Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beyond the Storm by Carolyn Zane

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Beyond the Storm

Abingdon Press (October 2012)


Carolyn Zane


Author of 35 books, wife, mother and yes…hot (flasher) lives with her fabulous husband, Matt and their 5 children and 3 dogs in the scenic Willamette Valley in Oregon.  When asked to describe her family, Carolyn likens her crowd to the Brangelia Bunch saying modestly, “Only we’re better looking.”  Right now,Carolyn is back in the saddle with her new title: Beyond The Storm, coming out in October 2012!  In the meantime, be sure to catch her on the critically acclaimed TOOHOTMAMAS Blog where Carolyn and Wendy tackle marriage, motherhood and menopause: How to do all three and stay out of prison!  They are hilarious!  You'll wet yourself, guaranteed!  Visit them at:


After a tornado rips through her town, store owner Abigail comes across a piece of fabric from a wedding dress among the devastation. Abigail is moved to start collecting other swatches of fabric she finds – her neighbor’s kitchen curtains, a man’s necktie, a dog’s bed – which she stashes in shopping bags. As she pursues her seemingly absurd quest, horrible realities spark the question, “What kind of a God would allow such tragedy?”

As she struggles to reconcile her right to happiness amidst the destruction, Abigail begins piecing together a patchwork quilt from the salvaged fabric in hopes it will bring some peace. But a new relationship with Justin, a contractor, may require too much of her fragile heart.  Will her pain and questions of faith give way to the courage to love?

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

Margie's Comments: I thoroughly enjoyed reading Beyond the Storm by Carolyn Zane. The author very realistically describes the time before the huge tornado that totally devastates Abigail's community, setting up each of the characters who people this book. Then the storm hits in all its horrible ferocity. Then finally the aftermath of the storm, assessing the damage, coming to grips with how a loving God could possibly have allowed this annihilation of the good life they enjoyed. The love story is expertly woven into the fabric of the book and serves to give hope in the midst of tragedy. Excellent book to start off Abingdon's Quilts of Love series.

Verse of the Day

I came across these verses yesterday in a book I was proofreading. This so clearly describes what the Lord has been impressing on me these past few weeks.  

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. (Galatians 6:4–5 MSG)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Verse of the Day

So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. (Galatians 6:9 MSG)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Verse of the Day

Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant--dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn't want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ--God's righteousness. I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. . . . I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward--to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. (Philippians 3:8–14 MSG)


Friday, October 26, 2012

Accidentally Amish by Olivia Newport

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Accidentally Amish
Barbour Books (October 1, 2012)

Olivia Newport


A Word From The Author:

I’m imagining you. You walk past as I water my front flowerbeds and we wave. You check the time as we both stand in a long line at the grocery store. You sit in front of me in church. I’m at my table in the coffee shop and you’re at yours.

We may smile politely and move on with our separate lives. Or one of us may speak, a simple invitation to conversation, and the words flow between us.

Here the adventure begins. When we meet someone new, we never know where it might lead.

I’ve been married for over thirty years and have two twenty-something kids. We live in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where the day lilies in my back yard grow as tall as I am. (No short jokes, please.)

Not every piece of my life is pretty, though. Some days I want to throw out whole chunks. But I am living each day looking for the grace of God to me, in me, and through me. Having your companionship along the way will help uncover a lot of great stories.

Thanks for stopping by my site, where conversations and adventures begin with a click. I hope we’ll run into each other often.


Escape the helter-skelter of the modern culture and join software creator Annie Friesen, hiding at the home of an Amishman. With her high-tech career in jeopardy, Annie runs from fast-paced Colorado Springs—and straight into the hospitality of San Luis Valley’s Amish community. There she meets cabinetmaker Rufus Beiler, and the more time she spends with him, the more attracted she becomes. When Annie finds she shares a common ancestor with Rufus, she feels both cultures colliding within her. But is her love for Rufus strong enough for her to give up the only life she’s ever known?

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

Review later. LOVE the first chapter, can't wait for time to read more.

Verse of the Day

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6)

"Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." (John 4:14)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

At the Feet of Jesus by Joanna Weaver

About At the Feet of Jesus:
You were made for more than serving God; you were made to know Him.

Intimacy with God-to know Him and be known by Him. It is what our hearts desperately need, but somehow life conspires to keep us busy and distracted.

For anyone who struggles when it comes to daily devotions, At the Feet of Jesus extends an irresistible invitation to set aside your duties and find the amazing peace and incredible joy that come from time alone with Him. Drawn from Joanna Weaver's beloved Bethany trilogy, each reading in this 365-day devotional includes a Bible reading passage and reflection question. All-new material and "Going Deeper" sidebars are also woven throughout.

