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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kristy Dykes Day!!

Thanks so much for joining us!

Many of you know our fellow author Kristy Dykes, who is now battling an
awful disease and yet remains an inspiration to us all. Kristy had submitted the devotional below to an anthology I was compiling
that was never published. The editor who requested the collection changed
her mind, and it hasn't sold elsewhere. But I can't let the opportunity pass
to share one of Kristy's anecdotes. Please join me, add your own comment or
related story, and I will forward all the responses to Kristy's husband to
read to her. Feel free to be mushy! And if you haven't yet visited Kristy's blog, please take a few moments to read her and her family's inspiring posts.

I have several ARCs (various authors) to offer as prizes to those who participate. And my good friend and author Lauralee Bliss has a surprise for yet another responder!

(books can only be shipped in the US, but foreign posters can win e-books! Please leave your email address in your message--put "at" instead of the "@" sign)

The Spat

By Kristy Dykes

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil…overcome evil with good. " Romans 12:17, 21

It was a warm, lazy afternoon, and with her sister away for the day, my ten-year-old daughter Julie was bored. She called her friend Ashley and asked if she'd like to play. They talked about where they'd play—our house or Ashley's. "Why don't we play at your house?" Julie said. "We can swing on your rope swing." A long pause ensued, and then, as if in a daze, she hung up the phone.

"What's wrong, honey?" I asked

"Ashley went to ask her mother, and then Mrs. Townsend got on the phone. She was so mean, Mom." Tears came to her eyes. "She said it was bad manners to call and invite yourself to someone's house and that I should be ashamed of my rude behavior. And she's been like that before."

I couldn't understand how an adult could talk so gruffly to a child with no concern for tender feelings. And besides that, it was unwarranted. The two girls had played at each other's houses many times. "Just don't call their house for awhile if that's the way Mrs. Townsend's going to act," I snapped.

Several weeks later, a very angry Mrs. Townsend called. She said Julie had spread it all over the neighborhood that she had cursed at Julie. "I have never done anything like that." She proceeded with her tirade, demanding I straighten this out. When I hung up, I asked Julie about it. She said she told one of the neighborhood girls about the incident but never said Mrs. Townsend had used profanity. I called Mrs. Townsend back and told her it must be a case of childhood gossip. I apologized, but it didn't seem to satisfy her.

The next day, as I was mulling over the incident, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind a passage in Romans. "Do not repay anyone evil for evil…overcome evil with good."

Overcome evil with good? At that moment, God planted an idea in my heart. That afternoon, I picked up my daughters from school and headed for the florist. They were full of questions, and I explained about the scripture and how it had spoken to me. At the florist, I ordered a bouquet. The florist asked if the recipient was sick. I told her no, that the reason I was sending the flowers was because of a childish misunderstanding. Then I quoted the verse. "What a refreshing change from what one usually hears," she said, amazement in her eyes. "This is wonderful."

On the card, I wrote, We are very sorry about the misunderstanding. Please accept this as a token of our friendship.

Two days later, I received a glowing letter from Mrs. Townsend expressing her apology and how impressed she was with our gesture of kindness.

The story doesn't end there. Two years later, we found out we were moving. Mrs. Townsend—of all people--threw a surprise party for Julie at the country club and invited 25 of her friends! And she wrote a beautiful letter to Julie that accompanied a generous gift. Julie, you have been a positive influence for the youth in our town, and we will miss you greatly.

When you overcome evil with good, good things happen!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

Ruby Among Us
(WaterBrook Press May 20, 2008)

Tina Ann Forkner
Sometimes, the key that unlocks your future lies in someone else’s past...

In Ruby Among Us, Lucy DiCamillo is safely surrounded by her books, music, and art─but none of these reclusive comforts or even the protective efforts of her grandmother, Kitty can shield her from the memory of the mother she can no longer remember. Lucy senses her grandmother holds the key, but Kitty seems as eager to hide from the past as Lucy is eager to find it.

From the streets of San Francisco and Sacramento, to the lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley, Lucy follows the thread of memory in search for a heritage that seems long-buried with her mother, Ruby.

What she finds is enigmatic and stirring in this redemptive tale about the power of faith and mother-daughter love.

“What an incredible story. As both mothers and daughters, Ruby Among Us struck a special cord in each of the four of us. Tina writes in a way that makes us feel like we’re there; from the first line, we were captivated and drawn into an intricate weaving of the precious and fragile relationships that define us.”
~Point of Grace~

“Reading is a passion of mine, and when I find myself identifying with the characters, anxious to get to the next page to find answers to my questions, I know I’m into a good book! The daughter-mother-grandmother theme in Ruby Among Us pulled me in. Wonderful story-telling.”
~Jordin Sparks~, 2007 winner of American Idol

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This Coming Friday

Please stop by this coming Friday, May 30th, for a special treat from author Kristy Dykes. There will be prizes : )

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thank You

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, we think of how they have followed in the footsteps of your son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Please hold our service men and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.

