Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween Hundred Hodgepodge!

(There's nothing like a little alliteration to make a word geek happy first thing in the morning!)

1. What creeps you out?

Things that go bump in the night, especially when it's raccoons in the attic.

And the fact that Blogger has underlined raccoons as being misspelled.

2. What's your least favorite candy?


3. Are you a fan of scary movies? What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?

I do not like them, Sam-I-am! So probably the scariest one was Halloween. And I refused to watch it at the movies. Fortunately, (or not!) they invented VCR's while I was in college and a friend rented it. I was a senior in college and could manage watching it on his TV with his roommates and mine.

4. What part of life confuses you the most?

Why when there's a 50% chance of something happening, it still pretty much manages to come out unfavorably almost 100% of the time. Who was Murphy and could we please repeal his law?

5. Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy...what's your favorite seed?

Although I hear Junior from Veggie Tales saying "Poppy! Poppy! Poppy!" from The Eight Polish Christmas Foods song, I'm not big on most of these. But I do like the sesame seeds on Chick-fil-A salads.

6. Imagine your life ten years from today...what's changed?

I hope there's a brand new earth! But if not, my kids will be grown (wow, my boy will be almost 30?!) and there's a good chance they will be married, and I might be a grandmother.

Let's not even think about that!

7. What do you a) love the most and b) like the least about the Hodgepodge?

a) The variety of questions that make me think.

b) The variety of questions that make me think!

Seriously, I can't think of anything I dislike about the Hodgepodge. I can't believe we are at the 100 mark and the odometer is rolling over to the triple digits. Joyce rocks! Thanks for doing this each week!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Had a brush with reality yesterday when I was making an appointment and realized that only THREE weeks from tomorrow is Thanksgiving! It's really early this year since November begins on a Thursday, making that fourth Thursday come up really quickly in the month! (Next year it will be really late because November starts on a Friday, so Thanksgiving won't be until the 28th.)


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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beyond the Storm

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 mean time, 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.


The timing of this blog tour is rather ironic with the East Coast being battered by Hurricane Sandy. Carolyn Zane has created a heart-wrenching novel that vividly portrays the reality of a massive tornado and the destruction that ensues. Beginning with the calm before the storm, through the warnings and desperate searches for safe shelter as the tornado bore down on the town, and continuing in the aftermath as folks searched for loved ones and the storm's impact was assessed, the thoughts and feelings of the various characters infused the story and drew me in until I was almost surprised to see the sun shining outside my own window. I loved the connection and symbolism between stitching a quilt of the remnants found in the rubble and putting the pieces back together of life and faith--while weaving in a new thread of love. I do wish the author had chosen a different profession for one of the main characters; that's simply a bias from my nursing background, but it made it difficult for me to connect with the book immediately. Overall, however, I recommend this book and look forward to more of Abingdon's Quilts of Love series.


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Monday, October 29, 2012

Where God Finds You - Interview & Giveaway!

UPDATE 11/04/12 10:10 PM WINNERS!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
3, 2
Timestamp: 2012-11-05 04:06:31 UTC

Congrats to Merry and karen k! Email me your addresses, ladies, and Anita Higman will mail the books to you!

* * * * *
I'm happy to share Part 2 of my interview with Anita Higman. In this part we talk about her new book, Where God Finds You. This is categorized as non-fiction but is a blend of fiction and non-fiction; it's a unique book that you'll enjoy reading--and reading about! Here is the interview, followed by information about the book and a giveaway.

I love the title Where God Finds You because you wrote a couple of the Love Finds You books (Love Finds You in Humble, Texas and Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe), so this title is a nice tie-in with that. They sent me a couple of excerpts--Ruth, the woman with the issue of blood, and Peter--which I really liked. Can you tell me a bit about this book?

The woman with the issue of blood who touched Jesus' cloak is actually my favorite! Where God Finds You is forty devotions infused with biblical fiction. I'm hoping that this will help women--and people in general, not just women--to fall in love with the Bible stories all over again. Each one is written in first person, so hopefully that will help you to grasp their inner thoughts and pull you into the story better than third person. My hope is that even though the culture is very different during this time period, we're still struggling today with the same fears and failures and triumphs and the same sin, and we still need the same God and we still need the same forgiveness. I hope readers see that it's very relevant for today, even the Old Testament, which people don't seem to read that much anymore. It seems like maybe the new generation is somewhat fading on their interest in reading the Bible and the Bible stories. I grew up on the Bible stories. My dad read them in our home and I heard them in Sunday School. It seems like there may be a new generation of people who don't even know the Bible stories. I hope this will help them fall in love with the stories again and go back to their Bibles and read it for themselves. And so people don't get confused, the true account from the Bible is listed there [in the book] right after the first person account.

I saw that each one has the fictional account, then the Biblical narrative, then a devotional.

Right, a Life Application, and there are questions for either personal reflection or Bible Study groups.

Tell me about the woman who touched His cloak. What about that one makes it particularly special to you?

I do think that's my favorite even though it's a really short story and we don't know much about her. But God must have been awfully impressed with her faith because we're still talking about it all these years later and she is in the Bible! A lot of people came to Jesus and said "This is what I need." It was probably a matter of shame that she didn't openly come to Him. It was difficult for her because of the time period and the cultural emphasis on being unclean.

That is one thing that has always amazed me about this story and about a lot of things in the Bible: the public nature of certain things, such as uncleanness. You had to tell people things we would keep private because you had to tell them you were unclean. She really wasn't even supposed to be in such a close crowd of people, right?

My guess is probably not.

Even touching Jesus, she was taking a risk because theoretically, she would have made Him unclean.

It's the only episode in the Bible, as far as I know, where somebody did that, where someone touched his cloak like that. I have a feeling she wasn't supposed to be there, and she was going to touch and run! She had enough faith to think she really would be healed, and she was. Jesus felt the power going out of Him, and it was such a dramatic scene, that Jesus wanted to talk to her. He didn't mind about the unclean aspect. He wanted to talk to her. I just love this story and think a lot of women can relate to this. Maybe they don't have that particular situation but they might feel unclean in other ways. There might be spiritual ways they feel unclean and they would like to not do anything but maybe touch His cloak. It's embarrassing to go public with things we've done that are sinful.

