Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Miracle Monday—So I'm a day late...

I like the ring of that—Miracle Monday. Forgive me for being a day late. But that doesn't mean we can't still celebrate the miracles all around us.

So, my latest miracle? I don't know if you'd call it a miracle per say, but I say it's indicative of how God is working in my life. To me, that's miraculous no matter what it is. I mean, come on. The Creator of the universe takes delight in me. And you. That's downright awe-inspiring.

Miraculous.

I leave tomorrow for a writer conference. My favorite event of the year. I love ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). I get to be weird AND spiritual. Doesn't get much better than that in my book—pun intended. I'm a writer, remember?

For the last three years, I have somehow received (through email, a devo, or a friend) these two verses and right before this conference. Three years in a row!

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?... ~ Isaiah 43:19, NLT 


...For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it. ~ Habakkuk 1:5

Some pretty amazing things have happened too. God's pretty amazing. Can't wait to see what happens this time.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Back to Miracles

I realized when I started this blog, I wanted it to be about God and how He works in our lives in miraculous ways. I think I lost sight of that. And you know what? I have some miracles to share.

We've walked a long road with our youngest daughter. A road that started with depression, a cancer diagnosis, and an emotional recovery I thought would somedays take me under. God was truly my strength. Just this week, I watched my baby girl drive off with her dad to start a new life, one filled with promise and independence. A life she is excited to grab hold of! This is a huge miracle to this mama's heart. We pour so much into our kids, so many prayers and aches.

I'm so glad I didn't give up. God answered my prayers in ways I never even imagined. There were days I was afraid this day would never come for her, yet here it is—better than I could have imagined. I love this kids fiercely and letting go isn't easy. But I'm so excited to see her spread her wings and want to finally fly.

And my sweet hubby seems to have had a shift in his beliefs. He's more of an agnostic now than an atheist. I don't know how it happened—yes, I do. God. What blows me away is how quiet and subtle it was. I think that's how it needs to be for him. Nothing earth shattering and sudden. Just a steady progression. Until now, I just couldn't picture how it would happen. I think God wants it that way. LOL!

So, I will end this post here with a question. Miracles come in all sizes. God's love alone is miraculous. What miracles of love is God working in your life?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Drum Roll Please!!!


I have been sitting on this gorgeous cover for a couple weeks now. Can I just say that the design team at Barbour Publisher absolutely ROCKS!?!?! I was nervous about what they would come up with. The Soul Saver is not the easiest book to depict visually (women's fiction with supernatural elements), but they totally did it! I absolutely love this cover. I am again so grateful to Barbour and Becky Germany for giving my story a chance and to their amazing design team (headed by Ashley Schrock, I believe) for the perfect cover. Thank you!!!

Monday, August 01, 2011

How I Happened Upon a Platform

When I started writing seriously in 2004, my focus lay completely in fiction. I'd written devotionals and snippets of life pieces in the past, but they served my own need for expression, then resided most silently in a folder on my computer. Fiction was and is my passion.

But then something unexpected happened. In 2006 God presented me with the desire and opportunity to write as part of a team for a blog to help those in spiritually mismatched marriages like my own. I jumped in because I wanted to help other women avoid some of the heartache I'd gone through to reach a place of thriving in my faith and my marriage.

From this blog a ministry was born. Readership grew as did our perspective and understanding of the need we’d tapped into. This led to a book about how to thrive in this type of challenging marriage (aren't all types challenging?), a Facebook presence, then a Twitter page. We suddenly found ourselves reaching readers in ways we hadn't thought possible at the beginning. Our main site (www.SirituallyUnequalMarriage) started showing up as a resource on other ministry and church websites. Thank goodness for Google Alerts to let us know!

All this coalesced into our platform, which became the turning point for a publisher to say yes to our book. How did that happen?

Let’s break it down:
1.    Identify a need. We all pretty much get the message today that we can’t just be in this to market our book and leave it at that. People want more. Common trends have set a pattern of having take away value. So, identify a need you can fill. Offer something to your reader that they can use and apply to their own lives. Once you identify a need, you can clarify your message. And you’ve just identified your market.

