Thursday, December 31, 2009

Verse of the Day

And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my head held high. (Psalm 119:80 MSG)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Verse of the Day

"Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands." (Isaiah 43:18–19 MSG)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Verse of the Day

They fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 7:11–12)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Reviews (catching up)

Timescape and Whirlwind are books four and five in the Dreamhouse Kings series for YA readers written by Robert Liparulo. I suspect that many adults are hooked on this series, like I am. These books are packed with spine-tingling adventure as the King children learn more about the strange house they live in. On a quest to rescue their mother, they are pulled into many different worlds and times through the portals in their creepy third floor. And a few villains come through the portals to wreak havoc on the Kings and their house. The only thing I don’t like about these books is the ending . . . which isn’t an ending. It’s more like a hook that leaves the reader hanging, desperate for the next book in the series. I read these two books back to back, as I did the first two. So I’ve minimized the dangling a little. However, the next book, Frenzy, will be out around March 2010.

For more on these books and the author, go here and here.

Verse of the Day

"The LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." (Isaiah 58:11)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Review Catch-Up

Just Between You and Me is Jenny Jones’s first adult novel. I was familiar with her YA books, and I appreciate her humor as she handles difficult subjects. She’s accomplished the same with her adult novel, as well. In fact, Just Between You and Me is at the top of my best reads in 2009. The theme of trusting God in everything really hit home with me. Jenny deals with the subject matter of the book with compassion laced with just the right amount of humor. I highly recommend this book.

For more on the book and author, go here

Verse of the Day

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:9–11)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Verse of the Day


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Verse of the Day

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. He thrusts out the enemy before you; it is he who cries, 'Destroy them!' (Deuteronomy 33:27 NLT)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Verse of the Day

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. (Hebrews 10:35–36 ESV)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Verse of the Day

For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. (Hebrews 4:12 NLT)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Verse of the Day

Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

For the ways of the LORD are right, and the righteous will walk in them. (Hosea 14:9)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Verse of the Day

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 ESV)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Verse of the Day

The Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don't even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will. (Romans 8:26–27 NLT)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Sheriff’s Surrender

Barbour Books (December 1, 2009)


Susan Page Davis


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!


Gert Dooley can shoot the tail feathers off a jay at a hundred yards, but she wants Ethan Chapman to see she's more than a crack shot with a firearm. When the sheriff of Fergus, Idaho, is murdered and Ethan is named his replacement, Gert decides she has to do whatever she can to help him protect the citizenry. So she starts the Ladies Shooting Club. But when one of their numbers is murdered, these ladies are called on for more than target shooting and praying. Can Gert and the ladies of Fergus find the murderer before he strikes again?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sheriff’s Surrender , go HERE

Review to come later.

Note: This is the last CFBA blog post for the year. After I finish some editing and writing projects, I'm going to tackle the backlog of reviews I owe you. Lots of good books this year, and I'm glad I've been a part of promoting good fiction.

Verse of the Day

Stand your ground. And don't hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort. (1 Corinthians 15:58 MSG)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For Your Christmas Reading

Writers tend to rewrite well-known songs and poems, especially at Christmas time. So I'm posting a few links today for your holiday enjoyment.

First, my friend Ane Mulligan wrote a "wish list" based on "The Twelve Days of Christmas." You can find it here.

Two posts at Novel Journey will interest you. The first in this year's interview with the author of the poem, "'Twas the Night before Christmas." The second is last year's interview with Charles Dickens. You can find that here.