I wonder, though, since we don't have to say "I'm unclean," if we hold a lot of things in that we need to be more authentic about. I'm glad we can be a bit more private and not tell folks when we have an issue of blood that makes us unclean, though)

Yes, I think we hide a lot of our sins and our struggles. And maybe we should be accountable to more people and have some close godly friends that we look up to and are accountable to. I think that's a positive thing. It's nice having some godly women friends you can talk to and who can pray for you.

Tell me about how you came up with the title.

I didn't! Actually, the publisher came up with the title but I like it because I think it does fit the book. I think it went through a whole evolution of titles, and usually that's the way it is. On some of my other books, there might be as many as five titles that they have gone through until they feel like they have just the right one that will capture the essence of the work and also capture people's attention when they're glancing through the shelves. A lot of times, books are not necessarily put out face forward, and you just see the spine. You might get a customer's attention for only one second--if you're lucky!

Since this is Standard Publishing and your Love Finds You is Summerside, they weren't trying to connect the titles.

Right. They're different publishers, but they don't mind the connection at all because it will help bring my fiction readers to this non-fiction book.

How challenging is it to write Biblical fiction--trying to stay true to the Bible and not put anything into it while filling in some gaps and helping readers understand emotions and culture?

Well, it was such a daunting task, when the original editor asked me to do it, I told him no! Some other things fell through and he was trying to think of something that I could add some fiction to, and he came up with this idea. It was a really great idea, infusing devotions with first-person Biblical fiction! I don't know if anyone's done anything quite like this before. It was a great idea but I didn't know if I was the correct person for the job. I'm such a perfectionist about things and because Biblical fiction has been done so well, I was completely intimidated, to be honest with you. So I told him no because I didn't think I could do the job the way it needed to be done. He said, "I will not accept that as an answer." (She laughs.) I had never heard that from an editor before! I so appreciated it. It was so wonderful and fresh, but it was scary, too. He said, "I would like you to pray about this." So I said I would pray about it over the weekend. And I did, and everything changed. I hear from God from time to time pretty clearly, but not like that! That was very clear. And it was yes, and I was to write this book., even if I was frightened. I was to put all that aside, all that "Anita stuff" and all that "I can't, I can't," and with His power, I was going to. I emailed him and told him I would do it.

Then it really got scary because I knew it would take quite a few months of research. So that I could get the epic feel of the Bible and the rich language really in my head and my spirit, I had a CD player in my bathroom and I would listen to the Word as I would put my make-up on and any time I was in the bathroom and while I was running errands. So I was listening to the Word out loud, and it changed my life! I highly recommend that to anyone who wants to get a different feel of the Bible. Usually we just read it, and I think our minds have read it so much we just skim things. Hearing it out loud is a different experience, and that really helped me a lot. I had some books on Biblical culture that I was working on at the same time, and some of it just came down to prayer. And just like the woman is raising her hands on the cover, that's what I had to do in the morning. I said, "Lord, I don't really know exactly how to do this; I'm doing my part, doing the research, but I really need your help." And He did, every day, somehow I managed to get a chapter done, and then I would start polishing. It took some time to polish, too. Somehow, the book got written, with the Lord's help, truly.

How did you decide which people you used? You have some people that are less known or unnamed--the woman that touched His cloak, the man at the pool at Bethesda, Pilate's wife, the Queen of Sheba, the woman of Samaria. Then you have some very well-known people: Ruth, Paul, Martha, Rahab, Eve. How did you choose who you used?

That's a good question. One of the criteria is that I had to have a passion for that particular person and what they did in the Bible. I knew I could write it in a more passionate way and make it come to life if I had always been interested in that story. So it had to mean something to me. Not that the other Bible stories don't, but I just have more passion about these. It does look a bit like a hodgepodge selection of people, doesn't it?

There are forty of them, and it's a devotional book, so they can do one a day or one a week or however they want?

As fast or as slowly as they want to do them. Individually or as a group.

Well, I'm looking forward to reading the whole book! Thanks so much for sharing about it.

Where God Finds You
40 Devotions Bringing Bible Characters to Life

(Standard Publishing)
ISBN: 978-0784733639
September 2012/240 pages/$12.99

In forty devotional tales, Where God Finds You breathes new life into ancient Bible characters. Live with and learn about more than forty Bible men and women, including the wife of Pontius Pilate, Esther, John the Baptist, Delilah, Lazarus, and Mary Magdalene.

Through reflection on Scripture and prayer, you’ll discover a place in each of these lives of vulnerability, tenderness, truth, and love—a place where you can find God . . . and where God finds you.

Where God Finds You is unique among women’s devotional books in that it brings dozens of men and women of the Bible to life through dramatic short stories, connects biblical truths to today’s culture, and offers readers an opportunity to reflect on what they’ve learned. Each devotion features:

  • A dramatic retelling of Scripture that allows the reader to crawl into the pages of the Bible.
  • The Story from God's Word: a quote or paraphrase of the applicable Bible passage in a reader-friendly version.
  • The Story—From Then to Now: a personal reflection from the author to help link the passage to life today.
  • The Story—Questions to Think About: prompts for personal reflection or group discussion that lead to practical application.


Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Find out more about Anita at


This is a unique and fascinating book. Familiar and not-so-familiar stories from the Bible are retold in a fresh way through first-person reflections of the individual being highlighted. The scriptural account follows each meticulously researched and carefully crafted fictionalized perspective. Questions for reflection complete the chapter and focus ooon that particular character and/or event. This book can easily be utilized for individual or group study, either daily or weekly, as scheduling permits. For the person unfamiliar with characters and stories from the Bible, this is a great way to begin learning them. The more experienced believer will enjoy the fresh perspective and insights Higman brings to these characters and stories.


