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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Fiction


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

DragonLight

(WaterBrook Press - June 17, 2008)

by

Donita K. Paul



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Donita K. Paul retired early from teaching school, but soon got bored! The result: a determination to start a new career. Now she is an award-winning novelist writing Christian Romance and Fantasy. She says, “I feel blessed to be doing what I like best.”

She mentors all ages, teaching teenagers and weekly adult writing workshops.

“God must have imprinted 'teacher' on me clear down to the bone. I taught in public school, then home schooled my children, and worked in private schools. Now my writing week isn’t very productive unless I include some time with kids.”

Her two grown children make her proud, and her two grandsons make her laugh.

Donita is an award-winning author of the Dragon Keeper Chronicle series including DragonFire and DragonKnight.

When not writing, she is often engaged in mentoring writers of all ages. Donita lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she is learning to paint–walls and furniture! Visit her website at www.dragonkeeper.us.



ABOUT THE BOOK
The fantastic land of Amara is recovering from years of war inflicted on its citizens by outside forces–as well as from the spiritual apathy corroding the Amarans’ hearts. With Kale and her father serving as dragon keepers for Paladin, the dragon populace has exploded. It’s a peaceful, exciting time of rebuilding. And yet, an insidious, unseen evil lurks just beneath the surface of the idyllic countryside.

Truth has never been more important, nor so difficult to discern.

As Kale and her father are busy hatching, bonding, and releasing the younger generation of dragons as helpers throughout the kingdom, the light wizard has little time to develop her skills. Her husband, Sir Bardon–despite physical limitations resulting from his bout with the stakes disease–has become a leader, serving on the governing board under Paladin. When Kale and Bardon set aside their daily responsibilities to join meech dragons Regidor and Gilda on a quest to find a hidden meech colony, they encounter sinister forces. Their world is under attack by a secret enemy… can they overcome the ominous peril they can’t even see?

Prepare to experience breathtaking adventure and mind-blowing fantasy as never before in this dazzling, beautifully-crafted conclusion to Donita K. Paul’s popular DragonKeeper Chronicles fantasy series.

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


"DragonLight is a delight, but I wouldn't expect anything less from the marvelous Donita K. Paul. I heartily recommend her books to all ages who love inspirational fantasy and wonderful creatures. Ms Paul not only supplies imagination and talent, she provides heart and soul. Another winner!"
~KATHRYN MACKEL, author of Boost


"Donita K. Paul is amazing! DragonLight has the allegorical depth to satisfy the most discerning adult seeking spiritual depth, yet it is fun enough to fascinate a child. This book will enthrall, uplift, and if allowed, change lives--as we are gently drawn to realize that each of us is flawed and must have patience with other flawed believers."
~HANNAH ALEXANDER, author of Double Blind

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Fiction


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Painted Dresses

(WaterBrook Press - July 15, 2008)

by

Patricia Hickman



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Patricia Hickman is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction, whose work has been praised by critics and readers alike.

Patricia Hickman began writing many years ago after an invitation to join a writer's critique group. It was headed up by best-selling author Dr. Gilbert Morris, a pioneer in Christian fiction who has written many best selling titles. The group eventually came to be called the "Nubbing Chits". All four members of the original "Chits" have gone on to become award-winning and best selling novelists (good fruit, Gil!).

Patty signed her first multi-book contract with Bethany House Publishers. After she wrote several novels "for the market", she assessed her writer's life and decided she would follow the leanings of her heart. She says, "It had to be God leading me into the next work which wound up being my first break-out book, Katrina's Wings. I had never read a southern mainstream novel, yet I knew that one lived in my head, begging to be brought out and developed." She wanted to create deeper stories that broke away from convention and formula. From her own journey in life, she created a world based upon her hometown in the 70's, including Earthly Vows and Whisper Town from the Millwood Hollow Series.

Patty and her husband, Randy, have planted two churches in North Carolina. Her husband pastors Family Christian Center, located in Huntersville. The Hickmans have three children, two on earth and one in heaven. Their daughter, Jessi, was involved in a fatal automobile accident in 2001. Through her writing and speaking, Patty seeks to offer help, hope and encouragement to those who walk the daily road of loss and grief.


