Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tough Season

Many individuals will struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts during this Christmas Season. Some studies show that there is an increase in emotional/mental health struggles from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. Author and speaker, Linda Evans Shepherd, understands full-well the added pressures many face this time of year. She has compiled materials to help others find the hope they need to win over depression. Please read this article if you or someone you know needs help.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Guest Post - 12 Pearls of Christmas





Hello - I'm thrilled to announce the 2nd Annual 12 Pearls of Christmas! We've lined up several authors to share their Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom"! Please follow along beginning today (Monday the 13th) through Christmas day as Melody Carlson, Lauraine Snelling, Rachel Hauck, Tricia Goyer, Maureen Lang, and more share their heartfelt stories of how God has touched their life during this most wonderful time of the year.

We are also providing this series as free content for your own blogs (as 12 html posts) - if you'd like to share the 12 Pearls of Christmas with your blog readers email ( amy@litfusegroup.com ) and she'll send you the content.

AND BEST OF ALL ... there's also a giveaway!!!! Fill out the quick form at the link located at the bottom of this post or any of the following 12 Pearls of Christmas posts (on any of the participating posts) to be entered to win a PEARL NECKLACE, BRACELET AND EARRINGS! You may enter once a day. The winner will be announced on New Year's Day! Pearls - a tangible reminder of God's grace to us all.


~~~

Pearls of Patience

by Margaret Mcsweeney


As I write by the light of my Christmas tree on a late winter’s night, I reflect upon the poignancy and purpose of this season. The tiny white lights look like strands of pearls draped gracefully (perhaps haphazardly is a more honest description) across the evergreen boughs. Tomorrow I will hang the ornaments and at last place the angel atop the tree


Angels carry a special meaning this Christmas. My brother, Randy passed away on December 2nd from a heart attack at age 53. He was feeding a stray cat on his side porch. Randy was always like St. Francis of Asissi – animals would find him, sensing a kind soul. And my brother was a gentle and patient soul. He loved to fish. He tried to teach me, but I immediately lost interest when I realized worms were involved. And I could never sit still on the banks of a river and just wait. However, Randy could do that. He could wait, and waiting is a true gift. He put into practice the Scriptures. “Wait upon the Lord.” “Be still and know that He is God.” Patience doesn’t have to be passive. Wait is still an action verb. Part of the waiting process for fishing is seeking. Elaine (Randy’s wife of 31 years) told me that Randy said he could see the fish deep beneath the waters. He actively waited for the right time to catch them.


During Randy’s last fishing trip on earth – just a week before his death, he felt an urgency to take a picture of the clouds with his cell phone. When he returned home, he showed the picture to Elaine. They realized that a face of an angel was looking at Randy from the sky – perhaps waiting for God’s timing to bring Randy home to heaven. In my heart I like to think that this “angel in the sky” was part of the heavenly host that appeared to the shepherds over two thousand years ago. A Christmas Angel.


The Christmas Angels brought tidings of great joy that Jesus, our Lord and Savior was born. And because of that incredible gift from God that these angels announced, we all have the promise of eternity. Let us actively wait for His return by sharing our faith, offering hope and acting with love in everything we do.


May each of you be blessed this Christmas as you celebrate the purposeful promises of the Season: Faith, hope and love. And may the 12 Pearls of Christmas be a blessing to you, too.

~~~




About Margaret: Margaret McSweeney lives with her husband, David and two teenage daughters in the Chicago suburbs. After earning a master's degree in international business from the University of South Carolina , Margaret moved to New York City to work at a large bank where she met David. Charity and community involvement are very important to Margaret. She is the founder and director of Pearl Girls. For more information please visit www.pearlgirls.info. Margaret is fast at work on several fiction manuscripts and her book Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace was written to help fund the Pearl Girl Charities. Connect with Margaret on Facebook or Twitter.


~~~



A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}. The winner will be announced on the Pearl Girls Blog (http://margaretmcsweeney.blogspot.com) on New Years Day!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How Could He Know?

This post is also published at the Christian Women's Resource Network Blog.

Life has been pretty stressful lately. We have two folks in our household with cancer, one boy who had surgery for a broken arm, we've been quarantined because at least two of us have had whooping cough, and my 18 year-old daughter decided to move out and get an apartment on her own. Add to that typical family and holiday issues, and some days it gets kind of tough to get out of bed!

Last night I finally turned off the lights after two busy days of hosting Thanksgiving and our family tradition of 'Cookie Day' (a pretty wild festival of sugar, chocolate chips, and Chinese food). My body was exhausted but my brain just wouldn't stop. I nit-picked everything that had gone wrong, thought of all the things I needed to do, and found myself worrying about the week to come. I finally gave up and got out of bed.

I realized I hadn't read my daily Bible text for two days (I'm using The One Year Chronological Bible, New Living Translation version to read through the Bible on a yearly basis). I opened up the Book and read Romans 5:1 - 10:21.

How did God know that I would need these exact words on this exact day? The text starts out with "...we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us...We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance....For we know how dearly God loves us." Later it talks about how "the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. but the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words." And further still, it reminded me that nothing can ever separate me from Christ's love, "neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow -- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below -- indeed nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

In the quiet of a dark household, I was filled with the love and peace of God. Right now it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that are hitting our family at once. People tell me that God won't give me more than I can handle. I no longer believe that. God will give me so much more than I can handle for the sole purpose of reminding me that I have to rely on him. Until I learn that lesson I will continue to feel overwhelmed.

Yesterday is over. Tomorrow will come, but I know I won't face it alone. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Seeking Attention

This blog is also posted at the Christian Women's Resource Network

I am such a hypocrite. The other day I felt a need to step out of my comfort zone and obey a prompting from God. It was a pretty public place and I did something that was apparently helpful for another person while everyone else was trying hard to ignore the situation. It was good that I was obedient; it would have been really easy to push that little nudge aside and ignore it.

