Ps 91 (NKJV)

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the perilous pestilence.4 He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: "Love in Disguise" by Carol Cox

Want to laugh, cry, wonder, and wander through the streets of 1880's Arizona? Then this is the book for you. Ms. Cox took me back to dusty streets, gallant men, rough cowboys, devious desperadoes, and proper ladies, and then added a twist.  From the very beginning, I fell in love with Ellie, and worried about her.

When the miners sent for a Pinkerton agent, I wondered if one of them could be the thief. Was it Steven or one of the others, or someone else entirely?

The story was told in such a way as to not give away the answer, but to give enough clues that one might could guess.

"Love in Disguise" is a delightful story that will engage your imagination, and your intellect.


When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona.
Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.
Mine owner Steven Pierce is about to lose his business after the theft of several bullion shipments--until hope arrives in the unlikely form of Lavinia Stewart, who offers to invest in Steven's mine. In his wildest dreams, Steven never expected to be rescued by an inquisitive gray-haired widow...or to fall head over heels for Lavinia's captivating niece, Jessie.
But then the thieves come after both Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn't safe no matter which character she plays! Will she be forced to reveal her true identity before the criminals are caught? What will Steven do when he discovers the woman he loves doesn't exist?

Available at Amazon. Clicking here will help support this blog and get you a wonderful book too.

You can find more books from Carol Cox by checking out her website.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Hard Stuff

I started reading 1 Timothy this morning. I want to share what touched me today.

Let me back up a step, though, and tell you that I have been listening to my CD's from 2011 ACFW Conference and one of the prevalent things spoken about is RULES. You have to learn to follow the writing rules before you're allowed to break them.

This morning when I read verses 8-11 (NLT), "We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders {kidnappers}, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God."

I shrugged and thought, "Yeah, the law is for the lawbreakers." My mind was on physical laws - speed limits, etc. Then I read it again because it kept gnawing at me.

"The law is for...liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God."

Who among us hasn't opened our mouths and spoken untruths?
  • "That dress is lovely."
  • "I love your hair."
  • "No, dear, that outfit doesn't make you look fat." LOL
  • "Santa will be hear soon. Time for bed."  OH!
  • "I'll do whatever--take out the trash, fix dinner, feed the dog in a minute."
We're like the tree in the picture. We are dead in our sins without Jesus.

But then Paul goes on and tells Timothy something else in verses 15-16, "This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners' --and I am the worst of them all. BUT GOD had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life."[emphasis mine]

BUT GOD--such an awesome set of words. Because of Christ's sacrifice, assuming we accept Him as our Savior, we--you and I--have the opportunity to grow and be rivers of living water for a dry and thirsty land.

Think about it. Pray about it. What is God asking you to do?


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Y" Yikes


I forgot to give you the answers to the "W" meme, photo contest. No one won a book, unfortunately.

On my computer, and in every software I have, this picture is straight, but I can't get it straight here. So take my word for it when I say the above picture comes from this one.  :) BTW this is my second son and his girlfriend.
sunglasses lens
Daughter Deborah

The whole picture. Actually saw a double rainbow that day, but couldn't get a good picture.  

The magnolia tree I received for my birthday.

Daughters playing in the sand. They made a mermaid's tail.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures.  Have a blessed week.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: "Tapestry of Trust" by Mary Urban

Several bad decisions broke them apart. A deaf cat brings them back together to face the facts and the lies. "Tapestry of Trust" is an touching story of young love gone desperately wrong and how God can take what was dead and bring it back to life--in this case, Isabelle's trust.

You'll crack open your copy and keep reading, leaving reality in the dust. It will make you cry (although, I must confess, I'm a cry'er) and it will make you smile. It will also remind you that all is not necessarily as it seems.

Kudos to Ms. Urban for a wonderfully written novel that can bring hope to a broken and weary soul.

Surrendered Hearts. Interwoven Grace
Isabelle had always envisioned Charlie Hamilton as the hero depicted in the romantic tapestry hanging in the Hamilton home. Then Charlie abandoned her to make decisions no one should make alone. Now, six years later, Charlie's back, and despite Isabelle's best efforts, she can't ignore the longing his presence reignites. Charlie wants a second chance, but can Isabelle trust the man he's become? Can she surrender her threadbare heart long enough for God to weave Isabelle's own happily-ever-after tapestry?

