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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Winning and Losing

This is an excerpt from Bill Keller and's daily devotional--it applies to writing as much as it does to life in general.

The first lesson in losing, in failing, is to take personal responsibility
and not blame other people or anything else. Having spent 31 months of my
life in Federal Prison, having ministered these past 18 yrs to tens of
thousands of men and women who are incarcerated, I can tell you the biggest
problem I see with people in prison is the refusal to take personal
responsibility for the choices that put them in prison. Most people you talk
to who are in prison will tell you they are there because of what this
person or that person said or did. They are not willing to accept
responsibility that they are there because of the choices THEY MADE. A
person who is in prison will never be able to move forward and turn their
life around until they are ready to accept personal responsibility for THEIR

Whenever we lose or fail, it is always easy to sit back and make excuses.
Some of those excuses may even be valid. However, rather than investing the
time and energy into finding excuses why we lost or failed, it is far more
productive to look at the role WE played in our loss or failure. You learn
nothing by blaming someone else or making excuses. When you sit down and are
honest to look at yourself, at the choices you made that contributed to your
loss or failure, then you are able to learn from the mistakes you made and
hopefully not repeat them in the future. We can all learn much from our
losses and failures in life if we will simply be honest with ourselves and
take the time to analyze our thoughts and actions so we can identify what we
did wrong.

The second lesson in losing, in failing, is to not let our loss or failure
paralyze us from trying again. Some people become so devastated by losing,
by failing, that they simply refuse to try again. My friend, losing and
failing are part of life. As I said earlier, the only people I have met who
have never lost or failed are people who have never tried. You can't be
afraid of losing or failure. Nobody likes to lose. Nobody likes to fail.
However, you will never win unless you also lose and you will never succeed
unless you also fail. Rather than being paralyzed by losing and failing, let
them motivate you. Learn from your losses and failures so that you don't
repeat the mistakes and poor choices you made that led to them. Instead of
losing and failing making you weak, they can make you strong.


The third lesson in losing, in failing is this, THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH
GOD! In the process of serving the Lord, we will always have times and
experiences when we feel in our flesh that we have failed, that we have let
the Lord down. That is a lie from the pits of hell! THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH
GOD! You can't fail when you are serving the Lord. The only way you can fail
is to NOT serve Him! God uses our obedience and faithfulness in ways we will
never see or understand until we get to Glory. The reality is, when we are
yielded to the Lord, God uses our lives to do incredible things that we
never even realize.

As a matter of fact, I submit that the greatest things you will ever do for
God you don't even know you did them until you get to Heaven. Those are the
things you do each day simply by being obedient and faithful . God will give
us a little feedback along the way since He knows our flesh is weak and
needs encouragement. However, the vast majority of what God does in and
through our lives we will never fully comprehend in this life. Don't forget,
our job isn't to know everything that is going on, it is simply to be
obedient and faithful. God can use a willing and yielded vessel!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day!

This is a devotional I wrote a few years ago, and it was published as part of Cup of Comfort's Daily Devotional collection.

Boxing Day (Dec 26)

Give With Good Cheer

You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully.

2 Corinthians 9:7

When your decide to give to those in need, do it with a smile and much love.

Boxing Day was first observed in Queen Victoria’s England, in the mid-1800's, with servants and tradesmen receiving gifts and money. Children received small gifts from their parents, and the poor would go door-to-door hoping for treats to fill their boxes. The custom is still practiced today in England and Canada, but the concept of charitable giving is upheld in countries all over the world.

Jesus encouraged us to take care of the poor, to share our worldly possessions with those of us less fortunate. Throughout the holiday season, individuals and businesses donate what they can to ease the burdens of others. Make it a habit to think of the poor all year round. Share your material wealth and your spiritual wealth– the knowledge of God’s love. Un-box His word and share the joy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Keep These Things

The gifts were many, each a treasure
Some of wealth, more of the heart.

The greetings robust, yet hushed
And filled with awe.

The star shimmered still, even
As morning neared.

Her body drained, Mary sighed, breathing in scents
Of pungent hay, and sheep, and donkey.
Her pulse quickened again at the wonder—
Her new son, her Jesus, who would be Lord.

She knew the Scriptures and held them dear.

Her stomach clenched, overwhelmed at being chosen.
Her, a common girl, not worthy, not ready.

The baby fussed, and Mary hugged Him to her chest. A breeze
Tickled the hairs on her arm, and she smiled.
She thought of the Angel’s words, the shepherd’s words.
The voices lifted in praise.

Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.
She held them dear.

The Christmas Candle

A single flame flickers, alone in the silence
Wax drips like lace down all sides
No one watches, but like the greatest star
Which ever rose, it is a
Flicker of light, flicker of hope.

Those in darkness have seen great light,
The flame leaps with joy, and sways silently,
no sound in the night, and like the greatest star
which ever rose, it is a
Flicker of light, flicker of hope.

The children clutch white candles,
Casting pinpricks of light like stardust
In the land, sprinkled on all men from the greatest star
Which ever rose.
Flickers of light, flickers of hope.

Across the globe the candles shine
Their flames bow and praise the Great News.
They light the sky, they light the sanctuaries as they wait
And watch for the greatest start which ever rose.
Flickering with light, flickering with hope.

I wrote these poems last year but thought I'd share them again. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cover Art Award

I am thrilled to announce that "Words to Write By" has won an Honorable Mention for its wonderful cover art. Lee Emory of Treble Heart Books designed the cover. Thanks to everyone who voted!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Take a moment and read the article published today by the owner of Treble Heart Books, Lee Emory. It's titled "Onward Christian Soldiers" and deals with the very real threat we face today as Christians.


Are we, as Christians, going to live the life God asks, or are we going to claim we’re Christians, sit back and fail to fight for what we know to be God’s truth? Can you count yourself among God’s Warriors or among the millions of weak-kneed brothers and sisters who are merely wannabe Christians? Oh, but not if you have to really live like it tells us to in the Bible. Do you love the Lord enough to fight off His enemies doing their best every hour of the day to destroy us? Do you love Him enough to forgive those who wrong us?

It’s time to take up the sword and fight for what you know is right, even if you have to fight your own children to show them the way. Let God’s will be done. Ignore it at your peril.

Wake up, people. We are on the brink of losing our freedom in America. The enemy now has a concentrated foothold in this country and the battle will be long and bloody—make no mistake of that—for those of us intending to fight for their most basic belief in our Creator.