2.    Create a presence. Social media has exploded at an astonishing rate in the last year alone. The heavy hitters (Facebook and Twitter) revolutionized communication. And now Google+ looks to be another joining the slew of social media giants. For our ministry, I will say that Facebook turned out to be surprising success. We wanted another means to connect with readers and be a resource and that’s what happened. Why? Because we made our page about our readers and meeting their needs, not about selling our book. Again there’s that take away value.

3.    Consistency. Though we started with just our blog, we were and are consistent about content and postings. This same attitude is what we brought over to our Facebook and Twitter pages. This builds presence, trust and reliability. Readers trust a growing presence that’s consistently putting information out there with a clear message that has no strings attached. Trust me, people smell an ulterior motive faster than the garbage dump next door. Be honest, be authentic and be original, but always stay true to your message.

4.    Become a resource. Past experience opened the door to serve a specific market with the goal of being a resource. That was always the purpose—how did we help others find the help they needed in a difficult marriage? What could we offer that people could take away and apply to their lives and marriages? Over time, we presented ourselves as a reliable and helpful resource that other sites and churches could tap into. We showed we were there to help, to partner with individuals and groups, and to share what had worked for us in order to help others on the same path.

5.    Be patient. (I can still hear my wise agent, Rachelle Gardner, telling me this.) Building a platform takes time. Factor that into your writing plan. Don’t rush to submit a project before it’s reached its potential because it’s a bigger challenge to turn a no into yes.

As I said this journey began in 2004 with my focus on learning the craft of writing and growing in my understanding and abilities. From mid 2006 to late 2009, our platform grew to the point that a publisher was willing to take a chance with our message. That platform is still growing to day with the addition of a special book site (www.WinningHimWithoutWords) focused on the message of the book and offering free resources for listening and downloading, as well as teaching videos. We’re also working on partnering with other authors to promote each other’s books and ministries through our newsletter, websites, and speaking engagements.

How does that affect my future as a fiction writer? Same game plan with some minor adjustments. The stories I write serve the same niche we found for our nonfiction and thus brings me back to step one. And away I go!

See you on the shelves!


BIG NEWS: The authors of WordServe Literary have started a premier blog to share the latest in writing, publishing and marketing techniques. Be sure to check out the WordServe Water Cooler!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Can a Writer’s Conference Help Build Your Platform?


We hear that word a lot these day—Platform. I confess, I used to cringe away from it. The whole concept seemed so overwhelming. Where did one begin?

In February, my first nonfiction book, Winning Him Without Words, released. In July 2012 my first novel, The Soul Saver, will release and is a fiction counter part to Winning Him.

All of this began with a blog and the simple purpose of helping others. That was the “heart” side of it. The practical side slowly came into view as our online presence grew. This dramatically shifted my writing focus. I needed tools to maximize our platform and keep it growing!

Thus, the last two years I focused my conference pursuits to the area of marketing. With the sessions offered at the last two ACFW conferences, I’ve found ways to make that seemingly overwhelming task of building a platform doable and even enjoyable.

And not just from the workshops, but also from talking to other authors and gleaning from their experience as well.

This is truly one of the strengths of the ACFW Conference is the diversity of knowledge and skill levels. Here are some suggestions of when and what to tap into:

1.     Are you just starting to think about building your platform? Now’s the time to be a sponge. Absorb as much as you can from workshops focused on marketing and branding. Talk to other authors and ask where they started. This is where you want to figure out what your market, niche and identity are. Where can you fit in and what need can you fill?

2.     Already know what and whom you’re writing for? Focus on sessions and workshops that give you concrete tools and direction. Talk to authors who have a presence established and ask them, “What’s working the best? What’s not working at all?” Collect as much information as you can with the goal of examining and assessing after you go home. There are a lot of choices out there, so it’s not really about finding the right way but about finding the way that will work best for you. Be discerning. No one can do it all.

