Sunday, December 30, 2007

November Winners

Nov 1 - The Taming of Jaelle’n by Deirdre O'Dare
Winner: Laura K
Prize: The Taming of Jaelle’n by Deirdre O'Dare

NOV 2 - Saved by Sam by Deirdre O'Dare
Winner: ChristyJan
Prize: Saved by Sam by Deirdre O'Dare

NOV 3 - Daring Delights by Deirdre O'Dare
Winner: Crystal Adkins
Prize: Daring Delights by Deirdre O'Dare

NOV 4 - Witchy Woman by Karen Erickson
Winner: Shari C
Prize: Witchy Woman by Karen Erickson

NOV 5 - Lost Treasure by Midnyte Dupree
Winner: Jane
Prize: Lost Treasure by Midnyte Dupree

NOV 8 - A Shadow of Treason by Tricia Goyer
Winner: Virginia
Prize: book from November's prize vault

NOV 10 - Deadfall by Robert Liparulo
Winner: lrwirum
Prize: book from November's prize vault

NOV 16 - Try Dying by James Scott Bell
Winner: Susan
Prize: book from November's prize vault

NOV 23 - The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Decked Out by Neta Jackson
Winner: robynl
Prize: book from November's prize vault

NOV 28 - Scarlet by Stephen Lawhead
Winner: acdaisy95
Prize: book from November's prize vault

NOV 29 - Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet
Winner: Cherie J
Prize: book from November's prize vault

NOV 30 - For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice
Winner: Burn
Prize: For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice

Winners, shoot Rachelle an email to claim your prize...and I mean literally. LOL.

posted by En-z
at 9:47 PM


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Unopened Gift

Many people have misplaced and will forget to open their most priceless gift this holiday season.

Shopping. Parties, Yes, it’s that season.

Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa. Millions of people around the world will celebrate these occasions.

They’ve spent hours in the mall buying gifts for others.

They’ll spent time opening up the gifts they receive.

Yes, you might receive great clothes, the latest technology, video games, stuff for the house and more.

You’ll open the gifts. Some you’ll put away, some you’ll use often.

Though none of them will bring you close to the joy the ‘forgotten gift’ will give you.

The ‘forgotten gift’ isn’t wrapped so many of us forget to see it.

This gift we didn’t ‘pay for’, so many people don’t put the right value on it.

Many people have tried to rip this gift away from us over the years, so many people are scared to even open it today.

They’re scared of their most priceless gift.

They don’t believe their even worthy of opening it.

Millions are. What an injustice. What an injustice.

The greatest gift we can open this year is OURSELVES.


This is the greatest gift we can give our family, our friends, and ourselves.

It’s the greatest gift.

This gift doesn’t last 1 day, it’s last a whole year. What a powerful gift.

Which of these gifts that YOU have right now will you open this holiday season?

The gift called strength.

The gift called courage.

The gift called service.

The gift called fearlessness.

The gift called value.

The gift called self love.

The gift called service.

The gift called listening.

The gift called vision.

The gift called purpose.

The gift called belief.

The gift called education.

The gift called friendship.

The gift called desire.

The gift called forgiveness.

The gift called faith.

The gift called peace of mind.

The gift called smiling.

The gift called profit.

The gift called you.

These gifts grow each year. They multiply each year. The more we unwrap them, the greater the present.

Remember, we’re transformed and grow one step at a time. Our gift grows daily, monthly, yearly.

Yes, during this holiday season you’ll give many gifts you purchased to others.

Yet, the greatest gift you could give to many of these people is the GREATEST YOU.

And when they see the best you, something will trigger in them to start unwrapping their own personal gifts.

BE the gift you want to receive daily.

Don’t let fear stop you from sharing your gifts.

Choose fearlessness. Choose faith. Choose the best you.

Your, yes YOUR, best days are ahead of you. They are smiling wide because they can’t wait to SEE you too.

Open your greatest gift today. Your talents, abilities, and strengths.

Yes, others have tried to distract you and distance yourself from them.

Not anymore. Today your greatest gift begs to be opened.

Have a great holiday season!

posted by En-z
at 8:14 PM


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Holiday Blog - 12th Day of Christmas

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of Love

God's Gift of Love
by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Love. It seems as though everyone these days is either in desperate avoidance of it, in the heart wrenching process of losing it, or in the giddy throes of finding it. Some have given up on it while others believe they will know it when they see it. All of us hope when it’s our turn, the love we get - and give - will be unconditional.

But can flawed humans really offer unconditional love?

Oh, we try. If you’re a parent you know the depth of love you felt the first moment you saw that precious baby of yours. Then there’s the feelings you carried up the aisle to join your beloved at the altar. Or perhaps love to you is counted by the nights spent at a parent’s bedside. The thread of love winds through each of these, and yet it is the rare parent, spouse, or child who would admit to having loved perfectly. We are human and sadly flawed, even when we act with the best of intentions.

There is only one unconditional love that never fails. Only one love that never turns a blind eye, says the wrong thing, or procrastinates rather than acts. The love of the Father, our Heavenly Father, is perfect in every way. Not only is His love unconditional, but He also loves us in spite of who we are and not for what we are. How wonderful to know that the God of the universe loves us.

Not just love in the way we see it, the stars-in-our-eyes crazy-about-my-baby love, but a depth of feeling exponentially more than anything our flawed but well intentioned hearts could imagine.

So today, when you’re reminded of that tiny baby, Jesus Christ the Creator-made-flesh, think of the love it took to accomplish this holy miracle of unconditional love. To put on the fingers and toes of an infant and come to us as Savior was the beginning of a love story that has no end.


Kathleen Y'Barbo is the author of Beloved Castaway and countless other books. For more information visit

posted by Rachelle
at 2:35 PM


Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Blog - 11th Day of Christmas

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of An Uncluttered Christmas

God's Gift of An Uncluttered Christmas
by Cyndy Salzmann

It was enough to curl my toes. And a quick glance at the other mother’s in the audience told me I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.

So what horrendous experience caused such a reaction from a room full of moms? A violent or sexually explicit movie? A challenge from Doctor Phil to “get real” and ‘fess up about our parenting faux pas? Or a pan of the audience spotlighting a really bad hair day?

Actually, the event that caused such a panic among this audience of mothers occurred during the Christmas program at my daughter’s school.

Things started innocently enough when the girls marched out onto the stage swinging colorful shopping bags. Of course, they were adorable and the apples of their mothers’ eyes. The trouble began when the girls opened their mouths and sang…

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

Scurry! Scurry! Scurry!

Worry! Worry! Worry!

Christmastime is here!

As I said, it was enough to curl my toes. Just the thought of all that hurrying, scurrying and worrying to prepare for Christmas gave me a full-blown a hot flash. No wonder depression peaks during the holidays. Faced with all that stress , I wouldn’t want to get out of bed either.