Finally, from one of my online critique partners, friend, and treasurer of HIS Writers, my local ACFW chapter, Donna Schlachter. She wrote the following with her face-to-face crit partners:

'Twas the Night before Deadline"

Twas the Night Before Deadline.
Twas the night before deadline And all through the town
Every writer was writing, their heads were bent down
O'er the keyboard, the ARC's, over every notepad
How could they have missed it? Could it be all that bad?
The editors were snoozing, all snug in their beds
Not thinking of writers who were losing their heads
And agents were dreaming of spending their dough
As off to the bank with their checks they would go.
But up in the attics and down in the dens
Authors were shaking their heads and their pens
Not sleeping, not eating, their bodies would waste
Away to a skeleton, as they wrote in haste.
And still on they labored, refusing to sway
Resisting the impulse to just throw away
The words carefully crafted, the plot so inspired
Wondering, really, were three subplots required?
Yet knowing this isn't all about a book
A tome of their making, if that's what it took
They could write in their sleep, dash off in a dash
And laugh all the way to the bank with their cash.
But this was about God's will, His plan for each one
To come to know Jesus, His firstborn, His son.
And how each life changed is a life that's reborn
And that's why they write through the night, to the morn.
Now, Mary, now Jerry, now Paula and Sal
Here, Connie, and Cathy, and Debbie, and Val
On Steven, and Randy, and Stuart and Bill
Relinquish this book to your Father's Will
To the top of the slush pile,
To the top of the stack
This book is a winner
There's no turning back!
So write till it's written, and toil til it's done
The story that God wants, in praise of His Son
No matter the hour, no matter the cost
Any labor of Love for your Lord is not lost.
Then send it to others to rip it apart
And give it back to you, though broken in heart
With comments and red ink and strike throughs within
And know that it's better than it's ever been.
And when someone asks you if you wrote this book
You have my permission to give them the Look
And tell them with straight face and conscience intact
"It's the book that God wrote through me, and that is a fact."
If they should question your solemn intent
If they require a further statement
Just tell them it's better than you could have writ
Because it's endorsed by the Holy Spirit.
Know if it's never on a book store shelf
That this book is not about you or yourself.
This book is about your heed to the call
Of the Lord on your life, of the Lord on your all.
Twas the night before deadline, and all through the town
Tired writers were able to lay their heads down.
They'd done all their work, they'd done all they could
They slept soundly knowing God called it "good".

Verse of the Day

This I declare of the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him. (Psalm 91:2 NLT)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Verse of the Day

With Jesus' help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name. (Hebrews 13:15 NLT)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Familiar Stranger

Moody Publishers (September 1, 2009)


Christina Berry


Single mother and foster parent, Christina Berry carves time to write from her busy schedule because she must tell the stories that haunt her every waking moment. (Such is the overly dramatic description of an author's life!) She holds a BA in Literature, yet loves a good Calculus problem, as well. All that confusion must have influenced her decision to be team captain of a winning team on Family Feud.

Her debut novel, The Familiar Stranger, released from Moody in September and deals with lies, secrets, and themes of forgiveness in a troubled marriage. A moving speaker and dynamic teacher, Christina strives to Live Transparently--Forgive Extravagantly!

Her work has also appeared in The Secret Place, The Oregonian, and Daily Devotions for Writers.


Craig Littleton's decision to end his marriage would shock his wife, Denise . . . if she knew what he was up to. When an accident lands Craig in the ICU, with fuzzy memories of his own life and plans, Denise rushes to his side, ready to care for him.

They embark on a quest to help Craig remember who he is and, in the process, they discover dark secrets. An affair? An emptied bank account? A hidden identity? An illegitimate child?

But what will she do when she realizes he's not the man she thought he was? Is this trauma a blessing in disguise, a chance for a fresh start? Or will his secrets destroy the life they built together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Familiar Stranger, go HERE

Friday, December 11, 2009

Verse of the Day

Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. (Matthew 6:21 NLT)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Verse of the Day

Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:12–14 ESV)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Verse of the Day

Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalm 37:5)

Whirlwind by Robert Liparulo

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Thomas Nelson (December 29, 2009)


Robert Liparulo


Robert Liparulo is a former journalist, with over a thousand articles and multiple writing awards to his name. His first novel, Comes a Horseman, released to critical acclaim. Each of his subsequent thrillers—Germ, Deadfall, and Deadlock—secured his place as one of today’s most popular and daring thriller writers.

