Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Simple Garden

Another after-Christmas "puttering" day working about the house. On my fun to-do list today was assembling my Simple Garden gifted by my sister, Lois.



First, I placed the three compact soil disks in a plastic tub and added a gallon and a half of warm water.



After 15 minutes, I crumbled the soil in my hands and filled the provided plant container with the rich humus.



Next, I placed the planting grid over the soil. After I studied (sounds too hard, but quite the contrary)the accompanying manual, I dropped two-three seeds in the designated holes and pushed lightly with the planting stick provided. The kit came with cherry tomato and basil seeds. Lois also included a package of gourmet lettuce seeds. (My mouth is watering just typing this. Yum!)



Then I covered the container with the plastic greenhouse lid and taped the air vents to ensure warmth and moisture according to the instructions for growing indoors.





Finally, I set the planter in a sunny window (okay, it was sunny when I placed it there and hopefully will be tomorrow :). The container is resting comfortably on a heating pad to keep the baby seeds warm until they sprout, which should be in about 7 - 10 days.

Will keep you posted on my "babies" progress.

And then, Bon Appetit!

Check out www.theSimpleGarden.com for your easy winter gourmet garden.

Take a vacation from your armchair . . . Book giveaway!




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Monday, December 19, 2011

Breathe deeply . . .



Breathe deeply
These Christmas smells.
Cinnamon, pine
And chocolate melting.

Candles burning,
Hearts aflame
With the wonder of Jesus,
To earth He came.

Just pulled out a fresh batch of banana muffins from the oven, complete with chocolate chips. Yum! Pass the butter.

And breathe deeply . . .

Once upon a time . . .



Once upon a time, there was a little girl who grew up with the name of Jesus on her lips, but not in her heart. She knew all the Bible stories. Her parents, after all, were home missionaries, serving the Lord among the children in East Tennessee.

During her early years, a great sadness filled her home and her young life. Her brother, fourteen years her senior, had died at age eighteen after a lifetime of hydrocephalus. Even at the age of four, she sensed a bleakness and a blackness cover her world. Terror filled her nights, her only comfort the light her mother left on in the hallway. Oh, how her mother tried to console the little girl. She would sit on the edge of her bed and quote Psalm 56:3: "When I am afraid, I will trust in you."

The little girl wanted to trust in God, but she didn't know how. Fear engulfed her spirit and overwhelmed any faith that might break through.

Then, on one muggy summer Sunday night, she and her friend sat in church listening to a visiting evangelist. Well, her friend was listening. She was absorbed in a western novel she'd checked out of the church library.

When the service ended and the speaker asked if anyone would like to come forward and receive Christ as Savior, her friend leaned over to her. "I want to go up," she said.

The little girl shrugged. "Ah, we're too young."

Her reply didn't deter her friend, however. She stood up, slipped past the little girl, and walked down the aisle to her mother. They whispered together and then went up to the front.

A few months later, in October, the little girl sat beside her father on a Sunday morning. The sun streamed through the stained-glass windows. After the preacher closed the sermon, the minister of music directed the congregation to a hymn titled, Jesus I Come.

As the music swirled around her, she became transfixed on the words, "Out of my bondage, sorrow and night, Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come. Into Thy freedom, gladness and light, Jesus, I come to Thee."

At that moment, she knew those words were written for her. Without a word, she slipped past her father and down the aisle, her physical trek a spiritual heart response to Jesus. Jesus, I come to You, was her heart cry.

That day, the little girl acknowledged Jesus as her personal Savior. It was a first, trembling step to connect with Jesus.

The next day, the little girl went to third grade and sat behind her friend, Jimmy. She tapped him on the shoulder and told him what she had done. He said he had done the same thing.


Another hymn that captured her heart as a child was
The Old Rugged Cross, written by George Bennard.

"On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff'ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown."

That little girl was me, and I have one glory: the cross of Christ. As Augustus Toplady wrote in his well-known hymn, Rock of Ages , "In my hand no price I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling."

In Christ alone, does my life make sense. In the midst of much doubt, fear, and obsessive-compulsiveness over the years, the Lord has continually wooed me out of the darkness and into His marvelous Light. He is faithful God, Savior, and Lord.

As Luke so aptly writes about Christ in chapter one, verses 77-79 . . .

Jesus Christ came "to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven, to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

During this Christmas season, my heart's prayer for you, dear reader, is that you will consider the cross, for through Christ alone can any of us know forgiveness of sin and share eternal life with Him.

Let His Light break through your darkness and guide your feet into the path of peace.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Shepherd Visits Jesus



A shepherd visits Jesus. I can't think of any better place to be than in Christ's lap.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Riveted by these words today . . .


Riveted by these words today that kept flowing through my mind . . .

O Love that will not let me go.

Written by George Matheson over one-hundred years ago, these words fuel spirit, soul, and body. Here's the complete hymn. Savor the beautiful, meaningful poetry along with me as the day gives way to dusk on this December Wednesday.

"O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that foll'west all my way,
I yield my flick'ring torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine's blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me thru pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow thru the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

God's Good Gifts to Us in 2011


God’s Good Gifts to Us in 2011

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” -James 1:17

Toddler giggles and sloppy kisses
Jumping on the trampoline with our grandchildren
Snuggling on the sofa to read stories
Looking at the trees with our grandchildren and singing,
“The Trees of the Field Clap Their Hands”
Making cookies to deliver to neighbors
Friends who show up on our doorstep
Long distance grandparenting via the internet
Liberty online adjunct professorship—a direct answer to prayer
Creative expression through art, music, and writing
An intimate relationship with God made possible through the blood of Jesus
A growing marital relationship of 35 years
Time away to refresh, reflect, and rehearse God’s faithfulness
Deerwood home to house missionary children coming and going
The Holy Spirit’s conviction, counsel, and comfort
Access to the throne room of God via prayer
A church family
Extended biological family
Counseling and writing ministries
Speaking opportunities
Contract for Eileen’s next novel, Second Chance
Couples who want to make their marriages work
and are experiencing God’s victory one day at a time
Good books
The Father’s lap
God’s grace and faithfulness in the midst of unresolved real estate issues
Closure on Dale Ave. property
Grown children who love and serve the Lord
Laughter and tears and memories
Witnessing opportunities
Marriage outreach through Total Life Counseling
Open doors to be ministers of reconciliation
Opportunities to enjoy God’s creation
Specific Scriptures that target specific needs in our lives
Quiet reflection
Critique partners who keep Eileen on task in her writing
Friends who know us, yet still love us.