3.     Have a growing platform but want to consider new avenues? Here’s where the fun can really start. Make those connections with other authors who share similar goals and topics or genres, and find out how you can help each other. Share concepts and brainstorm possible ideas of working together as small teams to cross promote each other. These are great opportunities to reach more readers and build your presence in more areas.

Before the conference, assess where you’re at and determine what you need most. Then go with that need in mind and stay alert to opportunities to talk to other professionals in the industry. No matter what level you’re at, you’ll find a multitude of resources right at your disposal. And there’s just something fun and stimulating about sharing ideas with others on the same journey.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Falls Like Lightning
Bethany House (July 1, 2011)
by
Shawn Grady



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shawn Grady signed with Bethany House Publishers in 2008. He was named “Most Promising New Writer” at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference. He is the author of the novels Through the Fire, Tomorrow We Die & Falls Like Lightning.

Shawn has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. From fire engines and ambulances to tillered ladder trucks and helicopters, Shawn’s work environment has always been dynamic. The line of duty has carried him to a variety of locale, from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras.

After graduating from James Logan High School in Union City, California, Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego as a Theology undergrad. There he found clarity of direction and proceeded on to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.

Shawn currently lives in Reno, just outside of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador.


ABOUT THE BOOK
When hotshot smoke jumper Silas Kent gets his own fire crew, he thinks he's achieved what he's always wanted. But a lightning-sparked fire in the Desolation Wilderness of the Sierra Nevadas has his team in a plane before they can even train together.

Pilot Elle Westmore has been called up to drop the crew into the heart of the forest infernos. A single mother of a mysteriously ill six-year-old, she can't imagine her life getting any more complicated.

It doesn't take long for things to go very wrong, very quickly. A suspicious engine explosion forces Elle to make an emergency landing. Silas is able to parachute to safety but soon discovers his crew can't be trusted. They're hiding something, and now Silas is on a race to save himself and Elle from the flames—and from a more dangerous threat: his own team.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Falls Like Lightning, go HERE

I'm a big fan of Shawn Grady's work and can't wait to read this book! Happy reading! 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

My Foolish Heart by Susan Mae Warren

If you haven't ready any of Susan May Warren's books, you are missing out! She is an amazing writer. I just finished My Foolish Heart and am slightly heartbroken to see it end. The two main characters, Issy and Caleb, are broken people, both emotionally and physically, who exhibit the precious quality of courage despite their "issues" (I don't want to give anything away).

I found myself falling in love with Caleb and wanting to run right over to Issy's place to be her friend. Their story, plus the secondary story unfolding between Issy's best friend and a former love, are a wonderful adventures into falling in love, overcoming misunderstandings (believable ones—not the kind that make you want to throw the book across the room because they're so ridiculous), and reaching for your dreams despite what may seem to be impossible odds.

This story is captivating. I found myself looking for opportunities during the day to snatch it up to read, and stayed up way too late at night to keep turning the pages. I love books like this.

My Foolish Heart is a wonderful romance full of substance, authentic characters and situations, and will inspire even the most resistant (or foolish) of hearts.


ABOUT THE BOOK
Unknown to her tiny town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley spends her nights as Miss Foolish Heart, the star host of a syndicated talk radio show. Millions tune in to hear her advice on dating and falling in love, unaware that she’s never really done either. Issy’s ratings soar when it seems she’s falling in love on-air with a caller. A caller she doesn’t realize lives right next door.

Caleb Knight served a tour of duty in Iraq and paid a steep price. The last thing he wants is pity, so he hides his disability and moves to Deep Haven to land his dream job as the high school football coach. When his beautiful neighbor catches his eye, in a moment of desperation he seeks advice from My Foolish Heart, the show that airs before his favorite sports broadcast.

Before he knows it, Caleb finds himself drawn to the host—and more confused than ever. Is his perfect love the woman on the radio . . . or the one next door?

Read an excerpt here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder ofwww.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:www.susanmaywarren.com.

