Fiction Faith & Foodies

Fiction Faith & Foodies: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

thanks givings...

~ a big thanks to John, Lorie, Kayla and Mason for putting up with our spoiled monster while we were away last week. Love you guys! 

~ to Mary Manners and Marianne Evans, two fabulous WRP authors, for allowing me to join them at the RT Booklovers Conference. You gals are awesome! I so appreciate you!

~ the friendly folks at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC. Thanks for encouraging local authors!

~ the great men and women who make up the 
Kannapolis Fire Department. Thank you for putting your lives on the line every day!

~ Rachael Harrie's
3rd Writers Platform-Building Campaign
What a great way to connect with other people and make new friends. And the campaign hasn't even started!

What about you?
What are your thanks givings today?

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

A little travel. A little romance. A lot of home.

I love vacations. 
Dreaming about where to go, planning the trip, visiting a new area, trying out new foods~

"Ahem." Dear hubby clears his throat.

I hit the delete key a few times.
OK. I'm a "home" kinda gal.
I love coming home more than the actual vacation itself. 
This week we visited Atlanta and stayed at the Westin Peachtree.
Had a great view from the 24th floor ~ all that steel and glass on the building next to usCertainly not the Carolina blue sky view from our deck.
The hotel boasted a Starbucks cafe, but it wasn't nearly as blissful as waking up to my hubby's perfect brew of cafe con leche.
And what is it with down pillows? Does anybody actually like them? 
Definitely not as comfy as our fluffy pillows, and they didn't tuck a Dove dark chocolate heart on my hubby's pillow.
We ate at a great Irish Pub. To make up for the long wait, the waiter gave us a bag of homemade salt & vinegar chips. 
Did I say it was a long wait? Great chips, but I woke up the next morning, bloated and swollen, three times my size. Kinda like this poor guy.
But you know what the hardest part of this trip was?
Leaving our baby behind.
Do you see why I'm a home kinda gal?
Next year's agenda? 
Now that's a place I could get excited about.
Hubby rolls his eyes.
I grin. OK.
I get more excited about coming home.

What about you?

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Friday, August 26, 2011

HEARTS COMMUNION by Marianne Evans

Jeremy "JB" Edwards dreams of one thing: Having a loving wife and children of his own. Not a surprising ambition, since he was raised at the heart of a large, tight-knit family.

Monica Kittelski spends her days at Sunny Horizons Daycare Center pouring her heart and faith into other people's children. But Monica harbors one impossible dream: Having children of her own someday.

JB and Monica seem the perfect match, but what will come of their electric, sassy relationship when Jeremy learns of Monica's infertility?

Hopes and reality collide when they must confront the idea of finding God's plan and following His will when a dearest hope is destined to remain unfulfilled.
Can these two loving, passionate hearts survive a communion of dreams and reality?

Sound sweet? Yep, thought so. You can purchase HEARTS COMMUNION at White Rose Publishing.

Meet Marianne:
Marianne Evans loves to tell a good story. In fact, she’s been enthusiastic about writing ever since she could string sentences together. Joining White Rose Publishing gives her the opportunity to combine two of her greatest passions – love of the Lord and exploring the world of romance.

She’s seen a number of her books published. Kensington Publishing purchased her first book, Friends & Lovers. Her second contemporary romance, Right Hand Man, followed shortly thereafter. Her third release from Kensington, Hannah’s Heart, won critical acclaim in The Oakland Press. Her fourth book, a novella entitled With This Kiss, is her first offering at The Wild Rose Press. Hearts Crossing is her first inspirational romance and marks her debut at White Rose Publishing.

A resident of suburban Detroit, she’s happily married with two kids and a family that never fails to support and encourage. An active member of Romance Writers of America, she’s a long-time member of Greater Detroit RWA where she served the chapter in a number of capacities, most notably as treasurer and two terms as president.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

thanks givings...

~ my husband's new garage organizer. He got tired of my moan every time he mentioned spending $150 on a garage organizer, so he clammed up and waited patiently for his birthday. Have I mentioned what a smart guy my hubby is?

~ hummingbirds fluttering around the feeder. Sheesh, our back yard has turned into a hummingbird highway. Yesterday morning, one little guy actually buzzed right in front of my face and stared at me. 

~ participating with a thousand voices and faces lifted in worship. A glimpse into heaven's choirs?