~~
During this Christmas season, may your heart turn to the Giver of all good gifts.

From our house to yours: Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Chuck & Eileen

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lesson I Learned from a Turkey




I stood before a freezer full of turkeys at the grocery store. Scavenging through the assortment of Butterballs, I spotted a particularly plump fellow resting in the back of the unit. Since I was hosting around 12 guests for Thanksgiving dinner, I wanted at least a 15 pound foul to feed my crew. Greedy for that bird and in a hurry to get out of the store and on to the next errand, I fumbled through the front line of turkeys to reach the back. As I did, one of the smaller, yet equally solid birds in the front, slid from its resting place and landed squarely on my left foot. An immediate dance ensued to the tune of “Turkey on the Toe.” My little Rumpelstiltskin tirade got me nowhere. Busy, self-absorbed shoppers passed me right and left. Suddenly, I began to feel sorry for myself and very much alone. Even a little sick at my stomach.

Collecting myself, I threw the sorry turkey back into its stall and hobbled into the next aisle, telling myself I would shop for a turkey later. Rubbing my stinging toes, I reprimanded myself for being so greedy for that particular bird. In my pain, I slowed down and began to reflect on the previous days. As I pondered the richness of my life, I began to feel less hurried, less greedy for big bird in his frozen cage. I thought about what was really important to me. As I did, the Holy Spirit filled my mind with verses from Psalm 128 that I had learned years earlier.

How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands,
You will be happy and it will be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, (and so I had –parenthesis mine)
Within your house,
Your children like olive plants (indeed they were – parenthesis mine)
Around your table.

Greed turned to gratitude as I thought about my family. How God had blessed us because we revered Him above all! Our precious “olive plants” were now grown and pursuing God’s direction for their lives. Our oldest daughter, Rachel, was on her way to India, fulfilling a ten-year dream of becoming a career missionary. I thought about our second daughter, Michelle, who in a few short weeks would graduate from college with a degree in biblical counseling and marry a youth minister in the coming months. Together, she and Jonathan would serve the Lord in a new church plant in Pennsylvania. And then my mind drifted to my precious last-born, Stephanie, a senior in high school, who was earnestly seeking God’s will for the coming year.

And my heart was full. Overflowing, in fact. I was so grateful that my husband, Chuck, and I could have the privilege and responsibility of rearing three godly daughters with God’s grace and wisdom. We had drilled into them over their growing years that to glorify God in body, soul, and mind was their chief end. At each graduation we left them with the scriptural charge, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth”(3 John 4).

In that moment, as shopping carts careened around me, I inwardly breathed a thank-you prayer to my Father for 20 years of home schooling my girls and 28 years of marriage to a godly, compassionate man. Somehow, in that inner moment, the size turkey I served on Thanksgiving Day seemed trivial in light of the many blessings God had just brought to my mind. Funny how God can use even a frozen turkey on a harried lady to quiet her heart, regain her perspective, and teach her a lesson about gratitude.

~~

Today, I'm a blessed wife of 35 years, a proud mother to three married daughters, mother-in-law to three godly sons, and the grandmother of Rebekah (5), Kylie (almost 5), Daniel (3), Ethan (almost 3), Hannah (1), and Gabriel (1). My grandchildren are now like olive plants around my table! www.eileenrife.com

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Time Changer




My journey through the Bible has brought me to Numbers. Over and over again, the writer Moses notes that "the Lord spoke" to him. Through his servant Moses, God spoke His law, and Moses delivered His Word to the children of Israel.

This recurring phrase, "the Lord spoke," is significant. The LORD as Master is establishing His authority to instruct His people on His rules and regulations for living: everything from the Ten Commandments to regulations concerning offerings, atonement, and the practical matters of life.

To simply say, "Be moral, be nice, be good" would not be enough. His law had to be stamped with His signature, "Thus says the Lord."

This teaching occurred to me, after the fact, when my grandchild was acting up in the back seat of the car. Finally, I turned around and said, "Be nice; don't act ugly." The next morning it dawned on me that a better thing to say would have been, "It hurts grandma when you disobey your mommy. Jesus says in the Bible to obey your mommy and daddy. He wants you to listen to them because it is the right thing to do and because it will be good for you. And you will be happier for it."

With these words, I would be stating the authority upon which morality and goodness rest: the Lord Jesus Christ.

When we try to be moral and good in ourselves we fail miserably, and we are miserable. Only the righteous God of heaven can make us righteous. And this goodness comes through His perfect Son's atoning work on the Cross. It is by His authority that we can be righteous and live righteously.

Sadly, those who have taught the importance of morality without citing the authority upon which that morality rests have been deceived and are deceiving. Self-effort alone can never produce lasting goodness. Sooner or later, all human effort fails.

In Christ's righteousness alone do we stand. It is in Him that we find our life, joy, peace, and goodness.

Chuck and I viewed a movie last night that perpetuated this biblical teaching. According to the back jacket blurb, TIME CHANGER takes place "in 1890 where Bible professor Russell Carlisle has written a new manuscript entitled 'The Changing Times.' His book is about to receive a unanimous endorsement from the board members of the Grace Bible Seminary until his colleague Dr. Norris Anderson (Gavin MacLeod) raises an objection. Dr. Anderson believes that what Carlisle has written could greatly affect the future of coming generations. Using a secret time machine, Anderson sends Carlisle over 100 years into the future, offering him a glimpse of where his beliefs will lead."