Anita Higman has graciously offered to give a copy of this book to two of you. To enter, leave a comment on this blog by 8:00 pm CST Sunday, 11/04/12 and I will randomly draw a winner. US Residents only, please. You must include an email address if you do not have a blog. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to notification or another winner will be chosen.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Anita Higman and Standard Publishing as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Flight of Fancy

A Flight of Fancy
(The Daughters of Bainbridge House)
Laurie Alice Eakes
ISBN: 978-0800734671
October 2012/352 pages/$14.99

Her head is in the clouds. His feet are planted firmly on the ground. Can love cover the distance?

Cassandra Bainbridge may be a bit of a bluestocking, but when Geoffrey Giles is near, love seems a fine alternative to passion for Greek and the physics of flight. With his dashing good looks and undying devotion to her, the earl of Whittaker sets Cassandra's heart racing with his very presence. It seems his only flaw is his distaste for ballooning, the obsession that consumes so much of her thoughts.

When a terrible accident compels her to end her betrothal, Cassandra heads for the country to recover from both her injuries and her broken heart. With time on her hands and good friends to help her, she pursues her love for ballooning and envisions a future for herself as a daring aeronaut. But when Lord Whittaker slips back into her life, will she have to choose between him and her dream?


Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, Heart's Safe Passage, A Necessary Deception, A Flight of Fancy, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats. Learn more about her at her website.


I discovered Laurie Alice Eakes last year and thoroughly enjoyed the three books I reviewed of hers, and I was delighted to meet her in person at the ACFW conference in September. A Flight of Fancy is another endearing Regency novel. Cassandra is a woman ahead of her time as she determines to be on the forefront of the exciting new world of ballooning. I alternately admired and cringed at her boldness, which bordered at times on foolishness--at least according to the man to whom she had been betrothed. Eakes has created dynamic and believable characters that are easy to like. Romance and adventure abound as personalities collide in this novel set two centuries ago.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Saturday, October 27, 2012

TSMSS - O Come O Come Emmanurel

I know it's a bit early for Christmas songs, but I had to share this song with you! Yesterday I featured Jeremy Camp's debut Christmas CD, Christmas: God with Us. Here is one of my all-time favorite carols from that cd.

Scroll to yesterday's post to learn more about this great CD. And leave a cooment on THAT POST if you want to be entered in a drawing for a free CD! (Comments are welcome on this post, but they won't be included in the givesway.)

Join me at Amy's for more songs!


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Christmas CD Giveaway (Canada Included!)

UPDATE Wednesday, 10/31/12 WINNER!

My apologies for being slow in announcing the winner. I was a bit preoccupied last night with some other issues. But the winner definitely gets a treat today!

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-10-31 18:02:47 UTC

Congrats to Diana Ferguson! Email me your address, Diana, and the CD will be on its way to you!

* * * * *
Although I cringe to see Christmas decorations already up in stores, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to share with you not only the great Christmas novels currently being released, but some great Christmas music as well. I've always enjoyed Jeremy Camp's music and I love his first Christmas CD, Christmas: God with Us. It's hard not to feel immediately festive when the CD kicks off with Jingle Bell Rock followed by Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! Camp sings many familiar and much loved songs on this recording, but some of them have been enhanced with additional verses or bridges. The title song, God With Us, is a new song written by Camp, Brown Bannister, and Ben Shive that I can tell I'll soon be singing along with him as I listen! Probably my favorite of all though, is the beautiful O Come O Come Emmanuel. The string solo at the end of that one is worth the price of the CD!

Below is a little more info on this CD as well as a preview. Keep reading to see how you can win a copy!

Jeremy Camp Debuts Christmas Album!

Grammy and two-time American Music Award nominated artist Jeremy Camp has released four RIAA Gold-selling studio albums including his debut album, One RIAA Multi-Platinum long-form video, 24 #1 Radio Hits across all formats, and is featured as Billboard’s No. 3 Christian Artist of the Decade including five songs in the Top 50 Billboard Christian Songs of the Decade. Since 2002, Jeremy Camp has continued to ride the top of the radio charts. With over 3 million total album sales, Jeremy Camp has proven that he is among the top artists in Christian music today.

Christmas: God With Us is Jeremy Camp’s first full-length Christmas album, featuring both original and traditional Christmas songs. This release is sure to become a staple in many homes this holiday season and for many more to come!


Lifeway Stores

Check out a preview of the album here!


The publicist is offering a copy of this CD to one of you! To enter, leave a comment on this post by 8:00 pm CDT Tuesay, 10/30/12, and I will draw a winner. US and Canada mailing addresses only. Winner must respond within 48 hours of notification or another winner will be chosen.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this CD free from Merge PR and EMI Music/CMG Distributors. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Mocha with Martha Rogers and A Giveaway!

UPDATE Sunday 10/28/12 11:30 pm WINNER

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-10-29 04:27:08 UTC

Congrats to Jes! Email me your address, Jes and I'll send the book your way!
* * * * *
Meeting Martha Rogers in 2011 was one of those divine appointments for which I will always be grateful. I just "happened" to stop at her publisher's booth at ICRS in Atlanta and asked about a sequel to her novel, and Martha was standing there and introduced herself. We discovered we have a dear mutual friend, and a friendship was born! She is an absolute jewel and when I went to Orlando for ICRS this past July, I made sure we to arrange an interview with her. As you read, you will discover what a precious spirit she has, a result of a lifetime following the Lord!

You have a Christmas coming out this fall, right?

Yes, Christmas at Holly Hill is a full-length novel. Toward the end of it, it brings back Lucy & Jake from Becoming Lucy. They come to the orphanage because a young girl who has been rescued is connected to them.

What is the basic story of the novel?

It's set in an orphanage and the children there range from ages four to twelve or thirteen. The hero is an ex-convict. He's released from prison and comes home as the prodigal son, and he has to win the trust of the town and the girl that he had loved in school. She had moved away, and her family moved back to take over the orphanage when her grandfather passed away. He doesn't think he's worthy of her. She's conflicted about him, but she sees the good in him. Then there's a little boy that he rescues from a fire, and the rest of his family is killed in the fire. He takes him to Holly Hill and that's when she really begins to realize he has such a good heart. There's a lot of other stuff going on that all works together.