But it didn't end there. All day long I patted myself on the back for stepping out and obeying. Wasn't it good of me to do that? I so wanted to tell people about the situation -- it was an unusual situation, after all. And I was a really obedient, good Christian to do what I did. Good for me, huh? I was proud that I actually obeyed and didn't chicken out, and I wanted to tell someone about it.

But Jesus himself tells us to "Watch out! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don't do as the hypocrites do -- blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get." (Matthew 6:1,2)

Why is it so important to have worldly feedback on my deeds? Why should I care? I'm sure I bit my tongue at least four times to prevent myself from telling others about that day (and in all honesty, this blog probably counts as blurting it out anyway). What good is a pat on the back from my friends and family, when what I really need is to be so obedient that it isn't a big deal when I do what my Father tells me to do?

I want to do my earthly job so naturally that I would think no more of an act of obedience to God that I do putting on my socks each morning. And what would be so special about sharing THAT?

God, please forgive my pride and the times when I am not obedient to your calling. Help me seek your reward only, not earthly reward. Let me see the world as you do, listen for your gentle nudge, and take action immediately when there is a need -- without seeing it as anything unusual or special. Help me focus on you and you alone as I go through each day. In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

It's all under control

Doug asked me last night why I haven't been writing lately, and I burst into tears. Wow -- that was really unexpected! I haven't been writing because I really believe it's not worth putting the things I feel like writing these days in print. Our lives have been a blur of doctors visits, lab tests, and long conversations that tend to center around doctors visits and lab tests. Not very exciting reading OR writing.

And most likely the things I would write about would be either pretty personal feelings dealing with the impact of cancer in our lives or things that seem pretty selfish about me not finding time to do the things I think I need or want to do. When I'm tired and stressed it's hard sometimes to put life into the proper perspective.

So instead I've been bottling everything up, letting it carbonate. I guess it just blew out last night. Not good! But normal. I had a clue on Monday when I got a chair massage. The masseuse told me to relax my arm and let it hang straight down...then she burst out laughing and told me to look over at my arm. I was holding it almost straight out! She said I had some relaxation issues. I guess so.

I've promised Doug I'll find an outlet for the stress. I wish I could run, but I have bad knees, and I haven't felt very creative lately, but I think I'm going to have to.

So I'll work on getting back to my quilting, work on some blogs that aren't whiny (if they seem to head that direction or if I need to rant and rave, I've created a super secret blog that no one knows about so you don't have to read it!), and see what I can do to de-stress better.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate it if no one else in our house gets sick, moves out, or does anything else that adds to the stress level!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Season of Miracles

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Season of Miracles
Kregel Publications; Reprint edition (August 3, 2010)
by
Rusty Whitener




MY THOUGHTS
Rusty Whitener takes us on a poignant journey through the life of a 12 year old boy in the early 1970's -- a time when the world outside his small town was in turmoil, but all he could see was the turmoil inside himself. Told by the local Little League's best hitter, Zach, A Season of Miracles takes the reader on a journey beyond the fear of those who are different and inside the head of a young man struggling to understand how God fits into his world.

While this book is very different from the types I typically read, I fell in love with the raw honesty of a tween-boys' life and his willingness to learn and grow in ways that changed him forever. I enjoyed the variety of characters in the story and even recognized a few from my childhood! Men and women alike would enjoy this book as a chance to sit back, relax, and remember the summers that changed their lives. You don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Rusty Whitener is a novelist, screenwriter, and actor. His first screenplay, Touched, won second place at the 2009 Kairos Prize at the Los Angeles Movieguide Awards and first place at the Gideon film festival. That screenplay soon became A Season of Miracles. The movie version of this book is now in production with Elevating Entertainment. Find out more at www.rustywhitener.com and www.aseasonofmiraclesmovie.com. Videos and book club discussion questions are also available at www.aseasonofmiraclesbook.com.

Endorsements:“A Season of Miracles is a must read for anyone who has ever played youth baseball. I read the book, and was reacquainted with my childhood. In the midst of an enjoyable read that took me down memory lane was a touching, challenging and beautiful story about how God can use the unlikeliest among us to draw us to Him.”—Matt Diaz, outfielder, Atlanta Braves
“Baseball, inspiration and childhood memories—a great combination. I couldn’t put it down!”—Richard Sterban, bass singer for The Oak Ridge Boys
“Rusty Whitener weaves a deft tale of young friendship and the curve balls of faith, the whole story seasoned with sunshine and the leathery scent of baseball gloves!”—Ray Blackston, author of Flabbergasted
A Season of Miracles is a heartwarming all American story of small town boys and Little League baseball. You’ll be cheering this captivating bunch of characters all the way home both in their game of baseball and the bigger game of life.”—Ann Gabhart, award-winning author of The Outsider
ABOUT THE BOOK

Looking back on the 1971 Little League season, Zack Ross relives the summer that changed his life…

Gunning for the championship is all that matters until twelve-year-old Zack meets Rafer, a boy whose differences make him an outcast but whose abilities on the baseball field make him the key to victory.

Admired for his contribution to the team, Rafer turns everyone’s expectations upside down, bestowing a gift to Zack and his teammates that forces them to think—is there more to life than winning or losing? And what is this thing called grace?

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

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Very Private Grave

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Very Private Grave
Monarch Books (August 1, 2010)
by
Donna Fletcher Crow



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Donna Fletcher Crow is author of more than thirty-five novels. She has twice won first place in the Historical Fiction category from the National Association of Press Women, and has also been a finalist for "Best Inspirational Novel" from the Romance Writers of America. She is a member of The Arts Centre Group and Sisters in Crime. Find out more at www.donnafletchercrow.com.

