Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Today I have an eye appointment with a neuro-ophthalmologist. A little nervous since so far they haven't been able to pinpoint the cause of the latest vision loss that showed up in March on my annual visual field test. I had an MRI which didn't show any tumors or bleeding on the optic nerve. No retinal damage. Etc., etc. Sigh. God knows. And I truly have His peace. But I would appreciate prayers just the same. *smile*
Work is waiting. I'm hoping to pop in more often this week.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Wanda Dyson lives with her severely autistic teenager on a busy farm with horses, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, and the occasional fox, deer, groundhog, and snake. She could seriously live without the snakes, but that's life in the country.
After writing three critically acclaimed suspense novels, she was asked to write the true story of Tina Zahn (Why I Jumped), which was featured on Oprah. Readers characterize her books as "riveting" and "packed with twists and turns."
Wanda serves on the board of several writers conferences across the country including the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.
Wanda has finished the second in this series called Shepherd's Run,that will come out in 2010. And she's hard at work on the third and final installment of the Prodigal Recovery Series—Marti's story—tentatively called Shepherd's Quest.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Bounty hunter Nick Shepherd is fearless when it comes to chasing down criminals. It's his difficult ex-wife, rebellious teenage daughter, and dysfunctional siblings that keep him awake at night. In charge of the family business, the Prodigal Recovery Agency, he thinks of himself as a shepherd of sorts. When his "flock" is out of his control, Nick's well-ordered universe falls into chaos.
Prodigal Recovery's search for Zeena, a prostitute on the run, leads to a faulty arrest, complicating Nick's business. He is thrown together with Zeena's twin, the beautiful Annie, and the two find themselves on a desperate search. The stakes significantly increase when Nick's daughter is kidnapped. Now, to save someone he loves, Nick must risk everything.but will it be enough?
If you would like to read a Prologue excerpt from Shepherd's Fall, go HERE
Wanda is doing an interview for this blog . . . soon. And I'll post a review . . . when I get the book completely read.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born in 1984, Conlan Brown was functionally illiterate until the fifth grade, when he learned how to read and write, as well as a love of story, from his grandmother. Conlan went on to start college at the age of sixteen, and now holds a Master's degree in Communication, which taught him the academic principles needed to write Firstborn.
Conlan lives on Colorado's Front Range where he is working on his next book. He enjoys video editing, film scores, and developing high octane, thought provoking fiction that turns pages and excites the senses.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Three supernatural gifts. Two thousand years of division. One moment of truth.
Hannah's head hung, long brown hair in her eyes. Her face felt pasty with cold and fatigue and pain. Arms behind her back, she sat in a chair, wrists and ankles tied to the wooden frame, chair legs bolted to the floor. A cold car. A gun. Horror. Pain. Grief. Screaming. A windshield blistering with holes. Darkness.
It all came over her like a flood. A pouring out of pictures in her mind. But then there was one more thing. Not an image, but a feeling--that half a continent away someone else had felt it all happening too.
The Firstborn, those gifted with Foresight, Hindsight, and Insight at the time of Christ's death are divided between themselves. And when an Islamic holy man is murdered outside of his mosque it becomes apparent that one of the Firstborn was to blame. Now, with the threat of a terrorist attack on an unspeakable target the Firstborn are spiraling out of control. Leaders are dying, members are being kidnapped, and unity is being forced. Three heroes, differently gifted and divided must work together to thwart those who would go too far.
Their breakneck race against time plunges them into a world of danger and through a gauntlet across the United States. From the Riverwalk of San Antonio, where Devin Bathurst, John Temple, and Hannah Rice must protect one another from assassination, to the gritty streets of Washington DC, a paramilitary compound in Pennsylvania, and ultimately back to our nation's capital, the Firstborn must unite to prevent an impending atrocity from becoming reality.
If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of The Firstborn, go HERE
Margie's comments: While I haven't finished this book in order to give it a full review, I can say that I'm enjoying this debut novel by Conlan Brown. So . . . I will post a full review later.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Deeanne Gist, the bestselling author of A Bride Most Begrudging and The Measure of a Lady, has a background in education and journalism. Her credits include People magazine, Parents, and Parenting. With a line of parenting products called "I Did It!® Productions" and a degree from Texas A&M, she continues her writing and speaking. She and her family live in Houston, Texas.
Since the debut of those novels, her very original, very fun romances have rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere. Add to this two consecutive Christy Awards, two RITA nominations, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Wedding Is All Planned . . .
Someone Just Needs to Tell the Bride
In 1860s Seattle, redwoods were plentiful but women scarce. Yet a man with a wife could secure 640 acres of timberland for free.