Once my hot flash ceded, I began to realize that this is just where Satan wants us – dreading the celebration of the most precious gifts to mankind – the birth of Jesus Christ. And frankly, it made my blood boil – almost bringing on another hot flash. I decided right then that he wasn’t going to get away with it.

We have a choice on how much hurrying, scurrying and worrying we do. And this year I hope you’ll make a commitment to join me in uncluttering your Christmas by jumping off the treadmill and keeping your eyes on the true reason for the season.

BTW- I have a tip sheet with practical ideas and advice to help you to simplify your holidays and focus on Jesus’ birth. Just contact me at and I’ll email you a copy.


Cyndy Salzmann is the author of Crime & Clutter, book two in the highly acclaimed Friday Afternoon Mystery series published by Howard Books. As America’s Clutter Coach, Cyndy is a popular national speaker and radio personality. Cyndy, her husband and three children, live in Omaha, Nebraska. For more information visit

posted by Rachelle
at 11:19 AM


Sunday, December 23, 2007

October Winners

OCT 1 - The Broken Path by Cami Checketts
Winner: Juliet

OCT 02 - Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James (paperback)
Winner: marylin

OCT 03 - Guardian of the Veil by by Dr. Gregory Spencer (paperback)
Winner: lrwirum

OCT 04 - The Bounty Hunter and the Bride by Vickie McDonough (paperback)
Winner: Brandi V

OCT 05 - The Bloodmoon Curse by Karen Wiesner
Winner: Hayley

OCT 06 - Instinct by Denise A. Agnew
Winner: Candes

OCT 07 – Unbound by Lori Devoti (paperback)
deanne richens

OCT 08 - The Hunter by M.A. Gonzales
Winner: blessedheart

OCT 09 - Beth and the Dark Prince by M.A. Gonzales
Winner: BethRe

OCT 10 - Bjorn's Mate by Mary Winter
Winner: Laura K

OCT 11 - Wolf Tales IV by Kate Douglas (paperback)
Winner: tinkerdelle

OCT 12 - Serati's Flame by T.J. Michaels
Winner: Susan

OCT 13 - Moon Awakening by Lucy Monroe (paperback)
Winner: kate

OCT 14 - Troubleshooting by Michelle Levigne (paperback)
Winner: Crystal Adkins

OCT 15 - Prophecy of Vithan by Charlene Leatherman
Winner: Vicky B

OCT 16 – A Noble Place by Anne Whitfield (hardcover)
Winner: Maria V

OCT 17 - Slightly Married by Wendy Markham (paperback)
Winner: atomic kitten (reva156)

OCT 18 - A Hideous Beauty by Jack Cavanaugh (paperback)
Winner: tam

OCT 19 - Mosaic by Amy Grant (hardcover)
Winner: g.i. george

OCT 20 - Wings of Love by Dayna Hart
Winner: ChristyJan

OCT 22 - Game, Set..Match? by Kelsey Lewis
Winner: Anonymous (mary lou)

OCT 23 - Gothik Pyrates Vol 1: Voyages into Darkness
Winner: Candy Gorcsi

OCT 24 - As Fate Decrees by Denyse Bridger
Winner: Meljprincess

OCT 25 - A Whisper of Humanity by Denyse Bridger
Winner: Sarah

OCT 26 - Passionate Kisses by Denyse Bridger
Winner: CrystalG

OCT 27 - The Gates of Infinity by Denyse Bridger
Winner: acdaisy95

OCT 28 - Lisa's Gift by Mackenzie Mckade
Winner: Debi

OCT 29 - Larkspur by Ramona K. Cecil (paperback)
Winner: franz

OCT 30 - The Collector 7: This Time Forever by Lucynda Storey
Winner: Virginia

OCT 31 - The Vase of Many Colors by Rachel Thoene (paperback)
Winner: robynl

Winners, please email Rachelle to claim your prize. Her email address is located just below the "Subscribe Me" button on the sidebar (left).

Print winners are requested to include their snail mail address in their emails so the email can be directly forwarded to the author in charge.

posted by En-z
at 1:25 PM


Friday, December 21, 2007

Distant Heart by Tracey Bateman

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.


Tracey Bateman

Tracey Bateman,
is the award-winning author of more than twenty-five books, including Defiant Heart, the First in the Westeard Hearts series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and recently served on the board as President. She loves in Lebanon, Missouri, with her husband and their four children.


In the second book in the Westward Hearts trilogy, will the promise of a new life out west heal the scars of Toni's past?

This series tells the stories of three strong women as they struggle to survive on the rough wagon train and lose their hearts to unlikely heroes along the way/ Thin Little House on the Prairie meets Francine river's Redeeming Love and you begin to get a sense of the riveting historical series that Tracey Bateman has created.

In this second installment, we follow Toni Rodden, a former prostitute who sought to escape her past and build a new life, and a new reputation, when she joined the wagon train. Despite much resentment and distrust from the other women, Toni has finally earned a place on the wagon train and found a surrogate family in Fannie Caldwell and her two siblings. For the first time in her life, Toni actually feels free.

But while Toni once harbored dreams that her new life might include a husband and family, she soon realizes the stigma that comes with her past is difficult to see beyond and that she'll never be truly loved or seen as worthy. As the trip out west begins to teach her to survive on her own, she resolves to make her own living as a seamstress when the train finally reaches Oregon.

But despite Toni's conviction that no man will be able to see beyond her marred past, Sam Two-feathers, the wagon scout and acting preacher for the train seems to know of a love that forgives sins and values much more than outward appearances. Will Sam have the confidence to declare his love? Will Toni be able to trust in a God that can forgive even the darkest past? Faith, love, and courage will be put to the test in Distant Heart.

Purchase Distant Heart by Tracey Bateman HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 8:34 AM


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Blog - 10th Day of Christmas

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of Memories

God's Gift of Memories
by Marlo Schalesky

Memory is a powerful thing. We hear a song from our high school days and we’re transported to sweaty school dances and blasting the radio in our first car. The smell of brownies baking takes us back to pigtails and ponies. We drive by the house we lived in as a kid and remember the swingset in the backyard and how that rotten kid from next door blew spitwads through the hole in the fence.

Ever gotten sick on a type of food? You’ll never want to have that again. And don’t even think about naming your child after that whiny little brat that sat behind you in the fourth grade, even if your spouse loves that name.

Memory. It’s why we treasure photos, display mementos, keep in touch with people from our past. It’s why God set up festivals for the ancient Israelites and told them to erect memorials at significant places in their history.

Memory. It’s why the sight of a stuffed stocking takes me back to those early mornings in my childhood when my brother and I would wake up before dawn, run to the fireplace, get our stockings, and race back to my parents’s bed. Mom was always ready. Dad pretended to complain. And together, with lots of giggling and the thrill of anticipation, we’d pull out the gifts from our stockings one by one. Simple things, boring really. Candy. A toothbrush. Some silly plastic toy. Things that would be used up or forgotten in just a few short weeks. And yet, opening stockings is my favorite Christmas memory from childhood.

