Thursday, March 29, 2007

This week the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing "Reclaiming Nick"

This week CFBA is touring "Reclaiming Nick" by Susan May Warren. I haven't had the pleasure of reading this yet, but definitely want to pick up a copy. I can tell you Susan May Warren is a great author. I've read "Happily Ever After" which was a romance and an absolute delight. I have started reading a suspense novel by Susan titled "Sands of Time". I can tell you it has gripped me from the first page. Sounds like she is a busy woman. I hope you'll pick up some of her work to enjoy it as I have.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award winning author SUSAN MAY WARREN recently returned home to her native Minnesota after serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries with SEND International in Far East Russia. She now writes full time from Minnesota's north woods. Visit her Web site at www.susanmaywarren.com




ABOUT THE BOOK:



RECLAIMING NICK is the first of The Noble Legacy series. Book Two, Taming Rafe, will be available January 2008.

A Modern Day Prodigal Comes Home...

NICK NOBLE HADN'T PLANNED ON BEING THE PRODIGAL SON.

But when his father dies and leaves half of Silver Buckle--the Noble family ranch--to Nick’s former best friend, he must return home to face his mistakes, and guarantee that the Silver Buckle stays in the Noble family.

Award-winning journalist Piper Sullivan believes Nick framed her brother for murder, and she’s determined to find justice. But following Nick to the Silver Buckle and posing as a ranch cook proves more challenging than she thinks. So does resisting his charming smile.

As Nick seeks to overturn his father’s will--and Piper digs for answers--family secrets surface that send Nick’s life into a tailspin. But there’s someone who’s out to take the Silver Buckle from the Noble family, and he’ll stop at nothing--even murder--to make it happen.


Endorsement:

“Susan May Warren once again delivers that perfect combination of heart-pumping suspense and heart-warming romance.”--Tracey Bateman, author of the Claire Everett series

If you would like to hear more about Nick, he has his own blog. Also, the first chapter is there...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Face Lift

If you're looking for me, you've found the right blog. And no, I didn't get a facelift, but the blog did.

I know, I know! I should be writing or preparing my post for F.A.I.T.H. tomorrow. Instead, I decided I didn't like some things on my blog layout. So voila! Changed again.

It's lighter. It's only a few minutes old at this moment. I'm getting used to it. What do you think?

And if your comment is: Christy, pick a template and stick with it, and get back to writing... well, you can just keep your comment to yourself :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Seeking Him

Yesterday started off pretty typical.

My husband was off work, so he went fishing, needing a day to unwind from a harrowing work weekend.

I went to town to return clothes that didn't fit ~ I always have my daughter and she doesn't allow much dressing room/shopping time.

We stopped by my mother in-law's on the way home so my daughter could visit her Nana and cousin. I went out to grab lunch and while I was out, my husband called my cell to ask me to go home because our security alarm was going off and he had been called. Since he was in the middle of the lake, I'm the appropriate candidate.

I rushed home, luckily was only two miles away, and walked around the house until the police officer arrived. Everything was in tact. The officer came inside with me and looked around. No doors or windows had been upset. All was as I'd left it (a cluttered mess, but thankfully was our mess). Apparently, the motion detected was from the living room.

Our security alarm is set up where my dog can walk through the house, but it will go off if anything above my puppy's weight goes through. It's been in place for several months with no problems. It was a beautiful day today, and aside from a power outage that happened where I was in town, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

But I've been thinking about the security alarm going off and as a woman and a mom, I of course worry. Our family has gone through some traumatic instances and that makes me more concerned than I probably would've been had this happened several years before.

Yet, there's a flip side to my worry. I call it a blessed assurance. I have no proof, but I do have faith.

In unexplained occurrences, I look to God. Did he need me at home for those few minutes? I won't have that answer immediately. I may never know. But I wonder if His hand was upon me and that alarm brought me home to keep me out of harms way. It delayed my journey ~ was that to allow something else to happen? Maybe the slightest conversation, a joyful action that occurred in my absence that wouldn't have happened had I been present. . .