Joe Denton doesn't have a wife, though. His died before she could follow him to Seattle and now the local judge is threatening to take away his claim. In desperation, he buys himself a Mercer bride--one of the eastern widows and orphans brought to the Territory by entrepreneur Asa Mercer.
Anna Ivey's journey west with Mercer is an escape from the aftermath of the Civil War. She signed on to become a cook--not a bride. When she's handed over to Denton, her stubborn refusal to wed jeopardizes his land. With only a few months before he loses all he holds dear, can he convince this provoking, but beguiling, easterner to become his lawfully wedded wife?
If you would like to read the first chapter of A Bride In The Bargain, go HERE
Thursday, June 18, 2009
As Christian writers we strive to include a spiritual thread in everything we write—or we should. If we don't what makes our articles and books and short stories any different from the secular world's? It certainly doesn't have to be blatant; subtlety works just as well. Look at the stories Jesus told, for example.
Since I was a child, I've always had a fascination for the Word of God. One my parents both nurtured in me. And over the years I've grown in my love for it (though I haven't always nurtured that love and desire as I should have). As a result the Lord has gifted me with the ability to remember and apply scripture when praying and, as He emboldens me, when counseling.
At the recent CCWC the Lord gave me strong confirmation that this indeed is His purpose for me: to encourage others to return to the ancient truths revealed in His Word. These truths are alive and very apropos to our world today.
I was part of the JOY of Rediscovering Creativity clinic. Several weeks in advance we were each given a name of another person in the clinic to pray for, send encouragement to, and then to bring a gift to present to that person during one of the clinic sessions. It was wonderful to sit in on that session and listen to the various stories people told as they gave their gifts—stories of how God had directed their thoughts to give just the perfect gift to someone they didn't know.
Tiffany Shaw got my name. She handed me a gift bag. Then explained how she had gone to my Web site and blog to find out as much as she could about me. Then she had the idea to use her photography skills for my gift. Reading my Web site, she learned that shevet meant a writer’s tool. So she gathered old pens, a couple of ink bottles, and the Bible, arranged them into a lovely still life, and photographed it. When I pulled the framed picture out of the bag, I was amazed. Such a powerful picture of how I view my writing and editing. (It's the picture at the beginning of this post. Tiffany doesn't have a Web site up yet, but if you want more info about her photography, click here.)
Isn't it so neat when God confirms what you suspect He's doing in your life? My prayer is that each of you (whether you're writers or not) would see/hear that confirmation, as well.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
ANNE DAYTON graduated from Princeton University and is earning her master's degree in English literature at New York University. She works for a New York publishing company and lives in Brooklyn.
MAY VANDERBILT graduated from Baylor University and went on to earn a master's degree in fiction from Johns Hopkins University. She lives in San Francisco, where she writes about food, fashion, and nightlife in the Bay Area.
Together, the two women are the authors of Miracle Girls
ABOUT THE BOOK
Ana, Christine, Riley, and Zoe have grown closer than ever over the past few months, but summer is over and it's time to put their friendship to the test.
It's been a little over a year since Christine Lee's mom passed away in a tragic car accident. Now her dad is engaged to Candace—"The Bimbo"—and Christine couldn't be less thrilled. When her attitude starts to take a toll on her schoolwork, the administration forces her to attend counseling sessions. At least she gets to skip gym class!
But with her father's wedding inching closer, Christine is growing even more bitter. To make matters worse, the Miracle Girls are beginning to drift apart. Christine's anger and the pressures of high school threaten to break the girls up when they need each other the most. Will they find a way to join together to help Christine come to terms with her mother's death . . . and her father's remarriage?
If you would like to read the first chapter of Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, go HERE
GOD made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I'm alert to GOD's ways; I don't take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I'm watching my step. GOD rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes. (Psalm 18:20–24 THE MESSAGE)
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Linda Rios Brook, President of the RiosBrook Foundation, believes the answers to issues of social justice and righteousness lie in the proper alignment between the church, the marketplace, and media and entertainment. She is a sought out speaker and teacher on matters relevant to cultural restoration. Linda worked as a media executive for over 20 years in the field of broadcasting serving as President and General Manager of television stations in Texas, Florida, and Minnesota and was President and part owner of KLGT-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.
Linda has served on several national boards and community organizations and is listed in Who's Who of American Women. She is an ordained minister and has a Doctorate of Practical Ministry from the Wagner Leadership Institute.
Linda is also the author of Lucifer's Flood.
Linda is also a teaching Pastor at Covenant Centre International in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Linda is married to Larry Brook, who is the Executive Director of the RiosBrook Foundation.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Ancient language expert Samantha Yale returns to translate a new batch of scrolls written by the fallen angel from Lucifer's Flood.
