Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Verse of the Day

When we know that God's hand is in everything, we can leave everything in God's hand.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Verse of the Day

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Turning the Paige by Laura Jensen Walker

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Turning the Paige

Zondervan (March 1, 2009)


Laura Jensen Walker


Laura Jensen Walker is an award-winning writer, popular speaker, and breast-cancer survivor who loves to touch readers and audiences with the healing power of laughter.

Born in Racine, Wisconsin (home of Western Printing and Johnson’s Wax—maker of your favorite floor care products), Laura moved to Phoenix, Arizona, when she was in high school. But not being a fan of blazing heat and knowing that Uncle Sam was looking for a few good women, she enlisted in the United States Air Force shortly after graduation and spent the next five years flying a typewriter through Europe.

By the time she was 23, Laura had climbed the Eiffel Tower, trod the steps of the Parthenon, skied (okay, snowplowed) in the Alps, rode in a gondola in Venice, and wept at the ovens of Dachau. She’d also learned how to fold her underwear into equal thirds, make a proper cup of English tea, and repel the amorous advances of a blind date by donning combat gear and a gas mask.

Laura is a former newspaper reporter and columnist with a degree in journalism who has written hundreds of articles on many subjects ranging from emu ranching and pigeon racing to goat-roping and cemetery board meetings. However, realizing that livestock and local government weren’t her passion, she switched to writing humor, which she calls a “total God-thing.”

Her lifelong dream of writing fiction came true in Spring 2005 with the release of her first chick lit novel, Dreaming in Black & White which won the Contemporary Fiction Book of the Year from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her sophomore novel, Dreaming in Technicolor was published in Fall 2005.

Laura’s third novel, Reconstructing Natalie, chosen as the Women of Faith Novel of the Year for 2006, is the funny and poignant story of a young, single woman who gets breast cancer and how her life is reconstructed as a result. This book was born out of Laura’s cancer speaking engagements where she started meeting younger and younger women stricken with this disease—some whose husbands had left them, and others who wondered what breast cancer would do to their dating life. She wanted to write a novel that would give voice to those women. Something real. And honest. And funny.

Because although cancer isn’t funny, humor is healing.

A popular speaker and teacher at writing conferences, Laura has also been a guest on hundreds of radio and TV shows around the country including the ABC Weekend News, The 700 Club, and The Jay Thomas Morning Show.

Another book in this series is Daring Chloe

She lives in Northern California with her Renaissance-man husband Michael, and Gracie, their piano playing dog


At 35, Paige Kelley is feeling very "in between." She's still working her temp job after two years, still not dating three years after her divorce, and still melting at every chubby-cheeked toddler she sees while her biological clock ticks ever louder. Paige even moves back home to help her ailing, high-maintenance mother.It's not exactly the life she'd dreamed of!

When her Getaway Girls book club members urge Paige to break free and get on with her life, she's afraid. How will her mother react? How can Paige honor her widowed mother and still pursue her own life? The answers come from a surprising source.
A trip to Scotland and a potential new love interest help launch an exciting new chapter in her life, and lead Paige to discover that God's plan for her promises to be more than she ever imagined.

This latest release in the Getaway Girls collection delivers a smart, funny, and warm account of one woman's challenge to reconcile who she is—a dutiful Christian daughter—with the woman she longs to be.

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

Margie's comments: Laura Jensen Walker first came to my attention with her third book, Reconstructing Natalie. As I proofread it, I loved how the author handled a tough subject (breast cancer) with humor and grace yet with a compassion that spoke of having experienced the tough trials of life. So when I picked up Turning the Paige last weekend, I did so with anticipation. And it proved just as satisfying a read. At one point near the end I tried to put it down and go to sleep (it was late!), but the description I'd read so mirrored my own in a similar situation that I knew I wouldn't sleep until I finished it. So. . .

