Tuesday, July 31, 2007

One-Eyed Jack by Paula Miller

About the book:

From the back cover:
Trust the Lord to Find a way

The first in the Faces of History Series, this story tells the tale of a boy, Nate, who lives on a cattle ranch in 1880's Montana.

Nate has always wanted a dog, but his Pa does not. Only grudgingly does Pa allow Nate to keep the nearly dying puppy he finds in the field. Nate must struggle to control his new dog and allow the Lord the time to sway Pa's heart.

Faces in History is a series dedicated to showing children and teens of faith during different periods of history. The hero of each tale overcomes their personal obstacles with perseverence and faith in the Lord. Written to entertain, these books also serve as an inspirational tool for any child of faith.

"Children love stories of kids and their pets and Paula Miller shares one that is sure to win their hearts." Janette Oke, beloved author of Christian fiction


Awarded the November 2006 Book of the Month by KidMagine


My review:

One-Eyed Jack by Paula Miller is a wonderful children's book.

While on a cattle run with his Pa, Nate finds a dying puppy. Though it is with reluctance, Nate's father allows him to bring the puppy home, not expecting it to live through the night. Jack grows stronger every day with the love and nurturing he gets from Nate, his grandpa, brother and sister.

This is a tender tale of a young boy finding his way. Nate must learn to keep Jack under control, but is growing up right along with One-Eyed Jack. Together, they get lost in the woods and face one of nature's most challenging obstacles! I imagined David fighting Goliath!
This is a book that I enjoyed and plan to share it with my nephews, cousins and one day my daughter (Well, I read her a few excerpts as I was going along!)
I think this is one you'll want to share with your children.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Delicacy of Creation

ACFW - Anticipating the Experience!

Reading the posts from this week have me even more excited about the American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference than I already was!

This will be my first big conference. Last year I attended a very small, local conference with Northeast Georgia Writers. I had a good time and it gave me the chance to meet other authors writing both fiction and non-fiction.

But I know ACFW will be huge compared to my other experiences!

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

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

To Dance in the Desert by Kathleen Popa

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

(RiverOak, May 1, 2007)
Kathleen Popa


Raised in the American Southwest, Kathleen began her love affair with the desert as a child. Before becoming a writer she, among other jobs, worked in both the juvenile facility fro incarcerated girls and a home for emotionally disturved children. Mother of two, sh lives in Northern California with her husband and youngest son. Visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and What Else is There? She is a member of the CFBA, too! Give her a holler!


“Not a safe world.” How many times had she heard it over and over again? Well, it is not a safe world and Dara Murphy Brogan knew it better than most, which is exactly why she had tucked herself away on a desert mountaintop. Now it was just her, the voice inside her head and the boxes of hastily packed odds and ends—all that was left of her pathetic excuse of a life. Hadn’t she chosen the desert because it was barren and brown and dead looking and far, far away from anyone who may have seen the news?

So what was this, this trespasser, this interloper, this wacked out earth mother doing dancing outside her window? Celebrating life and the Spirit in a way Dara never could have dreamed. Until she opened her door and met Jane Cameron.

A book that makes me laugh is a joy, a book that makes me cry is a rarity. But a book that moves me to dance is sublime. To Dance in the Desert is a spectacular experience. Beautifully written, deeply moving, and warmly engaging—that this is Kathleen Popa’s first novel astounds me. That she will quickly be counted among the top caliber of Christian novelists delights me. I simply loved this book.

~Kathryn Mackel, Author of The Hidden

Kathleen Popa creates a compelling vision of a small community’s power to coax waning spirits back toward life. This gem of a novel worked on me like a dream. Popa’s evocative prose captured the nuance and complexity of transformation with equal parts mystery and truth. She conjures the deserts of Dara Brogan’s life with intimate clarity, reminding us along the way of the profound strength of what we take far too much for granted—the deep friendship of kindred spirits. This is a journey worth taking.

~Jeff Berryman, Author of Leaving Ruin

Tuesday, July 24, 2007



I know its the reason I can't work on my book.

The money is diminishing.

What does budget mean?

We need to learn.

Maybe I want to go back to work. But I'd feel guilty putting my little stink bomb in day care. I want to write. I want to write articles, be a freelancer. I want to be published

But there is no money in this profession. There's no promise of success. The ladder up is murky.

Why do it?