Sadly, we are living that projection.

If you haven't seen this eye-opening movie, I highly recommend it, for young and old alike. We must move people back to the authority of the Word of God, for therein lies our goodness, hope, life, and future.

Thus says the Lord . . .

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Am I doing what you want me to do, Lord?

There are those days for a struggling writer when she wonders, "Am I doing what you want me to do, Lord?"

Yesterday was one of those days.

Invariably, God answers with a book sale or reader feedback. Within the last two days, I've gotten both.

And I hear His laughter, squeals of joy, and I join in with a great big, "Thank you, Lord!"

Without going into details, a man purchased Restored Hearts. Please pray the Lord will open his eyes to see that he can be delivered from homosexuality.









A reader sent the following email about Chosen Ones.









Mrs. Rife,

I just wanted to let you know that I was able to obtain a copy of your book "Chosen Ones," and I just finished reading it. I wish I could put into words how much it means to me that the Lord moved your heart to write this story. It is an honest depiction of the horrors of human trafficking in India, but at the same time woven into an absolutely beautiful story of redemption and healing through Christ. Thank you so much for sharing this story with me, and with all of your readers. This is such an incredible way to raise awareness about what is going on around the world and to show the hope that comes through Christ.

Blessings!

Thank you, Lord, for continuing to affirm your platform for me at this season in my life. So thrilled to be using Your gift for Your glory!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Heart Murmur

I remember hearing the words, "heart murmur," from our daughter's pediatrician when she was a young child. An immediate alarm sounded in my head, quickly followed by the doctor's reassurance. "These types of murmurs are typically benign and something the child grows out of. We'll keep a watch on it."

True to his words, my daughter did grow out of it. The physical heart murmur, that is. But there was another type of heart murmur birthed in her by God that continues to grow to this day.

A spiritual heart murmur.

In my journey through Exodus of late, I learned more about this type of heart murmur in chapter 35. The children of Israel have just witnessed a reflection of God's glory through their leader. Moses met with God and the people knew it. They saw it in his countenance, his words, his actions. All of which prepared them for the task before them--building the tabernacle.

Over and over again in this chapter, the writer notes that "everyone whose heart stirred him" contributed to the construction project. Fine brooches, earrings, bracelets, articles of gold, and colorful material and animals' skins. The peoples' hearts were so stirred to give, to be a part of something greater than themselves, that they brought much more than was needed. Moses finally had to tell them to stop giving. The New American Standard translation says that Moses "restrained" them from bringing any more gifts.

How is it that a people, stiffnecked and stubborn, as we often see on their journey through the wilderness, are in fine form during this massive undertaking?

I would suggest that the heart murmur created when Moses came off Mount Sinai in meeting with God moved them from the mundane to the momentous. They now had the unique opportunity to be a part of fulfilling a piece of God's great story.

In reality, they were a part of it all along, but due to their grumbling failed to see it.

So I ask myself: When was the last time my heart was stirred to be a part of something great for God? To be so caught up in a piece of His story that I forgot about myself and put my hand to the task He has given?

Could it be possible that the greatness lies not in the project or results, but in my heart attitude?

The front lines of success are not necessarily places of greatness for God. Often, and I suspect more often than not, greatness blossoms by the bedside of a shut-in. At the sink washing dishes. On the floor playing with a toddler. In the words delivered to a grumpy spouse.

In the mundane, quietly putting one foot in front of the other, doing the next thing.

And all the while, with a heart murmur, rejoicing to be a part of God's great story.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Capture the moment?


Two fawns loped through our front yard this morning. Playful, yet gaze keen as sheets of rain sliced the grey sky. According to granddaughter, Rebekah, deer in rain qualifies these gentle creatures as reindeer.

I chose not to retrieve my digital camera. Seems I run too much to capture the moment for all posterity and lose the moment at hand. It occurred to me that life comprises many such moments, stringing together a long line of worthwhile and precious God touches. Why hurry to capture one when another is on its heels?

Still, on further contemplation, it would be nice to have my own personal pic to accompany this random musing. As it was, I had to go digging . . .

And this is what I came up with. Not quite a fawn, is it? Uh, more like a bunny. . .

Well, there was one moment captured.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

His Glory through Me


My 'Date with Jesus' this morning took me to Exodus 34:30 as I continue to walk with the children of Israel through the wilderness.

"So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him."

Moses had spent time with God on Mount Sinai as he received the Ten Commandments from His hand. When he came off the mountain, the people noticed that his skin glowed with the glory of God.

My take-away: Am I spending enough time in God's presence to reflect His glory to others? Will they be moved to reverence the LORD by my demeanor? Will they be prompted to bow the knee to Him? Will they see His delight etched on my face?

Dorothy Sayers noted that "Where Christ is, cheerfulness will keep breaking in."

Father, Thank you that Christ lives within me through the Holy Spirit. Break in with your cheerfulness today, in the midst of the rain outside, the wilderness of continuing real estate concerns, and pressing deadlines. May all I come in contact with, sense Your glory reflected through me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Are You a Long Distance Grandparent?

Are you a long distance grandparent? In this age of technology, ideas abound for how to connect with your grandchildren. Here's one.

Using a digital camera or other recording device, video yourself reading a story. See the sample provided. With a little creativity, you can reach out to your grandchildren using the electronic toys you have on hand.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Stranger in my Bed: Overcoming Isolation in Marriage






Sierra rolled over in bed and looked at the man lying beside her. With a little less at the temples and a little more at the waistline, she hardly recognized him anymore. Who was this stranger she once knew so well?She remembered an earlier time when they would talk, sharing their hopes and dreams for the future. Now, some fifteen years later, it was the future and they rarely talked at all. They sat at the same kitchen table in the mornings, sipping coffee and scanning the newspaper. They drove to work in the same car, passed each other in the hall during lunch breaks, and came home at night to share the same dinner table. Then off to bed. Same spouse. Same routine. Same isolation day after boring day.


