Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Verse of the Day

Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. (2 Timothy 4:2 NLT) . . . This verse applies to those in all walks of life. We may be the only Bible many ever see. . . .

Monday, August 30, 2010

Verse of the Day

"Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." (Matthew 6:33–34 MSG)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review for Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer

My sister, Kathy Anderson, and her family came to visit in July, over the weekend of the Fourth. She wrote the review that follows, and yes, I've had it awhile. (Here's what I posted in June about the author and the book.)

My sister’s house is a treasure-trove of good Christian fiction, so whenever I visit I’m always on the look-out for something I can “steal” for my own reading pleasure. When I saw A Tailor-Made Bride on her pile of books to be read last weekend, I was thrilled since it was one of several new historical romances I had on my current reading wish list. I snatched it up knowing it would be perfect for whiling away down-time at our mountain cabin. Unfortunately, down-time is always hard to come by during family gatherings, so I’d only read about half of the book when the time came to head back home. Margie graciously allowed me to keep the book for my eight-hour car ride. For a price. When I was done, I had to submit a review of the book for her blog. What’s a girl to do? I took the book. A review seemed a mere pittance compared to what it would have cost me to leave my poor hero and heroine stranded in the midst of chaos and misunderstanding until I was able to locate another copy of the book. And so, I offer you my payment for a highly entertaining car ride across the eastern plains of Colorado and the cornfields of Nebraska.
I love Bethany House historicals.  Alexander, Gist, Klassen, and Sawyer are among my favorite writers of historical fiction. I dove into A Tailor-Made Bride by newcomer Karen Witemeyer with similar expectations and was not disappointed. The premise of the story, a dressmaker who loves beauty confronting a crusty liveryman who fears its lure, promised and delivered plenty of sparks. I liked Hannah, the feisty, independent heroine with the heart of gold, right away. The grumpy Jericho or “J.T.”, not so much, but he grew on me as the story progressed. What proves most attractive about both main characters is their willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to teach and change them throughout the novel.
Witemeyer does a great job of fleshing out her main characters, but also peoples her story with a unique cast of secondary characters. Tom Packard, J.T.’s simple, yet genuine assistant; Louisa James, Hannah’s hard-worked and independent neighbor; Delia, J.T.’s shy, pretty sister with her numerous love interests; and the unusual Ezra Culpepper—each comes with his or her own set of problems that add twists to the story.
The plot includes plenty of conflict and enough surprises to keep things interesting, plus bits of humor as well—just the way I like it. Overall, A Tailor-Made Bride was an entertaining read. I’ll be looking forward to more releases by this new author.

Verse of the Day

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1–2)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Verse of the Day

We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 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 4:15–16 ESV)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Verse of the Day

You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by GOD. You're blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him . . . You don't go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, GOD, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set. (Psalm 119:1–5 MSG)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This 'n' That

Now that things are settling down from the latest conference, I'm attempting to be more faithful in blogging, among other things. Going into the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, I knew the Lord was trying to tell me something about the work He's called me to. Life seemed chaotic and out of control, full of "interruptions" I resented because of the time they took from what I saw as my "purpose" in life.

I've mentioned before that this year my word from the Lord is trust. And boy is He teaching me to trust wholly, completely on Him . . . for everything! A new friend pointed out in Sunday school one day in July that the basis lesson God is teaching all of us is trust. Everything—trial or blessing—boils down to that one word. I know that's true in my life.

A friend of mine from England (and a prayer warrior on my behalf), Liz Babbs, shared with me her concerns at CCWC in May. And I've been "chewing" on what she said all summer. I took her suggestions to the Lord, and He began to answer in very unexpected ways, from unexpected sources, as well as through His Word. When the answers clearly weren't what I expected to hear, I asked three other close friends and prayer buddies to spend a day at our cabin in late July. Through their prayers and through the Word the Lord brought to mind as they prayed, His answer was confirmed. And the Lord added a word: confidence.

And just in case I needed it, the Lord confirmed these things in several ways during the time I was in Pennsylvania earlier this month for the Philadelphia conference. Basically, the tasks I've been given to do cover four areas: editing, writing, speaking/teaching, and conference work. In every area, I've experienced opposition in various ways, making me question if at least one of them had to go. In every aspect, I am to continue to move forward. No matter the opposition—and that has been and continues to be great in ways that are hard to explain.

On Tuesdays for the next few weeks/months, however long it takes, I'm going to focus on the various aspects of the tasks I've been given to do. And just in case you're wondering, blogging more often about editing and writing outside of the book reviews I've done and posting the verse of the day is one of several ways I'm going forward with writing. One visible way that I'm making myself accountable to the readers of my blog. Feel free to remind me when I'm slipping in this area. *smile*

Now off to do my "day" job of editing.

Verse of the Day

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. (Job 23:10 ESV)

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. (Psalm 118:1 NLT)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Meditation Monday

Those who wait on the Lord . . . shall mount up with wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:31)

In the nurture of the soul, the Potter's fingers represent the touch of the Spirit of God working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. He is in us all, His one purpose being to infill us with Himself, and to fulfill through us "all the good pleasure of His goodness, and every work of faith with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in us and we in Him."

God's touch and voice give the meaning of His providences; and His providences enforce the lesson that his tender monitions might not be strong enough to teach. Whenever, therefore, you are in doubt as to the meaning of certain circumstances through which you are called to pass, and which are strange and inexplicable, be still; refrain from murmuring or repining; hush the many voices that would speak within; listen until there is borne in on your soul a persuasion of God's purpose; and let His Spirit within cooperate with the circumstance without.