ABOUT THE BOOK

In this story of sisterhood and unexpected paths, Gaylen Syler-Boatwright flees her unraveling marriage to take refuge in a mountain cottage owned by her deceased aunt. Burdened with looking after her adult sister, Delia, she is shocked to find a trail of family secrets hidden within her aunt’s odd collection of framed, painted dresses. With Delia, who attracts trouble as a daily occupation, Gaylen embarks on a road trip that throws the unlikely pair together on a journey to painful understanding and delightful revelations.

Steeped in Hickman’s trademark humor, her spare writing voice, and the bittersweet pathos of the South, Painted Dresses powerfully captures a woman’s desperate longing to uncover a hidden, broken life and discover the liberty of living authentically, even when the things exposed are shrouded in shame.

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

Monday, July 21, 2008

Never Stop Trying


I've posted part of this before--from a Liveprayer.com Daily Devotional. It's always a great reminder that our efforts in writing aren't wasted, even if we keep collecting rejection slips instead of contracts.



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.

*LET ME SAY THAT ONE MORE TIME SINCE THIS IS A POWERFUL THOUGHT. INSTEAD OF
LOSING AND FAILING MAKING YOU WEAK, LOSING AND FAILING 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.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Today's Winner Is. . . .


Congrats to ~Brenda! She will receive a copy of Dr Chapman's new book. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Love As A Way of Life

Special Drawing!

Gary Chapman's new book describes habits we can adopt to lead a more fulfilling and loving life. Please leave a comment (with your email address) if you'd like a chance to win a copy of this book. Deadline for entry is Sunday July 20th.

Love As A Way of Life




In his first major work since the publication of his phenomenal bestseller The Five Love Languages, Dr. Chapman delivers a powerful plan for whole-life happiness, with simple yet intensive exercises and wisdom for finding the life you have always wanted. The way in which our individual lives are improved, says Chapman, is through improving each relationship in your life: with your parents your children, your coworkers, and your spouse, and for all human interactions that form the foundations of our lives. With breakthrough strategies for developing new ways of accepting and responding to the gift of love, Love as a Way of Life nurtures the essential qualities of Kindness, Patience, Forgiveness, Courtesy, Humility, Generosity, and Honesty. Memorable real-life stories and inspiring advice make this an ideal book to share with others, fostering meaningful conversations about the incredible possibilities that emerge when love becomes a habit.

In his previous work, Dr. Chapman brought to light the different ways people express love, but in Love as a Way of Life he reveals that every aspect of your life can be improved by placing love at the center of everything you do. As Rick Warren does in The Purpose Driven Life, Chapman illuminates the profound influence of spiritual insight and understanding on our daily lives.

Using real-life anecdotes, he examines the obstacles and misunderstandings that undermine relationships, and provides quizzes and exercises to help readers evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses. Rich in wisdom and inspiration, Love as a Way of Life is an invaluable guide to creating fulfilling and satisfying relationships and reaping the joys of living a love-driven life.



Author Bio: Gary Chapman is the author of twenty-five books, including the New York Times bestseller The Five Love Languages, with more than 4 million copies in print. His daily radio program, A Love Language Minute, is broadcast on more than 100 stations nationwide. Chapman, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Wheaton College, Wake-Forest University, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, serves on the pastoral staff at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina





Interview with The Author:
1. Describe some of the everyday situations that can be changed if a person has a foundation of love.
When love becomes the focus of ones life it will change every encounter we have with people. In the family, the husband is thinking, “what can I do before I leave for work that would be helpful for my wife?” Such thinking may lead him to take the trash out, put his breakfast plates in the dishwasher or feed the baby while his wife takes a shower.
In the workplace, employees are asking, “on my break, what might I do that would help someone else?” They will also make time to listen to a co-worker who seems to be having a hard time with a personal issue.
At the bank, post office, or cafeteria, the lover will look people in the eye and smile, perhaps opening the door to a conversation. They will express interest in what is going on in the lives of those they encounter.
The focus is not on “it’s all about me.” But, rather on “It is all about others.”

2. What is the take-away message of Love as a Way of Life?
Love as a Way of Life is designed to help the person who sincerely wants to make a positive impact in the world. I believe that is ‘most of us.’ Our biggest problem is that we don’t know how and we keep getting tripped up by our own selfish ambitions. The purpose of the book is to help us break free from the prison of selfishness and come to experience the satisfaction of truly loving others as a way of life. It is little acts of love that build up to a lifestyle of service.

