Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Chasing Lilacs
FaithWords (June 17, 2010)

Carla Stewart


Carla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. She believed in Jesus, the power of the written word, and a good cup of coffee. She's a country girl living now in a mid-sized city with her engineering husband who just happens to be her best friend and biggest fan. She and her husband have four adult sons and delight in the adventures of their six grandchildren.


I grew up in the Texas Panhandle with two younger sisters and loving parents. Small town school. Great neighbors. Today, those small-town, fundamental things resonate within me -- the twang in people's voices, the art of being neighborly and just being a decent human being.

Growing up, I preferred the company of books over TV and playing outdoors. I imagined myself in many different careers, but given my down-to-earth raising, I settled on nursing. I didn't faint at the sight of blood and did well in science, so it seemed a natural choice.

I worked as a registered nurse off and on through the years, but primarily I stayed home with my four rambunctious boys and dreamed of the day when I could write the novels I loved to read. When our youngest son was in high school, I quit my job as a nursing instructor and settled in to pen my first novel. It's been quite a journey. One I wouldn't trade for anything.

I'm committed to writing the stories of my heart and am truly thankful to Jesus, my Savior, for allowing me this freedom. May all the glory be His.

Chasing Lilacs is her first book!


It is the summer of 1958, and life in the small Texas community of Graham Camp should be simple and carefree. But not for twelve-year-old Sammie Tucker. Sammie has plenty of questions about her mother's "nerve" problems. About shock treatments. About whether her mother loves her.

When her mother commits suicide and a not-so-favorite aunt arrives, Sammie has to choose who to trust with her deepest fears: Her best friend who has an opinion about everything, the mysterious kid from California whose own troubles plague him, or her round-faced neighbor with gentle advice and strong shoulders to cry on. Then there's the elderly widower who seems nice but has his own dark past.

Trusting is one thing, but accepting the truth may be the hardest thing Sammie has ever done.

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

Monday, June 21, 2010

Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist

Hi everyone,

When I received this book, Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist, I could hardly wait to read it! A while back, I was introduced to Deeanne's books through my friend Lindi. She highly recommended the books and she was right.

Maid to Match was a wonderful story about two employees of the Biltmore House in North Carolina. Tillie, a dedicated servant who'd been trained by her mother since childhood, had her eye on one thing: being Edith Vanderbilt's personal assistant. And then, there's handsome Mack, a mountain man who has become a footman at Biltmore not because he has high aspirations to move up to a Butler, but because he's trying to bring his brothers and sister back together as a family again.

I love how "real" the characters were portrayed. Just because this is Christian fiction, doesn't mean it's all fluffy and foo-foo. Mack reminds me of my husband in so many ways, such as:  Mack uses his fists to settle scores. Mack cares fiercely about his family. And when he falls for Tillie, my oh my! He's fierce about his love for this woman.

Ms. Gist didn't hold back on this story. From the first page, from the first scene in the Biltmore House, I felt as though I was there. The thorough way she describes the setting, from the dress of the characters to their whole demeanor painted the picture clearly.

There are a few things you will be guaranteed to receive when you read a book by Deeanne Gist:

1. Amusing stories, with a lot of heart.
2. Cast of characters we care about. (I posted a comment on Ms. Gist's Facebook page - Please write a story about Mack's brother!!! He needs to be tamed and Deeanne is just the writer to give him the perfect story... but, alas, she replied, she doesn't like sequels... She assured me Earl met the right woman, settled down and lived happily ever after... somehow, this just isn't the same for me...)

3. Sensual romance, written tastefully, honestly, and so well you know the couple is blessed by our Heavenly Father.

4. Her hero, Mack, is all Alpha. He's tough. He fights first and apologizes later. But his heart is pliant and can be softened by the right lady.

5. Her heroine, Tillie, is a girl who loves fashion and wants to travel. She wants a family, she wants to please her family. She wants it all. We can all relate to her. But what, or whom, will she decide is most important in the end?

6. Deeann Gist books leave us wanting more!!!

Now, read a little more about Deeann's latest book, that I highly recommend!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Maid to Match
Bethany House (June 1, 2010)

Deeanne Gist


After a short career in elementary education, Deeanne Gist retired to raise her four children. Over the course of the next fifteen years, she ran a home accessory and antique business, became a member of the press, wrote freelance journalism for national publications such as People, Parents, Parenting, Family Fun, Houston Chronicle and Orlando Sentinel, and acted as CFO for her husband’s small engineering firm--all from the comforts of home.