Paige jumps off the page (yes, it's a pun. . .just following the example in the title of the book. . .I make no apologies *smile*) as a vibrant individual. I love the members of her book club and the other characters who play a role in Paige's life. And I loved the descriptions of the trip to Scotland. Brought back wonderful memories from last fall when I made my first trip to my grandfather's birthplace. How Paige deals with her mother, her sister, and others around her is a challenge to all who read her story to deal with others with grace, exhibiting Christ's love to all.

A very satisfying read that I highly recommend.

Verse of the Day

He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Self-Editing TIps

Sentences that contain parenthetical material usually need commas, depending on the type and necessity of the information. Take a look at the following examples:

1. Miss Piggy who is considered by most to be the star contributes to the success of the show.

2. Computers moreover play a vital role in all businesses and at the same time encourage new and fascinating approaches to the various fields of education.

3. Jerry a student in my Fundamentals of Writing course informed me that she could not find the word mnemonic in her pocket dictionary.

Commas are needed in all these sentences, so let’s take a closer look at where and why.

1. Miss Piggy, who is considered by most to be the star, contributes to the success of the show.

The clause who is considered by most to be the star gives us more information about Miss Piggy than is needed for this sentence to make its point. So we set it off with commas.

2. Computers, moreover, play a vital role in all businesses and, at the same time, encourage new and fascinating approaches to the various fields of education.

Moreover and at the same time are adverb phrases that aren’t really needed since they don’t affect the meaning of the sentence if we leave them out. Yet they do help direct our thinking, so when they are included we set them off with commas.

However, if the adverb is essential to the sentence, then we leave the commas out. For example:

The storehouse was indeed empty.
Two students cheated and were therefore disqualified.

3. Jerry, a student in my Fundamentals of Writing course, informed me that he could not find the word mnemonic in her pocket dictionary.

The phrase, a student in my Fundamentals of Writing course, renames the subject Jerry. Either used alone as the subject is valid.

Jerry informed me that he could not find the word mnemonic in her pocket dictionary.
A student in my Fundamentals of Writing course informed me that he could not find the word mnemonic in her pocket dictionary.

So when both are used, the restatement of the noun/subject is set off with commas. (This restatement of a subject is called an appositive.)

That’s enough for today. Next week we’ll continue with the parenthetical material as it relates to essential and nonessential clauses and phrases . . . and how to tell the difference.

Verse of the Day

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Verse of the Day

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

A Cousin's Promise by Wanda Brunstetter

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Cousin's Promise

Barbour Books (March 1, 2009)


Wanda Brunstetter

Wanda enjoys writing about the Amish because they live a peaceful, simple life─something she says we all need in this day and age.

Using the knowledge her Amish friends have shared with her, Wanda has also produced several children’s titles in the Rachel Yoder─Always Trouble Somewhere series, an Amish cookbook, and a devotional collection entitled The Simpler Life, which was released in July 2008 and celebrates the virtues of the Amish lifestyle. Wanda and her husband are members of the fellowship of Christian Magicians.

Wanda is also a member of the North American Association of ventriloquists, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Northwest Christian Writers Association. She lives in Washington State, where her husband pastors, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish settlements across the country.

Other books by Wanda are A Sister's Test, A Sister's Hope, and A Sister's Secret


Wayne Lambright who, crippled after a tragic accident, feels himself unworthy of her love; and Jake Beechy who, after having abandoned her to explore the English world, returns to renew their courtship.

Willkumm to the lush and lavish Amish country where Wanda Brunstetter's new romantic series, Indiana Cousins, begins with A Cousin's Promise. Loraine Miller finds herself torn between the love of two good men.

When a horrific accident cripples Wayne Lambright, he finds it difficult enough to take care of himself, much less Loraine Miller, his future bride. Will he sacrifice his happiness to give her a better life?

Having already been jilted once, Loraine is terrified of yet another rejection. But does she love Wayne enough to marry him, for better or worse? When her old boyfriend Jake Beechy returns from exploring the English world, he hopes Loraine will give him another chance.

How will God work to give Loraine the desires of her heart? To which man will she pledge her love and loyalty—for better or worse, until death they do part?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Cousin's Promise, go HERE

Margie's comments: Wanda Brunstetter is an author who consistently delivers a good read. I've had the privilege of working on several of her past books over the last nine years. If you want a relaxing, quiet read, I recommend any of Wanda's Amish-themed books. I haven't read A Cousin's Promise (can't read everything! LOL), but I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is Good Grammar Important in Fiction?

Okay, maybe that's not a good question to ask an editor and former high school English teacher. LOL But it has come up several times in the last few weeks, either from clients or statements made in my hearing or even in my reading.

The short answer? Or at least my take on it. Yes, it matters. But . . . I'm not saying that everything in a work of fiction needs to be grammatically correct. The writing book I'm currently reading is Dwight Swain's Techniques of a Selling Writer. This is what he has to say about the importance of grammar:

"To keep rules in proper perspective, violate them by design only.

"That is, make them tool for manipulation of your reader's emotions. If that takes sentence fragments, non-punctuation, stream-of-consciousness, and one-word paragraphs, by all means use them. Winston Churchill blazed the trail for all of us when he spoke his mind to the purists who insisted that no sentence end with a preposition: 'This is one rule up with which I shall not put!'

"So, deviate if you must. But do it with malice and by intent, not accident.

"And, most of the time, stay within the rules. Your readers will feel more at home that way."

And so will your editors. *smile*

Do know the rules of grammar: punctuation, sentence construction, word choices, etc. Because when you know the rules, then you can break them . . . effectively.

Check out this for a humorous, yet serious, approach to this topic.

Verse of the Day

Abraham didn't focus on his own impotence and say, "It's hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child." Nor did he survey Sarah's decades of infertility and give up. He didn't tiptoe around God's promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. (Romans 4:19–21)

Monday, March 23, 2009


HE only asks thee to yield thyself to Him, that He may work in thee to will and to do by His own mighty power. Thy part is to yield thyself, His part is to work; and never, never will He give thee any command which is not accompanied by ample power to obey it. Take no thought for the morrow in this matter; but abandon thyself with a generous trust to thy loving Lord, who has promised never to call His own sheep out into any path without Himself going before them to make the way easy and safe. Take each little step as He makes it plain to thee. Bring all thy life in each of its details to Him to regulate and guide. Follow gladly and quickly the sweet suggestions of His Spirit in thy soul. And day by day thou wilt find Him bringing thee more and more into conformity with His will in all things; moulding thee and fashioning thee, as thou art able to bear it, into a vessel unto His honor, sanctified and meet for His use, and fitted to every good work.


Verse of the Day

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

2009 Christy Award Nominees

The nominees for the 2009 Christy Awards:

Contemporary Romance category are:

* Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
* Finding Stefanie by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers)
* Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black and White by Claudia Mair Burney (David C. Cook)

Contemporary Series, Sequels & Novellas category are:

* Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
* Summer Snow by Nicole Baart (Tyndale House Publishers)
* You Had Me at Good-bye by Tracey Bateman (FaithWords)

Contemporary Standalone category are:

* Dogwood by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)
* Embrace Me by Lisa Samson (Thomas Nelson)
* Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon by Debbie Fuller Thomas (Moody Publishers)

First Novel category are:

* Blue Hole Back Home by Joy Jordan-Lake (David C. Cook)
* Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler (Bethany House Publishers)
* Safe at Home by Richard Doster (David C. Cook)

Historical category are:

* Shadow of Colossus by T.L. Higley (B&H Publishing Group)
* Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin (Bethany House Publishers)
* Washington’s Lady by Nancy Moser (Bethany House Publishers)

Historical Romance category are:

* Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy (Barbour Publishers)
* From a Distance by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers)
* The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen (B&H Publishing Group)

Suspense category are:

* By Reason of Insanity by Randy Singer (Tyndale House Publishers)
* The Rook by Steven James (Revell)
* Winter Haven by Athol Dickson (Bethany House Publishers)

Visionary category are:

* The Battle for Vast Dominion by George Bryan Polivka (Harvest House Publishers)
* Shade by John B. Olson (B&H Publishing Group)
* Vanish by Tom Pawlik (Tyndale House Publishers)

Young Adult category are:

* The Fruit of My Lipstick by Shelley Adina (FaithWords)
* I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke (Moody Publishers)
* On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Michal by Jill Eileen Smith

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Revell (March 1, 2009)


Jill Eileen Smith


Jill Eileen Smith is the author of several articles, poems, and stories, and her unpublished novels have placed in five writing contests in the past five years. A children’s story, which she wrote for her church, led her youngest son to faith in Christ several years ago; much like a gospel tract led her to the Lord at a similar age.

