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.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

We Prepare the Way

We Prepare the Way

Last night at our Wednesday night service, we sang this song. It's not a new one for our congregation, but it touched me in new way after reading about some disturbing new trends in Christian fiction.

In writing this, I might sound like an old woman, and I suppose some may still consider me old, but I don't think I am. I don't think age really has much to do with it. I think it has everything to do with compromise.

What am I talking about?

Cursing, cussing, foul language.

Unfortunately, the trend in "Christian" fiction is rolling toward accepting what have long been held as dirty words in its novels.

I grew up in a house where the use of those words (ALL of them) was common. So, yes, the words do occasionally slip out of my mouth in a fit of anger or frustration, but I will NEVER write them in a story I want the world to read. I want them to see Jesus in me. I don't want them to see me, or a reflection of themselves.

Paul, in Romans 12, that we are not to be conformed to this world.

Conformed, according to means act in accordance or harmony; comply (usually followedby to ): to conform to rules. act in accord with the prevailing standards, attitudes,practices, etc., of society or a group: One has to conform in order to succeed in this company. be or become similar in form, nature, or character. be in harmony or accord. comply with the usages of an established church,especially the Church of England.

I believe in allowing these coarse words to come from our mouths, or our fingertips, is conforming/compromising. We are moving further and further from God's ways in an effort to win the lost.

But why should the lost follow us, as Christians, when we speak and behave in the same manner they do?

If they aren't seeing a difference in our behavior, if we aren't showing them Jesus, why should they change?

What's the point?

We're here to Prepare the Way. We're here to guide the lost to Jesus. Are we falling down on the job or are we following them instead?

I'll stop with a verse that keeps coming to mind. Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." (NKJV)

What do you think? Should cursing be accepted in Christian circles, in our everyday language, in the books we read?


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

H is for Home, sweet Home

Home, Sweet Home

Last week I posted about getting ready for the ACFW conference. Now, I've returned Home and I'm so glad to be back. The weekend was exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time.

I missed my family. You know when you spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (almost) with your children, being without them is hard. Don't get me wrong, they do get on my nerves regularly, but I love my kids. I love being with them, watching them learn, teaching them, and playing with them. I missed my husband too, though since he's gone to work all day...  LOL

It's good to be Home.

Now, back to real life, and working on my manuscript to get it ready to send to the two lovely ladies who requested it. Edits here I come.

Have you had occasion to be away from your home and been really Happy to be Home?


Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: Ricochet by Christy Barritt

A riveting romantic suspense. I was drawn into the story from the very first word. "Thump!" If you've ever been to camp, you probably have at least a few fond memories of your time there, or friends you made for the week. Ricochet will take you back to that moment in time, but also have you sitting on the edge waiting for what's going to happen next.

Four stars.


When Molly Hamilton returns to her beloved summer camp, she finds nothing but trouble. First she hits a dead body in the road before arriving. Then she discovers the camp director is missing. If that isn't stressful enough, Molly's new boss is none other than Nick White, the man who once broke her heart. Nick and Molly know there's something dangerous going on at Camp Hope Springs. But as the former teenage sweethearts try to uncover the mystery, they discover even more hidden secrets—about the camp and themselves. Saving the camp may not be safe, especially for their hearts.
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Interview: Amanda Cabot

Amanda Cabot is a popular speaker and the author of Paper Roses, Scattered Petals, Tomorrow's Garden, and Summer of Promise, as well as a number of novels under various pen names. I have not had the privilege to meet her in person, yet, but if she's as gracious as her e-mails portray, I'm sure to love her. Join me now in welcoming Amanda to this blog.

Tell us about a typical day in your house.

There are those who would say my days are boring.  I prefer to say they’re structured.  Now that I’m retired from my day job, I spend mornings writing.  By that, I mean the actual sitting at the desk or keyboard, turning ideas into words.  Afternoons include answering email, working on promotions and letting ideas percolate.  Evenings are for relaxing, which often includes a movie from Netflix.  And, of course, there’s time spent cooking, sewing, attending meetings, meeting friends for tea and conversation – all the normal parts of life.

Sounds relaxing to me. When did you first begin writing?

I really cannot remember a time when I didn’t write – or at least want to write, and so I wrote sporadically until I was almost 29. Since then I have come to believe that authors have at least one thing in common with oysters, namely that we need irritation to produce our pearls … er… our books.  For me, that irritation was moving to a new area and discovering that what had appeared to be an ideal job was truly awful.  Of course, that happened at a time when jobs were hard to find, so I stuck with the one I had for over three years.  But the irritation was enough to remind me of my goal of selling a book before I was thirty.  I started what was to become my first published book just before my twenty-ninth birthday and sold it one week before my thirtieth.  If this were a fairytale, I’d tell you that I became vastly wealthy and was able to quit my day job.  The reality is, for many years (no, I won’t tell you how many) I wrote on nights and weekends, while I worked full time for Corporate America.  Now I’m fortunate enough to be a full-time writer. 

