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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sit Up Straight And Don't Rub Your Eyes!

The new edition of Spirit Led Writer is up now. Check out my column--this month's topic is posture and vision tips for writers.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Spirit of Sweetgrass

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Integrity/Thomas Nelson (March 6, 2007)

Nicole Seitz

Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins is a 78-year-old sweetgrass basket weaver who sits on the side of Hwy. 17 in the company of her dead husband, Daddy Jim.

Inspired by her Auntie Leona, Essie Mae finally discovers her calling in life and weaves powerful "love baskets," praying fervently over them to affect the lives of those who visit her roadside stand.

Relations are strained with her daughter Henrietta, who thinks Essie belongs in a retirement center. If Essie can't pay $10,000 in back taxes to save her home, she may have no choice. More tensions: her grandson EJ wants to marry a white girl, Essie discovers that a handsome man she's trying to find a girl for is gay, and her daughter carries a hidden secret.

When she's faced with losing her home and her stand and being put in a nursing home, Daddy Jim talks her into coming on up to Heaven to meet sweet Jesus-something she's always wanted to do.

The SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS shifts less successfully to the afterlife, where her Gullah-Creole ancestors surround her; but soon, her heavenly peace is disrupted, for she still has work to do. Now Essie Mae, who once felt powerless and invisible, must find the strength within her to keep her South Carolina family from falling apart. Together, with Daddy Jim, they team up to return to Earth and battle two spirits conjured up by Henrietta's voodoo that threatens to ruin an attempt to save the sweetgrass basket weaving culture.

Friday, May 25, 2007

In Memory

My thoughts and prayers will be with all who have given their lives for our freedom, and for their families, this Memorial Day weekend.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

(The Occupational Hazards)

(WaterBrook Press May 15, 2007)


Rene GutteridgeABOUT THE BOOK:

Will Fannie be able to keep her family...and her heart, safe and find a new life on the frontier?

Book One of the Westward Hearts series, orphans Fannie Caldwell and her two young siblings have spent the last three years as indentured servants under a cruel master. Desperately wanting a better life for her brother and sister, Fannie devises a plan to secretly join a wagon train heading west.

Her plan immediately runs into trouble when the handsome yet bullheaded wagon master Blake Tanner refuses to allow an unmarried woman on the train.

But Fannie's determined...she'll escape and go west with or without help!

As life on the trail tests everyone's endurance and faith, Fannie soon realizes the perils of being a single woman on the frontier. Witnessing Fannie fending off one scare after another, Blake slowly recognizes how much he cares for this alluring young woman.

Will Blake sacrifice his own dreams and guide Fannie to safety?

Or will Fannie's stubborn independence keep her from finding true love?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Characters Blogging

Great topic on Laura Hamby's blog today--have you visited blogs which feature the author's characters in conversation? If so, did you like it?

Please post links to examples if you find them!

Laura writes:

I was chatting with a writer friend via IM last night, about the trend towards characters from romance novels blogging-- yanno, in first person. We both decided it made us uncomfortable to both read such a blog. Now, if this is something you've done personally, GREAT! Send me a link to your blog so I can see for myself how you've done it. But for me to write a blog from say, Coralie's (heroine in Cupid on a Mission)POV, I'm thinkin' it would read like it was me trying very hard to channel a character I wrote in 3rd person, through a first person point of view. Did that make any sense? GGG.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

There's a very nice post on Beth Moore's blog today--

The Self Condemnation of a Red Bird

I just have a second but I can't get something off my mind so I decided to log on and throw it up here. I've told you before that I really dig birds. I keep lots of feeders and feel really co-dependent when I'm out of town and can't fill them up. As ridiculous as it sounds, they bring me untold joy. One of my birds, however, is having a serious issue. I think it's mental - and I can certainly relate - but it's manifesting itself in all manner of outward expressions. I've been home plenty lately so it's not my fault...I don't think. But it may be my responsibility. I'm too co-dependent to know for sure. Here's the scene: This lone female red bird keeps attacking the mirrors on both sides of my car. She wildly flaps her wings, chatters madly, and runs into one mirror repeatedly then flies to the other side of the car and gives it an equal piece of her mind. Like she's got anything left. She makes such a racket that I can hear her all the way in the kitchen and I just stand there in total astonishment, looking out the window onto the driveway. I, then, proceed outside and try to talk some sense into her. No matter how close I get, she never lets up. She just keeps attacking her own self. Only she doesn't realize it's her.

