Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vacation Bible School

We're doing VBS this week on base, so I'll be out of pocket this week for the most part.

Have a great week!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jillian Dare: A Novel

I really enjoyed this one! Review at the end:

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Jillian Dare: A Novel

Revell (May 1, 2009)

by

Melanie M. Jeschke



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melanie Morey Jeschke (pronounced jes-key), a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and graduated from University of Virginia as a Phi Beta Kappa with an Honors degree in English Literature and a minor in European and English History.

A free-lance travel writer, Melanie contributed the Oxford chapter to the Rick Steves’ England 2006 guidebook. She is a member of the Capital Christian Writers and Christian Fiction Writers as well as three book clubs, and taught high-school English before home-schooling most of her nine children. Melanie lectures on Lewis and Tolkien, Oxford, and writing, and gives inspirational talks to all manner of groups, including university classes, women’s clubs, young professionals, teens, and school children.

A fourth generation pastor’s wife (her father Dr. Earl Morey is a retired Presbyterian minister), Melanie resides in the Greater Washington, D.C. area with her children and husband Bill Jeschke, a soccer coach and the Senior Pastor of The King’s Chapel, an non-denominational Christian church in Fairfax, Virginia.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Jillian Dare leaves her Shenandoah Valley foster home behind and strikes out on her own as a nanny at a large country estate in northern Virginia. She is delighted with the beauty of her new home, the affection of her young charge Cadence Remington, and the opportunity for frequent travel to the Remington castle in England.

She is less certain about her feelings for her handsome but moody employer, Ethan. In spite of herself, Jillian realizes she is falling for her boss. But how can a humble girl ever hope to win a wealthy man of the world? And what dark secrets from the past is he hiding? This contemporary story, inspired by the well-loved classic Jane Eyre, will capture readers' hearts.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Jillian Dare: A Novel, go HERE

Pattie's Review:

I really liked this novel. Then again, I like contemporary retellings of classic stories, if they are well-done. This one was very well-done. While Jillian at first glance seems too good to be true, she proves herself to be a well-rounded and modern realistic literary reincarnation of Jane Eyre.

The story follows Jane Eyre pretty closely, but with modern technological additions and the still-fascinating (to American eyes, anyway) family castle with creepy secret passageways...

OK, enough details! If you liked Jane Eyre (or even if it's not your favorite British novel), you'll enjoy Jillian Dare.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Would Die For You Blog Tour

Press Release for I Would Die For You by Brent and Deanna Higgins:

"It's an honor just to be nominated": familiar words for Emmy and Grammy nominees. Still, Brent and Deanna Higgins never believed the phrase would pertain to their family. Outreach magazine has recently honored the Higgins' book, I Would Die for You, with a nomination as Outreach Resource of the Year.

That nomination, however, came with a great cost. I Would Die for You chronicles the life and death of their young son, BJ Higgins; along with his faith; his passion for missions and his love for God. Compelling excerpts from personal notes, blog entries school assignments and journals reveal his clear calling and enthusiasm for sharing the gospel of Christ. BJ's challenging words and example combine to inspire readers of all ages.

After returning from his second short-term international mission trip at the age of 15, BJ became seriously ill. Six days before his sixteenth birthday, he died. His story lives on throughout the pages of his parents' book.

In spite of the inevitable grief , Brent and Deanna share their son's message of selfless sacrifice through both I Would Die for You and Awe Star Ministries, the nonprofit ministry that coordinated his mission trips. Their prayer? That countless others will embrace BJ's vision and give their all for the cause of Christ.


What Teenagers are Saying:

BJ was just a year younger than me, and in his short life he had such a full life and could die with no regrets. He had a sense of urgency in telling the story of the gospel and its transforming power to others. He didn't worry about what they thought or if he would be rejected.
--T. Buse

Interview with the Higgins:

1. Describe how BJ became involved in short-term mission trips. How did these trips impact BJ’s faith?

BJ watched other members of our family participate in church mission trips. He couldn’t wait for his turn! When Brent led a team to Kentucky to serve in a school, BJ went along. At age fourteen, he learned of an opportunity to minister in Peru. He served there with Awe Star Ministries two consecutive summers and his heart broke over the world’s lostness. His mission service ignited a passion to see the Gospel reach the nations.

