her boys were younger. Each chapter starts with a quote from Scripture or another book, and each chapter ends with "Questions for Purposeful Living" to help the reader learn to apply the principles from that section to their own lives.

Here's what the back cover blurb has to say:
"They say 'Home is where the heart is,' but with the daily grind and nightly chores, many moms find themselves caught in a constant juggling act with too much to do.

This tender book, filled with Scriptures and personal anecdotes, has 100+ time-saving ideas, dozens of mom-to-mom tips, and interviews with on-the-go women. You'll be encouraged as you focus on your calling as a mom, and you'll learn new ways to connect with those you love.

With personal application questions at the end of each chapter, Help for Busy Moms makes a great journal companion or group study. This practical book will help you:
* Make family a priority
* Create lasting memories
* Connect with your children
* Maximize your time
* Focus on God's will for your family
* Simplify your days
* Live a purposeful life

Mary May Larmoyeux is a writer for FamilyLife, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. She is the co-author of There's no Place Like Home and the Resurrection Eggs Activity Book. Mary and her husband, Jim, live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have two married sons, five grandchildren, and have been foster parents."

Leave a comment on any blog I post the month of June, and you will be entered in the drawing for this book on July 1st. Or better yet, order a copy through Mary's website at http://www.marymaywrites.com/

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sisterchicks Go Brit!
In Stores Now
London calling all Sisterchicks...Hop on a bus to pick up your copy today. This book is the latest in Robin Jones Gunn's Sisterchick books. I've read all the rest and can't wait to read this one! And I hope it is not the last one! Each one makes you laugh and cry, often at the same time! And they each have a wonderful spiritual lesson that the sisterchicks learn which you can apply to your own life! It's like eating a dessert while learning! Get one and enjoy!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Books by Kim Sawyer

It has been several months since I've done a review of books by one of my favorite authors--Kim Sawyer. I met Kim at our first ACFW conference in Kansas City in 2002. She had already self-pubbed the first in a series of books at that time, but in the past few years she has had 10 books contracted by Barbour and Bethany House! And two more are getting ready to come out this fall and next spring!

Besides being so successful, Kim is as sweet and genuine a person as you can find. And her stories are as sweet as she is! If you love heart-tugging tales of characters who seem so real you find yourself thinking about them after you finish the book, hurry out and buy, beg or borrow one of her books. Sorry, but since her books are so special to me, you'll have to get your own copy, because I don't give them away in my monthly drawing.

The three books I am reviewing today make up her Sommerfeld Trilogy. In BYGONES (Book 1) Widower Marie Koeppler Quinn and her grown daughter Beth return to the Mennonite community Marie abandoned twenty-three years ago. Soon after their arrival in Sommerfeld, a series of mysterious thefts raises the community's suspicions against the "outsiders." Can Marie prove their innocence or will she be forced to flee once more? Henry Braun, who has loved her since they were teenagers, soon begins to wonder if she's stolen more than his heart. When all is said and done, can Henry and Marie let bygones be bygones, or has their love been doomed from the start?

BEGINNINGS (Book 2 ) This book centers on Beth, Marie's daughter. Beth is starting over...in her place of residence, her occupation, and her relationships. Two men vie for her affection--Andrew Braun, a steadfast and helpful Old Order Mennonite who expects traditional roles between men and women; and Sean McCauley, a man with Christian convictions but who is seemingly more business-minded than people-minded. In which world does Beth's heart belong? With so many choices in front of her, how can she know what God has planned?

BLESSINGS (Book 3) Trina Muller who was a minor character in the first two books finally has one of her own, although we do get to catch up on happenings in Marie and Beth's lives, also. Trina has been blessed with the gift of healing God’s creatures. Desiring to use that gift, she seeks the opportunity for education but is met with resistance from her family. Graham Ortmann loves Trina, but he can't understand her desire to be more than wife and mother. Will this Old Order Mennonite girl be able to spread the wings she believes God has designed for her?

I wondered how Kim had written so realistically about these young Mennonite women, even down to the details of how their cap strings tickled their faces, so I asked her. She told me that her mother was from a Mennonite family and her dad had joined the Mennonite faith when they married. So Kim was raised in a conservative Mennonite home, giving her first-hand research on these books! That gives these books an authentic look at the Mennonite faith.

I hope you will also check out Kim's website at http://www.kimvogelsawyer.com/ for more info about this talented, yet humble, author and her other books. You will find your own Blessing!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Abbey

I've recently returned from a four day retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, KY. This was my tenth stay at this wonderful, restful place. The signs on the tables in the cafeteria say it all: "Silence is spoken here." You are allowed to talk in the lobby and out on the beautiful grounds, but are asked to keep silence in the church, guest house rooms and around the building in deference to those who are holding their own silent retreats.

