Friday, November 29, 2013

Santa Suits!

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter S.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
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This week has been consumed by santa suits...




for the monkeys!


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If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter S, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.




Monday, November 25, 2013

Brave New Century

Brave New Century
an Inspirational Historical Romance
Stories of four young women who are each braving challenges at the dawn of the 20th century in the big city. Will they overcome their hardships and find love?

Three Rings for Alice by Lisa Lickel
Love and respect in 1899 Milwaukee is as close as a phone call.

Forgiven by Paula Mowery
When Henry and Jessie meet it seems to be classic love at first sight until a shocking revelation tears them apart.

The Pocket Watch by Kathleen Rouser
Searching for the past an orphan and a young doctor find love for the future.

Flames of Hope by Teena Stewart
Love ignites in the midst of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.

More about Three Rings for Alice:
Our opening story, Three Rings For Alice, shows Alice Smith’s struggles to be a modern woman at the turn of the twentieth century in America. Orphaned, she must make her own way in an age when women are just coming into the workforce. Despite a proposal of marriage from a long time friend, she determines to marry for nothing less than love, even if her love is a voice over the telephone.

About the author: Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A muti-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio-theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and magazine editor. Visit LisaLickel.com.

More about Forgiven:
Henry Smith has little interest in the plans his parents have for him when it comes to his career and who he will marry. His world is turned upside-down when a shoot-out ends in fatalities.

Jessie Lee Capelle and her sister strike out from the orphanage their father mysteriously abandoned them at to make a life for themselves. Shamed by her background, Jessie struggles with Henry's attention.

Just as Henry and Jessie decide on a life together a shocking revelation could force them apart unless true forgiveness can be found.

Paula Mowery is a published author, speaker, and acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group. Her articles have appeared in Woman's World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living. She reviews Christian fiction for several authors. She is a member of ACFW and on their author interview team. Paula is a pastor's wife who lives with her husband and daughter in East Tennessee. Find her at www.paulamowery.blogspot.com or connect with her through her author page on Facebook.

More about The Pocket Watch:
Isabel Jones, an orphan, receives a ruby ring left by the mother she never knew and wants more than ever to find her roots. When a young physician, Daniel Harper, rescues her from an oncoming automobile and she finds his pocket watch in a puddle, her circumstances take a turn. She begins to consider what life outside the orphanage could be like. Daniel’s heart has been broken before and the attractive young lady who finds his treasured timepiece wouldn’t be deemed suitable by his social climbing parents.

When Isabel and Daniel work side by side, caring for the orphanage children during an influenza epidemic, she becomes gravely ill. Compelled to redeem the time by helping her find the past, Daniel finds a buried truth that creates an unbridgeable chasm between them. Where will they find hope in a hopeless situation?

About the author: Kathleen Rouser has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. The Pocket Watch is Kathleen’s debut novella. She has been published in Homeschool Digest and An Encouraging Word. She currently enjoys interviewing authors for the Novel PASTimes historical fiction blog. Her desire is to bring to life endearing characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. She lives in southeast Michigan with her hero and husband of 31 years, Jack, who not only listens to her stories, but also cooks for her. Find her at:  www.kathleenrouser.com, www.novelpastimes.com and https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser

More about Flames of Hope:
Young San Francisco police officer Gideon Light is smitten the moment he sees Lily McMinn rolling down the awnings on her father’s mercantile. Lovely, petite, and spunky, Lily had to grow up quickly after her mother passed away. She not only oversees the welfare of two younger siblings, she also helps run her father’s business.

Gideon and Lily are immediately attracted to each other and soon become good friends. It doesn’t take long before Lily realizes her feelings for Gideon have changed to something far deeper. He secretly harbors dreams of advancing in the force to earn a substantial enough income to make Lily his wife.

Before either has a chance to pursue each other, however, an earthquake of unthinkable magnitude shatters their world. With a raging fire fast in its wake, tragedy and triumph await as Gideon, Lily, and her family flee for their lives with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Set during the time of the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, this tale of great loss, incredible human courage, and sweet romance, will inspire and warm your heart.

About the author: Teena Stewart is a published author, an accomplished artist, and a ministry leader. In addition to Brave New Century, her recent published books include Mothers and Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship and The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father. Brave New Century represents Teena’s first fiction inclusion in a book. She and her husband Jeff are involved in “out-of-the-box” organic church ministry in Hickory, NC. For more info on Teena visit www.teenastewart.com



Brave New Century available at: Amazon.com and Smashwords and
Barnes and Noble, Prism Book Group, All Romance eBooks, Sony Reader Stores, KOBO


Friday, November 22, 2013

Road Trips R Us

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter R.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
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Earlier this week I filled out a survey from a hotel. One of their questions was, "how many night have you spent in a hotel this year?" I pulled out my calendar and was stunned with my count.

We've spent at least 45 nights in a hotel in the last 12 months. Le gasp.

That add up to a lot of road trips!!

So I opened the file that I dump pictures from my phone into and found a record of our travels.

Here's a sample...

Fonzie likes"driving" when Dad's not.


Back roads...


and big roads.


Quiet roads...



and curvy roads.


But the best road of all...


is the road home.


Road trips are a way of life for us, and although I like home best, I'm enjoying this season of our lives.

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If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter R, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.




Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Past


Thanksgiving is a great kick-off for Christmas! Starting the holiday season--CHRISTmas--with thankfulness is the best way to launch us into a time of celebration.

Thanksgiving is full of memories for me--but not the typical American memories most people have. Oh no. Not even close.

After a childhood full of Thanksgivings spent in Maine and Massachusettes, we settled into fried chicken or *gasp* peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Thanksgiving. Sounds fun, doesn't it? LoL. If it doesn't, maybe I should add that we were en route to a gorgeous South Pacific beach on the coast of Ecuador. White sand, warm breezes, great beach for swimming and walking, and friends. Little bamboo houses on stilts right on the edge of the beach so every night you were lulled to sleep by the surf. Even on cloudy and rainy days, the beach was an awesome place to spend Thanksgiving.

Fast forward twenty years.

One of the most memorable Thanksgivings my family has had was the one we spent roofing. Snow was coming and the roof of a house we were flipping was open.


I didn't have a picture of our turkey lunch meat sandwich dinner, probably because I was busy making those sandwiches, but here's one of our desserts that day. Fruit and nut granola bars! Can you say yumz? My youngest sure was!


Like every Thanksgiving, there were moments here and there for naps... Here's my oldest in the comfiest spot around. Well, actually, that would've been the bench seat of the old pick-up but the youngest was crashed there. ;-)


When he wasn't napping, the easiest way to keep an eye on the youngest was to give him a hammer and bring him with you up on the roof. Now, before you freak out on me, remember, my kids have all been brought up around construction and they're taught about roof behavior very early. VERY early. What you don't see in this picture is his daddy only two feet lower than him on the roof.


My middle son and younger daughter helped by cleaning out the original flower bed. It had been full of shingle bits and pieces from tearing the roof off a couple days earlier. They were up and down off the roof too. Many times they were shingle preparers and transporters.


My older daughter prepped many of the shingles before they went to the roof.


The kids aren't that little anymore! Here, let me show you... My oldest is in the back row, wearing the white undershirt and overalls *eye roll*, my middle son is in the brown shirt, my older daughter is on the far left and younger daughter on the far right. The youngest? He's in the middle behind the birthday cake. And the others? They're grafted into the family, bringing with them much joy and love.



Needless to say, a week from now the volume in my house will be loud and I'll be loving it because after all, Thanksgiving is all about family and friends.

Joining us for the Holly Jolly Blog Hop hosted by Karla Akins? Be sure to link up with us!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Holly Jolly Blog Hop

The holidays are upon us!
It's time to light the candles, crank the stereo, and nestle in with our families to soak up all this Holiday Spirit. Right?