She's got such a beef with the red bird in the mirror that she has nearly pecked her blessed little beak into a nub. Clearly, the whole ordeal has her stomach upset. I've had to hose down the car on both sides. I keep trying to tell her, "It's you! It's only you in the mirror! Let up, Girlfriend!" For lack of a better solution, we now have old kitchen towels draped over the mirrors which upsets me since some of my neighbors think we're crazy religious freaks as it is. Now they'll think we're vampires to boot.

Click here to read the rest of Beth's tale, and how she ties it to this verse:

"This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything." 1 John 3:19,20

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

(Revell March 1, 2007)
Ann Gabhart


Nothing will be the same after the summer of 1964.

Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill, and the town seems as if it is holding its breath--waiting. Jocie Brooke is nervous about starting high school. Her sister Tabitha is experiencing the weariness of waiting for a new baby. Her father David is feeling the timidity of those first steps toward true love. All of these pivotal steps in life are awaiting the Brooke family.

Into this cloud of tense anticipation, a black family from Chicago, the Hearndons move here to plant an orchard outside of town. Fresh off the Freedom Train, Myra Hearndon is sensitive to what the color of her skin may mean in a Southern town. Her family will have to contend with more than the dry ground and blazing sun as they try to create their ORCHARD OF HOPE.

Jocie finds herself befrending a boy that some townspeople shun. Due to unspoken racial lines in this southern town, the presence of these newcomers sparks a smoldering fire of unrest that will change Hollyhill..and Jocie...forever.

In this close-knit community, everything is about to change.

Let this riveting novel take you along to experience unexpected love, new life, and renewed faith amid life's trials.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thanks so much to Brenda and The Romance Studio! Woohoo!!

Good Samaritan
Robin Bayne
Inspirational romance
Available from By Grace Publishing
March 2007

Rachel Martin is in a quandary; her only job has been working for Davie at Davie’s Desserts—and he just went to France! Now Rachel is faced with no help, no money, few supplies, and contracts she cannot fulfill. Her faith in God has dwindled through the years and, in spite of the strong prayer lives of her Mother and sister, she does not have much to turn to.
And then there is, of course, a man; Timothy Gardner, at 6’3”, works out to keep his lean physique that he had while in the military, is one of her best customers. His parents own Gardner’s Gazebo CafĂ© and, while they are traveling, he set out to prove that he is able to run the restaurant and excel. He has adopted, as the signature dessert, one of Rachel’s masterpieces, cheesecake with golden icing and a tiny gazebo on each piece--and he needs 12 every day of the weekend!

When Tim finds out Rachel is in trouble, he works undercover to ‘help’ her. He prays for a way to do that, and anonymously pays bills and orders supplies. He realizes he is interested in her and asks her out. What occurs next is the focus of their story. Whether she is able to meet her contract with him is another predicament she faces.

There are several other characters—strongly written—who help create this great story. The plot is solid and, while it deals with several issues, it does not falter in creating a wonderful, feel-good story about a young woman learning to depend on God for her needs and allowing others to help.

Ms. Robin Bayne has written a beautiful novel with a somewhat surprise ending. I am honored to have reviewed this book and I recommend it highly. Pick up this book to read and, if you are going through a rough time yourself, it can give you hope for the future!

Overall rating: 5 HeartsSensuality rating: Sweet

Reviewer: Brenda Talley

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Multnomah April 16, 2007)


Amy Wallace

It is one of those books that after you read a little and put it down, the desire to see what will happen next is so strong that it will occupy your thoughts, compelling you to make the time to finish. But watch out! It is best consumed where no one will hear you cry because, if you have children, it will hit you like a stab in the gut and wrench you with a twist of the knife.

Although the subject at first depresses, the characters are so real and likable that you need to see what will become of them.

This book will NOT bore you.


Chained To Yesterday

When tragedy struck and Gracie Lang lost everything, her faith crumbled, and nothing but the drive for justice propelled her forward. But after two years of dead-end searching, the truth Gracie seeks is the very thing her stalker will stop at nothing to hide.