Samantha Yale has taken on a daunting translation project. A set of scrolls, delivered by a man she knows nothing about, tells a fascinating and frightening tale of what went on behind the scenes of biblical history. What is even more incredible is who is telling the tale--a fallen angel who immediately regretted his decision to side with Lucifer.
With The Deliverer, Linda Rios Brook brings new depth of imagery into the spirit world. It is a story about rebellion and consequences. It is about demonic strategy to disrupt and destroy the people of God. But ultimately, it is a story about the unrelenting love, grace, mercy, and determination of a sovereign God in pursuit of His children.
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Deliverer, go HERE
Margie's comments: The premise of this series is an interesting one: a retelling of Scripture from a demon's point of view. And as that is the main part of The Deliverer, I had trouble maintaining an interest in the storyline. As a reader, while I love reading the stories of Moses and Joshua and how God's love and grace was demonstrated so vividly to the Children of Israel, I would have preferred more of the story of the person translating the diaries and why she was asked to do so. Just having the first and last chapters about Dr. Yale left me confused as to why she was even a part of this story. Maybe I need to read Lucifer's Flood to understand the purpose of those two chapters. The writing is good, but I evidently didn't "get" the point of retelling the story of mankind from a demon's point of view.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (Psalm 103:8–13 ESV)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
It was during third grade, after a teacher encouraged him in his writing and as he read through The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, that Travis decided he wanted to be a writer. The dream never left him, and allowed him to fulfill that dream of writing full-time in 2007.
Travis Thrasher is the author of numerous works of fiction, including his most personal and perhaps his deepest work, Sky Blue, that was published in summer of 2007. This year he has two novels published, Out of the Devil’s Mouth, and a supernatural thriller, Isolation.
Travis is married to Sharon and they are the proud parents of Kylie, born in November 2006, and Hailey, a Shih-Tzu that looks like an Ewok. They live in suburban Chicago.
Stop by and visit Travis at his Blog where you can sign up to follow him on Facebook and Twitter!
Also check out the radio interview with Travis on Monday June 8th at BlogTalkRadio/FaithWords
ABOUT THE BOOK
For years Dennis Shore has thrilled readers with his spooky bestselling novels. Now a widower, Dennis is finally alone in his house, his daughter attending college out of state. When he's stricken by a paralyzing case of writer's block and a looming deadline, Dennis becomes desperate. Against better judgment, he claims someone else's writing as his own, accepting undeserved accolades for the stolen work. He thinks he's gotten away with it . . . until he's greeted by a young man named Cillian Reed—the true author of the stolen manuscript.
What begins as a minor case of harassment quickly spirals out of control. As Cillian's threats escalate, Dennis finds himself on the brink of losing his career, his sanity, and even his life. The horror he's spent years writing about has arrived on his doorstep, and Dennis has nowhere to run.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Ghostwriter, go HERE
Margie's comments: On a whim, twenty-five years ago, I decided to read a Stephen King novel, to see what all the hoopla and fascination was with his books and the horror genre. I read the complete book just because I couldn't put it down; it was so well written. But I've never picked up another "horror" novel . . . until now. And I probably wouldn't have read this one, if it weren't for my curiosity—again. The back cover copy promised a different kind of read.
Travis Thrasher is a gifted writer. His characters and the setting come alive for the reader. His descriptions are vivid—maybe not Stephen King vivid, but more than enough for my active imagination. However, Travis's writing has something that Stephen King's do not—hope. And faith that God truly does exist and is in control of all things, even when we think we hold control.
If you like Stephen King, you're going to love Travis Thrasher. The jury is still out on whether I'll read another, though. LOL This is a supernatural thriller of a different kind. And it will make you think as it entertains.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4–6)
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
The guiding verses of my life right now are found in Isaiah 58:11–12 NASB. “And 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. Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.” (The emphasis is mine.)
The 12th verse was added recently when I was praying for specific direction in a couple of matters close to my heart. I did a word search on the word ancient, wanting to understand better what the Lord seemed to be telling me.
In Proverbs, twice we’re told not to move the ancient landmarks that our fathers have set (see 22:28; 23:10). The Hebrew word used here means “long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world
1. ancient time, long time (of past)
2. (of future)
1. for ever, always
2. continuous existence, perpetual
3. everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity.” (Strong’s Concordance)
In context it’s talking about the Word of God, the ways God had set down for His people since the beginning of time.
Isaiah uses the words ancient or age-old several times throughout his messages and prophecies. Almost always referring to God’s people from ancient times and the words He gave them to live by.