~ seeing the delight-and fear-on my grandson's face as he takes his first steps

~ a quiet house, no sounds except our golden's soft snuffle and my fingertips clacking across the keyboard. 

~ school buses hitting the streets. Yeah, I know. Call me crazy. But, really, don't you like to see the drivers zipping around the roads, testing the buses for safety before the kids take one step on board? 

What about you? 

What are your thanks givings today?

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

Thank you to Susan Tuttle for awarding me the Liebster Award! My dear friend is a fellow ACFW member and an encourager to so many with her uplifting and inspiring blog, StepSusan.

The Liebster is awarded to bloggers with less than 200 followers. 
My choices reflect bloggers who work hard at building friendships and encouraging others along the way. 

The rules:
1. Thank the giver of the award and link back to them.
2. Give the Liebster to five bloggers and let them know with a comment to their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award onto your blog.
4. Have faith your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. Have blogging fun!

And the drum roll please...
My choices for this cool award:
1. Marianne Evans - A Minute With Marianne
2. Brenda Anderson - Spire Reviews
3. Annette Irby, Dawn Kinzer, Angie Arndt, and Ocieanna Fleiss - Seriously Write
4. Joanne Troppello - It Only Takes A Mustard Seed
5.Carol Ann Erhardt - Carol Ann Erhardt

And thanks again, Susan, my precious friend! 
God bless you and your writing.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Join the Campaign

I just joined Rachael Harrie's 

Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign

It's an opportunity to connect with writers, bloggers, and industry professionals, linked together for a common goal: Helping others build an online platform while building yours at the same time. 

Looks like great fun with ice-breakers, interviews, adventure bloghops, and challenges. 
Join the Campaign. 
Come on. You know you want to.
Don't wait. Sign-ups end 8/31.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers Summer Blog Tour

The Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers Summer Blog Tour finally arrived at my place!! Yay! Check out my choices for Hot Summer Reads.

Purple Knot by Raquel Byrnes
Reyna, returns to the life she fled to solve her best friend's murder. Forced to join with her ex-fiance, Jimmy, as their romance relights, so do the memories of the tragedy that tore them apart. Can they stop a killer before it’s too late for a second chance at love? Purple Knot is Raquel's first book, but you'd never know. Ahhh. What a wonderful romance she weaves in the midst of sleuthing for a murderer! Amazing! I'll definitely be looking for the sequel, Ruby Dawn. Available through White Rose Publishing. Amazon

A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason
Oh my stars! Are there really people in the world like this? Yowzee! If you're looking for a book packed with action and a sprinkling of romance, this book is a must. You'll find yourself holding your breath as you track down a serial killer with Noah and Kit. Can you guess who The Judge is before he strikes again? Amazon

Marked for Murder by Lauren Nichols
Yeah, yeah. I hear you. So this book isn't new, but the author's new to me. Give me a break. Lauren did a great job setting up the conflict between Margo and Cole. The plot kept me interested and guessing the identity of the murderer until close to the end. A perfect balance between suspense and romance, I'll definitely be on the lookout for more books by Lauren Nichols. Amazon

Journey's End by Dora Hiers
Packed with action and loaded with romance, you might find yourself immersed in what's happening with Trey and Chelsea and not see the wave threatening to drown your children. Check out the video on the right. A brutal murder...a devastated life rebuilt...where one journey ends, another begins. Sweet, sweet, sweet! A MUST read for the summer. OK, OK. Shameless plug, I know. Available through White Rose Publishing. Amazon

That's it for me. Take a chance on these books and stop back by here and let me know what you think, OK? Enjoy the rest of your summer! Check out the rest of the blog stops at Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers.

Disclaimer: I purchased each book listed here. No compensation was given for my honest review.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

thanks givings...

~ that my hubby likes to eat out...frequently. Hmmm, wonder what that says about my cooking?

~ for the scent of freshly mowed grass, especially when I did the mowing.

~ for a tall glass of iced tea on a hot day. OK, maybe several glasses.

~ for a glimpse of deer grazing in the park during an evening walk. 

~ for the first hint of crispness in the air. Mmm. That means we're sliding into my favorite time of the year ~ Fall->Winter->Spring. A recent NC transplant after living in FL most of my life, I LOVE the changing seasons! 

What about you? 
What are your thanks givings today?