A couple of years ago, some friends and I discovered a "speaking" dining room and ate many of our meals there and caught up on each other's days. But, this trip, since I was alone, I ate in one of the two silent dining rooms. There is also a room in the lodge where you can meet to have a group book or Bible study, and one year some friends and I did that also. We would each read a chapter in the same book, then discuss it with each other in the afternoons.

This year I read three church magazines and four non-fiction books:

Mosaic by Amy Grant was the lightest reading of them all. It was mainly an autobiography of her life interspersed with copies of her songs.

The Seeking Heart by Fenelon was the most challenging. Since I am not a Catholic, I had no idea that Fenelon was even a man! LOL He was a priest who lived in the 17th century in France, and was well-known at the time for his wisdom and spiritual insights. This book had much good advice even for today, but was also very repetitive as it was a compilation of his writings, mostly letters, and he gave similar advice to many.

A book I had been saving to read at the Abbey was God is My Success by Larry Julian. The author is a Christian from a Jewish background who has overcome many disappointments in life to go on to become a successful consultant, speaker and author. He wrote many chapters on "overcoming" to reach "true success." Although it might mostly appeal to business people, I still gleaned many helpful insights as he shared examples from his own life and others.

My favorite book was The Secret Things of God by Dr. Henry Cloud. Howard Publishing contacted him about writing a book to give a Christian view on the best-seller The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Dr. Cloud has done that and much more. Here's part of the back copy blurb for this book: "A positive Christian alternative to the bestselling The Secret, this books reveals the secret things of God--secrets about God, about happiness, about relationships, and about your purpose. These tested spiritual truths reveal principles that make life work...Even Christians who know and claim biblical truths often don't know how to use them...Cloud shows readers how to unlock the treasure of these truths and ignite their power in their lives. There is, indeed, a powerful attraction at work in the universe, but rather than being between an impersonal universe and our own thoughts, this attraction is between the personal Creator of the universe and the creation He loves."

I hope my readers will have time to read some of these books, especially the one by Dr. Cloud. And if you want more information about booking a retreat at the Abbey or to see some pictures of the lovely setting, go to www.monks.org

I will warn you that you need to book four months in advance. Also that you will probably want to go back again and again...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Queen for a Day!

Have you ever felt like a Queen for a day? I did this past Sunday, May 11th, which was Mother's Day and also my and my husband's 40th anniversary. Our children and grandkids made it a very special day. After church, we all met at a restaurant in Georgetown, KY. I sat down and chatted with our son and youngest daughter and their spouses for a few minutes and then went to the ladies room to wash my hands while waiting for the others to arrive. When I returned, the table was decorated with 3 vases of red and white roses--40 in all--and several gifts. I was so surprised and excited. Of course, the best gift was having all of our children, their spouses, and our three grandchildren there. We had a lovely lunch, and the restaurant even gave us a piece of their famous caramel pie for our anniversary, but we were so full we had to bring most of it home.

My loving husband gave me a beautiful diamond drop necklace on Sunday morning and had the florist deliver a dozen roses on Saturday, so my house is now abloom with 52 red and white roses in three rooms, so I still feel like a queen! I was even able to almost squeeze into my wedding dress of 40 years ago, which was handmade by my dear mother. A very special day that I will never forget.
Plus, we attended a wedding on Saturday night, and the lead singer for the band announced our anniversary to the crowd, then on Sunday morning our daughter announced it in church! How was your Mother's Day?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

And the winner is...

Gautami is the name drawn by my 6 year old granddaughter who is spending the night. I will mail the book Talking for Two by Wanda Brunstetter out to her as soon as I receive her mailing info.

New contest...

Be sure to leave a comment during the month of May for a chance to win the book Searching for Spice by Megan DiMaria, reviewed below. Please read and heed the following rules: Previous month's winner is not eligible. Make sure you leave info where I can contact you for your mailing address to send the book. Also the winner will have to have a postal address in the United States.

Happy reading, everyone!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Book Review--Searching for Spice by Megan DiMaria

I just finished reading this book last night and wanted to hurry up and review it so the rest of you can share in the fun! This is Megan DiMaria's debut novel, but it is such an entertaining and enjoyable read that you will be amazed! I bet you will also join me in hoping that her next book is out soon.