Jeremiah’s message to Judah was this: Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” (Jeremiah 6:16) It was a call to God’s people to return to His ways; it was the only way to find the rest they so desperately needed. But they refused. And before too long they were sent into exile in Babylon.
I’ve seen this happening in our own country. Christians are mocked and ridiculed if they claim to believe the Bible, especially if they believe that every word is inspired of God. Too many, even among believers, reject the ancient scriptures, saying it isn’t relevant to our world today. Very few are willing to stand up and walk according to its “limiting” principles. The whole counsel of God is taught in fewer and fewer churches. People want to hear something that’s going to make them feel good about themselves and their lifestyles of comfort and ease. They question how a loving God could possibly bring judgment on His people.
But that doesn’t excuse their sinful behavior. The “ancient words” are still alive and apropos to today’s world. I’ve proved it, taking God at His Word when He caused the psalmist to write: Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. (Psalm 107:19–20, emphasis mine)
It was these ancient words that brought me out of depression’s vile pit. It was these words that saved me from the punishment of hell because of my sin. It’s these words that continue to guide my day-to-day walk with my Lord. I can’t in good conscience accept some of the words as true and reject others just because it is comfortable or convenient.
God isn’t comfortable and convenient. He is holy and just, as well as loving. We think we can put God on a level that we can understand, but scripture tells us otherwise. We can never comprehend “the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33–36)
As for me, I will continue to proclaim the “ancient ways.” It isn’t the easy path, but it certainly is the most rewarding . . . and peaceful. They truly are for all mankind in all ages and for eternity.
I found this video in one of the online devotionals I subscribe to. Yet another reminder of the “ancient words.”
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. (Proverbs 12:18–19 ESV)
Friday, June 5, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He writes a monthly column for Writer . . .Interrupted.
He was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years and has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets. Mike also has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed Web sites and e-newsletters.
Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer's Network, and International Thriller Writers. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master's Graduate School of Divinity.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Otherworldly Screams . . .
A Madman on the Loose . . .
This Time the Stakes Are Higher Than Ever
While talking to his friend on the phone, Mark Stone is startled by a cacophony of otherworldly screams. Seconds later, a tragic accident claims his friend's life. When this happens several more times—screams followed by an untimely death—he is compelled to act.
Battling his failure as a husband and struggling with his own damaged faith, Mark embarks on a mission to find the meaning behind the screams and hopefully stop Death from calling on its next victim. When his estranged wife is kidnapped and he again hears the screams as she calls from her cell phone, his search becomes much more personal and much more urgent.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Scream, go HERE
Margie's comments: Finally, a book I actually finished on time. :) Mostly because I could not put it down! "Hearing" the screams with Mark throughout the story made me cringe. What a powerful message of redemption, forgiveness, and choosing to embrace life to the fullest, which is only realized in a true relationship with Jesus Christ. The story is well-written, and the message is even more powerful when you realize that Mike was facing his own battle with man's mortality as he wrote Scream. The characters are well-developed . . . real. And the unexpected twist (revelation) near the end almost caught me by surprise. If you like supernatural suspense, then this book is a must read!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
My son, obey your father's commands, and don't neglect your mother's teaching. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. Wherever you walk, their counsel can lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up in the morning, they will advise you. For these commands and this teaching are a lamp to light the way ahead of you. The correction of discipline is the way to life. (Proverbs 6:20–23 NLT)
I'm so thankful for godly parents whose advice and correction came from the Word of God.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa T. Bergren is the best-selling, award winning author of over thirty books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. A former publishing executive, she now splits her time between writing and freelance editing and parenting her three young children with her husband Tim. She lives in Colorado Springs.
ABOUT THE BOOK
To make a new life, she'll have to learn how to breathe again...
By the time Dominic and Moira St. Clair get their ailing sister, Odessa, to Colorado Springs in the winter of 1883, she is nearly dead. Odessa has been seriously ailing for the past year from consumption, an illness that claimed the lives of four of her younger brothers, prompting her father, to send his only surviving children west to chase the cure.
Moira is beautiful and dangerously headstrong; and pugnacious Dominic is charged with establishing a new arm of the family business--a business he doesn't want.
Several days after her arrival, Odessa witnesses what she fears is the murder of miner Sam O’Toole, friend and neighbor to the charming Bryce McAllan.
What’s more, Sam leaves her a poem containing clues that seem to direct her to his mine, which is purported to carry a fantastic vein of silver. But if she is ever to rise from her bed again, she must first concentrate on conquering the giant that threatens her─consumption. Indeed, she must learn to breathe again─daring to embrace her life, her future, and hope in her God.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Breathe, go HERE
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5–8)
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations. . . .
If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
(Psalm 119:89–90, 92–93)