It is my belief this is one time when the Lord will welcome your righteous anger toward our enemies who’ve allowed themselves to become Satan’s pawns. When people are uneducated and basically obtuse and empty headed, they are exceedingly easy to manipulate into finding fun in depravity and corruption. They find sick pleasure in disgusting, stupid commercials meant to insult intelligence. It’s so much fun to watch cartoon characters that depict sex, drugs, depravity and violence as if it’s the in-thing, a complete alternative answer to lack of sense and manners, respect for others and even grooming.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What I've Done So Far

Thanks to Robin Lee Hatcher for this fun idea--

What I've Done So Far

Directions: Put an asterisk next to the things you have done in your life, and then feel free to pass it on in your blog! Also feel free to add a couple at the end, if you like. (I didn't add anything but you can if you choose to.)

*1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
*4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
*6. Given more than you can afford to charity
*7. Been to Disneyworld
*8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
*10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
*13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
*14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
*20. Slept on an overnight train
*21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
*23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
*29. Seen a total eclipse
*30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
*33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
*35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
*37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
*41. Sung karaoke
*42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
*45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted - drawn I think that counts!
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
*52. Kissed in the rain
*53. Played in the mud
*54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (my car has, does that count?)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
*57. Started a business
*58. Taken a martial arts class (self defense)
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
*61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
*63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
*69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (book!)
*70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
*73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
*75. Been fired/laid off from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
*78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
*79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
*80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
*82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
*84. Had your picture in the newspaper
*85. Read the entire Bible
*86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
*88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
*91. Met someone famous
*92. Joined a book club
*93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
*97. Been involved in a law suit
*98. Owned a cell phone
*99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
*101. Learned to play an instrument
102. Kissed the Blarney Stone
103. Ridden a camel

I am adding:

*104. Climbed the steps to the top of the Washington Monument
*105. Climbed Stone Mountain, GA
*105. Been stung by a jellyfish

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Enjoying Christmas

An excerpt from's Daily Devo yesterday--

I am saddened every morning as I open the business page to read about
another company laying off thousands of people. While it is only a number in
a story to most, the fact is each number is a very real life, with a very
real family, that will probably be facing very real financial issues because
of losing their job. While there is never a good time to lose your job, it
is especially difficult at this time of year.

We are expected to buy gifts for our family and close friends. We are
expected to decorate our homes. We are expected to attend various parties
and events. All of these require EXTRA MONEY, over and above our normal
monthly living expenses. This time of year that is supposed to be
personified in the word JOY, quickly becomes a nightmare for many who simply
don't have the money to do all they feel they are expected to do.

First, let me reiterate the point I made last week. Christmas is NOT about
gifts. Christmas is NOT about decorating your house. Christmas is NOT about
parties. Christmas is the day each year that we set aside to celebrate the
birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is HIS birthday. THAT is what
Christmas is all about, celebrating the birth of our Lord.

Of course, it is impossible to deny the gross commercialism that marks this
time of the year. But we have choices. We CHOOSE to get caught up in how the
world celebrates Christmas. I have yet to read a news account of someone
that was forced at gunpoint to go to the local shopping mall and spend
thousands of dollars on presents. I realize that if you have children, being
able to provide them presents on Christmas morning is important.

However, what is MORE important is making them aware of what Christmas is
really about. The greatest gift that you can give your children this
Christmas is NOT some toy that they will forget about in a month. The
greatest gift that you can give your children this Christmas is the
knowledge of what this blessed day is really about...the birth of Jesus!

Some practical ways that you can do this is by attending some of the
fabulous Christmas pageants many churches now put on. In many cities, some
of the larger churches put on incredible, professionally produced Christmas
programs that do a marvelous job of telling the story of Christ's birth.
Taking your children to see these great productions will be fun and help
them understand the true meaning of Christmas. Another great thing to do
with your children is to teach them that Christmas is NOT about getting
presents, but about giving to others. Getting them involved in helping to
prepare a bag of groceries that you give to a ministry feeding the homeless
is a very easy way to help them learn the blessing of giving.

Within your own home, sitting down with the entire family and reading the
Christmas story in Luke chapter 2, spending time as a family in prayer
thanking God for the wonderful gift that He gave this world that first
Christmas, going as a family to church and celebrating His birth together
all help your children learn that Christmas is the time we set aside each
year to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. YOUR CHILDREN WILL CARRY THESE

My word for you today is that you don't have to fall into the trap of buying
lots of gifts, or decorating your home, or going to all the parties. Those
things are NOT what Christmas is about. The true peace of this season, the
true joy of this season, comes from celebrating the birth of Jesus. HE is
the reason for the season. The greatest gift that you can give someone this
Christmas is to share with them the REAL meaning of Christmas. The greatest
gift you can receive this Christmas was given over 2000 years ago when God
gave you His son Jesus!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wonderful Christmas Fiction

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Engaging Father Christmas

FaithWords (October 30, 2008)


Robin Jones Gunn

Robin grew up in Orange County, California and has lived in all kinds of interesting places, including Reno and Hawai’i.

She and her husband currently live near Portland, Oregon and have been married for 30 years. They spent their first 22 years of marriage working together in youth ministry, and enjoying life with their son and daughter who are now both grown.

As a frequent speaker at local and international events, one of Robin’s favorite topics is how God is the Relentless Lover and we are His first love. She delights in telling stories of how God uses fiction to change lives.

Robin is the recipient of the Christy Award, the Mt. Hermon Pacesetter Award, the Sherwood E. Wirt Award and is a Gold Medallion Finalist. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Media Associates International and the Board of Directors for Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers’ Guild.


Miranda Carson can't wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation.

But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda's mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost.

And yet...maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Engaging Father Christmas, go HERE

I thoroughly enjoyed this warm Christmas story!

Monday, December 08, 2008

New Fiction!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Quills And Promises

Barbour Publishing, Inc (May 28, 2008)


Amber Miller


Hi, I'm Amber, but my friends call me Tiff, short for Tiffany, my first name. I am in my 30's, married the love of my life in July 2007, and live in beautiful Colorado just east of the Front Range of the Rockies, but I love to travel and visit new places. Ultimately, my dream is to own horses and live in a one-level rancher or log cabin nestled in the foothills of the mountains. For now, I will remain where I am and do what I love—design web sites and write.

Amber's very first book, Promises, Promises, released in February 2008. It's a historical fiction set in Delaware during the Colonial period and the Great Awakening. The other 2 books in the series are this current one, Quills And Promises (July 2008) and Deceptive Promises (December 2008). In 2009, they will be repackaged for a state set entitled Delaware Brides. She has also sold another series set in historical Michigan during the Industrial Revolution. The 3 books in that series will begin releasing in May 2009 and will be repackaged in 2010 as Michigan Brides.