Endorsements:"History and mystery and murders most foul keep the pages turning ... A fascinating read." –Liz Curtis Higgs, bestelling author of Thorn in My Heart
“A Knickerbocker Glory of a thriller, a sweeping, page-turning quest served up with dollops of Church history and lashings of romance. Donna Fletcher Crow has created her own niche within the genre of clerical mysteries.” – Kate Charles, author of Deep Waters
“As in Glastonbury, Donna Fletcher Crow’s descriptions of the English and Scottish settings in her new mystery are drawn with real artistry. Lovers of British history and church history will be impressed by her grasp of both.”—Sally Wright, Edgar Award finalist and author of the Ben Reese Mysteries
ABOUT THE BOOK

Felicity Howard, a young American studying for the Anglican priesthood at the College of the Transfiguration in Yorkshire, is devastated when she finds her beloved Fr. Dominic bludgeoned to death and Fr. Antony, her church history lecturer, soaked in his blood.

Following the cryptic clues contained in a poem the dead man had pressed upon her minutes before his death, she and Fr. Antony—who is wanted for questioning by the police—flee the monastery to seek more information about Fr. Dominic and end up in the holy island of Lindisfarne, former home of Saint Cuthbert.

Their quest leads them into a dark puzzle...and considerable danger.

If you would like to read the Prologue and first Chapter of A Very Private Grave, go HERE.

Watch the book video:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Similar Experience?

This is guest-posted at the Christian Women Resource Network Blogsite today.

.WARNING TO MEN: This post is about an occurrence that can only be experienced by women. I hope nothing here offends you, and I don't mean to leave you out.

There is nothing like bra shopping to make me feel like a freak of nature -- except maybe shopping for jeans or a swimming suit. Even though I know my correct size, I have to try on approximately thirty different bras to find the one that fits appropriately. Therefore I only undertake this exercise when absolutely necessary -- when all my old bras are tattered, stretched out, or the wires are irretrievably poking into my armpits.

It occurred to me that our recent effort to find a new church is almost as painful as bra shopping. That may seem like a strange analogy, but it is important to get a good fit in both instances, otherwise I will forever wiggle and tug to feel like I 'fit in', and that's not a comfortable place to be in either case!

There are churches, and bras, that are too big or too little. Yes, I could make do with either, but I could feel lost or might overflow in responsibilities of service and never really fulfill God's intent.

I spent a lot of time looking at and trying on the really pretty bras. The ones in pretty colors, with lots of lace or fancy patterns. I thought it would be fun to be secretly wearing something like that under my conservative clothing. Of course none of them were very practical. The patterns or neon colors would show through my t-shirts, the fabric was flimsy, and the cuts were all wrong for my body. I've attended many beautiful and flamboyant churches that felt the same way. They were proud of their non-traditional worship, the large crowds they drew each Sabbath, and their fancy buildings, but there didn't seem to be much substance behind the teaching.

I also had to spend a lot of time looking in the mirror. What was I really looking for? Was I being too picky? Was I looking for something that didn't exist? In a bra, I'd love to find one that made me look thinner, younger, bustier, and sexy. In a church I wanted worship that made me feel spiritual, teaching that always challenged me, people that always reached out to others, maybe even perfection. In either case, I had to face reality and remember what I brought to the table -- an imperfect body and a spirit that needed to engage, serve, and struggle in order to grow.

Eventually, when I sat back and really thought about my needs I was able to hone in on both a bra and a church that met my criteria. One that fit my requirements for support, substance, and a comfortable fit -- for both my body and my soul!

Hopefully I won't be shopping for either again in the near future.

Monday, October 18, 2010

While We're Far Apart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
While We're Far Apart
Bethany House (October 1, 2010)
by
Lynn Austin


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 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.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades each aspect of their lives. Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother.

Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie's wife is dead, Penny feels she has been given a second chance and offers to care for his children in the hope that he will finally notice her and marry her after the war.

And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary. But during the long, endless wait for victory overseas, life on the home front will go from bad to worse.

Yet these characters will find themselves growing and changing in ways they never expected--and ultimately discovering truths about God's love...even when He is silent.

If you would like to read the first chapter of While We're Far Apart, go HERE.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Snow Day

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Snow Day
FaithWords (October 11, 2010)


by


Billy Coffey


MY THOUGHTS:
This is a fabulous little book, and a quick read (it took me less than two hours). Some might describe Snow Day as a 'feel good' book, but they'd be missing the point. Billy Coffey has allowed his hero, Peter Boyd, to see his world with a slightly different perspective and it changes his life. This book has opened my eyes to see my world differently, and I hope it lasts!

This is a wonderful book to give in a gift basket with a beautiful cup, a box of hot chocolate mix, and a package of marshmallows. I want to reread this book on a regular basis!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
When you’re raised in small-town Virginia by a redneck father and a Mennonite mother, certain things become ingrained. And when you marry a small-town girl and have two small-town kids, all you want to do is pass those ingrained things along.

Like believing the best life is one lived in the country enjoying the pleasures it provides—summer nights beneath the stars, rocking chairs on the front porch, deer grazing in the fields. And believing that no matter how iffy life can get sometimes, there are some things that are eternal and unchanging.

But above all else, believing that in everything there is story waiting to be told.

That’s where I come in.

Billy Coffey was raised on stories. The first ones came on the front porches of relatives, tales laced with local charm and deep meaning. Then came the stories from people like Max Lucado and Robert Fulghum, who write with a charm and deep meaning of their own.

Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. If you drive by his house, you’ll probably spot him on the front porch. If you do, give him a wave. He’ll wave back.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In this debut novel, Peter is a simple man who lives by a simple truth--a person gains strength by leaning on his constants. To him, those constants are the factory where he works, the family he loves, and the God who sustains him. But when news of job cuts comes against the backdrop of an unexpected snowstorm, his life becomes filled with far more doubts than certainties.

With humor and a gift for storytelling, Billy Coffey brings you along as he spends his snow day encountering family, friends, and strangers of his small Virginia town. All have had their own battles with life's storms. Some have found redemption. Others are still seeking it. But each one offers a piece to the puzzle of why we must sometimes suffer loss, and each one will help Peter find a greater truth--our lives are made beautiful not by our big moments, but our little ones. (2010)

To read an excerpt from Snow Day, go HERE.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Mayan Apocalypse

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


The Mayan Apocalypse
Harvest House Publishers(September 1, 2010)


by
Mark Hitchcock & Alton Gansky


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Mark Hitchcock is the author of more than 17 books related to end-time Bible prophecy, including the bestselling 2012, the Bible, and the End of the World. He earned a ThM and PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary and is the senior pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. He has worked as an adjunct professor at DTS and has served as a contributing editor for the Left Behind Prophecy Club for five years.







Alton Gansky is the author of 30 books—24 of them novels, including the Angel Award winner Terminal Justice and Christie Award finalist A Ship Possessed. A frequent speaker at writing conferences, he holds BA and MA degrees in biblical studies. Alton and his wife reside in Southern California.


ABOUT THE BOOK

On the heels of Mark Hitchcock’s prophecy bestseller 2012, the Bible, and the End of the World comes a suspenseful novel (coauthored with bestselling novelist Alton Gansky) about the supposed expiration date of planet earth—December 21, 2012.

Andrew Morgan is a wealthy oil executive in search of the meaning of life. In his quest for answers he encounters the ancient Mayan predictions that the world will end in 2012. That the claims seem supported by math and astronomy drives him to check on them. Then he meets Lisa Campbell, an attractive Christian journalist also researching the Mayan calendar. When he learns that she is a Christian, he quickly dismisses what she has to say.

As the time draws closer to December 21, 2012, a meteorite impact in Arizona, a volcanic eruption, and the threat of an asteroid on a collision-course with earth escalate fears. Are these indicators of a global apocalypse? Will anyone survive? Does Lisa’s Christian faith have the answers after all? Or has fate destined everyone to a holocaust from which there is no escape?

Watch the book trailer:






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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Judgement Day

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Judgment Day
WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2010)


by
Wanda Dyson


MY THOUGHTS:
This is a fast-paced story of come-uppance and the black market. The story line was fascinating, although occasionally had a few too many convenient back-story links to allow it to flow unencumbered.

I enjoyed the pacing and the concept of this story. It's definitely worth reading!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Wanda Dyson – "a shining example of what Christian fiction is becoming..." (Christian Fiction Review). She's been called a "natural" and a "master of pacing," but her fans know that whether it's police thrillers, suspense, or bringing a true story to life, Wanda knows how to take her readers on a journey they'll never forget.

Wanda is a multipublished suspense author, currently writing for Random House/Waterbrook. Her one attempt at a nonfiction book was picked for an exclusive release on Oprah. In addition to writing full time, she is also the appointment coordinator for the CCWC, Great Philadelphia Christian Writers, and ACFW conferences.

Wanda lives in Western Maryland on a 125 acre farm with a menagerie of animals and when she's not writing critically acclaimed suspense, or away at conferences, you can find her zipping across the fields on a 4-wheeler with Maya, her German Shepherd, or plodding along at a more leisurely pace on her horse, Nanza.

With the release of her newest hit, Judgment Day, Wanda is heading back to the keyboard to start on her next high-octane thriller, The Vigilante.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Sensational journalism has never been so deadly.

The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions.

Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find her deceased boyfriend, Dr. Guy Mandeville’s nurse, Cecelia Forbes unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Cecelia is dead, Suzanne has her blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancĂ©–the man she betrayed in college.

Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.

Watch the book trailer:



If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Judgment Day, go HERE.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Secret of the Shroud

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


The Secret of The Shroud
B&H Books (September 1, 2010)


by
Pamela Ewen

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Pamela’s first novel, Walk Back The Cat (Broadman & Holman. May, 2006) is the story of an embittered and powerful clergyman who learns an ancient secret, confronting him with truth and a choice that may destroy him.

She is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed non-fiction book Faith On Trial, published by Broadman & Holman in 1999, currently in its third printing.

Although it was written for non-lawyers, Faith On Trial was also chosen as a text for a course on law and religion at Yale Law School in the Spring of 2000, along with The Case For Christ by Lee Stroble. Continuing the apologetics begun in Faith On Trial, Pamela also appears with Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, Darrell Bock, Lee Stroble, and others in the film Jesus: Fact or Fiction, a Campus Crusade for Christ production.

Her most recent novel, The Moon in the Mango Tree (B&H Publishing Group, May 2008) is currently available online and in bookstores everywhere. Set in the 1920’s and based on a true story, it is about a woman faced with making a choice between career and love, and her search for faith over the glittering decade. Pamela’s upcoming book, Dancing On Glass, which was recently short-listed as a finalist for the Faulkner/Wisdom creative writing novel award, will be released in the spring of 2011, and she is currently working on a sequel.

ABOUT THE BOOK A frightened apostle in AD 33, a tragic child in the 1950s, and a slick, twenty-first century church leader are all linked by the secret of the Shroud of Turin, the purported burial cloth of Jesus-and by something more.

