Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Book Memory

My dear friend Ty Moody, asked me to share my Christmas book memory.


Do you have a Christmas book memory.?

Take a moment to share here and click here to add yours

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Writer's Wish List 2008

I'm taking a page from my friend Patricia's Wish List

A dedicated block of time each week to do nothing but write.

I stole this wish from Patricia, because I always say I'm gonna and it never happens. So I'm going to try to see this wish come true.

Paid membership for RWA

We don't have an ACFW group here in St. Louis, so I want to rejoin RWA because I miss talking to other writers and I miss not being in the know.

An all-expenses paid writing conference trip

I would love to attend a conference and soak up all the writing knowledge.

Paid subscriptions to The Writer's Digest, and Romantic Times

Paid professional editing for the manuscript

Amazon gift certificates for book purchases

A Kindle

Photo shop or a software that will help me make banners for SORMAG

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

CFBA: Where Do I Go? - Neta Jackson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Where Do I Go?

Thomas Nelson (December 9, 2008)


Neta Jackson

As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books. In addition to writing several books about Christian community, the Jacksons have coauthored numerous books with expert resource people on a variety of topics from racial reconciliation to medical ethics to ministry to kids in gangs.

Dave and Neta live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years they were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. They are now members of a multi-racial congregation in the Chicago area.

They're trying something new! Not just new for them, but something completely new in Christian fiction: “Parallel novels,” two stories taking place in the same time frame, same neighborhood, involving some of the same characters living through their own dramas and crises but interacting with and affecting one another … just the way it happens in real life.

It’s something that only a husband and wife writing team could pull off. While Neta has Where Do I Go?, her husband Dave has written Harry Bentley's Second Chance.


A story of seeking-and finding-God's will in unlikely places.

Gabrielle Fairbanks has nearly lost touch with the carefree, spirited young woman she was when she married her husband fifteen years ago. But when the couple moves to Chicago to accommodate Philip's business ambitions, Gabby finds the chance to make herself useful. It's there she meets the women of Manna House Women's Shelter; they need a Program Director-and she has a degree in social work. She's in her element, feeling God's call on her life at last, even though Philip doesn't like the changes he sees in her. But things get rough when Philip gives Gabby an ultimatum: quit her job at the shelter or risk divorce and losing custody of their sons. Gabby must take refuge, as in the song they sing at Sunday night worship: "Where do I go when there's no one else to turn to? . . . I go to the Rock I know that's able, I go to the Rock."

Romantic Times Book Reviews says, “Exquisite characters coupled with God's mercy and love emanate from each page.”

Publisher's Weekly adds, “Jackson's Yada Yada series has sold half a million copies, and this new offshoot series ... promises the same.... The book's dramatic ending ... leav[es] readers eager for the next installment in the series.”

To read the Prologue and first Chapter of Where Do I Go?, go HERE

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shop.com - Blog Tour

I’m doing my shopping this year online. I found a neat way to shop without visiting a ton of sites. http://www.shop.com/

Shop.com has some nice deals and you get to buy from each store using one shopping cart.

My type of shopping. It sure beats standing in long lines at the stores.

If you stop by the site and like it, please let me know what you think.

SHOP.COM is a new kind of shopping comparison site that offers the most comprehensive shopping experience on the web. Our shopping experts have drawn on their industry experience and insider connections to bring you the best collection of the stores you can't live without, and the brands and products you love – all in one place.

Search for the products you love from the best stores on the web and see them side by side. Decide which price, shipping method, and delivery schedule options work best for you.


But we don't stop there. Unlike other shopping comparison sites, we offer you a variety of tools and expert advice to help you make informed buying decisions and to find the best product to suit your needs.


You don't have to take our word for it. Share your opinions through tools like product reviews and My Shop, a place to keep track of your favorites.


And when you're ready to buy, we give you options. You can use your secure SHOP.COM account to make purchases across over 800 OneCart® Trusted Merchant Stores, all backed by SHOP.COM's 100% satisfaction guarantee, or you can make your purchase directly from the web sites of one of hundreds of our Partner Stores.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CFBA: Engaging Father Christmas - Robin Jones Gunn

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Engaging Father Christmas

FaithWords (October 30, 2008)


Robin Jones Gunn

Robin grew up in Orange County, California and has lived in all kinds of interesting places, including Reno and Hawai’i.