What is the coolest, wackiest, or riskiest thing you’ve ever done?

The wackiest would be participating in the annual Treasure Hunt at a friend’s summer home.  What’s a Treasure Hunt?  Picture twenty-five to thirty cars, each filled with six people, spending an evening driving down country roads at speeds we won’t mention, occasionally skidding to a stop.  As soon as that happens, the passengers hop out, flashlights in hand, to run through fields, farms, ditches – you name it, we’ve been there – trying to find clues in coffee cans that have been buried in the ground.  Whoever finds the clue runs away from the site (because no one wants to help a different team find the clue) and yells the team’s code word.  That’s the signal for everyone on the team to race back to the car and start deciphering the new clue while the driver heads in what everyone hopes is the correct direction.  Each clue leads to the next, with the car that reaches the final destination with all clues and the shortest elapsed time winning.  What do they win?  Money?  Fame?  No.  They have the privilege of running the Treasure Hunt the next year.  Yep, the winner has to draw maps, decide where to hide the clues, write the clues (Did I mention that they’re supposed to rhyme?), obtain permission to use private property, notify the state and local police.  You get the idea.  It’s a ton of work.  So, why would anyone do that?  Are we crazy?  That’s exactly what we say each time we win.  But it’s fun, in a crazy kind of way.

Sounds fun and absolutely crazy. I might have to try it. Tell us about your latest book.

My publisher always asks me to describe my books in a sentence or two, which is very difficult for someone as long-winded as I am.  Here’s the one I created for Christmas Roses.  “Can an itinerant carpenter searching for his father and a young widow who seeks only her daughter’s well-being find happiness in a small Wyoming mining town in the fall of 1882?  It may take a miracle, but after all Christmas is the time of miracles.”

What inspired you to write this story?

I'm a fan of Christmas novellas. I love everything about them -- the shorter format, the special theme, the fact that many of them are published in hard cover -- and so after I read Kathleen Morgan's series of Culdee Creek Christmas stories, I knew I wanted to write one of my own. Christmas Roses is the result. 

I love Christmas novellas as well. Can you give us the first page?

October 1882, Wyoming Territory

“Emma needs a father.”

“And I need a husband.” Celia Anderson sighed as she completed the sentence. It wasn’t the first time the parson’s wife had pronounced those words. In fact, they were becoming a regular refrain. Celia poured her visitor a cup of coffee, managing a smile as she touched the delicate rose-patterned china that had been her most prized wedding gift. Though they sat in the kitchen so that Celia could watch the children, Bertha Pearson’s position in Easton society, not to mention the fact that she was Celia’s dearest friend, meant that her coffee was served in china rather than the everyday crockery.
“I know you mean well, Bertha, but I’m not ready to remarry.” She refused to add the thought that had haunted her for the past year. Bertha would only disagree, probably vehemently, if Celia admitted that she wasn’t certain she would ever be ready.
She looked around the room where she had spent so many hours since this house had become her home. With an oversized range dominating one wall and a long counter with a sink nestled under the sole window, the kitchen was designed to accommodate a large family or, in Celia’s case, a business establishment. The thought that she might have to sell it caused more sleepless nights than Celia could count, but she refused to think about that now. She had a guest to entertain.

How can we find you on the internet?

The best place to start is my web page:  That provides what I call “one stop shopping” with information about me and my books.  I also have a Facebook fan page ( and a blog  In addition to posting news on FB and the blog, I have “Wednesday in Wyoming” where I post pictures from my new home.  I seem to have exceeded some unwritten storage limit in FB and can no longer post pix there, so I’m putting them on the blog and linking to FB.  Ah, the joys of technology!

Well readers, if you keep up with this blog, you know I reviewed Christmas Roses this past Monday. If you didn't see it and are interested, click here.

I hope you've enjoyed this interview with Amanda Cabot.

Have you ever participated in a treasure hunt as Amanda describes above?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Trinity by Ronie Kendig

I love Ronie Kendig's books and "Trinity" is no exception. In this book, Ronie gives us a glimpse into the lives of military war dogs and their handlers. We don't hear much about these amazing members of our military. They give their lives (both human and canine) to fight for our freedom.

"Trinity" was a truly wonderful book. I love romance, and this has it. I love a little suspense (occasionally), it has that too.