"What has happened to us? Why have we suddenly drifted apart?" Sierra pondered while gazing at her snoring partner.


Those are questions many couples ask years after the trip to the altar. But rarely does isolation just happen. It is years in the making, in thousands of subtle ways. Hurtful words that drive a wedge. Sarcastic glances that isolate. Games of "he said"- "she said" that separate. And before the couple realizes what is happening, they wake up strangers in a world of their own making.


Some experts call this unhappy circumstance "married singlehood." Yes, the couple is married. They have the license, cuts, and bruises to prove it. But that is about all. They are married in name only. They go about their daily lives as if they were really single.


So how can you, as a couple, overcome isolation?

Date your mate.


We encourage couples to set aside one night of the week to focus exclusively on each other. Our night is Friday night. Has been since our children were born. We have been faithful to this commitment roughly 75% of our married life. The other 25 % has been sacrificed to sickness, pressing circumstances, or special events. In order to accomplish this worthy goal over our 35 years of marriage, we have begged, borrowed, and stole (well, not exactly). Nonetheless, in the early years, we did find it necessary in times of financial “poverty” to trade off babysitting with other meager income couples. Worked great! We highly recommend it. When our oldest was mature enough to serve as babysitter, she enjoyed the chance to rule the roost for a few hours while we enjoyed a new sense of freedom. Dating your mate helps keep your love alive and gives you something special to anticipate together each week.


In their creative book, 52 Dates for You and Your Mate, Dave and Claudia Arp, founders of Marriage Alive International, offer helpful suggestions for fostering romance between the two of you, whether you are on a tight budget or whether you have big bucks to spend. While you’re getting your jacket to dash to the bookstore or running to the computer to log onto Amazon.com, we’ll offer some of our own suggestions for growing your romance. How bout a picnic in the park? Take your favorite blanket, foods, and a bottle of non-alcoholic beverage (remember: you want your love to be intoxicating, not your drink!). Maybe you could surprise your spouse with a destination unknown. Highlight one of his/her favorite activities, like playing golf or shopping. Then do something together that you both enjoy, like savoring a luscious steak dinner by candlelight. Whatever you choose, determine today to get away with your mate!


Revisit your courtship days.


Think about what drew you together in the first place. The goals you shared. The traits you admired in the other person. The places you enjoyed visiting. The activities you did together. Often this exercise helps you trudge through the muck and mire of married life and regain perspective of why you are together in the first place.


Keep the lines of communication open daily.



Our "home-base" is at the breakfast table where we take a few minutes to read some Scripture or a Christian book, pray together, and discuss concerns. We try to manage conflicts as they arise and respect the other person's viewpoint. We deal with this issue extensively in our book, Marriage with an Attitude, How to Build an Exciting Marriage with a Fantastic Attitude!


Handle anger constructively.



You've heard the old adage, "Don't go to bed mad." Well, it's older than grandma. Paul preached the same message thousands of years ago when he wrote Ephesians 4:26: "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger." Choose to forgive daily. Leave the past behind and move forward together.


Make your spouse your best friend.


To be well balanced, also include other friendships, but reserve the number one spot for your mate. Best friends risk being vulnerable, because they know the other person will still love and accept them for who they are, will challenge them to grow, and stick by them no matter what. Your spouse should be your number one support person and prayer partner.


Spend time with God together.


A great passage to quote out loud together daily or at least once a week is I Corinthians 13:4-8.Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (NASB)


Pray that God will help you overcome isolation in your relationship by taking practical steps today to move closer to one another. On a 3x5 card write down one trait you admire in your spouse. Talk about other ways you can encourage each other today. Then put into practice what you hear from your spouse.


Remember, God has an exciting path mapped out for your marriage as you recommit to love one another and serve Him with the rest of your days. Intimacy takes work, but the time and effort pay off big time with a marriage that moves closer with each passing year. Then, you won't have to wake up tomorrow morning and wonder who that stranger is in your bed!


Eileen Rife is the author of the Born for India trilogy. She and husband, Chuck, conduct marriage seminars in the States and overseas. www.eileenrife.com and www.guardyourmarriage.com.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Welcome Sandra Byrd, author of To Die For

So thrilled to host author Sandra Byrd on my blog talking about her latest novel, To Die For.





Sandra, why did you write To Die For?

I am a lifelong Tudorphile, so writing books set in that era was a dream for me. I've always loved Anne Boleyn. From a faith point of view, those reformation years were critical to refinement and revival in Christianity. Yet I found that while Anne's faith, and the faith of her friends, was well covered in nonfiction, fiction often ignored or downplayed her convictions altogether, often though not always portraying her as either vixen or victim. I wanted to add some shading and nuance to the genre and telling it from Meg Wyatt's point of view allowed me to do that. The fact is, the Boleyns in general and Anne in particular were instrumental in the English Reformation. The Wyatt family, too, produced more than Thomas the poet, as much as I like him. Meg, and John Rogers, played what I think were much more significant roles.





Tell us a little bit about the book?

Meg Wyatt has been Anne Boleyn's closest friend ever since they grew up together on neighboring manors in Kent. So when twenty-five-year-old Anne's star begins to ascend, of course she takes Meg along for the ride.

Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling...at first. Meg is made mistress of Anne's wardrobe, and she enjoys the spoils of this privileged orbit and uses her influence for good. She is young and beautiful and in favor; everyone at court assumes that being close to her is being close to Anne.

But favor is fickle and envy is often laced with venom. As Anne falls, so does Meg, and it becomes nearly impossible for her to discern ally from enemy. Suddenly life's unwelcome surprises rub against court's sheen to reveal the tarnished brass of false affections and the bona fide gold of those are true. Both Anne and Meg may lose everything. When your best friend is married to fearsome Henry VIII, you may soon find yourself not only friendless but headless as well.