ABOUT THE CONTEST
Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her latest Deep Haven book, My Foolish Heart!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

To celebrate this charming novel about a dating expert who's never had a date, Susan has put together a romantic night on the town for one lucky couple. One grand prize winner will receive a Miss Foolish Heart prize package worth over $200!


The winner of the Romantic Night on the Town Prize Pack will receive:

* A $100 Visa Gift Card (For Dinner)

* A $100 Gift Certificate to a Hyatt/Marriott Hotel

* The entire Deep Haven series

To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on June 16th. The winner will be announced that evening during Susan’s Miss Foolish Heart Party on Facebook! Susan will be chatting with guests, hosting a book club chat about My Foolish Heart, testing your Deep Haven trivia skills, and giving away tons of great stuff! (Gift certificates, books, donuts, and more!) Don't miss the fun and BRING YOUR FRIENDS! 


Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

*Special thanks to Tyndale for providing a review copy of
My Foolish Heart.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Heart of the Matter

I finish up my series about having a quiet time with God today over at Spiriutally Unequal Marriage. Stop by and read it if you can. I'd love to hear your thoughts!


933344_i_love_you Over the last two weeks I’ve shared the importance of having a quiet time. My fear is that we haven’t covered the heart of this discipline and see it more as a duty, so I want to make that clear today.
Not having a quiet time each day isn’t a sin. You haven’t broken a law or anything like that. Above all else, do not let this become something legalistic in your life. And I say that as someone who could fall into legalism and must guard against it.
At the very least, see having a quiet time with God as an opportunity to grow closer to Him and understand His love for you. And to the extreme, see it as a life preserver to your spirit in a drowning world ruled by an enemy who loves nothing more than to keep us from experiencing an effective life in Christ. Our time with God and reading His Word every day is the only way to arm ourselves against our common enemy.

Read the rest at S.U.M.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Creating a Quiet Time

IStock_000010591901XSmall Last week over at S.U.M. I talked about keeping a divine appointment with God on a daily basis. Again, I know this isn’t easy to do, especially if you have small kids, but I promise you it will be the most important and beneficial decision you will ever make in your life.
Do you want a transformed life? A life of victory? Then this is where it starts. So, what does a quiet time look like? There’s many ways people choose to carve out a time to spend with God so this isn’t a right or wrong question. Suzanna Wesley threw her apron over her head, signaling to her children that she was praying and spending time with God. I’ve heard many women say they use their time in the shower to pray and often find they “hear” God better there. I’ve experienced that myself but it’s not always convenient. (grin) Some find they have more time in the evening.

As I’ve shared before it took me a year of my mentor’s sweet nudgings to finally heed her words and practice this discipline. And just let me be clear that this isn’t something that we need to feel guilty about if we miss a day here and there. God isn’t keeping count. Over time you will find this time to be something you look forward to as you sit at the feet of Jesus and know Him as the Lord of your life.

So, I’d like to share some of what helped me create and keep a quiet time:

Read the rest at S.U.M.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins

Here's an author near and dear to my heart. Plus I have one copy of Over the Edge to give away. Leave a comment to enter the drawing!
(Special thanks to B&H for providing a review copy.)



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Over the Edge
B&H Books (May 1, 2011)
by
Brandilyn Collins
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e..."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). She is now working on her 20th book.

In addition, Brandilyn’s other latest release is Final Touch, third in The Rayne Tour series—young adult suspense co-written with her daughter, Amberly. The Rayne Tour series features Shaley O’Connor, daughter of a rock star, who just may have it all—until murder crashes her world.


ABOUT THE BOOK
Torn from the front lines of medical debate and the author's own experience with Lyme Disease, Over the Edge is riveting fiction, full of twists and turns—and powerful truths about today's medical field.

Janessa McNeil’s husband, Dr. Brock McNeil, a researcher and professor at Stanford University's Department of Medicine, specializes in tick-borne diseases—especially Lyme. For years he has insisted that Chronic Lyme Disease doesn't exist. Even as patients across the country are getting sicker, the committee Brock chairs is about to announce its latest findings—which will further seal the door shut for Lyme treatment.