I'm not trying to be weird here, but the thing is I know God's present in my life, even when I'm not waking up every morning giving Him the glory I know I should.

I'm a C.U.C.

That's what this blog is all about. I'm a Christian who doesn't always rise to the occasion, who doesn't always witness to the person in need because I'm afraid, who doesn't always say the right thing, who most of the time says the wrong thing. I'm not proud of these things I admit. . .

Without getting too personal, I'll tell you I've been in a personal upheaval. Doubting decisions I've made where family was concerned. Doubting decisions I've made concerning personal finances and friendships. Doubting myself as a mother and a wife.

Today I picked up a devotional magazine I receive every month from In Touch Ministries. I hadn't touched it since Sunday, was in the same spot I left it, as a matter of fact. But this evening, I picked it up and flipped to the article by Mimi Knight: Bad Examples Good Parents Set. One scripture made me stop.

2 Corinthians 12:9
"My strength is made perfect in your weakness" (NKJV)

Mimi doesn't know me and she didn't know this would speak to me.

But God did.

Thank you, Lord.

This week the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing "It Happens Every Spring"

Book review time!

This is a book I have and am reading!(applause)

"It Happens Every Spring" is starting off in the midst of a storm and a power outage in the community of Deepwater Cove. Who would've thought a little old thunderstorm would shut down the local beauty parlor, and bring a confused drifter to Brenda Hansen's doorstep asking for chocolate cake and telling her he's seen Jesus in her basement?

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


GARY CHAPMAN is the author of the New York Times best seller The Five Love Languages and numerous other books. He's the director of Marriage & Family Life Consultants, Inc., and host of A Growing Marriage, a syndicated radio program heard on over 100 stations across North America. He and his wife, Karolyn, live in North Carolina.

CATHERINE PALMER is the Christy Award-winning, CBA best-selling author of more than forty novels--including The Bachelor's Bargain--which have more than 2 million copies in print. She lives in Missouri with her husband, Tim, and two sons.




ABOUT THE BOOK:




IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING is the first of The Four Seasons fiction series, based on the ever-changing cycles of relationships detailed in Gary Chapman's nonfiction book The Four Seasons of Marriage. The novels will focus on four couples, each moving in and out of a different season.


Word travels fast at the Just As I Am beauty shop.


So when a simple homeless man appears on Steve and Brenda Hansen's doorstep, the entire shop is set abuzz, especially when Brenda lets him sleep on their porch.


That's not all the neighbors are talking about. Spring may be blooming outdoors, but an icy chill has settled over the Hansens' marriage. Steve is keeping late hours with clients, and the usually upbeat Brenda is feeling the absence of her husband and her college-age kids.

Add to that the unsavory business moving in next to the beauty shop and the entire community gets turned upside down. Now Brenda's friends must unite to pull her out of her rut and keep the unwanted store out of town. But can Steve and Brenda learn to thaw their chilly marriage and enjoy the hope spring offers?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

New Book

It's book review time and "The Reliance" by Mary Lu Tyndall is this choice of the week from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. I haven't had the pleasure of reading this yet, but doesn't it sound like an exciting story! Can't wait to pick up my copy!

This week the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing "The Reliance"

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


M. L. (MARYLU) TYNDALL grew up on the beaches of South Florida loving the sea and the warm tropics. But despite the beauty around her, she always felt an ache in her soul--a longing for something more.

After college, she married and moved to California where she had two children and settled into a job at a local computer company. Although she had done everything the world expected, she was still miserable. She hated her job and her marriage was falling apart.

Still searching for purpose, adventure and true love, she spent her late twenties and early thirties doing all the things the world told her would make her happy, and after years, her children suffered, her second marriage suffered, and she was still miserable.