Squeezed betwixt-and-between all this, she read romance novels by the truckload and even wrote a couple of her own. While those unpublished manuscripts rested on the shelf, she founded a publishing corporation for the purpose of developing, producing and marketing products that would reinforce family values, teach children responsibility and provide character building activities.

After a few short months of running her publishing company, Gist quickly discovered being a "corporate executive" was not where her gifts and talents lie. In answer to Gist’s fervent prayers, God sent a mainstream publisher to her door who licensed her parenting I Did It!® product line and committed to publish the next generation of her system, thus freeing Gist to return to her writing.

Eight months later, she sold A Bride Most Begrudging to Bethany House Publishers. Since that debut, her very original, very fun romances have rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere. Add to this two consecutive Christy Awards, two RITA nominations, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.

Her 2010 books, Beguiled and Maid To Match are now available for order.

Gist lives in Texas with her husband of twenty-seven years and their two border collies. They have four grown children. Visit her blog to find out the most up-to-the-minute news about Dee.


Falling in love could cost her everything.

From the day she arrived at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled, by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack's rugged behavior by tutoring him in proper servant etiquette, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie's efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt's lady's maid, After all, the one rule of the house is no romance below stairs.

But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangles in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs, their aspirations...their hearts.

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

Join this SPECIAL GETAWAY (Click on the Button):

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm in the 93%

My Aunt forwarded this as an email to me and I wanted to share it with you. Feel free to repost...

The Devil & the Duck (I'M IN THE 93%)

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm.

He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods.

He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target..

Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner.

As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck.

Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved!

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his Sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma said, 'Sally, let's wash the dishes'

But Sally said, 'Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen..'

Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?'

So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, 'I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper.'

Sally just smiled and said, 'well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help?

She whispered again, 'Remember the duck?' So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's; he finally couldn't stand it any longer.

He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck..

Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, 'Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you..'

Thought for the day and every day thereafter:

Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done... And the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.)....whatever it is....You need to know that:
The Most High was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing.

He has seen your whole life... He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you..

The great thing about The Most High is that when you ask for forgiveness; He not only forgives you, but He forgets.

It is by The Eternal's grace and mercy that we are saved.

Go ahead and make the difference in someones life today.

Share this with a friend and always remember:

The Most High is at the window!

If you are one of the 93 % who will stand up for him

Forward this with the title, 'I'm in the 93%'

Would you believe 7% of people won't forward this?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico by Lena Nelson Dooley

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Finds You In Golden, New Mexico
Summerside Press (May 1, 2010)


Lena Nelson Dooley


For several years, Lena worked on the support staff of a church, but in November of 2002, God changed things so that she could stay home and write full-time. It has been the desire of her heart for a long time. In Proverbs 37:4, it says, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” She believes that this blessing is a result of her delighting herself in Him, and she praises Him for the opportunity.

She have been a professional writer with a free-lance writing and editing business since 1984. In that time, she has written curriculum for public schools, private schools, and three different denominations. For one company, I managed a writing team that produced a two-year American History course for at-risk students. One of her clients was a Christian comedian for whom she wrote several routines. An airline training company had her edit and design International business reports for them.

Her first novel was published by Heartsong Presents in 1992. Since then Lena Nelson Dooley has written more than 25 works of fiction and nonfiction.

Lena has been married to her husband James since 1964. Theirs was one of those love-at-first-sight relationships. They were married three months and three days after they met. He truly was God’s gift to her. They are absolute opposites, but that means that his strengths are her weaknesses, and her strengths are his weaknesses. Together they make a more perfect whole. She believe that is what God intends for all of us.

They have two daughters. Marilyn Van Zant is married to Roger, and they have a son named Timothy. Tim is now in Tennessee at Ft. Campbell. His son Sebastian is almost 2 years old. Jennifer Waldron is married to Eric, and they have three children—Austin, Marissa, and Amanda. James and Lena love to spend time with their family, and they are blessed that both families live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, so they see them often.