Visit Amazon to purchase this novel and support this blog.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My heart today

I just finished reading the last book in the Hunger Games trilogy this morning. I am struck by the notion that life is what we make of it with God’s help. We have choices to make--this way or that way. We can choose right or wrong, good or best, my way or His.

Horrible, sometimes terrifying, circumstances invade out lives. Sometimes it’s the consequences of our actions, but at other times it’s through no fault of our own. We ask, sometimes beg, God to take away the trial, but still it remains. I’ve been there—walking through the valley of the shadow of death—where nothing you do seems like the right thing and there’s darkness all around. I have felt the despondency that Katniss felt in book 3, Mockingjay. I have even considered suicide a time or two. It’s at those times that I felt God’s hand stay mine, just as he kept Abraham from sacrificing Isaac.

There was/is a greater purpose for our lives. We were put here to do something significant. The world may never see it, but God does. He sees when we help the child find his/her mother. He sees when we invest our time in something that offers us no reward, except the satisfaction of having done it. He sees when we are a light in the darkness.

None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. A tornado, earthquake, illness, car accident, or stray bullet could claim our lives at any time. What will you do with the time that you have here?

What will I do? My answer is simply, “I don’t know.” Sometimes I don’t know what to do. I stand and wait. Unsure. Unsure of myself. Unsure of my faith. Unsure of my purpose in this life.

What I do know is that I plan to pray more, seek my Father more intimately, and help those in my sphere of influence as opportunity arises.

A long time ago I read this “parable” and it touched me and I’ve never forgotten it. I found it at Spiritual Short Stories, but that is not where I first read it.

The Potter and the Clay
Spiritual Story by Unknown
The story is told of a couple who went to England to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and shopped at a beautiful antique store. They both liked antiques and pottery,and especially tea-cups,and so spotting an exceptional cup,they asked "May we see that? We've never seen a cup quite so beautiful."

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the tea-cup spoke... "You don't understand." It said, "I have not always been a tea-cup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, Don't do that. I don't like it! "Let me alone," but he only smiled, and gently said; "Not yet!!" "Then, WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. "Stop it! I'm getting so dizzy! I'm going to be sick!" I screamed.

But the master only nodded and said, quietly; 'Not yet.'

He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then...he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door.

"Help! Get me out of here!" 'Not yet.' When I thought I couldn't bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool.

Oh, that felt so good! "Ah, this is much better," I thought. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible.. "Oh, please, Stop it! Stop it!" I cried. He only shook his head and said. "Not yet..."

Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. Only it was not like the first time. This time it was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged... I pleaded... I screamed...I cried... I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up and just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited and waited, wondering "What's he going to do to me next?"

An hour later he handed me a mirror and said "Look at yourself."

And I did... I said, "That's not me, that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful!"

Quietly he spoke: "I want you to remember, then," he said, "I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you'd have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled.

"I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life.

"And if I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you."

Many times I have read this story and thought I was waiting on the shelf. It’s seems for a long time I was on that shelf, perhaps learning patience or some other thing that would help me be the vessel God would have me be. I told my husband recently that I think I have come off the shelf and that it’s my time to pull away from the shadows, where I have been content to stay until now, and do what God has called me to do next—write. It really doesn’t matter if I’m published and gain monetary rewards for my work. It only matters that I am doing what glorifies Him.

Wow…I don’t know where all that came from, except to say it’s from my heart today. Maybe this is for you, maybe not. But I hope it blessed you anyway.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A2Z take 2 "X"

eXhausted... eXtra....eXtinct...eXciting...


Since no one commented on last week's blog pictures. I can not announce a winner.

Have a good week


Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: "Double Exposure" by Susan Sleeman

Romantic suspense at its finest. Susan Sleeman's "Double Exposure" met and exceeded my expectations. Lots of intrigue, and romance. Ms. Sleeman has done an excellent job of pulling us into the story from the very first sentence. 