Discover for yourself the riches that come from spending a portion of each day alone with God. At the feet of Jesus—where true life begins!

Includes a unique One-Year Bible Reading Guide.

Link to buy the book:

Joanna Weaver

Joanna Weaver is known the world over for her transparent and life-changing books, Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World, Having a Mary Spirit, and Lazarus Awakening. Joanna has appeared on a wide variety of nationally syndicated radio and television broadcasts. She is also a highly sought after speaker and shares her message at intimate gatherings and several high profile events each year. But Joanna's greatest joy is found in being a wife and mother and her role as a pastor's wife.

Find out more about Joanna at

Margie's Comments: I have read (and facilitated Bible studies of) all of Joanna Weaver's books, starting with Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. Isn't that a great title? So when I heard that Joanna's newest release was a devotional book, I wanted to read and review it.

I've already added At the Feet of Jesus: Daily Devotions to Nurture a Mary Heart to my devotion time each morning. With the readings coming directly from her books about Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, I'm challenged daily with the Scripture readings, principles, and reflection questions that keep drawing me back to developing that Mary heart Jesus told Martha she needed. Reminders I need as a "recovering" Martha. Many of the sidebars from the books that challenge the reader to dig deeper into their relationship with Jesus are included in this book.

As an added bonus, I went to her website where Joanna has a year-long read through the Bible plan that you can tailor to your schedule. It can start at any time, and it includes reflection days during the month and at the end of each month to catch up and/or review what you have read previously. I downloaded one for me, and I'm enjoying another journey through the Bible.

Even if you haven't read her other books, this book will be an excellent tool to deepen your devotional time with the Lord. 

Celebrate Joanna Weaver's Newest Book At the Feet of Jesus

Celebrate the release of At the Feet of Jesus with Joanna Weaver by entering to win an iPad and RSVPing for the "True Life" Webcast Event on 11/8!

One blessed winner will receive:

  • An iPad

  • The Year in Bethany Trilogy (Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Having a Mary Spirit and Lazarus Awakening 

  • At the Feet of Jesus for YOU and Five of your friends.

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 7th. Winner will be announced at the "True Life" Live Webcast Event on November 8th. Connect with author Joanna Weaver and her special guest for an evening of encouragement, laughter and a Q&A! There will also be gift certificates and books given away to participants.

So grab your copy of At the Feet of Jesus (or one of Joanna's other books) and join Joanna on evening of November 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!

Verse of the Day

I've been reading in Genesis, and today's reading covered Isaac's birth and Abraham's faith-filled obedience when God asked him to sacrifice the son of promise. It reminded me of these verses. I want this kind of faith.

Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. (Romans 4:19–21)

These verses in The Message paint a wonderful picture of Abraham's faith:
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 4:20–21)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

No Safe Harbor

Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)


Elizabeth Ludwig


Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author whose work has been featured on Novel Journey, the Christian Authors Network, and The Christian Pulse. Her first novel, Where the Truth Lies, which she co-authored with Janelle Mowery, earned her the 2008 IWA Writer of the Year honors. This book was followed in 2009 by “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” part of a Christmas anthology collection called Christmas Homecoming, also from Barbour Publishing.

In 2010, her first full-length historical novel Love Finds You in Calico, California earned Four Stars from the Romantic Times. Books two and three of Elizabeth’s mystery series, Died in the Wool (Barbour Publishing) and Inn Plain Sight (Spyglass Lane), respectively, released in 2011.

Coming in 2012 is Elizabeth’s newest historical series from Bethany House Publishers. No Safe Harbor, the first book in the Edge of Freedom Series, will release in October, with two more books following in 2013 and 2014.

Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, and often attends conferences and seminars, where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Her popular literary blog, The Borrowed Book, enjoyed a wide readership in its first full year, with more than 17,000 visitors in 2011. Along with her husband and two children, Elizabeth makes her home in the great state of Texas.


The Thrill of Romantic Suspense Meets the Romance of 1800s America

Lured by a handful of scribbled words across a faded letter, Cara Hamilton sets off from 1896 Ireland on a quest to find the brother she'd thought dead. Her search lands her in America, amidst a houseful of strangers and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh.

Despite her brother's warning, Cara decides to trust Rourke and reveals the truth about her purpose in America. But he is not who he claims to be, and as rumors begin to circulate about an underground group of dangerous revolutionaries, Cara's desperation grows. Her questions lead her ever closer to her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as Rourke's true intentions come to light.