Why? I think it’s because good memories are not necessarily made from the “big stuff.” Rather, they’re fashioned out of warmth and happiness and times together. They’re woven with laughter, colored with simple, plain joy. They come from times when you experience love.

So, this year, I’m thinking about the memories I’m making now, for my kids, and for myself. I don’t want those memories to be ones of a Mom who’s running around with too much to do and too little time to do it. I don’t want them to be of hustle, bustle, shopping, wrapping, cooking, cards, and gifts thrown under the tree. I don’t even want them to be of the cool stable-and-horse set that my girls will unwrap on Christmas morning. Or the cheap kid’s guitar for my oldest (age 7), or the new “ooo-ahh” (stuffed gorilla) for one of my 2-year-old twins.

Because the toys will break, get old, get lost, or they’ll outgrow them. But they won’t outgrow the happy memories of family times together. The memories of decorating Christmas cookies with laughter and joking – those won’t get old. The times we make a gingerbread house together, or sit down and watch the Grinch – those won’t break. The simple things make the best memories. Times when we’re together as a family, having fun, enjoying the traditions we’re building together.

So, that’s my goal this Christmas, to weave memories of peace, love, togetherness, because that’s the best gift I can think of to celebrate Jesus’ birth -- Memories that bring a smile to the face of children . . . and to the face of the King.


For more about the power of memories in our lives, check out Marlo's next novel, Beyond the Night, releasing in May. A woman in a hospital bed, a man sitting beside her, and between them, a memory that can set her free. Find out more at:

posted by Rachelle
at 7:46 PM


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Blog - 9th Day of Christmas

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of Story

God's Gift of Dreams and Story
by Melody Carlson

A dream doesn’t always seem like a gift from God, but sometimes I’ll experience one so vivid and amazing that I can’t help but think God is at work. I remember a dream that woke me in the middle of the night about ten years ago. I was so moved that I felt compelled to write it down. In my dream I saw a sweet angel who was distraught that Jesus was about to leave heaven to be born as a baby on earth. So she volunteered to give up being an angel and God transformed her into a magnificent star to light the night sky for the Big Event. I won’t tell the entire dream, but simply let it be said that the ending surprised everyone—including me. The story became a children’s Christmas book called The Greatest Gift (which is currently out of print). But as a result of that dream, I began to pay even more attention to my dreams. Sometimes I think that God simply uses them to show me things about my own life and sometimes my dreams wind up in my books.


Melody Carlson is the author of Ready to Wed, (Guideposts Books 2007). This story also involves a dream! For more information visit

posted by Rachelle
at 12:39 AM


Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday Blog - 8th Day of Christmas

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of Unexpected Blessings

God's Gift of Unexpected Blessings
by Angela Hunt

The arrival of our daughter from South Korea wasn’t exactly unexpected—we’d spent years longing for her, and then months praying for that little baby’s safe arrival in our arms.

And as I look back over the experience, I can’t help thinking of Mary, who must have had such mixed feelings when she held the infant Jesus in her arms. Great joy, for the promised child had arrived. Great responsibility for the fragile life in her care. And great dread for the difficulties and sorrows that would arise.

As a young mother, I knew there would be tough times, and I haven’t been disappointed. But through bad times and good, through loving moments and less-than-loving moments, I can see the hand of God’s sovereignty molding me, my husband, and my children into the people he intends us to be.

Christmas shines brightest in the eyes of children. But it resonates most deeply in the hearts of those who love them.


Angela Hunt is the author of Doesn't She Look Natural? (Tyndale Publishers). For more information visit

posted by Rachelle
at 10:32 PM


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Blog - 7th Day of Christmas

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of Uniqueness

God's Gift of Uniqueness
by Tosca Lee

I used to hate my name. “Tosca” was too unusual. “Moon,” my middle name, was just downright embarrassing. “Lee” was all right, though it still set me apart from the rest of the Caucasian kids in my school. In an era when Christy Brinkley graced the cover of every fashion magazine, I did not wish to accentuate my different-ness.

The name I really wanted was Marie--probably because others had it and that meant I could at least buy one of those door plates for my bedroom door or license plates for my bike, which was my litmus test. As it was, they sure didn’t have plates for kids named “Tosca.”

In junior high, my friends called me “Weird Tosca.” I didn’t like that so much.

These days I teach about talent in my work as a consultant. I talk about the strange, quirky things that not only set people apart, but have the potential to make them great. A friend said to me once, “Stars have points.” He’s right. And when we blunt our points, we lose the defining characteristics of our unique mark in and contribution to this world.

Opportunities work much the same. It’s the unique ones that seem to hold the greatest potential impact. When my main character, Clay, bumps up against the opportunity to hear the story of creation from the viewpoint of a Demon, he is terrified--intrigued, but terrified. And so he resists. While his reaction might be in keeping with any sane person’s, it’s also a human reaction to the unusual. But in this case, it’s the unusual that might just might save his soul.

How has God revealed to you your uniquness? And what, most importantly, is He telling you to do with it?

Weird Tosca

“You need to know something more about Elohim: he is the ultimate force of creativity. He is the author of diversity.” -- Lucian, Demon: A Memoir


Tosca Lee is the author of Demon: A Memoir and of the upcoming Havah: The Story of Eve. For more information visit

posted by Rachelle
at 2:22 PM


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday Blog - 6th Day of Christmas

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of Unconditional Acceptance

God's Gift of Unconditional Acceptance
by Lisa Samson

Clearly God Incarnate wasn't choosy. He wasn't born in a palace, but to a simple peasant woman bearing the stigma of a pregnancy conceived out of the bonds of matrimony. He wasn't even born in his own town, but endured a long ride to Bethlehem in his mother's womb only to be born in a stable among the livestock. Even after his ministry began he owned one robe and proclaimed himself homeless when He said, "Foxes have dens, birds have nest, but the Son of God has no place to lay His head."

If we used some TV preachers' standards today, Jesus clearly wasn't blessed by God. He didn't have the finest clothes, transportation or housing. Even most of His disciples weren't exactly candidates for a PhD. Clearly He must not have had enough faith if that's all He was getting from His Father!

But Christ isn't choosy and that is good news for us. For there isn't a single human being who can impress Him into shining His light of grace upon them. The stockbroker on Wall Street stands level with the illegal immigrant who picks strawberries. The evangelist in fine suits or sparkly dresses looks eye-to-eye with the busdriver. And the homeschool mom stands shoulder to shoulder with the prostitute. His love demands He looks above the good and the bad, and His arms are always open, ready to receive us when we are ready to receive Him. Sometimes we run back into His arms many times in one day and He doesn't care if we've showered or put on the latest fashions, He's only looking for a contrite heart. That's it. A heart that says, "I'm sorry."

This Christmastime, rest in the fact that you can't impress Christ. He doesn't care about our beautiful cookies or the fact that our trees look designer coordinated. He isn't impressed we ran around to ten different stores to find the perfect present for Aunt Sue. He just wants us to love Him, just as we are, for when we do, we incarnate Him in the here and now, and there's no telling what He'll do through us.


Lisa Samson is the author of Hollywood Nobody (NavPress, 2007), For more information visit

posted by Rachelle
at 9:17 AM


Friday, December 14, 2007

What Lies Within by Karen Ball

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.


Karen BallKaren Ball,
bestselling novelist, is also the editor behind several of today's bestselling Christian novels. Her love for
words was
passed down
through her
father and
grandfather - both pastors who shared God's
truth through
sermons and
storytelling. Blending humor, poignancy, and honesty, Karen's writing style is a powerful force for revealing God's truth. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Don, and their "kids," Bodhan, a mischief-making Siberian husky, and Dakota, an Aussie-terrier mix who should have been named "Destructo."


Nothing’s going to stop Kyla…

until the ground crumbles beneath her feet.

Kyla Justice has arrived. Her company, Justice Construction, is one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful companies in the Pacific Northwest. And yet, something is missing. Not until she’s called on to build a center for inner-city kids does she realize what it is: her sense of purpose. Now nothing can stop her, not the low budget, not supply problems, not gang opposition, not her boyfriend’s suggestion that she sell her business and marry him–and most especially not that disagreeable Rafael Murphy.

Rafe Murphy understands battle. Wounded in action, this Force Recon Marine carries the scars–and the nightmares–to prove it. Though he can’t fight overseas any longer, he’s found his place as a warrior in the civilian world. So he soldiers on, trusting that one of these days, God will reveal to him why Rafe survived the ambush in Iraq. That day has arrived.

Kyla and Rafe both discover that determination alone won’t carry them through danger and challenges. When gang violence threatens their very foundations, there’s only one way to survive: rely on each other, be real–and surrender to God. In other words, risk everything…

Purchase What Lies Within by Karen Ball HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 1:42 PM


Holiday Blog - 5th Day of Christmas

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of Imagination

The Gift of Imagination
by Jack Cavanaugh

Christmas is a holiday for the imagination.

Angels and shepherds and wise men (oh my!),
Tyrants and taxes and stars in the sky!
No room for a bed
As tidings were spread
And the Father looked down from on high.

It’s no wonder the story of the nativity thrills our hearts year after year. It’s a wonderfully creative event orchestrated by a Deity who loves using His imagination. Take the temple priest’s robes for example. When the temple was first built God assembled all the skilled craftsmen and gave them instructions (Exodus 35:10). The craftsmen designing the priestly robes were told to adorn them with images of blue pomegranates (Exodus 39:24).


There’s no such thing as a blue pomegranate! What was God thinking? If this kind of creativity were to catch on we could end up with Christmas cards with images of green angels, pink Christmas trees, and a plaid star over the manger!

If blue pomegranates bothers you…get over it! We have a wonderfully imaginative God who frequently colors outside the lines. Go, and do thou likewise.

Wishing you an imaginative Christmas season.


Jack Cavanaugh is the author of Hideous Beauty: Kingdom Wars #1 and countless other books. For more information visit

posted by Rachelle
at 12:31 PM


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Blog - 4th Day of Christmas

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of God's Patience

The Gift of God's Patience
by Griffin Smith
(written by Todd & Jedd Hafer)

Thanks for reading, everybody. My name is Griffin Smith. I’m in my second year at Lewis College (Go Eagles!) on the track team. Specifically, I run distance. Okay, I realize “distance” isn’t really specific at all. In high school I ran the 1600 and 3200 meters – that’s the mile and 2-mile for those of still holding strong in the anti-metric resistance.

As a runner and big-time sinner, the gift I am most thankful for this Christmas (and every day) is patience. Not my own, as my dad likes to say “looooong-suffering”. No, I could use a ton more. I routinely lose my patience in class, in races, in relationships – even with my little brother Colby who overcame the burden of being named after cheese to become the sweetest kid on the planet.

The amazing gift is God’s patience. His patience with me – the most unsweetened kid on the planet (and I know that is not the most grammatically sound phrase, but it’s tough for me to write about positive subjects, so, if we’re going to play ball, you’re going to have to indulge me).

Anyway, I constantly criticize myself, even punish myself (since we’re trying to be positive, I won’t get into that now), but God, He just keeps loving me. I try to squirm away, I even bend God’s fingers back, He just patiently holds on. I swear the guy must be double-jointed.

I’m definitely thankful for that grip though. I’d hate to think He’d ever let go.

The point is I know He never will. It’s just not in His nature. Good news for people like me!


You can read more of Griffin Smith’s ramblings about his surface life and his private pain in the novels Bad Idea: A novel with Coyotes and From Bad to Worse: A novel with Girls by Todd and Jedd Hafer

posted by Rachelle
at 10:23 AM


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Blog - 3rd Day of Christmas

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of Restoration

God's Gift of Restoration
by Rachel Thoene

When I was but a wee child, I had many opportunities to travel with my dad’s folks, Nonnie and Papa, on trips to the coast with their house trailer.

My Nonnie was religious about packing sandwiches, fresh home made cookies and fruit for the trip. She wrapped the cookies and sandwiches in wax paper… this was before the days of juice boxes and Lunchables… and the whole picnic was packed neatly into one or two sturdy shoe boxes for the trip. A thermos of coffee for she and Papa and one of milk for me. The trip to the coast was only about two and a half hours long, but about half way there, Papa would slow the rig to a wide spot in the road and we would have a “picnic” together before continuing on our way to the ocean.

I was asked to contribute some thoughts on the gift of God’s restoration vs. life’s destination.

As I mulled a few thoughts over, it occurred to me that Nonnie’s “shoe box lunches” were a lot like God’s gift of restoration… Sure we had a destination in mind. It was exciting to get out of the valley and go spend time at the ocean with the sand and the waves and time all to myself with my Nonnie and Papa collecting shells… but the picnic lunch on the side of the road DURING the trip restored us and provided a brief respite in our journey.

