Monday, April 27, 2009

Holding On To Hope

Despite all the frightening things that are going on in the world, there is still much good and we have a lot to be grateful for. I remind myself of this daily.
Life is meant to be enjoyed, not feared, and if we only look at the bad and wallow in it, we miss so much. We should always do what we can to fight evil and make the world better, and then remember that God is still in control and He won't leave us to deal with things alone. He never has and He never will. This is something easily forgotten at times and something we should strive to never forget. Hope is always alive and there for the taking. We just need to keep it alive in us.

It's going to be another great day. I can feel it:o)

Suggested Reading

Book: Sarah: Women of Genesis
Author: Orson Scott Card

Amazon Review
From New York Times bestselling author Orson Scott Card comes the finely crafted novel of Sarah, about a beautiful and courageous Jewish woman who changed the course of history through her faith, wisdom, and commitment to her husband, Abraham. As a man writing from a woman's perspective, Card nevertheless shows great perspicacity. Sarah's range of emotions is credible, including her fear as she pretends to be Abraham's sister in order to fool the Egyptian pharaoh Neb-Towi-Re, and her pain as she deals with her barrenness. Later, the kindness Sarah showers on Hagar, her personal handmaid, conflicts believably with her agonizing jealousy over her decision to let Abraham father a child with Hagar. Card's research for the book results in detailed descriptions that help make it memorable, from the practice of religion and styles of dress to the accounts of desert and city life. He succeeds in offering a memorable tale for both those who are interested in biblical women as part of their faith and readers who just enjoy a good story.

Get your copy of Sarah: The Women of Genesis today!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Free Copy of "The Journey" Ebook!

Because of the importance of the message in my exciting YA fantasy The Journey, I decided to give free downloads of the book. Yes, you read correctly, absolutely free!
Log on to my website to read more about The Journey and my other books or click on the link to download a copy of the story you're sure to love.
Spread the word and get your copy today!

Thought For the Day

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
Helen Keller

Suggested Viewing

DVD: Beauty and the Beast TV Series

The Beauty and the Beast TV show was a fantasy series about a man-beast (Vincent) and his love for a beautiful assistant district attorney (Catherine Chandler). Vincent lived in an underground world beneath New York City where his gruesome looks were less important to his peers than were his caring and benevolent personality. Together, Vincent and Catherine had many adventures both above and below ground level and their love for each other continued to grow.

"Once upon a time... in the city of New York." So begins this unique fantasy-crime series. Catherine (Emmy nominee Linda Hamilton, The Terminator) is an assistant DA who's attacked one night by strangers. When she wakes up, her face is covered in bandages. Someone named Vincent (Golden Globe winner Ron Perlman) has been taking care of her in his home beneath the subway. When she removes the dressing, she finds that he's a man-beast, but fear turns to trust when she becomes convinced he has her best interests at heart. As she states in the introduction, "We have a bond stronger than friendship or love." As the season unfolds, Vincent frequently comes to Catherine's assistance. As an empath, he knows instinctively when she's in trouble. When he needs help, Vincent turns to Father (Roy Dotrice), the doctor who raised him after he was abandoned at the hospital after he was born. His origins are unknown. Together, Catherine and Vincent are like the detectives of Remington Steele, except no one knows she's part of a team, since they're only able to meet in secret. Vincent's underground companions, however, get to know Catherine well. Just as Vincent comes to her aid as needed, she does the same for his community.

Call me crazy, but this will always be one of my favorite television series, and I'm sure there are others who feel the same whether they will admit it or not:-) Yes, it can be cheesy at times, but I'm a total romantic and I can't help sighing at the end of each episode, and I've seen the whole series at least six times!
Get your copy of of the Beauty and the Beast television series today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

With God, All Things Are Possible

Are you someone who constantly hears, "You'll never be able to do it" or "You're setting your sights too high?" It's hard to hold on to dreams and aspirations when there is so much negativity around you. But it can be done. One of my goals is to share the message of hope and God's love with the world through my writing. I don't know when I will accomplish that goal, but I will. "If, maybe or might" are not an option.
Here are a few thoughts on reaching for your dreams.

"I'd rather be optimistic and a fool, than pessimistic and right."
~ Unknown

"The greatest revenge is to accomplish what others say you cannot do."
~ Unknown

"You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth. "
~ Shira Tehrani

"When odds are one in a million, be that one."
~ Anonymous

With God, all things are possible.

Suggested Reading

Book: The Screwtape Letters

Author: C.S. Lewis

Amazon Review
Who among us has never wondered if there might not really be a tempter sitting on our shoulders or dogging our steps? C.S. Lewis dispels all doubts. In The Screwtape Letters, one of his bestselling works, we are made privy to the instructional correspondence between a senior demon, Screwtape, and his wannabe diabolical nephew Wormwood. As mentor, Screwtape coaches Wormwood in the finer points, tempting his "patient" away from God.

