Friday, May 30, 2008

Pray for Tonka




Poor Tonka is probably super humiliated in this picture, taken a few months ago, but today I ask you to remember my little puppy dog in your prayers.

She started getting sick on Sunday and today I will be taking her back to the doctor. It's expected she will have surgery as we believe she has an obstruction. Tonka has been through many tests and x-rays. The doctors started off suspecting she had Lepthospirosis and now we believe she has swallowed something that has gotten lodged somewhere near her stomach area. She is eight years old and a part of our family. I am praying for healing and for the doctor's wisdom to help Tonka feel better.

A Writer's Discovery...


Mine is The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray.


Find out more on F.A.I.T.H...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ruby Among Us by Tina Ann Forkner



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Ruby Among Us

(WaterBrook Press May 20, 2008)

by

Tina Ann Forkner



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Tina Ann Forkner writes contemporary fiction that challenges and inspires. Originally from Oklahoma, she graduated with honors in English from CSU Sacramento before ultimately settling in the wide-open spaces of Wyoming where she now resides with her husband and their three children. Tina serves on the Laramie County Library Foundation Board of Directors and enjoys gardening, spending time outdoors with her family, and works as a full-time writer.



ABOUT THE BOOK

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

“Highly recommended. If you’re a mother or daughter, you’re going to love Ruby Among Us. Forkner does an extraordinary job…. I look forward to more from this author.”
~Ane Mulligan~, Novel Journey

“Don’t miss this one! Tina Ann Forkner is a strong new voice in fiction and Ruby Among Us is an amazing story of trials, regrets, and, ultimately, redemption. Lucy and her family history in the historic wine country of Sonoma bring to life the Scriptures about the Vine and His branches.”
~Kristin Billerbeck~, author of The Trophy Wives Club


If you would like to read the first chapter go HERE

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Broken Angel

(WaterBrook Press (May 20, 2008)

by

Sigmund Brouwer



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sigmund Brouwer is the author of eighteen best-selling novels for children and adults. His newest book is Fuse of Armageddon and his novel The Last Disciple was featured in Time magazine and on ABC’s Good Morning America. A champion of literacy, he teaches writing workshops for students in schools from the Arctic Circle to inner city Los Angeles. Sigmund is married to Christian recording artist Cindy Morgan, and they and their two daughters divide their time between homes in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada and Nashville, Tennessee.


ABOUT THE BOOK

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.

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

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Women in Uniform

Since writing my manuscript has completely eluded me... And I really did give it a good try this weekend... I've decided to shift gears and rethink the entire setting of my never-ending WIP (work in progress).

Contemporary settings are what I've concentrated on in the past, with fleeting thoughts of one day writing a historical. Yet it's books set in another time that I'm drawn to. Perhaps that's what I should be writing. And since I'm not writing, maybe I should start researching.

I'm researching the Civil War, with thoughts to set this novel after the War ends. Already I've found an interesting website: Civil War Potpourri.

I had no idea there were women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the War. I guess when I imagine anytime before 1900, I picture Scarlett O'Hara sitting on the steps of Tara, teasing her beaus. (I know, I really need to get out more.)

And I've got to say this scene from GWTW is one of my favorite scenes. Mammie wants Scarlett to eat before she goes to the party and Scarlett puts up a fuss. She doesn't concede until Mammie threatened her, which is why Scarlett's giving this look. She know's Mammie's got her right where she wants her.



These women went into battle with men. Many fought gallantly and weren't discovered until they were injured or became sick. There was one woman, "Jennie Hodgers, who stowed away on a ship leaving Ireland bound for the United States in 1844, disguised herself as Albert D. J. Cashier and served in the Illinois Volunteer Infantry from 1862 until the end of the war..." She wasn't discovered until long after the war, "when at the age of 66 she broke her leg in an automobile accident-and the doctor at the veteran's hospital found her out. The secret was kept, however, and she successfully drew the veteran's pension she was entitled to for her gallant service." Go to the Women in Uniform page to learn more.

And if you've heard more stories like this, come back to share!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Embrace Me by Lisa Samson


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Embrace Me

(Thomas Nelson March 4, 2008)

by

Lisa Samson



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Lisa Samson is a Christy Award-winning author of 19 books, including the Women of the Faith Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer. Lisa has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a talented novelist who isn't afraid to take risks."