The past that Jennie wants to keep hidden from Ethan defines who she is and the things she cares about, but holding onto the secret prevents her from living life to its fullest. You have to read the book to find out if she overcomes this obstacle and finds what she’s been searching for.

Another wonderful romantic suspense. I look forward to her next installment in The Justice Agency series.


Photographer Jennie Buchanan unknowingly captures a drug-cartel meeting on film. And now she has become a killer’s next target. Even worse, her only protection from the danger that threatens her life is the man who threatens her heart. Dodging bullets almost seems safer than facing the feelings stirred up by seeing former FBI agent and ex-boyfriend Ethan Justice again.
Ethan vows to safeguard Jennie from the deadly men on her trail. And for a second chance at Jennie’s love, he’s willing to risk anything to expose the truth—about the drug smugglers, the past and the future together he still wants.

For other books by Susan Sleeman, visit her webpage.

To purchase this book visit By clicking on this link you help support this blog.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: "Short-Straw Bride" by Karen Witemeyer

I've read some truly awesome books lately. One of them is "Short-Straw Bride" by Karen Witemeyer.

I found myself relating to Meredith in her struggle to do the right thing, but having it somehow go all wrong. Karen did an excellent job of showing the difficulties Meredith encountered with the Archer men, Travis in particular. Chapter after chapter begs you to continue reading until it's way past time to do something else (sleep, for example).

I highly recommend any and all of Karen Witemeyer's books.


No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.
Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.
Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?

 "Short-Straw Bride" is available at Amazon. By clicking this link, you help support this blog.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A2Z take 2: "W"

"What is it?" Round 2

Just like last time, these are small portions of larger pictures that I've taken in the last year. Some are from around my home; others are from our recent vacation.

  • One guess per reader. Please write the photo number beside your guess.
  • You must get all five pictures right to win a book, a list will be sent for you to choose from.
  • Leave an e-mail or I can't contact you. winner[at]something[dot]com
  • Contest winner will be announced next Tuesday on this blog. If there is more than one person who correctly names all five photos, one of my children will draw your name from a hat.  :)
On to the pictures:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3

Picture 4

Picture 5

These seem easy to me, but then I've seen the originals they came from. Good luck y'all.  :)


Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: "Hearts in Hiding" by Patty Smith Hall

I don't usually read WWII era novels, even romances. However, I picked up "Hearts in Hiding" by Patty Smith Hall and joined in the lives of Beau Daniels and Edie Michaels almost immediately. How could you not when the first scene has Edie pointing a fire poker at Beau's chest? Why would she do that? Ahhh, you'll have to pick up the novel to find that out.  :)

I found Ms. Hall's writing real. She dealt with the issue of racial dissension with honesty and a forth-rightness that was refreshing. The story pulled me in and kept me coming back for more.

If you like romance, whether you enjoy WWII or not, "Hearts in Hiding" is a good inspirational romance to pick up.

Here's the blurb:

Engineer Edie Michaels loves her life—she has a good job, close friends, even a chance at romance with former soldier Beau Daniels. But she could lose everything if her secret comes out…that she's the German daughter of a devoted Nazi.
And when her father sends spies to force her loyalty, everything Edie values is at risk.
Time in a Nazi POW camp changed army medic Beau Daniels. When he discovers a letter of Edie's written in German, he can't help his suspicions. Is she truly the woman he's started to love? Or has she been the enemy all along? With Nazis on Edie's trail, the pair must fight for truth, for survival—and for love.

You can find "Hearts in Hiding" for kindle at Amazon, available now.  The paperback version is available for pre-order here.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Interview: Ann Lee Miller, author of "Kicking Eternity"

Interview With Ann Lee Miller
Author of Kicking Eternity
1st Place Long Contemporary, Romance Writers of America Faith, Hope, and Love Contest

Note: Anyone who leaves a comment with an e-mail address (JaneReader[at]msn[dot]com) will receive a free e-book copy of Kicking Eternity. Those who don’t want to leave an e-mail may contact Ann for their free book at

Tell us about a typical day in your house.
I’m usually holed up in my office writing with one ear tuned to my family. Three of my kids, ages 21-28 are living at home at the moment. My husband, a pastor, camps out in his office across the hall when one of the kids isn’t sleeping in it. I’m forever shouting out random questions, such as, “What CD would be playing in a twenty-four-year-old surfer’s car?” I take a break for a walk, Zumba, or to swim laps. Evenings are filled with church activities and our new favorite date—picnic along the Salt River.