We also remember the families of our troops, and ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes and your peace, provision and strength to fill their lives.

May the members of our armed forces be filled with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord's mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.


Friday, May 23, 2008


This is another excerpt from's Daily Devotional--the original piece is about the problems with the movie and tv show "Sex and the City."

I found the following points very interesting as they relate to writing inspirational romance. Things I might consider the next time I outline a story. What do you think?

Relationships between a man and a woman are NOT a game! They are a serious,
life-changing business. I want to share with you my BIG THREE for starting
any relationship. Please understand, that by meeting these BIG THREE, it
does not insure you will have a successful relationship, or that it is God's
plan for your life. However, I can guarantee you that if these BIG THREE
don't exist, there is no chance that this is part of God's plan for your

Number one, is the person you want to enter into a relationship with saved?
I have to tell you that a large percentage of the emails I get from men and
women with relationship problems, are because they have ignored this warning
and entered into a relationship with someone who was not also a Believer. It
simply does not work. God knows that, and that is why He put that warning
about not being unequally yoked so clear in His Word.

Number two, if the person is saved, do you see evidence of their
relationship with Christ in their day-to-day life. Good works can't save
you, but anyone who is truly saved should have good works flow from their
life. One of the best verses in the Bible is that "you will know a tree by
the fruit it bears." What that is basically saying is that if you profess to
have a relationship with Christ, it should be evident in your day-to-day
life. Anyone who is truly saved should have the evidence of their salvation
visible in how they live.

Number three, is building a spiritual foundation to your relationship. The
sad fact is most couples build a foundation together based on their looks,
sadly in many cases on sex, based on many things other than their faith. If
you can't build a real spiritual foundation to your relationship, then that
relationship will have little chance of standing the test of time. You build
it by praying together, reading the Word together, worshiping together, and
finding ways to serve the Lord together. These are ways to build that
spiritual foundation to your relationship that can carry you through the
most difficult times all relationships experience.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Christian Fiction

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

Broken Angel

(WaterBrook Press (May 20, 2008)


Her birth was shrouded in mystery and tragedy.
Her destiny is beyond comprehension.
Her pursuers long to see her broken.
She fights to soar.

A father's love for his daughter…a decision that would change both their lives forever. But who is she really─and why must she now run for her life?

Caitlin's body has made her an outcast, a freak, and the target of vicious bounty hunters. As she begins a perilous journey, she is forced to seek answers for her father's betrayal in the only things she can carry with her─a letter he passes her before forcing her to run, and their shared memories together.

Being hunted forces Caitlyn to partner with two equally lonely companions, one longing to escape the horror of factory life in Appalachia and the others, an unexpected fugitive. Together the three will fight to reach a mysterious group that might be friend or foe, where Caitlyn hopes to uncover the secrets of her past...and the destiny she must fulfill.

In the rough, shadowy hills of Appalachia, a nation carved from the United States following years of government infighting, Caitlyn and her companions are the prey in a terrifying hunt. They must outwit the relentless bounty hunters, skirt an oppressive, ever-watchful society, and find passage over the walls of Appalachia to reveal the dark secrets behind Caitlyn’s existence–and understand her father’s betrayal.

Prepare yourself to experience a chilling America of the very near future, as you discover the unforgettable secret of the Broken Angel.

In this engrossing, lightning-paced story with a post-apocalyptic edge, best-selling author Sigmund Brouwer weaves a heroic, harrowing journey through the path of a treacherous culture only one or two steps removed from our own.

Sigmund Brouwer

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Following His Will

Excerpt from's Daily Devotional--really speaks to those struggling with a calling to write.

"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me
on level ground." Psalms 143:10

This Devotional today is a deep one. One of the most frequent questions
people always ask, is how do I know what the will of God is for my life?
Much of the difficulty in determining what God's will is for our life is
trying to separate our wants and desires from God's wants and desires. This
is probably one of the most difficult issues you will ever deal with in your
walk with the Lord and I just want to give you some basics to help you in
not trying to conform God to your will, but for you to conform to His will.

The only way you can begin to understand what God's will is for your life is
to be in a daily, intimate, surrendered relationship with Him. It is
critical that you are spending time with the Lord every day through His
Word, through prayer, and that quiet time where it is just you and the Lord
in fellowship. That is the only way we can learn to hear His voice so that
over time we are able to discern whether it is God speaking or simply
ourselves. I can't begin to emphasize enough how important it is to take the
time each day to get alone with God and have that time of fellowship. You
only begin to know God's will for your life when you really know God.