Wesley Bright, a corrupt, media-savvy clergyman, is out to destroy the Christian church of the God who abandoned him in his boyhood. Likable and entertaining, Bright keeps his motives well hidden. But as he seeks revenge, leading the church toward unknowing destruction, the mysterious Shroud of Turin stands in his way.

Strange characters and clues emerge like shadows limned in mist as the most recent discoveries on the Shroud connect the pieces of a fascinating puzzle. When Wesley learns the ancient secret, he’s forced to confront a terrible choice: keep the secret—and the power, wealth, and fame he’s won over the years—or expose it...and lose everything.

At stake is one thing: absolute truth.

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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

In Every Heartbeat

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


In Every Heartbeat
Bethany House (September 1, 2010)


by
Kim Vogel Sawyer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.



ABOUT THE BOOK

As three friends who grew up in the same orphanage head off to college together, they each harbor a cherished dream.

Libby Conley hopes to become a famous journalist. Pete Leidig believes God has called him to study to become a minister. And Bennett Martin plans to pledge a fraternity, find a place to belong, and have as much fun as possible.

But as tensions rise around the world on the brink of World War I, the friends' differing aspirations and opinions begin to divide them, as well. And when Libby makes a shocking discovery about Pete's family, will it drive a final wedge between the friends or bond them in ways they never anticipated?


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

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Petra - City of Stone

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:




and the book:



B&H Books (September 15, 2010)

***Special thanks to T.L. Higley for sending me a review copy.***


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Tracy started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. After attending Philadelphia Biblical University, she earned a B.A. in English Literature at Rowan University. She then spent ten years writing drama presentations for church ministry. A lifelong interest in history and mythology has led Tracy to extensive research into ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome, and shaped her desire to shine the light of the gospel into the cultures of the past. She has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy to research her novels, and looks forward to more travel as the series continues.


Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $ 14.99
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (September 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433668564
ISBN-13: 978-1433668562

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


The streets of Rome lay barren and empty, sucked dry by the colossal Flavian Amphitheatre that had swallowed seventy-five thousand Roman citizens in a single gulp, and would hold each one captive until they had enjoyed the horrors that Julian now raced to prevent.

More time. He needed more time. Already the crowd inside the four-story rim of stone cheered for the first event.

Julian’s sandals smacked the black basalt road that led toward the amphitheatre. The blistering Roman sun pounded the moisture from his skin and left him panting. He had run most of way, since an old servant in Vita’s house had pointed a gnarled finger toward the east, toward the Forum, toward the arena of death.

Eighty arches ringed the outside of the theatre on each of its first three stories. The bottom arches provided access to the public, and the second story’s niches held statues of the gods and emperors, who now looked down on Julian as he sprinted across the large travertine slabs that paved the arena’s edge.

He ran toward one of the four main entrances and fumbled for the tessera, the stone tile he wore around his neck. The designatores at the entrance would insist on examining it, to see the sector, row and seat to which he was assigned.

Indeed, the usher at this entrance was full of his own importance, and held a palm to Julian’s oncoming rush as though he could stop him with only the force of his arm.

“Too long in your bed this morning, eh?” His smug smile took in Julian’s hastily-wrapped toga and sweat-dampened hair.

Julian thrust the tessera before the man’s eyes. “Here, here, look at it.”

Still the amused smile. The usher opened his mouth to speak again.

“Look at it!”

Daunted, the man let his eyes travel over the tile, then took a tiny breath and stepped back. His grin faded to a look of regret over his own impudence, and he bowed his head. As if that were not enough, he bowed at the waist and extended a hand to invite Julian to enter.

Julian did not wait for an apology. He pushed past the usher and under the vaulted entrance, then straight through the arena’s outer corridor and up a ramp that led to the cavea, the wedge-shaped sections of marble seats. This main entrance led directly to the central boxes reserved for the elite.

He exploded from the dimly lit ramp onto the terrace. The morning sun slashed across half the seats, the height of the amphitheatre leaving the other half in shade. The red canvas velarium, the awning used to shade the spectators, would be raised before it got much hotter, but for now, thousands of bleached togas on white marble blinded the eye and the smell of the masses assaulted the nose.

Julian crossed the terrace in two strides, slammed against the waist-high wall that separated him from the arena, and saw a figure dash at him from the shadows.

His mother’s hands were on his arms in an instant. “Julian, what are you doing?” Her words were frantic, as clipped and terror-filled as his every movement.

“They have Vita, Mother!”

She wrenched his body fiercely to face her. Julian stood nearly a cubit taller than his mother, but Ariella had retained all the strength of her youth, along with the beauty. “There is nothing that can be done, my son.”

He yanked his arms from her grasp. “Do not say that!” Julian searched the cavea behind him, full to overflowing with the purple-edged togas of senators. “Where is Father? Is he here?”

“Julian, think! You must think.” Ariella’s voice was urgent and low and her clutching fingers again slowed Julian’s restlessness. “You will bring more harm – “

“I do not care!” His voice snagged with emotion, and he fought to harden the feelings into action. “I must end this.”

“You cannot, son.”

He turned flashing eyes on Ariella. “It is my fault! Do you not understand? I should be down in those cages.”

Ariella’s eyes misted. “I would not lose both my son and his betrothed on the same day.”

Betrothed. The word washed more guilt over Julian’s stricken soul.

A senator, one of his father’s friends, walked past and paused to hold out an arm in greeting to Julian. “Fine day for the games, is it not?”

Julian straightened at once, resuming the noble bearing trained into him since childhood, and returned the man’s grip. He nodded once in agreement, but did not speak. The senator moved on, and Julian dropped his shoulders, ashamed that he had not made a statement.

Ariella seemed to read his thoughts. Her dark eyes held his own. “It will take more than a day to change the Empire.”