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Suffering from the hurricane force winds of life?
Exhausted from the demands and responsibilities of your job?
Emotionally drained from the kids duking it out every night and arguments with your spouse?
Agonizing over where to get the money to pay the mortgage this month?
Thinking about running away from it all? 
Ready to give up?
Come to Me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matt 11:28-30 NIV)
You don't have to go far to find rest.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

GRACE'S GOLD by Mary Manners

Brent Peterson returns to Mount Ridge, Tennessee with a single goal—to win back Grace Spencer. He's loved her since kindergarten, and should have told her how he felt, but Dan Turner swooped in and stole Grace away before Brent had the chance. Now Grace is a widow with a young son, and while it’s been three years since her husband’s death, Brent isn’t sure he should make his feelings known.

When Brent comes around the family bakery, Grace longs to restore their friendship, but the thin gold wedding band on her finger—and memories of Dan—stand between them.

Can Brent's gentle patience coax Grace to let go of her memories…and the ring, or is it time for Brent to move on alone, and leave Mount Ridge forever?

Available with White Rose Publishing.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kids going back to school?
Wondering what to do with all the extra time on your hands?
Want to read a great book?

Enter the Goodreads giveway for Journey's End.
Ends September 12, 2011. -->

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Worried? Stressed? Anxious?

Soldiers killed fighting endless wars. Riots in the UK. 
Famine in Africa. Violence in schools.
A fluctuating stock market, more down than up.
A busted economy. 

Are you worried? Stressed? Anxious?
Want a prescription?
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Phil 4:6-7 NIV)

God's peace ~ the best medicine.
I crave that peace. 
What about you?

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

THE COVERING by Dana Pratola

What do a woman of faith and a heathen biker have in common? The devil, of course.
Tessa is moved to intercede for a man she’s never met. When they do meet, she’s stunned. Gunnar is gorgeous, charismatic, and driven. He’s also hostile, self-destructive, and an unbeliever…and she’s drawn to him like no other. The temptation she feels is as dangerous as it is alluring. She wants to stay away, but God has other plans. He reveals the devil’s intent to destroy Gunnar and commissions Tessa to keep him covered in prayer. Can she rely on God to keep her from falling…in love, and into temptation? Or will the devil claim them both?

Oh, Dana, The Covering sounds "tempting." And what a beautiful cover. Tell us a little about you. What does a normal workday look like for you?
Dana:  There’s no such thing as a “normal” workday for me. My husband has a flexible schedule and I try to work around him so we can spend time together walking in the woods, grabbing reading glasses from the dollar store, etc. (he never seems to have enough glasses). I work every chance I get, some days that’s more than others.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Dana:  I start with a particular scene in mind, then write an overview. I guess you can tell from my last answer that I lack discipline, LOL, and calling it an outline sounds too structured. I stick to the general direction, but the story is always likely to veer.

What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not writing? Least favorite?
Dana:  When I’m not writing (or sifting the spinning eyeglass racks) I’m reading. Not just books, often it’s writer’s sites, posts, links… Lord, the links! There’s just too much to click on out there! But I didn’t realize until recently how many words I read in a day.

I love walking and being outdoors. And I love horseback riding but it’s not often I get to go, usually my birthday and Mother’s Day.

My least favorite thing to do is clean the stove top. I cook almost every night so it has to be cleaned a lot. Now that I think about it, cooking is my least favorite thing ;-)

If you had a Friday night all to yourself, what would you do?
Dana:  Probably cry because I would think I’d been abducted by aliens. Sorry, that was my first thought. I’d like to say I would write but would most likely watch the Twilight movies back to back. Ah, romance.

Where can readers find your books? Do you have a website, blog, etc.?
Dana:  Sure, my site is where you can read an excerpt of The Covering, and you can buy it at

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review for BURIED TREASURES by Mary Manners

When Caroline flees Chicago following the brutal murder of her husband, the last thing she expects--or wants--is to fall for Matt Carlson, a builder with strong roots in the small town of Mountainview, Tennessee. She needs to focus on raising her six-year-old daughter and protecting both their hearts from ever being shattered again.

Matt is struggling with issues of his own...guilt over the death of his wife and the responsibility of raising a cynical teenaged nephew who is dropped on his doorstep, abandoned by Matt's alcoholic sister. He doesn't have time to fall in love, yet he can't help being drawn to the woman who is ready to defend her home--and her daughter--with nothing more than a fiesty attitude and a broom handle.