I could go back to the desk job. I could put my headset on and call people who must have it worse than me. Their basement is flooded. Their house burned down.

yes, they have it much worse.

no, I don't want to go back to the desk job.

Maybe I've got Mom Shock.
Go from working a full time job since I was eighteen to staying home at 30. We didn't know what budget meant back then.

I love staying home, but it's a different world. How to adjust?

I have departed from old friends and found new ones.

Old irritants compound with every connection. Yet I see slivers of hope. God opens my eyes, but Satan wants to shut them.

God give me patience!

God forgive my hateful words!

Lord Help Me to write for You and stop dwelling on me!

God, help me Hear You. . .

Only You, Lord.

Matthew 6:25-26, 31-34

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds on the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:25-26, 31-34

Monday, July 23, 2007

Close Call

I'm sad to say we lost three of our Koi last week.

On Thursday we noticed the fish started swimming to the top, but they were moving much slower than normal. Many stayed at the bottom. This is something they do when it gets hot. Our pond has a lot of sun exposure, so it's not uncommon for the fish to hang near the bottom where it's cooler.

Yet our concerns started when one of our large Koi kept hanging at the top, near the edges of the pond. He was swimming slow, turning over to expose his belly. Then another did the same thing, this one having a twitch to his movements. They were aimless in their movements. If you're familiar with these fish, they know where they're going. They get friendly with you, sometimes will even eat out of your hand.

We knew something was wrong because they were moving around like they were blind. It was sad to watch and my husband and I felt so helpless.

Billy had just cleaned the filters, days before. He tested the nitrates and they were fine. Within two days we lost three large Koi. Beautiful fish. They have a personality all their own. It was a sad loss. Billy did more research and realized we had high levels of ammonia. This is something we will have to continue to treat due to the excess of fish we're housing in the pond.

All is better now. The fish are eating like normal and are moving around as usual. For this, I am thankful. And I'm impressed by my husband's care and perseverance in not relenting until he found the solution to the problem.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Laying low and thinking

I've been around, just laying low.

I didn't check email until late last night. I read a book in my to-be-read pile and admired the way the author crafted her scenes, settings and sentences.

I've been thinking about better ways to organize my time. When do I need to write to be most productive? How can I blog regularly and still have ample time for my novel?

I'm looking forward to two writing conferences I'll attend in September. One is ACFW and the other is Moonlight & Magnolias. I'm thinking about formatting business cards and one-sheets.

And I'm trying to stay grounded. I want God to have control of my life. I want to be soothed by the fact that when I pitch my book to editors and agents I've never met before, that I'll rest assured whatever happens will be a part of God's plan for my life.

I'm taking part in an email loop for first-time conference attendees. I've seen many post on their emails that they're nervous about pitching. One guy made a good point: editors and agents are human.

I'm not nervous, at least I don't think I am. I'm looking at it as a job interview.

I used to go about life expecting the worse and hoping for the best. Because I've changed, my trust is now rooted in God's promise and love, I'm optimistic He will be with me. The best will happen, but it may not be in the time I expect. And on God's time table, it will be better than the best.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.
Genesis 1:11

The Delicacy of Creation

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What does Princess by day, Frog by night mean, anyway?

However early I start, from the first phone call or a trip to town, I'm "on".

The word Princess is used in jest.

Some days are better than others.

There are days when I feel confident and one would imagine a Princess must have several degrees of confidence to greet her public and assist in maintaining her castle.

Princess by day means my eye glasses are off and my contact lenses are in. My make up is done, even though it may be minimal. My smile is placed. My heart is joyful with love for the Lord of whom I strayed for some time. I am gracious and loving.

But some days I may feel a little Froggy.

Those are days you don't want to get out of your pjs. The eye glasses are worn all day. You've forgotten if you brushed your teeth. You're just you and you don't care who knows it.

I always notice the tree frogs come out at night. They sing loud and don't care if they're in tune or not. But they energize the night and that's all that matters.

This label on my blog is intended to be a creative outlet. I'm not going to worry if what I type makes sense.

I'll post what I feel for that day. It may be a memory. I may rant. It's my blog. I can do that.

But one thing I want to do every time I post is share a scripture.

I'm going to try, at least, I'll try...

Matthew 7:13-14

In reading pieces of the Book of Matthew, I was rocked by several passages. Here is one. I chose it because it means the most to me.

