Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When Life Gives You Berries

Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes - The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning~

~But then there are those who make shortcake! Yum.
Actually, my 17 year old son Sam made this lovely dessert. So I really can't take credit.
But somehow I do believe I had something to do with encouraging and inspiring him to give it a try.
So here's my point, if things aren't coming together as you would like, cheer someone else on and be part of their creative process. It can't hurt, and who knows, you just may create something unexpected and delicious yourself.

The possibilities are endless!

Friday, August 27, 2010

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Surrender the Heart
Barbour Publishing (August 1, 2010)

M. L. Tyndall


M. L. (MaryLu) Tyndall grew up on the beaches of South Florida loving the sea and the warm tropics. But despite the beauty around her, she always felt an ache in her soul--a longing for something more.

After college, she married and moved to California where she had two children and settled into a job at a local computer company. Although she had done everything the world expected, she was still miserable. She hated her job and her marriage was falling apart.

Still searching for purpose, adventure and true love, she spent her late twenties and early thirties doing all the things the world told her would make her happy, and after years, her children suffered, her second marriage suffered, and she was still miserable.

One day, she picked up her old Bible, dusted it off, and began to read. Somewhere in the middle, God opened her hardened heart to see that He was real, that He still loved her, and that He had a purpose for her life, if she'd only give her heart to Him completely.

She had written stories her whole life, but never had the confidence to try and get any of them published. But as God began to change her heart, He also showed her that writing had been His wonderful plan for her all along!


For the sake of her ailing mother, Marianne Denton becomes engaged to Noah Brennin---a merchantman she despises. But as the War of 1812 escalates, Jonah's ship is captured by the British, and the ill-matched couple learns vital information that could aid America's cause.

Relive the rich history of the War of 1812 through the eyes of Marianne Denton and Noah Brenin, who both long to please their families but neither one wishes to marry the other. Noah is determined to get his cargo to England before war breaks out, and Marianne is equally determined to have a wedding so that her inheritance can be unlocked and her destitute family saved. When their stubborn games get them captured by a British warship, can they escape and bring liberty to their country—and growing love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Surrender the Heart, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Masquerade by Nancy Moser

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised."Proverbs 31:30

So, what happens when a wealthy, spoiled, young aristocrat trades places with her maid in order to begin a new life in America?

The year is 1886 and Charlotte Gleason has had enough of parental rule.  Rather than marry a rich American for money, she convinces her maid, the lovely and talented Dora, to pretend to be Miss Gleason, and the Masquerade begins.

Nancy Moser crafts an engaging (no pun intended) tale that just gets better and better as it goes along.  I really enjoyed the stories of both young women as they attempted to figure out what to do with the choices they made.  I loved meeting their new aquaintances in America, some good, some really ratty...
But most of all I loved the journey, the plot twists, the artful dodging, and the fabulous writing and research that the author seamlessly offers the happy reader who picks up this book.

This is a real gem, a whole ruby necklace full, actually.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Bethany House (August 1, 2010)

Nancy Moser


Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including John 3:16 and Time Lottery, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane(Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Her newest historical novel is Masquerade. Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Sister Circle Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at

www.nancymoser.com and www.sistercircles.com.


They risk it all for adventure and romance, but find that love only flourishes in truth...

1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine.

She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place.  She wants a chance at "real life," even if it means giving up financial security. For Charlotte, it's a risk she's willing to take. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival amid poverty beyond Charlotte's blackest nightmares.

As for Dora, it's the chance of a lifetime. She lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions--yet is tormented by guilt from the possibility of discovery and the presence of another love that will not die. Is this what her heart truly longs for?

Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It's a risk. It's the chance of a lifetime.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Masquerade, go HERE.

View the book trailer:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Crying Out Loud

I needed some time to cry out to the Lord.  To weep and wail.

"I cried out to the Lord and He heard me and He answered me out of His Holy Hill."

Have you ever needed to just cry out loud?  I did.  I still do.  I'm thinking that crying out loud may be a process.  Going deeper, in spite of the dryness.  In spite of the pit in my stomach that resembles fear and the unknown.

I sought and He met me.  He lifted me out of the pit, out of the miry clay and set my feet upon the Rock.

Sometimes "retreat" is a beautiful place in the mountains, and sometimes it looks like a corner table at Starbucks.  And sometimes it's the Wailing Wall.

It really doesn't matter. He can meet us in the strangest places if we're willing.

Just cry.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Crimson Cipher
Summerside Press (July 1, 2010)

Susan Page Davis


From Susan: I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.

Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters.

For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer, covering local government, school board meetings, business news, fires, auto accidents, and other local events, including a murder trial. I've also written many profiles and features for the newspaper and its special sections. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!

Our children are all home-schooled. The two youngest are still learning at home. Jim recently retired from his vocation as an editor at a daily newspaper, and we’ve moved from Maine to Kentucky.



A female Navy cryptographer seeks to save lives...and uncover her father’s killers.

In 1915, German sympathizers escalated acts of sabotage in the United States to keep the nation from joining in the war. With enemies lurking at every turn, whom can Emma trust? Is romance the true motive behind her tow suitors advances? Or could one-or both of them-have traitorous intentions in mind?

Following the mysterious murder of Emma Shuster’s father, Lt. John Patterson invites Emma to become a Navy cryptographer because of the expertise she gained in helping her father develop a cipher system.

Emma races to discover the nefarious plans of her country's foes and unmask their leader before others are killed. She finds new strength in her faith as she strives to outwit her adversary, known only as Kobold - German for goblin.

