Saturday, February 25, 2012

He is My Beloved

Today one of my crit partners on Penwrites sent a link to a music video one of her readers sent her. Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link to see what it was. God knew exactly what I needed to hear right at that moment.

For several years I have taken to heart that even though I've been single all my life, God has given me a special gift of a relationship with Him. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the Bridegroom for His bride, the church. Not church in the sense of a building, but church in the sense of all who follow Him as committed Christians.

Digging deeper into the Word (Bible) I have come to see that it is also a personal relationship in Jesus being my Bridegroom in a spiritual way. God spoke through Isaiah in the Old Testament, saying to  widows that He was their husband, and though they were barren (without child), they would have many children through Him. That means, of course, not physical children, but others they would take under their wing and mentor or, in some cases, become like a spiritual mother.

That passage opened up a whole new way of looking at my singular status. And it gave me peace beyond measure.

This has been a stressful week for me and when I watched the video on Ginny's website I sat here bawling. I want to share it with you now. I pray that those that need to hear these words will be drawn to see it and listen to these amazing word, and realize that even when we are feeling cast down, unappreciated, or even unloved, there is One who loves you unconditionally and will never ever leave you.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thyme for Love Won Clash of the Titles This Week!

I have had a blast competing with a pair of authors and their scene in a contest called "Almost Kiss." Visitors to the blog could vote on which scene they thought was the best and I am flattered to have won the contest!!!

You can go to the blog's website and scroll back over the past several entries to read both scenes that were up and then an interview with all of us authors, then finally the announcement of the winner.

I'm about to post a link to the Clash site in my sidebar, so if it's not there as you are reading it, it will be there shortly. Or you can just go here.

Thanks to Raquel Byrnes, my host for the Clash. It was really fun.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

As promised here's the ACFW New Release list for February, a day or two late because I thought I'd done it and I hadn't!  Great reads coming our way. Woo hoo!

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Love Finds You in New Orleans by Christa Allan -- (Historical Romance from Summerside Press - Guideposts).

Picture Perfect Family by Renee Andrews -- Missionary Daniel Brantley has returned to Claremont, Alabama to raise his orphaned nephew; however, Mandy Carter, the woman whose proposal he refused years before, isn't about to let him take Kaden away. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired).

Into the Free by Julie Cantrell -- A simple girl with anything but a simple story. (Contemporary Fiction from David Cook).

A Wedding to Remember in Charleston, South Carolina by Annalisa Daughety -- Wedding planner Summer Nelson is throwing herself into her work to avoid the pain of her recent marriage separation. Husband Luke knows he made a mistake - but doesn't know how to fix it. When a hurricane traps them together, the crisis might tear them apart forever. (Contemporary Romance from Barbour Publishing).

Heart's Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes, -- When midwife Phoebe Lee is pressed by her pregnant sister-in-law to help save her husband from an English prison during the War of 1812, they end up aboard a British privateer crossing the Atlantic under the command of a man with a deadly mission. (Historical Romance from Revell).

Highland Crossings by Laurie Alice Eakes, Pamela Griffin, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Gina Welborn, -- Historic North Carolina takes center stage in a new collection of novellas that follows the lives and loves of four women...and the heirloom brooch that connects them through generations. Will Seona, Fiona, Seren, and Brynna find God's path in a new world far from their Scottish home? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing).

When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason -- When Alexia arrives home to find her ex-boyfriend dead in her mother's basement, she realizes she needs help. Thanks goodness Hunter Graham is more than willing to offer it. (Romantic Suspense from Revell).

Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott -- A shy young woman must find her courage when she is thrown together on a dangerous errand with a musical genius. (Historical Romance from Thomas Nelson).

Words Spoken True by Ann H. Gabhart -- Adriane Darcy stands ready to do whatever she must to keep her father's newspaper number one in the city including agreeing to marry a man she doesn't love, the son of a powerful local political figure, but when she meets Blake Garrett, the editor of a competing newspaper, sparks fly that will change both their lives forever. (Historical Romance from Revell).

Before the Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach-- In 1775, A young woman longs for acceptance and leaves behind all she has in order to follow her heart and the man she loves into the Maryland wilderness. But will her love and faith protect her from the trial she must face? Will she find the true meaning of companionship? And how will she face the world when she is rejected by those closest to her? (Historical Romance from Abingdon Press).

Sheltering Love by Elizabeth Goddard -- Alexa's last chance to produce an award-winning documentary draws attention to a canopy biologist hiding in the trees. When their greatest fears collide in the heart of the wilderness, can they each bury the past long enough to nurture love? (Romance from Heartsong Presents (Barbour)).

Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke-- Michael Dunnagan is given a life, a hope and a future through his friend's sacrifice aboard Titanic. Now he must keep his promise to help Owen's family in NJ, and bring his sister from England to America. He never expected to fall in love with her, or that she would disappear into the horrors of WWI. Michael risks everything to find the woman he's grown to love. (Historical from Tyndale House Publishers).