A rich alchemy of fact and fiction, To Die For chronicles the glittering court life, the sweeping romance, and the heartbreaking fall from grace of a forsaken queen and Meg, her closest companion, who was forgotten by the ages but who is destined to live on in our hearts forever.


What do you find most challenging about writing, Sandra?

Two things. Practically speaking, time. It takes much more time than ever before to author books. Time to research, to write, to edit, to connect with readers via the internet, to meet with people on social media and face to face. I love it all - just need four hands and two brains and forty hours in a day!

Secondly, writing books is a much more public profession than it used to be. People review your books and post their thoughts all over the web. It's so nice that people are reading, but it can be hard to wonder, every day, what people might be saying about you and your work.


How do you work through this challenge?


I'm trying to keep firm boundaries on my writing schedule, so that I am not online more than I need to be, and that I don't take on more projects than I can handle well. As for the reviews, I remind myself that I do my best to write good books and once I put the baby in the basket, as it were, it's out there to be discovered and commented upon by anyone. And that's okay.

Where can my readers find you on the web?


Please visit me online at my website http://www.sandrabyrd.com. You can also link to me on Facebook and Twitter from there. I hope your readers will also sign up for my e-postcards (where I am also giving away two Kindles) so I can keep in touch! If you’d like to visit some of the castles and palaces “virtually,” please visit the "Castles and Palaces" page on my website where there are lots of wonderful photos.


Thank you, Sandra, for joining us this week on "The Write Stuff." Much success with your novel, To Die For!

Monday, August 8, 2011

About Staci Stallings, Guest Blogger on "The Write Stuff"



A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including:
Books In Print, Kindle, & FREE on Spirit Light Works:
http://stacistallings.wordpress.com/

Spirit Light Books--The Blog
http://spiritlightbooks.wordpress.com/

And…

Staci’s website
http://www.stacistallings.com

Come on over for a visit…

You’ll feel better for the experience!





































I'll Win it For You by Guest Bogger, Staci Stallings



The game was tight. Arch-rivals had faced off for three and a half periods in a seesaw battle that was going down to the wire. As the clock ticked down, the two sides traded the lead back and forth. Neither could be assured of victory because with the game so close, anything could happen.

From the sideline, the coach watched his team getting more and more apprehensive as the seconds ticked away. They were missing shots they never missed. They were missing opportunities they didn’t miss. Even their body language said, “This is bad. We might lose this one.”

With less than a minute left, the coach called a time out. Now he knew that every girl on that court had been over the plays a million times. They didn’t need elaborate help to set up a play for a last second win. They needed to calm down and play the way they knew how to play. So when they bent into that huddle, the coach told them something more than a little unconventional. “Go out there. Play the game. Have fun. Do your best, and I’ll win it for you.”

No pressure instructions. No you have to win this or we lose to our rivals. No anxiety-inducing strategy. Simply, “Go play, and I’ll win it for you.”
To my way of thinking, that was an audacious statement because in reality, it wouldn’t be the coach taking the shot that would win or lose the game. He would be standing on the sideline with no direct control whatsoever. However, this coach knew something about the training these girls had been through, and he knew without a doubt they could do it. The problem was they didn’t know they could do it, and so, he let them rely not on themselves for the win but on him.

The amazing thing to me when I really started thinking about this statement is that what that coach told his team is exactly what Jesus tells each one of us: “Go out there. Play the game. Have fun. Do your best, and I’ll win it for you.”

We think it’s all on us—that we have to get everything right, do everything perfectly, or our “win” will never materialize. In fact, we get sucked into this mentality that Heaven may be just out of our reach no matter what we do. However, I think the reality is that Jesus is the coach standing on the sideline having full faith that we can do everything He’s trained us to do. We can love just like He’s shown us. We can give; we can live—not because we can do it on our own but because He’s right there, and He has faith that we have been given everything we need to win through Him.

I’m sure you know the end of the story. When the buzzer sounded, the team who had just gone out, had fun, and done their best was victorious.

One day the final buzzer of your life will sound, and the question at that moment will be this: Did you allow Jesus to be your coach? Did you have faith that He would win the game for you—or are you still trying to win it yourself? It’s a question worth contemplating.

Staci Stallings (c) 2003

Friday, July 29, 2011

YESTERDAY'S TOMORROW by Cathy West on the Edgy Christian Fiction Writers blog tour, Monday, August 1



Yesterday's Tomorrow
Vietnam, 1967.

Independent, career-driven journalist Kristin Taylor wants two things: to honor her father's memory by becoming an award-winning overseas correspondent and to keep tabs on her only brother, Teddy, who signed up for the war against their mother's wishes. Brilliant photographer Luke Maddox, silent and brooding, exudes mystery. Kristin is convinced he's hiding something.

Willing to risk it all for what they believe in, Kristin and Luke engage in their own tumultuous battle until, in an unexpected twist, they’re forced to work together. Ambushed by love, they must decide whether or not to set aside their own private agendas for the hope of tomorrow that has captured their hearts.






Catherine West
"Stories that Stir the Soul and Soothe the Spirit."
ACFW Zone 11 Beyond the Borders Director
Yesterday's Tomorrow - Available Now! - OakTara Publishers
Http://www.catherinejwest.com

MISTAKEN IDENTITY by K. Dawn Byrd on the Edgy Christian Writers blog tour, Monday, August 1



K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational romance and romantic suspense. Mistaken Identity, her first young adult romance released on June 15 from Desert Breeze Publishing. Queen of Hearts, a WWII romantic suspense released in April 2010 and was the bestselling book for her publisher during its debut month. Killing Time, a contemporary romantic suspense, released August 1, also with Desert Breeze Publishing.


K. Dawn Byrd is an avid blogger and gives away several books per week on her blog at www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com, most of which are signed by the authors. She's also the moderator of the popular facebook Christian Fiction Gathering group at http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=128209963444.