I've never been much of a fan of "military" books, but the excellent writing within Ronie's novels has changed my opinion. I may never pick up anyone else's military books, but I will be coming back time after time to anything Ronie Kendig writes.

5 stars.


A year ago in Afghanistan, Green Beret Heath Daniel’s career was destroyed. Along with his faith. Now he and his military war dog, Trinity, train other dogs and their handlers. Though his passion is to be back in action, the medical discharge has forced Heath—and Trinity—to the sidelines. Military intelligence officer Darci Kintz is captured while secretly tracking the Taliban. Only one dog can handle the extreme conditions to save her. Trinity. Only one man can handle Trinity. Time is running out on the greatest—and most dangerous—mission of their lives.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

G is for Getting ready

Getting Ready

This will be a super short post today. I am busy with last minute details as I get ready to leave early tomorrow morning for the ACFW Conference in Dallas, TX.  I am so excited I can hardly contain it.

I get to meet two of my three critique partners. One of which is traveling  from AUSTRALIA. 

I also get to meet some of my favorite authors and lots of new up and coming authors. I will have appointments with an editor and an agent. I am privileged to sing with other like-minded individuals in the ACFW choir under the direction of Rachael Phillips.

Maybe in the next few weeks, I'll get a chance to post about it.

Gotta go now. Dinner time and there's still so much to do.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: "Christmas Roses" by Amanda Cabot

I have read a number of Amanda Cabot's books before and have loved them all. This one is special to my heart and it will be a book that I keep to reread repetitively, for a lot of reasons.

I, like Celia, love roses. Can you tell by my blog background and picture in the heading? No? What about the title? Or perhaps the quote? And I love Christmas. Nothing on my blog right now Christmas related (except this book, and it's not all centered around the holiday either), but soon (check after Thanksgiving).

Anyway, I knew as soon as I saw the title I wanted to read this book. Roses at Christmastime in 1882? How is that possible? It is and Amanda made me a believer. I'm not going to give it away as I hate spoilers. You'll just have to read it to believe it.

Back cover:

Celia Anderson doesn't need anything for Christmas except a few more boarders, which are hard to come by in this small mining town. She certainly doesn't have a husband on her Christmas wish list. But when a wandering carpenter finds lodging at her boarding house, she admits that she might remarry if she found the right man--the kind of man who would bring her roses for Christmas. It would take a miracle to get roses during a harsh Wyoming winter. But Christmas, after all, is the time for miracles . . . 

Purchase it at Amazon and help support this blog.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: The Midwife's Legacy (novella collection)

"The Midwife's Legacy" by Rhonda Gibson, Pamela Griffin, Jane Kirkpatrick and Trish Perry is four novellas in one wonderful book. Midwifery is not an occupation I would want to make a career, though I have used the services of several and loved every minute of their devotion to me, their patient.

I wanted to read this book because of that devotion. Each novella tells the story of one midwife as she struggles with difficulties, stress, and unreasonable expectations placed on women of her time period. Each author, in my opinion, portrayed their lives in an accurate manner--including the loss of life, which was sadly a common occurrence before modern medicine.

The journal allows these women to spell out their fears and victories as they live their lives.

I would highly recommend "The Midwife's Legacy" to all my readers, young and old alike.

Here's the back cover:

Peek into an aged journal that links the adventurous lives of four courageous midwives. Wisconsin farmer, widow, mother, and midwife Adele Marley is too busy for a smitten, unwavering banker. To survive in love and life, Polly Schultz must rise above her fears on the Oregon Trail. Christiana is in a battle to prove to one man that she can be both a wife and a midwife. Her confidence shaken, Kendra Silverstone needs confirmation of God’s hand in her life and love. How will God work to give these women the direction they need?

Amazon link to purchase this book and support this blog.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sand vs. the Rock

Sand vs. the Rock
What would you rather rely on?

I was reading in Matthew 7 this morning and came to the well-known verses about building your house on the rock. The children's song "The Wise Man Built His House upon the Rock" came to mind. The thing that struck me again this morning is that the storm hit the wise man's house as well as the foolish man's house.

F-5 tornado that devastated Alabama, April 2011
(from my bedroom window)
Storms are going to come, no matter who you are. Your particular storm may not look like mine. However, as long as we build a strong foundation on the Rock (Jesus), we can withstand anything. Life can throw stuff, sometimes awful stuff, our way, but when we keep our eyes on Jesus (and not on the waves, like Peter) we can stay afloat.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

F is for Furry Friends

F is for Furry Friends

We have a number of furry friends at our house. I've posted pictures of them, loved them, hated them, hugged and punished them.