You said this ties in to Becoming Lucy and the Winds Across the Prairie series. Will there be other stories that tie in to this book?

Not with this one. But Amelia's Journey was the prequel to the whole thing. It goes back and tells how Ben and Mellie, Lucy's aunt and uncle, got to Oklahoma. You learn more about Lucy's parents and grandparents.

When you write a book or series and then go back and write the prequel after the other books have been written, is it hard to go back and write it and make sure that things line up and make sense?

Yes! There was one thing that I looked and looked and couldn't find it, so I finally left it. Of course, one of the readers spotted it. "You said they started out in a mud hut and in your book they come to a house!" That's what I was looking for. So it's little things like that. But the rest of it was pretty accurate. There was just that one little mistake, but people didn't seem to mind.

What else do you have on your agenda?

My next series is set from 1865 to the 1880's, and it's loosely based on the story of my great-grandparents. My great-grandfather was captured in the Battle of Nashville and taken to Point Lookout Prison in Maryland, and he was released around the time of the Armistice and exchanged. He then came home with his brother to Louisiana and married my great-grandmother. We have been in the church where they were married and we have seen their marriage license--all that good stuff! I thought that was such a neat love story that I wanted to write it. So I embellished a lot to fill in the gaps that we don't know anything about. Then the series follows; her sister comes next, and then their daughter.

I wrote the first book years ago for them and gave it all to them, but it wasn't near long enough for a novel, so I've gone back and added a lot to it. They're all looking forward to seeing it.

I just signed a contract with B&H to do a contemporary as part of the Bloomfield series. My first ebook will be out next July in coordination with July Fourth celebration because my book takes place at July the Fourth. Then, Debby Mayne, Trish Perry, and I are all in a Christmas novella that will come out in 2014 because it's due next year. That's quite a bit.

Wow. That really is a lot!

It's going to work out, and I'm looking forward to writing the Christmas novella with them because I so admire Debby and Trish, and we get along so well. We have a lot of fun together!

So who is your quirky character? I understand everyone in the Bloomfield series has a quirky character!

Oh, that would be Winnie Simpson who has a black thumb because she kills everything. She thinks the Bloomers are a bunch of clique-ish friends that she doesn't need. Her gardening consists of silk flowers that change with the seasons.

That would be me! I have such a hard time with plants!

She speaks her mind and she doesn't care who knows it. She doesn't care if she hurts somebody's feelings. She and Naomi get along really well. Naomi is in her late seventies and Winnie's in her sixties, but they think alike. Winnie could have been Naomi's daughter.

Now you don't know anyone like any of these women, do you?

My friends are so funny. I have a couple of groups that I'm a part of--a Bible Study and a group that plays 42, and a Birthday group. I listen to our conversations and they are sounding an awful lot like my grandparents' conversations that I used to laugh at! Everyone repeats what the one before said! It's a lot of fun. When I write characters who are sixty and older, I can really get into it because I'm using what I know from my own life and what I see in my friends and what I hear them say. I know that some of my younger readers are going to wonder about it!

No, because we'll recognize it from our aunts and uncles and parents and grandparents!

Yes, just look around at your family. Everybody knows someone like that. They're just people you see every day. It's a lot of fun.

It doesn't sound like you are ready to retire any time soon!

As long as I stay busy, I guess I'll keep going. I used to say, "Lord, do you know what time it is? Do you know how old I am?" Well, of course He does!

Does that give you pause sometimes when you sign some of these contracts that are a ways out?

I just say, "Well, Lord, you want me to stay around a little while longer!" I'm in First Place. And I stay in First Place because I think if the Lord wants me to write these books for the next three years, I better stay healthy so that I can write them. I want to stay around to see my great-grandchildren grow up. I have two great-grandsons and a third great-grandchild on the way and I want to be around to see them because they are such a delight.

Well, you are just amazing! I hope to be in as good of shape as you are. Although I think you're already in better shape than I am now!

It's just a state of mind. It's an attitude. It's taking every day and seizing the opportunity and doing what you want to do and enjoy doing. I love traveling and I love getting out and meeting people. I love doing this. If the Lord has more books for me, then that's fine. We'll write them. When He decides it's time to stop all this, we'll stop it all.

And isn't that the greatest thing about having that knowledge and hope? You think about folks in the secular world that are trying to do it all and grab it and hang on to it as much as they can.

Yes, and I look at young people, and I say slow down. Enjoy life. The Lord's in control and if you're supposed to get that job, you're going to get that job. Just don't be so anxious about things. Let Him take care of it. It just goes so much easier. When I had my breast cancer, my attitude was, "Now Lord, You gave me this. I can't do anything about it. It's Your problem, so You've got to solve it!"

When was that?

My first surgery was in 1994 and my second one was in 1999. And I've been cancer-free since then. But it was that attitude: "It's not my problem because I cannot solve it. I am not the doctor. It's up to You, Lord. You're in control of this." All I could control was my attitude and the way I faced each day. I could choose to be happy or I could choose to be furious and angry because it was happening. So I chose joy and chose to live each day and see what God had for me to do. And here I am now, all these years later! People say, "But your grandson has cystic fibrosis and you've been through so much with him; he almost died so many times." I say, "But he didn't. We rejoice in the moment. We rejoice in each day. We don't look ahead ten or fifteen years and lament that he might not be here. We enjoy where he is now. A friend of mine said, "But how can you smile all the time and how can you be so happy?" I said, "What good does it do to be sad? What good does it do to be angry or unhappy when we have him and he's here. We enjoy him!" It's hard for people to understand sometimes, and I don't understand why it's hard for them to understand! Christians should not have anxieties over things they cannot control. If it's something that you can do something about, then do it! Ask the Lord what you're supposed to do, let Him tell you, and do it. If you can't control it, then stop and say, "Okay, it's yours, God." Then go on and do what you need to be doing, whatever it is. And let Him take care of the other.