Forgiveness Unlocks the Future

An FBI agent in the Crimes Against Children Unit, Steven Kessler spends his days rescuing other people’s children and nights caring for his son. He’s through with God, embittered by his ex-wife who abandoned them both, and definitely doesn’t expect what’s coming next.

The Past Is the Key

A plot to kidnap a British ambassador’s daughter dangerously intersects Steven and Gracie’s worlds–a collision that demands a decision. But are they willing to pay the high ransom required to redeem dreams and reignite hope?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Like Making Sausage

Excerpt from Bill Keller's Daily Devotional. It seems to apply not only to my nutritional and spiritual needs, but also to writing:

The reality is, living our faith each day is a bit like making sausage. It is not always pretty. There are things in our life we wish weren't there. However, if we don't give up, work at it each day, do the things we are supposed to do, in the end it works! That is the bottom line. As disgusting as the process of making sausage can be, the fact is when it is finished, cooked on an open grill, it tastes great!!! As difficult and challenging as living our faith is each day, as much as we struggle to follow the Lord and His Word, the fact is at the end of the day we find that peace, the assurance of His love, and realize it really works.

Just like making sausage isn't the prettiest site to behold, neither is how we live our faith most of the time. We all struggle, fail, battle, move forward, fall back, realize we need to do more, get weary, get convicted, question God, find a good groove for a while, lose it, wonder what we are supposed to do for the Lord, get to where we need to be, and so on it goes. Sound familiar? This is life my friend as we fight the battle each day with the flesh and the Sprit, as we do our best to "die to self" and live our life for Him.

Each day is a new opportunity to walk with the Lord. If you know Jesus in the pardon of your sins by faith, you will be spending all eternity with Him. Now is a good time to learn how to walk with Him. You do that daily by reading God's Word, praying, and by consciously surrendering your life to Him each day. It is the only relationship you will take from this brief journey through life and enjoy for all eternity. The best part, despite all of the problems, the trials and tribulations of living in our weak flesh and in this fallen world, when we walk with the Lord we come to know God's peace, His joy, and the abundance Jesus promised we would have.

Making sausage in a difficult process, so is living our faith. However, in the end both can turn out wonderful!!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tribulation House

This week


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Harvest House 2007)


Chris Well


Chris Well is a fellow member of the CFBA and founder of its sister organization, FIRST. He is an acclaimed novelist and award–winning magazine editor and has previously written the “laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers” Deliver Us from Evelyn and Forgiving Solomon Long(one of Booklist’s Top 10 Christian Novels of 2005). He has also contributed to 7ball, Infuze, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Chris and his wife live in Tennessee, where he is hard at work on his next novel.



Mark Hogan has it all. The job. The family. A position on the board at church. All he’s missing is a boat. Not just any boat—a 2008 Bayliner 192.

When Reverend Daniel Glory announces that the Rapture is taking place on October 17 at 5:51am, Hogan realizes his boat–buying days are numbered. So he does what any man in his situation would do—he borrows a load of money from the mob.

Not that there’s any risk involved: After all, when the Rapture comes, Hogan will be long gone. The mob will never find him.

But when Jesus fails to come back on schedule, Mark Hogan finds the mob is in no mood to discuss the finer points of end–times theology...

Chris Well’s laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers appeal to the millions of readers who gobble up the rollicking crime fiction of Janet Evanovich and Elmore Leonard. TRIBULATION HOUSE does not disappoint!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Get Great Stuff, Help Stop Juvenile Diabetes!

Be sure to visit author Brenda Novak's Annual Auction to benefit Juvenile Diabetes.

There are wonderful items to bid on, including books (including my latest release), gift baskets, gift cards, trips, jewelry, quilts, etc. And for writers-- meetings with editors, critiques, mentoring, agent appointments, etc.

Brenda says:

Join me as I work to raise money for those suffering from diabetes. My youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, so this is a very personal cause for me. I appreciate the support of the many people who have come together to make this happen. What an inspiration their generosity has been! In year one, we raised $34,982 that went directly to research. In year two, we nearly doubled that amount at $63,000. This year I'm hoping to to reach $75,000. To encourage your excitement over this event, the person who places the most bids over all (even if that person doesn't win a single item) will receive some amazing prizes.