One thing that I like about my furry friends is that no matter what "I" do they love me. They are faithful.

They listen without comment (haha), give love without condition, and stay close when we need them (mostly). 

I think my furry friends are more like God than I am, though I'm made in His image. I forget to listen without putting in my opinions, love unconditionally, or offer sympathy or just a hug when a friend is in need.

So today's lesson is courtesy of our furry friends everywhere.
Peeta giving Zorro a hug, well, not really.
Zorro is the epitamy of longsuffering when it comes
to the cat. 

  • Listen more.  James 1:19
  • Love unconditionally. 1 Corinthians 13
  • Lean in and offer a hug or a kind word. Galatians 5:22
Now to Fulfill the lessons of my furry friends.  :)


Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Sandwich, With a Side of Romance by Krista Phillips

I hosted Krista on my blog on Friday, which you can see here. As I was preparing the blog and reading her post, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the novel. I had received it, along with several others, in the mail on Wednesday. But life, you know that funny thing that gets in the way of what we WANT to do sometimes, prevented me from starting it right away. Around lunch on Thursday, I had a moment or two while I was eating. I picked up this one because the cover and title called to me. It said, "Read me. You'll laugh."  So I did. And I did. That would be I did read it and I did laugh.

The laughing was balanced by a fair amount of seriousness. Krista touched on some serious subjects that some of us may have dealt with. She did an awesome job of showing us the unconditional love and acceptance of Jesus while keeping us holding our sides at some of the misunderstandings between Maddie and Reuben.

I highly recommend Sandwich, With a Side of Romance. It actually earns 5 stars with this reader. Something I give rarely.

Here's the back cover if you missed it in Friday's post:

She moved to Sandwich, Illinois, in search of a new life, but ended up in a giant pickle. 
Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than a day. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong.  
He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Emporium. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process. 
And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.

If your interested in acquiring this novel, click here for paperback or here for kindle and help support this blog.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Guest blog by Krista Phillips

Help me welcome Krista Phillips, author of "Sandwich, with a Side of Romance".

Krista Phillips writes inspirational romantic comedy. She believes a sprinkle of laughter (and a wee bit of chocolate) makes everything a little better! She blogs regularly about life as a wife, mother, follower of Jesus, and mother of a child with a rare congenital heart defect at Her debut novel, "Sandwich, With a Side of Romance," releases in September, 2012 from Abingdon Press.

Sandwich, with a Side of Romance Blurb:
She moved to Sandwich, Illinois, in search of a new life, but ended up in a giant pickle.

Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than a day. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong.  

He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Emporium. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process. 

And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.

And now here's Krista...

The Makings of a Sandwich

When Ginger invited me to guest post on her blog, she said I could write about whatever I wanted.

I'm a writer. That should be a pretty easy thing to do.



Pulling a topic out of thin air was TORTURE.

Like, poke my eyes out, dentist-drilling torture. Well, maybe not that bad. But I sat for a good while with a lot of false starts and a lot of deleting while I thought, "Really? I'm a writer??? You wouldn't know it by that drivel!"

Then I got this stroke of brilliance. At least, I think it is brilliant. You might not agree, but that's okay. My momma still loves me.... :-)

My debut novel that came out a week ago today is titled Sandwich, with a Side of Romance.

It's all about... SANDWICHES.

So here is where the brilliance comes in.

I'm gonna write about SANDWICHES today.

Yes, yes, I know. Where in the world do I come up with this amazing stuff?? HA.

It's also fitting because this afternoon/evening, an author friend of mine and I are going to have a Online Book Launch Open House, and our theme for the open house is A Sandwich for the Road. (The name of her book is The Road to Mercy... Get it? Sandwich? Road? Come on....)

So, I thought I'd share some FUN sandwich facts that you may not be aware of.

  •         The Philly Cheesesteak was invented by a dude in Philadelphia named Pat Oliviera who had a hotdog stand but got tired of hotdogs and decided to try something different. I think he succeeded....
  •          The PB&J sandwich started to gain popularity during the great depression as a "cheap" means of food, but got it's real break during WWII when GI's would combine peanut butter and Jelly to make their rationed food taste a little better and be less sticky!
  •          Even though I've heard it raved about and am even giving a jar of it away in my "sandwich" themed basket at the open house tonight... I've never had Nutella. I guess I'm nervous that it won't live up to all the hype I hear about it!
  •          The French dip was created by accident! It is said that in 1918, a sandwich shop owner in LA accidently dropped the roll into the pan drippings before giving it to a police officer to eat, and the police officer came back three days in a row, asking for more "dipped" sandwiches. (another fun note. I LOVE LOVE French dips... but I never dip. In fact, I tell them to keep their sauce. Yeah. I'm crazy. What can I say.)
  •          Did you know that May is National Egg Salad Month? And the week before Easter is National Egg Salad Week? Well... now you do!