Julian looked out over the yellow sand of the arena. “But this day, Mother, this day we must!” He slapped a hand against the top of the marble wall. “I am going to find Father.”

“Julian, you know that he can do nothing – “

He spun on her. “No. I am tired of both of you, always moving about your circles quietly, behind closed doors, the truth spoken only in whispers.” He lifted his own voice as an example. “There is a time to speak!”

Ariella’s nostrils flared, but she said nothing. Turning from her, Julian stalked to the nearest break in the seating and ascended the tiers alongside his father’s section. Here, the nobility did not sit on wooden planks as the rest of the citizens, but were given cushions or even chairs for comfort. He scanned the rows of seats for his father’s graying head, and instead met his dark gray eyes.

Julian shook his head and opened his mouth to shout across the intervening seats, but his father held up a hand, then stood and excused himself from his colleagues. He slid along in front of a dozen other senators, and emerged at the end of the row beside Julian.

Quietly, he spoke into his son’s ear. “I have just now heard. It is outrageous.”

Julian’s hands balled into fists at his side. “You must do something.”

“What can I do, Julian? The emperor has ruled, and Trajan is not a man to be defied.”

Across the arena, Julian watched as a trapdoor slid upward and a huddled band of men and women were prodded onto the sand at the end of Roman spears. Julian’s heart pounded with the shortness of the time left and he turned on his father with the frenzy of desperation. “She is out there, Father!”

But his father’s eyes held only grief, not anger. Not the fiery anger that could change the future, even now.

Julian pushed past him, down the steps. If his parents would do nothing from their positions of influence, then he would stop this madness from a position of strength.

It had been his fault, all of it. Trajan had made his stance clear. As long as they kept to themselves, did not flaunt their disagreement with imperial policy, did not take a public stand, they would be left alone. But that had not been enough for Julian. Passionate about the truth, eager to show himself a leader and foolish enough to believe himself invincible, he had spoken too loudly, in too many places.

And now this. Vita and the others arrested, convicted, and sentenced without his knowledge. Julian had brought this on them all, but he had escaped their fate.

At the terrace level he circled the arena toward the imperial box. The amphitheatre was one of the few places where the public had access to the divine emperor. Julian grasped at the thin hope that he could get near enough to plead for Vita’s life.

He had not loved her. Not like he should, though he had tried. He had never known a more virtuous woman. The arranged match between them was a good one. But Julian had never felt more than the flame of admiration and respect for her, and he saw nothing but the same in her eyes. Still, they would have been married.

We will be married.

The foot-stomps of the crowd rose around him like a hundred thousand drumbeats. The cadence resonated in his chest and pushed him forward. He knew that sound. It was the sound of a mob hungry for blood.

Terror drove his footsteps. He could not look to the arena. Not even when he heard more trapdoors rise and the low growl of beasts begin.

The crowd screamed as one, and their shouts lifted to the pale blue sky like a puff of evil smoke from the underworld. Julian’s bones seemed to turn to water. He raced on. The emperor’s raised box was in sight.

But then they were beside him again, both his parents this time, grasping at his arms, pulling him backward.

“It is too late, son.” His mother’s voice held the grief of both the present and the past, for she had seen much sorrow in the arena in her day.

His father turned him to the wall to face the sand. “You must say goodbye, Julian. You must say goodbye.”

He let his parents hold him there at the marble wall. He scraped his hands across the top, then gripped the white stone.

Lions. Six of them. Circling, circling the knot of friends in the center of the bright yellow sand that had been brought from one of the hills of Rome and spread on wooden planking to soak up the blood of gladiator, beast, and the condemned.

The lions charged at once, but for Julian, the moment stretched out, like a thread of silk spun from a slow-turning wheel, and though the crowd still bellowed, in his head all had gone silent and he saw only his group of friends, crumpling in on themselves like sand flowing into a sinkhole.

The lions must have roared before they pounced, though Julian heard nothing, and felt only the relentless scraping of his own hands across the stone wall. He scraped until his hands were torn and bloody, wanting to bleed with her, wanting to bleed with all of them, as he should have.

The sun had risen to pour its rays into the center of the arena, and the yellow sand beneath them turned to molten gold in the light, an oval of liquid gold with Vita and the others drowning in the center of it. He saw her face for a moment, lifted to heaven.

His mind disconnected and drifted strangely, then, to the words at the end of the Apostle John’s Revelation, and his vision of the New Jerusalem with its streets of pure gold.

Would Vita fall asleep in this golden sand and wake to streets of gold?

The beasts did their job well and quickly, and when it was over and the mutilated bodies of his friends lay scattered across the sand, Julian woke from his stupor and felt the guilt of every lost life bear down on him as though the stones around him had collapsed on his head. He tasted bile rising in his throat, and turned away from the wall to retch onto the paving stones.

His parents held his arms as he emptied the contents of his stomach. He heard the jeers directed toward him. When he stood, the tear-streaked faces of both his parents matched his own.

But he found no solace in their shared grief. They did not have to bear the guilt of it as he did. As he always would. He pulled from their embrace and escaped the amphitheatre, running back the way he had come, running like a haunted man.

Days later, when his guilt and grief had hardened into bitter anger, he tried once again to change the minds and policies of the Roman government. But in the end he brought only more disgrace, and more danger, upon his family.

In the cool of the evening three days after Vita’s death, he stood at the terrace wall of his father’s lavish villa in the Roman countryside, looking down into the flowered gardens his mother had commissioned, and listening to the fountain that trickled night and day into the central pool. He inhaled deeply of the night air, dragging in the scent of roses.

His guilt over Vita’s death had not abated, and he had added to it with his actions in the days since. His brazen words in the Senate House, and later the Forum, had identified him as one who should have also met his death in the arena that day.