Each letter is a masterpiece of reverse theology, giving the reader an inside look at the thinking and means of temptation. Tempters, according to Lewis, have two motives: the first is fear of punishment, the second a hunger to consume or dominate other beings. On the other hand, the goal of the Creator is to woo us unto himself or to transform us through his love from "tools into servants and servants into sons." It is the dichotomy between being consumed and subsumed completely into another's identity or being liberated to be utterly ourselves that Lewis explores with his razor-sharp insight and wit.

The most brilliant feature of The Screwtape Letters may be likening hell to a bureaucracy in which "everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment." We all understand bureaucracies, be it the Department of Motor Vehicles, the IRS, or one of our own making. So we each understand the temptations that slowly lure us into hell. If you've never read Lewis, The Screwtape Letters is a great place to start. And if you know Lewis, but haven't read this, you've missed one of his core writings.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Books For Springtime Reading!

I know I've said this before, but I love a great book! Today I've chosen to spotlight some new books, hot off the presses, written by some amazing authors.

Book: Fablehaven Vol 4: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
Author: Brandon Mull

Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton's Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap — a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth?

The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next? Find out in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary.

Book: The 13th Reality, Vol. 2: The Hunt For Dark Infinity

Author: James Dashner

It’s been a quiet summer for Tick, Paul, and Sofia, but the latest message from Master George changes everything.

The Realities are in danger — and from something more terrible than Mistress Jane and the mutated Chi’karda of the Thirteenth Reality. People from all Realities are unexplainably going insane. Worse, some Realities are fragmenting, disintegrating into nothingness. Master George has learned that Mr. Chu from the Fourth Reality is working on a mysterious new weapon called Dark Infinity. But no one has any idea how to stop the weapon — or even if it can be stopped.

To make matters worse, Tick and his friends have been kidnapped, forced to wink from Reality to Reality, solving impossible riddles in order to survive the deadly traps surrounding them.

Mistress Jane and Tick find themselves in a race to reach the weapon first — but who will destroy it and who will become its master?

Book: Lemon Tart
Author: Josi S. Kilpack

Mix with a long list of suspects and top with two very different detectives. Increase heat until only the truth remains.

Award-winning author Josi S. Kilpack introduces a new series of culinary "cozies" that is sure to tantalize mystery lovers. In this debut volume, cooking aficionado-turned-amateur detective, Sadie Hoffmiller, tries to solve the murder of Anne Lemmon, her beautiful young neighbor - a single mother who was mysteriously killed while a lemon tart was baking in her oven. At the heart of Sadie's search is Anne's missing two-year-old son, Trevor. Whoever took the child must be the murderer, but Sadie is certain that the police are looking at all the wrong suspects - including her!

Armed with a handful of her very best culinary masterpieces, Sadie is determined to bake her way to proving her innocence, rescuing Trevor, and finding out exactly who had a motive for murder.

Book: Tower of Strength
Author: Annette Lyon

It was 1877 when Tabitha Hall Chadwick left Manti as a young bride. Now, nearly seven years later, she returns as a widow with her young son to make a new beginning. Tabitha’s strained relationship with her mother-in-law adds more difficulty to her life as a single working mother. Yet with a stroke of courage, Tabitha makes two purchases that become her passions: the local newspaper business and a traumatized horse.

As she struggles to meet the challenges of her new roles, Tabitha welcomes the friendship of Samuel, a recently widowed British immigrant. Working together to train the abused horse, the two discover a second chance at love. But when Samuel is critically injured during the construction of the Manti Temple, Tabitha faces the pain of old wounds and the risk of new ones.

Weaving themes of loss and renewal, this poignant tale explores a vital choice each of us must make: to seek safety in isolation or to embrace the painful yet beautiful complexities of life and love.

Book: The Last Waltz
Author: G.G. Vandagriff

In December 1913, the city of Vienna glitters with promises of the future for sought- after debutante Amalia Faulhaber. But life takes a dramatic turn when simmering political unrest escalates into the most deadly war the world has ever known. Amalia is devastated when her fiance, Baron Eberhard von Waldburg, breaks off their engagement to return to his native Germany and obligatory military service. But she soon discovers that her passion for democracy in an increasingly fascist world has put everything she loves in danger. Her family torn apart and improvished by the war, Amalia must now choose between an idealistic young Polish doctor, who shares her political views, and the wealthy Baron von Schoenenburg, an Austrian Cabinet minister who promises to provide safety and security in a violent, tumultuous time. Reminiscent of Gone with the Wind, this epic novel explores the nature of human character and the elusive seach for love and peace.

Get your copy of these awesome books today!