Monday, October 26, 2009

When He Loses Someone
by Thomas O. Mason

When I received the email about the blog tour for Transforming the Valley of Grief by Thomas O. Mason, I jumped on it. A dear man in my church had just lost his wife to cancer. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly after my daughter was. I knew right way I had to get this book for him. One, finding books written on such topics in a male perspective are rare. Two, it would be one small way I could try to help him in his grief, where I felt very inadequate.

I looked the book over first, of course. I was impressed with the author's use of self-identification. He didn't hold back in sharing his own grief and feelings during each stage. And at the end of the chapter are "notes" to both the griever and to those around him. These are full of valuable tid bits, no matter which place you hold.

This past Sunday, my friend hugged me as soon as he saw me. The book was already having a huge impact on him. And not just him, but his grown children, a son and a daughter. My friend felt understood, and that is so critical in any trial we face. There we can find such comfort.

I would like to thank the author personally, Mr. Mason, for taking the time to write such a book and share personal details of his loss in order to minister to others. His book has already made the difference in the lives of many. To see my friend encouraged and strengthened...such a gift to him and to me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Waiting on God

Waiting God never ceases to amaze me in the intricate perfection of his work and plan. Have you found yourself in a place where you see how the details surrounding you are linked together and blooming like a flower? And as the petals open, the legitimacy of each event suddenly comes into view, perfectly planned and coordinated in an intricate pattern of destiny?

I love those moments. Though I’m sure I don’t see them all, I know I’d miss more if I didn’t constantly and intentionally draw closer to God. We need to stay in a place of yearning for more of God and less of this world.

Otherwise, we might miss what God’s doing in our lives.

I know I’ve said this before, but bear with me. Waiting is a big part of our Christian walk. Hard to do in a world so focused on how fast something can be done. We’re becoming a culture of impatient people. I see it in my own children. But I know from experience that waiting is critical in our walk with God.

Now I’m coming to understand a new dimension of waiting. For the last year, my constant question has been, “How do I rely on God’s strength instead of my own?” I run out of strength, then wonder what happened. What did I do wrong? How do I know when I’m operating in my own strength and not God’s?

I think I got part of the answer yesterday at Bible study... Read the rest at S.U.M.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Traveling Again

I'm traveling again around the blogosphere. I hope you'll drop by S.U.M. and Laced with Grace for my latest posts there. Have a wonderfully blessed weekend!

How full is your net? — Is your "life-net" coming up empty. Maybe you've cast it in the wrong direction... The Mind of Christ journey continues at S.U.M. Please feel free to join in!

The Attitudes of Waiting, Part 2
— What's your attitude in those times God asks us to wait? Are you waiting patiently? Waiting expectantly?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Trial By Fire by Cara Putman

It's my pleasure to feature Cara Putman's latest book, Trial by Fire. I can't wait to read mine! Check it out! And if you leave a comment, you can win a copy.

About the Book:
Her mother's house was first. Then her brother's. County prosecutor Tricia Jamison is sure she's next on the arsonist's list. But who is after her family? And why does every fire throw her in Noah Brust's path?

Noah can't forgive Tricia. Her failure to protect him on the stand the previous year meant his father's reputation was ruined. Yet every time the firefighter is near her, he's drawn to her again. The vulnerability she hides under her confident veneer surprises and moves him. Torn between Tricia's safety and his own bitterness, Noah belatedly remembers the first rule of firefighting: don't get burned.

Read an excerpt here.

About the Author:

You’ve had several novels release in the last two years. Tell me about your latest novel.

Trial by Fire is my second Love Inspired Suspense. This time Caleb’s sister Tricia Jamison takes the lead as heroine. For those who read Deadly Exposure, they will enjoy seeing Caleb and Dani in this book. But if you haven’t read the first, Trial by Fire stands entirely on its own.

You can see the back cover copy and first chapter to Trial by Fire at

How did you come up with the story?

As I was writing Deadly Exposure, it became clear that Tricia had her own story to tell. She kept waving her hand and asking if it was her turn yet. So after finishing Deadly Exposure, I started thinking about her story. She’s an attorney, so I thought it would be courtroom driven. While there are courtroom scenes, the crux of the suspense comes from an arsonist who seems to have targeted Tricia’s family. The fire investigator and Tricia have a history – can they find love while trying to stop the arsonist? It’s romantic suspense, so I’ll let you decide LOL

What challenges do you face with your writing? What comes easy to you?

The challenge for me comes in the starting. Moving from research into the crafting stage. There’s something about the switch from left brain to right brain that takes some work. Once the switch is made, I love creating. But that can make the first couple chapters or the first few pages after a break excruciating. Fortunately, I’ve got great brainstorming and crit partners who talk me off the ledge and force me to get going.

What has surprised you the most about the publishing process?

The conflicting deadlines. When you write for multiple houses like I have, the tricky part comes in managing the deadlines. Turning in the manuscript is only the first step. Then there’s the content edit, the line edit and the final edit. And don’t forget the galleys. Trying juggling that for three books from three different publishers. It’s an experience I hope to manage better in the future!

What takeaway value do you hope readers receive after reading your novel?

Now that I’ve written eight novels, I guess the theme would be that God sees us and cares about our day to day lives. In Sandhill Dreams that took the shape of the heroine coming to accept that God would never leave her or forsake her no matter what her circumstances. In Canteen Dreams, the theme centered around the idea of laying down our lives for others and sometimes that doesn’t mean being willing to actually die but serve in the way placed in front of us. In Trial by Fire, it involved the idea of seeking justice and mercy as God commands, when our human instinct is to want revenge.

What part does God play in your writing?

I believe He guides the story, adding layers I’m not even capable of comprehending while I write it. I cant’ tell you how often I’ll hit a point in a book and ask God what’s next and then sit stunned. He takes the stories places I’d be too scared to take them – but He’s always been right. I wish I were more disciplined about starting my writing time with prayer, but I constantly ask for His help as I write.

Writing has been such a gift from God. But it’s also one I want to use in a way that honors Him.

Readers can find me at and

Thanks, Dineen!

(Review and winner copy provided by author.)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Mind of Christ

For the month of month of October, The Mind of Christ journey will held over at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. I hope you'll join us as we take this amazing walk to grow closer to God and transform our minds to be more Christ-like. When we have God as our center, we are truly equipped to handle whatever life sends our way and not lose our joy. This is the journey we're traveling and the goal we are running toward. God bless!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thankful Thursday!

This month S.U.M. is hosting Thankful Thursday. As today is the one year anniversary of my daughter's diagnoses of a brain tumor, what better time to be thankful! Though at the moment we're not sure what's causing the return of her headaches, I am thankful she's persevered through this last year and cancer free! God is good! So here's my list.

I am thankful for:
  • My daughter's recovery.
  • My wonderful hubby who's always so positive.
  • Two beautiful daughters who make this mama so proud.
  • My best friends who are always there to rally around me, even when I overreact. :-)
  • God bringing me into the S.U.M. ministry to share that journey with Lynn (love you, girl!)
  • And finally, I'm thankful for God in my life. I can't imagine going through life without his constant presence. Lord, I adore you! You are my life!
What are you thankful for?