One embittered man sets out to prove Dr. McNeil wrong by giving him a close-up view of the very disease he denies. The man infects Janessa with Lyme, then states his demand: convince her husband to publicly reverse his stand on Lyme—or their young daughter will be next.

But Janessa's marriage is already rocky. She's so sick she can hardly move or think. And her husband denies she has Lyme at all.

Welcome to the Lyme wars, Janessa.

“A taut, heartbreaking thriller. Collins is a fine writer who knows how to both horrify readers and keep them turning pages.” --Publishers Weekly

“Tense and dramatic. Holds its tension while following the protagonist in a withering battle.” –NY Journal of Books

“A frightening and all-too-real scenario. Very timely and meaningful book.” –RT Reviews

“If you know someone who suffers from Lyme, you need to read this compelling novel.” –Lydia Niederwerfer, founder of Lyme-Aware

If you would like to read the Prologue of Over the Edge, go HERE

Watch the book video:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Booksigning with Robin Caroll!

One of my best friends, Robin Caroll, is doing a book signing this weekend at the Lifeway store 7050 Youree Drive in Shreveport, LA. Her books ROCK and so does she! Hope you can stop by!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A Universal Theme


One of my passions is writing fiction. In a writer’s world we are the masters of the pen (actually a computer keyboard but that didn’t sound as cool). We create these characters through various techniques and tell them what to do.

But then they take on a life of their own and begin to tell us what the story is about. This can be quite fascinating, like sitting at movie, watching the story unfold. Other times it’s frustrating because these life-like characters make bad choices or behave poorly (there’s always at least one), resisting our intended purpose for them.

When I think of writing like this, I wonder about what God must see. We are like the characters of His story, created with His purpose in mind. Yet we have free will and the ability to choose poorly or wisely...

Read the rest at Laced with Grace. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Let's Not Fool Ourselves

This post was a tough one to write but it was time. I hope you'll take a moment and hop over to our Spiritually Unequal Marriage page and read the rest. The conversation continues on our Facebook page as well. Thanks!

IStock_000014165769XSmall
Yesterday, Lynn wrote a great post about Missionary Dating at the Internet Cafe. She and I have talked about this frequently because we want to be clear that walking willingly into a mismatched marriage is not God's will for our lives.
So I'd like to add to this topic from the sense of the heart and spirit. Here at S.U.M. we talk about our struggles in our mismatched marriages and how to trust God to help us thrive in them. But today I want to talk to those who are knowingly dating or considering dating and unbeliever. Here are some things I truly want you to think about.

Read the rest at S.U.M.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Featured Over On Bonnie Paulson's Site...

If you get a chance, hop over to Bonnie Paulson's site. I had a blast talking to Bonnie about my first book, Winning Him Without Words, writing, and a bunch of other stuff. Bonnie asked some great questions (some are just to funny like would I rather hug a stranger or slap a friend. LOL!). I share some interesting details about my research for my first novel, The Soul Saver, due to release next Summer from Barbour Publishing.

Have an awesome weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Revealing the Lie

My post this week over at S.U.M. deals with the condemnation many of us feel for marrying an unbeliever. I hope you'll take a moment to check it out. The comments are great and bring up some good questions.

One of the things we talk about in our book is walking out of the guilt and shame of our pasts. Whether you knowingly married an unbeliever or came to faith after you married, God has a plan for your marriage.

Read the rest of "Revealing the Lie"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Safe Haven by Kimberly and Kayla Woodhouse

I'm so happy to share this dynamic writing duo with you. Kimberly Woodhouse is also the author of Welcome Home: Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy (one of the most inspiring books I've ready in the last couple years—their story is amazing!). Now to see her writing with her precious daughter, Kayla is such a treat! I have one copy of this book to give away, so leave a comment for the drawing on Friday! Enjoy!





This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
No Safe Haven
B&H Books (March 15, 2011)
by
Kimberly and Kayla Woodhouse


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
A devoted wife and mother, Kimberley Woodhouse is a third generation Liszt student, she has passed down her love of the arts to hundreds of students over the years.