2. Even as a young boy BJ’s passion for God shone through in his life. How did you see that passion then and as he grew?

In his childhood, his passion sometimes came across as judgmental. When he learned to share out of love, his witness became much more effective. He was bold and unafraid to share the Gospel in any way possible. After his mission trips, his heightened passion led him to spend more time in the Word, in prayer, in fellowship, and worship. BJ could turn almost any conversation to the things of God because he genuinely loved others.

3. Share the story of BJ’s illness and the time when God called him home.

Three weeks after his 2005 Peru trip, BJ became critically ill. On the way to the hospital, he told Brent, “Dad, I know you’re scared. I believe the Lord will deliver me through this. But if he doesn’t, I’m going home to be with him, and that’s okay with me.” Friends began a blog we still maintain,http://www.prayforbj.com/. It received thousands of hits as people across the world prayed for our son. After a six-week battle with a mysterious infection, BJ went to heaven days before his sixteenth birthday.

4. How did BJ’s faith journey become the inspiration for the song, “I Would Die For You” written by MercyMe’s lead singer, Bart Millard?

Within a week of BJ’s hospitalization Bart (a friend from the band’s early years) called Brent. Our oldest daughter had posted some of BJ’s journal entries on our blog and Bart was amazed at his spiritual depth. He emailed fans encouraging them to pray. MercyMegrieved deeply when BJ died. Our son’s life and writings inspired Bart to put words to a tune he already had, now the final song on the “Coming Up to Breathe” CD.

5. BJ’s life and death have touched many people.Which of his qualities and/or experiences seems to impact others the most?

People didn’t realize it was possible to live a life as sold out to Christ as BJ’s. They’re amazed at the boldness he showed when God told him to witness to four Peruvian policemen carrying uzis. As he wrote, he was “mucho scardios,” but all four accepted Christ. His passionate declaration, “I will not be satisfied. I will not let my passion be hid in a bottle” still touches people in deep ways.

6. As you both continue to partner with Awe Star Ministries, what are your hopes and dreams for this ministry? For this book?

We hope to impact students’ lives, discipling and partnering with them in missions. We long for them to realize that surrender to Christ can occur withoutcrossing borders. God calls us to live a missionary lifestyle within our own culture. Our hope for the book is not that our son be glorified but that God multiply his message. We pray that God draws those who read it to embrace their Savior and live for Him as never before.

7. Where can readers learn more about BJ and I Would Die For You? Where can they learn more about Awe Star Ministries?

http://www.prayforbj.com/ contains devotionals, complete archives, pictures, and BJ’s own words. Recently, we posted a video of his life atwww.youtube.com/watch?v=gRNANk5rI2g. You’ll findI Would Die for You anywhere Christian books are sold. http://www.revellbooks.com/ contains a link for a free companion Bible study. Friend us on Facebook: Brent A. Higgins; Deanna Tucker Higgins.

Visit http://www.awestar.org/ to learn more about international missions opportunities. May God use you to extend BJ’s passion to reach the nations and “raise a revolution” in Him.

Parenting Tips from the Higgins

Stay in the Word and in prayer if you expect your children to do so. Too many times, parents expect that theyouth pastor is going to grow their children. You can’t expect your kids to live a lifestyle you’re not.

Be sure you have a firm answer from God before you respond to your child about a request. For example, when BJ first wanted to serve overseas, our initial answer was “no,” but that was a knee-jerk reaction. Parents must be careful to hear from the Holy Spirit and not respond out of pure protectiveness or emotion.

If at all possible, have a regular devotional time with your family. This should include prayer, not just rote prayer but significant time with God. This teaches kids how to pray and encourages them in their walk with the Lord

Arrange to have dinner together as a family as often as you can. This gives you an opportunity to share as a family and also allows you to listen to your children. Kids won’t spill unless parents are willing to listen.

Don’t be afraid to let your children fail. Sometimes kids need to try things and learn that failure is a part of life. They need all kinds of experiences as they move into adulthood.

Encourage your children to be bold in their faith. Do activities as a family—mission trips and other projects—that require boldness. Encourage them to be involved in opportunities to share their faith.

Listen, listen, and listen to your children. We say this humbly because we learned from our mistakes. Often your kids are telling you things by what they don’t tell you. (See the note about having dinner together above).