Wow. You can preach it!

Well, it took me awhile. It did not happen overnight and it hasn't always been that way. It's just growing older and deciding that's what you're going to do. You have to be intentional.

You are such a dear! I always think, "I want to be like her." I see in your whole countenance that you live what you say. It just radiates from you.

I hope so. I don't always do what I'm supposed to do. I say, "Okay Lord, here I am again. I didn't do so well yesterday."

Well, you're still a sinner like the rest of us, but I know that you have lived a life of faithfulness and it's such an encouragement to someone like me.

When He brings you through so much, you can't help but look back and say, "Ooh, I am so blessed!" God is so good, and He always works things out. It can be horrible in the midst but beautiful when you are over on the other side.

Thanks so much, Martha! It's always such a pleasure to visit with you!

Now, keep reading to find out more about the book and the GIVEAWAY!

Christmas at Holly Hill
(Winds Across the Prairie)
Martha Rogers
ISBN: 978-1616388379
September 2012/304 pages/$13.99

Can Clayton Barlow prove he has changed his ways in time for Christmas?

It is October 1898, and Clayton Barlow has just returned home after serving time in prison for his part in a bank robbery. His family welcomes him, but the townspeople are skeptical. Bored with life in the small town but determined to make a new start, he goes to work with his father, hoping to regain the town’s trust.

Clayton recognizes the schoolteacher at the Prairie Grove School as his childhood friend, Merry Lee Warner, and old feelings surface. Still, he doubts that he could ever get a woman like Merry to love him.

As the townspeople prepare for Christmas, their suspicions about Clayton lead to trouble. Will the trusting heart of an unlikely new friend be enough to restore Clayton’s relationships with his neighbors and reunite him with God and Merry?


Martha Rogers is a freelance author of both fiction and non-fiction and a speaker. Her stories and articles have appeared in a number of compilations and magazines. Her first fiction novella was released in 2007. Her Winds Across the Prairie series debuted in 2010 with Becoming Lucy, Morning for Dove, Finding Becky, and Caroline’s Choice. Her experiences as a public school teacher, Sunday school teacher, youth leader, First Place leader, Mom and Grandmother give Martha a unique field of ministry. Martha served as editor of a monthly newsletter for the writer’s organization Inspirational Writers Alive! for six years and is the state president. She is also the director for the annual Texas Christian Writer’s Conference and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), for whom she writes a weekly devotional. Martha and her husband are active members of First Baptist Church, Houston.

Learn more at her website.


Martha Rogers has created another delightful novel tied into her enjoable Winds Across the Prairie series. She has once again created characters that tugged at my heart. I particularly liked her depiction of Clay's character and determination as he endeavored to show the town he was a different man than the youth who had hung out with the wrong friends and ended up in prison. Reminiscent of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, this book swept me away to Prairie Grove, Kansas in 1898. A wonderful Christmas tale that will warm your heart!

Read my reviews of the other Winds Across the Prairie books:

Becoming Lucy
Morning for Dove
Finding Becky
Amelia's Journey


I have an extra copy of this book that I am going to give to one of you. Just leave a comment on this post by 8:00 pm CDT Sunday, 10/28/2012, and I will randomly draw a winner. US mailing addresses only, please. You must include an email address if you don't have a blog. Winner will have 48 hours to respond after notification of win or another name will be chosen.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Realms Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge #99

This week is the last double-digit Wednesday Hodgepodge, number 99! What fun! Next week the odometer turns over to 100!

1. So, do you like beer?

(This question isn't as random as it seems; Joyce said 99 always makes her think of the old singing-on-the-bus song "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" which they adapted to "pop" on church outings! LOL)

I've never tasted "real" beer (I had some non-alcoholic beer in Germany this summer), but judging by the fact that I hate the way it smells, I think it's safe to say that I would not like it.

2. What's your least favorite repetitive task?

Glad I read it twice--I skipped over the word least the first time!

Putting on make-up, doing my hair--the whole morning routine. And the night one, too. Makes me weary! LOL

3. When was the last time you rode a bus? Where was it headed?

School field trips, but I couldn't tell you which one was the last one.

4. What song from your childhood or from your own children's childhood could make a parent's nerves stand on end?

It's a Small World After All. And I never hated that one until I went to Disney World!

(My mom would have answered I Love to Laugh from Mary Poppins. She hated that song! From my children's childhood, most people would probably say Barney's "I Love You, You Love Me" song, but it never bothered me that much. Children's songs are supposed to be simplistic.)

5. The US Presidential election cycle is drawing to a close (can I get an AMEN??), and the third and final debate was held last night...what was the last thing you 'debated about'?

Probably some grammar rule. LOL Or something in Sunday morning Bible Study. But I prefer to say I discuss rather than debate. :-)

6. Can a person make too much money? How much is too much?

Yes. Whatever amount makes the person focus on the money and live with a closed fist instead of open-handed generosity towards those around them.

7. Pop-soda-coke-something else...what's it called where you live?

Growing up, we always called the general thing "soda pop". Eventually we started calling them "canned drinks" because yes, I'm old enough that I remember when those came out and it was a distinction to get those instead of the bottles! Most of the time we just call it what it is--Dr Pepper, etc., sometimes soda, sometimes drinks. I never call it coke because I've always been a DP girl.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Be sure you check out those great giveaways over on the right at the top of my sidebar!

Come on over to Joyce's blog and join the fun!


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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Launch Day! To Whisper Her Name - My Review

To Whisper Her Name
(A Belle Meade Plantation Novel)
Tamera Alexander
ISBN: 978-0310291060
October 2012/473 pages/$14.99

Olivia Aberdeen, destitute widow of a man shot as a traitor to the South, is shunned by proper society and gratefully accepts an invitation from "Aunt" Elizabeth Harding, mistress of Belle Meade Plantation. Expecting to be the Harding's head housekeeper, Olivia is disillusioned when she learns the real reason Elizabeth's husband, Confederate General William Giles Harding, agreed to her coming. Not finding the safe haven she expects, Olivia is caught off guard by her feelings for Ridley Adam Cooper, a Southern man who seems anything but a Southern gentleman.