He is known for investing deep research and chillingly accurate predictions of near-future scenarios into his stories. In fact, his thorough, journalistic approach to research has resulted in his becoming an expert on the various topics he explores in his fiction, and he has appeared on such media outlets as CNN and ABC Radio.

Liparulo’s visual style of writing has caught the eye of Hollywood producers. Currently, three of his novels for adults are in various stages of development for the big screen: the film rights to Comes A Horseman. were purchased by the producer of Tom Clancy’s movies; and Liparulo is penning the screenplays for GERM and Deadfall for two top producers. He is also working with the director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Holes) on a political thriller. Novelist Michael Palmer calls Deadfall “a brilliantly crafted thriller.” March 31st marked the publication of Deadfall’s follow-up, Deadlock, which novelist Gayle Lynds calls, “best of high-octane suspense.”

Liparulo’s bestselling young adult series, Dreamhouse Kings, debuted last year with House of Dark Shadows and Watcher in the Woods. Book three, Gatekeepers, released in January, and number four, Timescape, in July. The series has garnered praise from readers, both young and old, as well as attracting famous fans who themselves know the genre inside and out. Of the series, Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine says, “I loved wandering around in these books. With a house of so many great, haunting stories, why would you ever want to go outside?”

With the next two Dreamhouse books “in the can,” he is currently working on his next thriller, which for the first time injects supernatural elements into his brand of gun-blazing storytelling. The story is so compelling, two Hollywood studios are already in talks to acquire it—despite its publication date being more than a year away. After that comes a trilogy of novels, based on his acclaimed short story, which appeared in James Patterson’s Thriller anthology. New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry calls Liparulo’s writing “Inventive, suspenseful, and highly entertaining . . . Robert Liparulo is a storyteller, pure and simple.” He lives with his family in Colorado.

Visit Robert Liparulo's Facebook Fan page:


Which door do you go through to save the world?

David, Xander, and Toria King never know where the mysterious portals in their house will take them: past, present, or future. They have battled gladiators and the German army, dodged soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, and jumped from the sinking Titanic. They've also seen the stark future that awaits if they can't do something to change it--a destroyed city filled with mutant creatures.

And they've still got to find a way to bring Mom back and keep Taksidian from getting them out of the house. The dangers are hitting them like a whirlwind . . . but the answers are becoming apparent as well.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Whirlwind, go HERE
Review to come later. Bob Liparulo is one of my favorite authors, but I've fallen behind on my reading. His books included. However, I can safely say that if you like high-powered suspense, you will like any of Bob's books.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Verse of the Day

No distrust made [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:20–21 ESV)

"Exercise your faith, knowing that I [God] will give you the right words and will fill them with the power of My Spirit, and they shall be used by Me to bring salvation and deliverance. Be not detained by self-doubt. Rely on Me, and do not regard your own limitations as a liability.

"I will manifest through you in a mighty way if you will only give Me the opportunity. Be My mouthpiece, and I will supply the words and the message." (from Progress of Another Pilgrim by Frances J. Roberts)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Verse of the Day

The Sovereign LORD has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know what to say to all these weary ones. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will. (Isaiah 50:4 NLT) 

This is the prayer of my heart, that I would know His Word so well that He uses me in this way. May I have ears to listen and a mind to understand through His Spirit.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Verse of the Day

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3–4)

The Christmas Glass by Marci Alborghetti

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Christmas Glass

GuidepostsBooks (October 1, 2009)


Marci Alborghetti


Marci Alborghetti has been writing only slightly longer than she's been reading. In seventh grade she received her first writing prize for a zany Halloween story. The prize? A five dollar gift certificate to a local bookstore. She was hooked. The Christmas Glass is her fourteenth book, and she is currently at work on a sequel as well as a non-fiction book about service. Some of her other books include: Prayer Power: How to Pray When You Think You Can’t, A Season in the South and Twelve Strong Women of God.

She and her husband, Charlie Duffy, live in New London, Connecticut, and the San Francisco Bay area. While in New London she facilitates the Saint James Literary Club.