Perhaps that was his wish. To be arrested himself, to be thrown before the gaping yaw of a dozen lions, to be given what he deserved.

But his family. He had not wanted the same for his family. His only brother, long since stationed in some military outpost, had never embraced the family’s beliefs, but even he could be reached by the long arm of the empire, and brought back to face condemnation with the rest.

Behind him, slaves stirred to prepare the evening meal and lit torches on the veranda. His parents would appear soon and they would all pretend that their privileged life continued.

But Julian had made a decision. His life in Rome was over. To protect his family, he must disappear.

He thought of his brother’s stories of the provinces that lay at the edges of the Empire. Of Britannia, of Judea. But even there the Roman army could search out a man. No, he must go further east than even Judea.

There was a place, a hidden city he had heard tales of since he was a boy. Stories that had sparked his imagination and given him the desire to travel across the desert sand to discover the city tucked between the rock cliffs of Arabia.

Petra. Capital of the Nabatean kingdom, wealthy center of the east-west trade route, and beyond even the Roman Empire’s reach.

Julian rubbed his hands together, palms still raw from being torn open the day Vita died. Yes, it was a good plan.

He would flee to Petra.




Friday, September 10, 2010

The Bridge of Peace

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


The Bridge of Peace
WaterBrook Press; Original edition (August 31, 2010)
by
Cindy Woodsmall



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

She was also a homeschool mom. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter.

Her first novel released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.

Her second book, When the Morning Comes, hit numerous best-sellers lists across the US, including edging into the extended list of the New York Times, coming in at number thirty-four.

Her third book, When the Soul Mends, hit the New York Times best-sellers list, coming in at number thirteen, as well as making the USA Today’s best-sellers list.

Cindy continues to write and release best-selling works of fiction, and she’s also written a nonfiction work with an Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. The book is titled Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. It will release March 11, 2011.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children.

Cindy, her husband, their three sons and two daughters-in-law reside in Georgia.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Love alone isn’t enough to overcome some obstacles.

Lena Kauffman is a young Old Order Amish schoolteacher who has dealt all her life with attention raised by a noticeable birthmark on her cheek. Having learned to move past the stares and whispers, Lena channels her zest for living into her love of teaching. But tensions mount as she is challenged to work with a rebellious young man and deal with several crises at the schoolhouse that threaten her other students. Her lack of submission and use of ideas that don’t line up with the Old Ways strengthen the school board’s case as they begin to believe that Lena is behind all the trouble.

One member of the school board, Grey Graber, feels trapped by his own stifling circumstances. His wife, Elsie, has shut him out of her life, and he doesn’t know how long he can continue to live as if nothing is wrong. As the two finally come to a place of working toward a better marriage, tragedy befalls their family.

Lena and Grey have been life-long friends, but their relationship begins to crumble amidst unsettling deceptions, propelling each of them to finally face their own secrets. Can they both find a way past their losses and discover the strength to build a new bridge?

Win a "Trip To Amish Country"...contest opens August 31st -December 31st...go HERE to enter!

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

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington and Contest!

Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington
byTricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss

My Thoughts: Tricia and Ocieanna have done it again! They are masterful at drawing you into the lives and times of complex women at pivotal times in history. This time they take us directly into an aircraft factory in Seattle, Washington, and the life of a group of women who step up to take on tough manufacturing jobs to keep the boys on the front flying safely.

Being familiar with the Seattle area and the aircraft business, I can tell you that these ladies have done their research! They have built a wonderful romantic story around the tough realities to wartime life, adding realistic emotions, events, and resistance of those who weren't supportive of women in the workplace to build a tale that makes you almost wish you were part of that world.

This book honors those women who held the homefront together and who paved the way for women who are successful in the workplace today.

About The Book : The war has stolen Rosalie’s fiancĂ©, Vic, from her forever. But rather than wallow, Rosalie distracts herself by cramming her days full of activity—mainly by shooting rivets into the B-17 bombers that will destroy the enemy.

When a reporter dubs her “ Seattle 's Own Rosie the Riveter,” even more responsibility piles up. Her strong arms bear all this, but when intense feelings surface for Kenny, the handsome, kind-hearted, and spiritually unwavering reporter, the fear of losing another love propels Rosalie to leave.

It’s only when Rosalie realizes that God has brought her to this place—and this person—for a reason, the sparkling grace of God compels her to let go of her own strength and lean on His, as well as open her heart to love.

About Tricia Goyer: Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-four books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock , Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. For more on Tricia visit www.triciagoyer.com

About Ocieanna Fleiss: Ocieanna Fleiss is a published writer and has edited six of Tricia Goyer’s historical novels. She lives with her husband and their four children in the Seattle area. For more about Ocieanna visit her blog.

You can buy this book here.

And check out this cool contest: http://triciagoyer.blogspot.com/2010/08/win-victory-prize-pack.html

Just leave a comment about the bravest thing you've ever done or the bravest person you ever met on Tricia's blog HERE, and she'll enter you in a drawing for several awesome historical novels and your choice of an amazing marriage or parenting book!


Thanks to Summerside Press and Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of this book for review.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Crimson Cipher

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


The Crimson Cipher
Summerside Press (July 1, 2010)


by
Susan Page Davis

MY THOUGHTS:
I really enjoyed this book for several reasons. First, it's about a time period you don't read about often -- just prior to WWI. Second, it involves the early days of creating and deciphering codes, which has always been interesting to me. Third, it involves women entering the workplace when it wasn't really popular or common, especially in intellectual jobs.

Susan Page Davis does a fabulous job of creating intrigue immediately. She draws you into the story and intricately weaves the lives of the main characters together.