Branded a traitor by some, Ridley Cooper, a Southern son who chose to fight for the Union, is a man desperate to end the war still raging inside him. Determined to learn "the gift" that Belle Meade's head horse trainer and former slave, Bob Green, possesses, Ridley harbors secrets that threaten both their lives.

As Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for "betraying" the South he loved, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again.

Set at Nashville's historic Belle Meade Plantation, the most influential thoroughbred stud farm in America's history, To Whisper Her Name weaves the struggles of real people of the post-war South with the journeys of a man and a woman scarred by betrayal.


In addition to the trailer, Tamera and her publisher filmed six video vignettes on location at Belle Meade plantation in Nashville. You can view these fascinating vignettes, which share a bit of the plantation's history and a peek into the story, by clicking here.

Read an excerpt.


Tamera Alexander is the bestselling author of numerous books, including A Lasting Impression and The Inheritance. Her richly drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide, as well as multiple industry awards.

These awards include the 2009 and 2008 Christy Award, the 2010 and 2007 RITA for Best Inspirational Romance, the 2010, 2009 and 2007 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, 2007 Bookseller’s Best Award, and Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction for 2006, among others. Her books have finaled six times for the Christy Award, a mark of excellence in Christian fiction.

Tamera and her husband recently returned to her Southern roots and now make their home in Nashville.

Learn more about Tamera and her novels by following her at. . .

Her website:
Her blog:


Oh. My. The wait for this book has been excruciating, but it was absolutely worth it. To Whisper Her Name sets the bar for historical romance. Once again, Tamera Alexander has created a masterful saga that swept me away, this time to Belle Meade plantation. I adored Ridley Cooper and Olivia Aberdeen. Their individual stories are captivating and heart-wrenching; their relationship is superbly depicted. I loved their clashes and snarky verbal sparring just as much as the tender moments that made me catch my breath. No one can write a scene to quicken the heart quite like Tamera can! This is romance done right--but this is so much more than a romance novel. Infused with rich historical detail, each page pulsates with emotion. Although the Civil War had officially ended, the wounds ran deep in the South and the rejoined states were far from united. Long-held attitudes and opinions about the role of the (now former) slaves, those who fought for the North, and anyone who dared to act outside of the strict Southern code of propriety resulted in tension that could escalate and erupt with the power of one of General Harding's unbroken stallions. Tamera's gift for character portrayal breathes life into the servants, the stable hands, and the Harding family. I could practically smell the horseflesh, taste the beaten biscuits, and hear the servants singing and clapping! A novel as grand as Belle Meade itself, To Whisper Her Name beckons you to sit a spell and experience a year on the plantation. I sighed when I read the last page and reluctantly closed the book. I'm ready for the next one!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tamera Alexander and Zondervan. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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No Safe Harbor

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.


No Safe Harbor is an intriguing book, not only for the high level of suspense but for the vivid portrayal of life as an Irish immigrant in the late 19th century. I can't imagine doing what Cara did as she braved a new land in search of her brother. Plenty of dangers lurked for a young woman alone even without the added aspect of mysterious circumstances behind her brother's disappearance. Ludwig provides just enough of a glimpse of the "bad guys" to allow the reader to see some of the danger that Cara is in and heighten the suspense. This one will keep you turning pages past your bedtime!


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Monday, October 22, 2012

A Mocha with Anita Higman & Giveaway!

UPDATE Saturday, 10/27/12, 8:40 pm WINNER

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
2, 10
Timestamp: 2012-10-28 01:35:30 UTC

Congrats to Elizabeth Byler Younts and Andrea! Email me your addresses ladies, and Anita Higman will mail a book to each of you.

* * * * *
One of the blessings of reviewing books has been the opportunity to meet and interview a number of authors. Anita Higman is one of those authors whom I was delighted to meet in July when I was at ICRS in Orlando. She has been quite busy with three books coming out in close succession this fall. I'm dividing up the interview as I introduce each book. Today I'm happy to share about her Christmas novel, A Merry Little Christmas! Enjoy my chat with Anita, then keep reading to find out more about the book and a giveaway Anita has offered for my readers!

You have a Christmas book coming out. It's a full-length novel, right? A lot of the Christmas books are novellas, and I barely get into reading them before they're over!

Yes, novellas are very popular, and I did write a Christmas novella a couple of years ago for Guideposts/Summerside called Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe. It was actually two separate novellas combined; one was a historical by Irene Brand and mine was a contemporary, Once Upon a Christmas Eve, and we somewhat tied them together. That hit the CBA Bestseller list. They're finding that Christmas novels and novellas do very well. People love reading about Christmas!

A Merry Little Christmas, just to give you an idea--if people liked The Help, it's a little bit like The Help. Just a little. But there's quite a bit more romance. It's set in the early 1960's and there's a little bit about Jim Crow, a little bit about falling in love, a little bit about two people colliding from very different worlds. The heroine is a farmer's daughter and the hero is very, very wealthy. He comes from an ultra-wealthy family in Oklahoma City, and she's out on a farm about an hour and a half to two hours away.

I grew up in Oklahoma on a farm and I know about farming, so I was able to infuse many of the scenes with real-life farming activities. One of the scenes where they're starting to fall in love, they're birthing baby piglets! I haven't read any scenes like that before in romances. (She laughs.) It's sort of unexpected, I think. I wanted to do some really different scenes. It's so easy in romances to get stuck in a cafe, to get stuck drinking coffee or tea. I know I've been stuck in coffee shops too much in my writing, so I thought, "Let's do some really different things. What if you open the novel and she's slopping hogs?" That's how the scene opens. She falls in love with the music--because this is centered around music, also. As the book begins, she's listening to music on her transistor radio and slopping hogs, and that's how she meets the hero. He's coming to buy the farm away from her. She's desperate to get to the city to get to the music, and he's desperate to get to the farm and become a gentleman farmer. So they decide to trade lives. It's a lot of fun. I tried to put some humor in it. I have to leave that up to the reader. I can think something's funny, but it's the reader's decision to really laugh or not.