She and her husband currently live near Portland, Oregon and have been married for 30 years. They spent their first 22 years of marriage working together in youth ministry, and enjoying life with their son and daughter who are now both grown.

As a frequent speaker at local and international events, one of Robin’s favorite topics is how God is the Relentless Lover and we are His first love. She delights in telling stories of how God uses fiction to change lives.

Robin is the recipient of the Christy Award, the Mt. Hermon Pacesetter Award, the Sherwood E. Wirt Award and is a Gold Medallion Finalist. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Media Associates International and the Board of Directors for Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers’ Guild.


Miranda Carson can't wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation.

But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda's mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost.

And yet...maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Engaging Father Christmas, go HERE

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

SMORE for Women - Blog Tour

Thank you for the opportunity to share my passion for single mothers. In the United States, alone, there are over ten million mothers raising children alone. Over one third of them live in poverty. After years of being on my own as a mother of three, I came to realize how little is done in our communities and churches for this group of children with absent fathers and women with no husbands. The vast majority does not attend church, but our neighborhoods are filled with single moms.
I’ve created and implemented, along with an eleven member board, a detailed plan for encouraging, inspiring, and blessing single mothers. If you have ever wondered what you could do to make a difference for even one of the moms, this is the answer. It is easy, inexpensive, and exceedingly worthwhile.

You have established a ministry plan for single mothers. What motivated you to do this?

For sixteen years I was a divorced mother with three children. I was fortunate to have family support and yet the disappointment, emotional pain, and daily difficulties were devastating. I’m happily remarried now for twelve years and my passion for the over the ten million single mothers remain strong.

Why do you think a ministry plan is needed?

Single mothers have a difficult time day-in, day-out. I think churches want to provide supportive programs for them, but –though there are some successful ministries—much still needs to be done to minister to single moms. Often what you see on the outside doesn’t reveal the heartache and fear she is experiencing on the inside. Church leader I’ve spoken with have expressed genuine interest in implementing this plan.

What do you call the ministry?

SMORE for Women. SMORE is an acronym for Spiritual Ministry Offering ReTREATs and Encouragement. Our program assists churches in providing Saturday reTREATs in a home or intimate church environment.

What is the ultimate goal of SMORE for Women?

Our mission is to inspire and encourage women, especially single mothers, to discover and develop their abilities and inner strengths. Ultimately I hope to see churches across the country implement these programs. And in the process develop ongoing programs and activities for single mothers in their communities.

How do you convey this information to church leaders who want to provide a program for single moms?

The plan is laid out in detail in print in a guidebook titled Encouraging Single Moms to Grow Their Strengths and with forms on CD’s. I serve as a facilitator when a church implements their first reTREAT.

Tell us why you prefer that the reTREATs be in homes?

Homes provide an intimate, friendly, and non-intimidating environment. Homes also have the amenities for several of the pampering areas. A reTREAT can also take place in a church or other facility.

What do you mean by pampering areas?

At each reTREAT each mom is treated in several areas. Depending on the home she may use a hot tub or swimming pool. She will receive a brief massage, and even have a quiet private prayer time.

Is there any charge or fee to the church for you as a facilitator?

I am available as a facilitator via long distance conference calls. For as long as I can I only ask for a love offering which helps sustain my expenses. If I must travel a long distance I ask for travel expenses. AND if a reTREAT date is on the 2009 calendar by January I will facilitate (via long distance) free of charge. The guidebooks are $20 and each of the Seed Packet booklets for the moms is $10.

What are the costs of implementing a reTREAT?

There is a nominal budget. It is similar to hosting a dinner party. Usually the volunteer hostesses contribute food. Church members donate gifts and invitations can be printed on a home computer, ordered, or printed at church. The ministry is a collaborative endeavor. Our reTREATs are very small with only six to twelve guests.

Are all reTREATs the same?

No. We have eight themes for encouraging moms to discover her inner strengths.

They are

• Personality Predicaments
• Money Matters
• Bonding and Boundaries
• Job Jump Starts
• Dating Do’s
• Nutrition and Manners Matter
• Family Fun
• Grieving a Loss.

Where can we go for more information about the SMORE for Women ministry?

We have a web site which is www.smoreforwomen.org and a blog which is www.seeinguthrough.wordpress.com.

