Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving weekend. We are headed to the mountains for what we hope is a peaceful few days of trout fishing and enjoying nature.

Here's a recipe that is a favorite of my family and is one of my Granny Hinton's.
This will definitely be on our table.


Hashbrown Casserole

1-2 lbs hasbrown potato, thawed
1 stick of butter (I use unsalted to control the salt :)
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 cup cream of chicken soup
1 cup grated cheese
2 cups sour cream


Mix all ingredients except potatoes, then add potatoes and mix lightly. Put in a greased baking dish. Top with 2 cups cornflakes or crackers - crushed. Then top with 1/2 cup of melted butter. Depending on the size of your dish, this could make two dishes.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beloved Captive by Kathleen Y'Barbo


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Beloved Captive

Barbour Publishing, Inc (November 1, 2008)

by

Kathleen Y’Barbo



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

There’s never a dull moment in the Y’Barbo household! From hockey and cheer mom to publicist to bestselling author, Kathleen Y’Barbo somehow manages to do it all - and well. While wearing her publicist’s hat, Kathleen has secured interviews with radio, television, and print media for clients at NavPress, Hatchette, Integrity, Barbour Publishing, and Broadman & Holman, to name a few. She also brings her own unique blend of Southern charm and witty prose to the more than 350,000 award-winning novels and novellas currently in print. Her novels have been nominated for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006; and 2007 will see the release of her 25th book.

Kathleen is a tenth-generation Texan and a mother of three grown sons and a teenage daughter. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University. Kathleen is a former treasurer for the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is a member of the Author’s Guild, Inspirational Writers Alive, Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild, and the Fellowship of Christian Authors. In addition, she is a sought-after speaker, and her kids think she’s a pretty cool mom, too…most of the time, anyway.

The first book in this series is Beloved Castaway.


ABOUT THE BOOK

In this sequel to Beloved Castaway, Emilie Gayarre is learning to accept her mixed race heritage while finding fulfillment in teaching children of the key. There is no denying the attraction between Emilie and the handsome young naval commander, Caleb Spencer, who is shadowed by his own flock of secrets. But if her heritage is found out, even greater things than his career are at risk. Enjoy this historical romance full of risk and redemption.

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

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips by Stephen Baldwin and Mark Tabb


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips

FaithWords (November 5, 2008)

by

Stephen Baldwin
&
Mark Tabb


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

STEPHEN BALDWIN - actor, family man, born-again Christian - makes his home in upstate New York with his wife and two young daughters.

Equally adept at drama and comedy, Baldwin has appeared in over 60 films and been featured on such top-rated television shows as Fear Factor and Celebrity Mole. He has his own production company that is developing projects for television and the big screen. These days, however, his role as director, co-producer and host of Livin' It - a cutting-edge skate video is bringing out his white hot passion for evangelism.

Writer and communicator Mark Tabb calls himself an “internationally unknown author.” Although his books have been published around the world, he is best known for his collaborative works. His 2008 release, “Mistaken Identity”, written with the Van Ryn and Cerak families, hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list for two weeks, and remained on the list for over two months. He and actor Stephen Baldwin teamed up on their 2005 New York Times bestseller, “The Unusual Suspect,” and with their first work of fiction, “The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips,”


ABOUT THE BOOK

Even years of experience haven't prepared Officer Andy Myers for this case---

When Officer Andy Myers met Loraine Phillips, he had no interest in her son. And he certainly never dreamed he'd respond to a call, finding that same boy in a pool of blood. Even more alarming was the father standing watch over his son's body. Myers had never seen a man respond to death-particularly the death of a child-in such a way. When the father is charged with murder and sentenced to death, he chooses not to fight but embrace it as God's will. Myers becomes consumed with curiosity for these strange beliefs. What follows is the story of the bond these two men share as they come to terms with the tragedy and the difficult choices each one must make.


If you would like to read the first chapter of The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips, go HERE

*STRONG LANGUAGE*


Monday, November 17, 2008

White Christmas Pie by Wanda E. Brunstetter


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

White Christmas Pie

Barbour Publishing, Inc (September 1, 2008)

by

Wanda E. Brunstetter



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Fascinated by the Amish people during the years of visiting her husband's family in Pennsylvania, WANDA E. BRUNSTETTER combined her interest with her writing and now has eleven novels about the Amish in print, along with numerous other stories and ministry booklets. She lives in Washington State, where her husband is a pastor, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish settlements throughout the states.