When does it come out?

It releases in October. And I'm happy to say they chose to make it really special. It's going to be a gift book trim size and it will be released in hardback first. I think it will be very pretty. It will have an embossed cover and pearlescent pages.

Thank you, Anita! I've loved getting to know you a bit, and I look forward to sharing more of this interview in the days to come!

A Merry Little Christmas
Anita Higman
ISBN: 978-1609366889
October 2012/256 pages/Hardcover/$14.99

Fall in love with this cozy story about two people from different worlds.

Franny Martin is an Oklahoma farm girl who's preparing to spend the holidays alone...again. Then Charlie Landau shows up one day, all wealth and polish, and offers to buy Franny's farm. Franny has no money to speak of, but she is clever and spirited, and she's more than happy to sell the farm and move to the city.

As Sinatra croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon her charming farm, Franny teaches Charlie the curious and sometimes comical ways of country life. In the process, they unearth some discoveries of the heart-that sometimes love comes when you're least ready for it. Will the holidays bring their most impossible dreams within reach?

Link to buy the book:


Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Find out more about Anita at


Anita Higman has penned a charming Christmas novel. While I'm a definite city girl, I enjoyed the farm setting and marveled just a bit at how quickly Charlie caught on to the many jobs that needed to be learned. More than a simple romance, this novel reflects the racial unease of the early 1960's as well as the age-old quest of a young man trying to find his own way while still longing to please his overbearing father. Joy & pain, laughter & tears, and faith & forgiveness are found within the pages of this book and perhaps, within the heart of the reader. Don't miss this tender novel. Have yourself A Merry Little Christmas!

See what other reviewers on the blog tour are saying here.


Anita Higman contacted me and generously offered to give a copy of this book to TWO of my readers. To enter, leave a comment on this post by 8:00 pm CDT Saturday (10/27/12) and I will randomly choose two names. US Residents only, please. You must include an email address if you do not have a blog, and winners will have 48 hours to respond when winners are announced or a new winner(s) will be chosen. Books will be mailed to the winner by Anita Higman.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Summerside via Litfuse Publicity as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Saturday, October 20, 2012

TSMSS - A Wonderful New Artist and A Giveaway!

UPDATE Saturday 10/27 8:30 PM WINNER

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-10-28 01:30:40 UTC

Congrats to skoots1mom! Email me your address and I'll mail the CD to you!

* * * * *
I am so excited to introduce a relatively new musician to you today! If you attended any of the summer music festivals around the country, you may have seen her. Julie Elias has recently released her CD A Wild Rose.

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with Julie in July at ICRS in Orlando. Since I am not a TV watcher, I was not familiar with her from Grey's Anatomy or some of the other shows she has appeared on. But I had listened to the CD her publicist had sent and immediately knew I wanted to meet her. She is a lovely long lady with a heart to match her beautiful voice.

I loved listening to your CD! I had it on in the car and my daughter said, "She's good!" I liked all the songs, but especially loved "I'm Yours" and "Peace I Leave With You." Tell me about your CD. Is it being released everywhere? Will I hear it on K-LOVE?

Hopefully! Ideally. There's a lot that goes into it. It's not like you just mail your CD to a bunch of radio stations like I thought it was when I was a little girl. I have had some radio interviews and I've had some amazing opportunities to tour with some festivals this summer. Even though the CD wasn't done yet, I had to take [those opportunities]. But for going in raw without a lot of backing, it's been really amazing.

Do you have some individual tours too?

I'm working on that. Actually, last fall I did a worship conference and I just sang one song but I had a special that people at that conference could book me for Christmas music at their churches. I ended up getting a ten-date Christmas tour from that. It was small but it was amazing because it was my first time going out as a solo artist. I loved it.

[Note: View her current tour schedule here. She'll be in several states over the next four months!]

Where are you from? Are you in Nashville?

I'm from Tennessee but I actually live in the Dallas area.

Oh, you're a Texas girl now! Well, Austin is the Live Music Capital, so we'll have to get you down there! Tell me a little bit about your journey. Has this been something you've always wanted to do?

Actually, it's not. I've always had music in my life. I took piano lessons for about six years and I sang on the church worship team and in the little musicals and that sort of thing. But for me, it was always just fun. But I always had a lot of stuff that I liked to do and one thing didn't jump out as something I wanted to do with my whole life. But through some trial and error, and just growing up and exposing myself to different things, I found myself studying musical theater. I really loved telling stories through songs, and I found myself as an audience member being so impacted with the combination of the message and the music. I had actually decided pretty late that I would change my degree to music theater. I felt like I wanted to follow the acting route. So I moved to Hollywood and put myself in the throes of everything. I had some really great experiences. I worked as an extra on a couple of TV shows. Grey's Anatomy was one that I worked on about a year and a half. That was cool because I got my fake scrubs and I really learned a lot about a set and how many people it takes--just to do a shot of a face, there's fifty people making it happen, whether it's make-up, lighting, sound, etc. It was just so cool to see that. I felt like it was another education in a way!

But at the end of the day, I was having some fun times but I didn't really see that as being what defined me. I just felt like something was missing with what I really wanted to do with my life. I went through a time of being frustrated but just praying, "What should I do?" Right around that same time, I had a couple of opportunities to do music at a more professional level than I'd done before. Like I said, I'd always liked music and singing, but it was a hobby. When these opportunities came to take it to the next level, I realized it was something I had enjoyed my whole life and that if there was an opportunity to do it as my life--and then to do the Christian music aspect where you can really have an impact on people, share what God is doing in your life, and try to encourage them and motivate them to get through these hard times that everyone has to go through-- that would be pretty cool! I spent a couple of months praying about it and talking with some trusted family and friends, people who had known me a long time. Throughout that whole time, God just kept pushing me toward it over and over, and I decided I needed to do it.

Thank you so much, Julie! I loved meeting and chatting with you!

You can learn more about Julie Elias at her website. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Here is Julie singing Here I Am at Night of Joy at Walt Disney World last month.