Here's the back cover blurb: "Linda Revere longs to have a sizzling affair...with her husband--a practical, no-nonsense community college science teacher. Unfortunately, life isn't scripted, and nothing goes according to plan. From having a demanding boss and at times a frustrating job to helping her family and friends with their troubles, life seems to be preventing Linda from achieving her goal of an exciting and passionate marriage. Linda hopes God will answer her prayers to jazz up her marriage, but is she ready for what happens next?"

For all those married women (or those who someday want to be in that category) who enjoy a realistic and funny inside look at a Christian marriage, this is the book for you. I must warn you that once you meet Linda and her family, you will get so caught up in their day to day problems that you will stay up late like I did to finish it!

This book will be my giveaway book for the month of May which is very fitting because it will mark my 4oth anniversary on May 11. So be sure to post a comment after May 1st for a chance to win this book, or better yet, order or buy your copy now so you don't have to wait a month! Leave a comment now for a chance at this month's book. (read below for details.)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Book contest and Guest blog book review--Generation NeXt Marriage: The Couple's Guide to Keeping it Together by Tricia Goyer

The winner of Reluctant Smuggler by Jill Elizabeth Nelson is Grateful Gramma, so as soon as she sends me her mailing info, the book will be sent. This month's contest prize will be Talking for Two by Wanda Brunstetter whom I have met at an ACFW conference. She is as sweet as her stories are! Everyone who leaves a comment this month will be entered except the previous month's winner. Two other rules to win: One is to make sure you leave info where I can contact you for your mailing address to send the book. The other is something I had wondered about on other sites, but now understand why--the winner will have to have a postal address in the United States. Last month I spent more than the price of the book mailing it to South Africa, so am forced to add this rule to be able to keep giving away a book each month.

Now on to our guest blog/book review. Our blogger today is my oldest daughter who is an elementary school teacher and a mother of 3. (My three lovely grandkids!) Who better to review a book about Generation Xers than one who fits that category?

Generation NeXt Marriage: The Couple's Guide to Keeping it Together.
This is the title of the most recent non-fiction work by author Tricia Goyer. In this faith-centered help book , Mrs. Goyer tackles the tough problems that any marriage can face, but focuses mostly on those that pertain to us in Generation X . She attempts to explain why we have unique relationship issues (growing up with increased divorce, family financial struggles, past relationship scars…), what we want from our marriage commitment (romance, commitment for life, a true partnership), and how we can, through the power of God, have successful, happy and fulfilled marriages.
In true Gen X fashion, Mrs. Goyer relates each of her chapter titles (and even subtitles) to the music we grew up with in the 70's and 80's. She uses these songs not because she always agrees with the message of the lyrics, but because they ring a strong chord of familiarity with those in the Gen X era. Also used are quotes and ideas from other Gen X people. These quotes are used to relate the chapter topics with different people's own situations and ideas on marriage.
There are only two negatives I can say about the book, and each of these is purely aesthetic in nature. In the text, there are many different fonts used to break apart the different sections. Some use of different fonts is very helpful, but I feel that there were too many used to allow for an easy flow of reading. Also, I did not discover until after the last chapter that there were discussion questions at the end of the book. If this book was being utilized by a small group or book club, the discussions would be more easily accessed if they were at the end of the appropriate chapter.
Those criticisms being said, I really enjoyed reading and learning from Generation NeXt Marriage. It made me analyze my marriage and the way I treat my husband and family. It also helped me to rediscover the things my husband and I are doing right (Woo Hoo)! I will definitely pass this book along to other Gen Xers. Hopefully it will be as relevant for them as it was for me.
Christy Kinney
Berry, KY
Married 12 years

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

5 Top Reasons Why I haven't blogged lately

I am borrowing an idea from my friend Robin Grant's blog--with her permission (check it out at www.queenofperseverance.blogspot.com).

5. I've been doing this for over a year now and this is my 60th blog!

4. I've been taking a month-long class from Margie Lawson, teacher extraordinaire. (www.margielawson.com) Although I highly recommend her classes to anyone who wants to kick up their writing several notches, the classes do take a lot of time and work to get the most benefit from them. Not complaining, though. Margie puts in way more time than the rest of us with her individualized comments on our assignments.

3. I'm dieting, and faint with hunger. (The second half isn't true, but sounds dramatic!)

2. I'm running out of ideas to blog about.

1. I'm getting ready for a Spring Break trip to Disneyworld with my two daughters, one son-in-law, and three grandkids, so hopefully I will gather some more things to write about.

