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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Fiction to Check Out

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing


(Bethany House July 1, 2007)

T. L. Hines

Would You Run Into A Burning Building?

Candace "Canada Mac" MacHugh lives a ghost of her former life.

Once a proud Butte, Montana, miner who daily risked her life setting explosives, she's now a garbage collector in her dying hometown.

Her beloves father is dead and she doesn't speak to her mom. More than anything, Candace Mac misses her father. He promised to contact her from the "other side" if he could...but it's been eleven long years. And now even her beloved city of Butte, Montana, seems to be dying off.

Candace Mac is alone. Longing for the past. Dreaming of making a difference.

Until one night when her father's voice speaks to her from the shadows. Bud MacHugh's trademark growl. The dead, it seems, have messages they hunger to share with the world...warnings of impending disasters and grave danger. Of cities doomed to burn.

But they need Canada's help.

T.L. Hines' first novel, Waking Lazarus was named one of the Library Journal's Top 25 Genre novels of 2006. Now he's back with a gripping suspense that brings to light our fears and asks us if we still have the courage to fight for those around us. if we have the guts to be one of those who run into burning buildings.

"Chilling!" Publishers Weekly

Monday, August 27, 2007

Cultivate a Connection

I am reading a wonderful piece in the current issue of Discipleship Journal, by Cynthia Bezek and Buddy Westbrook. The article is called "Cultivating A Connection with God" and is aimed at helping the reader develop his devotional life, to deepen his relationship with God. The authors go into much more depth in the magazine, but I thought some of their points apply to me as I work on devotionals for a compilation.

A few highlights--

Making Connections
(Bible reading, Memorizing and Meditation)

--Prayer: Be vulnerable when you pray. Anticipate and listen for His understanding response. Receive what He shares.

--Worship: Recognize who God is and reflect that back to Him.

Afraid to Get Close?

--Fear of being disrespectful: We may be afraid to approach His majesty.

--Fear of disappointment: We may be afraid of His answer

--Fear of disclosure: We may be afraid of criticism

--Fear of silence: We may be afraid He won't be listening

Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Psalm 27:7-8

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Void

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Multnomah Fiction August 21, 2007)


Mark Mynheira

The Truth Chasers Book Three

Someone’s trying to play God…and he’s turning Palm Bay into hell.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Robbie Sanchez devotes her life to crime prevention, and it shows: She has no personal life and doesn’t know the meaning of a day off. After all, someone has to be around to clean up the mess crime leaves behind.

So when Officer Brad Worthington is brutally murdered, Agent Sanchez is called to the scene along with Brad’s best friend, Detective Eric Casey. The two turn to Lifetex, the genetics lab near the scene, hoping their elaborate security system might have captured the crime outside.

But what’s going on inside the lab is far worse: a renegade scientist is cloning humans! As Robbie and Eric pursue clues–and a growing attraction–they are caught in a deadly battle as the clones begin to act on their own volition…but this battle threatens to claim more than human life; the clones are vying for human souls.

The Void is nothing short of a page-turner. Mynheir is truly hitting his stride as one of our industry's most notable Christian novelists. This latest book has it all: suspense, humor, intrigue, realistic police action, and one thought-provoking story line.

Creston Mapes
Author of Nobody

Monday, August 20, 2007

Notes From A Spinning Planet

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I'd like to share with you an author and series I am really enjoying! Melody Carlson has a new heroine, 19 year old Maddie, whom I could relate to despite her being a "young adult." Maddie's trip to Ireland with her aunt was a fun read and a mini-history lesson. I always knew Ireland had a rich history and without being dull, Maddie and the characters bring it to life. This series is published by Waterbrook Press.

The Notes from a Spinning Planet series follows the adventures of 19-year-old Maddie Chase as she travels around the world with her Aunt Sid, a reporter. Excitement and adventure abound as Maddie learns about the world, different cultures, and herself. In her latest trip to Mexico, Maddie is taken aback to encounter the poverty of the land—and of her own heart. The third book in the Notes from a Spinning Planet series invites young women to explore a love deeper than simple affection—and the beauty of true sacrifice.

I have also started reading the next book in the series, in which Maddie travels with her aunt to Papua New Guinea. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket The next journey I will embark on with Maddie will be to MexicoPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Melody Carlson is the winner of the RITA Award and the Gold Medallion and has published over ninety books for adults, children, and teens, including Finding Alice, Crystal Lies, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. Carlson is the mother of two grown sons and lives in a "cabin in the words" near the Cascade Mountains in central Oregon with her husband and a chocolate lab retriever. A full-time writer and part-time gardener, biker, skier, and hiker, Carlson can be found on the Internet at

Friday, August 17, 2007

No Place Like Home

My "day job" is in the mortgage industry, a field I've been in for more than twenty years now. I've seen loan officers and mortgage brokers make bad decisions over the years, many based on greed, and it looks like a lot of folks are in trouble now because of these decisions. In light of all the mortgage woes, I am posting an excerpt from's devotional of a few days ago--reminding us of the importance of home.

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A prayer and blessing on the place you live. At the end of the classic
movie the "Wizard of Oz," Dorothy uttered those now famous words, "There is
no place like home, there is no place like home." How right she was. Where
we live serves as the basic foundation for our daily life. Home is where
our day usually begins and ends. It is the place we can go to escape from
the world and find peace and rest. The incredible importance of where a
person calls home is the same in the United States as it is in Canada, in
Europe, in Asia, in South America, in Africa, or anywhere else in the world.
Our home is a major part of most people's journey through this life and why
today I want to talk about the spiritual aspects of where you live, as well
as pray for and bless your home!