"Ender by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."
Matthew 7:13-14

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

One Step Over the Border by Stephen Bly

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

(Center Street June 12, 2007)

Stephen Bly


Stephen Bly is a pastor, a mayor, an antique Winchester gun collector and a writer.
He's mayor of a town of 308 in the mountains of Idaho, on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. In his spare time, he pursues the three R's of ridin', ropin' and rodeo...and construction of Broken Arrow Crossing, a false-front western village near his home.
That keeps him very western. And he collects old Winchester rifles, which reflects his love of historical accuracy. He's also a fan of Jimmy Buffet music.
Stephen says about his writing, "I write about the West (historic or modern) from the inside. Born and raised on western ranches, I have both the heart and mind to describe things as they really were...and are. There are those who think the frontier has long passed and with it the ‘code of the west.’ The truth is, both are still around...and it’s fun to show that in a contemporary story. The West is so big, so diverse, so enchanting it’s a thrill to write about it in any era."
Stephen is the author of ninety-five books and hundreds of articles.


It’s a romp...
A road adventure...

It’s a buddy story with romantic comedy!!
Some call it CowboyLit. Rodeo cowboy Hap Bowman’s on a search for Juanita, the gal of his dreams, whom he hasn’t seen in 18 years. He seems stuck on 12-years-old and the enchanting girl he met then.
"An idiot obsession," his roping partner, Laramie Majors, chides.
But Laramie agrees to a final summer’s trek along the Rio Grande. If they don’t find Juanita during those months, Hap promises to drop the idea of the hunt for the mystery senorita. But if they find her, will she feel the same as Hap does about their years ago interlude?
In One Step Over The Border the time tested values of cowboys rub up against contemporary mores. It’s a crazy story that becomes more logical as the reader delves deeper into it. It will make you laugh and shed a tear or two.
Getting back to Hap’s pursuit . . . don’t we all have someone in the past, that we knew for only a short while, that we wish we could have known better, longer? Stephen Bly has!. So when Hap and Laramie ventured out on a quest for Hap’s Juanita, Stephen decided to invite others to go along too. Folks have been e-mailing Hap hapandlaramie@yahoo.com and asking for their own “Juanita Search Kits.”
They get a bumper sticker, magnet, bookmark, stickers, flyers, etc. It’s a whole packet of material that will equip anyone to join the fun of finding the Juanita with “the mark of God.” If they send Hap a picture of the places where they stuck their Juanita signs, they’ll receive a free copy of the book. It’s all there on the website at http://www.onestepovertheborder.com/
And there’s a very special feature on http://www.amazon.com/...some more adventures about Hap and Laramie that did NOT appear in the book, can be found on AmazonShorts in the story entitled, Aim Low, Shoot High.
This book is crazy. I mean that in a good way! Cowboy Lit? That's a first, but okay, I'm buying it.
Just a few pages into the book the action starts with Hap and Laramie ropping some guy who's looking for the first Juanita, who split and left Laramie holding her six-month old son Phillipe. But like I said, it's just the beginning and she's not the Juanita Hap's looking for. My heart went out to the girl though, and it had me hoping this girl would get a second chance.
Definitely an interesting read.
Make a comment on this post any time in the next two weeks and at the end of the month, I'll draw to see who wins a free copy. Leave me your email address so I'll know how to reach you. (Or email me your address if you don't want to post it here! But be sure to leave a comment!)
A simple - Hi there! will do.
Happy reading,

John 3:16

During Wednesday night Bible study, we were following Andy Stanley's "Go Fish".

I hope I get this right. This is all we need to know to share the Word.

God Loved. God Gave. We Believe. We Have. We Love.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

John 3:16 (NKJV)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Congratulations Angela Breidenbach!!!