A Retreat can be hosted by a small group of compassionate women. The guidebook, Encouraging Single Mothers to Grow Their Strengths, includes step-by-step guidance for planning and hosting a reTREAT. Once you’ve experienced one Saturday reTREAT filled with joy you will want to plan another and another. In the process you will get acquainted with some remarkable women and you might inspire them as they see Christ in you. Please visit SMORE for Women at www.smoreforwomen.org.

Baby Eistein - Baby Mozart - Blog Tour

Baby Einstein has a new DVD Baby Mozart.

I popped it into the DVD and sat my 23mth old in front of the t.v. He was entranced. He loves music, so I think the music caught his attention. Each song features different scenes and activities.

The music was classical and I enjoyed listening to it too, very soothing.

To our surprise my eight year old sat beside my son and watched the dvd too.

The baby enjoyed the puppy scene and the scene that looks like globs of goop. The eight year old named the planets, impressing me with how many he knew by name.

I think the best part of watching the DVD was the way the baby reacted to each scene. He would talk to the t.v. or try to touch the t.v. He was too funny.

The baby and I are big fans of Baby Einstein. I'm glad we got a chance to try out this DVD, thanks Disney for our free copy.

Now I know what to add to the baby's Christmas list.

I must warn you that we had to watch the DVD five times because my son refuse to let me turn off the DVD. LOL

DVD Viewing Tips

Without exception, one of the most significant moments of discovery for any mom, is the day she realizes her baby truly recognizes her and wants her above all others. That bond, the super-glue of parent child attachment, is the foundation for baby’s healthy development.

At Baby Einstein, each DVD is designed to reinforce parent-child interaction by providing visually interesting, entertaining content that you and your baby can watch together. Whether the theme is art, music, or barnyard animals, each DVD offers an opportunity to cuddle, share, talk, or sing along with your baby. The DVD can also be a jumping off point for more parent child interaction during your everyday routine.

Talk! Talk! Talk!

From the moment we say that first hello to our new baby, we begin developing our little one’s language. So, when you’re watching a Baby Einstein DVD, you don’t have to be quiet. This is a chance to create little stories.

For example, if you see mechanical toys on the DVD, describe the action to your baby—“see the seals go UP the ladder. Now they’re sliding DOWN and around-- very fast.” If your baby starts “talking” back to your sounds, praise, cuddle, and imitate your baby to keep the conversation going. Even if you feel self-conscious about talking to a 6 month old, just stay the course. Your baby is probably listening and may show you with a smile, nod, or squeal, the many different ways they understand your language.

From the Video Theme to the Real World Scene

Whenever there is an opportunity to link what you have seen on the DVD to other experiences in baby’s life, make that connection. For example, if you watched a DVD about animals, you might say, “Oh, look. There’s a BIG fish on the screen. Do we have another fish in our house?” And off you go to look at your gold fish. This kind of activity shows baby that something we see in one place can be seen in other places too.

Bring it to Life

If children or puppets on the DVD are jumping or dancing, you can hold your little one and dance along to show baby how it feels. You can also play infant sized musical instruments to accompany the DVD Orchestra. Or, try using puppets or baby’s favorite stuffed animals to mimic the action in the DVD. You may get giggles from your little one. Babies usually want to do what they see and you can make that happen.

Make it Personal

Try making connections between what happens on screen with what happens in baby’s life. If you have a DVD that contains sign language, try some of the simpler signs with your baby. If you see how the puppets always do silly stuff, bring a puppet to mealtime to help you serve the food or provide additional encouragement to complete the meal.

Make it a Family Affair

Consider using DVD time as a way to interact with the whole family. If baby has an older sibling(s) around you can invite them watch the DVD with you. Encourage your older child to point out the names of the animals, say the colors, or even make animal sounds. They will probably love playing with baby and will be excited about showing off how much they know!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family - David & Renee Sanford

Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family
by David Sanford, Renee S. Sanford

Genre: Family & Relationships/ AdoptionProduct

Adoption is a high calling from God, and the Christian home primary soil for planting seeds of faith. But how will post-adoption challenges affect this growth? Most agencies do a great job of connecting families with children who need a forever family. Not many prepare you for the unexpected issues--an adopted child fighting with his new siblings or not wanting to be touched or showing signs of reactive attachment disorder (RAD). The more you know, the more confident you will be to meet the unique needs of your adopted child and your entire family. This distinctly Christian book will equip readers to be successful adoptive parents. Packed from cover to cover with information, advice, ideas, and resources, Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family will inspire and inform parents committed to making adoption work. Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family is the one parenting resource that provides comprehensive, topical, Bible-based solutions for the inevitable challenges after adoption.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Getting Into The Christmas Spirit

I married a man who doesn’t celebrate Christmas (that’s a whole another post), which meant no Christmas tree or decorations. I had to come up with different ways to get into the Christmas spirit.