One day, she picked up her old Bible, dusted it off, and began to read. Somewhere in the middle, God opened her hardened heart to see that He was real, that He still loved her, and that He had a purpose for her life, if she's only give her heart to Him completely.



ABOUT THE BOOK:




A YOUNG BRIDE separated from her husband just as a child has been conceived...

A GRIEVING HUSBAND tempted to take his anger out through the vices of his past...

A MARRIAGE AND A SHIP threatened to be split apart by villainous Caribbean pirates...

In
THE RELIANCE, Edmund Merrick tormented by the apparent demise of his pregnant wife Charlisse, sails away to drown his sorrows. He turns his back on God and reverts to a life of villainy, joining forces with the demented French pirate Collier. When his mind clears from its rum-induced haze, will Edmund find the will to escape?



Seemingly abandoned by her new husband, Charlisse battles her own insecurities as she is thrown into the clutches of the vengeful pirate Kent, who holds her and Lady Isabel captive.



Will she be swept away by the undertow of treachery and despair? Can Edmund and Charlisse battle the tempests that threaten to tear them apart and steer their way to the faith-filled haven they so desperately seek? Or will they ultimately lose their love and lives to the whirlpool of treachery and deceit?

The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1597893609

Friday, March 9, 2007

Read me on F.A.I.T.H.

Today's Friday, so you need to click on over to the F.A.I.T.H. Blog and read about my experiences this week with writing and septic tanks!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Cell phone Vs. Bible

(This is a copy of an email I received from my aunt, which came from my cousin. I don't know who the original author is, but this is so, so true. Enjoy!)

Thought Provoking!!!!!

Cell phone Vs. Bible

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go "hmm...where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Makes you stop and think, where are my priorities?

And no dropped calls!!!

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing The Watchers

(This is a copy of the CFBA Book Review)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
MARK ANDREW OLSEN whose novel The Assignment was a Christy Award finalist, also collaborated on bestsellers Hadassah (now the major motion picture: One Night With the King), The Hadassah Covenant, and Rescued. The son of missionaries to France, Mark is a graduate of Baylor University. He and his wife, Connie, live in Colorado Springs with their three children.


ABOUT THE BOOK:
Just below the surface among the family of God lives another family tree--one traced in spirit, invisible and ageless, known as the Watchers. For two thousand years they've seen beyond the veil separating this world from the next, passing on their gift through a lineage mostly overlooked. Throughout history they've scouted the borders of the supernatural frontier, but now their survival hangs by a thread. And their fate lies in the hands of a young woman, her would-be killer, and a mystery they must solve....


"Congratulations. You just reached my own little corner of cyberspace.

Who am I?

Abby Sherman, that's who.

Who are you? And why are you checking me out?

Drop me a few pixels, and let's find out!"

With that innocent invitation, Abby Sherman unwittingly steps in the cross hairs of history, and thus begins her harrowing tale--taking her from ocean-front Malibu to the streets of London, the jungles in West Africa, the Temple Mount, Jerusalem, and to the very gates of heaven itself!

A sneak preview of eternity becomes her one-way ticket to danger--and discovery….

Two lives collide in a globe-circling adventure involving both peril and discovery: Abby, a young woman whose visions of heaven turn her into a Web-celebrity; and Dylan, a troubled young man sent by an ancient foe to silence her. From California beachfronts to Nigerian rain forests to Jerusalem and back again, THE WATCHERS is high-octane blends of action, mystery, and spiritual battle spanning centuries.

A woman's awe-inspiring vision launches her on a quest through distant lands and ancient history, face-to-face with eternity and into the arms of a family line on the brink of annihilation...

A man who is hired to exterminate her discovers the folly of blind loyalty, then learns how to wage war in a realm he never believed had existed...

An extraordinary saga of the unseen war against evil, the reality of the supernatural, and the transforming power of forgiveness.