When discouraging things happen, don’t remove your child’s opportunities to obey God. Your child’s relationship with God should never be used as a weapon. Opportunities for fellowship(youth group, etc.) shouldn’t be contingent on “good” behavior.

If you make a commitment, follow through. If your child makes a commitment, help him or her follow through on it, too. The lesson here: your faithfulness sets an example for others.

Practice what you preach to your children. Demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit through your love, kindness, etc. Although we weren’t (and aren’t) perfect parents, we tried to follow through in our lives with the things we taught our kids.

Friday, May 15, 2009

busybusybusy

Hey, just checking in to the four or five people who occasionally read my blog :)

It's dance recital week.

We have home repairs going on starting on Monday, which is my 18th anniversary. (Ah the height of romance, "Happy Anniversary, here's the painter to paint your house!")

Oh well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Taking Tuscany by Renee Riva

Don't miss my review at the end!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Taking Tuscany

David C. Cook (May 2009)

by

Renee Riva



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Renee Riva writes humorous stories with a message, for both children and adults. Having been raised in a large Italian family with a great sense of humor, she has much to draw from for developing quirky characters.

She loves sharing her secrets for story starters at Young Author events, helping to spark the imagination of young minds. Renee and her husband live in Richland, Washington, with their three daughters, a dog, a cat, and until recently, her beloved hamster—may she rest in peace.


ABOUT THE BOOK

A. J. Degulio loved the idea of a visit to the Old Country... until her family decided to stay. It's 1972 and she's turning fourteen in a crumbling castle on a hill in Tuscany, wishing she were back in Idaho with her beloved dog, Sailor. In Italy, her blonde hair makes her stick out like a vanilla wafer in a box of chocolate biscotti, and she's so lonely her best friend is a nun from the local convent.

The challenges of roots and relatives are nothing new to A. J., but she's going to need more than the famous Degulio sense of humor to survive. Can't anyone see that Italy isn't really home? It will take a catastrophe - and a few wise words from a friend - for A. J. to understand that sometimes the only thing you can change is your perspective.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Taking Tuscany, go HERE

Pattie's Review:

The whole time I was reading this, and loving it, I felt like it was reminding me of another wonderful and delightful book. Then it hit me: This book is a delightful coming-of-age story that reminds me of a bit lighter version of I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

I whipped through this book quickly. It was very difficult to put down! I truly, truly enjoyed it. It was delightful, laugh-aloud funny, and poignant. It has a lovable, likeable protagonist, letters, a dog (and a horse), quirky family members, and even a few nuns.

This is the first CFBA book I'll be passing along to my daughter, who will be thirteen in the fall. I think she'll find a lot to relate to in this lovely novel.

I have never read any of Renee Riva's books before. This book is a sequel to Saving Sailor, but I was not lost without reading the first book. (I will, however, be reading it when I can get my hands on a copy!)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

Today's actually sandwiched between two honoring days: Military Spouse Appreciation Day (Friday) and Mother's Day (Sunday).

So how did I celebrate? Well, Friday night I got my Mother's Day meal out; we went to dinner at Applebee's. It was really yummy.

Today (Saturday) we had a garage sale (we actually opened on Friday afternoon for a couple of hours). I felt a few twinges of guilt, because I never advertised. I piggybacked onto my neighbor's signs and ad in the paper! My sister said maybe next time I make treats I could take her some to share. I think I will.

Because we sold more than half of our stuff and made a good chunk o'change.

Plus, we have the opportunity to sell it again at the end of the month, when the local convention center is hosting a community wide rummage sale! We already paid $10 to rent a space with a table to sell our things.

So I sit here on a Saturday night, thankful and tired and content.

To my military spouse readers, thanks for all you do. All the time I learn more and more about the military life from you. And to all the moms who might stumble across this little blog, thanks for all you do.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mother's Day Books from Waterbrook Multnomah

Welcome to the Mother's Day Book Tour, sponsored by Waterbrook Multnomah!

There are three books in this tour: Dear Mom by Melody Carlson; Mama's Got a Fake I.D. by Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira; and Enduring Justice by Amy Wallace.