In the tradition of The Christmas Shoes and A Christmas on Jane Street, the heartwarming story of The Christmas Glass shows how, today as always, the Christmas miracle works its wonders in the human heart.

In the early days of World War II in Italy, Anna, a young widow who runs a small orphanage, carefully wraps her most cherished possessions—a dozen hand-blown, German-made, Christmas ornaments, handed down by her mother—and sends them to a cousin she hasn't seen in years.

Anna is distressed to part with her only tangible reminder of her mother, but she worries that the ornaments will be lost or destroyed in the war, especially now that her orphanage has begun to secretly shelter Jewish children. Anna's young cousin Filomena is married with two-year-old twins when she receives the box of precious Christmas glass.

After the war, Filomena emigrates to America, where the precious ornaments are passed down through the generations. After more than forty years, twelve people come to possess a piece of Christmas glass, some intimately connected by family bonds, some connected only through the history of the ornaments.

As Christmas Day approaches, readers join each character in a journey of laughter and tears, fractures and healings, as Filomena, now an eighty-four-year-old great-grandmother, brings them all to what will be either a wondrous reunion or a disaster that may shatter them all like the precious glass they cherish.

If you would like to read the first chapter of  The Christmas Glass, go HERE

Review to come later.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Verse of the Day

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking to me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! (Isaiah 65:24 NLT)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Verse of the Day

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. (Romans 8:26 MSG)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ACFW December New Releases

1. A Bouquet for Iris, by Diane Ashley & Aaron McCarver from Barbour Heartsong Presents.
Iris Landon travels to Daisy, Tennessee, to care for two Cherokee children and finds romance and danger while aiding one family in the struggle to keep their land.

2. A Lady Like Sarah, Rocky Creek Romance, by Margaret Brownley from Thomas Nelson.
He's a preacher. She's an outlaw. Both are in need of a miracle.

3. ANGEL WITH A BACKHOE, by Deb Kinnard from Desert
Breeze Publishing.
A small-town widower and a spunky suburban transplant match wits over a church construction project, finding true love can mix with blueprints and concrete footings.

4. Child Finder: Resurrection series: Child Finder Trilogy, 2nd book, by Mike Angley from Total Recall Publications, Inc.
Child Finder: Resurrection…the highly-anticipated sequel to the award-winning debut novel, Child Finder, which Library Journal placed on its 2009 Summer Reads list for Christian fiction!

5. Christmas Peril, by Margaret Daley from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Christmas themed, romantic suspense stories.

6. Cup of Joe, by Teri Wilson from White Rose Publishing.
A grieving man resists the cups of comfort offered by the shy, but handsome, owner of the neighborhood coffee shop.

7. Field of Danger, by Ramona Richards from Love Inspired Suspense.
When April Presley can’t remember details of the murder she witnessed, deputy Daniel Rivers must help her recall the event and protect her from the killer determined to silence her.

8. Her Patchwork Family series: The Gabriel Sisters, by Lyn Cote from Love Inspired.
In spite of opposition from the rich and influential, can Felicity Gabriel establish a home for children orphaned by the Civil War and heal two wounded hearts?

9. Patterns and Progress series: Michigan historical, book 3, by Amber Stockton from Barbour Publishing.
A farmer's daughter would rather turn back the hands of time than accept the fact that advancement in technology could be in God's plan.

10. The Sheriff's Surrender series: #1 of The Ladies' Shooting Club Series, by Susan Page Davis from Barbour Publishing.
The men of Fergus aren’t keeping the town safe, so a group of feisty women take matters into their own hands.

11. The Glassblower series: First book in the New Jersey Historical Series, by Laurie Alice Eakes from Barbour Publishing.
Colin Grassick moves from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Salem County, New Jersey, to take a position as a master glassblower. He loves his work and hopes of bringing his family to America for a better life. But his love for Meg, the daughter of the owner of the glassworks, threatens his job. . .and then his life.

Verse of the Day

From the end of the earth will I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and fainting; lead me to the rock that is higher than I [yes, a rock that is too high for me]. (Psalm 61:2 AMP)