If you would like to read the first chapter of No Safe Harbor, go HERE.

Margie's Comments: Elizabeth Ludwig has another winner in my book. The characters are wonderful. I've fallen in love with Rourke, even with his conflicted soul. And Cara is a dear, so trusting and lovable. Her desire to champion her brother's reputation in spite of everything to the contrary keeps the reader's attention and draws them further into the book. I love how we see New York City through an immigrant's eyes—so new and foreign to her Irish country life. I highly recommend No Safe Harbor.

Verse of the Day

The Lord will guide you continually and provide for you, even in parched places. He will rescue your bones. You will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water that won’t run dry. They will rebuild ancient ruins on your account; the foundations of generations past you will restore. You will be called Mender of Broken Walls, Restorer of Livable Streets. (Isaiah 58:11–12 Common English Bible)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Being Content

Over the last few months, several people have asked if we are happy with our decision to move to southwest Missouri for a job for Roger. Others, hearing that we recently moved and are new to the area, ask where we came from. Then most of them ask, “Why?” LOL Followed by a form of do we like it here?

My initial reaction to those questions has been, “Hmmm . . . Let me see. The Colorado Rocky Mountains to the Missouri Ozarks.” Sorry, folks. It’s hard to compare the two. Marshfield, at just under 1500 feet above sea level, is the highest point on I-44 through Missouri. I apologize to my friends here, but the Ozarks are not mountains—they are hills. J Nice ones, where the roads are full of “whee bumps” and curves and lead to wonderful “hollers” and vistas. But they are not mountains.

Now that we’ve established that . . . let’s go back to the original question: Are you happy with your decision to move to Missouri?

Our answer has been “We’re choosing to be content where the Lord has put us.”

Sounds like a good, spiritual answer. Right? But in the last few weeks, the Lord has been calling me on it.

Last Wednesday I drove into Springfield to meet with a new writing friend and go through some edits on her latest manuscript. We’d paid our delayed taxes Monday, leaving us absolutely nothing in our bank account, so I had been struggling for a couple of days over the injustice of having to pay more taxes than we’ve ever paid for a year where the primary wage earner was unemployed.

On the way, I drove by a house that I’ve been sort of interested in—not seriously since it overlooks the interstate. But it had been up for auction, and I was curious to see if someone had bought it and wondering what they’d paid for it. We’ve heard of a couple other real estate auctions where the buyers walked into incredible deals. It would be really cool if we could benefit from something like that. And that led to the thought that we wouldn’t be approved for a mortgage right now anyway because of having to short sale our house in Denver. And my thoughts went downhill from there.

Until the Lord pulled me up short with, “I thought you were choosing to be content where I put you.” Ouch!

My reply? “I am, Lord, but . . .”

Two verses popped into my head about that time. Familiar ones. I’m sure you’ve read them often. Here they are from the Amplified version:

Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. (Philippians 4:11)

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] (Hebrews 13:5)

Ahem! Ever get that sinking feeling when you know the Lord has “nailed” you?

I know that I know that I know that being content with where the Lord has put me, no matter what the circumstances (bleak or plenty), is a choice. My choice.

Reading the blog posts of a couple of my writer friends later also helped to confirm this truth. And then these verses that keep popping up in random places . . . LOL

Instead of focusing on what I don’t have and what I’ve had to “give up” in the process of being obedient to the Lord’s calling and purposes in my life, I am choosing to focus on what I do have. On the important things. Like salvation, a relationship with the God of the universe, peace, a family who loves the Lord . . . the things that are eternal not temporal.

Sure it’s nice to have “things” that make life easier. But as a friend posted on my Facebook page this morning: “Gratitude for what we have and confidence that God loves us is the key to a contented life. Accumulation of possessions leads to strife and disappointment. We can never have enough.” (Gigi Falstrom)

Do I miss Colorado, my church family there, and my many writing friends? Sure. Is it wrong? No, as long as I don’t get stuck on “what used to be.” But the Lord is so faithful. He keeps pointing out all the benefits of being in the center of His will, including a new church family, several new writing friends, and the beauty of the Missouri Ozarks.