-- Separated from Madison when he leaves to fight the French and Indians, Elanna Hanssen must choose between her heart and her head, especially when Madison's integrity is questioned. --

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not until thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." ~Proverbs 3:5-6

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 his military duty separates them, they begin a correspondence, cautiously baring their hearts to each other. Elanna has never known emotions like this before, but she is drawn to the integrity she sees in her major. Wh a local news reporter 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?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Quills And Promises, go HERE.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New Fiction

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dark Pursuit

Zondervan (December 1, 2008)


Brandilyn Collins


Brandilyn Collins is known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. She is currently working on her 20th book. For chances to win free copies of her work, join her Fan Club on Facebook. Here’s what Brandilyn has to say about why she wrote Dark Pursuit:

In John Milton’s Paradise Lost Satan’s followers, kicked out of heaven, boast about storming the gates and reclaiming their territory. Beelzebub scoffs at their boasting as merely “hatching vain empires” and suggests a different revengeful scheme: seduce mankind away from God. So Satan visits the Garden of Eden to teach humans the very thing he and his cohorts have learned to be futile—the dark pursuit of hatching their own vain empires instead of following God. He presented man with this “gift” of death, disguised as life. And man fell for it.

Upon this theme of man’s fall and spiritual blindness, I created the characters and events in Dark Pursuit. The story clips along at a fast pace, with much symbolism running underneath.


Dark Pursuit—A twisting story of murder, betrayal, and eternal choices

Novelist Darell Brooke lived for his title as King of Suspense—until an auto accident left him unable to concentrate. Two years later, reclusive and bitter, he wants one thing: to plot a new novel and regain his reputation.

Kaitlan Sering, his twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, once lived for drugs. After she stole from Darell, he cut her off. Now she’s rebuilding her life. But in Kaitlan’s town two women have been murdered, and she’s about to discover a third. She’s even more shocked to realize the culprit—her boyfriend, Craig, the police chief’s son.

Desperate, Kaitlan flees to her estranged grandfather. For over forty years, Darell Brooke has lived suspense. Surely he’ll devise a plan to trap the cunning Craig.

But can Darell’s muddled mind do it? And—if he tries—with what motivation? For Kaitlan’s plight may be the stunning answer to the elusive plot he seeks...

Read the first chapter of Dark Pursuit, HERE.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Shop Now for a Great Cause

Join readers and writers in an auction to benefit author Jo Leigh.
Jo lost her husband earlier this year and has medical expenses looming. So authors, editors, agents and others donated their goods and services for this very special auction.

"Paperback Writer" donated this lovely, unused quilt.

Other items being auctioned include:

Mentoring Opportunities

Editor Critiques

Bundled books

ARCs (advance review copies)

Book/Gift Baskets

A sampling of the listings:

T. Schultz - author for Whiskey Creek Press, The Wild Rose Press and Forbidden Publications, offers a copy of The Bride Wore Boots and t-shirt, as well as a Lying Eyes & Alibis t-shirt and a happy bunny book bag with loot

Nalini Singh - Bestselling author for Berkley offers copies of Slave To Sensation, Visions Of Heat, Hostage To Pleasure

The Smart Bitches / Dear Author Winter Survival Kit: A grab bag of 25 new romance novels (some signed), both paper and audio, $30 to spend at Fictionwise, $30 to spend at Amazon

Lynn Viehl - author for Signet offers a new, unused patchwork quilt in corn & beans pattern, 74" X 52" - (above)

Shiloh Walker - author for Berkley, Ellora's Cave, and Samhain offers a signed copy of THE MISSING and a goody bag

Tawny Weber - author for Harlequin Blaze offers a Romance Memories package featuring a hand crafted 12 page My Love Story scrapbook ready to add your own pictures, a magnetic bulletin board with four flower magnets and matching heart keepsake box

Scarlet Wharton - BeautiControl consultant offers Self Tanner (including Leg-a-Peel - exfoliates skin, Scrub - polishes and smooths, Tanner- even ,natural looking tan) and Regeneration Reprogram Rejuvinating serum - an $87 value

Access Romance offers a one year membership to its author community (lower tier value of $660) along with one promo newsletter ($125 value)

AuthorMBA blog team is coming together to help you take your career to the next level. This powerful prize package includes: ** Full set of exclusive, downloadable AuthorMBA Training Guides--step-by-step guidance to help you master the business of writing! Donated by Kay Lockner ( ** Personal Brand Express Package--a fast-action approach to developing an author's brand and slogan! Donated by Jenn Stark ( ** Make Your Website Pop website evaluation--detailed written feedback on your site from a master web designer! Donated by Glass Slipper WebDesign ( ** Press Release Power Makeover--to get the media attention your writing deserves! Donated by Louise Knott Ahern ( ** Dreams to Reality goal setting guide--to put you firmly on the path to making your dreams a reality! Donated by Tawny Weber (

Joely Sue Burkhart - author for Drollerie Press offers two $20 gift certificates to the Drollerie Press Bookshop

Laurie Damron - reader blogger at Laurie's Laudanum offers a Gooseberry Patch Pocket Calendar, a Christmas Kitchen Cookbook, and a Magic of Christmas Candle - a $33 value

Eileen Dreyer - NYT Bestselling author for multiple publishers offers a character in one of her upcoming Regency era historical romances for Grand Central Publishing written as Kathleen Korbel

Deena Fisher - of Drollerie Press offers one book cover design

So join the fun and do a bit of Christmas shopping with your favorite authors, or treat yourself to a new book or gift.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Christmas Promises

Heavenly Gifts for the Holiday Season

This little book is both beautiful and inspiring. The author weaves true stories with related, helpful Scripture and quotations. The pages are decorated for Christmas and make the book a lovely gift.

“Rainbow Promises,” one of the stories included, tells of how the author met and married her husband, making eventual joy out of what was tragedy for him in the past. The story concludes with this reminder:

If you’re experiencing disappointments this Christmas, be reminded that God is seldom early, but He’s never late. As you wait, be assured that God sees the entire puzzle and is working behind the scenes for you, even when you can’t feel his presence. That’s what faith is all about.

From Amazon:

Product Description
The Bible is packed with promises concerning the daily life issues that are closest to our hearts. Unfortunately, as we get caught up in the routine of life, we often forget to seek the illumination of the Bible. Christmas Promises: Heavenly Gifts for Daily Living helps women and families personalize the timeless promises of God's Word to their everyday lives. Readers will experience the refreshment of God's one on one love as they read the personalized Scriptures that bring God's Word alive in their personal circumstances. They will be blessed during the Christmas season and throughout the year by reading about topics such as God's Promises to Provide, God's Promises of Peace, God's Promises of His Presence, God's Promises of Rest, and many more. Let the inspiring quotes and messages, true stories about God fulfilling promises, thought provoking life reflections, and prayers remind you that a personal relationship with your Creator and His Son brings heavenly hope to your weary soul.