Lately, my heart has been troubled and anxious as I have been caring for a friend with a very serious cancer. And I have found myself, head down, walking my campus during the day at work, talking to God about her condition and the outcome of all of this agony…And as I have conversed with Him on these strolls, I have picked up an amazing number of Pennies… every day… pennies… sometimes it’s only one or two, sometimes I’ve found 12 or more… but every day…pennies. And the curious thing is that every single one of those pennies says, “In God we Trust.” And I pick them up, put them in my pocket and say, “Thank you Lord. We are blessed today and we are whole, healthy, healed and restored…”

I believe that my friend is going to be well at the end of all of this, because God reminds me daily through those pennies to TRUST HIM”. And every penny draws me closer to Him so that I am focusing now on the moment and my conversation with Him, daily being restored in my faith and claiming her healing and I’m not any longer worrying about the destination or when we’re going to get there, because we have been given THIS MOMENT and in THIS Moment, I’m going to just pull my rig to the side of the road and have a picnic with Him in my heart.

Rachel Thoene is the author of The Vase Of Many Colors (Capstone Books, 2007), For more information visit

posted by Rachelle
at 7:10 AM


UNclaimed Prizes from August

If you find your name below, please shoot me an email
( so I can send you your prize right away. Thanks.

Winner: bluecat
Prize: Lie to Me by Selah March

Winner: D-Impkatt
Prize: Dirty Shame by Selah March

Winner: Sinamon
Prize: Lover's Brew by Dana Littlejohn

Winner: Debra
Prize: In His Dreams by Gail Gaymer Martin (pb)

Winner: Renny
Prize: Opposites Attract by Michelle M. Pillow (pb)

Winner: Theresa N.
Prize: Lily in Bloom by Morgan Ashbury

Winner: Denise
Prize: Lonnie Heats Up by Sloane Taylor

Random winners picked from all of August's comments:

Prize: Temporary Slave by Reese Gabriel

cas2ajs (Cheryl)
Prize: Hidden Passions by Stephanie Burke

Prize: Night Elves 1: Wicked Pleasures by Nelissa Donovan

Lou Gagliardi
Prize: Christmas Cowboy by Allyson James

Prize: Trace's Psychic: Supernatural Bonds by Jory Strong

posted by Rachelle
at 1:51 AM


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Blog - 2nd Day of Christmas

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of Simplicity

God's Gift of Simplicity
by Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Amish people I write about celebrate Christmas in a much simpler way than most of us do. There are no Christmas trees or colored lights in their homes. The gifts they give one another are simple and functional, not elaborate or expensive. Their emphasis at Christmas is on the birth of Jesus and the love they feel for God, family, and friends. Anyone can give the gift of simplicity, and it can be given any time of the year. A smile, a hug, a listening ear. . .these are the gifts of simplicity.


Wanda E. Brunstetter is the author of many Amish themed books including the latest A Sister's Secret (Barbour Books, 2007) , the first installation in the Sisters of Holmes County series. Watch for the second installment, A Sister's Test, in January 2008. For more information visit

posted by Rachelle
at 1:18 AM


Monday, December 10, 2007

Holiday Blog - 1st Day of Christmas

Celebrating the true meaning of the Christmas season, GRPR is proud to introduce to you the twelve days of Christmas. Twelve inspired devotional thoughts written by some of the best and brightest authors in the Christian industry.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of Honesty

God's Gift of Honesty
by Mark Littleton

As a new Christian, I wasn’t really prepared for the stark truth about my previous life. Rummaging in my closet, I came across several shirts I had shop-lifted a couple of years before. I immediately remembered several items from the same heist.

Standing there trembling, I was unsure about what to do. I prayed, “God, what should I do about this?” It seemed the inner voice spoke immediately: “You need to return them to the store.”

I didn’t need to reflect much on it. I knew that was the right thing to do.

I packed up the items, drove to the nearby Bamberger’s store at the Cherry Hill Mall and found security. I explained what I’d done and offered to pay for the items. The guard smiled. “Every now and then we get one of these,” he said. “I’ll find out the prices and you can pay.”

A few days later, I got the call. Over sixty-five dollars in charges. In 1972 dollars, that was a lot of money. I sucked it up, though, wrote out a check and dropped it by. The guard thanked me for my integrity, saying, “I wish there were more like you out there. But shop-lifting costs us big-time. Just the same, I respect what you did.”

I went away feeling like I’d pleased God. There were other things I would return in the coming days, and it was always difficult. And costly. But the peace of mind and heart I received were all worth it. To say nothing of the witness to unbelievers, one of whom invited me to come visit him his family in Switzerland after I sent him back the stamps I’d stolen while babysitting his children years before.


Mark Littleton is the author of The Ten-Second Prayer Principle: Powerful Prayer As You Go (Howard Books, 2007) and many other books. For more information visit or

posted by Rachelle
at 5:01 PM


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault.


Lisa Samson is the author of twenty books, including the Christy Award-winning Songbird. Apples of Gold was her first novel for teens. Visit Lisa at

These days, she's working on Quaker Summer, volunteering at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, raising children and trying to be supportive of a husband in seminary. (Trying . . . some days she's downright awful. It's a good thing he's such a fabulous cook!) She can tell you one thing, it's never dull around there.
Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson
Other Novels by Lisa:
Straight Up, Club Sandwich, Songbird, Tiger Lillie, The Church Ladies, Women's Intuition: A Novel, Songbird, The Living End


What inspired you to write Hollywood Nobody?
NavPress approached me at a publishing conference about writing YA fiction. They felt my writing voice would transition naturally into YA. Well, that day, I was sitting in my car in Opryland's parking lot, and the idea just gushed out. Nav loved it, and here we all are, me, Nav, Scotty Dawn and her fabulous readers.

What message would you like readers to take away after reading Hollywood Nobody?
Be yourself and don't think the grass is always greener "over there." Chances are, somebody's looking at your yard thinking you've got it made.

What does faith mean to you?
Faith means trusting God even when you have no idea what's going on around you, or what lies ahead. Faith means that somehow, somewhere, the bad stuff will be turned into good, even if that seems impossible.

Can you describe what a "normal" family means to you? Did you grow up in a "normal" family?
Honestly, I don't think there is such thing as a "normal" family. We're all odd in our own way. Sure, some families look normal from the outside, but we're all weird in our "own special way." Of course, some families' abnormalities are dark and painful, and I just hope and pray that Hollywood Nobody will provide young women in those situations with a little bit of escape and encouragement.

How did that help you?
I was always encouraged in the arts. My Dad played boogie-woogie for pocket money in college, and painted when he came home from his practice at night. My Mom worked at our church, was involved in other causes, so I became aware of my social responsibilities through her.

In Hollywood Nobody, Scottie really struggles to find authentic relationships due to her nomadic lifestyle and the pervasive Hollywood influence in her life. What do you think Scotty would say to Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan if she had the chance?
She'd say, "Are you kidding me?!" :-)

What book is coming up next? Will Scottie find out who is chasing her?
The next book is called Finding Hollywood Nobody and yes, she will figure out who Biker Guy really is!

What book(s) are you reading now?
Right now I'm reading, Growing Up Hard in Harlan County and Jesus of Nazareth.