Best of all? He assures me, “I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]” (Hebrews 13:5)

Verse of the Day

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down ( relax My hold on you)! [ Assuredly not!] (Hebrews 13:5 AMP)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Verse of the Day

Let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You. For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5:11–12)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Verse of the Day

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. . . . For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden danger]. (Proverbs 3:5–6, 26 AMP)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Verse of the Day

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 36:7 NIV)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saving Gideon by Amy Lillard

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Saving Gideon

B&H Books (October 1, 2012)


Amy Lillard


A Word from Amy:I’m a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I’ve retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I’m from Texas. (?)  Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, shoes, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I  believe that God is love. I guess that’s why I adore romances. 

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture.  I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.

I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twlight series (I’ll get to it or I won’t, either way I’m good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I’m alone on this last one, and again, I’m good with it.)

Favorite movies–(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940′s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven’t seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn’s and Audrey’s.


Gideon Fisher wants one thing out of life -- to be left alone. This is not the Amish way, but he’s devastated after the death of his wife and son to the point of losing his faith. He buys a farm on the outskirts of the district and pulls away from his community. But when a freak spring snowstorm brings a beautiful Englisher to his farm, what choice does Gideon have but to let her in?

Dallas socialite Avery Ann Hamilton is intrigued by the Amish farmer who pulls her out of the snow and into his austere lifestyle. Poor little rich girl, Avery has just gone through (yet another) bad breakup. Every man she meets only wants her for her father’s money. All she has ever wanted is to be loved for herself. Avery soon discovers the Oklahoma Amish country is the perfect place to hide out and heal her broken heart.

But she finds a peace in those back roads that she’s never felt before. Now her life has purpose and meaning as she connects with God and those around her. And there’s something more as she begins to care for this man who needs both love and forgiveness.

Gideon never wanted to live again much less fall in love, but Avery finds her way into his heart, showing him the beauty of life and God’s greatness. Yet as the feelings between Avery and Gideon grow, can they overcome their dissimilar lifestyles, or will their sheer differences pull them apart?

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

Review to Come

Verse of the Day

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my strength, I will sing praises to You; for God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness. (Psalm 59:16–17)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Verse of the Day

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:11–12)

And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don't drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them. (Hebrews 6:11–12 MSG)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Verse of the Day

"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my savior, You save me from violence." (2 Samuel 22:2–3)

GOD is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight. My God--the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout; My mountaintop refuge, he saves me from ruthless men. (2 Samuel 22:2–3 MSG)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

From My Prayer Journal

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Agree with God and be at peace.” Job 22:21

I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices. Romans 12:1

“. . . Become a living sacrifice in response to all Jesus has done for us. Living sacrifices have died to their own interests and agendas. Their focus is on what God wants to do through them. To be a living sacrifice is to be set apart to God for His service. . . .
            “The presentation of our bodies and the transformation of our minds require a continuous process of yielding to the Holy Spirit through obedience to His Word. It is a daily lifestyle of surrender and thanksgiving for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf.” (One Year Alone with God, Ava Pennington)

My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways. Proverbs 23:26 (another focus verse)

sine cera. The word from which we get our term sincere. Without was; unmixed; unalloyed.
            “It is the same sincerity that Paul advocates in Philippians 1:10: ‘. . . that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ’ (kjv). But such flawlessness cannot be accomplished on our own. That’s why I’ve come to welcome the spotlight of heaven and the heat of trials.
            “God only reveals so He can heal. He doesn’t fill my flaws with wax or hide my sin. He removes my transgressions, and as I allow Him, He makes me new. Faultless. Blameless. Waxless.
            Sine cere—through and through. A piece of marble He can sculpt into the images of His Son. Which means my part is fairly simple, and yet incredibly difficult. To lie still, be quiet, submitting to the hammer and the chisel—as well as to the sometimes accompanying pain of letting God have His way.” (Joanna Weaver, At the Feet of Jesus: Daily Devotions to Nurture a Mary Heart, WaterBrook 2012)

O Father, I want this kind of faith—to be like Christ, without wax, sincere in my entire life. It’s what being a living sacrifice means. Placing myself on the altar—and staying there, even when life is so difficult I want to crawl off the altar and hide. The fire of the altar reveals my flaws, and then You go to work re-forming, reshaping me so the flaws are removed and the hole is repaired, made holy. But none of this could happen without Christ’s ultimate sacrifice—for me—on the cross. By His resurrection, I now have the power to stay on the altar, to endure, to patiently wait on Your purifying work in me. What more can I render to You who has done so much for me? It is my reasonable service when I weigh that matchless cost to redeem me from Satan’s marketplace of sin, never to be sold again.
“The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”
Father, You have my heart, help my eyes “keep to Your ways,” for Your path is the best one for me. I love You. I praise You.