About the Author
Leann Weiss is a bestselling inspirational author and speaker, in addition to being a political consultant. She has authored or coauthored over 50 books, and is best known for her personalized paraphrased Scriptures, which are featured in the popular Hugs series, recipient of the 2002 Retailers' Choice Awards for Best Series. LeAnn also serves as president of Encouragement Company, which she founded in 1994.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New fiction

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Beloved Captive

Barbour Publishing, Inc (November 1, 2008)


Kathleen Y’Barbo


There’s never a dull moment in the Y’Barbo household! From hockey and cheer mom to publicist to bestselling author, Kathleen Y’Barbo somehow manages to do it all - and well. While wearing her publicist’s hat, Kathleen has secured interviews with radio, television, and print media for clients at NavPress, Hatchette, Integrity, Barbour Publishing, and Broadman & Holman, to name a few. She also brings her own unique blend of Southern charm and witty prose to the more than 350,000 award-winning novels and novellas currently in print. Her novels have been nominated for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006; and 2007 will see the release of her 25th book.

Kathleen is a tenth-generation Texan and a mother of three grown sons and a teenage daughter. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University. Kathleen is a former treasurer for the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is a member of the Author’s Guild, Inspirational Writers Alive, Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild, and the Fellowship of Christian Authors. In addition, she is a sought-after speaker, and her kids think she’s a pretty cool mom, too…most of the time, anyway.

The first book in this series is Beloved Castaway.


In this sequel to Beloved Castaway, Emilie Gayarre is learning to accept her mixed race heritage while finding fulfillment in teaching children of the key. There is no denying the attraction between Emilie and the handsome young naval commander, Caleb Spencer, who is shadowed by his own flock of secrets. But if her heritage is found out, even greater things than his career are at risk. Enjoy this historical romance full of risk and redemption.

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

Monday, November 24, 2008

Write Now

For any of you who follows the blog posts by Milton Dykes, check out this post he made recently. It is such a good reminder!

Milton writes:

My thoughts are still reflecting on yesterdays post about the unexpected death of Lavada Haupt. Her passing took place so quickly. The tumor as I have heard it wasn't discovered just this past October only a few weeks back. She was at Kristy's funeral and to my knowledge had no idea of having such a severe problem.

Does that say anything to you? Does it make you think about the value of living today? Does it make you think of eternal purpose? I learned in a way I couldn't conceive in Kristy's passing that life is most precious and to be treasured far more than the majority realize.


I received this note in the mail on Saturday which simply reads:

Hope you are
writing while the
words are strong
within you.
Don't wait!



Wow, those are good words and fit with what I just shared concerning the uncertainly of life. I am writing and will heed even more the good word of the Spirit from a thoughtful friend.

Earlier in the day I had commented on the necessity of telling our story and writing it now. It is a sweet, powerful, and amazing story. You will be very surprised at how it ends.

What are you waiting to do that you know you must do?

Do it now. There may not be a tomorrow or a more convenient time.

Make amends now.
Reach out now.
Give now.
Go now.
Love now.
Write now.
Complete now.

Don't wait.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Way to Part From Your Money

Well, there's yet another scheme out there for unsuspecting writers: robologging. Thanks to Paperback Writer for bringing this to our attention.

Someone (you know who you are) asked me what I thought of, a web hosting/roboblogging service advertising itself on such indy sites as Publishers Weekly. Apparently for a mere $1200.00 in set-up fees (plus $19.95/month, plus add-on charges of $30 to $80/hour) they will "develop a presence" on the internet for you (which translates to they'll create and host your blog and update it as well feed it to other social sites like Feedburner, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Upcoming, Twitter, Squidoo, Pingfm, etc.)

I am in the wrong business is what I think.

Let's break down exactly what this service does:

1. It creates a blog for you (does not create blog content, just a blog.)

You can do the same by yourself for nothing; you just have to register with a free bloghosting service like Blogger and click your mouse a few times.

2. It creates duplicate accounts on all the social blogging/video/vanity sites (again, note that they do not create blog content, they only create other places to dump it, and they dump it for you.)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe 99% of those sites are also free to anyone who wants to register and click the mouse a few times.

Read the rest at her site.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Fiction

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips

FaithWords (November 5, 2008)


Stephen Baldwin
Mark Tabb


STEPHEN BALDWIN - actor, family man, born-again Christian - makes his home in upstate New York with his wife and two young daughters.

Equally adept at drama and comedy, Baldwin has appeared in over 60 films and been featured on such top-rated television shows as Fear Factor and Celebrity Mole. He has his own production company that is developing projects for television and the big screen. These days, however, his role as director, co-producer and host of Livin' It - a cutting-edge skate video is bringing out his white hot passion for evangelism.

Writer and communicator Mark Tabb calls himself an “internationally unknown author.” Although his books have been published around the world, he is best known for his collaborative works. His 2008 release, “Mistaken Identity”, written with the Van Ryn and Cerak families, hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list for two weeks, and remained on the list for over two months. He and actor Stephen Baldwin teamed up on their 2005 New York Times bestseller, “The Unusual Suspect,” and with their first work of fiction, “The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips,”


Even years of experience haven't prepared Officer Andy Myers for this case---

When Officer Andy Myers met Loraine Phillips, he had no interest in her son. And he certainly never dreamed he'd respond to a call, finding that same boy in a pool of blood. Even more alarming was the father standing watch over his son's body. Myers had never seen a man respond to death-particularly the death of a child-in such a way. When the father is charged with murder and sentenced to death, he chooses not to fight but embrace it as God's will. Myers becomes consumed with curiosity for these strange beliefs. What follows is the story of the bond these two men share as they come to terms with the tragedy and the difficult choices each one must make.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips, go HERE


Monday, November 17, 2008

Holiday Food Prep

Just a heads up for holiday cooks-- I've listed some great cookbooks and cooking blogs on my page at The Examiner. I've included the recipe for this wonderful, sugar-free dessert I've made many times.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I first "met" J.M. Hochstetler on line, when she was still excited about the idea of this story being published. Now it's a reality, and a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season. Grab some tissue, curl up by the fire, and enjoy this story of "a contemporary miracle."

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

One Holy Night

Sheaf House (April 1, 2008)


J. M. Hochstetler


J. M. Hochstetler writes stories that always involve some element of the past and of finding home. Born in central Indiana, the daughter of Mennonite farmers, she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Germanic languages. She was an editor with Abingdon Press for twelve years and has published three novels.