In Embrace Me, the latest novel by acclaimed author Lisa Samson, readers are privy to the realization that regardless of outward appearances…hideous, attractive, or even ordinary…persons are all looking for the same things: love, forgiveness, and redemption.

This story explores a world that is neither comfortable nor safe, a world that people like Valentine know all too well. Masterfully crafted by Samson and populated by her most compelling cast of characters yet. It is a tale of forgiveness that extends into all spheres of life: forgiving others, forgiving oneself, forgiving the past.

She lives in Lexinton, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Biting and gentle, hard-edged and hopeful...a beautiful fable of love and power, hiding and seeking, woundedness and redemption.

When a "lizard woman," a self-mutilating preacher, a tattooed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster...and improbably close to grace.

Valentine, due to her own drastic self-disfigurement, ahs very few friends in this world and, it appears as if she may be destined to spend the rest of her life practically alone. But life gives her one good friend, Lella, whose own handicap puts her in the same freakish category as Valentine. As part of Roland's Wayfaring Marvel and Oddities Show, a traveling band of misfits, they seem to have found their niches in an often curiously cruel world.

Residing in a world where masks are mandatory, Valentine has a hard time removing hers, because of her disfigured face but more so because of her damaged soul. It is much easier for her to listen endlessly to different versions of a favorite song, Embraceable You, and escape reality. Yet, life has more in store for her when she meets Augustine, replete with the tattoos, dreadlocks, and his own secrets. With his arrival, Valentine's soul takes a turn.

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Healing Promises by Amy Wallace



This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Healing Promises


(Multnomah Publishers - April 15, 2008)


by


Amy Wallace


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams, a homeschool mom, and a self-confessed chocoholic. She is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and a contributing author of several books, including God Answers Moms’ Prayers and Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

ABOUT THE BOOK

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?

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



Christy here:
Ransomed Dreams clinched my heart strings and introduced me to the characters in Healing Promises. Now, my heart is wrenching for Clint and Sara, on a different level. Amy manages to take us from the point of view of Clint who's dealing with cancer, to his wife Sara, who's struggling to help him and balance everything else in life - and feeling like she failing at every turn. Then we're shifted into the mind of a madman who's preying on precious children.

I literally shivered reading some parts of the serial killer's scenes.


Halfway through the book, I wondered if Clint was going to survive. We're living with the experience of cancer through Clint. This is like wondering what God's will is for us. Look around you. What are your friends and family going through? Why are certain people aflicted with certain illnesses? Especially the ones who appear to have taken such good care of themselves. We've all known some health nut who develops cancer. Why? This is Clint.

In Healing Promises, Sara is an oncologist. She treats people with cancer. Some of her most beloved patients have died. Some with a close relationship with God. Sara doubts God, questions Him. Will He save her husband or will she be attending his funeral, too? And through her eyes, we get the feeling, she expects to be a widow one day.

Amy Wallace delivers on another powerful, faith filled novel. You're chasing child predators with the FBI agents and praying for a miracle right with the family battling a sometimes terminal illness. Healing Promises is another book you'll want to add to your bookshelf.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Courting Emma by Sharlene MacLaren

Why read?



Is it good for our imagination? Obviously. Experts pound it into us to read to our children, if only for 15 minutes a day.



Many people enjoy kicking back in front of the television. For me, there's not much on that I'm interested in, or that I have time to watch. I try to fit in American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and Supernanny when I can. But usually the television is tuned to Noggin.



When I sit down, away from the computer, I like to have a good book to read. Here's another I read in just a couple of sittings.



The Book:

In Courting Emma, twenty-eight-year-old Emma Browning has experienced a good deal of life in her young age. Proprietor of Emma s Boardinghouse, she is mother to an array of beefy, unkempt, often rowdy characters. Though many men would like to get to know the steely, hard-edged, yet surprisingly lovely proprietor, none has truly succeeded. That is, not until the town s new pastor, Jonathan Atkins, takes up residence in the boardinghouse, affecting not only her with his devout faith and strong convictions, but her clientele as well. Emma clings desperately to her stubborn ways, refusing to acknowledge God s love until all of Little Hickman witnesses a miracle the conversion of her abusive and alcoholic father, Ezra! Only then will Emma begin to experience God s transforming power at work.