When not reading or writing, K. Dawn Byrd enjoys spending time with her husband of 16years while walking their dogs beside a gorgeous lake near her home and plotting the next story waiting to be told.





Book Blurb for Mistaken Identity
Eden Morgan longs for a boyfriend of her own, an impossible goal when her best friend, Lexi Branson, gets all the attention and all the guys. When they fall in love with the same guy, Eden believes she doesn't have a chance. She can only hope that sometimes the good girl gets the guy.

The Passion Behind the Story:
I admire Christian teenagers who take a stand for God so much. Life isn't easy for them in today's world. The idea for Mistaken Identity novel came to me when I wondered what would happen if a Christian girl and her non-Christian best friend fell in love with the same guy. To sweeten the plot, the best friend is a "wild child" who is popular with the guys if you know what I mean. Who will win the guy? My Christian good girl or the gorgeous best friend?

This book is dedicated to Christian young women who strive to live for Christ and wonder at times if it's worth it all. Temptation seems to come from all sides and sometimes it's hard to make the right decision. May God bless you richly as you carry on...

Links:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geWeGQ6Ueu4
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-178/K-Dawn-Byrd-Mistaken/Detail.bok
www.kdawnbyrd.com
www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com

CHOSEN ONES, on the Edgy Christian Fiction Writers blog tour, Monday, August 1

A couple in crisis. A child taken captive. Life in Chennai, India is complicated. While Maggie and Gavin Munsfield adjust to a new baby, missionary friends Dan and Yvonne Pratt experience the heartbreak of infertility and miscarriage. When their lives intersect with a young girl caught up in the horrors of sex trafficking, each of them will receive a precious gift. But will they find it in their hearts to accept an outcome so different than what they expected and hoped for?

RESTORED HEARTS, on the Edgy Christian Fiction Writers Blog Tour, Monday, August 1

One brother’s dark secret. Another brother’s scorn. Newlyweds Gavin and Maggie Munsfield return to care for the sick and wounded at the Oasis Compound in Chennai, India, which is still suffering from the recent tsunami. Gavin’s brother, Tim, a landscape artist from Boston, joins the couple for the clean-up and rebuilding of the Compound. But Tim harbors a dark past that threatens to destroy his relationship with his brother . . . and a promising new love.Will family ties be strong enough to bind two wounded hearts, once the secret is revealed?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Music in the Trees



“Grandma, what is that?” Two-year-old Daniel cocked his head, gaze raised to the sky.

“What, Daniel?” I stooped beside him and studied his pudgy face.

He pointed to the trees. “That sound.”

I strained to listen for what I had not slowed down long enough to absorb. My eyes and ears had been intent on adult concerns, not tuned in with a childlike wonder that recognizes the natural world around me.

“Cicadas, Daniel. That is the sound of cicadas.”

Satisfied by my response, Daniel shuffled to the sandbox where he proceeded to sift the grains through his fingers. With a Grinch grin, he plopped a fistful on top of his head.

Daniel’s curiosity that day tweaked mine. His acuity stimulated a hunger in me to listen more and appreciate the sounds around me, not just for the sake of the exercise, but for the meaning I might derive from it.

That meaning beamed with significance just this morning. Cicadas jiggled their tiny tambourines, accompanied by an occasional maraca flourish. Joined by male katydids and crickets, the symphonic serenade to attract the female of the species filled the mid-summer air with song, a tune that will come to a close when the first heavy frost quiets the chorus.

The Creator has equipped these minuscule creatures with a variety of sound-producing organs. Tymbal muscles, located at the base of the abdomen, contract and relax to create the cicadas’ prolific buzzing sound. Katydids and crickets rub their fore-wings together to produce music.

Swept up by insect song, I joined in praise to my Creator, raising my hands to the heavens. Francis of Assisi, a Catholic friar and preacher, penned it well in his hymn, All Creatures of Our God and King. He created music with words when he wrote about “the burning sun with golden beam, the silver moon with softer gleam . . . the rushing wind that is so strong, the clouds that sail in heaven along . . . and the flowers and fruits that in God grow.”

Building with intensity, Francis urged “all ye men of tender heart, forgiving others, take your part . . . let all things their Creator bless, and worship Him in humbleness. O praise Him! Alleluia! Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Spirit, Three in One: O praise Him, O praise Him! Alleluia, Alleluia! Alleluia!”

This is the song I hear in the insect chorus, and with gratitude and humility I pause to praise my Creator . . . and thank Daniel as well.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

RENU: Wonderful Weekend with Extended Family!



A funny thing happened on the way to a wonderful weekend with extended family . . .

On Rt. 73 headed toward Peebles, Ohio, Chuck and I drove the country road while gazing at cornfields and scattered clapboard housing. On one porch sat Ma and Pa in their rockers, watching the confused motorists (us!) drive back and forth down the same road. Well, perhaps I'm stretching the tale a bit. We drove past the same house once in our search for the sign to Hillsboro. Was that a smirk on Ma's face?

Ma must be a take-charge kind of woman. We passed row after row of utility poles leaning toward the road. Perhaps her chief complaint was poor cell phone service, so the company sent someone out to aim the pole in her direction. Who knows?!

We thought about stopping and asking Ma if we were headed in the right direction, but when we came up on the sign, "Otway," we figured that was her way of saying, "At-a-way!" so kept on going.

Once we approached the one traffic light which hung from a tree branch overhanging the road, all sorts of wild imaginings flitted through our little brains. Perhaps Ma, tired of holding the light herself, had called a council meeting to make other arrangements. Thus, the tree branch.

Tales of Ma kept us giggling until we passed a horse pasture full of Shetlands, along with two nursing babies, no bigger than huskies. Of course, we had to stop and pet a horse face. However, the babies wouldn't let us get close. Instead they galloped to the safety of their mommies and nursed.






Back in the Chevy, we finally arrived in Peebles and climbed the hill to the Woodland Altars office. Close behind were Verns and Toms.