ENDORSEMENT:
"A writer who can take your breath away with a single sentence. A welcome, fresh voice that must be read!"--Ted Dekker

The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764228188

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Reaching out

Sunday evening I took part in a meeting at my church. Well, maybe I should reword in saying I sat in the sanctuary and listened to the pastor and Sunday school coordinator's plans as words of skepticism ran through my head.

But by the end of the meeting I was excited about the plans.

My church wants to reach out to individuals who visit, to those who are members and haven't been in a long time, to those who are there every Sunday and Wednesday. My church wants to minister to every individual.

I've visited many churches where I walked in, was handed a bulletin, sat in the pew, shook hands with the person next to me, listened to the sermon, and then walked out, feeling good I was there, but knowing no one would recognize I wouldn't be back the next week.

My church is trying to avoid that. They want everyone who walks through our sanctuary doors on Sunday morning, or visits on Wednesday or Sunday nights, that we care they were there. A new concept? It shouldn't be, but it probably is.

The plan is for coordinators within Sunday school classes to be identified and then for the coordinators to assign leaders for care groups and each leader has a few to several names on the list they contact weekly. During the contact, the intention is not to ask the individual why they weren't at church on Sunday or to prod into their personal life, but to let them know, if they weren't at church, that they were missed and to offer any support for anything that may be going on in their lives.

This is where I was skeptical. For a long time, I considered myself a Christian who didn't need church. Also, I was doing a number of things that aren't "Christian-like". I know my testimony of that time suffered, but now, I feel I may be stronger for it. It was an ignorant time, in that I believed: 1)I didn't need to be in church, which is the body of Christ, what he started in his disciples, 2) that all I had to do was believe in him, but I could live life however I wanted. It's true, God forgives us of our sins and Christ bridged that gap between man and God. When we accept Christ as our savior, we have our seat in Heaven and will go before the Lord as righteous.

Yet, as a Christian, we have a duty to live as Christ intended. And that is where so many of us fall. You may think it's cool to drink, curse, gossip, do a myriad of other things all while proclaiming to love God. That's what I did. And I can tell you if someone from the church called me weekly to inquire about how things were at work or at home or just in general, I would have politely talked to them the first time, but if they called again I would have screened the call and NOT answered the phone.

The thing is, my husband and I have been through several hurdles in our married life. Not just normal hurdles couples go through as far as getting used to living with each other and growing accoustomed and accepting each other's habits, but hurdles caused by outside sources: death of loved ones, car accidents, dog bites, just to name a few of the hard things we've endured. And my point in mentioning these things is that had I been in weekly contact with a church member, I may have been inclined to answer the phone when they called and let them know that we'd been involved in a car accident and my husband was having to go through two surgeries in less than two weeks. My church family would've been there to bring food, feed my dog, get my mail, or - and most importantly - offer support through prayer.

So after I sat through the meeting for a few minutes, feeling skeptical, I realized they aren't just trying to reach members who've fallen off the church bandwagon, they're trying to be there for members and non-members alike. Whether involved or not, they want to reach out and offer support to who ever needs it whether they need it at that moment or not. I like that idea. It's what the church should've been doing all along, but more, it's what each of us, as individuals, should be doing too. Reach out to that friend in need, the one who'll go months without calling you. Send a card to the friend that's sick - or stop by her house for a quick visit. Don't worry about imposing, because at least you stopped by, showed you cared.

As Christians, we are not perfect. But we should look to the perfect One, to model our life after, live for Him, proclaiming Him as righteous, and encouraging others to find the glory we know in Him.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Happy Friday!

Hi! I'm blogging on F.A.I.T.H. today!

Picometer

My friend Lindi introduced me to this cute little word meter I now have on the left side of the page. It's a progress meter that helps you keep track of how many words you have written. So far, I'm at 6,500 on my revision. Not quite 10% of my target of 75,000, but moving up anyway, which is the point.

If you'd like to add one of these to your site, check out Writertopia.

Finalist!