And yet, her greatest challenge may be deciphering the cryptic messages her heart sends whenever she encounters a certain navy lieutenant... Can Emma and John find love in the midst of turmoil as America plunges toward war?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Crimson Cipher, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Gathering Storm by Brock and Bodie Thoene

I just finished this one on my fabulous road trip.  I'm staying with friends and am trying to get the hang of this borrowed computer. But:

I was determined to try to give The Gathering Storm the thought and consideration  that it truly deserves.  From The Zion Covenant to The Zion Chronicles and beyond, I have been a huge fan of the Thoene's writing, unforgettable characters, page turning story, and hope in the face of unspeakable horrors.

The cover promises "A desperate escape. A love ignited. An ancient secret revealed."

The Thoenes deliver all that and more. This is a book written from the heart of hearts, and touched my hungry heart with the message that the heart of God is ALWAYS longing and waiting for his people. And will go to the ends of the earth and the depths of human sadness and despair to meet us.

This is a Zion Diaries book, and I so look forward to more.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Gathering Storm
Summerside Press (August 1, 2010)

Bodie and Brock Thoene


Bodie and Brock Thoene (pronounced Tay-nee) have written over 50 works of historical fiction. Over twenty million of these best-selling novels are in print. Eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards affirms what millions of readers have already discovered—the Thoenes are not only master stylists but experts at capturing readers’ minds and hearts.

Bodie began her writing career as a teen journalist for her local newspaper. Eventually her byline appeared in prestigious periodicals such as U.S. News and World Report, The American West, and The Saturday Evening Post. She also worked for John Wayne’s Batjac Productions (she’s best known as author of The Fall Guy) and ABC Circle Films as a writer and researcher. John Wayne described her as “a writer with talent that captures the people and the times!” She has degrees in journalism and communications.

Brock has often been described by Bodie as “an essential half of this writing team.” With degrees in both history and education, Brock has, in his role as researcher and story-line consultant, added the vital dimension of historical accuracy. Due to such careful research, The Zion Covenant and The Zion Chronicles series are recognized by the American Library Association, as well as Zionist libraries around the world, as classic historical novels and are used to teach history in college classrooms.

Bodie and Brock have four grown children—Rachel, Jake, Luke, and Ellie—and seven grandchildren. Their sons, Jake and Luke, are carrying on the Thoene family talent as the next generation of writers, and Luke produces the Thoene audiobooks.

Bodie and Brock divide their time between London and Nevada.


As Nazi forces tighten the noose, Loralei Kepler, daughter of a German resistance leader, must flee her beloved Germany. But is any place safe from Adolf Hitler's evil grasp? Loralei's harrowing flight leads her into the arms of needy child refugees, who have sacrificed everything in exchange for their lives, and toward a mysterious figure, who closely guards an age-old secret.

Explore the romance, the passion, and the danger of the most anticipated series of the last twenty years.

Born from the highly acclaimed and best-loved novels of three generations of readers -- The Zion Covenant series and The Zion Chronicles series -- Zion Diaries ventures into the lives of the inspiring and intriguing characters who loved intensely, stood up for what was right, and fought boldly during Hitler's rise to power and the dark days of World War II.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Gathering Storm, go HERE

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Journey of a Thousand Miles...

Elsa and I are driving to Liberty University today.  We have a few stops planned along the way, a visit with family in Kentucky, and ending with a week in Virginia Beach (for me).  I'll be staying with my friend Carole-beth Rosenfarb, the Jewish believer who led me to the Lord way back in College.

I want to pray. I want to seek. I want to listen. This Summer has left me a bit parched. The bad news of oil spills and the economy, our country veering off-course, leaves me thirsty for some Living Water.

So, for eleven days I will be calling out to the King of the Universe.

And I am NOT going to believe those who say "You can't get there from here..."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Fatal Loyalty
Kregel Publications (April 23, 2010)


Sue Duffy


Sue Duffy is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Moody magazine, The Presbyterian Journal, Sunday Digest, and The Christian Reader. Her first novel Mortal Wounds was published in 2001 and she has also contributed to Stories for a Woman’s Heart (Multnomah). She and her husband, Mike, have three grown children. Find out more at www.sueduffybooks.com


Where do you run when you know you cannot hide?

Andie Ryborg has nowhere else to go. Her father's campaign for governor and his aggressive war on drugs has chased her from their family home. Drawn to Miami's exotic Coconut Grove, Andie hopes to find a quiet refuge where she can discover herself apart from the public eye. But even in that seclusion, even with an officer assigned to protect her, Andie's privacy has been violated. Someone is watching

Evan Markham's entire life has been a tug-of-war between what is and what could be. He is drawn to a life that is beyond his reach and emotions have clouded his judgment. Evan knows that earning someone's trust isn't easy, especially when he plans to break it. But in the secret corridors of the criminal underworld, he knows what must be done, and he is determined to see it through. Whatever the cost

When enemies close in, a sudden turn of events leaves them both questioning. Where is God in all of this? Who is this enigmatic stranger who offers to help? They both know their lives are in danger. But what about their hearts?

If you would like to read the Prologue of Fatal Loyalty, go HERE.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

If We Build It They Will Come...

Sam and Jon build a boat out of cardboard for the Wings of Hope
"Hope Floats" Boat Race at Forest Park. 

They name it Shark Bait.

Captain Jon and Sailor Sam are ready to launch.
Will Shark Bait survive the challenge?
The competition looks good.... Real good.... and scary!

Oh no! A minor set back! Flip flops are not allowed!
The guys must wear foot gear provided by the organizers!! 
But does that stop these sailors??
NO! They even do a little trash talking to scare the  competition.

The pirates' sister, Elsa is so proud that Shark Bait came in third.
The guys got kicked out of the NOOP (National Organization of Pirates)
for giving their prize money back to the Wings of Hope organization.