Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Scraps of Evidence

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Scraps of Evidence
Abingdon Press (January 21, 2014)
by
Barbara Cameron


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from the author:

CBD, CBA, and ECPA bestselling author of 35 books (including new series upcoming for Abingdon Press in 2011/2012) including fiction and non-fiction books for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, and other publishers.

I sold three films to HBO/Cinemax and am the first winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award.

My two novellas won the 2nd and 3rd place in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest from the Faith, Love, and Hope chapter of RWA. Both were finalists for the novella category of the Carol Award of the American Christian Writers Award (ACFW).

ABOUT THE BOOK

Tess has taken some ribbing from her fellow officer, Logan, for her quilting hobby. He finds it hard to align the brisk professional officer he patrols with during the day with the one who quilts in her off-time. Besides, he’s been trying to get to know her better and he’d like to be seeing her during those few nights a week she spends with her quilting guild. Then one afternoon Tess and Logan visit her aunt in the nursing home, and the woman acts agitated when Tess covers her with the story quilt. Aunt Susan is attempting to communicate a message to them about Tess’s uncle. There’s a story behind this quilt, they realize, one that may lead them to a serial killer. Will they have a chance to have a future together, or will the killer choose Tess for his next victim before they find him?

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

Thursday, January 23, 2014

For the Love of Pete

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
For the Love of Pete
B&H Books (January 15, 2014)
by
Debby Mayne


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Debby Mayne is a best-selling author who has published more than 25 books and novellas, 400 short stories and articles, and devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor, and a copy editor and proofreader. Her novel, Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Review, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July. She and her husband Wally have two grown daughters, and live in Palm Harbor, Florida.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Widow Bethany Hanahan is trying in vain to fill an empty heart and an empty nest. The result is a home filled to the brim, but something is still missing. That’s when her new gardening club friends come to the rescue, encouraging her to let go of the past as well as the present clutter –emotional, spiritual, and physical. It’s not long before Bethany is finding friends, not bargains, to fill her days. But has her life become too full for someone like Pete Sprockett, a childhood friend, for whom her romantic feelings are beginning to bloom? Join the quirky, loving community of Bloomfield as they do what they do best – poke their well-meaning noses in and intervene in times of need –in author Debby Mayne’s second novel in what has become a five book series about a community where life is simple and love is real.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of For the Love of Pete, go HERE.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Do I Hesitate?

I was in such a hurry.   I was reciting my list over and over in my head, "bath rug, hair dryer, and washcloths".   That is what I do when I walk into any store without my list written down.   But this wasn't just any store.   This was Wal-Mart.   I despise shopping in Wal-Mart.   Wal-Mart without a list?   A nightmare of the worst kind, but a necessity since I had to make the best use of my time.    Little Guy was in class and I only had an hour until I had to pick him up and turn our one and only car over to Big Guy for the rest of the day.    So my goal was to hurry and focus.   But...

I kept running into this one lady.   She didn't speak to me.   She didn't even make eye contact.   She just seemed to be on every aisle that I walked down.    She was very well dressed for 7:45 in the morning.   Her buggy was completely empty with the exception of one thing: a stack of books.   I am not sure how to describe them except "romantic/smut" books.  

I very clearly felt the Lord tell me that she was lonely.   I sat there thinking, "How do I start a conversation?  What do I say?"

We wound up in the same check out line.   She and her books.  Me and my bath rug, hair dryer and washcloths.   Again I feel the Lord nudge me.    Again I am asking, "What do you want me to say?"  I am SO clueless and my doubts are shouting so much louder than anything else in my head.

As we start walking out to the car I am begging, "Lord, I am sorry.  I said I didn't want any regrets and I don't, but please tell me what to do."  

Immediately I knew.  I read!   I read lots of wonderful books.   I pulled every book out of my car that I had.  Even some books that had just come in from my publisher yesterday and I haven't even read yet.   I walked over to her car and said, "Hey!  I saw that you liked to read as much as I do.   I love passing books on after I finish reading so if you are interested I would love to share these with you."   

We had a short conversation about our love of books and I stood there praying over her and her life.   When I walked away I knew that I had planted the seed that God intended this morning.   I also walked away knowing that I almost let my insecurities and doubts prevent me from sharing Jesus with someone.   It is also another lesson of how I "always need to be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks me for a reason for the hope that is in me."  (1 Peter 3:15)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Songs of the Shenandoah

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Songs of the Shenandoah
B&H Books (January 1, 2014)
by
Michael Reynolds


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael K. Reynolds is a writer with more than two decades of experience in crafting fiction, non-fiction, journalism, copywriting and documentary production. He is the author of a series of Irish historical novels published by B&H Publishing Group. These highly acclaimed books are available in bookstores and libraries across the nation and beyond.

Michael is the writer and producer of an Emmy and Telly award-winning series of documentaries titled, Crystal Darkness. These thirty minute anti-meth films have been heavily promoted and broadcast in cities and states throughout the United States and Mexico. They have been viewed collectedly by more than 10 million people and the message has reached more than 30 million to date.

