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.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tourists in Venezia and Tuscany and Florence

It has been almost a month since I last posted some pictures from our Italy trip last month, so here are a few more. Hope you enjoy travelling vicariously with me!

In Venice we did a lot of touristy things--like feeding the pigeons in St. Mark's Square, taking a gondola ride on our 41st anniversary, and eating lots of gelato! We also took a water taxi to the Isle of Murano off the coast of Venice and watched an experienced glass blower turn melted sand into beautiful objects d'art.

After two days in Venice, we travelled down the road to Florence, another magnificent city filled with century-old treasures. We ate more gelato and toured the beautiful Santa Croce church seen here with the star of David on top. Inside are many frescoes and the tombs of several Italians such as Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Galileo and Rossini. We later saw Michelangelo's famous David and several renditions of it. We saw where the Medici families lived when they controlled Florence and Tuscany for over 300 years. I hope you can see the distinctive skyline of Florence in the picture behind me and my husband. Notice the church spires and bell tower. The dome-shaped one to the left of my head is the top of the Duomo.

On our way back to Rome, we spent several hours at a picturesque Tuscan village which was one of our favorite stops of the tour. San Gimignano is a real Renaissance village with watchtowers intact, known as the "medieval Manhattan of Tuscany." It even has a set of "twin towers" to prove it! I hope you can see the hand-carved stones in the ancient walls behind me and my husband eating...more gelato!

Back in Rome, our last night included a farewell Italian dinner, complete with opera singers and pasta at the Papa Rex Ristorante--a lovely ending to a lovely time. Arrivederci, Roma!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Books by Kim Sawyer--My Heart Remembers and Where the Heart Leads

With all my travels this year, I am waaay behind on my book reading. This past two weeks I have allowed myself the pleasure of reading the last two of my dear friend Kim Sawyer's books that I hadn't read yet. You can read more of Kim's journey to publishing on her website at www.kimvogelsawyer.com and can even order the books there.

I love all of her writing, but I have to say that these two stories really tugged on my heartstrings at all the characters had to go through to follow where God was leading their hearts. I know your heart will be blessed in reading them, too.

Besides being a great writer, Kim is also very prolific. She self-published 4 books in the Mountain Lake series, then in 2006 she had two books pubbed by major publishers-one by Barbour and one by Bethany House. In the past 3 years, she has had 9 more books plus a novella in an anthology and had 2 of her sets of books compiled into 3-in-ones. She is one busy lady!

If you want to see a picture of me with Kim, then scroll down to the April 25th, 2009 post. Now we only have 2 more months to wait until her next book comes out in August of this year. It is entitled Fields of Grace and I can't wait to read it! I hope you will check at your bookstore or library for any of of Kim's books you haven't read yet and use them to keep you enjoyably occupied while waiting for the next one to release!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Book Review--Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills

I just returned from the Write to Publish Writing Conference 5 days ago and all the aspects of great writing are still swirling through my head from the many wonderful teachers and the classes I attended .

I have to say that this book by DiAnn Mills is definitely great writing and then some--well written hero and heroine you immediately feel drawn to--with high morals, yet flawed like the rest of us; also well-rounded minor characters; superb description; exciting plot with escalating conflict and tension; and many unexpected twists and turns that will keep you reading long past your bedtime like I did!

Here is the back blurb description of the heroine: Paige Rogers is a former CIA agent who lost all she treasured seven years ago when her entire team was killed in a covert mission. She blames their leader--Daniel Keary, a just-announced candidate for governor of her state--whom Paige believes betrayed them. Disillusioned and afraid for her life, she disappears and starts a new life as a small-town librarian."

If you read this book, I guarantee you'll never look at your librarian with the same eyes! And you'll be caught up in this book like a movie unfolding before your eyes. Come to think of it, this book would make a great movie!

DiAnn has graciously offered to mail a copy of Breach of Trust to our winner this month. Please leave a comment by June 30th to be eligible for the drawing on July 1. And leave your email addy or some way of contacting you if you win. Must have US mailing address.

Monday, June 01, 2009

And the winner is...

Lisa Lickel who will receive a copy of The 100 Most Important Bible Verses in honor of my 100th blog last month. I had 30 blog comments last month, so keep them coming.

This month's book to win is a Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills. Since I am packing and getting ready to leave for the Write to Publish conference in the morning, I will have to cut this short and post a review of the book after I return. I will tell you that I think it's one of the best DiAnn Mills' books ever, and I am a big DiAnn Mills' fan!