If your book were turned into a movie, who would play the main character(s)?
Amanda Bynes with a dark, curly wig. Adam Brody would nail Seth Haas. Charley could totally be played by Kelly Preston.

Which one of your characters is most like you? Why?
Well, Scotty thinks a lot like I do. But I don't think any of the characters in this book resemble me. I am 43 dontchaknow. :-) Scotty, however, is an awful lot like my 17-year-old daughter Ty. I really felt like she was whispering in my ear as I wrote the book.

What do you want your readers to know about you?
I guess I hope they know I remember how awful being a teenager could be! I'm not the person who says, "This is the greatest time of your life. Just be happy." I wouldn't go back to High School if anybody paid me to do it. It's a hard gig.

There are many references woven throughout Hollywood Nobody to F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Is this a favorite book for you? Why did you choose it as a backdrop for Scotty?
Yes, The Great Gatsby is a favorite of mine. I chose it because I was re-reading it when I started writing the book. There are a lot of parallels between the two storylines. Unrequited love, the outsider looking in, wanting what we can't have. Beyond that, I wanted Scotty to be the literary type and to encourage the readers of Hollywood Nobody to venture out into something more classic than my book!

Are you a vegetarian like Scotty or her mother?
I've tried it a time or two. And I wish I could stick with it. But usually it's fried chicken that knocks me off course every time. (I love fried chicken!)

Scottie struggles with defining faith and how it fits into her life. Can you describe your experience coming to faith?
I've been in church all of my life! When I was three I remember asking Him into my heart. But faith isn't just a nice little formula, it's embracing Christ and God's faithfulness, day after day after day. Honestly, each day I hope I come to Christ a little more, hoping to draw closer to Him, to be more like Him, to love Him more.


BOOK DESCRIPTION:Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson

Fifteen-year-old Scotty Dawn has spent her young life on the road, traveling to movie sets with her single mom, Charley, a food designer. Yet even though Scotty is wise beyond her years, she still struggles to find her identity. Complicating matters is a mother who offers no guidance and a father she's never met.

Now Scotty is determined to discover what she wants from life. She's even documenting the journey on her "Hollywood Nobody" blog. But as Scotty begins to find dark answers to tough questions, will her story have a happy ending?

The first in a series, Hollywood Nobody is a novel for teen girls that examines real issues with honesty and humor. Enhancing the book's themes, the story includes journal and blog entries as well as screenplay dialog, providing an engaging experience for readers.


Scotty Dawn has all the freedom a fifteen-year-old girl could want. As she and her mom, Charley, travel to movie sets for Charley's work, Scotty's allowed to go anywhere and be anything. But there are costs to such a life. Scotty doesn't know who she is, where she comes from, or who to trust. And who is the mysterious man they've been running from? Does he hold the clue to Charley's big secret?

Scotty writes in her Hollywood Nobody blog, and the answers she finds are darker than she had expected. Will she discover who she can trust and finally make sense of her world?


Finding identity. Handling single parenthood from the child’s perspective. Encountering new environments. Discovering self.

Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson
ISBN-10: 1600060919
Publisher: Th1nk Books
Release Date: August 30, 2007
Genre: Christian Chick lit
$10.39 from

Purchase Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 2:51 PM


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ashberry Lane's Book Giveaway

A special announcement from Sherrie Ashcraft and Christina Berry.

We co-write books about relationships. We are a relationship. We want to dominate the relationship brand. And we want to have at least 500 subscribers to the Ashberry Lane Newsletter by the first of the year. Should we expect you to sign up and work hard at strong-arming your friends to sign up while you get nothing out of the deal? No way!

Compassionate as we are, we've worked up a HUGE new incentive. How better to promote our relational fiction than featuring other fiction that focuses on different types of relationship? Why don't we give our supporters a chance to win EIGHT autographed books? What a great Christmas present that would be! Or what a lot of Christmas shopping done for you!

Without further ado, we present, with a booming voice,


For the Friend Relationship: Roxanne Henke's After Anne

One of our absolute favorite books. As you watch Olivia and Anne struggle through a difficult challenge, you'll want to be a better friend.

For the Prodigal Relationship: Robin Lee Hatcher's Return to Me
How many of us have walked away from what our father wanted for us? Or away from our Father? This story will remind you that the you can go home again.

For the Marriage Relationship: Robin Jones Gunn's Wildflowers Wildflowers

Married Genevieve falls in love with the man she least expected could win her heart. It's not who you might think ....

For the Sibling Relationship: Lauraine Snelling's Ruby (Dakotah Treasures #1)

In the first of this frontier series, Ruby must deal with her new "inheritance" while protecting her sister from its influences.

For the Man's Perspective on Relationships: James Scott Bell's Breach of Promise

A heart-rending story of a man trying to keep his family together.

For the Supernatural Relationship: Tosca Lee's Demon: A Memoir

Don't let the title of this book scare you away. There is no glorification of the demonic, but an enlightened fresh look at what History means.

For the Relationships Gone Bad: Bette Nordberg's Serenity Bay

A truly terrifying story of woman who married Prince Charming and discovered he wasn't.

For the Single Among the Marriage-Minded: Camy Tang's Sushi for One? (The Sushi Series, Book 1)

You'll laugh. You'll relate. You'll be impressed with this debut novel from up-and-coming author Camy Tang.

EIGHT books. ONE winner. Here are the ways to win:

Current subscriber and previous referrals are already in the hat. Any new subscriber or referral will gain another entry.

Publicize this to your homeys through newsletters: one entry.

Blog about the contest: one entry. (Email us if you need what to post.)

Include it in your Christmas cards: two entries.

Tuck it in the gift bag with the fruitcake you'll be leaving on random doorsteps: five entries.

Subscribe! Spread the word! Flood the blogosphere! Take over the world!

posted by Rachelle
at 3:55 AM


Friday, December 07, 2007

Albert's Rain by Annette Snyder

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a festive prize. Perfect for your afternoon of reading, a beautiful Santa coffee mug and 1/4# of stone-ground French Vanilla coffee, plus Annette’s newest release, Albert’s Rain, December 2007—autographed of course! Total Approx. Value, $27!


Annette SnyderI grew up far from movie theaters or shopping malls and spent my time reading romance novels I bought with my babysitting money at the local grocery store. Most of the time, I enjoyed them yet sometimes the endings annoyed me and I’d think, “I would end that better.”

I never considered writing as more than a hobby until I finished my first novel, and third release, Travis Pass. Once Travis Pass was complete, new ideas kept coming and now I find myself looking at life as if it’s filled with millions of stories.

Whether writing historically, contemporarily, or humorously, my work centers on life in small, Midwestern towns and the amazing bonds people form with their neighbors.



What was the very first genre you were introduced to as a child?
I read my first romance novel in grade school. It was a would be considered a historical now!