This year Wanda also publishedA Sister's Hope


ABOUT THE BOOK

Step into Amish country for this bittersweet holiday romance. Here you'll meet Will Henderson, a young man tortured by his past, and Karen Yoder, a young woman looking for answers. Add a desperate father searching for his son, and you have all the ingredients for a first-class romance that will inspire and enthrall.

Abandoned by his father, Will Henderson was raised by an Amish couple. Now he's about to marry Karen Yoder but is having second thoughts. Can Will overcome the bitterness of his past in order to secure his future? Karen cannot break through the barrier her fiance has suddenly constructed around his heart. When she seeks the advice of an old boyfriend, Will begins to see green. Has he already lost his chance for happiness?

When an accident threatens Will's life, the strength of blood ties is tested. Will a recipe for White Christmas pie contain the ingredients for a happily-ever-after?

If you would like to read the first chapter of White Christmas Pie, go HERE

Watch the book trailer:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Finding Christ

In June of 1985, I was 10 years old. I had been learning about Jesus in Sunday School. I was learning the books of the Bible. I remember wanting to join the church. I remember rumors were circulating that our pastor was talking about leaving our church. I remember feeling it was time for me to get baptized because I wanted Preacher Peebles to be the one who baptized me.

Twenty-three years later, this is as close as I can bring you to what I was thinking back then. I can honestly tell you I have never doubted who Christ was. I was raised in a family of Christians. There has never been a doubt in my mind that I should become what my name means: Christ-follower. But something happened from age 10 - age 30. What I believe took place are many acts of disobedience. I took for granted who Christ is and who He is in my life.

I look back during those years. I cringe at my disobedience. But during those years, blessings abounded. I met my husband. I did well in school. Yet I wonder, if I had been obedient to God, how my path would have been different. Would I still have some friends I lost? Would I have been in the same circles of friends? How would my marriage have been better if I'd been obedient to Christ?

I'll never know. I believe by the time I reach Heaven, I won't care about these things I question now. And right now, I know none of it matters. Because the one true thing that was consistent through those years was Christ. He never left me. I believe He knew my decisions before I made them. I know if I had taken a different path, I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't have the security of Christ.

I think I found Christ just hours after my daughter was born. Billy had finally fallen asleep on the small cot. It had been a long day of waiting for our daughter to come and then the stress of realizing she was going to need some help. I know it stressed him out seeing me go in to surgery, but I was relieved. And when I finally held my baby girl there in the dim light of the hospital room, in awe of how perfect she was, I realized I was only a small part of her existence. I couldn't imagine how something so perfect could have been stirring inside of me during the last nine months. I never thought I could love someone so much. And that was where I found Christ. I realized, He loves me more. No matter how much I love my husband, my daughter, my family, friends, He is love. How precious is He!

I realized in that hospital room, that I needed to make some changes. I didn't want my daughter to make the same mistakes I did and I knew that I could have influence over her life, but first, I had to change. I had to stop the disobedience. I had to turn toward the Lord.

Eighteen months later, I took a huge leap. I returned to church all by myself. My husband was working that day and I had been talking about wanting to get back into church. I dressed my daughter and carried her through the front doors of the church. I was welcomed by so many familiar faces. These were people who had comforted my husband and I years earlier when we lost my father in law. These were people who had not forgotten me and treated me as I never left.

The last two years I consider my years of renewal. God has put the right people in front of me, people who love the Lord and guided me on how to study the Word. If you're not sure what the Bible means, email me and I'll recommend a book that changed my whole view of Christ and this world. It made everything connect. I realized that not only did He shed His precious blood for my sins, but he suffered so terribly when He was separated from God during his time on the Cross.

I've come full circle in the last 23 years. I know I'm still going. I know the road won't be perfect, in fact, it will be filled with tribulations. But for this next season of my life I know that in everything I do, Work for Him, Love for Him, Raise my children in Him, Love for Him, Write for Him!

I want to do it all for the Glory of God!