About fifteen years ago, Kimberley began writing seriously. Songs, plays, short stories, novels, picture books, articles, newsletters - you name it - she's written it. It wasn't until a dear friend challenged her to "do something with it", that she pursued publication.

Kimberley and her family's story have been on the front page of newspapers, in magazines, articles, medical journals, and most recently her family was chosen for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They were also asked to share their story on The Montel Williams Show and Discovery Health Channel's Mystery ER. She has recorded three albums, and has appeared at over 700 venues. Kimberley lives, writes, and homeschools in Colorado with her husband and their two children in a truly "Extreme" home.

Thirteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Jenna and Andi Tikaani-Gray are hoping for a fresh start. Though twelve year-old Andi has long struggled with a rare medical disorder, she and her mother have finally received good news from out-of-town specialists. It's news they desperately needed, especially after the recent death of Jenna's husband (Andi's dad) in a car accident.

But as they are flying home to Alaska, ready to begin again, the unthinkable happens. The pilot sabotages their small plane and crashes into Sultana, one of the most remote and dangerous mountains in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Even worse, a winter storm is headed their way along with someone who doesn't want to save them, but to kill them.

Only one man can keep them alive: Cole Maddox, the mysterious last-minute passenger who joined them on their flight. But trust doesn't come easy to Jenna or Andi√Ďand they both sense Cole is hiding something.

A relentless tale of survival and suspense unfolds, involving military technology designed by Jenna's late husband that some would do anything to possess.

Watch the Book Video:


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

Monday, March 21, 2011

Parenting Struggling Teens

IS-StrugglingTeen I wrote a post over at Laced with Grace that I'd love to share with you. It's harder than ever to raise teens today. Throw in some complications or ongoing issues (like my family is going through with our daughter) and you begin to  wonder if it will ever change. I share four areas that have helped me keep my focus on God and not the issue how that translates into helping my daughter as well. I pray it blesses you! 
Hugs!
Dineen

Monday, March 14, 2011

In The Shadow of Evil by Robin Caroll

Now here's a book I am DELIGHTED to share with you. Robin Caroll is one of my favorite authors and her books are fantastic. Full of suspense and characters you'll love, her stories will keep you captivated from cover to cover. I love how Robin touches on real world issues in her books and how her characters grapple with said issues from a Christian stand point. This one deals with some of the after effects in rebuilding after Katrina. I love all her stories. Once you read one, you'll want to read all her books!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty years, her three beautiful daughters, one precious grandson, and their four character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else?

Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as Conference Director for ACFW. Her books have finaled/placed in such contests as RT Reviewer's Choice, Bookseller's Best, and Book of the Year. An avid reader herself, Robin loves hearing from and chatting with other readers. Although her favorite genre to read is mystery/suspense, of course, she’ll read just about any good story. Except historicals!


ABOUT THE BOOK:
Informed by the real-life fallout of the U.S. economy plus devastation caused by multiple hurricanes along the southern coast, In the Shadow of Evil casts the modern day story of a building rebound scam exposed. It begins when the body of a property inspector is found among the ashes of a burnt out Homes of Hope house. Wrapped up in this mounting case of unethical practices, supply shortages, and murder, top Louisiana homicide detective Maddox Bishop is losing his heart to a charitable contractor, Layla Taylor, whose own sister is under suspicion. He’s also about to discover a deep secret about his tragic past.

If you would like to read the first chapter of In The Shadow of Evil, go HERE.

Watch the trailer:

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Our Greatest Weapon—Prayer

The post I did this week over at Spiritually Unequal Marriage has brought some interesting discussions about praying for our marriages. I hope you'll take a moment and check it out. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Our Greatest Weapon—Prayer

At church Sunday, a friend of mine stood up with her husband and shared their testimony of how God saved their marriage ten years ago. I’ve only been at this church for about nine years so I had no idea this was the case. This couple has been an inspiration to me, especially my friend. She is an amazing woman of God and a true prayer warrior.