To Love and To Cherish by Kelly S. Irvin-- The sudden, tragic death of Emma Shirack's parents in a buggy accident and the return of a suitor who abandoned her years earlier test Emma's Amish faith and her ability to forgive. Will a man she thought of as a friend be the one to help her to heal? (Romance from Harvest House).

Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings-- She's Finally Found a Place to Call Home... How Far Will She Go to Save It? (Historical Romance from Bethany House).

Hometown Cinderella by Ruth Axtell Morren -- (Historical Romance from Love Inspired).

Falling for the Fireman by Allie Pleiter-- When fire marshall Chad Owens suspects that fire victim Jeannie Nelworth's son may be channeling his emotions in a dangerous manner, will the pretty and but protective widowed mom be strong enough to help him? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired).

Second Chance by Eileen Hinkle Rife-- Dareece Jackson, a teen from the projects, wants something in Mave Robertson's purse...and he'll stop at nothing to get it. (Contemporary Fiction from OakTara Publishers).

Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer-- Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can't work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent - though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job. Thad McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit. (Historical Romance from Bethany House).

A House Full of Hope by Missy Tippens-- A widowed mom of four who's put her life on hold until her kids are grown finds hope of love in the most unlikely of places when the former bad boy who ruined her sister returns to town seeking redemption. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired).

A Sweethaven Summer by Courtney Walsh-- Campbell Carter has come to Sweethaven in search of answers about her mother's history. Just before losing a battle with cancer, Suzanne Carter wrote letters to childhood friends from her hometown of Sweethaven, Michigan. Suzanne's three friends-Lila, Jane, and Meghan-haven't spoken in years, yet each has pieces of a scrapbook they made together as girls. Suzanne's letters have lured them all back to the idyllic lakeside town, where they meet Campbell and begin to remember what was so special about their long Sweethaven summers. (Contemporary Fiction from Guideposts Books).

Blue Moon Bay by Lisa Wingate-- A sweet deal for the sale of lakeside family property in Texas could make Heather's career, but suddenly the family backs off, Heather rushes back to the site of a previous family tragedy and finds an old high school flame and her brother scheming to -- what? (Cozy Mystery from Bethany House).

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall-- Love between a Mennonite woman and an Amish man threatens the lifelong relationship between two brothers. And two families. Annie is a young Old Order Mennonite woman whose grandfather co-owns a restaurant with the Zooks, an Old Order Amish family. Romance between the Mennonites and Amish is unacceptable. Inappropriate. Forbidden. But it seems that Annie and Aden have denied their feelings for each other for as long as they can tolerate. (Contemporary Romance from Waterbrook Multnomah).

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Yes...I'm Still Alive!!!

Wow, I just looked at the date of my last blog post and it was January 3rd!! Did I really let a whole month go by without posting here? One of the first rules of thumb for an author to maintain contact with readers and the world in general is to post on one's blog at least two or three times a week. But January for me felt like a marathon as I raced through each day, much like this gal on the right. She even has my blonde curly hair!

First, the ACFW Genesis Writing Contest for Unpublished Writers began January second, and I am the head coordinator for the contest this year. Okay, I can handle that and write, I thought. I was already up to 14K words on Love Will Find a Way, the sequel to Thyme for Love. I'll write in the mornings and work on Genesis in the afternoon.

Second, it was about that day--January 3rd--when my laptop went belly up and could not be resuscitated. I must state first of all, that the computer itself did NOT break. I broke it. I won't tell the sorry tale of how it all happened, but will say that I know just enough about computers and technology to be dangerous. I trekked off to the Apple store, convinced that one of the geniuses at the Genius Bar would work his "magic" and all would be well. Imagine how I felt when Mr. Genius said "The only option you have is to erase the hard drive and start over." Gulp. It was like sitting in the waiting room and having the doc tell you your loved one needed a heart and lung transplant.

After thinking it over, I opted to get a new laptop all together and donate the old one to charity, minus the hard drive which the organization would have replaced for a larger one anyway. Then I had the fun of rebuilding my email address book, files and other things because my backup system at Mozy failed to back up all the files and hadn't backed up anything for FIVE days! (I switched to a new backup company).

So, other than errands and walks in the unseasonably mild winter we're having, I have spent every day at the computer rewriting what I lost of the manuscript, processing Genesis entries and searching for Genesis judges for the second and final rounds. I didn't  keep most appointments other than what was necessary, or even think about blogging.

But now things have calmed. My address book is at a workable state, my manuscript rewrite is far better than the one I lost, all the judges have been recruited, and I'm baaaaack.

Tomorrow, I'll post the new releases from ACFW for the month of February. Happy New Year everyone!!!