1st place Long Contemporary Winner!!!
"What She Didn't Know"
RWA's Faith, Hope, and Love chapter
2007 Touched by Love Contest

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fearless by Robin Parrish

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

(Bethany House, July 1, 2007)
Robin Parrish

Robin Parrish had two great ambitions in his life: to have a family, and to be a published novelist.
In March of 2005, he proposed to his future wife the same week he signed his first book contract.Born Michael Robin Parrish on October 13, 1975, Robin's earliest writing efforts took place on a plastic, toy typewriter, and resulted in several "books" (most between 10 and 30 pages long) and even a few magazines.
By the age of thirteen, he had begun winning local writing awards and became a regular in his high school's literary magazine. In college, he garnered acclaim from his English professors and fellow students while maturing and honing his skills.
After college, he entered the writing profession through a "side door" -- the Internet. More than ten years he spent writing for various websites, including About.com, CMCentral.com, and his current project Infuze Magazine, which is a unique intersection between art and faith which he also conceived of and created.
One of his more "high concept" ideas for Infuze was to return to his love for storytelling and create a serialized tale that would play out every two weeks, telling a complete, compelling story over the course of nine months. That serialized story eventually came to the attention of several publishers, who saw it as a potential debut novel for Robin Parrish.
In 2005, Bethany House Publishers brought Robin full circle by contracting him for the rights to not only that first book, Relentless -- but two sequels. A trilogy, to unfold in the consecutive summers of 2006, 2007, and 2008. One massive tale -- of which that first, original story would form only the foundational first volume of the three -- spread across three books.
Robin is the Editor in Chief and creator of Infuze Magazine. He and his wife Karen reside in High Point, North Carolina. Karen works for High Point's First Wesleyan Church, where Robin and Karen are members and Small Group leaders.


Book Two of the Dominion Trilogy:

The world changed after that terrible day when the sky burned, and now every heart is gripped by fear...Earthquakes, fire, disease, and floods pummel the earth, and its citizens watch in horror.
But in the darkness there is hope -- an anonymous but powerful hero whom the public dubs "Guardian." He is Grant Borrows, one of a chosen few who walk the earth with extraordinary powers. But while Grant enjoys this new life, signs of a dangerous ancient prophecy begin coming true, and those closest to Grant worry he may be hiding a terrible secret.A search for answers brings Grant and his friends to London, where an extraordinary discovery awaits that will challenge everything they thought they knew. With a deadly new enemy dogging his steps, Grant realizes that the world's only hope may come from unraveling the truth about himself once and for all. But what he comes face-to-face with leaves even this most powerful of men shaken with fear.

Secrets will be revealed.

Friends will make the ultimate sacrifice.

And destiny will not be denied.

The story continues...

Monday, July 9, 2007

Wedding Bell Blues by Linda Windsor

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing...

Wedding Bell Blues
(Avon Inspire 2007)
Linda Windsor

Linda, a native of Maryland's Eastern Shore, is the author of eighteen historical novels and nine contemporary romances for both the secular and Christian market. A Christy Award finalist, Linda has received numerous awards in both the ABA and CBA, including the Romantic Writers of America's Beacon Award. She lives in Salisbury, Maryland. Learn more!


Wedding Bell Blues is the first in a new series, The Piper Cove Chronicles, that follows four women who grew up as best friends in a small community on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They have returned home from their successes and failures at college and life, determined to pursue their dreams in the town they'd once vowed to leave in the dust. True love has eluded the four friends until one by one they encounter their soul mate.

Next in the series is FOR PETE'S SAKE, on sale from Avon Inspire in April 2008. Alex Butler is a successful home decorator who hopes she has finally gotten her life together. But when Josh Turner, the man who ran away and broke her heart sixteen years ago, returns to Piper Cove to be the best man in her sister's wedding, Alex can't escape the butterflies in her stomach. But Alex has no time for distractions. Her family has enlisted her to make this the wedding of the century. To pull the event off, she pools the talents of her three best friends - Jan, who creates desserts to-die-for will help with the cake and catering, tomboy Ellen, who works at a landscaping business will handle the flowers and decorations, and Sue Ann, who can…well, Suzie Q can give Alex a much-needed reality check in the course of the wedding planning chaos.

But fate won't be stopped in this small town as Alex and Josh keep running into each other at every turn. When sparks fly, Alex soon finds herself caught in a paralyzing battle of the heart between her old-fashioned Southern father, who fiercely resents Josh for breaking his little girl's heart, and her feelings for the one man she ever truly loved.

As the wedding approaches, the Butler family faces a threat to their reputation that will shake this Chesapeake clan to their very core. In the midst of it all, can Alex and Josh resist the many forces that seem to be drawing them together?

Winner of Diva NashVegas...

Mindy Obenhaus!