Verse of the Day

"From the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard." (Daniel 10:12 ESV)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Verse of the Day

"Blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7–8 NLT)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Verse of the Day

Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (Hebrews 10:35–36 NLT)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Full Disclosure

Bethany House Publishers (October 2, 2012)


Dee Henderson


Dee Henderson is the bestselling, award-winning author of 15 previous novels, including the acclaimed O'MALLEY series and UNCOMMON HEROES series. She is a lifelong resident of Illinois.


Ann Silver is a cop's cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region's most trusted investigative positions.

Paul Falcon is the FBI's top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.

Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn't expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.

The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former Vice President. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is…

Watch the book trailer:

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

Margie's Comments: Full Disclosure is well worth the six-year wait to read another Dee Henderson book. You will get a glimpse of characters from other books, too, but you will fall in love with Ann and Paul. As the layers of the characters peel away, I found myself wishing I knew these people in real life. Ann's depth of character and her walk with God is vividly portrayed. I especially loved getting to know that side of her. Peeling away the plot levels is also incredible. I don't want to give away too much of the surprising twists in this story, so I will say that Dee has surpassed herself in story telling. It has been several weeks since I've read the book, and the characters and plot are still with me. I highly recommend Full Disclosure and I am very glad Dee is back.

To read an interview with Dee Henderson, go HERE.

Verse of the Day

I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13–14)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Verse of the Day

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Baseball and the Bible

I’ve been a baseball fan, specifically a Cardinals fan, for over 30 years. I learned the game from Jack Buck and Mike Shannon calling Cardinals games during that first (for me) World Series winning year. I’ve also enjoyed following the Colorado Rockies since their beginning season, but I will have to say that I’m glad we’re back in Cardinal territory and once again listening to Mike Shannon call the games.

However, last Friday, in the wild card decider game between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals, there was a controversial infield fly rule call in the bottom of the eighth inning. Fans, upset with the call, threw bottles and other debris onto the playing field, delaying the game for nearly 20 minutes.

Later, I read several comments from many who are “experts” in the MLA rules. Even among those there was disagreement as to the interpretation of the infield fly rule and other related issues. But the majority seemed to indicate that the call could be correct, though not usually called. It seemed to depend on how well grounded in the rulebook the commenters and umpires were.

There were references to incompetent replacement umpires due to the recent problems in the NFL. But the baseball umpires who call post-season games in baseball are the best of the best. One would hope that they are the best because they have studied and know the rulebook well . . . even the more obscure calls. Much better than the average fan in the stands.

When I remember that baseball is just a game, a momentary entertainment in light of eternity, I wonder how much more important is it for us to know God’s “rulebook,” the Bible, because it is eternal.

For a lack of knowledge of His Word, we cry foul when it seems God has made a “bad” call. We think Him unfair, unjust, unloving  . . . and the list goes on. We lash out at God both privately and publicly. Our words and actions delay, or may even prevent, others and ourselves to progress spiritually.

Long ago, Hosea declared what the Lord had spoken to him: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6).

Sobering words, applicable not only in Hosea’s time but also today.

So why should we be surprised and rebel when God allows the consequences of sin to catch up to us? Or why should we be surprised and rebel when He allows the fiery trials designed to purify us and make us more like Christ?

As much as it saddened me to watch the fans “protest” (I don’t care whose fans they are, unsportsmanlike conduct always saddens me), I am even more burdened when those who call themselves Christian behave just as badly or worse spiritually. All for a lack of knowledge of God’s written and living Word.

The next time we are tempted to rail at God for allowing the “bad” to touch our lives, let us instead dig deep into His Word to find the truth of the matter and respond accordingly.

Verse of the Day

Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? . . . No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35–39 NLT)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Brink of Chaos by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Brink of Chaos

Zondervan (September 25, 2012)


Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall


Tim LaHaye is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 70 nonfiction books, many on biblical prophecy and end-times. He is the coauthor of the record-shattering Left Behind series and is considered one of America's foremost authorities on biblical end-times prophecy.

LaHaye has written more than 60 non-fiction books on a wide range of subjects such as: family life, temperaments, sexual adjustment, Bible prophecy, the will of God, Jesus Christ, and secular humanism with over 14 million in print, some of which have been translated into thirty-two foreign languages. His writings are best noted for their easy-to-understand and scripturally based application of biblical principles that assist in facing and handling the challenges of life.

Craig Parshall serves as senior vice-president and general counsel for the National Religious Broadcasters and has authored seven bestselling suspense novels.