And if you have any topics you would like to hear me expound upon, feel free to leave a comment below, and you will also be entered into the book drawing which will take place a few days late because I will be in sunny Florida on April 1st.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Book contest winner and new book review--Reluctant Smuggler

Our winner for the ARC copy of DiAnn Mill's book Awaken My Heart is BuddyT. All those except BuddyT who leave a comment during the month of March will be eligible to win a copy of Jill Elizabeth Nelson's latest book in the To Catch a Thief series, Reluctant Smuggler. I have read all three books in this collection, and I think this one is my favorite!

Jill continues with the interesting characters we met in the first two books--Reluctant Burglar and Reluctant Runaway. Although I would suggest reading those books first for your own enjoyment and to meet the characters, the storyline of Reluctant Smuggler stands alone.

The story opens with Desiree Jacobs in Mexico City on a security consultant job which leads to another job for the Mexican government. Her dangerous assignment connects to a tie-in with her fiance's latest FBI case. If you enjoy suspense, thrills and espionage, this is a book for you!

Leave a comment for a chance to win, and while you are waiting, rush out and buy the first two books in the series!

Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered except the previous month's winner. The other rule to win is to make sure you leave info where I can contact you for your mailing address to send the book.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

First winner of DiAnn Mills' book and one more chance to win!

Thanks to all who left a blog comment last week. The winner of DiAnn's copy of Awaken My Heart is Kathleen Morphy. DiAnn is contacting her for her mailing info.

For all the rest of you, you still have a chance to win my ARC copy of the same book (this is an advanced copy authors send out to reviewers, etc.) on March 1st if you leave a comment any time this month, so what are you waiting for? Hope to hear from you soon.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Guest Blogger--DiAnn Mills

I'm happy to post the following guest blog by DiAnn Mills, the wonderful author of 16 novels and 14 novellas. As I mentioned in my last blog, DiAnn has graciously provided this interesting article on memorable characters and will be moderating this blog for the next three days (February 11-13) and making comments and answering questions on this topic. Then on Thursday morning I will draw a name from all those who comment about her article and DiAnn will mail the winner an autographed copy of her latest novel, Awaken My Heart, so be sure to leave your email addy for contact information. You will also be entered in my February drawing (see last post) so you'll have two chances to win a copy of this book. Now, on with the show...

Memorable Characters that Rival Scarlett and Rhett by DiAnn Mills
Sit back and close your eyes. Who are your favorite book or movie characters? Are they Scarlett and Rhett? Perhaps Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia? Sam and Frodo? Ahab and the whale? The Lone Ranger and Tonto? The list goes on and on. Why are these characters unforgettable? What about them causes us to laugh and cry and wonder if they are all right?
The key is that the writer defined the characters with believable traits and clear motivation. We care about those characters. We live our lives vicariously through them. To many readers, their favorite characters must be real people because they live in their hearts and minds.
How does a writer create memorable characters? She establishes wants and needs that lay the foundation for critical motivation. If I asked you to take a moment and write down all of the things you wanted, the items might fill a book. But if I asked you to compile a list of what you needed, the project becomes a little more difficult. We don’t always know what we need, but finding out becomes a process of soul searching and experiencing life. But when needed items become goals, we are motivated to go after those things vital to our survival.
Character sketches provide great help to laying the foundation for our characters. They force us to think—brainstorm about what motivates the character. And there’s that word again: motivation.
The roots of motivation are unmet needs. How these needs are fulfilled depends on the character’s integrity, established over time through life experiences, inherited factors, and environment. No wonder we humans are flawed characters! No protagonist is perfect. No antagonist or villain is completely evil. But some characters have more flaws than others, and out of those flaws come weaknesses and room for character growth. Out of the admirable traits come our heroes and heroines, who have the stuff that gives us hope and help us to believe again in the goodness of mankind.
All of us have a need for relationships, significance, and security. These critical needs are supposed to be filled by God, but we, as flawed “characters,” look for fulfillment in other areas, and those areas become our weaknesses. Examine your character’s struggle. Does he/she have a need for sex, for material goods, power, work, education, or the arts? How are those weaknesses manifested? Does your character seek to satisfy his basic needs in ways that honor God? In short, what motivates the character?
My suggestion is to study your character from every angle to determine the underlying factors shoving them out of bed each morning. Interview them. Live with them. Go to dinner with them. Place them in settings that are unlike the previous scenes. Would you take a vacation with them? How a character reacts and responds to the events surrounding him determines who he is. Steer away from predictable behavior but stay within the perimeter of the traits you have assigned.
The next time you are reading a dynamic novel or watching a movie that has you sitting on the edge of your chair, take the time to discover the characters’ motivations. This article has just touched on the volumes of information about writing memorable characters. I hope I’ve given you inspiration to discover the techniques behind the scenes.
Scarlett and Rhett are unforgettable. Now you know why! Here is my question for you. Who are your favorite book or movie characters and why? I look forward to your response.
Check out my website at http://www.diannmills.com/ and sign up for my newsletter!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Book Contest Winner and Book Review--Awaken My Heart