Christy here:
I looked forward to Emma's story while reading Book 2 in the Little Hickman Series. The character of Emma appealed to me because she was a hardworking woman, trying to make it on her own. She didn't need a man to be successful. She'd learned from successful women and had learned early on she couldn't depend on the men in her life.

Her father is the town drunk and she runs the Inn, taking care of several men. She has their respect and she works hard. When Jon, the town pastor, shows up and needs a place to stay, I knew this was going to be an entertaining story. Emma's stubborn and Jon's intrigued. I liked that he was having to pray to God to keep himself in check. We learn Jon has loved Emma since they were in grade school. Another classic romance that I love to hear about.

Another thing I liked about this story is the fact that Jon reached out to help the town drunk. He didn't do it just because Ezra was Emma's father. He did it because he truly felt led by the spirit of Christ. It's so much easier to turn the other way when you see a figure like Ezra. That's what most of the town did. Except Jon.

Sharlene MacLaren has taken two classic characters and put her special spin on it. I truly enjoyed this story and look forward to more from this author. And by the way, I really need to go back and read book one, Loving Liza Jane. I know how their story will end, but isn't it nice to be a part of the journey!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Mother's day Funny

Isn't this cute!


Downey made it Wednesday night in her Missions Friends class at church.

When we first left the class, it had two plastic bottle tops glued to either side of the cup. This made it look like a wheelbarrow. Of course by the time we got home, all ten minutes later, the wheels were gone. Its still cute, though.




What's funny? Well, when I picked Downey up from her class, she showed me what she made and I oohhed and ahhhed over it, because it was cute! I wasn't being fake.


But Downey informed me, her little flower in the wheelbarrow was for her Daddy.

So when Daddy came home that evening, I told her to show him what she made HIM for Mother's Day. And she did. "Look what I made you, Daddy!"


By Mother's Day, I was helping Miss Ruby with our Sunday School class. The kids were making cards for their mom. Of course Downey was in one of her ill-red-headed moods(These are moods brought on for no apparent reason, but my deep rooted belief is there is something about our red hair that makes our tempers volatile from time to time).

Downey didn't want to participate in the class, and sat on the floor a couple of times, crying and being fussy. Even the other kids weren't sure what was up with her. Finally, when she did come to the table, she chose a pink piece of construction paper and started to color on it. She announced that her card was intended for her Daddy. Fooey on Mommy.

Ruby chuckled and said, "Well, maybe she'll make you something on Father's Day."

I guess I'll just have to wait and see.


Little Darling & her Daddy

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Warriors by Mark Andrew Olsen


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Warriors

(Bethany House April 1, 2008)

by

Mark Andrew Olsen



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. His last novel was the supernatural thriller The Watchers.

The son of missionaries to France, Mark is a Professional Writing graduate of Baylor University. He and his wife, Connie, live in Colorado Springs with their three children.

ABOUT THE BOOK

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."
~PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Home in my Heart

This may look like a peculiar and worn stairway to you, but to me, it takes me toward a path I traveled the first 20 years of my life.




To me, this wooden rail and stairs is not old. Its new. The last time I walked onto that rocky Lake Lanier beach, this structure wasn't built.

The rocks weren't there. We never had the money to invest in securing the erosion of this bank.

You may think this yard needs weeding, but this isn't part of anyone's yard. It's Corps property. Part of Lake Lanier shore exposed when the water levels went down and are slowly returning.

The new owners of this property have made some nice additions. This walkway and the rock was needed. It was something my grandparents weren't able to do. My grandmother moved from this location when I married, at 22. I've missed this property ever since.








Look closely at this picture.

Nestled behind the trees is the house I grew up in. Behind the thickness of the vines and ivy is a lovely lake cottage, built in the fifties. The new owners have built a deck around the front of it and maintained it. This quaint gray house belongs to someone else. But to me, it will always be home in my heart.

Friday, May 2, 2008

On F.A.I.T.H. today...

I'm blogging about the Beginning, the Middle, and the End of my never ending
work in progress on the F.A.I.T.H. Blog.

THE WATCH DOG






TONKA: Ferocious(not!) Bulldog ~ Barking at nothing.

Finalist!