A picnic sounds wonderful. When did you first begin writing?
I always say I became a writer the year I discovered Sister Sheila had hair. I was in fifth grade at St. Hugh’s Catholic School in Miami, knee deep in nouns and verbs, when Sister Sheila walked through the door in a new habit that showed two inches of mouse brown hair threaded with silver. Thanks to Sister’s encouragement, I went on to earn a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University.

Oh the things we remember. What is the coolest, wackiest, or riskiest thing you’ve ever done?
My father spent several years building a forty-foot sailboat in our backyard. We launched it in the Miami River and lived aboard at Dinner Key Marina when I was eleven until I turned thirteen. At the time I didn’t realize how unusual it was to live on a boat and ride my bicycle down the dock each morning to attend school. All my friends at the marina did the same. After school every day, I tossed my books onto my bunk, shimmied into a swim suit, and jumped overboard. Sailboats show up in all my books thus far.

Wow…that is cool. I guess you don’t get seasick. Tell us about your latest book.
Kicking Eternity is all about chasing dreams—our dreams, God’s dreams, and the mixed-up tangle of both.

Stuck in sleepy New Smyrna Beach one last summer, Raine socks away her camp pay checks, worries about her druggy brother, and ignores trouble: Cal Koomer. She’s a plane ticket away from teaching orphans in Africa, and not even Cal’s surfer six-pack and the chinks she spies in his rebel armor will derail her.

The artist in Cal begs to paint Raine’s ivory skin, high cheek bones, and internal sparklers behind her eyes, but falling for her would caterwaul him into his parents’ live. No thanks. The girl was self-righteous waiting to happen. Mom served sanctimony like vegetables, three servings a day, and he had a gut full.

Rec Director Drew taunts her with “Rainey” and calls her an enabler. He is so infernally there like a horsefly—till he buzzes back to his ex.

Raine’s brother tweaks. Her dream of Africa dies small deaths. Will she figure out what to fight for and what to free before it’s too late?

What inspired you to write this story?
My daughter has had a passion to become a foreign missionary since she was in first grade. She just completed her junior year of college and is still headed for missions, probably to an orphanage in Peru. Also a close family friend fell in love with a young man and felt strongly that God told her to marry him. When the guy broke off the engagement, she was devastated on multiple levels. In Kicking Eternity the hero has to come to terms with the same dilemma.

May God’s abundant blessings be on your daughter. Can you give us the first page?
Raine pushed the beads on her African bracelet back and forth like the balls on an abacus. Her stomach kneaded, gurgled. She could almost feel sweat dampen her upper lip.

Drew’s forehead creased as he stared at her. Fluorescent tubes hummed overhead in the night air. Shouts and back-slapping ricocheted around the Canteen porch in the sticky-sweet scent of orange blossoms. If she wasn’t fighting to keep her dinner down, she’d tell him where they’d met.

His frown melted into a smile of recognition. “Rainey. Hey. Welcome to Triple S Camp.”

She bristled at the nickname her brothers used to irritate her. “It’s Raine.

 “I remember you as Rainey from the skit you did in junior high youth group. You cried all over the place—a pun on your name.”

“That was my total acting career… and ancient history. Better off forgotten. Please.”

“Sure, Rainey, whatever you say.”


“You remember my name.”

“You weren’t exactly low profile either.” She, like every girl in the youth group, had spent way too much time mooning at the high-school-Drew hunched over his guitar.

Jesse, the camp director, gave a shrill blast on his whistle. “Welcome to New Smyrna Beach Surf and Sailing Camp orientation.”

The noise ratcheted down. Thirty staffers in aquamarine shirts settled onto the benches lining the porch.

Raine swallowed and unclenched her fingers from the camp handbook. She refused to heave like she had at college orientation four years ago. Her thumb ran over the ridges in her palm where the spiral wire had dug into the flesh. Why had she never been to camp like any normal kid?