Right!! =)
Yeah, yeah. I know all about the work that goes into the holiday to make it rosy and bright. I know the midnight oil and elbow grease we pour in by the bucket loads. And I also know how easy it is to lose sight of our goal--a time to celebrate the coming of Jesus. Shoot, we lose sight of celebrating in the midst of all the serving we do during this time year.

But...
In the midst of all the serving we do, let's intentionally make time to celebrate too. For me it's a matter of focus. Am I zeroed in on the work or do I simply do the work while I celebrate the reason I'm pouring on the gas and getting the work done?

My friend Karla Akins is hosting this year's holiday blog hop, A Holly Jolly Blog Hop starts this Thursday, November 21st. Yes, that's THIS week--tomorrow! We'd love to have you join us!

Wondering what a meme is and how it works? Check out Making the most of Memes.

Posting day is Thursday, but you're free to join in and link with us whenever you can. The more the merrier. =) This is a come as you can meme with no commitment necessary.

One of the things that makes this season special is spending it with family and friends near and far, and that's one of the fun things about this Holly Jolly Blog Hop--it helps us connect with and celebrate with friends even when distance keeps us physically apart.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are best spent with friends--friends near and friends far.  Come along and join us posting about the holidays. Sharing makes things so much sweeter.

For more info stop by Karla's blog. Want the linky codes so you can schedule your post in advance? Leave a comment here or on Karla's post requesting them and we'll get them to you. Joining us? Grab a button for your posts and site.
Here's the button code:

Friday, November 15, 2013

I Quit!

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter Q.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
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I Quit!

Sometimes I say those words and carry through on them. Yes, I know that can be considered blasphemous by some, but really, quitting can be good. Other times though, ay yi yi, they can be bad, very bad!

This time of year—November and December, I tend to assess my life and see what needs changing. What’s working and what’s not. It’s a time for looking behind me then looking forward. I have a tendency to keep piling things on, so that means there’s a surplus of stuff in my life. Some of it needs to be gotten rid of and there’s bound to be a few things I need to get rid of, to quit.

And that brings me back to quitting. The key is to quit the right things at the right time. And therein lies the rub.



So tell me, how do you decide what to quit and when?


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If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter Q, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.




Monday, November 11, 2013

Listen to the Tears

Recently I was rejected.

No, that’s not true.

I wasn’t rejected at all, not in any way. One of my manuscripts was.

But that wasn’t the problem. In all honesty, at this point in my journey, I expect the rejections--they’re part of the process and I’m okay with that. The problem was what it led me to.


Rejection isn’t the problem. What we do with it is. (Tweet this.)

As I processed the rejection, I asked the Lord if I needed to set aside my writing and focus on the many other things in my life, or if I needed to simply stop writing altogether, if it was just a pipe dream or hobby that pulled me out of the rut I was in at one point.

The thought of not writing, of closing my computer and laying aside my pen made me cry. Not just cry, but it brought on the sobs and I am not a sob-er. Thankfully, it made me stop and take notice.

The rejection tears made me realize how important writing is to me, that it’s something I really, really want to do. It’s one of those things that I’ll keep doing in spite of rejections. Writing is therapy and sanity. It clears my head and helps me think and process. I hold my pen carefully—not clutching it so it can’t be taken from my fingers, but firmly enough to write with, and until God takes my pen or impresses on me the need to stop, writing is one of those things I’ll keep doing.

Listening to the tears saved me hours and possibly days of needless soul searching, trying to figure out what I should do. They showed me one of the things that is truly important in my life.

Think about the things that have brought on tears that feel like they’re being torn from your heart. What caused them? What can you learn from them and how can they change or simplify your life?

Listen to your tears—they can clarify the important things in your life. (Tweet this.)