What followed was a rich weekend of sharing scriptures, prayer, praise, songs, laughter, and tears as we took turns relating how God was working in our lives. A dip in the camp pool and a hike or two along a trail provided some exercise and rounded out the weekend quite nicely.

A trip to the cathartic . . . uh, is that north of the Artic? Anyway, very therapeutic and enriching weekend.

Truly, a RENU (Rife Empty Nesters Unite), but also renewing for spirit, soul, and body.

Thanks, sibs, and thanks, Lord, for the time away to love and be loved by family members.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Trailer for Shadowed in Silk

Introducing Shadowed in Silk by Christine Lindsay



She was invisible to those who should have loved her.

After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India with her small son, where her husband is stationed with the British army. She has longed to go home to the land of glittering palaces and veiled women . . . but Nick has become a cruel stranger. It will take more than her American pluck to survive.

Major Geoff Richards, broken over the loss of so many of his men in the trenches of France, returns to his cavalry post in Amritsar. But his faith does little to help him understand the ruthlessness of his British peers toward the Indian people he loves. Nor does it explain how he is to protect Abby Fraser and her child from the husband who mistreats them.

Amid political unrest, inhospitable deserts, and Russian spies, tensions rise in India as the people cry for the freedom espoused by Gandhi. Caught between their own ideals and duty, Geoff and Abby stumble into sinister secrets . . . secrets that will thrust them out of the shadows and straight into the fire of revolution.

Welcome author, Christine Lindsay!




Christine Lindsay writes historical Christian inspirational novels with strong love stories. She doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects such as the themes in her debut novel SHADOWED IN SILK which is set in India during a turbulent era.

Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj was seeded from stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in India. SHADOWED IN SILK was the Gold winner of the 2009 ACFW Genesis for Historical under the title Unveiled.

Shadowed in Silk is being released by WhiteFire Publishing in 2 stages this year, first as an eBook on May 1, 2011, and as the printed version Sept. 2011.

An interesting note about the front cover of Shadowed, is that the model is Christine’s daughter, Sarah, whom she relinquished to adoption and was reunited with 20 years later. Sarah is also featured in the book trailer.

Shadowed in Silk available now as ebook on http://www.amazon.com

http://www.christinelindsay.com

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meet author, Judi Ann Ehresman






Judi Ann Ehresman grew up in her favorite place in the world: Indiana, USA. She married the love of her life, becoming a pastor's wife and, in time, the mother of two precious boys. Through the years she has owned and managed several businesses, but never lost the love instilled in her heart by her high school English teacher: writing.

Judi, how did you come to be a writer?

Honestly, I think I was born 'writing'. I was making up stories when I was a child and did free lance writing and loved essay assignments all through High School. In college several of my poems and essays were published and I was addicted. Through the years I've taken writing classes and attended writers conferences, but mostly I've just written and written and written. Poems, free lance articles, short stories and devotionals have been published throughout the years, but it wasn't until our children left home that I finally made the time to start writing books, three of which have been published to date, two more are completed and waiting publication at the publisher.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing?

Reading and gardening! And, of course, grandmothering! I love flowers and fresh vegetables and I love to read uplifting Christian fiction for relaxation, but nothing compares to spending time with our grandchildren. They are our true riches and I can't get enough of them!

Here's a sneek peek at Judi's latest three novels.

The Hand of God series

The Long Road Home (1)


A lonely settler.

An escaped slave.

They had no idea how much they would need each other . . .

Mandy Evanston didn't expect to spend five months alone in the wilds of Indiana after taking the wagon train west. But her husband, Ethan, is convinced he can make money working on the new railroad. It wouldn't be fair to hold him back, Mandy decides, so she keeps her secret close to her heart . . . until his return.

Diedre, a young slave, flees a Southern plantation when she hears that her master is going to sell her son, Jedediah. She walks north for weeks, praying that somehow God will hear the pleas of her heart to find a home . . .

A poignant story of friendship, love, and forgiveness that transcends boundaries.

On the Wings of Grace (2)

Two longing hearts.
They had no idea how much they would need each other . . .

Bess, the "mistake" of a prostitute in the largely unsettled Midwest, knew no other life growing up than the brothel, where she was raised, then taught her profession. In spite of warnings about falling in love with her customers, Bess found herself intrigued by one man who tugged at her heart, then mysteriously disappeared. Weeks later he returned to share a story so amazing that she began to wonder, Might there be a new chance even for someone like me?

Robert Sheldon agonizes as he watches polio slowly take its toll on his beautiful wife, Anita. He has his hands full with an invalid, four energetic children, and a farmhouse and desperately needs help. But might his help come in a completely differentt way than he expects--on the wings of grace?

A poignant story of redemption that transcends the boundaries of ordinary love.

Where Two Agree (3)

Two slaves, separated by a cruel master.
Their hearts' desire--to find each other again.

Deidre, a runaway slave, and her son, Jedediah, are thankful for their new life with Ethan and Mandy Evanston, who treat them as treasured family members. But memories of her beloved Jeremiah, sold away from her, fill her heart with anguish.

Jeremiah has been offered a document of freedom--and wages that could buy his family from slavery--if he chooses to stay at Rose Hill Plantation. When kind Mr. Wally takes deathly ill, Miss Sue Ellen and the children desperately need Jeremiah. But what about his own dreams?

As Deidre and Jeremiah cling to their hopes for a someday world that won't see the color of their skin, might God's promise come true: that where two agree, all things are possible?

Check out these summer reads at www.amazon.com and other online stores.
Visit Jud's blog: judi.ehresman.org

Thanks, Judi, for visiting with me today!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Made a New Friend Today



Made a new friend today! I met another real live OakTara author right here in Roanoke! For a writer cooped up in her cage all day, it felt good to break free and visit with a kindred spirit.

Judi Ehresman and I talked about everything from grandchildren and gardening to writing tips and house decor. Lovely tea time with a beautiful lady who I suspect I'll be visiting with again in the near future.