All these fun facts were found in The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches by Susan Russo (and probably a billion places on the Internet as well.) The book is ALSO included in my sandwich picnic basket at the open house today, and it has a TON of different sandwich recipes!

Discussion: What's your FAVORITE sandwich? And no, the "Oreo" one doesn't count! Although if it did... that'd totally be my answer!

To find Krista on the web:
Blog/Website -

Thanks for coming, Krista. For the record, my favorite sandwich is a BLT (and do NOT give me a hothouse tomato, please).


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

E is for Excitement...

E is for Excitement

Two weeks from today at this time, I'll be on a plane headed for Dallas, TX and ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference. I am so EXCITED. 

Although I woke up this morning and remembered the dream I had just had. SCARY! I walked into the main conference room, and it was empty except for three well-known (and highly-respected) writers--Colleen Coble, Ruth Axtell Morren, and Debby Giusti (good thing I checked that spelling, shew). They welcomed me to their table and I soaked up all the geniusness (nope, probably not a word, but there it is).

BTW, they weren't the scary part. The scary part happens when I stand up with a backpack (remember it's a dream, and I guess, in my mind, they are the teachers and I am still a young upstart student).... Anyway, I realize that I forgot to print out all the information about my book that I needed to one-sheets, sample chapters, synopses (that looks so weird spelled that way). 

That's when I woke up in a panic. I have so much to do, yet, to be ready. I was way more organized last year. I mean, really. I just designed and ordered my business cards on Monday. I still need to get my one-sheets printed. I don't have a color printer, so have to out-source those. My sample chapters need a final look-through before printing, as does my synopsis. And I was looking at agent/editor preferences yesterday (yes, I know) and there's something else that I can't quite remember at the moment, but I remember I haven't done it either. *Sigh* So there's the scary part. 

BUT I know God has great plans for Everyone who gets to attend (and those who are unable to do so this year), me included. 

I'm still so EXCITED. And terrified. And EXCITED. And anxious ("do not be anxious about anything"...I'm praying, really, I am.) And EXCITED. Did I say I was EXCITED?

Thanks for reading with me, and I would appreciate your prayers.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Guest blog by Lillian Duncan

Today, I have the distinct pleasure to welcome author and friend, Lillian Duncan as a guest blogger today. She is blogging about dark alleys, which is also the name of her newest book. Please help me welcome her.

James 4: 8
Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.

We humans are not necessarily the smartest of God’s creations even though we think we are! We seem to go out of our way to hurt ourselves in so many different creative ways. At one time or another most of us end up in a dark alley of our own making through our own bad choices and actions. And sometimes other people put us in those alleys or at least lead the way.

It always seems so dark and so lonely there, but God never abandons us—it only feels that way sometimes.

And that’s what I want readers to take away after reading DARK ALLEYS. No matter what we’ve done, God never stops loving us. He is always there waiting for us to ask for His help. In James 4: 8 it says, Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you."

To me that means, God is always there waiting for us to come to HIM.

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29: 14, I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity. Another way of saying draw close to God and God will draw close to you. Of course, His help may not come in the form we want or expect, but then again His ways are higher than our ways.

The important thing to remember is that God loves us and he won’t abandon us.

My latest book, DARK ALLEYS is a story about a woman who ends up homeless and alone in a dark alley on a cold winter night. She witnesses a murder while in a drunken stupor and almost becomes his second victim. She awakens in the hospital with no clear memory of how she was injured. She attempts to put her life back together but, of course, the murderer has other plans.

I wanted to write a story where the main character was the queen of underdogs and I think I succeeded. Tessa is a mess, just like the rest of us. She could give up and no one could blame her, but she doesn’t. She keeps going—putting one step in front of the other.

And some days that’s all any of us can do.

Those are the days we need to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

And one step at a time He will lead out of that dark alley and into His light.

ABOUT DARK ALLEYSBeing innocent and proving it are two different things, especially when a powerful politician is involved 

Tessa’s life spiraled out of control after the death of her only child, and she finds herself in a dark alley on a cold wintry night.  After she witnesses a murder, she almost becomes his second victim, but manages to escape—just barely.

Homeless and alone, she knows the authorities won’t believe someone like her, leaving her only one option—to run.

Lillian Duncan writes stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem. She writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: She also has a devotional blog at: