May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~Ps 19:14 (NIV)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Live? Or die?

Cancer. Terminal. Weeks, maybe months to live.

Each one of us has an appointment with death. That's a fact of life. But, now, not later, much later? What would I do if I heard those words? Would I continue working, attempting to maintain some type of normalcy in my life? Or would I hole up at home, depressed, discouraged, waiting to die? Would I take that trip to the Holy Land, something I've only thought about doing until now? Would I read the Bible from front to back, not just concentrate on my favorite parts? Pray more? Would I do anything differently?

What if my beloved husband heard those words? Would he relinquish his demanding, stressful job or continue working? Would I give up my writing to spend precious extra time with him? Would I treat him with more compassion because he's ill and resist the urge to say "it's not all about you?" Would I laugh at his sarcastic jokes rather than roll my eyes? Would we turn off the tv and spend that time talking or snuggling? Would I take him on his dream vacation to Antartica (not mine, thank you very much!)? Did I wake up this morning, kiss him, and whisper, "I love you" in his ear?

We cherish sunrises, shooting stars, waves crashing against the sand, beautiful mountains, colorful sunsets, a glorious full moon, hugs, touching a newborn babe's fingers and toes, every breath we take...they're all gifts from a loving God. A God who loves you and wants a "forever" relationship. But, He leaves the choice to you. A forever with Him. Or without.

So...which will you choose? To live? Or die?

Cancer. Terminal. Weeks, maybe months to live. I choose a forever with God. What would you choose?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Kylie's Kiss by Delia Latham

On a dare, Kylie Matthews lands smack in the middle of Solomon's Gate-Castle Creek's new Christian dating agency-and she finds herself revealing exactly what she's waiting for in a relationship: "The kiss that steals my breath away."

What she doesn't reveal is her lack of self-esteem or her irrational reaction to facial disfigurement. Neither is applicable to her quest to find the perfect match. But that seemingly superficial malady becomes all-important when her first agency-arranged date is Rick Dale-a man who is everything Kylie is searching for. He's handsome, smart, fun. Rick has it all...including an angelic six-year-old daughter with severe scarring on one side of her face.

Hard at work founding a therapy camp for young female victims of deformity or disfigurement, Rick wants Kylie to be a part of those plans. She'd love to say yes...but how can she, when every contact with the facility's guests-and Rick's own daughter-will make her violently ill?

Kylie is ready to admit their relationship doesn't stand a chance, but she's forgotten that God makes a way where there seems no way.

About Delia:
Born and raised in a place called Weedpatch, Delia Latham moved from California to Oklahoma in 2008, making her a self-proclaimed California Okie. She loves to read and write in her simple  country home, and gets a kick out of watching her husband play Farmer John. The author enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. She loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her through her website or send an e-mail to delia@delialatham.net.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Face in the Clouds by Marianne Evans

Reporter Paul Hutchins is all about finding facts and uncovering the truth. Verification, authenticity and quantification are the fuel of his spirit…Until he falls in love with producer Sandy Pierson.

Sandy sees Christ alive in every aspect of her life. No need for quantified facts. Faith is the fuel of her spirit . But her love for Paul puts her at odds with God's call toward faith and all of its mysteries.

Paul considers Christianity to be well-meaning myth—hyperbole. To Sandy, it’s everything—and she can accept nothing less from the man she loves.
Can a miracle happen? Can the touch of God Himself keep their relationship from shattering?

EXCERPT 

“I know how deeply you feel things, Paul. You have a wonderful heart. That’s part of why I love you so much. I’m torn in two about my feelings for you.” Sandy’s declaration would have filled him were it not chipped and cracked by the impact of her doubts.

“Your reporter’s instinct toward authenticity and revealing the truth is a big part of what I admire about you. There’s nothing wrong with facing the world honestly, but you need to make room for a few other truths.”

“Like God.”

“Yes, and the fact that life holds as much mystery, and as many intangibles, as it does realistic things you can hold tight with both hands.”

She wanted him to change. Right down to the soul. Paul continued to study her. She was hurt enough that she had almost stepped away from attending tonight’s event—out of a frustrated sense of love.  Yet here they were—together—out of a frustrated sense of love.