One Holy Night, a contemporary miracle story for all seasons, released in April 2008. Daughter of Liberty (2004) and Native Son (2005), books 1 and 2 of the American Patriot Series are set during the American Revolution. Book 3, Wind of the Spirit, is scheduled for release in March 2009. Hochstetler is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Christian Authors Network, Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, and Historical Novels Society.


In 1967 the military build-up in Viet Nam is undergoing a dramatic surge. The resulting explosion of anti-war sentiment tears the country apart, slicing through generations and shattering families. In the quiet bedroom community of Shepherdsville, Minnesota, the war comes home to Frank and Maggie McRae, whose only son, Mike, is serving as a grunt in Viet Nam.

Frank despises all Asians because of what he witnessed as a young soldier fighting the Japanese in the south Pacific during WWII. The news that his son has fallen in love with and married Thi Nhuong, a young Vietnamese woman, shocks him. To Frank all Asians are enemies of his country, his family, and himself. A Buddhist, Thi Nhuong represents everything he despises. So he cuts Mike out of his life despite the pleas of his wife, Maggie; daughter, Julie; and Julie s husband, Dan, the pastor of a growing congregation.

Maggie is fighting her own battle--against cancer. Convinced that God is going to heal her, Frank plays the part of a model Christian. Her death on Thanksgiving Day devastates him. Worse, as they arrive home from the gravesite, the family receives news of Mike s death in battle. Embittered, Frank stops attending church and cuts off family and friends.

By the time a very pregnant Thi Nhuong arrives on his doorstep on a stormy Christmas Eve, Frank is so filled with hate that he slams the door in her face, shutting her out in the bitter cold. Finally, overcome by guilt, he tries to go after her, but driving wind and snow force him back inside. With the storm rising to blizzard strength, he confronts the wrenching truth that what hate has driven him to do is as evil as what the Japanese did all those years earlier, and that he needs forgiveness as desperately as they did ...

Frank doesn't know that what God has in mind this night is a miracle. As on that holy night so many years ago, a baby will be born and laid in a manger--a baby who will bring forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing to a family that has suffered heart-wrenching loss.

If you would like to read the first chapter of One Holy Night, go HERE.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Thanks to Terry Whalin's blog today which reminds us of how to deal with adversity (rejections).

Gladwell has caught my attention again with his article, The Uses of Adversity which was thankfully posted online. The full article is worth reading but here's a couple of interesting paragraphs quite a ways into the article, "It's one thing to argue that being an outsider can be strategically useful. But Andrew Carnegie went farther. He believed that poverty provided a better preparation for success than wealth did; that, at root, compensating for disadvantage was more useful, developmentally, than capitalizing on advantage."

He sums it up the way my dear husband tells his son to handle rejections by his girlfriends. You just say, "Next."

Friday, November 07, 2008

The fate of booksellers

Borders and Barnes and Noble are having severe problems, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

"Never in all of the years I've been in business have I seen a worse outlook for the economy. And never in all my years as a bookseller have I seen a retail climate as poor as the one we are in. Nothing even close. The latest bubble in our system has burst, this time taking with it the hopes and dreams of tens of millions of Americans, and leaving many more in fear of their now uncertain futures. Worse, the full extent of the potential damage is still not known as this confluence of financial disasters has no precedent in our nation's history. Moreover, uncertainty itself can lead to more damage in the system, and thereby help accelerate the downward slide. Alas, we live in a consumer-driven economy: the paradox being that if we don't spend, we go broke."

The article ends on an upbeat note:

Finally, customer service becomes ever more important in times like these. And, as Mitchell might say, "Put the book in our customers' hands and don't keep them waiting in line!"

Let's make the best of the season!

I intend to do some shopping at my local B&N, how about you?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The loss of Michael Crichton

I haven't read his stuff for a long time, but I remember in high school being thoroughly creeped-out by "The Andromeda Strain." I loved Jurassic Park. Today Michael passed away at age 66, after losing his battle with cancer.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Being Thankful

Thanks to Robin Lee Hatcher for reminding us to be thankful for things today.

Like Robin, I am also

1) Very thankful to live in a country that is free and holds elections.

I am also thankful for--

2) my wonderful husband and family

3) That no matter what happens, because of Jesus, we have hope for a future.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Scary Tale for Halloween


by Lee Emory

About the book:

Aaron Gromar, former UFC Senator who’d lost favor with the new world order, is warden to Androneda Prison, a remote planet which takes five years to reach in a ship with FTL drive, but he is as much a prisoner as the inmates. He can never leave. Aaron is a strong man with a dark secret he dare not reveal as it would mean his death.

Apart from the occasional use of an isolation cell, there is no need for bars in Androneda’s Prison. Staying alive from day to day is enough deterrent to misbehavior for most prisoners. That, and a device called Lobe-O. The only sure escape from this planet is death. It’s been tried.

Berina Colchek is sentenced to life on Androneda, better known as Perdition (Eternal Hell). She’s an assassin, inured to killing. The the one emotion, perhaps the strongest she feels, is anger. Her anger and hatred is directed at the Warden Gromar and all he stands for, but she soon discovers quite a different enemy facing her she never counted on. Perdition is everyone’s enemy, and the struggle to survive its daily torments is a vital priority for staff and prisoners alike.

One thing is certain. If you’re human, Perdition will either make you stronger or destroy you utterly.

Lee Emory's "Perdition" is a chilling blend of science fiction and suspense, but one that all Christians should read. The author draws you into a world we only experience in our nightmares and makes you care for the main characters, Aaron and Berina. But even beyond the fictional heros you feel compelled to keep reading for one main reason: This could happen, this could be our future. I couldn't put it down and highly recommend it.

Rated: PG 13 (for violence)
Don't mind the cover, it's not an explicit story.

Order your copy here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pray, and Vote

Excerpt from's Daily Devotional---

Senator Obama or Senator McCain? For those who have been part of the
Liveprayer family, you know that I will never publicly endorse anyone for
elected office. Also, I have never told anyone who to or not to vote for.
My concern is not about politics, but about the spiritual issues that face
our nation, with many of those issues transcending into the political arena.
As I shared with you last week, we are called to be Godly citizens.
Christians have every right and responsibility to be involved in the
political system.

The Bible is full of examples of how God can use His children in the
political world. Men like Joseph, Daniel, David, and others were men of God
who had careers in politics. In this nation, one of the ways we make our
voice heard is through our vote. Christians should vote and vote for men
and women who will best uphold Biblical principles. If those in elected
office governed according to God's Word, this nation would be enjoying the
blessings of God instead of dealing with the consequences of our rebellion
to God and His Truth!