All that glitters is not gold. It’s 1890, and Golden, New Mexico, is a booming mining town where men far outnumber women. So when an old wealthy miner named Philip Smith finds himself in need of a nursemaid, he places an ad for a mail-order bride—despite the protests of his friend Jeremiah.

Hoping to escape a perilous situation back East, young Madeleine Mercer answers the ad and arrives in town under a cloud of suspicion. But just as she begins to win over Philip—and Jeremiah himself—the secrets she left behind threaten to follow her to Golden...and tarnish her character beyond redemption.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Finds You In Golden, New Mexico, go HERE.

"Love Finds You In Golden, New Mexico is a well-researched novel brimming With emotive conflict. Lena Nelson Dooley has crafted a historical romance that demonstrates that courage comes in many forms, but the courage to love is the most difficult of all.

─DiAnn Mills, author of Sworn to Protect and A Woman Called Sage

“Two strangers are presented with a ‘golden’ opportunity for love in this quintessential East meets West tale by well-loved author Lena Nelson Dooley. I found myself swept away by the beautiful writing and enmeshed in the lives of the players, who face many twists and turns in their journey toward the ultimate happily-ever-after. Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico is truly one of the loveliest historical romances I’ve read in ages. Highly recommended.”

─Janice Hanna Thompson, author of Love Me Tender and Swinging on a Star

Friday, June 4, 2010

Author Spotlight: Debut Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor

I'm so excited to welcome my friend and fellow F.A.I.T.H. girl Jennifer Hudson Taylor to my blog today!

I am giving away a copy of her debut novel (Oh! I love the sound of that!) Highland Blessings that just released last month. Please leave a comment with your email address either here on blogger or on my FACEBOOK Profile under the article. However, for Facebook friends, I can only ship within the United States.

Without further ado, let me introduce our author in the spotlight!

Jennifer Hudson Taylor is the author of historical and contemporary Christian fiction set in Europe and the Carolinas. Her fiction has won awards in the American Christian Fiction Writers' Genesis Contest. Her debut novel, Highland Blessings, was released May 2010. Other works have appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Everton’s Genealogical Publishers, and The Military Trader. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Journalism. When she isn't writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, genealogy, and reading. She resides with her husband and daughter in the Charlotte area of NC.

CL:     Welcome to At Split Ends, Jennifer!!

JHT:   Thank you, Christy, I’m glad to be here today.

CL:     One reason this blog is named At Split Ends is because life tends to get hectic   and I’m pulled in all sorts of directions. I want to go one way but have to go another.
I know you have managed to maintain family time, as you continue to work on your book and become published, all while holding down a full time job. Can you offer any insight or advice on how you have successfully managed this?

JHT:   I’m blessed to have a husband who does all the cooking and cleaning around the house. He takes our daughter to swim practice, for her allergy shots, picks her up from school. I couldn’t write in the evenings and on the weekends the way I do without his support and assistance. When we go on family picnics, to other people’s homes, he’s in charge of picking up the food or cooking the food we bring. He also does the grocery shopping.

I have to be disciplined, and meticulous in my note taking and outlines. Since I may have 10 minutes here, 30 minutes there, an hour or two at other times, my outlines and characterization charts help me to remember where I left off and where to pick my story back up again.

I am in the process of revising my book. I’m not alone, many of my readers are in the same boat. What techniques have you found to work for you in the writing/revision process?

It helps to write through the rough draft and not look back at it until it is done. That way once I’ve finished and I read back through from the beginning, those chapters are fresh again. Sometimes I may need to set aside a manuscript and do something else so I can have a fresh perspective.

CL:     ACFW conference is quickly approaching. I know I’m not alone in considering what editors and agents to meet and pitch… What are some things we should consider when choosing an editor or agent?

JHT:    I always tried to look at the types of manuscripts they are seeking and acquiring. If they appeared to be looking for something similar to what I write, then I would create a list. I would inquire about personalities and work ethics with other clients and authors.

And now, more about Highland Blessings.
Highland warrior Bryce MacPhearson kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. When he forces Akira to wed him, hoping to end a half-century feud between their clans, she struggles to overcome her anger and resentment. . .Yet her strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce. But there is a traitor in their midst . . . and murder is the ultimate weapon.
You can watch the book trailer and read the first chapter by clicking here.

CL:     Jennifer, thank you so much for being on my blog today!

JHT:   Thank you for having me!