He also has wide experience as a speaker and on-air personality and has been interviewed on a variety of newspapers, radio stations and televisions networks throughout the nation. Michael earned his B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego and lives in Reno with his wife and three children. He is active in marketplace, marriage, small group and men’s ministries as a leader and speaker.

ABOUT THE BOOK

At the onset of the Civil War, Seamus heeds his wife’s wishes to return to her beloved family farm in the South, where he takes a post as chaplain for General Stonewall Jackson’s brigade. As Seamus ministers to the troops, his sister Clare ministers in a different way—by being a powerful voice in the Northern cause toward freeing the slaves. All this while their youngest brother Davin, who became wealthy during the Gold Rush, struggles to find love and identity in a fallen world. It’s a clash of loyalties and beliefs that threaten the entire family, each of them trying to hear God’s encouragement in the midst of the tragedy of war. The dramatic conclusion to the acclaimed Heirs of Ireland Series.

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

Monday, January 6, 2014

Family Discipleship

At least once a month if not once a week someone asks me this question: "Why do you homeschool?"   That is not a simple question to answer.   After all, the reason we homeschool today is not the same reason we started homeschooling six years ago.   Each year we reevaluate and pray and make decisions all over again about homeschooling.   So far this is what has been God's will for our family.  

But for right now?   It is all about family discipleship.   I know the days with my boys are getting shorter and shorter.    The urgency I feel to invest in them and plant the seeds that God has for each of them grows every day.

The most precious time of our day is when we come together at night to share about our day, talk and then have our family prayers.   Just counting the time that we have spent since Big Guy was born in family prayer, we have spent about 2,900 hours in prayer.   How do we put a price on that?    There is just no way.    We have prayed days, weeks and even months over things.   We have seen God answer our prayers in miraculous ways.   We have even had God answer our prayers in ways that we didn't understand.   Our faith has been stretched and pulled and grown.   We have held each other up during times of grief and cheered each other during times of victory.  

Memorizing Scripture has always been something we have tried to do, but we haven't been as disciplined as we wanted.    Last year we put up a chalkboard and changed the verse each week to reflect something that was challenging one of us.

For 2014 we have committed to memorize a larger more exact piece of Scripture.   We have decided to memorize the Sermon on the Mount.   Yes.  All 111 verses of Matthew 5, 6 and 7.   *Gulp*  It seems overwhelming when I type it out like that.

However, I came across this idea while reading this blog.   I have printed out her memorization plan and know that memorizing a few verses each week will make this not only manageable, but meaningful.  





Tempest's Course

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tempest's Course
Abingdon Press (December 17, 2013)
by
Lynette Sowell


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lynette Sowell is an award-winning novelist. Her most recent novel, Tempest’s Course, is part of the Quilts of Love line from Abingdon Press. When Lynette’s not writing, she divides her time between editing medical reports and chasing down news stories for the Copperas Cove Leader-Press. Lynette was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland but makes her home in Coppress Cove, Texas, with her husband and a herd of cats who have them well-trained.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Kelly Frost, a textiles conservator, is invited to the Massachusetts coastal city of New Bedford to restore a 150-year-old Mariner's Compass quilt. But there is one stipulation: she must live and work in Gray House, a former whaling captain's home, where the quilt is stored. There she meets Army veteran Tom Pereira, the caretaker of Gray House, whose heart seems as hard as the rocky Massachusetts coastline. Over the long-lit months as Kelly works to restore the quilt, she and Tom grow closer. And as she reads stories in a daily journal penned by Mary Gray, she learns the secrets of the quilt and Mary's own sad tale of regret. Then Tom learns secrets of his own family's past, and both Tom and Kelly learn they are tied to Gray House in ways they never imagined.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Tempest's Course, go HERE.

Book Review

Tempest's Course is another book in the "quilt" series.   If you adore quilts as much as I do then you will love these books.   Can I mention that one of the highlights of this book is one of the characters, Tom, is dyslexic?  Something about that endeared me to the book even more.  


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year 2014: No Regrets


Every year when I think back on the previous year I realize the same thing:  if I had known what the year was going to hold I would have been scared to death.   That is probably why I don't make resolutions.   I know that each day of the year will hold enough challenges on its own without adding anymore to it.   I have been reading a few blogs while watching football with my husband over the past few days and noticed that many people are adopting a word for the coming year.

While we were in Fort Worth, one of the pastors preached a sermon on living the coming year to its fullest so that we had no regrets.   Something about that sermon just resonated with me.   

No regrets.  

Living each day to the fullest.  

That is not one word is it?   But it is definitely how I feel about 2014.   That and this Bible verse...


"He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left."  2 Kings 22:2

 I can't think of any better way for someone to describe me:  that I did right in the eyes of the Lord?   What an awesome testimony.   That is definitely my prayer for 2014!

Happy New Year, my friends!