Last year, I told you that whoever was going to be our next President would
be no friend of God. That is clearly going to be the case. I pray that if
Christians learned one thing from the two terms of President Bush, it is
that no man who ascends to the office of President is going to put God's
agenda ahead of politics. Currently in our nation, we have a dominant
two-party system. To become the nominee of one of the two dominant parties,
to have the support of key power brokers the public never sees, to have the
ability to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars necessary, to have the
infrastructure required in all 50 states, forces the nominee to sell their
soul to the institution of politics.

Senator John McCain is going to be no friend of God. Senator McCain claims
to be a Christian but has never spoken of that moment when he gave his
heart and life to the Lord by faith. Actually, in the past, he has been
very critical of many Christian leaders, and has only embraced the Christian
community recently since he has no chance of winning without the Christian
vote. If elected, he is going to do nothing to take the Federal Government
out of the business of killing babies. He won't pursue a marriage amendment
to the U.S. Constitution. He has major support from the gambling lobby so
there is no way he will even try to curtail the proliferation of gambling in
this country. There is NOTHING to indicate Senator McCain will do anyhting
to deal with the pressing spiritual issues that face this nation.

Senator Barack Hussein Obama is going to be no friend of God. He claims to
be a Christian, a claim I dispute and have carefully detailed in a video on
the homepage that has been viewed by millions. I was the
first Christian leader to go into the secular media over a year ago and
question his claim to being a Christian. The fact is, Senator Obama was
nothing but a political hack for the Daley machine in Chicago, the same time
I started my ministry in that great city. He was a "community organizer" on
the south side, better known in Chicago as a political street thug, at the
same time I was on the south side preaching in many of the same black
churches he was involved with. I first mentioned Barack Hussein Obama in
2006 in conjunction with his church for 20 yrs., the liberal Trinity United
Church of Christ, and his pastor, the racist Dr. Jeremiah Wright who has
preached his perverted black liberation theology for 30 yrs.

Senator Obama has NEVER spoke of his salvation experience, only of his
church membership. The fact is, the only reason he even joined Trinity was
for political expediency. It was the church upwardly mobile blacks in
Chicago went to church. Much has been made of his alliances with
unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, jailed slumlord Tony
Resko, and other far-left radicals in Chicago. What most have missed is
that Senator Obama embraces this far-left radical ideology. This is
important to understand from a faith perspective, since you can't believe
this type of radical political ideology and the Christian faith. The two
are mutually exclusive. As I have made the case, his claim of faith has
been for political expedience, and not a personal relationship with the

How else can a man who claims to love Jesus, vote 100% of the time to
support the legalized slaughter of innocent babies? He makes the ridiculous
assertion that he wants to reduce the number of abortions, yet votes 100% of
the time to support this practice of legalized infanticide, even late-term
abortions where fully developed babies who are ready to be delivered have
their skulls crushed and lifeless bodies extracted from their mothers womb.
Senator Obama is also a hero in the homosexual community, fully supporting
their radical agenda his entire political career. Let me say this as clear
and concise as I possibly can. No person who claims to love the Lord could
EVER vote for a man who supports the legalized slaughter of babies and the
homosexual agenda. Let me go even further, if you have a pastor that
endorses a baby killer and an advocate of the homosexual agenda, you need to
run from that church.

It has made me sick to see high-profile Christians like TD Jakes, Paula
White, Rev. Kirbyjohn Caldwell who pastors the largest United Methodist
Church in the nation in Houston, Texas, and others, supporting Senator
Obama. It has made me sick to go on one talk show after another and
interact with callers who claim to be Christians, yet are supporting a man
for President who sees nothing wrong with killing innocent babies and
supporting the radical homosexual agenda. What a spiritually bankrupt
nation we live in when even those who claim to know Jesus, pastors who are
supposed to lead the flock, see nothing wrong with supporting a baby killer
and advocate of the agenda of sexual deviants! God help us!!!

During this campaign, Senator Obama has aggressively marketed his "Christian
faith" and gone after evangelical voters. He has sought to ignore his
support of killing babies and the gay agenda, and focus on social issues
like world hunger and AIDS in Africa, the mantra of the Christian left,
those who claim to be Christians yet compromise the Truth of the Bible.
Focusing on his social agenda, Senator Obama has tapped into Catholics and
Protestants, especially younger church goers who sadly attend churches
that have so watered down Biblical Truth, that they call themselves
Christians, yet deny the Truth of God's Word.

Of course, Senator Obama has also had the staunch support of those who hate
Christians and the Christian faith. The secular media, which loathes
Christians, has lost all journalistic integrity and is openly rooting for
and supporting Senator Obama's campaign. Even though he claims to be a
Christian, the media is not offended by Senator Obama's brand of
Christianity because he promotes this universalistic lie from hell that
everyone will go to Heaven (making faith in Jesus is meaningless), and
supports their liberal agenda like the legal killing babies and special
rights to homosexuals.

He has no real experience, no real accomplishments, a radical political
ideology, and major portions of his life are missing, yet the media doesn't
care because they have a Godless agenda that they see being fulfilled
through his winning the White House. The Judeo-Christian View ( ) is an exciting new online publication that
deals with many details you will never hear about in the mainstream media
regarding Senator Obama and his radical socialist political ideology. These
are views that make him clearly an enemy of God.

Let me share with you what the Holy Spirit has shown me. As hard as it is
to understand, it is God who allows men to rise to power. God allowed the
Caesars to rise to power during the time of Jesus and the first church. God
allowed Stalin to rise to power in Russia. God allowed Hitler to rise to
power in Germany. We will never fully understand why or His total purpose,
but those are the times we must trust God. If God allows Barack Hussein
Obama to rise to the Presidency, I see it as God taking His hand off of this
He will give us over to that "reprobate mind" spoken of in Romans
1:28, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God
gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not

We are already seeing the rumblings of God's judgment on this nation through
the economy. All of the economic and political systems in the world can't solve the problems since
the problems are not of this world, they are spiritual. This nation and
world lives in rebellion to God and His Truth and the only hope, the only
answer, is to repent and turn back to God!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Oprah loves Kindle

Although I'm not an Oprah fan, I am jazzed that she's endorsing Amazon's Kindle Reader.

Michelle Kerns writes, "When Oprah gives a thumbs-up to something--whether it's a food, a diet, a cause, or a book--it doesn't require a degree in business to figure out what will happen next: her millions of devoted fans will line up in droves to eat (or not eat, as the case may be) donate money to, read, or buy, her new interest.
And that is exactly what is expected to happen now that Oprah has officially endorsed Amazon's e- book reader, the Kindle, saying:

It's absolutely my new favorite, favorite thing in the world."

And though it's not a cheap gadget, the books cost less (than paper books) and paper is saved when you read "e." Read more about it in Michelle's column.