And THANKS to everyone who played.
There will be more book giveaways to come in the near future!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Book Giveaway and My Review of Diva NashVegas by Rachel Hauck

I started Diva NashVegas with the CFBA blog tour in June. And wouldn’t you know it, Life Happened. After reading only the first couple of chapters, I had to put it down. Yet early on I felt a connection with fictitious superstar Aubrey James – First chapter, she faints on stage (I’m a fainter, at work, school, but not on stage in front of thousands of fans – Thank God!)

So, I knew I had to come back to this story.

But I’ll be honest. I have a hard time getting into 1st person narratives. This is how this book is laid out.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t leave this book, which had piqued my curiosity, unfinished.

First of all, the design of the book is cool. Each chapter opens with a blurb about the superstar we’re stepping into the life of. Which I’ve always thought would be neat, being a superstar for a day

~ Picture Molly Shannon’s Superstar and that’s probably how I’d be.

Anyway, it took me a minute to get used to the style of the book. 1st person POV aside... let me elaborate, I’ve got a superstar country singer who lives with her fiancee – and this is Christian fiction?


But I’m not a supporter of living together before marriage ~ though many people in this day and age are. I’m just excited that someone – and her publisher is willing - is writing about a character that reflects REAL LIFE.

You may be saying - Christy, there are lot's of CBA books that address this and other issues like this.
Really? I'll say. Then, I'll nod my head. Okay, reading wise, I must get out more.

I won’t summarize the book. But I will tell you I enjoyed it. I will tell you my favorite scene is Scott teaching Aubrey to drive in Scott’s dad’s old Jeep. A riot! You’ll have to read the book to know what I’m talking about.

Then I discovered
Rachel Hauck’s blog – where she talks about writing Diva NashVegas. Good writerly information. I was really interested on how much research she had to do to make this story so real. And to me, a wannabe, that’s what this story was. It felt real and that’s our job as authors.
Well done, Rachel. I’m adding your previous books to my “To be read” list and will look forward to your next one!
P.S. - I mentioned something up there about you reading this book. Well, here's your chance. I'm giving this book away. Running a little contest this weekend. Will you please leave me a comment to enter?
I'll draw one lucky winner on Monday July 9.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Island Inferno by Chuck Holton

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

Chuck Holton


Chuck served four years in the Elite 75th Ranger Regiment–the same unit profiled in the movie “Black Hawk Down.” Chuck saw combat in Panama in 1989. After leaving active duty, Chuck flew helicopters in the Wisconsin National Guard while attending the University of Wisconsin.In 2004, after ten years as a stockbroker, Chuck left that profession to pursue full-time writing. At the same time, he began working as the "Adventure Correspondent" for CBN. He is the author of five books, including A More Elite Soldier, Bulletproof, and Allah's Fire, the first of three books in the Task Force Valor series.Today, Chuck, Connie, and their five children live on a farm in Appalachia, where Chuck now pursues his varied interests of farming, writing, adventure travel and public speaking, among other things.


As the global war on terror heats up, the U.S. deploys a team of highly trained special operators overseas to locate and neutralize threats, bringing EOD expertise to dangerous missions that have no room for error.
A new specialty explosive is on the black market: ITEB looks like water, but when it's exposed to air, the effects are lethal! The United States government is frantic to keep it from our shores. Staff Sergeant Euripides "Rip" Rubio knows how destructive ITEB can be. He has already risked his life to thwart a horrific terrorist plot involving the chemical. Now Task Force Valor heads to Panama, on the trail of an arms dealer who plans to use ITEB to make a killing...literally.
Fernanda Lerida is a University of Florida grad student who jumps at the chance to join a biological expedition to a mysterious former prison island. But the snakes, bugs, and crocodiles are soon the least of her worries as the group stumbles upon something they were not meant to see. To Make matters worse, Fernanda soon finds herself alone and being pursued by an unseen foe.
When Rip's path collides with Fernanda's, they find themselves caught in the midst of a brutal turf war. Can they use the chaos to their advantage, or will one false step set the entire island ablaze?

"Island Inferno is a boy-meets-girl story. But in Chuck Holton's world, boy meets girl in the middle of a jungle at 25mph. hanging under a parachute with an assault rifle strapped across his chest. You'd better plan on reading this in one sitting. And once you're done, you'd better give yourself time for your pulse to calm down."
----TOM MORRISEY, Author of Deep Blue, and Dark Fathom