And if he wasn’t mindful of her beliefs, she’d step away from him.

Paul navigated the rapidly-filling parking lot of Woodland Church. Once they stopped, he killed the car engine and used a restraining hand to keep Sandy in place. He closed the space between them and gave her a kiss that lingered and thoroughly tasted. He felt the gesture ease a bit of the tightness in her shoulders and back. “I’ll keep an open mind, OK?”

She touched his face, and there was yearning in her eyes. “Keep an open heart. That’s much more important.”


About Marianne
Marianne Evans is a multi-published author of contemporary romance novels. Her professional career began when Kensington Publishing purchased her book, Friends & Lovers. Her second offering, Right Hand Man, followed shortly thereafter. Her third release from Kensington, Hannah’s Heart, won critical acclaim from reviewers and in the local media.

Her fourth book is her inspirational romance debut at White Rose Publishing – an award-winning novel entitled Hearts Crossing. Hearts Crossing led to the creation of a four-book Christian romance series: The Woodland Series. Book 2, Hearts Surrender, released in late 2010 with Books 3 and 4 – Hearts Communion and Hearts Key, slated for late 2011 and early 2012 release. A Woodland Series Bonus Story, A Face in the Clouds, is an Easter-themed short story, also from White Rose Publishing.

Recent awards include:

Hearts Crossing:
Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist
CAPA Finalist
5-Star Review, The Romance Studio
5-Star Review, Coffee Time Romance

Hearts Surrender –
Christian Small Publishers Association Book of the Year Finalist
4-Star Review, Romantic Times Magazine
5-Star Review & Book of the Week, The Romance Studio
5-Klover Review & Recommended Read, Kwips & Kritiques

A lifelong resident of Michigan, Marianne is an active member of Romance Writers of America and the Greater Detroit RWA where she served the chapter in a number of capacities, but most notably for two terms as Chapter Treasurer and two terms as Chapter President. She also belongs to the Faith Hope and Love chapter of RWA, American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.

Marianne loves to connect with readers ~ find her at:

Thanks so much for sharing A Face in the Clouds with us today, Marianne!



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daffodils by Donna B. Snow

Margaret Ellington is not only grief stricken after her husband dies, but guilt ridden as well. Her solution—to run away. She moves away, hoping to escape the memories of her failure as a wife. She vows never to marry again unless she can love with all her heart—and she’ll never be able to do that unless she can finally get over her first love.
 
Lukas North is determined to reclaim the love he threw away ten years earlier. He’s willing to give Margaret time to recover from losing her husband—but letting her go is not an option.
 
When Lukas keeps a secret from Margaret about a major career move, she panics. After the mistakes they made in the past, can their relationship be rebuilt on anything less than complete honesty?

Excerpt:
Wandering from room to room, she doublechecked everything. Closets were empty, no boxes forgotten. The shadows on the walls outlined stark reminders of where pictures had been. The unfinished projects—a cracked floorboard, chipped molding, a small hole in the plaster, all stared at her accusingly.
 
Margaret closed her eyes as she clutched the doorframe. Oh, God, why Peter? He was the good one. I’m so sorry, Peter. A tear splashed onto the carpet.
 
Margaret took a deep breath, wiped her cheek, and stepped into what had been Peter’s sickroom. She walked to the window seat and stared out into the backyard, arms clutched around her middle. There would be no sound of children playing, no sitting on the glider growing old together. She put a hand on the window. If only I could have loved you more—
 
“Any more, Megs?” Lukas’ footsteps grew louder as he came down the hall.
 
She wiped away another tear as it dribbled down her cheek.
 
“Oh, hey, there you are.” He hesitated in the doorway, resting a hand on the frame. He lowered his voice. “You OK?”
 
She chewed on her bottom lip and nodded, afraid that if he came near her she would collapse in those arms; arms she knew were strong enough to hold her up. Arms she had missed for years. She hated herself for wanting to feel them wrap around her again.
 