One is sending out Christmas cards. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without getting my cards. Now with the internet people stop using the mail. I miss real letters and cards. Yes I’ll send email cards, but I still enjoy picking out cards and mailing them.

Each year I try to do something different. One year I sent a tea bag with each card and asked the person to take a moment and have a cup of tea with me. I’ve sent cocoa and book marks. When I had a lot of time, I use to send calendars I personalized. I still get requests for those.

I don’t know what I’ll do this year, I haven’t been inspired yet.

My favorite thing to do is make cookies. I’ve been making cookies since I was nine. I enjoy baking and I usually invite all my nieces and nephews to hang out and make cookies for their family. Last year we made our first gingerbread house. I saw some ginger bread men this year I might have to get for the kids.

I love giving gifts too. I find the ones I make are better received than the ones I buy. This year I’m making ceramics for a few people and I’m thinking about doing a few earrings. One year I made everyone an afghan. My hands were so tired after that one, but it was worth the oohs. My family members still have those afghans which makes me feel good.

It’s not Christmas without hearing Alvin and the chipmunks and the Temptations. Blasting those songs on the CD or MP3 really perks me up.

How do you get into the Christmas spirit?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

CFBA: Dark Pursuit - Brandilyn Collins

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dark Pursuit

Zondervan (December 1, 2008)


Brandilyn Collins


Brandilyn Collins is known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. She is currently working on her 20th book. For chances to win free copies of her work, join her Fan Club on Facebook. Here’s what Brandilyn has to say about why she wrote Dark Pursuit:

In John Milton’s Paradise Lost Satan’s followers, kicked out of heaven, boast about storming the gates and reclaiming their territory. Beelzebub scoffs at their boasting as merely “hatching vain empires” and suggests a different revengeful scheme: seduce mankind away from God. So Satan visits the Garden of Eden to teach humans the very thing he and his cohorts have learned to be futile—the dark pursuit of hatching their own vain empires instead of following God. He presented man with this “gift” of death, disguised as life. And man fell for it.

Upon this theme of man’s fall and spiritual blindness, I created the characters and events in Dark Pursuit. The story clips along at a fast pace, with much symbolism running underneath.


Dark Pursuit—A twisting story of murder, betrayal, and eternal choices

Novelist Darell Brooke lived for his title as King of Suspense—until an auto accident left him unable to concentrate. Two years later, reclusive and bitter, he wants one thing: to plot a new novel and regain his reputation.

Kaitlan Sering, his twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, once lived for drugs. After she stole from Darell, he cut her off. Now she’s rebuilding her life. But in Kaitlan’s town two women have been murdered, and she’s about to discover a third. She’s even more shocked to realize the culprit—her boyfriend, Craig, the police chief’s son.

Desperate, Kaitlan flees to her estranged grandfather. For over forty years, Darell Brooke has lived suspense. Surely he’ll devise a plan to trap the cunning Craig.

But can Darell’s muddled mind do it? And—if he tries—with what motivation? For Kaitlan’s plight may be the stunning answer to the elusive plot he seeks...

Read the first chapter of Dark Pursuit, HERE.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I Found It

Growing up I wanted to be a pastry chef. I loved to bake and I thought this would be the perfect career for me. Then I made a detour into the navy and met the chefs in there and realized it would be better to bake for a hobby and not for a living.

After getting married and having children, I sort of lost my desire to cook or even bake. I think having picky eaters helped. I began to resent cooking. I did a lot of praying over it because I missed how cooking made me feel. I wasn’t feeling the excitement anymore. It had become a chore.

This Thanksgiving, the desire came back. I found myself picking greens, yes this sister was picking turnips greens and not complaining. I baked three cakes, made a roast, mash potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn.

The best part was the feeling was back. I enjoyed cooking again. I guess it’s a good thing with Christmas right around the corner. My kids would never forgive me if I didn’t do our annual cookie making night.

Have you lost the desire to do something and found it again?