Sunday, December 29, 2013


It hardly seems possible that I've been doing this for six years, but the telltale links are at the bottom of this post.

I don't really feel up to writing a whole lot today, which belies the word creative, I suppose. I've been in recovery mode from ear surgery #3 inside of 24 months. I took the winter term off from teaching. I have only subbed one half-day. I've been mourning the loss of the possibility of restored hearing, and getting tired of explaining the anatomy of the ear for those who look confused, and yes, pouting just a little bit. I took a break from writing, from blogging, from blog editing and blog team leading at Wives of Faith, and was lazy if you want to know the truth. I read a lot, wrote very little, and tried to spend more time with my family.

This business of life is hard, sometimes. 


I was not really looking very hard for a word to express my theme for 2014. In fact, I was really okay with taking a year off. However, as is the usual mode of themes, it chose me. (Or rather, God hit me over the head with it over and over for the past several weeks.)

I have a small stack of books about art and creativity to read this year. I want to take some time and space to learn to be creative--in whichever medium that takes. Yarn. Paper. Photos. Words on the screen.

The possibilities truly are endless.

Thanks to Melanie at Only a Breath
for the adorable "1 word" template
I was able to edit at PicMonkey.

"In the beginning, God created..." (Genesis 1:1a)

Past themes:
Brave (2009)
Focus (2010)
Grace (2011)
Listen (2012)
Dream (2013)

Review with Giveaway: Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore

Whispers of Hope is the latest from Bible teacher, author, and speaker Beth Moore.

Publisher's Summary:

Best-selling author Beth Moore addresses how to pray without ceasing and pray effectively in Whispers of Hope, by walking readers through an easy to remember and apply method of prayer, coupled with seventy daily devotionals, and followed by prompts to put this prayer method into practice. In turn, readers will better understand how devotional reading and prayer are central to a stronger relationship with God.


I received a copy of this book to review recently, and I was surprised at how pretty it is. It's got such a beautiful cover design (photos are mine via my non-smart cell phone!), and the edges of the pages are really uneven and soft.

This book invites writing.

I took another photo of the inside. Each day of the ten weeks of wonderful devotionals has a prayer guide for you to use. To write in. To dig deep and learn much about God and praying to Him. The devotionals are solid and Biblical, with the ultimate goal of putting into practice what God's Word teaches us about prayer.

I recently finished going through Beth Moore's Bible Study Stepping Up, and one of the stories she told was about hungry people eating the seed in their hunger, instead of planting it and waiting for it to grow and multiply into more food. This book, friends, is planting seeds, not for eating them now and not letting them grow in our hearts.

Icon Media Group, who coordinated my review copy and my review (thank you!!!), is graciously offering to donate a copy of this book as a giveaway through B&H Publishing. To enter this "sweepstakes," please leave a comment with a valid email address to be eligible for the drawing.
**Deadline to enter is Monday, January 6, 2013, at noon Eastern time.**

**WINNER chosen using and it's Grace! Thank you!**

To read my friend Teri's review of this book, click here.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review. Photos and commentary is my own, and no other compensation was ever intended or implied.

Monday, December 02, 2013

CFBA Presents Merry Humbug Christmas

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Merry Humbug Christmas
B&H Books (October 15, 2013)
Sandra D. Bricker


For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

The author says that it was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as a writer. "I'm a Christian woman, first and foremost," she says. "So it was a bit of a dream-come-true when Summerside Press chose me as one of two authors to launch the Love Finds You line."

Sandie's real-life role as cancer survivor has parlayed into her steadfast commitment to raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Spearheading a series of devotionals for Summerside Press (such as the popular His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is Not), the author has stipulated that a portion of each contributor's proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

"Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with raising funds for my pet projects ... and still pursue my writing dream," says Bricker, "well, that's the best of all worlds, as far as I'm concerned!"

And one of the author's pet projects is animal rescue, evidenced by the special bond she has created with one particular formerly-abandoned puppy -- a red-haired collie with "killer brown eyes and the heart of the class clown."


A Merry Humbug Christmas features two holiday romance novellas from hilarious and heartwarming author Sandra D. Bricker. -- the perfect gift to yourself or someone else at this most wonderfully stressful time of year.

 In "Once Upon a Jingle Bell," A Bah! Humbug cruise to the Mexican Riviera is Joss Snow’s answer to this year’s quest to avoid the holidays completely; at least until she’s rebooked on a different kind of cruise altogether. Candy canes, holly wreaths, reindeer and ornaments seem to be stalking her on the 12 Days of Christmas holiday cruise extravaganza. An escape back to land is her only goal . . . until she meets a kindred spirit in rugged Irishman Patrick Brenneman, and then the game is on! Avoid Christmas festivities at all costs . . . except maybe for that one stop under the mistletoe.

In "It Came Upon a Midnight Deer," Reese’s guilt over abandoning best friend Joss on their holiday tradition of avoiding all things Christmas is trumped by the joy of her recent engagement. Meeting Damian’s family for the first time on idyllic Sugarloaf Mountain is about as far from that Bah! Humbug cruise as she can get, and Reese can hardly wait to get there. But from the moment they hit that deer in the road just two miles from the cabin, everything seems to go wrong. There are no drummers drumming or pipers piping this particular year! And once she sets her future in-laws’ family cabin ablaze, she’s pretty sure there won’t be even ONE golden ring in her future.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Merry Humbug Christmas, go HERE.

Pattie's Review:

Two novellas, two friends, both have their traditional holiday plans completely upended with trademark Sandra Bricker humor--and both stories are humorous and very fun. I really enjoyed this light, heartwarming duo of friends in their pair of novellas!

In fact, I'll be giving this collection to my friend with whom I have celebrated many Christmases, who knows me as well as I know myself, and who would be the supportive Joss to my Reese anytime I needed her--even thousands of miles away. (Here's hoping she meets her own Irishman--or shoot, any nationality will do....)

I'm grateful for family and friends with whom to celebrate the holidays--and with whom to share good books.

All We Ever Wanted: A Review

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin My rating: 5 of 5 stars All We Ever Wanted is worthy of the buzz it's receiving this summer. I h...