On average, how long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
I can write a book in about a year. The holiday season, from November to January, is my hardest time to keep focus only because life is so busy with the shopping and visiting. This year I got my shopping done early so I'm working more diligently on my next project.

Do you have any special rituals to help you get in the mood to write?
I write in the mornings before I go to work. For a couple hours, before I wake the kids up, is my best creative time.

When you have writer's block, how do you break free?
I don't think I've had writers block yet but, when I get bored with a story I'm working on, I pull one of the first ones I wrote out and work on it for a while to try and put in the publishable qualities that it doesn't have because I wrote it so long ago.

Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
I like deadlines with novels but not deadlines with newspaper articles. I think because in novel writing, the deadlines are farther apart than the daily deadlines I have when an article is due.

Do you have any bad writing habits?
I think everyone has bad writing habits. That's why there's good editors to teach us to avoid our bad habits and edit them all out!

Which one of the characters in "Albert's Rain" is the hardest to write and why?
I didn't find any of them very hard to write. Albert and Rayna both have dialects throughout the book and sticking to that dialect for each character was hard.

If you could be one of your characters, who would you be and why?
I'd be Ida Keller in Liberty Road. I think she's the most like me.

Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I got an idea the other day for a mystery novel. I will have to read up on mystery novels before I write that one. I might even talk to a mystery writer friend of me for advice because I'm not even a mystery reader.

Is there an author(s) that you would love to do an anthology or collaboration with in the future?
I'm amazed that some authors can do anthologies together. They pick an idea and write a story to fit the idea and generally, it works. I don't get my ideas that way so I've never done one.

If you were not a writer, what do you see yourself doing on a day-to-day basis?
I actually write at my real job. I write grants, policies, letters--business writing stuff. I cooked for a living for 25 years and never found it as satisfying as what I do now.

How do you see yourself, 5 to 10 years from now?
I'd like to be able to travel more and work less. I'd like to be able to wake up and say, "I think I'll skip the laundry today and write." It would be nice to be able to bring in more of my income from my work as a writer.


This is Book Five in the Travis Pass Series


Albert’s dream led him toward independence. Escaping slavery, and to pursue a life where no man controlled him, was his goal. Frivolities of friendships could vanish with the whip of a switch, but freedom could be held a lifetime.

Rayna’s choice was to set an example and board a ship so her people could survive. Only after arrival in America, at Bristol Plantation, did she realize what consequences her sacrifice held. Her surrender meant life as a slave and separation from her island family.

Can Albert’s heart transcend language and barriers of repression and allow Rayna close? Will Rayna put aside hurt caused by the plantation owner and permit Albert’s love to heal her heart? Can the pair abandon mistrust and let the kindness of strangers be their salvation?


It was hot even for July. The oppressive heat burnt down on Albert’s shoulders as he bent to lift another heavy rock. It seemed they prepared the soil, moving rocks and clearing stumps in Master Bristol’s new parcel of land for weeks and hadn’t finished yet. They still had to clear the holly bramble and towering sycamore trees that edged the boundary of the neighboring property, and then plow. Albert wondered if anything would grow. With luck, the slaves would have the land ready for planting in the spring, plants would flourish and Master Bristol would be happy. If Master Bristol was happy with their work, it usually meant an extra ration of food, maybe a whole hog and permission for a celebration. Albert hoped for a party. The men worked so hard, it would be nice to have an evening picnic. That would do morale good.

A dark cloud covered the sun and Albert looked to see if rain was coming. Storm clouds could bring temporary relief to even the hottest day and Albert hoped for rain. Albert motioned for the crew to collect their supplies and put them in a dry spot under the tree line so they wouldn’t get too muddy. He looked at the road, which edged the field, and saw the overseer’s wagon approach.

Mr. Willis drew the reins on his team and stopped in front of Albert.

The cart creaked and moaned from a long journey as if it knew it was almost home and Albert sympathized with it.

“You’ve been working, Albert.”

“Yes, sir. We been workin’ hard. Got most o’ tha big rocks moved an’ jist gotta git those trees yonder. I’m thinkin’, if it’s alright with ya, sir, thet we jist git those tamarra’ after it stops rainin’.”

Willis nodded.

Albert knew Willis was aware that he was generally smart about how far to push the workers and working in rain wouldn’t make them work harder. Bad morale meant bad work. Bad work meant bad slaves. Bad slaves meant whippings and maybe deaths, which meant Willis would have to go back to wherever he came from and purchase more slaves. Albert knew Willis hadn’t the desire to leave when he just returned. It was usually a long trip and he hated traveling.

Albert first saw her as Mr. Willis drove the cart away. He stood and wiped the sweat from his brow just as the overseer commanded his team and Albert caught a glimpse of the woman in back. She had dark skin, darker than he’d seen in a long time. She was thin, he could tell by the way her dress hung on her worse than the women at the plantation and her braided hair draped past her shoulders. She sat with her feet dangling over the back of the wagon and Albert could tell she was tall because her feet nearly touched the ground. Her back was straight and proud. He hadn’t seen a woman sit that regally for a long time. For a second, his eyes met hers and Albert wondered about the soul behind them. Albert wondered what plantation she came from. He hadn’t seen her anywhere around Bristol’s, not that he got away from the farm much. Usually, Willis went out of state to get slaves, since it saved on runaways, but this woman was different from the downtrodden others. Her eyes were clear and bright, curiously taking in all around her while not looking to the ground or sad and dejected, like most. Her nose was strong and wide and she held an aura of strength. Maybe it was the tilt of her head, the jut of her chin or the way she rode in the wagon. Albert didn’t know. As well, she looked younger than the women Albert was used to. Not that it meant much. Slavery aged a person fast.

Willis was gone over a week to pick up new slaves, maybe he went to the slave market and that’s where he picked her up. Maybe the new woman was meant to replace Sashay since Sashay was demoted to the laundry. It made sense. The new woman was far too thin for fieldwork and she was attractive. Maybe Willis went to the slave market to pick up Master’s new bitch.

Albert sighed. He was curious, but what did it matter? If she were Master Bristol’s newest maid, he would never know about her except through gossip.

A loud clap of thunder rang above and the blue sky turned to dark gray and the wind gusted. Thick clouds rolled overhead and dumped cooling rain on the inhabitants of the field. Albert tilted his head skyward and let the rain wash away his sweat and dirt. It felt good, real good, and Albert thanked God for the relief.

Albert's Rain by Annette Snyder
ISBN: 978-1-59374-930-9
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Release Date: Dec 2007
Genre: Romance Historical
SubGenre: Adventure
$5.99 from

Purchase Albert's Rain by Annette Snyder HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 3:19 PM


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bluegrass Peril by Virginia Smith

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault.


Virginia SmithVirginia Smith left her job as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker in the summer of 2005. Since then she has contracted eight
novels and
numerous articles
and short stories.