That story, “Seeking Treasureland,” is now available. Jill is a member of several online writing groups and helps promote fellow authors’ works through monthly interviews on the "Spotlight" page of her Web site. She, along with her husband and children, are active members in their local church. A stay-at-home mom, she homeschooled the couple’s three sons for twelve years through high school, seeing them go on to higher education.

In her spare time, Jill teaches piano, reads, does picture scrap-booking, and enjoys trying out new recipes, especially those that include dark chocolate. Jill and her family make their home in Southeastern Lower Michigan.


Can their epic search for true love survive a father's fury?
The daughter of King Saul, Michal lives a life of privilege--but one that is haunted by her father's unpredictable moods and competition from her beautiful older sister.

As a girl, Michal quickly falls for the handsome young harpist David. But soon after their romance begins, David must flee for his life, leaving Michal at her father's mercy in the prison that is King Saul's palace.

Will Michal ever be reunited with David? Or is she doomed to remain separated from him forever?

Against the backdrop of opulent palace life, raging war, and daring desert escapes, Jill Eileen Smith takes you on an emotional journey as Michal deals with love, loss, and personal transformation as the first wife of King David. Jill Eileen Smith has more than twenty years of writing experience, and her writing has gathered acclaim in several contests. Her research into the lives of David's wives has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

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

Margie's comments: I've looked forward to this book, this series, for a while, ever since I first met Jill at an ACFW conference several years ago. I've always been fascinated with King David's wives, wondering what it was like to be those women. Unfortunately I ran out of time to get this read by today. (In fact, I just started it this morning while I ate breakfast. *smile* Great first chapter! Sets the scene and tone of the book.) So . . . a full review will come as soon as I finish it.

Verse of the Day

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Col. 3:16)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Self-Editing TIps

It's been several weeks since I posted any self-editing tips. They've also been very busy weeks, as I was home taking care of business there and getting more involved in ACFW Colorado activities. And of course meeting editing and proofreading deadlines. Hopefully things are settling down a little on my end, so I'm continuing this series of posts on self-editing.

The first part of today's tips is here. You may want to click back to refresh what we've already discussed on the introductory comma.

Let’s jump right in to these sentences. Do they need commas and why?

4. Without any obligation, order your sample record today.
This does need a comma for clarity. This prepositional phrase has a natural pause after it, and therefore would use the comma. However . . .

5. In a few cases you will find a winner.
Usually, if one short prepositional phrase begins the sentence, it doesn’t need a comma after it. And since the trend is going toward fewer commas, this is a good place to delete one. But . . .

6. At the edge of the deep Maine woods near Moosehead Lake, he built a small log cabin.
There’s always the exception. *smile* Because this sentence starts out with three prepositional phrases, we need the comma—to indicate a pause, if for no other reason. Without it, reading this sentence makes me breathless.

7. Consequently, Tom must make the decision.
Single adverbs at the beginning of sentences—especially those that end in –ly—usually have a comma after them. Then and now would be the exception. If these words flow smoothly into the sentence (think Now what? or Then let’s go.), don’t put a comma after them. If it’s a “throwaway” word, like well or oh, then definitely put in the comma.

I hope this discussion on the introductory comma is helpful to you. Please leave a comment if you have more questions about this, or any other punctuation/editing confusion.

Verse of the Day

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial. (James 1:12)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Breach of Trust

Tyndale House Publishers (February 5, 2009)


DiAnn Mills

Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has over forty books in print and has sold more than a million copies.

DiAnn believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels.

Six of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards 2003–2007, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005 and 2007. She was a Christy Awards finalist in 2008.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a mentor for Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild.

She lives in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church.


Paige Rogers survived every CIA operative’s worst nightmare.

A covert mission gone terribly wrong.

A betrayal by the one man she thought she could trust.

Forced to disappear to protect the lives of her loved ones, Paige has spent the last several years building a quiet life as a small-town librarian. But the day a stranger comes to town and starts asking questions, Paige knows her careful existence has been shattered.

He is coming after her again. And this time, he intends to silence her for good...

Paige Rogers is a former CIA agent who lost all she treasured seven years ago when her entire team was killed in a covert mission. She blames their leader—Daniel Keary—whom Paige believes betrayed them. Disillusioned and afraid for her life, she disappeared and started a new life as a librarian in small town Split Creek, Oklahoma.

But her growing relationship with high school football coach Miles Laird and the political ambitions of her former boss threaten to unmask her. When Keary announces his candidacy for governor of her state, he comes after Paige to ensure that she won't ruin his bid for office by revealing his past misdeeds. He threatens everything she holds dear, and Paige must choose between the life of hiding that has become her refuge . . . or risking everything in one last, desperate attempt to right old wrongs.

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

Watch the Book Trailer:

Margie's comments: DiAnn's tagline/brand of "Expect an Adventure" has held true for every one of her books. So I expected another adventure when I picked up Breach of Trust. And I wasn't disappointed. Starting with strong characters playing out their lives internationally, I was immediately drawn into Paige's story, wchich held me in an adrenaline rush right to the very end. So if you like to live an adventure vicariously, this is the book for you. I look forward to the second book in this series. Too bad we have to wait a year for it!

Verse of the Day

For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Verse of the Day

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24–25)

Monday, March 16, 2009

More Than We Can Bear

One of my Facebook friends posted this link last night: God WILL Allow More Than We Can Bear

It's well worth reading, and addresses one of my "pet peeves" of how so many well-meaning Christians misinterpret 1 Corinthians 10:13 in their attempts to encourage others.

Verse of the Day

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Rom. 12:1)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Journey to the Well by Diana Wallis Taylor

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Journey to the Well

Revell (March 1, 2009)


Diana Wallis Taylor


Diana Wallis Taylor, San Diego resident, is an award-winning Christian author and speaker who shares her personal testimony to women’s groups. The Lord gave Diana a desire to write a book about the woman of Samaria who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s Well. It was at the edge of the well where the woman of Samaria found the living water of Jesus.

A native Californian, Diana Wallis Taylor graduated from San Diego State University. She has had many occupations—elementary and junior high school teacher, bookshop owner, and conference director for a Christian college. A poet since the age of 12, she published a book of poems, Wings of the Wind, in 1994, now republished with watercolor illustrations in 2006. She has received awards in songwriting and poetry and her writing contributions appear in various books and magazines. The author speaks on the woman at the well in conjunction with her own testimony. She also speaks on A Walk in the Darkness, on her family involvement in the occult and how it affected her life.

Diana lives with her husband Frank in San Diego, California, and between them they have six grown children and ten grandchildren. In addition to her speaking and writing, she serves on the board of the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild and is active in Christian Women’s Fellowship.


She went to the well for water. What she found there would change her life forever.

Marah is a young girl in love with her childhood friend, Jesse. When she is forced to marry an older man, she must abandon her dreams of happiness. At the mercy of men who are often only interested in using her, Marah must fight for survival. Will she ever meet a man who can save her?

The story of the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well is one of hope, redemption, and a life changed in an instant through a remarkable encounter. Jesus told her "everything she'd ever done," but we are left to wonder at the circumstances that led her life on such a tragic path to begin with. Now from the creative mind of Diana Wallis Taylor comes the full story of the woman at the well.

This well-researched portrayal of a woman's life in the time of Jesus opens a window into a fascinating world. Taylor's rich descriptions of the landscapes, lifestyles, and rituals mesh easily with the emotional and very personal story of one woman who desperately seeks to rise above the difficult circumstances of her life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Journey to the Well, click HERE

Margie's comments: Journey to the Well is the poignant story of what could have been the history of the Samaritan woman Jesus met at Jacob's well. While it deals with many dark issues, I saw a woman who wanted to obey God's law, but found herself caught in impossible situations. Throughout her ordeal, she often dreams of a stranger who comes to her bringing peace and calm that strengthens her for the difficult circumstances. Diana Wallis Taylor has captured the essence of this Samaritan woman, and I found the story rings true as the author portrays a strong woman within the rigid context of her times, a place where women were often considered merely as possessions.

The overall writing is good, and the writer's style quickly pulled me into the story. I did have a few issues with some word choices that were too modern for first century AD Samaria, and I was partially pulled from the story with subtle POV problems, but those were easily overlooked because of the authenticity of the characters.

I have long loved good biblical fiction, but I always approach a new author in this genre with reservation, wondering if the author will be true to Scripture and the culture of the time. Diana Wallis Taylor has done both. I enjoyed reading this book.

Verse of the Day

Charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Verse of the Day

"Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and laws. For when you have become full and prosperous . . . that is the time to be careful. Do not become proud at that time and forget the LORD your God. . . . Always remember that it is the LORD your God who gives you power to become rich, and he does it to fulfill the covenant he made with your ancestors." (Deuteronomy 8:11–12, 18)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Passion of Mary Margaret by Lisa Samson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Passion of Mary Margaret

Thomas Nelson (March 10, 2009)


Lisa Samson


Lisa Samson is a Christy Award-winning author of 19 books, including the Women of the Faith Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer. Lisa has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a talented novelist who isn't afraid to take risks."

Her novel Embrace Me has been named as one of Library Journal's books of the year.

She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids.

She stays busy by writing, volunteering at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, raising children and trying to be supportive of a husband in seminary. (Trying . . . some days she's downright awful. It's a good thing he's such a fabulous cook!) She can tell you one thing, it's never dull around there.


Mary-Margaret accepts a calling that surpasses her wildest dreams . . . and challenges her deep faith.

When Mary-Margaret Danaher met Jude Keller, the lightkeeper's son, she was studying at convent school on a small island in the Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Jude-rough and tumble, promiscuous Jude.

After sojourning as a medical missions sister in Swaziland, Mary-Margaret returns to the island to prepare for her final vows. Jude, too, returns to the island, dissolute and hardened. Mary-Margaret can hardly believe it when the Spirit tells her she must marry the troubled boy who befriended her all those years ago, forsaking the only life she ever wanted for a man she knows she'll never love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Passion of Mary Margaret , go HERE

Verse of the Day

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Verse of the Day

By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. (Ephesians 3:20)

Monday, March 9, 2009


Last week one of my former students sent her sister a poem on waiting. She then posted it on Facebook.

I know that I often find myself in God's waiting room, and I don't much like it. I want instant results, even though I know, know, know that God always has my best in mind. Here's the poem. I'll let it speak for itself.

Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know Me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

Verse of the Day

For I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. (2 Timothy 1:12)

Friday, March 6, 2009


I'm blogging on this subject today at ACFW Colorado. So I'll see you there. :)

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Double Minds

Zondervan (February 1, 2009)


Terri Blackstock


Terri Blackstock hasn’t always written for the Lord. Just over a decade ago she was an award-winning secular novelist writing for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Silhouette. With thirty-two titles published and 3.5 million books in print, she found that she was miserable. The compromises she had made in her career had taken their toll on her spiritual life, and she yearned to renew her relationship with Christ.

After much soul-searching and wrestling with God, she finally told the Lord that she would never write another thing that didn’t glorify Him. Thinking she might never be published again, she began planning ways to supplement her income, while she worked on her first idea for a Christian novel.

Because she enjoyed reading suspense novels, she tried weaving a faith message into a fast-paced page-turner with ordinary people in jeopardy. When Christian publishers expressed great interest, she realized that a secondary job would not be necessary. God was paving the way for her to enter the Christian publishing world.

Since that time, she’s sold 2 million Christian novels. She has over thirty Christian titles, many of which have been number one best-sellers. Her latest book, Dawn's Light is part of her popular Restoration Series. True Light, reached number one on the Top 50 of all Christian books the first full month it was in stores. Night Light was the winner of the 2007 Retailer’s Choice Award for General Fiction. Other reader favorites include her Cape Refuge Series, her Newpointe 911 Series, her SunCoast Chronicles Series, and her “Seasons” books written with coauthor Beverly LaHaye.

Terri is literally a native of nowhere since she was raised in the Air Force. She makes her home in Mississippi. Terri and her husband are the parents of three adult children—a blended family which she considers one more of God's provisions.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as “The 700 Club” and “Home Life,” and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country.


Struggling to succeed in the Nashville music scene, talented singer/songwriter Parker James finds the competition fierce–even deadly. A young woman’s murder, industry corruption, and a menacing stalker draw Parker into danger and intrigue. Nothing is as it appears, and unraveling the truth challenges everything Parker believes about her talent, her future, and her faith.

The young girl with the Bohemian style was on the floor where she’d fallen, between Parker's computer case and her file cabinet. She wore a long, flowing skirt—lavender, the color of calm—and camel-colored Uggs. She lay on her back, her long, wavy blonde hair matted with blood.

For struggling singer/songwriter Parker James, the music business has just turned deadly. Her desk in the reception area of a busy recording studio has become a crime scene, and Parker finds herself drawn into a mystery where nothing is as it seems.

Unraveling the truth puts her own life at risk when she uncovers high-level industry corruption and is terrorized by a menacing stalker. As the danger escalates, Parker begins to question her dreams, her future, and even her faith.

Double Minds is a double treat—combining a compelling suspense novel with an inside look at the world of the Christian music industry in Nashville. Terri Blackstock grabs readers at page one and keeps them riveted until the final plot twist is untangled.

You can preview a Book Trailer on her site HERE

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

This blog tour is a substitute for the previously scheduled book and I was added to the review list late (thanks, Bonnie!), so . . . my book review will come later.

Verse of the Day

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Verse of the Day

"God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction." (Genesis 41:52)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Love Finds You in Humble Texas by Anita Higman

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Finds You in Humble Texas

(Summerside Press February 2009)


Anita Higman


Anita Higman is the author of 24 books including fiction, nonfiction, children's books, and plays. Among her published romance titles are Larkspur Dreams, The Love Song, and Castles in the Air, all coauthored with Janice A. Thompson. Her mysteries include Another Stab at Life and Another Hour to Kill. Anita is a member of ACFW and the Christian Humor Writers Group, and she has been recognized for her involvement in literacy programs. A Texan for the past 24 years, Anita has coauthored an award-winning book about her home state, A Tribute to Early Texas. She lives with her family near Houston.

Other books by Anita are Another Hour To Kill and Another Stab At Life


The Abernathy sisters. One is bright, one is beautiful, but both are in love with the same man. One sister will let go of love, and like a kite string untethering in the wind, the choice will undo each of their lives. What will it take to heal their hearts, for love to find them in a place called Humble, Texas?

Trudie Abernathy is a little inelegant, and she's never had much luck in love. To make matters worse, her thirtieth birthday is fast approaching and her sister, Lane, has decided to treat her to a makeover and a few blind dates. Trudie is about to protest, but then she meets the kind and handsome Mason Williamson. In spite of her humble manner, Mason finds her attractive, funny, and smart. But Lane inexplicably pushes Trudie away from Mason and toward the other willing suitors. The makeover has transformed Trudie from ordinary into stunning, but she isn't sure how she feels about all the attention from men. Can Trudie stay true to her humble self and find her heart's desire in the process?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Finds You in Humble Texas, go HERE

Watch the trailer for this book:

Verse of the Day

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Verse of the Day

O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Verse of the Day

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)