Craig Parshall is a highly successful lawyer from the Washington, DC, area and the author of the popular Chambers of Justice series of legal thrillers. With his wife, Janet, he has also authored the historical novel Crown of Fire, which takes place in the 1500s against the turbulent backdrop of the Scottish Reformation.


In the third book of The End series, Joshua Jordan remains in Israel during his self-imposed 'exile' out of the reach of U.S. authorities who have trumped-up false criminal treason charges against him. His wife, Abigail, continues to lead the Roundtable to prove the innocence of her husband. Following the nuclear attack by Russia, Israel is cleaning up the bodies of dead enemy soldiers for 7 months and setting out on its 7 year plan---both per the prophecies in Ezekiel. As corruption in high government offices threaten to block the election of a worthy presidential candidate by all means necessary---including the unthinkable---Israel's leadership is tempted to sign a 'peace' proposal initiated by the UN under the authority of Coliquin. After he discusses this plan with Pastor Peter Campbell, Joshua is convinced Coliquin may well be the prophesied Anti-Christ and that his peace plan is a trap to destroy Israel. Are the recurring dreams Joshua has had about the coming rapture from God. And is the end sooner than anyone expects?

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

Review later.

Verse of the Day

He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. (Psalm 62:6)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Because You Care by Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk

From the Back of the Book:
As someone caring for an ill or elderly loved one, you understand that your role can push you to the limit, press on every nerve—and yet fill you with a deep sense of love and peace of mind.

Beloved authors Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk know this too. Beautifully written and full of gentle wisdom, their personal stories of caregiving will help you face some of the ups and downs of your journey.

  • Feeling guilty for doing too much, too little, or nothing at all
  • Answering other’s well-meaning but insensitive questions
  • Watching someone you dearly love suffer or die

Here are the stories from those living the life. Let their encouraging words lift your heart.

Book Excerpt:
(from the beginning)

This Is Who You Are
From Cec and Twila

Others may call you brave. They’ll use words like noble or sacrificial. They’ll admire and applaud you because you’ve offered your life to make yourself available to someone who needs a long-term caregiver.

“I couldn’t do what you’re doing for him,” a friend says.

You listen to the words your friend speaks, and you like hearing the compliments. Yet as you listen and smile, you don’t see yourself as exceptional. You’re doing the right thing for someone you love, and that gives you peace. You also know the reason you’ve devoted your energies to another person.

You can express that reason in a single sentence: “I do it because I care.” You might say it’s because you love the person, or you may do it because of a strong sense of commitment to God and to your loved one. Regardless of how you express yourself, you’re determined to give yourself as fully as you can.

Some days you may not feel like loving anyone. You get tired, lose your temper, or think of the things you didn’t accomplish. During the worst times, you wish the situation would change. And in those dark moments, you’ve probably prayed, Dear Lord, please take this burden from me.

The situation probably won’t change for a long time—perhaps years. It’s not the kind of life you would have imagined. You probably envisioned living out your years in blissful peace. Caring for your loved one wasn’t part of your dream, but this is the life you have. Despite the moments of sadness, perhaps even regret, your answer remains the same: “I care.”

Taken from:  Because You Care.  Text Copyright © 2012 by Cecil Murphey, Twila Belk.  Artwork Copyright © 2012 by Betty Fletcher. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon.  Used by permission.

Follow us on Facebook!

Because You Care Facebook page:

Helpful Articles by Twila Belk:
Waiting and Wondering:
Insensitive Remarks:
Toenail Love:
Because You Care, You’ll Care for Yourself:
Caregivers Need Encouragement:

Grand Prize Giveaway Description
Book—Because You Care: Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers
Book—Hope and Comfort for Every Season
Hallmark journal, list pad, and memo pad stack
Glade “Angel Whispers” candle
Hershey’s Bliss dark chocolate

Instructions to Enter the Grandprize Drawing:
  • Leave a comment about the book or author on the blog post during the blog tour.
  • Each blog tour host will draw one name from those comments to send to the tour coordinator by October 12.
  • The coordinator will put all the names into a drawing, and select a winner, using an online randomizer.
  • The coordinator will notify the blog tour host who submitted the winning name.
  • The blog tour host will notify the winner and collect the mailing info so the author can send out the prize.

For more info about Twila, visit:

For more info about Cec, visit:

Twila Belk and Cecil (Cec) Murphey are both long-term caregivers for their spouses. Twila, aka the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, is a writer and speaker who loves to brag on God. She works fulltime with Cec as his manager, personal assistant, and biggest fan. Cec is a veteran author who has written or co-written more than 125 published books, including the bestsellers 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands (with Dr. Ben Carson). His books have sold in the millions and have brought hope and encouragement to countless readers around the world. Cec and Twilas’ second co-authored book, Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware (Guideposts Books), released in August 2012.