I enjoyed the way she teaches the reader about ciphers in the text -- I learned a lot without feeling that I was being lectured. I also appreciated the more realistic way she treated her characters. I don't want to give anything away, but life isn't always perfect. Nuff said.

Definitely a good read for those interested in historical fiction.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

From Susan: I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.

Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters.

For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer, covering local government, school board meetings, business news, fires, auto accidents, and other local events, including a murder trial. I've also written many profiles and features for the newspaper and its special sections. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!

Our children are all home-schooled. The two youngest are still learning at home. Jim recently retired from his vocation as an editor at a daily newspaper, and we’ve moved from Maine to Kentucky.

ABOUT THE BOOK
IT'S 1915, AND EMMA SHUSTER HAS FAR TOO MUCH ON HER MIND TO ENTERTAIN NOTIONS OF ROMANCE...

A female Navy cryptographer seeks to save lives...and uncover her father’s killers.

In 1915, German sympathizers escalated acts of sabotage in the United States to keep the nation from joining in the war. With enemies lurking at every turn, whom can Emma trust? Is romance the true motive behind her tow suitors advances? Or could one-or both of them-have traitorous intentions in mind?

Following the mysterious murder of Emma Shuster’s father, Lt. John Patterson invites Emma to become a Navy cryptographer because of the expertise she gained in helping her father develop a cipher system.

Emma races to discover the nefarious plans of her country's foes and unmask their leader before others are killed. She finds new strength in her faith as she strives to outwit her adversary, known only as Kobold - German for goblin.

And yet, her greatest challenge may be deciphering the cryptic messages her heart sends whenever she encounters a certain navy lieutenant... Can Emma and John find love in the midst of turmoil as America plunges toward war?

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

Marriage Meme

Copy this meme and paste it into a post on your blog. (With your own answers!) Link back to this post, It's Real Life. Then leave a comment here so I know you're participating and I can pop over and read your meme. Don't forget to tag your friends with this also. And - if you're not a blogger, that's okay too - just answer the meme in the comment section and be sure to leave your email address.

On Thursday the 26th I'll choose 5 winners who will receive a copy of Generation NeXt Marriage and Generation NeXt Parenting.

  • How did you meet your husband? At an informal college party
  • What did you first notice about him? He was very considerate (and cute)
  • How long have you been married? 28 years
  • Share something you discovered about him after you were married that surprised you? He was willing to make extreme sacrifices so I could achieve things I didn't even know I wanted.
  • What do you argue about the most? We really don't argue much...probably about who is luckier to have the other one!
  • What quality in him do you admire most? His dedication to his mother and his family
  • What is the hardest part about being married? The daily, mundane parts of life
  • What’s the best part about being married? Being with my best friend every day
  • What has changed the most about you since you've been married? Everything -- a whole family has been created and I've grown with each addition, each joy, each conflict, each heartbreak. I am more mature, more reliant on God, more sure of myself, less perfectionistic, more patient.
  • What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other wives about creating a happy marriage? It really doesn't matter which way you hang the toilet paper...don't win for the sake of winning!
  • What's the one piece of advice you'd give to your children about creating a happy marriage? Marry your best friend and seek God together.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Gathering Storm

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


The Gathering Storm
Summerside Press (August 1, 2010)


by
Bodie and Brock Thoene

MY THOUGHTS:

This is a very action-packed book about the early days of WWII. You get a perspective of the war from those who are working to protect the Jewish people and others who are trying to help them. I was fascinated by horrific conditions even the 'friendly' countries forced upon the Jewish refugees.

Fascinating book with some interesting twists about my favorite period in history. I definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


Bodie and Brock Thoene (pronounced Tay-nee) have written over 50 works of historical fiction. Over twenty million of these best-selling novels are in print. Eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards affirms what millions of readers have already discovered—the Thoenes are not only master stylists but experts at capturing readers’ minds and hearts.

Bodie began her writing career as a teen journalist for her local newspaper. Eventually her byline appeared in prestigious periodicals such as U.S. News and World Report, The American West, and The Saturday Evening Post. She also worked for John Wayne’s Batjac Productions (she’s best known as author of The Fall Guy) and ABC Circle Films as a writer and researcher. John Wayne described her as “a writer with talent that captures the people and the times!” She has degrees in journalism and communications.

Brock has often been described by Bodie as “an essential half of this writing team.” With degrees in both history and education, Brock has, in his role as researcher and story-line consultant, added the vital dimension of historical accuracy. Due to such careful research, The Zion Covenant and The Zion Chronicles series are recognized by the American Library Association, as well as Zionist libraries around the world, as classic historical novels and are used to teach history in college classrooms.

Bodie and Brock have four grown children—Rachel, Jake, Luke, and Ellie—and seven grandchildren. Their sons, Jake and Luke, are carrying on the Thoene family talent as the next generation of writers, and Luke produces the Thoene audiobooks.

Bodie and Brock divide their time between London and Nevada.

ABOUT THE BOOK

As Nazi forces tighten the noose, Loralei Kepler, daughter of a German resistance leader, must flee her beloved Germany. But is any place safe from Adolf Hitler's evil grasp? Loralei's harrowing flight leads her into the arms of needy child refugees, who have sacrificed everything in exchange for their lives, and toward a mysterious figure, who closely guards an age-old secret.

Explore the romance, the passion, and the danger of the most anticipated series of the last twenty years.

Born from the highly acclaimed and best-loved novels of three generations of readers -- The Zion Covenant series and The Zion Chronicles series -- Zion Diaries ventures into the lives of the inspiring and intriguing characters who loved intensely, stood up for what was right, and fought boldly during Hitler's rise to power and the dark days of World War II.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Gathering Storm, go HERE