And this is one of my favorites from her album. Such a tender reminder of God's presence and peace in the midst of sorrow!

I love this CD. It is an eclectic blend of several musical styles, with some songs having a classic rock feel and others being quieter and more reflective. As suits each song, the instrumentation ranges from guitars and drums to strings to simple piano. The result is a delight! I look forward to hearing more from Julie in the days and years to come.


I have an extra copy of this CD for one of you! Just leave a comment on this post by 8:00 pm CDT next Saturday, 10/27/12, and I will draw a winner. US residents only, please. You must leave an email address if you don't have a blog. Winner will have 48 hours after notification of win to claim CD by emailing me his/her address or another winner will be chosen.

Join me over at Amy's for more songs for your weekend!


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Friday, October 19, 2012

A Chat with Liz Curtis Higgs & A Wreath of Snow

A Wreath of Snow:
A Victorian Christmas Novella

Liz Curtis Higgs
ISBN: 978-1400072170
October 2012/226 pages/Hardcover/$14.99

Christmas Eve 1894

All Margaret Campbell wants for Christmas is a safe journey home. When her plans for a festive holiday with her family in Stirling crumble beneath the weight of her brother’s bitterness, the young schoolteacher wants nothing more than to return to the students she loves and the town house she calls home.

Then an unexpected detour places her in the path of Gordon Shaw, a handsome newspaperman from Glasgow, who struggles under a burden of remorse and shame.

When the secret of their shared history is revealed, will it leave them tangled in a knot of regret? Or might their past hold the threads that will bind their future together?

As warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve, A Wreath of Snow is a tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.

"A wonderful story of redemption and restoration that will warm your heart during the Christmas season—or any time of year!"
Francine Rivers, best-selling author of Redeeming Love


I adore Liz Curtis Higgs! She absolutely lights up a room when she walks in the door. It's always a delight to attend any event where she speaks or emcees, such as the Christy Awards. At ICRS this past July, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with her for half an hour and chat about her two new books. Here I share part of that interview as we talk about A Wreath of Snow. At the time we talked, I had only received an excerpt (the first chapter). She burst out laughing when I told her that to quote my sweets-loving dad when he only got a small piece of pie, the excerpt "was just enough to make me mad!" Her reply was "better mad than bored!" Here is our chat.

I can't wait to read the rest of this story! Tell me a little more about it, please.

A Wreath of Snow, set in Scotland in 1894. Why that year? Because it was a Christmas in that part of Scotland when they had tons of snow--70 days in a row below zero. Well, their zero; freezing for us! So they had lots of days below freezing and lots of snow. The other reason is a wreath in Scots means a snowdrift. A drift of snow plays a big part in the story. I won't tell you more than that. (She says with a mischievous grin!) It's not based on Biblical characters; it's a story God gave me. I love to write fiction because it's such an adventure! Some writers are real plotters. I'm not a plotter. I spend a whole lot of time in characterization, then throw them in the story and see what happens. So I'm following them around.

So you're one of those who hears the voices in her head and the characters do all sorts of things?!

Yes, that's me. There are different kinds of writers and I definitely lean toward that. Now I will do a plot just to prove to myself that there's a story there. But if you compare the finished product with what that plot was? Half the time the characters don't have the same names, they don't have the same back story, the ending is different. It doesn't matter! What matters is the story you end up with.

It comes out in October, a nice little hardcover Christmas novella. I'm excited! It's a Victorian, which is a new time period for me and which I loved. It just covers three days: Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day. And it's set in Stirling, Scotland, which is about an hour by train out of Edinburgh or Glasgow, either way. It's sort of the top point of a triangle between those two cities. It's right at the foot of the Highlands, when you look out from Stirling Castle there in the Highlands.

How much time do you spend in Scotland?

I've been there fifteen times! It's insane. I usually go for a couple of weeks at a time. I just went for a month during April and May. I'm leading a Victorian Christmas tour of Scotland--oh, I'm so excited! Actually, I'm taking two groups back to back this December. The first one sold out in six days so we added another one!
What's on your agenda after this? Are you working on more books?

Always, Linda! I've always got stuff going on! I've got contracts with WaterBrook, whom I adore, for two more non-fiction and two more fiction. I'm not sure which order they'll be in.


In her best-selling series of Bad Girls of the Bible books and videos, Liz Curtis Higgs breathes new life into ancient tales about the most infamous--and intriguing--women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene. Biblically sound and cutting-edge fresh, these popular titles have helped more than one million women around the world experience God's grace anew. Now, with The Girl's Still Got It, Liz offers a twenty-first century take on the book of Ruth, dishing out meat and milk, substance and style, in a highly readable, always entertaining, and deeply personal journey.

Liz's award-winning historical novels, which transport the stories of Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Dinah, Ruth, and Naomi to eighteenth-century Scotland, also invite readers to view these familiar biblical characters in a new light. According to Publishers Weekly, "Higgs is a stickler for period authenticity." To that end, Liz has traveled sixteen times to Scotland, the setting for her novels, and has filled her shelves with nearly one thousand resource books about Scottish history and culture.

Also a gifted professional speaker, Liz has presented more than 1,600 inspirational programs for audiences in all fifty United States and fourteen foreign countries. When the National Speakers Association honored her with the Council of Peers Award for Excellence, Liz became one of only 32 women in the world named to their CPAE-Speaker Hall of Fame.

On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, Ph.D., who serves as Director of Operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill enjoy their old Kentucky home, a nineteenth-century farmhouse in Louisville, and are the proud (and relieved) parents of two college grads. Visit Liz's Web site:


This book will warm your heart and your spirit! I ached for both Meg and Gordon as they dealt with the fall-out of that tragic day when their lives intersected more than a decade ago. This charming yet heart-wrenching story juxtaposes the contrast between a life consumed by bitterness and the one set free by God's redemption. What better time than the Christmas season to be reminded of the wondrous gift of forgiveness?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received and advance PDF copy of this book free from WaterBrook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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