About Donna B. Snow...
I'm over 45 and I've stopped counting, but I've been happily married for 17 years and hope for many more. Our teenage daughter is an absolute joy and I can only hope it will stay that way. I have two passions - music and writing, and God has blessed me in both. What a joy it is to be able to use the gifts He's given me to honor and glorify Him in word and song. I'd love to have you join me on this journey.
 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Free review copies...Wow!

Pelican Ventures Book Group is launching a new site to network influencers. At Book Buzzin' readers can apply for a no-obligation, no cost membership to receive free review copies. What's the catch? There isn't one! All a Book Buzzin' member has to do is agree to Buzz about a book--and only if he/she enjoys it! For more information and to apply for membership, visit http://www.bookbuzzin.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Anybody try painting an entire house during allergy season?

OK. OK. So I know that's not the smartest thing to do. My sore throat, watery eyes, and coughing attests to that. A visit to the doctor will have to wait.

Before
When my 27-year-old son and his wife bought their first house, a short-sale, and needed help painting, how could I say no?

"You know I love you, John." My legs dangled from the top of the kitchen pantry. Yeah, that's right. The top. You can't see the pantry from this picture, but it's to the left of the cabinets. And no, you can't see the ceiling, either. What is it, twenty feet high? And why didn't my son take a picture of me for posterity? Just in case I fell.

I repositioned the clip holding my long hair. I'd already made one trip to the hairdresser to cut paint out of my hair. I didn't need to spend money for another haircut so soon. Or endure my hairdresser's snickers.

"Huh?" The rolling stopped. Wide brown eyes stared at me from ground level. What did he think I was going to say? That I was dying?

"Not everybody could drag me away from my writing to paint a house." I sneezed. Coughed. Dragged a kleenex out of my pocket to wipe my nose. "Or climb a ladder this high. Only special sons. Keep rolling."

Those brown eyes softened in a grin. "Yeah?" He picked up the twenty-foot extension roller. Started back on the living room walls.

"That's right. You're special. But you're going to owe me. Big time." I finished trimming and moved back to the ladder, my legs and arms shaking. 

I had to do this. Nobody else in the family could trim as well as I could. Well, actually, nobody else wanted to trim. Especially the open space above the kitchen cabinets.

"Wait, mom." John dropped the roller in the tray and took giant steps in my direction.

Wait? For what? I had work to do and not enough time to get it done. I continued climbing down, balancing the almost dry paint pan, a paint brush, and a roller in one hand, the ladder rung with the other. And got as far as the kitchen counter. I lost my balance, and my rump landed on the counter with a thud. But I managed to keep everything in my hand. Except the ladder rung.

After
"Ohh." I couldn't begin to tell you everything that hurt.

"Mom, I said to wait." John stood in front of me, exasperation and concern warring on his face as he took brush, pan, and roller from my hand.

When did my son grow up? Become so mature? So wise? I'd waited so long, I didn't notice it happened right in front of my face.   

No. Painting in the midst of allergy season is not wise, but I can't say there's ever a good time to paint.

Except when your son needs you.















Monday, April 4, 2011

Rainn On My Parade by LoRee Peery

Why would God bring together an older widow and a younger man?

After firefighter Rainn Harris rescues Geneva Carson from being stuck in a tree, she feels she owes him. Helping to care for his autistic niece comes easy, but her attraction to Rainn is a different story. Being drawn to a man twelve years her junior metes internal havoc as Geneva attempts to balance responsibility and personal fulfillment. And the prospect of becoming a middle-aged mom to a special -needs child sends Geneva into a tailspin of conflicting emotions.

As the custodial parent for his young niece, Rainn is determined to be a better parent than his absentee sister. When Geneva agrees to help care for Mia, Rainn is overjoyed. He admires Geneva’s compassion and enthusiasm for life, and expects she’ll be a positive influence on Mia. What he doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the beautiful and vital woman. But Geneva’s hung up on their age difference, and he must convince her of his sincerity before they will ever have a chance at happiness together.

