Monday, February 27, 2012

WAITING WAS THE POINT

Now that I've gotten "the call," it's much easier to look back and say, "What was that all about?" Trust me, the wait was long and excruciating, and I was pretty much starting to think I'd gone off in the weeds. You know, the bunny trail of life that you were never supposed to be on for so many miles.

But now I have clarity. Waiting WAS the point. You see, I've always had an issue with the #1 thing people do NOT want to pray for: patience.

Yes, a book contract took several ingredients whipped together and baked at just the right temperature: God's timing (naturally), skill, and the right book at the right time. (And really, I still have much work to do in the skill area--I know this after the 5 page revision letter!) The biggie, at least for me, was personal readiness, particularly because God wanted me to learn something first. The dreaded P word.

God will use whatever is nearest to our hearts to shape our character and bring us into being who He's called us to be--which has nothing to do with vocation. Where your treasure/heart is, God can work, because that's where He can easily get our attention. Trust me, I haven't arrived in the area of patience, but I have taken this lesson seriously.

What is God using to get your attention? How is He using what is important to you to shape your character?

Monday, February 13, 2012

EVOLUTION OF ROMANCE

With Valentine's Day looming over us--and yes, I still consider it looming, even though I have found my true love--I can't help but think how romance has evolved in our personal lives. How we've gone through stages, and come out more in love than we started. The celebration of Valentine's Day is a great example:

Stage 1: dressed to the nines, flowers, cards, candy, cozy candlelight dinner

Stage 2: dressed to the eight-and-a-halves, dinner, and a movie

Stage 3: sweats and the nightly news

Out of all three stages, guess where I'm most comfy? Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy a true date night with hubby, and when he gets all spiffy, he still has the ability to WOW me! But something about doing it just because it's the expectation, just because "all my friends are doing it" detracts from the deeper relationship my husband and I have developed over time. Rest assured, romance is still alive for us--maybe now more than ever--but it won't be on February 14.

How about you? Are you a Val Day grinch like me? Where are you in the evolution of romance?

Friday, February 10, 2012

THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDE

I'm always up for a Denise Hunter romance because her books are always sure to make readers swoon. The Accidental Bride is no exception! The premise intrigued me--former sweethearts are accidentally married--because the logistics had me curious. I love how the heroine was backed into a corner, and ultimately the hero rose to the challenge. If you're a fan of cowboys and romance, this is a must read!

BLURB:

After years of successfully following the rodeo circuit, Travis’s one regret in life is having hurt Shay so badly. He’s determined to make the past up to her, so when, through a series of flukes, the marriage ceremony is “accidentally” made official, he seizes the opportunity to make things right. But can Shay let go of her pride and stop worrying about what others think long enough to let him? Or will she remain convinced their accidental marriage is just one more mark against her in the eyes of her neighbors?

Skillfully creating a love story that beautifully reflects God’s grace, Hunter uses the pages of The Accidental Bride (the second release in the Big Sky Series) to bring to light preoccupation with caring what others think. Using complex characters, an enticing backdrop and an almost palpable range of emotion and conflict, Hunter draws her readers to a new awareness of how much more simple life becomes when we aim to please God instead of man.


BIO:

Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of eighteen romance novels, including The Convenient Groom, Surrender Bay, Driftwood Lane and the first book in the Big Sky Series, A Cowboy’s Touch. Struck by the brevity of life following her grandfather’s passing, Denise began writing in 1996. As a young stay-at-home mom she used the brief time while her children were napping each day to pursue her dream of being a writer. Two years later her first novel was published. She then continued her naptime writing schedule to complete four more novels.Today she encourages other young mothers to pursue their writing dreams, pointing out that writing only one page a day for a year will result in a completed manuscript. Since beginning her career, Hunter’s work has earned her the Holt Medallion Award, the Reader’s Choice Award and the Foreword Book of the Year Award. She has also been a RITA finalist. Hunter lives in Indiana with her husband and their three teenaged sons. Along with writing and spending time with her family, she enjoys reading, traveling and playing drums for her church’s worship team.

GET YOUR COPY HERE!!


BLUE MOON BAY

How is this my first Lisa Wingate book? Always love finding a new-to-me writer! I haven't finished this book yet, but I'm certainly enjoying it.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Blue Moon Bay
Bethany House (February 1, 2012)
by
Lisa Wingate




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Lisa Wingate is an award-winning journalist, magazine columnist, popular inspirational speaker and a national bestselling author of sixteen books. Her first mainstream novel, Tending Roses, is in its eighteenth printing from Penguin Putnam. Tending Roses is a staple on the shelves of national bookstore chains as well as in many independent bookstores.



Recently, Lisa’s Blue Sky Hill Series, set in Dallas, received national attention with back-to-back nominations for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award for A Month of Summer (2009) and The Summer Kitchen (2010). Pithy, emotional, and inspirational, her stories bring to life characters so real that readers often write to ask what is happening to them after the book ends.



Lisa is one of a select group of authors to find success in both the Christian and mainstream markets, writing for both Bethany House, a Christian publisher, and NAL Penguin Putnam, a general market publisher. Her bestselling books have become a hallmark of inspirational fiction. Her works have been featured by the National Reader's Club of America, AOL Book Picks, Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, Crossings Book Club, American Profiles and have been chosen for numerous awards.



When not busy dreaming up stories, Lisa spends time on the road as a motivational speaker. Via internet, she shares with readers as far away as India, where her book, Tending Roses, has been used to promote women's literacy, and as close to home as Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the county library system has used Tending Roses to help volunteer mentors teach adults to read. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.







ABOUT THE BOOK



Heather Hampton returns to Moses Lake, Texas, to help facilitate the sale of a family farm as part of a planned industrial plant that will provide the area with much-needed jobs. Heather's future fiance has brokered the deal, and Heather is in line to do her first large-scale architectural design--if the deal goes through.



But the currents of Moses Lake have a way of taking visitors on unexpected journeys. What was intended to be a quick trip suddenly morphs into Valentine's week--with Blaine Underhill, the handsome banker who just happens to be opposing Heather's project. Spending the holiday in an ex-funeral parlor seems like a nightmare, but Heather slowly finds herself being drawn into the area's history, hope, and heart.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Blue Moon Bay, go HERE.
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