Book: Dear Mom
Author: Melody Carlson

Summary:
Every mom knows how communicating with a teenage girl can be difficult, even impossible at times. One-word answers. Defensive conversations. Daily arguments. How typical for teens to put up such barriers. All the while, moms truly long to know what their daughters really think.
Best-selling author Melody Carlson, whose books for women, teens, and children have sold more than three million copies, bridges this chasm with trusted insight. She speaks frankly in the voice of the teen daughters she’s written for and she tells it like it is: struggles with identity, guys, friendship, and even parents—it’s all here. The straight-talk to moms covers such things as “I need you, but you can’t make me admit it,” “I’m not as confident as I appear,” and “I have friends. I need a mother.”


Instead of focusing on outward behaviors, Dear Mom looks at a young woman’s heart and reveals to moms:


· how to talk to teens so they hear,
· how to connect despite the differences of perspective or years and experiences,
· and how strengthen the bond every mom and daughter ultimately wants.


The lively chapters in Dear Mom can be dipped into topically or used as a read-through tool by moms and daughters alike to understand what motivates or deflates, troubles or inspires—and just in time for Mother’s Day and all the Mother’s Days ahead.

Author Bio:
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than one hundred books for adults, children, and teens, with sales totaling more than three million copies. Beloved for her Diary of a Teenage Girl and Notes from a Spinning Planet series, she’s also the author of the women’s novels Finding Alice (in production now for a Lifetime-TV movie), Crystal Lies, On This Day, These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking, and A Mile in My Flip-Flops. A mother of two grown sons, Melody lives in central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. She’s a full-time writer and an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker.

Book: Mama’s Got A Fake I.D.
Author: Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira

Summary:
Formula for identity loss:
1. Take one multifaceted, intriguing human being.
2. Bless her with a child.
3. Mix with today’s cultural assumptions.
4. Add the demands of motherhood.
5. Presto! All identity except Mom disappears.
For every woman wondering what happened to the unique combination of gifts and abilities she was known for before kids came along, Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira has good news: in Mama’s Got a Fake I.D., Rivedeneira helps moms reclaim their full identity as creative beings, gifted professionals and volunteers, loving friends, children of God—and mothers.

This inspiring and practical guide shows women how to break free from false guilt, learn a new language to express who they really are, and follow God’s lead in sharing their true self with others. After all, motherhood doesn’t have to mean losing one’s identity. Instead, being a mom makes it possible for a woman to discover a more complete identity as the person God made her to be.

Author Bio:
The former managing editor of Marriage Partnership and Christian Parenting Today, Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira has been a trusted voice writing and speaking to women for more than a decade. Today she is the managing editor of GiftedForLeadership.com, an online community for Christian women in leadership. Rivadeneira works from home in the Chicago suburbs, where she lives with her husband and their three children.

Book: Enduring Justice
Author: Amy Wallace

Summary:
In Enduring Justice, Hanna Kessler’s childhood secret has remained buried for over two decades. But when the dark shadows of her past threaten to destroy those she loves, Hanna must face the summer that changed her life and the man who still haunts her thoughts.

Crimes Against Children FBI Agent, Michael Parker knows what it means to get knocked down. And when the system fails and a white supremacist is set free, Michael’s drive for retribution eclipses all else.

A racist’s well-planned assault forces Hanna and Michael to decide between executing vengeance and pursuing justice. When the attack turns personal, is healing still possible?

This thought-provoking novel deals with healing from sexual abuse, the balance of justice and mercy, and maintaining mixed-race friendships in the midst of racial tension. Readers who enjoy investigative thrillers by Dee Henderson, Colleen Coble, and Catherine Coulter, and who watch crime dramas like Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, and Without a Trace will love this book—and the entire series.

Author Bio:
Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises, a homeschool mom, and self-confessed chocoholic. She is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and a contributing author of several books including God Answers Moms’ Prayers and Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.


To purchase the books, please click on the links below:

Dear Mom: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400074914&ref=externallink_wbm_dearmom_sec_0330%20_01

Mama’s Got a Fake I.D.: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400074938&ref=externallink_wbm_mamasgotafakeid_sec_0330%20_01

Enduring Justice: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781601420145&ref=externallink_mlt_enduringjustice_sec_0330_01



Note from Pattie:

I haven't had time to read these but I did look at all of them. They are really nice and I think any mom would be so happy to receive any of them for Mother's Day. Check your local Christian bookstore this weekend before visiting with your favorite Mom on Sunday!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Hey Military Wives!

Book giveaway here. Check it out!

Have a great weekend!