To hear them share spoke such joy to my heart. They shared how they were at the point of filing divorce papers. He wanted out, she didn’t. What did my friend do? She fell to her knees in prayer, prayed constantly. What struck me most though was WHAT she prayed.

Read the rest at S.U.M.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Two Chances to win "Winning Him Without Words"!

Here's a chance to win a copy of Winning Him Without Words. Dear friend Darlene Schacht is running the contest at her blog, Time-Warp Wife. Don't you just love that name of her blog? Darlene is an amazing and inspiring writer who has blessed my life with the articles she wrote at Christian Women Online.

So jump over to her blog and leave a comment. Darlene has two copies to give away and spend some time reading her site. I know you'll be blessed.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Me Project by Kathi Lipp

If you haven't ready one of Kathi Lipp's books, drop everything and run out now and get one! Her first book, The Husband Project, has become one of my favorites. Kathi carried on her project theme with her next book, The Marriage Project. And now she brings her wit, wisdom, and immense creativity to The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You've Always Wanted.

Packed with practical encouragement this book is a journey of discovery and life changing steps to walk into the life and purpose God intends for each of us. I can't recommend Kathi Lipp's books enough. She is an amazing writer, an amazing speaker, and one of the most "real" people I've had the privilege to meet.

So, now I get to have a little fun here. Check out the rest of this post for details about Kathi and her book. And if you leave a comment, you'll be entered into the drawing for a copy of The Me Project. Don't miss out on a chance to win this fabulous book! Two names will be drawn—one to win the book and one to be entered into Kathi's contest for a Deluxe Starbuck's Gift Basket valued at $62!

Added Bonus! Click here to read Kathi's article "Three Super Simple Kickstarts to Living Your Dream."

Has that rush to make (and break) New Year’s resolutions already waned? According to Daniel Pink, author of ¨Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, taking small steps every day will not only help you stay committed to your goal, ¨but will also help you ultimately achieve that goal when obstacles come up. Author Kathi Lipp wants you and your friends to live out those dreams—and have some fun along the way.
As women, we forget the goals and dreams of our younger years. The busyness of everyday life gets ¨in the way. To-do lists replace goals. The Me Project provides women with fun and creative ways to bring back the sense of purpose and vitality that comes with living out the plans and dreams God has planted in our hearts. Kathi Lipp’s warm tone and laugh-out-loud humor motivates women to take daily steps toward intentional goals. The end result? We get back our lives and enjoy living in the confidence of a purposeful life in spite of our chaotic schedules.

This handy guide coaches women to do one simple thing toward achieving our goals each day for three weeks. A woman experiencing the exhilaration of a rediscovered life offers more as a wife, mother, friend, volunteer, career woman.
Finding the balance between living day-to-day with purpose while pursuing the passions God has placed in our hearts is a delicate pursuit. In this refreshing, insightful book, ¨Kathi lays out a doable plan that makes sense and helps make our God-given dreams ¨a reality. Never stop dreaming, because women who dare to dream do make the world ¨a better place."
—Jean Blackmer
    author of MomSense: A Common Sense Guide to Confident Mothering
    Publishing Manager, MOPS International www.MOPS.org

Author Bio

Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project, serves as food writer for Nickelodeon, and has had articles published in several magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults. For more information visit her website: www.kathilipp.com

Monday, February 21, 2011

Win a Copy!

Want to win a copy of Winning Him Without Words; 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage? Internet Cafe Devotions is running a contest for our book, Winning Him Without Words. Follow the link and see how you can enter more than once!

Internet Cafe Devotions—WIN Winning Him Without Words

Monday, February 07, 2011

Featured on Christian Fiction Online Magazine

When Bonnie Calhoun, owner of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, told me she wanted to do a feature of my nonfiction book, Winning Him Without Words, I was absolutely thrilled and honored. She is a gem and does so much for the Christian publishing industry. I'm excited to see our book featured this month. I hope you'll take a moment and check it out. I tell some details about how this book and the ministry all came to be.

Read the article HERE.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

It's Finally Here!