I am happy to announce that Cherie J is the winner of the book Protecting Amy by Susan Page Davis. The book will be sent to her as soon as she sends me her mailing info. Hers is the third name I drew because the first name did not leave an email address. The second winner did leave an addy but when I sent her an email, it came back as undeliverable. If you want to be entered into the book drawing each month it is one of the rules that you have to leave a valid email addy so I can contact you. The other is that you cannot win two months in a row, so cherie j is the only one ineligible for this month's drawing which will be for DiAnn Mills' newest novel, Awaken My Heart. In fact, you will have two chances to win this book--one is for my ARC copy in the regular monthly drawing and the other will be sent by DiAnn to someone who posts here to her guest blog during the days of February 11-13. So come and post often during that time. DiAnn has a great lesson for us on memorable characters and will be answering your questions and commenting on your responses during that time. Read on for a review of this book.

DiAnn Mills is one of my favorite authors, and I have read many of her books (16 novels and 14 novellas and one non-fiction title). I have to say that Awaken My Heart is one of my favorites! The heroine, Marianne Phillips, is the daughter of a wealthy rancher in Texas in the early 19th century who wants to destroy the village of the mestizos who control neighboring land and take it for himself. The hero, Armando Garcia, is the leader of this group. You will enjoy and marvel at how DiAnn can bring them together against what seem to be unsurmountable odds. As always, DiAnn paints pictures with words so you see the breath-taking scenery and feel the passion of the characters and join them on their journeys. This is a book you won't want to miss, so leave a post any time in February to win my copy and during Feb. 11-13 to win an autographed copy from DiAnn herself. And if you don't win, I hope you will hurry out and buy a copy for yourself and one to give to a friend. You'll be glad you did!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Scrapbooking and Max Lucado

Is that an eclectic title or what?!? I didn't post last weekend after being gone for two days on a scrapbooking weekend, so I thought I would begin my blog tonight by asking how many who read this blog scrapbook? To me it is a relaxing activity that inspires creativity and also gives me and my family something to enjoy reminiscing over now, and I hope, for future generations to savor and learn about our family, too. Both my daughters have scrapped some and last week my oldest granddaughter and I started a scrapbook with supplies her mom bought her for Christmas. So please post your views on scrapping, a national hobby that has grown in recent years.

Today we travelled to Louisville (my hometown) to worship at Southeast Christian Church where Max Lucado was the guest speaker. We were so happy we did because the worship was great and his sermon was also. He spoke on John 3:16 and asked everyone what their favorite word was in that Scripture--love, God, eternal, life, etc? He said his favorite word was "whoever" because we are all "whoevers" and God wants us all to come to him. That's why Christ died for us all. You are a "whoever" and if you haven't accepted this most precious gift of God's salvation, please email me or go to the Southeast site at http://www.southeastchristian.org/ and type the word "salvation" in the search box. You will get several links including "If I died tonight would I go to heaven?" Read the links and your Bible and contact a church that teaches all of the Bible. I hope you will let me know if you have any questions and if you have recently made a decision accepting Christ. Know that I am praying for you as a reader of my blog.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Book Contest Winner and New Contest

I am happy to announce that Robin John Grant is the winner of the my monthly book contest. I have contacted her and will be mailing the book off as soon as I receive her info. The drawing for February 1st will be for Protecting Amy by Susan Page Davis. Susan is a fellow member of ACFW. This is her first published novel. Although I have not yet read this book by her (it's in my growing TBR pile), I will share the back cover blurb to whet your appetite for this historical romance.

"Tom Barkley never wastes time thinking about women. But that's before Fort Bridger comes under threat of attack, and the experienced scout is asked to escort the commander's daughter to the safety of Ft. Laramie. Tom quickly realizes that the spirited Amy Travis is a skilled horsewoman who can hold her own on the arduous four-day trip. But she's also unnervingly adept at making Tom reveal his heart."

If this book sounds like something you'd like to read, leave a post on this or one of my other blogs for January, and you'll be eligible for the drawing on Feb. 1st. See Dec. 2nd post below for further contest rules. I also hope you will read my Dec. 9th post and pray for Kristy Dykes and check out her website for further updates.

Hope everyone gets lots of reading done in January--that's what I plan to do!