A guy in surf shorts and flip-flops came up the steps laughing with the girl beside him. Sun-white cords of hair, crimped like he’d worn braids, brushed his thick shoulders. He caught Raine staring. The interest crackling in his blue gaze jolted through her.

She let her chin-length hair fall like a dark curtain between them. A guy was one complication she didn’t need this summer, not when Africa was nearly in her grasp.

How can we find you on the internet?
Twitter @AnnLeeMiller

Bio: Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.

Book Blurb:
Fresh from college, Raine scores a teaching job at New Smyrna Beach Surf and Sailing Camp. A crush on the camp rebel/art teacher threatens to derail her plans to teach orphans in Africa. The broody recreation director spots her brothers meth addiction and Raine's enabling. Raine believes she is helping her brother--until lives are threatened.

“Ann Lee Miller writes stories straight from the heart with characters who'll become friends, remaining with you long after you turn that final page. You won't want to miss Kicking Eternity!”

Jenny B. Jones, Author of the Katie Parker Production Series from Think and The Charmed Life Series, and other single titles from Thomas Nelson

“In Kicking Eternity, Ann Lee Miller masterfully weaves the delicate web of emotions experienced in that turbulent ‘twenty-something’ stage of life. Powerful family dynamics, intense loyalty challenges, and tender new loves find their niche in your heart as this story unfolds layer by lovely layer.”

Mesu Andrews, Author of  Revell titles Love’s Sacred Song, and Love Amid the Ashes, which won the 2012 CBA Book of the Year, New Author Category

To see my review of Kicking Eternity, check out Monday's blog.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A2Z take 2 "V"


Not only is this my given name (sshhh, don't tell anyone), but it is also the state where I was born and raised. In one little section of my heart it will always be "home," though I doubt I will ever live there again.

Mabry Mill - off the Blue Ridge Pkwy
Warning short history lesson: Jamestown was founded in 1607 by the English. Virginia was the tenth state to ratify the Constitution June 25, 1788. It seceded with ten other states in 1861 to form the Confederate States of America.

Amazingly, I have found that in the south, people think I'm a northerner (ha, as if, no offense to all you northerners out there), but in the north, people think I'm a southerner. Does this mean I don't have a discernible accent?  LOL

Winter sunrise, courtesy of my M-I-L
Maybe I'm just not AS southern, as say Alabama or Mississippi. Maybe. But I still grew up eating grits, fried okra, and a host of other southern dishes, and, oh, can't forget the sweet tea. Have mercy.

So for all you folks that haven't ever been to VA, let's see if I can post some pictures. Enjoy.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: "Kicking Eternity" by Ann Lee Miller

Ahhh...the joys of a good book. You start reading and forget you need to be somewhere or that dinner has to be fixed. You run, do what you have to do, and then hurry back to pick up where you left off. That's what I experienced when I read "Kicking Eternity." Ann wove me into the lives of Raine, Drew, Cal and Aly, causing me to care how things turned out and kept me turning page after page until the end. And even then, while the book was complete, I longed for more. I look forward to the sequel coming out in September.


Stuck in sleepy New Smyrna Beach one last summer, Raine socks away her camp pay checks, worries about her druggy brother, and ignores trouble: Cal Koomer. She’s a plane ticket away from teaching orphans in Africa, and not even Cal’s surfer six-pack and the chinks she spies in his rebel armor will derail her.
The artist in Cal begs to paint Raine’s ivory skin, high cheek bones, and internal sparklers behind her eyes, but falling for her would caterwaul him into his parents’ life. No thanks. The girl was self-righteous waiting to happen. Mom served sanctimony like vegetables, three servings a day, and he had a gut full.
Rec Director Drew taunts her with “Rainey” and calls her an enabler. He is so infernally there like a horsefly—till he buzzes back to his ex.
Raine's brother tweaks. Her dream of Africa dies small deaths. Will she figure out what to fight for and what to free before it's too late?
For anyone who's ever wrestled with their dreams. 

For more information, visit Ann's website. Join me on Friday, when Ann will be joining me here with an interview.

To purchase the book, visit Amazon.