And this Sunday, I'll be getting baptized again! I'm rededicating my life. Finally, life has purpose, beyond my wildest dreams. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One Holy Night by J.M. Hochstetler


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

One Holy Night

Sheaf House (April 1, 2008)

by

J. M. Hochstetler



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


J. M. Hochstetler writes stories that always involve some element of the past and of finding home. Born in central Indiana, the daughter of Mennonite farmers, she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Germanic languages. She was an editor with Abingdon Press for twelve years and has published three novels.

One Holy Night, a contemporary miracle story for all seasons, released in April 2008. Daughter of Liberty (2004) and Native Son (2005), books 1 and 2 of the American Patriot Series are set during the American Revolution. Book 3, Wind of the Spirit, is scheduled for release in March 2009. Hochstetler is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Christian Authors Network, Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, and Historical Novels Society.



ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1967 the military build-up in Viet Nam is undergoing a dramatic surge. The resulting explosion of anti-war sentiment tears the country apart, slicing through generations and shattering families. In the quiet bedroom community of Shepherdsville, Minnesota, the war comes home to Frank and Maggie McRae, whose only son, Mike, is serving as a grunt in Viet Nam.

Frank despises all Asians because of what he witnessed as a young soldier fighting the Japanese in the south Pacific during WWII. The news that his son has fallen in love with and married Thi Nhuong, a young Vietnamese woman, shocks him. To Frank all Asians are enemies of his country, his family, and himself. A Buddhist, Thi Nhuong represents everything he despises. So he cuts Mike out of his life despite the pleas of his wife, Maggie; daughter, Julie; and Julie s husband, Dan, the pastor of a growing congregation.

Maggie is fighting her own battle--against cancer. Convinced that God is going to heal her, Frank plays the part of a model Christian. Her death on Thanksgiving Day devastates him. Worse, as they arrive home from the gravesite, the family receives news of Mike s death in battle. Embittered, Frank stops attending church and cuts off family and friends.

By the time a very pregnant Thi Nhuong arrives on his doorstep on a stormy Christmas Eve, Frank is so filled with hate that he slams the door in her face, shutting her out in the bitter cold. Finally, overcome by guilt, he tries to go after her, but driving wind and snow force him back inside. With the storm rising to blizzard strength, he confronts the wrenching truth that what hate has driven him to do is as evil as what the Japanese did all those years earlier, and that he needs forgiveness as desperately as they did ...

Frank doesn't know that what God has in mind this night is a miracle. As on that holy night so many years ago, a baby will be born and laid in a manger--a baby who will bring forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing to a family that has suffered heart-wrenching loss.

If you would like to read the first chapter of One Holy Night, go HERE.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Until We Reach Home

Bethany House (October 1, 2008)

by

Lynn Austin



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. She has published twelve novels. Three of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, and Fire by Night have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, and 2004 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005.

Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

Among her lastest books are A Proper Pursuit and A Woman's Place


ABOUT THE BOOK

Life in Sweden seems like an endless winter for three sisters after their mother's and father's suicide. Ellin feels the weight of responsibility for her sisters' welfare and when it circumstances become unbearable, she writes to her relatives in Chicago, pleading for help.

Joining sixteen million other immigrants who left their homelands for America between 1890 and 1920, Ellin, Kirsten, and Sophia begin the long, difficult journey. Enduring the ocean voyage in steerage and detention on Ellis Island, their story is America's story. And in a journey fraught with hardships, each woman will come to understand her secret longings and the meaning of home.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Until We Reach Home, go HERE

Friday, November 7, 2008

Out of Her Hands by Megan DiMaria


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Out Of Her Hands

Tyndale House Publishers (September 22, 2008)

by

Megan DiMaria



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I was born and raised in New York State and have since lived in Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, and now I live in Colorado. My husband and I have three delightful, adult children and an old Jack Russell Terrier named
Belle who seems to find her way into my novels. My resume will tell you I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a degree in Communications, and after graduation I worked as a radio and television reporter, freelance writer, editor and marketing professional.

I'm a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and am assistant director of Words For The Journey, Rocky Mountain Region.

But what's most important to know about me is that I am a follower of Jesus, wife, mother, friend, reader and writer.

Life’s a journey, enjoy the adventures!


