Friday, July 26, 2013

Today I Am...

Outside my window... is my sister's backyard.  She has graciously let Big Guy and I stay here while my house is being repaired and repainted from all of our foundation work.

I am thinking... that I am so ready for Little Guy and Hubs to be home.   They have been in Fort Worth, Texas, this week volunteering at a homeless mission.  

I am thankful for... a husband who works hard to provide for our family.

From the kitchen... not much has been happening in our kitchen this week, but it was fun to buy ingredients and let my nieces make supper for their Mom and Dad.  They thought it was so fun to make supper.

I am wearing... black t-shirt and white jeans, but I am so ready for some comfy pajamas!

I am creating... a list of things that need to be done next in our house before they come to put down the new floors.

I am going... to the coast with my hubs overnight next week for a business meeting.   We just celebrated a 23rd anniversary, but we did not have any money or time to really do anything.   When he found out he was going away for the night for this meeting he asked if I wanted to go.  He did not have to ask me twice!

I am reading... "An Open Heart" by Harry Kraus

I am hoping... that these last two years of Big Guy's high school will go really slow!

I am hearing... the sounds of Jack breathing really hard.  Jack is my sister and brother-in-law's dog.   He is 13 years old and has been so sick.   Everyone in our family loves Jack.   When the day comes that we have to say goodbye is going to be a heart breaker for all of us.

Around the house... everything is covered with a thick coating of sheet rock dust.  It is SO nasty!

One of my favorite things... vanilla caramel coffee made in my Keurig coffee maker.   I never knew how much I would enjoy a Keurig, but my boys gave me one for my birthday.  It has been such a great thing to just grab a quick cup of coffee anytime I want one.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Cleaning the sheet rock dust off every inch of the house.   Emptying the bedrooms so the carpet installers can come.  

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... (My son playing Four Square at "The Feet")




Thursday, July 25, 2013

Harvest of Gold

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Harvest of Gold
River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2013)
by
Tessa Afshar


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband's love still seems unattainable.

Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother's people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?

A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Harvest of Gold, go HERE.

Book Review

I have been a fan of Tessa Afshar since her first book, "Pearl in the Sand".   Taking a story from Scripture that you have possibly read over and over again and bringing it to life is Tessa's gift as an author.    Harvest of Gold has two main plot lines.  One revolves around Darius and Sarah who are characters you will recognize from the "Harvest of Rubies" book.   The other revolves around Nehemiah and his return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls which had been destroyed by the Babylonians.  

As a wife, Sarah's character was a beautiful and convicting reminder to me of God's instruction to be submissive to our husbands in their roles as leaders in the home.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

In Golden Splendor

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
In Golden Splendor
• B&H Books (July 15, 2013)
by
Michael Reynolds


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Michael K. Reynolds is the writer and producer of Emmy and Telly Award-winning film campaigns and has more than two decades of experience in fiction, journalism, copywriting, and documentary production. He owns Global Studio, a marketing agency, and is also an active leader in church and business, speaking in both ministry and corporate settings. Michael lives with his wife and three children in Reno, Nevada.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Irish immigrant Seamus Hanley is a lost soul, haunted by his past as a U.S. Army deserter and living alone in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains in 1849. But after witnessing a deadly stage coach crash, he finds purpose in the scattered wreckage -- a letter with a picture of a beautiful and captivating woman named Ashlyn living in San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush. Moved by her written plea for help, he abandons all and sets out on an epic journey across the wild and picturesque American frontier. While being pursued by those who want to hang him, Seamus encounters fascinating characters including a young Pauite Indian who makes the ultimate sacrifice in helping Seamus to cross the snowy Yosemite Valley. Battered but changed for the better, Seamus reaches San Francisco on Christmas Eve as the city burns in the tragic fire of 1849. But there is little time for rest, as an even greater, more harrowing adventure involving Ashlyn is about to begin.