It sounds good to me, and I do love e-books, but I will never want to completely abandon printed books. They smell so good!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Love Starts With Elle

Elle's living the dream-but is it her dream or his?

Elle loves life in Beaufort, South Carolina-lazy summer days on the sand bar, coastal bonfires, and dinners with friends sharing a lifetime of memories. And she's found her niche as the owner of a successful art gallery too. Life is good.

Then the dynamic pastor of her small town church sweeps her off her feet. She's never known a man like Jeremiah-one who breathes in confidence and exhales all doubt. When he proposes in the setting sunlight, Elle hands him her heart on a silver platter.

But Jeremiah's just accepted a large pastorate in a different state. If she's serious about their relationship, Elle will take "the call," too, leaving behind the people and place she loves so dearly. Elle's friendship with her new tenant, widower Heath McCord, and his young daughter make things even more complicated.

Is love transferrable across the miles? And can you take it with you when you go?

About Rachel: Rachel Hauck is the author of ten, going on eleven novels, and has recently become an "acclaimed" author. (Yeah, funny how that happened. Some dude found her lottery stub stuck to the bottom of his shoe and tried to "acclaim" her. But her husband refused to pay out.)

Since then, she's gone on to become a best selling author of Sweet Caroline.

Living in central Florida with her husband of sixteen and a half years, one sweet little dog and one ornery cat, Rachel is a graduate of Ohio State University and a huge Buckeye football fan. One day she hopes to stand on the sidelines next to Coach Tressel as a famed, acclaimed best selling OSU alumni, beloved for her work in literature and letters. (She's written at least a couple hundred letters in her life time.)

Her current release, Love Starts With Elle (July 2008, Thomas Nelson) is set in the South Carolina lowcountry, and earned 4.5 Stars and Top Pick from Romantic Times Book Club.

Look for her next release next spring, The Sweet By and By, the first book in the Born To Fly series with award winning country artist, Sara Evans.

Of the writing journey, Rachel says, "I'm humbled by the amazing things God is doing in my life. I love what I do, and am so privileged to work with Thomas Nelson fiction and am excited to see what God has in store for all of His authors and writers. Just keep praying and writing!"

Visit her blog and website at

Buy here!

win a copy of the book by leaving a comment on Rachel’s blog tour post, here

Follow the tour here!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Fiction

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Beautiful Fall

David C. Cook (October 2008)


Chris Coppernoll


Chris Coppernoll is the founder of Soul2Soul Ministries, with his interviews with Christian artists airing weekly on 650 radio outlets in thirty countries. He has conducted hundreds of interviews on faith issues with personalities such as Amy Grant, Max Lucado, Michael W. Smith, and Kathie Lee Gifford. He also serves as a Deacon at The People’s Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and is currently working toward a Masters in Ministry Leadership degree through Rockbridge Seminary.

His "Inspirations" column is published monthly in the mid Michigan newspaper, The Jackson Citizen Patriot.

Chris Coppernoll is the author of four other books including Soul2Soul, Secrets of a Faith Well Lived, and God's Calling. Providence, his first novel, is his fourth book.


High-powered Boston attorney Emma Madison is celebrating her latest courtroom victory when she gets a call from a number she doesn't recognize. Area code 803 home. Juneberry, South Carolina eight hundred miles, twelve years, and a lifetime away from Boston. Emma's father has had a serious heart attack. Emma rushes to his bedside, and a weekend trip threatens to become an extended stay. She has to work fast to arrange the affairs of his small-town law practice so she can return to her life and career in Boston.

And then Michael Evans shows up. They'd shared hopes, dreams, and a passionate love as young college students during a long-ago summer. But Emma walked away from Michael and from Juneberry to finish college and start a new life. Michael has never forgotten her.

Enveloped in the warmth of family and small-town life and discovering that she still cares for Michael Emma knows she'll have to make a choice between the career she's worked so hard to build and the love she left behind.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Beautiful Fall, go HERE

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Muse Conference

All this week I am giving a workshop with friend Loree Lough at the Muse Online Writer's Conference. Thanks to all who registered to attend our class. If you missed it this year, check the site later in the fall for details about the 2009 conference.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

New fiction

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Hometown Favorite

Revell (September 1, 2008)


Bill Barton and Henry O. Arnold


Bill Barton is a business partner with Compass Technologies. An active member and volunteer at his church, Hendersonville Chapel, Barton is a regular speaker at services and other events. He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his family.

Henry O. Arnold has been a professional actor, writer, and director in theatre, film, and television. He co-wrote and produced the film The Second Chance starring Michael W. Smith and wrote the screenplay for the first authorized film documentary on evangelist Billy Graham, God's Ambassador. Arnold lives in Portland, Tennessee.


Talented, handsome, and personable, Dewayne Jobe rose from humble beginnings in rural Mississippi to play college football in Southern California and beyond. One of the best wide receivers in college ball, Dewayne is assured a promising career in professional football as one of those rare athletes whose exceptional abilities place him in a league of his own.

He easily finds success both on and off the field. Dewayne's got a beautiful, intelligent wife running his lucrative endorsement business and carrying his child and the pristine white picket fence to boot. The only thing lacking is a road sign confirming his address on Easy Street.

But catastrophe looms right around the corner and ultimately strikes with a crushing vengeance. Will Dewayne's faith and character stand the test of such tragedy? Or will he lose everything--including the love of his life?

This modern retelling of the story of Job will capture readers with the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people--and how good people can survive.

Combining realistic sports action and a deadly serious challenge to faith, Hometown Favorite is a story that won't let you up off the turf until the game clock hits zero.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Hometown Favorite, go HERE

"An amazing story of betrayal, forgiveness, redemption and hope. The characters are vibrant and alive. Barton and Arnold have a rare and keen understanding of human nature, making the spiritual truths of this story both profound and compelling."

~Michael W. Smith, recording artist

"Like a close game and a score that just won’t turn around, Dewayne’s true fans and Hometown Favorite readers will appreciate the daunting odds fate doles out and this story’s hard-won outcome."

~Darnell Arnoult, author of Sufficient Grace

Monday, October 06, 2008

Vote For Jesus

From, on voting--

Who are you going to vote for? Even though Jesus never ran for political
office, he was involved in one election during his life. It was actually an
election where the winner would be allowed to live and the loser would
literally be killed. It is clear that Pontius Pilate who ruled Jerusalem for
Rome during the day of Jesus had no desire to put Jesus to death as the
Jewish leaders wanted him to do. As a way of escape, Pilate used a custom at
the time of the Passover where one prisoner would be pardoned for his crime
and released.