The key is you have to be at a place in your life where you are fully
surrendered to the Lord. You need to be able to say, "Lord, wherever you
want me to go, whatever you want me to do, I am completely yours." The
biggest hurdle to overcome in following God's will for our life is the fear
of the unknown. What is my life going to be like if I follow God? How will
my life be different if I really let God have His way? Trust me, He loves
you, cares about you, and only wants the best for you. God wants to bless
you and those blessings are found as we faithfully and obediently follow

The more we listen to God's voice, the more we obey and follow His voice,
the less time we spend trying to force God to follow what we want to do, and
the more time we spend trying to follow what God wants us to do. As we grow
and mature in our relationship with the Lord, we find ourselves more
concerned with what God is asking us to do and we slowly begin to make His
desires our desires. My friend, THAT is the time when you find that special
place almost impossible to put into words. That place where your desires
have become God's desires. It is clearly no longer your will that you seek
but it is His will.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Fiction

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

Healing Promises

(Multnomah Publishers - April 15, 2008)


Amy Wallace
Facing a new threat.
When FBI Agent Clint Rollins takes a bullet during a standoff, it might just save his life. But not even the ugly things he’s seen during his years working in the Crimes Against Children Unit could prepare him for the overwhelming powerlessness of hospital tests revealing an unexpected diagnosis. If only Sara weren’t retreating into doctor mode…he needs his wife now more than ever.

Frozen in fear.
Sara Rollins is an oncologist with a mission–beating cancer when she can, easing her patients’ suffering at the very least. Now the life of her tall Texan husband is at stake. She never let the odds steal her hope before, but in this case, the question of God’s healing promises is personal. Can she hold on to the truth she claimed to believe?

Faith under fire.
As Clint continues to track down a serial kidnapper despite his illness, former investigations haunt his nightmares, pushing him beyond solving the case into risking his life and career. Clint struggles to believe God is still the God of miracles. Especially when he needs not one, but two. Everything in his life is reduced to one all-important question: Can God be trusted?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

New Fiction

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Warriors

(Bethany House April 1, 2008)


Mark Andrew Olsen
A failed recon mission deep in the tunnels of Afghanistan has provoked a demonic onslaught that had been brewing for centuries. The mission's sole survivor is reformed black ops assassin Dylan Hatfield, and he once again teams up with Abby Sherman, now at the helm of the Watchers, an ancient spiritual force. Uncovering and preventing a secret wave of death whispered across cyberspace and threatening to be unleash against civilization will require another level of spiritual power and expertise--the Warriors.

Journeying across the Alps of Europe through the multilayered history of warfare in the unseen world, Dylan and Abby uncover an age-old stone engraving that rouses the church's Warriors to action, placing them dead center in one of the fiercest spiritual battles of their time!

And once again they are reminded: This is all part of a vast and perpetual war, a war beyond all human conflicts, one that has engulfed heaven and earth since before the dawn of history....

Abby Sherman is headed back to Israel, where a Watcher, the Sentinel of Jerusalem, lies dying. In her last breaths the old woman tells Abby of an ancient document prophesying humanity's full-scale entry into the ongoing conflict between armies of heaven and fallen angels.

Dylan Hatfield has decided to answer a summons from his old boss and join a secret operation, its mission to reconnoiter the Afghani tunnel complex from which Osama bin Laden escaped in 2001. What he discovers sears his very soul and likely will end his life.

Abby learns of the peril facing Dylan, and she sends out a call for intercession on his behalf. Her frantic email message sets in motion a series of harrowing events, propelling the two on a new mission and quest--one where the stakes are the lives of millions!

The Warriors is packed with high-octane action, featuring exotic international locales, with characters in a clash against spiritual "principalities and powers" with eternal consequences, The Warriors is a story that will enthrall, enlighten, and engage its readers.

If that piques your interest, you can read the first chapter HERE

"Olsen, one of the better writers in this subgenre, delivers powerful, action-packed plots that delve into mystical paranormal worlds."
~Library Journal, Feb. 2008

"Olsen delivers an entertaining thriller likely to be enjoyed especially by fans of the spiritual warfare genre."

Monday, May 05, 2008

Never Say Diet

Never Say Diet by Chantel Hobbs

Chantel Hobbs, a mother of four, recounts her struggles with obesity, body image and health in Never Say Diet. Realizing that choosing to live well was one of the best gifts she could give her family, Chantel is so excited to encourage YOU this Mother’s Day to take the small but meaningful steps towards a healthier life. Ditch the diet! Buy some new skinny jeans! And don’t forget to read the five tips to get your family fit this spring.

I read and enjoyed this book--it's light in tone but powerful in its message. Chantel is a great role model, and will motivate you to exercise and lighten up.

Order "Never Say Diet" here

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bidding Open!

Do you guys know about Brenda Novak's May auction? It's for charity, juvenile diabetes. Some cool Stuff, in fact I already have bid on 4 items!! Check it out--books, jewelry, trips, gift baskets and more.