Margie's Comments: As someone who has been a caregiver, I am very glad to see this latest book from Cec and Twila. Because You Care: Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers is truly a book of encouragement. The authors don't gloss over the difficulties, the frustrations, or the feeling that what we do isn't good enough. But they do give real-life experiences and advice and encouragement to give strength to other caregivers. So much in this book resonated with me—the Scripture verses, the stories of their struggles and victories, and the prayers—I wish the book had been around when I was caring for my mother. If you are a caregiver, or know one who is, get a hold of a copy of Because You Care. You'll be glad you did.

Thanks to Kathy Willis at Kathy Carlton Willis Communications for providing me with a free copy of the book in exchange for posting this information and a review.

Verse of the Day

From my reading this morning in Daily Light an interesting combination of Scripture reminding me that I am equipped for the journey before me:

Some of the men of Manasseh deserted to David. . . . They were all mighty men of valor and were commanders in the army.—To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.—Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what

Israel ought to do.—To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit.—Of Zebulun . . . seasoned troops, equipped for battle with all the weapons of war, to help David with singleness of purpose. (1 Chronicles 12:19–21; 1 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Chronicles 12:32; 1 Corinthians 12:8; 1 Chronicles 12:33 ESV)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Verse of the Day

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. (Romans 12:1–2 NLT)

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1–2 MSG)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson
October 2, 2012

Today is release day for Dee Henderson's latest romantic suspense. After six years of no new books from one of my favorite authors, Full Disclosure is sure to delight all her fans and garner some new ones. I received an Advance Reader's Copy (ARC) from Bethany House to read and write a review. Once I started to read it, I found it very difficult to put down. I'd call it "classic" Dee Henderson, but she's upped her own standard of quality storytelling to a new level. The characters, as always, are well-developed and very real. It was wonderful to connect with old friends in the story, as well. As for the plot, some of the twists and turns caught me totally by surprise. Love that! The characters and the story have stuck with me ever since I finished reading. This is one of those rare books that I will read again . . . and again. I highly recommend this book.

About the book:
Ann Silver is a cop's cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region's most trusted investigative positions.

Paul Falcon is the FBI's top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.

Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn't expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.

The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former Vice President. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is...

You can learn more about the book on Facebook, the novel's website, and Dee's website

Verse of the Day

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

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)

Monday, October 1, 2012

ACFW October 2012 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Garters for Lace by Brandi Boddie — Civil War veteran and preacher Rowe Winford arrives in town intent on leaving the tragic memories of his deceased family behind. Although Rowe has no plans to fall in love anytime soon, the plans of God rarely match those of man. Faced with adversity and rejection from the town and Rowe’s family, can Marissa overcome her past, renew her faith, and experience the life of love that God has planned for her? Can this small-town saloon girl trade her fancy garters for a respectable life? (Historical Romance from Realms (Charisma Media).

Guardian by Heather Burch — The mission to safeguard Nikki Youngblood depends on the fragile alliance of two half-angel, half-human guardians, both struggling with intense feelings for the girl who has been assigned to their care. (Young Adult from Zondervan).

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden — A woman struggling to create a respectable life in 19th century Boston is derailed when she falls in love with a dashing spy. When he draws her into his dangerous world, she must find the courage to infiltrate a remote wilderness mansion to unravel a plot that threatens to destroy them both. (Historical Romance from Bethany House).

Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley — When a serial killer is targeting illegal aliens in southern Texas, Cody Jackson, a Texas Ranger, and Detective Liliana Rodriguez race to discover who is behind the murders and bring peace to the area. (Suspense from Abingdon Press).

A Lady in the Making by Susan Page Davis — David Stone sets out to claim his estate and title, and finds himself a fellow passenger with the woman who tried to cheat him out of his fortune. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing).

Where the Trail Ends by Melanie Dobson — A young woman traveling the Oregon Trail in 1842 must rely on a stranger to bring her to safety. But whom can she trust with her heart? (Historical Romance from Summerside Press (Guideposts)).

The Carpenter’s Inheritance by Laurie Alice Eakes — In 1893, Lucinda Bell is that rarity–a lady lawyer, but her choice to take on only civil cases might not be the safest choice for her life or her heart. (Historical Romance from Heartsong Presents (Barbour).