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make
during your life. For most, it will be the largest purchase they will make.
I find it amazing that the vast majority of people, even Christians, never
even pray when looking for their home. Where we live is such an important
part of our daily life, you should never go looking for a new place to live
without spending time before the Lord, asking Him to guide you to the exact
place He wants you to live. Like everything in life, we should only want to
be where God wants us to be, and that most definitely includes the place we
call home.

In addition to praying when you are looking for a new home, you should pray
for the place you live every day. Your home is a physical structure. No
matter how solid it is built, it is still only temporary. Since your home
is so important to your daily life, you need pray every day for God to
protect your home. There are so many things that can literally destroy the
place you live. Fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and
other acts of nature can destroy your home. We see in the news often where
cars, trucks and even planes crash into people's homes. You can also have
problems with different materials used in building your home that causes
problems, not to mention insects and animals that can damage your home.
There is an endless list of things that can happen to physically destroy the
place you live, so you should pray every day for God's protection on your

You should also pray over your home every day. Pray that it will be a place
of safety for you and your family. With the incredible amount of evil in
this world, you have people who will try to break in to steal your
possessions as well as those who want to come to cause you or your family
physical harm. Pray every day for God to not only protect your home from
evil, but that your home will be a refuge, a place of safety and comfort and
peace for you and your family to live

Your home should not only be a place of safety, of comfort, of peace, of
rest, where you and your family live, but your home should also be a place
where the Sprit of God resides! It should be a place where the Truth of the
Bible is honored and where Jesus is King! I counsel people all the time to
find a location in their home that literally becomes your altar, your
sanctuary, that special place where you go to spend time with the Lord. It
doesn't have to be elaborate, simply some location in your home that is set
aside for prayer, family devotions, and just fellowshipping with the Lord.
I promise you, that it will quickly become the most special place in your

Also, I am amused at how many people have elaborate, state-of-the-art
security systems to protect their home and family from burglars and things
that can destroy your home like fire, but those same people pollute their
home with porn, witchcraft, and so many other things that are in complete
rebellion to God. How can you ask God to bless your home while you have a
stash of pornographic magazines and movies in your closet? How can you ask
God to protect your home from danger when have a Ouiji Board and tarot cards
in your dresser drawer? You need to take control over what comes into your
home both through the doors as well as today thru your phone, internet,
cable, and satellite connections.

My friend, your home is the place you and your family live your lives. It
is a very special place. A home is not a real home without the Lord's
presence. Just like your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are
instructed not to pollute our temples, the same is true with our home. If
we want God's presence in our homes, we need to make our homes a holy place.
That doesn't mean you can't live in your home. It simply means that you do
all you can to keep your home free from sin and the things that are in
rebellion to God. Where you live is the most special place in your life and
it should be your desire to share that place with the Lord.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thanks to Robin Lee Hatcher for posting a link to this great video--it's a song titled:

Left Behind (The Rapture Song)

Give it a listen!
This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing


(Zondervan August 15, 2007)


Elizabeth Whiteis the author of Fireworks and Fair Game, as well as the critically acclaimed Texas Gatekeepers serie from Love Inspired Suspense.

In her own words, she appreciate her most valued roles as wife and mom. Beth is also a second-grade Sunday school teacher, church orchestra member (She plays flute), and artist. She loves to read, crochet, sew, go on mission trips and avoid housework.

Beth lives in Mobile with her minister husband, and is currently on staff at First Baptist Church of North Mobile (fondly known as NoMo), in Saraland, Alabama.

Ambition is on a collision course with a secret from the past.

Judge Laurel Kincade, a rising political star, is announcing her candidacy for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Her aristocratic Old South family, led by her judge grandfather, beams as she takes the podium. Then her eyes light on a reporter in the crowd…and suddenly her past becomes a threat to her future.

Journalist Cole McGaughan, religion reporter for the New York Daily Journal, has received an intriguing call from an old friend. Private investigator Matt Hogan has come across a tip…that Laurel's impeccable reputation might be a facade. Matt suggests that Cole dig up the dirt on the lovely judge in order to snag his dream job as one of the Journal's elite political reporters.

There's just one problem: Cole's history is entangles with Laurel's and he must decide if the story that could make his career is worth the price he'd have to pay.

A sensational scoop becomes a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Can Laurel and Cole find forgiveness and turn their hidden past into a hopeful future...while keeping their feelings off the record?

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The characters were believable and their reunion very emotional. I will read Beth White again!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Connected Once Again

Sorry for the lapse in posting--I was without an internet connection most of last week. I had this wonderful idea about saving $25 each month by disconnecting a second phone line we rarely use. It was *not* the line we use for our DSL service, but I'm sure you see where this story is heading. . . multiple calls to the Tech Support Department which are routed through other countries. . . taking off work only to have the Tech guy not show up. . . . and finally a call to the phone company's corporate headquarters (president's office) and then like magic, the tech appears the next day.

So we are connected once again. Tomorrow I am going to post a review on a book I read and really enjoyed: Off the Record by Elizabeth White.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

How Tiny We Are

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and survivors of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. As I watched the news reports, I was amazed by how tiny the cars and people appeared. This verse from my reading today also reminded me of how tiny we humans are:

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?

Isaiah 40:12

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Returning to Return To Me

This week The Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is touring Robin Lee Hatcher's newest release: Return To Me.

I blogged about this last month and am posting it again in case you missed it.

Return to Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

This story kept me turning pages--and though everyone knows the story of the first prodigal son, reading Robin's story had me weeping along with the characters and rejoicing with them as well. This is a wonderful, contemporary story of love between family and love between man and woman, and how these characters learn to let go of the past. I highly recommend it.