Friday, November 08, 2013

Pappy's Prayers

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter P.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
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After a long, hard fight against bone cancer, Dad died last Friday, November 1st. It’s hard to believe he’s gone—gone to Heaven—and yet it isn’t. We’ve been preparing for this for quite a while now. But can you ever be ready for losing a loved one? I don’t think so. It’s so very comforting to know where Dad is and to know that we’ll see him again someday. But still, it’s hard for us and for the kids—they’ll miss their Pappy and we’ll miss my dad.

I’m so very thankful for the extra time we had with Dad. He’s taught me much over the years. How to listen, how to ask good questions, how to do a job well, and how to pray. I learned quickly not to pour the milk on my cereal before praying for breakfast. When Mom and Dad prayed for a meal, they prayed over the family. The whole family. That meant that as we grew up, married, and had children, their prayers lengthened. They prayed over tests the kids had, jobs, decisions they knew we had to make, kids who were in a stupid faze… They prayed faithfully. My kids knew Grammy and Pappy were praying for them.

Now that Dad’s gone I’m worried. Mom and Dad were so faithful to stand in the gap and pray for us and I know Mom is still praying and will continue—but still, that means we’re down one prayer warrior interceding for us. And we need prayer! I’ve seen the difference prayer makes in our lives. Not only that, but there are people in our family that my heart is so heavy for. People I’m deeply concerned about. Who’s going to pray for them now that Pappy is in Heaven? Who’s going to step up and fill the gap that his homegoing has left? I want that prayer coverage. I need that prayer coverage.

As I thought about this the other day, I felt that silent nudge. It’s time for me to quit relying on the prayers of others so much and step forward and fill the gap.

Prayer is something all of us can do, regardless of the season our life is in. The question is, do we?
I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. ~Ezekiel 22:20
Dudley Currier Sargent-faithful servant of God
God looks for people praying. He listens to their prayer and responds. When Abraham interceded for his nephew, Lot was saved when Sodom was destroyed. When Moses interceded for the people of Israel, God listened and didn’t destroy the people. Prayer changes lives. We know this, but do we really know this—the kind of know that changes our lives?

Are we praying faithfully for others, standing in the gap for them, lifting them up before the God who hears and interceding for them? Am I?

Dad showed me how to pray. It’s time to step forward and fill the gap his home going left.

So tell me, who are the people in your life that you need to be interceding for?
Be faithful to your job and pray.

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If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter P, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.



Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Are You Listening?

This past week I’ve been struck once again how God orchestrates our lives. He doesn’t leave the smallest detail to chance but oversees it, knowing what we need most and providing it.

God designs and oversees each detail.


I see this in Luke 1, in the account of Zacharias.
Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. ~Luke 1:8-9
Zacharias was chosen by lot to offer the incense offering—something very few priests were chosen to do. It wasn’t luck, it was under the direction of God who worked out the detail of getting Zacharias into the Temple, into the Holy Place. Yet even in that very special place, Zacharias was doing the work he was given to do.

He didn’t go in there looking for a messenger from God. He went in there to do the work that needed doing, and while he worked, God sent Gabriel to speak to him. We see this happening other times in Scripture too—remember what Moses was doing when God spoke to him? How about David and the Disciples?

I may not be working in the Temple’s Holy Place. I may not ever be a Moses or a David, and I may not be even looking to hear directly from God, but that doesn’t mean I won’t. I’m a child of God, and He’s orchestrating my life just as surely as He did theirs.

How often have you read something on just the right day—the time when you needed it most? What about a friend who says something to you at just the right time, even when they had no idea what was going on inside you? Those were not happenstance or coincidences they were orchestrated by God, timed to perfection.

God still speaks to His people in the daily routine of our lives.
The question is, are we listening?


Friday, November 01, 2013

Oy!

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter O.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
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Oy! My poor blog!

October was a blur. A good blur, but none-the-less, a blur.

I've been to Arizona and back and Cincy is on the deck. I was able to visit with my parents and my sister and that was the highlight of my month. =)

All's well.
Miss you guys!

So tell me, what was the highlight of YOUR October?


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If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter O, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.




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