It is in the equal working of these two—the circumstance supplying the occasion for manifesting a certain grace, and the Holy Ghost supplying the grace to be manifested—that the spirit soars, as the bird by the even motion of its two wings.

—F. B. Meyer, Jeremiah

Verse of the Day

It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began – to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:9 NLT)

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Crimson Cipher

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Crimson Cipher
Summerside Press (July 1, 2010)

Susan Page Davis


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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Verse of the Day

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NLT) his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:4 ESV)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Verse of the Day

Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. . . . My eyes are always looking to the LORD for help, for he alone can rescue me from the traps of my enemies. (Psalm 25:5, 15 NLT)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Malacca Conspiracy by Don Brown

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Malacca Conspiracy
Zondervan (June 4, 2010)

Don Brown


DON BROWN, a former U.S. Navy JAG Officer, is the author of Zondervan’s riveting NAVY JUSTICE SERIES. a dynamic storyline chronicling the life and adventures of JAG officer ZACK BREWER. In 2003, Don began writing Treason, his first novel in the NAVY JUSTICE SERIES.

Paying no homage to political correctness, DON BROWN’S writing style is described as “gripping,” casting an entertaining and educational spin on a wide-range of current issues, from radical Islamic infiltration of the military, to the explosive issue of gays in the military, to the modern day issues of presidential politics in the early 21st Century.

In November of 2009, four years after it was released, and in the wake of Fort Hood, TREASON rocketed to the top-selling in the nation on the Amazon.com bestseller list for fiction, and remained there for over a week. On Thanksgiving Day of 2009, all four of Don’s novels were ranked in the top 5 on the Amazon bestseller list for fiction!

DON BROWN graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1982, and after finishing law school, continued his post-graduate studies through the Naval War College, earning the Navy’s nonresident certificate in International Law.

During his five years on active duty in the Navy, Don served in the Pentagon, was published in the Naval Law Review, and was also a recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.


A rogue Indonesian general and his army of terrorists attack oil tankers in the Strait of Malacca in order to profit from oil futures and buy nuclear weapons to establish an Islamic superpower.

Navy JAG officers Zack Brewer and Diane Colcernian race against the odds and a 24-hour deadline before nuclear attacks hit the United States. Departing from the sea of books barely better than soap opera romance and using the frantic pacing of suspense fiction, Brown glides flawlessly among global hotspots of terrorism--including the United States--and the book's principal settings in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The President of the United States orders ships of the U.S. Seventh Fleet towards the Malacca Straits to reassert control over the sea lanes, but with time quickly ticking away, will they arrive in time for Zack and Diane to survive this dangerous and final high-stakes drama of life and death?

Sign up for the contest above! And if you would like to read the first chapter of Malacca Conspiracy, go HERE.
Review to come later.

Verse of the Day

God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him. And he didn't send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center--Christ on the Cross--be trivialized into mere words. (1 Corinthians 1:17 The Message)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Verse of the Day

The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and they are not at all troublesome. (1 John 5:3 The Message)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Verse of the Day

Every time I'm in trouble I call on you, confident that you'll answer. (Psalm 86:7 MSG)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Gathering Storm by Bodie and Brock Thoene

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Gathering Storm
Summerside Press (August 1, 2010)

Bodie and Brock Thoene


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

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

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

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

Bodie and Brock divide their time between London and Nevada.


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

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

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

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

Review to come . . . after the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. . . .

Verse of the Day

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Verse of the Day

You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 The Message)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Verse of the Day

"I [God] know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out--plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Fatal Loyalty by Sue Duffy

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Fatal Loyalty
Kregel Publications (April 23, 2010)


Sue Duffy


Sue Duffy is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Moody magazine, The Presbyterian Journal, Sunday Digest, and The Christian Reader. Her first novel Mortal Wounds was published in 2001 and she has also contributed to Stories for a Woman’s Heart (Multnomah). She and her husband, Mike, have three grown children. Find out more at www.sueduffybooks.com


Where do you run when you know you cannot hide?

Andie Ryborg has nowhere else to go. Her father's campaign for governor and his aggressive war on drugs has chased her from their family home. Drawn to Miami's exotic Coconut Grove, Andie hopes to find a quiet refuge where she can discover herself apart from the public eye. But even in that seclusion, even with an officer assigned to protect her, Andie's privacy has been violated. Someone is watching.

Evan Markham's entire life has been a tug-of-war between what is and what could be. He is drawn to a life that is beyond his reach and emotions have clouded his judgment. Evan knows that earning someone's trust isn't easy, especially when he plans to break it. But in the secret corridors of the criminal underworld, he knows what must be done, and he is determined to see it through. Whatever the cost.

When enemies close in, a sudden turn of events leaves them both questioning. Where is God in all of this? Who is this enigmatic stranger who offers to help? They both know their lives are in danger. But what about their hearts?

If you would like to read the Prologue of Fatal Loyalty, go HERE.
Review to come later. I'm in Pennsylvania, preparing for the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference next week.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Verse of the Day

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3)

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish.  (Hebrews 12:2)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Verse of the Day

The LORD who created you says: "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." (Isaiah 43:1–2 NLT)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Verse of the Day

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 ESV)