She writes
contemporary humorous novels for the Christian market, including her debut, Just As I Am (Kregel Publications, March 2006) and her new release, Murder by Mushroom (Steeple Hill, August 2007). Her short fiction has been anthologized, and her articles have been published in a variety of Christian magazines.

An energetic speaker, Virginia loves to exemplify God’s truth by comparing real-life situations to well-known works of fiction, such as her popular talk, “Biblical Truths in Star Trek.”



Local police had tagged single mom Becky Dennison as their prime suspect. But she'd only been in the wrong place at the wrong time...admittedly, with her boss's lifeless body. Sure it looked bad, but Becky had no motive for killing...even if she had opportunity.

When the director of the retirement farm for thoroughbred champions is murdered, Becky Dennison teams up with the handsome manager of a neighboring horse farm, Scott Lewis, to find her boss's killer. Soon the amateur detective are hot on the trail of the murderer...even as their feelings for each other deepen.

The amateur sleuths uncover a trail of clues that lead them into the intricate society of Kentucky's elite thoroughbred breeding industry. They soon find themselves surrounded by the mint julep set - jealous southern belles and intensely competitive horse breeders - in a high-stakes game of danger, money, and that famous southern pride.

And for Becky and Scott, this race on the Kentucky tracks has the greatest stakes of all: life or death!

Romantic Times awarded Bluegrass Peril
* * * * FOUR STARS! * * * *

Bluegrass Peril by Virginia Smith
ISBN-10: 0373442726
Publisher: Steeple Hill
Release Date: Dec 4, 2007
Genre: Inspirational Romance
$5.50 from

Purchase Bluegrass Peril by Virginia Smith HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 2:53 PM


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Minor Protection Act by Jodi Cowles

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a book from December's prize vault.

It is December, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and their book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:

Jodi Cowles

and her book:

The Minor Protection Act

Musterion (December 1, 2005)

Jodi Cowles caught the travel bug when her parents took her on her first international flight at six months of age. Since then she’s been in over 30 countries. Along the way she’s gotten locked out of her cabin on an all night train to Kiev, helped deliver a baby in Indonesia, taught English in South Korea, gone spelunking in Guam, hiked the Golan Heights and laid bricks in Zimbabwe. Her interest in politics stems from hunting Easter eggs on the south lawn of the White House as a child. For her 30th birthday she ran the LA Marathon and promised to get serious about publishing. Jodi resides in Boise, Idaho and this is her first novel.


Chapter 1

If the politically correct set was searching for a poster couple, they would need to look no further than Erik and Roselyn Jessup. In college they lit up doobies while attending passionate speeches about legalizing marijuana and freeing Tibet. Erik was even arrested once for helping break into an animal research center. Roselyn bailed him out. After five years of dating they decided to tie the knot. Seven years later, after Roselyn had enough time to get established in her career, she gave birth to their pride and joy, Jayla Lynn Jessup.

Both had satisfying full-time jobs that left them only enough time to pour themselves into Jayla. They attended every event at school, even if it meant working overtime and paying the after school program for a few extra hours. When Jayla made the principal's list or won a spelling bee, they were cheering, and filming, from the front row.

Jayla began junior high at a brand new school with a brand new curriculum. It was being called "progressive" in the papers; the first program of its kind implemented in California with plans for a nationwide rollout over the next 10 years. Praise poured in from around the country, applauding the straight talk about sexuality and focus on tolerance.

Erik and Roselyn were thrilled to have their daughter in this groundbreaking program. Granted, it took several phone calls to district authorities to accomplish the transfer and Roselyn had to drive an extra 30 minutes each morning to drop off Jayla, but it was quite a coup to brag about in their circle of friends.

Jayla turned 13 two years into junior high. For her birthday she told her parents she wanted to order pizza and hang around the house – there was something she needed to tell them. Over pepperoni and Coke, Jayla calmly informed them that she'd been discussing it with her friends and teachers and had decided she was gay.

Though she had never had a girlfriend, or a boyfriend for that matter, Erik and Roselyn were quick to affirm her decision and let her know she had their full support. Roselyn applauded her daughter's honest, courageous move and told Jayla how proud she was. Erik was also supportive and went so far as to tease Jayla about her best friend Sara.

There weren't too many lesbians in her junior high and Jayla had a pretty average experience, but she attracted attention when she entered high school wearing the rainbow buttons specially purchased by her mother. Soon she was 15 and seriously involved with Carla, the 17-year-old senior who was President of the Gay Pride Club. When Erik and Roselyn saw the relationship deepening they sat Jayla down and had a heart to heart "sex talk," encouraging her to be responsible and safe, and only to have sex if she was truly in love.

She was. However, when the year ended Carla left for college on the east coast and broke off the relationship in a letter.

Jayla was heartbroken. Erik and Roselyn were quick to comfort, as any loving parents of a shattered teenager, but their answers seemed hollow to Jayla, their comfort cold. At 16 she began dabbling in drugs - a first for her.

By the time her senior year began the family bond that was once so strong had disintegrated to the degree that she seldom spoke to her parents unless it was to strike out in anger. She had not entered into another dating relationship, as much as they encouraged her in that direction. Rather, she seemed withdrawn from the world and spent endless hours either locked in her room or suspiciously absent. Finally, Roselyn had enough and took her to a doctor who prescribed an anti-depressant for teenagers that had just been released on the market.

By Christmas the medication seemed to be working. Jayla was coming around, spending more time at home. She seemed calmer and more at peace. They were even beginning to talk about college. But New Year's morning they found her dead, her anti-depressant bottle and a quart of vodka laying empty in the trash and a mass of journals and letters scattered around her in the bed.

Erik and Roselyn were devastated. Jayla had been their whole life. They dove into the letters and journals, trying to make sense of it all. What they found only served to inflame their anger. Some boy named Nick had been telling their daughter that she was a sinner, quoting Bible verses that said her sexual preference was an abomination before God. Jayla's journal was full of self-loathing, page after page about her relationship with Carla, page after page of rambling, agonizing pain. Why was she made like this if homosexuality was a sin? Why would her parents have supported her if it were an abomination? Why had she listened to the seventh grade teacher who told her experimentation was the best way to determine her sexuality? What was wrong with her?

They could hardly stand to finish it but they read every word. In the end their grief found relief, as it so often does, in bitterness and hatred. The day after Jayla's funeral, attended by hundreds of students from Jayla’s school, Erik and Roselyn met with the District Attorney. A year later, bitterness not yet assuaged, they went to see a lawyer. In the culture of America, where there is rarely tragedy unaccompanied by litigation, they found a willing law firm. Someone would pay.

Sample from The Minor Protection Act / ISBN: 1933204117
Copyright © 2005-2007 Musterion.
All rights reserved.
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posted by Rachelle
at 2:06 PM