ABOUT THE BOOK

In this second novel by Megan DiMaria, Linda Revere is back and continuing to struggle with the turmoil of contemporary life. Linda has been praying for her children's future spouses since they were very small. Confident that her prayers will be answered, Linda is not prepared for the young woman her son brings home. But Linda soon learns that while everything she once controlled is out of her hands, God is still in control. Megan uses her trademark humor while dealing with issues to which her readers will relate.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Out Of Her Hands, go HERE

"No sophomore slump for DiMaria! This novel (Out of Her Hands) is as engaging and meaningful as her first, Searching for Spice. Her realistic portrayal of the characters' lives should endear them to readers and help Christians to feel less alone in their daily trials."
~Romantic Times Magazine, 4 ½ stars TOP PICK!

“Life in Linda's world is messy...but filled with love, laughter, struggle and faith. Megan has created a most real heroine for us to love...and I adore her!”
~Deena Peterson, reviewer: A Peek at my Bookshelf

“Megan DiMaria crafts a novel so compelling, so real, you forget you're reading fiction.”
~Darcie Gudger, reviewer: TitleTrakk

"This is a great read for a quiet afternoon or in those times when you feel your own life spinning out of control and need the reality check of knowing you're not in it alone."
~Amazon reviewer

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More Blairsville Georgia - October 11, 2008 Trip

I just love the landscapes up here. What a beautiful day God painted for me. A glorious day to travel!
Where do you think this road leads?



My parent's pond... suffering from the drought and very green.


This is a cabin in front of my parent's house. I'd love to have a place like this to just get away and hopefully write lots of entertaining Christian fiction!!! Someday....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good Morning, We have a new President...


The elections went as I expected, not as I voted.
Millions are rejoicing, but Christian, remember no matter who is in the
Presidential office, God has full control. He knows what Mr. Obama will do
even before Mr. President does it himself. We must remember that while we
are to respect authority, we are not to turn away from God or His ways.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
John 10: 1-6 NKJV

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Blairsville, Georgia Trip October 11, 2008

The weekend we headed to Blairsville was the same weekend of their annual Sorgham festival. The square was packed. A parade came through at the same time we got up the mountain. The festival was taking place at Meeks Park, but I wanted to get to my mother's first.

I detoured somewhere near the hospital, trying to avoid the square. But the bridge was out on 76 and I couldn't pass through. I had to turn around and head back up 129. I took a route that ultimately ended up at Mulkey Gap, which was cool, as that was closer to my parent's home.

The scene below is one I captured on the way to Mom's. I can't remember the street but it was between 129 and Mulkey Gap.

Isn't that beautiful! There's a house perched on the hill. 129 runs in front of it. I love going north just for the scenery.


I just had to take this shot, not because I'm fond of power lines, but look at that sky and the mountains and all that farm land. We always see plenty of horses and cattle on the way to my parent's home.


Just another breathtaking landscape I couldn't resist. Can you believe I took this AS I was driving? No, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Yet, I'm a mom of a toddler and I've learned to multi-task.


Fall colors are popping out all over!


Here, my daughter waters my mother's impatiens. The last ones of the season. I believe this was the last warm weekend we had in October


A butterfly among the impatiens.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Rain Song

Bethany House (October 1, 2008)

by

Alice J. Wisler



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alice sold her first story to David C. Cook for a take-home Sunday School paper called Sprint. The year was 1988, this was her first submission to a paying market, and the check sent to her was for $125.00.

She was on her way!

Since then, Alice has sold articles and devotions to the Upper Room, Alive Now, Standard Publishing, ByLine magazine and others.

In 2006 she sent her novel Rain Songto Bethany House...and the rest is history! She signed a two -book deal and the second, How Sweet It Is will be out in 2009.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Nicole Michelin avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and most of all, Japan, where her parents once were missionaries. Something happened in Japan...something that sent Nicole and her father back to America alone...something of which Nicole knows only bits and pieces. But she is content with life in little Mount Olive, North Carolina, with her quirky relatives, tank of lively fish, and plenty of homemade pineapple chutney. Through her online column for the Pretty Fishy Web site, she meets Harrison Michaels, who, much to her dismay, lives in Japan. She attempts to avoid him, but his emails tug at her heart. Then Harrison reveals that he knew her as a child in Japan. In fact, he knows more about her childhood than she does.

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

Finalist!