Pilate brought before the people a criminal by the name of Barabbas. Most
likely, Barabbas was not a common thief, but a violent political
revolutionary. Next to Barabbas was Jesus. Pilate then asked the crowd to
vote. Vote for the one he should have mercy on and release. I have no doubt
Pilate expected the crowd to choose Jesus. The votes were cast and the
winner by a landslide was Barabbas!

Afterwards, Pilate called on the Jewish custom of washing his hands,
signifying that he was not responsible for condemning Jesus to death. The
fact was, Pilate knew Jesus did not deserve death. He was warned by his
sense of justice, he was warned by his conscience, and he had been warned by
the dream of his troubled wife. But he did not have the guts to stand up
against the Jewish leaders of the day, nor did he have the guts to stand up
to the people that had chosen Barabbas.

Let me share this with you my friend. Washing your hands my be a nice
symbolic act, but the one thing you can never rid yourself of is
responsibility! Nobody, no act can take that away. Pilate is actually a very
pathetic person, not one to be loathed but rather pitied for not having the
guts to stand up for what he knew was right. I want to challenge you today.
In your life, you are called from time to time to take a stand for
righteousness. Often, that stand may not be popular. You may suffer
personally for taking that stand. But never forget, it is God, not man, who
you have to please. It is God, not man who will ultimately judge you.

A good question to ask is why did that crowd vote for Barabbas over Jesus?
Why did they vote for a man of violence over a man of peace? Why did they
vote for someone who had clearly chosen a life of rebellion to God over
someone who had chosen a life of obedience to God? People have not changed
since the Garden of Eden. They chose Barabbas over Jesus for the very same
reason they would choose Barabbas (or Obama or McCain) over Jesus today!!!

Jesus believed God's Word to be inspired, inerrant, representing absolute
truth and our final authority in all matters. Most people reject the Bible
since it is the truth of God's Word that condemns them. Jesus called sin
what it is, sin. Most people love their sin more than they love God. When
confronting the people of His day with their sin, some repented, others
mocked and rejected Him, and still others sought to silence Him. Most people
today when confronted with their sin mock and reject Christ or do all they
can to silence the truth of His message.

*It is not surprising that when asked to vote, the people voted for Barabbas
over Jesus in a landslide. If that same vote would be held today, the result
would be the same.

Even though Jesus is not on the ballot, how can YOU vote for Jesus? You cast
your vote for Jesus each morning as you get up, die to self, and surrender
afresh your life to the Lord. You cast your vote for Jesus when you spend
that time each day in prayer and in His Word. You cast your vote for Jesus
as you share His hope and love with those God brings into your life each
day. You cast your vote for Jesus when you stand for Him despite what the
world may say.

We did not get to vote when the people chose Barabbas over Jesus. We will
never get an opportunity to vote for Jesus to be President. However, you can
still vote for Jesus every day through how you live your life!!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I've Been Book-Tagged

I’ve been tagged by Christine Duncan to tell six book related things about myself.

1. I love the smell of new books.

2. I compiled Words to Write By, which Christine contributed to.

3. I loved Nancy Drew books as a child, and also the Encyclopedia Brown series. I loved all mysteries and later horror novels, and now I don't like any of them.

4. I love to read at the driving range while my husband practices golf.

5. I have several translations of the Bible at home, but prefer to read it online.

6. I have a bunch of older romance novels I save for "comfort reads," to re-read when I need a boost.

Okay, who to tag, who to tag?

Cecelia Dowdy

Loree Lough
Curtiss Ann Matlock
Janet Elaine Smith

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Fiction

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

It's Not About Me

Sheaf House Publishers (September 1, 2008)


Michelle Sutton


Michelle Sutton has lived in Arizona and since 1991 and has two sons and a husband of 18 years. She began writing fiction in August 2003 when God inspired her to write a novel with realistic characters that would glorify Him. In 2004 she joined ACFW - American Christian Fiction Writers. In 2006 Michelle ran for Volunteer Officer on the ACFW Operating board and ACFW members elected her to serve a two year term. She sold her first manuscript Then Sings My Soul (now re-titled It's Not About Me) to Sheaf House and her debut novel was released in Sept. 2008. The second book in the Second Glances series - It's Not About Him - will be released the following fall (Sept. 2009.)

Last, Michelle is Editor in Chief of the new Christian Fiction Online Magazine. The debut issue released in July 2008. The magazine is sponsored by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.


Annie has it all. She's attractive, graduated with honors, was accepted at the college of her choice, has supportive parents, good friends, and a steady boyfriend who loves her. One night an unexpected visitor appears and Annie's safe world is destroyed by a brutal attack. As she tries to pick up the pieces of her broken life, she is torn between two brothers, both of whom claim to love her. She is attracted to both, but which one does she love? How can she choose when her decision may cause a permanent rift between them? And more important, will she give her heart to the One who will sustain her even when human love fails.

"...the exquisitely written spiritual content shows the reader that redemption is available, no matter what the circumstances."
- 4 Stars, Romantic Times!

Instead of dealing with timely issues like alcoholism, premarital sex and pornography in a preachy, oh-so-tired fashion, Michelle Sutton's It's Not About Me gets to the heart of the matter with a shocking dose of realism and poignant storytelling. From the first paragraph, Sutton weaves together a thoroughly entertaining story that'll keep readers intrigued for the long haul as they get to know Annie, Dan, Tony and Susie—young adults that probably don't look and sound all that different from themselves. Now that's a seriously refreshing turn for Christian fiction."
~Christa Ann Banister~, author of Around the World in 80 Dates, (NavPress 2007) and Blessed are the Meddlers (NavPress 2008)

It's Not About Me is a wonderfully entertaining and deliciously suspenseful read that will keep you turning the pages. Sutton doesn't back away from the drama and with all of the twists and turns, It's Not About Me is hard to put down. I cannot wait for the sequel! Bravo!"
~Victoria Christopher Murray~, Essence best-selling author of multiple titles including The Ex Files and the upcoming YA series The Divine Divas

“Annie captured my heart on the first page and kept me enthralled to the very end. This edgy, yet surprisingly poignant story travels the inroads of intimate relationships – man to woman, brother to brother, parent to child, friend to friend. But especially satisfying is the author’s delicate handling of the relationship between a searching soul and the loving Savior who alone possesses the power to work all things out for the good. A terrific debut for Michelle Sutton. I can’t wait to read more from this talented author!”
~Virginia Smith~, author of Just As I Am and Sincerely, Mayla

"Michelle Sutton's gritty writing style will very likely go straight to the hearts of teens, addressing what they deal with every day in what is all too often grim reality for our youth. Sutton is no doubt a refreshing and much needed voice in today's YA fiction."
~Tina Ann Forkner~, Author of Ruby Among Us
Waterbrook Press/Random House

If you would like to read the Prologue and first Chapter of It's Not About Me, go HERE