3. Why do you need a foundation of love before you start figuring out our love languages?
The five love languages give information on the most effective way to express love in a meaningful way to a particular person. But, if you are not a loving person – don’t have the heart or will to focus on others – the information is of little value. Most of us must make a conscious change of focus from self to others if we are going to genuinely, and consistently enrich the lives of others. Love as a Way of Life is designed to help people make that change.

4. When did you realize the need for this book?
I first recognized the need for Love as a Way of Life when in a counseling session a husband said to me, “I’ll tell you right now, if it is going to take my washing dishes, and doing the laundry for my wife to feel loved, you can forget that.” I had just explained to him the concept of the five love languages and that his wife’s primary love language was ‘acts of service’ and that these acts would deeply communicate his love to her. I realized that he lacked the will to meet his wife’s need for love. He was locked into his own perception of what his role was to be and it did not include washing dishes and doing laundry. I knew at that moment that there was something more foundational than simply knowing a person’s love language.


5. What are the seven characteristics of lasting love?
I view love not as a single entity, but as a cluster of traits, which if developed will enhance all of life. These traits are:
Kindness: discovering the joy of helping others
Patience: accepting the imperfections of others
Forgiveness: finding freedom from the grip of anger
Courtesy: treating others as friends
Humility: stepping down so someone else can step up
Generosity: giving your time, money, and abilities to others
Honesty: caring enough to tell the truth

6. Why do you think it’s so hard for people to embrace these characteristics?
All of us have some of these characteristics to some degree. Most people see love as being better than hate. But most of us are comfortable to live somewhere between love and hate in a lifestyle that is fundamentally focused on self. We feel good when we are making money, accumulating things, gaining status, but in time these things do not ultimately satisfy what I call the ‘true self’. The true self longs to make the world a better place to live. To do something to help those less fortunate than we.

However, we all suffer from the malady of being ego-centric. I call this the ‘false self’. It is that part of man that pulls him to focus on self-preservation and a self-centered lifestyle. This is not all bad. Indeed we must meet our own physical and emotional needs in order to continue life. It is when we never get beyond this self focus, that life becomes a ‘dog eat dog’ world where everyone is out for self even at the expense of others. Such a life never brings long-term satisfaction. However it is often later in life that people discover the emptiness of selfish living. I’m hoping that Love as a Way of Life will help people discover the satisfaction of developing the ‘true self’ earlier in life.

Gary D. Chapman


Summary:
For decades Dr. Gary Chapman’s best-selling books have shown readers how to speak the “love language” of those they care about. Now he digs even deeper to uncover the foundations of what it means to cultivate a lifestyle of love and how doing so leads to satisfaction and success in every area of life.
Drawing fresh insights from timeless biblical principles, Chapman presents poignant stories of real people who have discovered the joys of living out the seven characteristics of authentic love: kindness, patience, forgiveness, humility, courtesy, generosity, and honesty. Enhanced with eye-opening self tests, practical ideas for building daily habits of love, and inspiring examples of love’s power to change lives, this book guides readers in putting love to work in all of their interpersonal relationships.
Convinced that in a world of constant conflict people desperately need authentic love, Chapman paints a compelling vision of how life can be richer and relationships more satisfying for anyone who practices Love As a Way of Life.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Words of Encouragement


Excerpt from Liveprayer.com's Daily Devotional--


Several months ago a dear friend sent me an excerpt from the writings of
that great preacher and theologian from the 1800's Charles Spurgeon. As
God's timing is always perfect, it came at a moment when I needed some
encouragement. The weight of the work was extremely heavy and the flesh
weary that day. I sat at my desk and read Spurgeon's' words and tears
literally ran down my cheeks as I was read about my life, my battles, my
challenges in his poignant words. I have printed out that passage he wrote
and keep it with me. I refer to it often since it so perfectly sums up my
life. It also perfectly sums up the life of any follower of Christ who is
sold out to serve the Lord until their dying breath.

I want to share those powerful words with you today. I pray that they will
inspire and encourage you as much as they have me so many days. They really
sum up what this journey is all about. There is perhaps no greater challenge
we have as followers of Christ than to remain true to the faith. So many
over the years have been like Demas who we read about in the Book of Acts.
Demas was a man serving God, but decided to turn back to the world. In those
moments of temptation I often think back to the words of Peter. When asked
by Jesus if he would turn away from the Lord Peter boldly responded in John
6:68, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!" That
is why the child of God presses on, remains true to the faith. To whom shall
we go?