Flight of Fancy by Laurie Alice Eakes — Cassandra may be more interested in balloon flights than ball flirtations until Lord Whittaker is near, when love seems a fine alternative to the physics of flight until disaster strikes. (Historical Romance from Revell (Baker).

Colonial Courtships by Laurie Alice Eakes, Carla Olson Gade, Lisa Karon Richardson, and Amber Stockton — Set during the years 1752-1762, will adventure thwart the four Ingersoll brothers’ plans or set them on a course of love? (Historical Romance from Barbour).

Love Finds You at Home for Christmas by Annalisa Daughety and Gwen Ford Faulkenberry — Love finds a home in two heartwarming stories of Christmas past and present. (Romance from Summerside Press (Guideposts)).

Twice a Bride by Mona Hodgson — Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever. Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah (Random House).

The Trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter — Horse trainer Annie Wilkerson must write a write a lovelorn column to make ends meet. There’s only one problem–Annie’s never been in love so she turns to ladies’ man Dylan Taylor for help but ends up with more trouble than she bargained for. (Contemporary Romance from Thomas Nelson).

A Heart Made New by Kelly Irvin — Annie Shirack is trying to fight her feelings for David Plank, a young Amish man who’s struggling with an aggressive case of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. David loves Annie too much to let her into his life, only, he fears, to leave her. (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House).

The Preacher’s Bride by Laurie Kingery — Can a woman who has lost her faith, and the town’s new preacher find happiness together, or will Comanche raiders destroy all chance of peace and a love that lasts forever. (Western Romance from Love Inspired).

No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig — Lured by a handful of scribbled words across a faded letter, a devoted sister sets off on a quest to find the brother she’d thought dead. (Historical Romance from Bethany House (Baker)).

Accidentally Amish by Olivia Newport — With her high-tech career in jeopardy, Annie Friesen runs from her fast-paced life straight into the hospitality of San Luis Valley’s Amish community. There she meets cabinetmaker Rufus Beiler, and the more time she spends with him, the more attracted she becomes. When Annie finds she shares a common ancestor with Rufus, she feels both cultures colliding within her. But is her love for Rufus strong enough for her to give up the only life she’s ever known? (Contemporary Romance from Barbour).

Critical Condition by Sandra Orchard — Book 3 in Undercover Cops series A nurse. An undercover cop. A killer who’ll stop at nothing to avoid being caught. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired).

Trapped! The Adulterous Woman by Golden Keyes Parsons — Completely unaware she is a pawn in a complicated scheme to frame Jesus, Anna’s foolish heart plunges her into a role that goes into eternity as a poignant example of the compassion and forgiveness of the Messiah. (Biblical Fiction from WhiteFire Publishing).

The Doctor’s Defender by Terri Reed — Fearing for her life, Dr. Brenda Storm must trust handsome bodyguard Kyle Martin to keep her safe, but can she trust him with her heart? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired).

Dead Wrong by Susan Sleeman — Book two in the Justice Agency series. When a killer threatens private investigator Kat Justice’s life only one man can help her say alive. A man who once broke her heart and it’s never recovered. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired).

Love in Three-Quarter Time by Dina Sleiman — The former belle of the ball must teach the dances she once loved and risk her heart in order to restore her family. (Historical Romance from Zondervan).

The Women of Valley View: Callie by Sharon Lynne Srock — A baby is dead and Callie feels responsible. Can she put her self-imposed guilt aside long enough to help the two girls who need her now? If she’ll step out on faith, God will rescue her as well as them. (General Contemporary from Harbourlight Books (Pelican).

Stealing Hearts by Amber Stockton — Grace Baxton struggles to forgive a thief who took precious family heirlooms, yet threatens to steal her heart. (Historical Romance from Barbour).

Queen of the Waves by Janice Thompson — Tessa Bowen reluctantly agrees to trades lives–and situations–with pampered Jacquie Abingdon, a London socialite. This decision places Tessa aboard the Titanic for a journey destined to change her life forever. (Historical Romance from Summerside Press (Guideposts).

His Love Endures Forever by Beth Wiseman — God has plans beyond what Danielle’s mind can imagine . . . loving plans to show a lost young woman that His love never goes away but endures forever. (Contemporary Romance from Thomas Nelson).

Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall — Experience the holidays with the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania, in these touching novellas centered around love, romance, and restoration. (Contemporary Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah (Random House).

Verse of the Day

"O our God, . . . we are powerless . . . nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You." (2 Chronicles 20:12)