Today I was enjoying a quiet morning, a cup of coffee, and the freedom to just be and not worry about anything. Suddenly the doorbell rang. I jumped up and spotting the mail truck, assumed something we'd ordered had arrived.

This average package lay on the step, but what was inside was far from average. It was my copy of my first book! In 3D! As in not just a picture of the cover, but the real deal, 208 pages in between a beautiful cover design. Holding it is an incredible feeling that brought me to tears.

Writing Winning Him Without Words, the waiting, hoping, celebrating a contract, and waiting a year to see it has been an amazing and emotional journey. Lynn and I talk on the phone almost every day and each time we say to each other, "Can you believe it? God did this."

My prayers are going out for all the women I hope will read it and find new hope. What a privilege to be a part of that!

Now we're working hard to get our message out. Lots of surprises are coming. Stay tuned! We'll be on the radio a few places on February 14th too! Wow...God is good!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Romancing the Man

With Valentines Day around the corner, I wanted to share this post I did over at the S.U.M. site. I hope it inspires you to romance your man! Hugs! ~Dineen

Did you read Lynn’s post yesterday? I don’t know about you but I’ve been giggling with her all the way on this one. Ladies, this is a chance to create some of that romance we love right in our own marriages!

So, along those lines, I will share that I asked my hubby on the phone yesterday if he wanted to be my boyfriend. He said yes! Woohooo! I guess this means we’re going steady. Now my girls are going to groan even more over their parents’ affectionate nature. I can see and hear it now. LOL!

Sometimes it’s so easy to lose site of what we love in a person because of the burdens of life, the conflict inherent in our types of marriages, and past hurts and wrongs.

Trust me, I understand completely. I’ve let things like this come in and nearly sweep away my marriage. Forgiveness is crucial to all our relationships.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today.

Read the rest HERE...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy

Here's another author I just love. She's an amazing writer and an awesome person, one I am privileged to know. She writes stories that are so unique too. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Rhythm of Secrets!*


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rhythm of Secrets
Kregel Publications (December 22, 2010)
by
Patti Lacy


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Patti Lacy, Baylor graduate, taught community college humanities until God called her to span seas and secrets in her novels, An Irishwoman's Tale and What the Bayou Saw. She has two grown children and a dog named Laura. She and her husband can be seen jog-walking the streets of Normal, Illinois, an amazing place to live for a woman born in a car. For more information, visit Patti's website at www.pattilacy.com, her blog at www.pattilacy.com/blog, and her Facebook daily Artbites.



ABOUT THE BOOK
Sheila Franklin has masqueraded as the precocious daughter of avant-garde parents in colorful 1940s New Orleans, a teen desperate for love and acceptance, and an unwed mother sent North with her shame.

After marrying Edward, Sheila artfully masks her secrets, allowing Edward to gain prominence as a conservative pastor. When one phone call from a disillusioned Vietnam veteran destroys her cover, Sheila faces an impossible choice: save her son and his beloved…or imperil Edward’s ambitions.

Inspired by a true story, The Rhythm of Secrets intermingles jazz, classical, and sacred music in a symphony trumpeting God’s grace.

Endorsements:
“A vibrant journey across time in search of the greatest truth of all: grace.”—Tosca Lee, author of Havah: The Story of Eve and Demon: A Memoir
“No longer a ‘well-kept secret,’ Patti Lacy is a master storyteller who speaks to the soul with a powerful and unique rhythm, weaving a tale so emotionally rich that story and reader become one.”—Julie Lessman, author of The Daughters of Boston series and A Hope Undaunted
“Patti Lacy pens another beautifully written story in The Rhythm of Secrets. I couldn’t put it down!”—Melanie Dobson, award-winning author of The Black Cloister
“The Rhythm of Secrets is a stirring story of faith and endurance that will keep readers turning the page until every last secret is revealed.”—Tina Ann Forkner, author of Ruby Among Us and Rose House

If you would like to read an excerpt of Rhythm of Secrets, go HERE.

*Special thanks to Kregel Publications for providing a review copy.