Spurgeon writes
: "Perseverance is the badge of true saints. The Christian
life is not a beginning only in the ways of God, but also a continuance in
the same as long as life lasts. It is with a Christian as it was with the
great Napoleon: he said, "Conquest has made me what I am, and conquest must
maintain me." So, under God, dear brother in the Lord, conquest has made you
what you are, and conquest must sustain you. Your motto must be,
"Excelsior." He only is a true conqueror, and shall be crowned at the last,
who continueth till war's trumpet is blown no more. Perseverance is,
therefore, the target of all our spiritual enemies. The world does not
object to your being a Christian for a time, if she can but tempt you to
cease your pilgrimage, and settle down to buy and sell with her in Vanity
Fair. The flesh will seek to ensnare you, and to prevent your pressing on to
glory. "It is weary work being a pilgrim; come, give it up. Am I always to
be mortified? Am I never to be indulged? Give me at least a furlough from
this constant warfare." Satan will make many a fierce attack on your
perseverance; it will be the mark for all his arrows. He will strive to
hinder you in service: he will insinuate that you are doing no good; and
that you want rest. He will endeavour to make you weary of suffering, he
will whisper, "Curse God, and die." Or he will attack your steadfastness:
"What is the good of being so zealous? Be quiet like the rest; sleep as do
others, and let your lamp go out as the other virgins do." Or he will assail
your doctrinal sentiments: "Why do you hold to these denominational creeds?
Sensible men are getting more liberal; they are removing the old landmarks:
fall in with the times." Wear your shield, Christian, therefore, close upon
your armour, and cry mightily unto God, that by His Spirit you may endure to
the end."

AMEN...AMEN....AND AMEN!!!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

New Fiction



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Wind River

(Bethany House July 1, 2008)

by

Tom Morrisey



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tom Morrisey is a mountaineer, aviator, shipwreck diver, and explorer, who holds a Full Cave certification from the National Speleological Society - Cave Diving Section.

He has launched, edited or contributed to numerous national publications and is an award-winning adventure-travel writer. A popular speaker, he is also active in both evangelism and the arts. Morrisey earned an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University, and his fiction has been featured in numerous anthologies and magazines.

His first novel, Yucatan Deep (Zondervan, 2002) was a finalist for the Christy award, and he is the author of four other novels: In High Places (Bethany House Publishers, 2007), Dark Fathom (Zondervan, 2005), Deep Blue, (Zondervan 2004), and Turn Four (Zondervan 2004). In addition Tom has also written two nonfiction books: 20 American Peaks & Crags (Contemporary Books, 1978) and Wild by Nature (Baker Books, 2001). He and his family live in Orlando, Florida.

ABOUT THE BOOK


You Can't Outrun the Sins of Your Past
Desperate to forget what happened to him in Iraq, Tyler Perkins flees to the emptiness of Wyoming. He's here to escape and also to fulfill a long-ago promise by accompanying his 86-year-old friend Soren Andeman on a fly-fishing trip--once more for old time's sake. But their trek to an idyllic trout lake soon becomes something more deeply harrowing--a journey that uncovers long-held lies, deadly crimes, and the buried secrets of the past. Ty barely has time to contemplate the question of what constitutes justice when nature unleashes her own revenge. Trapped in a race back to safety, he must face his own guilt-ridden past or risk being consumed.

Powerfully imagined by the acclaimed author of In High Places, Wind River is an engaging wilderness adventure that explores the power of confession, the beauty of forgiveness, and the freedom of truth unveiled.

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

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

New Fiction!


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Starts With Elle

(Thomas Nelson - July 8, 2008)

by

Rachel Hauck


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rachel Hauck is a forty-something, a child of the '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's and '00's, who roller skated through the '70's into the '80's with Farrah Fawcet hair and a three-speed orange Camero. She graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism.

After graduation, she hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, destermined to see the world. But, she's traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine.

Rachel met Tony, her husband, in '87, at church, of all places. They married in '92.
They don't have any children of their own, just lots of kids-in-the-Lord and they love them all. However, they do have two very spoiled dogs, and a very demanding cat.

With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. My current release is Sweet Caroline from Thomas Nelson. Romantic Times Book Club gave both books their highest rank of 4.5 stars, with Love Starts With Elle being honored as Top Pick!



ABOUT THE BOOK

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?

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