Can Matt's help and friendship convince Caroline to trust again...and when Caroline's daughter goes missing, will Matt be able to find the girl before it's too late and he loses everything he loves...again?

My review:
Featuring a full cast of characters in BURIED TREASURES, Ms. Manners manages to make you fall in love with all of them. Meet Caroline, protective mom. After her husband's murder, Caroline focuses on raising her daughter, Callie, and wrestles with whether Callie's heart is too fragile to risk another love. And Matt, acting dad to his nephew, attempts to chase away the guilt for failing his deceased wife's expectations. When Callie disappears, not only does Caroline's heart break; yours will, too. Packed with sweet romance and a believable story line, this journey is one you won't want to miss. 
(Review based on my purchase of the book.) 

Meet Mary:
Mary Manners is an award-winning author of inspirational romance who lives in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband and teen-aged daughter. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Smoky Mountain Romance Writers.

During the school year, she teaches middle-schoolers reading and Algebra. In her free time, she likes to garden, take long walks with her husband, and read romance novels in a hammock beneath century-old shade trees.

Visit Mary at

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

No excuses...

spring in the alps

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -
His eternal power and divine nature -
have been clearly seen,
being understood from what has been made,
so that men are without excuse. 
(Rom 1:20 NIV)

It's a beautiful world we live in, don't you think?
Ever thought about how it all works together?
How the sun rises every morning?
And the moon and stars appear like clockwork every night?
Did you do anything to make that work?
Neither did I.
But, I'm so glad He does.
Aren't you?
No excuses...

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review for Awakening by JoAnn Durgin

GEAR UP FOR AN EXPEDITION with Awakening by JoAnn Durgin. 

A God-fearing man. A God-seeking woman. For Sam Lewis and Lexa Clarke, it proves a combustible combination.
Lexa Clarke signs up for a TeamWork Missions summer assignment expecting adventure in a far-off, exotic country. Instead, she’s sent to sweltering San Antonio to help rebuild homes destroyed by sudden flooding. She survives the four-hour bus trip from Houston, dust in the lungs, a flat tire, a tool-throwing incident and a spitting goat–not to mention an inquisition from a distractingly handsome cowboy–all before reaching the work camp.
TeamWork director Sam Lewis isn’t sure what to think of his newest volunteer. She’s feisty, witty, and incredibly pretty, but looks more prepared to board a cruise ship than build houses. Burned by a past betrayal, he’s got a job to do, a reputation to uphold. Sam can’t afford to be distracted by a woman who attracts animals, defies his rules, finds trouble at every turn and questions God’s purpose. But when she tumbles from the top beam of one of the houses into his arms, Sam suspects his life will never be the same.
During their weeks together in the TeamWork camp, Sam and Lexa learn the power of forgiveness and healing. Enduring a chain of incidents which challenge their faith, trust and growing relationship, they look to the Lord for guidance as together they discover a love greater than either could ever imagine. At the end of the eight-week work camp, Sam is committed to a year-long, dangerous overseas mission for TeamWork. Can Lexa trust the Lord enough to let him go? Will Sam safely return and keep his promise to meet her at the Alamo?
You’ll keep turning the pages of this sweeping romantic adventure. With great characters, plenty of humor, enough emotion to make you shed a tear or two, and an ending that’ll have you cheering, Awakening will leave you breathless. Hold on tight. The adventures of Lewis and Clarke have only just begun!

My Review:
Featuring feisty Lexa Clarke and once-burned Sam Lewis, Ms. Durgin takes you on an incredible expedition of love and healing in Awakening.

Assigned to a TeamWork Missions summer project in San Antonio, Lexa overcomes emotional barriers from her past while Sam wrestles with forgiveness issues. Ms. Durgin loads the book with humor, ramped up sexual tension, action, and sweet romance. I found the characters to be true to life, charming and witty, with real and emotional struggles, taking a turn rather unexpected at times. Ms. Durgin doesn’t come across as preachy; rather, she gently weaves Christian themes throughout the course of Sam and Lexa’s journey.

Set aside a few hours to read Awakening because once you get started, you won’t want to stop. What a great read by this debut author. She’s now on my must-read list.
(Review based on my purchase of the book.)

Second Time Around 
September 15. 
Isn't this cover gorgeous? 

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