If you would like to read the first chapter of In Golden Splendor, go HERE

Monday, July 8, 2013

Grounded

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Grounded
Worthy Publishing (May 7, 2013)
by
Neta and Dave Jackson


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

As a husband/wife writing team, we are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together we are the authors or coauthors of over 120 books. (You can see our Publication Record by clicking HERE.) In addition to writing several books about Christian community, we have been privileged to coauthor numerous books with expert resource people on a variety of topics from racial reconciliation to medical ethics to ministry to kids in gangs.

But over the years the we have especially enjoyed writing for children and young people! This includes our award-winning TRAILBLAZER series, historical fiction about great Christian heroes and heroines for young people ages 8-12, and the four-volume HERO TALES: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Great Christians, and the companion book, Heroes in Black History.

Somewhere along the way, our own children grew up! Son Julian is Director of Experience Design for the Alder Planetarium in Chicago where he “provides the experience of exploring space” for visitors. He has two sons, Liam Isaac and Elijah David. Daughter Rachel graduated from Eastern Mennonite University and after working in the field of rape-crisis prevention went on to earn a Masters Degree in counseling from the University of Illinois. She is now a counselor at “Uni High School” in Champaign, Illinois. She is the loving mother of Havah Noelle (our first grandchild!) and Noah Zion, our youngest grandchild. The Jackson family also includes a Cambodian foster daughter, Samen Sang, who has four children.

We live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years we were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. We are now members of a multi-racial congregation in the Chicago area.

ABOUT THE BOOK

...But Hope May Be Just Across the Street

Grace Meredith is a beloved contemporary Christian recording artist whose career--and personal life--hits unexpected turbulence. She feels grounded--in more ways than one. Grace s fiancé, bothered by her outspoken stance on purity and her near-constant travel, has broken off their relationship. Exhausted and unable to continue her current concert schedule, Grace returns home to Chicago, where she is soon stranded in a major snowstorm. Facing new questions about her future and her faith, Grace finds herself connecting for the first time with the residents of her neighborhood. What she discovers in these unexpected relationships could change everything.

Welcome to the Neighborhood The first in the Windy City Neighbors series, Grounded is an uplifting, contemporary story about ordinary people wrestling with the spiritual and practical issues of real life. The series employs the innovative storytelling technique of parallel novels, each with its own drama and story arc, but whose characters lives become intertwined and affect one another. Grounded welcomes you to Beecham Street--a typical, isolated American neighborhood that might just be a place of hope.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Grounded, go Here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Who Is This?

Big Guy and I were out getting him some swim trunks for his youth camp next week when his cell phone rang.

"Mom, do you recognize this number?"

"Not really.  Let me look in my phone and see if a name pops up."

After typing it in and realizing nothing was in my phone, Big Guy decides to dial the number.   Here is the conversation I heard.

"Hello?  Who is this?"

"Yes."

"No."

"You have the wrong number."

"Bye."


After a second, I asked, "Big Guy, do you realized you just called a phone number and asked the person who they were and then told them they had the wrong number?"  

He grinned and said, "I guess so."


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Widow of Gettysburg

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Widow of Gettysburg
River North; New Edition edition (April 12, 2013)
by
Jocelyn Green


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jocelyn Green is a child of God, wife and mom living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also an award-winning journalist, author, editor and blogger. Though she has written nonfiction on a variety of topics, her name is most widely recognized for her ministry to military wives: Faith Deployed. Her passion for the military family was fueled by her own experience as a military wife, and by the dozens of interviews she has conducted with members of the military for her articles and books, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. She is also co-author of both Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front (forthcoming, May 2012). Her Faith Deployed Web site and Facebook page continue to provide ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide.





ABOUT THE BOOK

When a horrific battle rips through Gettysburg, the farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is disfigured into a Confederate field hospital, bringing her face to face with unspeakable suffering--and a Rebel scout who awakens her long dormant heart.

While Liberty's future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty's hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.

In the wake of shattered homes and bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the pieces the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life, or will she find a way to triumph over it? Widow of Gettysburg is inspired by first-person accounts from women who lived in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath.

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