As tension threatens to pull them apart, both must learn to rely on the Lord to direct their futures—whether that means two lives joined or paths in opposite directions.
A sneak peek into Rainn On My Parade:

Get a grip, woman, and act your age.
The sirens drew close. She soon heard activity below, but she kept her eyes clamped shut.
“Hold on, Ms. Carson. Don’t be scared,” a disembodied voice that didn’t belong to her future son-in-law spoke from below. “Just hold on.”
“I assure you, I’m too scared to let go.” Geneva’s voice quivered. But she couldn’t help smiling at her predicament.
The extension ladder whirred softly and creaked as it reached for the top branches of the tree.
She squeezed her eyes tighter.“I’m right behind you now.”
“Thank you, Lord.”
“Not God, just me.”
The firefighter chuckled.
Her eyes popped open when she felt him close behind. Thankful for the cropped-pajama bottoms she wore instead of a nightgown, Geneva frowned at the unexpected shiver as she attempted to place the voice.
“Whenever you’re ready, just let go.”
“Thought you told me to hold on.”
“Well, I’m here to catch you now.”
She caught the humor in his voice. And hated it.
“Oh, good grief. I’m too heavy for anybody to catch me.” She lowered her eyes to half mast.
“Spunky, most likely,” came from under his breath.
She doubted he meant for her to hear.
Is that professional behavior? Well, that’s pretty nervy of the guy. But then again, I am caught in a tree. She snickered, wondering if she was hysterical. She tried for a deep breath but it turned into a gulp around her sternum. “Are you sure I can let go?”
“Geneva, trust me.” That popped her eyes wide open.
The confident urging voice and the use of her first name drew enough courage to peer downward.
Rainn Harris.
And he was way too close for comfort.
Eric would never live this down at the firehouse. His future mother-in-law rescued from a tree, by his buddy.
She remembered her first look at him. Rainn was a few years older than Eric, but they became fast friends when they met at University. Geneva may have heard Rainn’s name a time or two before Eric started working on Moselle’s loft, but she hadn’t any reason to pay attention. Since then, she’d seen him with Eric many times.
Rainn probably knew more about her than she did him.
Before she could fathom any further thought, Geneva let go and found herself wrapped in the strongest arms and pressed against the strongest chest imaginable.
I’d climb the tree again if this firefighter would come for me.

Rainn On My Parade. Available now through White Rose Publishing. http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/Rainn-On-My-Parade?CDpath=3

Here's a little about LoRee Peery:

A lifelong Nebraskan, LoRee Peery is the oldest of seven and grew up on a Nebraska farm. She feels grounded in her sense of place and considers it a blessing to have lived most of her life in the country. She learned to read when she was four and has devoured books since. She also enjoys sewing crafts, quilting, creating rock and flower gardens, bird watching, and country walks.

LoRee loves the word overcomer and knows how the Lord protected her from potential harm as a young woman. She found herself in situations that could have been detrimental, but He protected her. When she considers being set apart as a child of God, she is humbled. She feels closest to the Lord when she worships through singing. And one thing she’s sure of: “Jesus loves me, this I know. And  
He will never let me go.”

LoRee was brave enough to answer some questions...
1) What does a normal workday look like for you? That changes from day to day. I’d love to say I sit my seat in the chair and work for 6-8 hours. It all depends on what needs to be done. I may only have one or two days a week without places to go. I’m involved in the lives of grandchildren, I go exercise, run errands, and my hubby and I both have doctor appointments. I did change something of my routine this past January. I set the priority to write 250 words, or something on my WIP, before I open email. Exceptions are when I’m expecting something that needs immediate attention.

2) What's your favorite food? Chocolate
3) If you had a Friday night all to yourself, what would you do first? Go to a movie with my honey. If I’m by myself, I turn on relaxing music and read. Or, if there’s something for both of us on TV, I make pop corn and read through the commercials.
4) Things you dislike: Wow, interesting question. Chaos, loud noises. Cornhusker football is close to being a religion in Nebraska, but I’ve never been drawn to crowds. The exceptions are church and writers. I can handle the noise if I’m surrounded by like-minded folk.

Thanks so much for joining me today, LoRee. I can't wait to read my copy of Rainn On My Parade! Yummy!

You can reach LoRee at her website: www.loreepeery.com

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