Judi has written several novels, three of which I toted home, excited to devour. . .

More later on that! Hubby just walked in the door ready for supper, so off I go.

Thanks, Judi, for a delightful afternoon visit!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

I've been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. "A dare to live fully right where you are."

Her premise: Gratitude can awaken joy!

Here's 42 items on my list so far, in no particular order:

1. Green, everywhere!
2. Clock ticking
3. Soft chair
4. Barefeet on cool linoleum
5. Husband who loves me
6. God, who loves me even more
7. Children who walk with God
8. Six grandchildren who awaken my heart to what's really important
9. Giggles and grins
10. Wisdom from above
11. Jesus' blood
12. Forgivenesss
13. Healing
14. The Holy Spirit
15. Water
16. Rain
17. My garden
18. Whistlepigs eating mangos
19. Chocolate smoothies
20. Neighbors who watch out for each other
21. Weeping willows
22. Carrot juice
23. Walks
24. Jobs
25. Music
26. Bubbles
27. Belly laughter
28. Cuddling in bed
29. Reading in bed
30. Good books
31. Friends who pray
32. The Word of God
33. Moonlight on my pillow
34. Morning devotion time with Chuck
35. Purpose
36. A mind
37. Strength
38. Hugs
39. Hands that work
40. Soft puppies
41. Sunsets
42. Leaves that clap in the wind

Monday, June 27, 2011

God Loves Everyone!

I was saddened this morning when I encountered a gentleman who insisted that God hates homosexuals. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Let's use the Bible to set the record straight . . .

Jesus says in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (NIV).

Jesus presented the perfect balance of conviction and compassion, truth and grace. He extended His hand and heart to all. He came to restore us to the Father. Anyone who desires to come can drink freely of His living water, which will become "in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life"(John 4:14).

Furthermore, Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God."

Notice that homosexuality is only one among many sins which Paul condemns. The good news is that through Christ the Corinthian believers had been washed, sanctified, and justified. In short, they had been forgiven by the blood of Christ and restored to the Father.

If God hates homosexuals, then he hates us all, for we are all sinners and worthy of eternal damnation. The ground is level at the foot of the Cross. Through Christ alone are we made right before God.

The Cross stands forever as proof that God loves everyone!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Add Some Romance to Your Marriage this Summer!

Watch the 21 Day Romance Challenge video clip.

Leave a comment about what you will do to add some romance to your marriage this summer, and automatically enter the drawing for a gift card to Bath & Body!

Drawing: July 17 (our 35th anniversary!)

Can't wait to read your ideas!

When posting, please include your contact information.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Peter Rabbit, or Is It Paula?

 
 
 


Relishing in a before-supper snooze on the blanket in my side yard. I look up, and there s/he is again--my garden bunny. Sometimes s/he brings along another rabbit to nibble clover. But right now, s/he's alone. I inch my way closer. S/he stays put. Closer. No bolting. Closer. I think we're becoming friends. I can almost reach out and touch her silky fur.

With the bunnies, squirrels, plethora of birds, and whistlepig (the size of a very large cat), our woods and yard are a natural habitat for VA critters.

I like that. For now, anyway.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 13, 2011

Welcome, K. Dawn Byrd to The Write Stuff this week!




K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational romance and romantic suspense. Mistaken Identity, her first young adult romance released on June 15 from Desert Breeze Publishing. Queen of Hearts, a WWII romantic suspense released in April 2010 and was the bestselling book for her publisher during its debut month. Killing Time, a contemporary romantic suspense, released August 1, also with Desert Breeze Publishing.



K. Dawn Byrd is an avid blogger and gives away several books per week on her blog at www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com, most of which are signed by the authors. She's also the moderator of the popular facebook Christian Fiction Gathering group at http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=128209963444.

When not reading or writing, K. Dawn Byrd enjoys spending time with her husband of 16 years while walking their dogs beside a gorgeous lake near her home and plotting the next story waiting to be told.

Book Blurb:
Eden Morgan longs for a boyfriend of her own, an impossible goal when her best friend, Lexi Branson, gets all the attention and all the guys. When they fall in love with the same guy, Eden believes she doesn't have a chance. She can only hope that sometimes the good girl gets the guy.

The Passion Behind the Story:
I admire Christian teenagers who take a stand for God so much. Life isn't easy for them in today's world. The idea for Mistaken Identity novel came to me when I wondered what would happen if a Christian girl and her non-Christian best friend fell in love with the same guy. To sweeten the plot, the best friend is a "wild child" who is popular with the guys if you know what I mean. Who will win the guy? My Christian good girl or the gorgeous best friend?
This book is dedicated to Christian young women who strive to live for Christ and wonder at times if it's worth it all. Temptation seems to come from all sides and sometimes it's hard to make the right decision. May God bless you richly as you carry on...

Links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geWeGQ6Ueu4
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-178/K-Dawn-Byrd-Mistaken/Detail.bok
www.kdawnbyrd.com
www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com


Please leave a comment to automatically enter the drawing for a GIFT CARD FOR A FREE DOWNLOAD OF DAWN'S NOVEL, MISTAKEN IDENTITY.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tranquil Moments book trailer



Take a vacation from your armchair! Step into Maui via Tranquil Moments. A travel log with spiritual flair. Thirty-one vignettes teach a biblical lesson with gorgeous Maui as a backdrop.

So pour a glass of your favorite beverage, pull up a chair, put your feet up, and enjoy a Tranquil Moment!

http://www.amazon.com

Friday, May 20, 2011

Interview Today!

Check out http://sandraardoin.wordpress.com


Part one interview. Discover some new stuff you may not have known about the penning of CHOSEN ONES.

Well, Lookey there!


Look who helped me craft my door wreath this year!

Lean in, look closely, and you'll notice a bird nest in the center. No eggs yet. I think the mommy and daddy gave up the project when they spotted me standing on the flower urn peeking inside the nest. Oops!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Juice Skies, and other cute kid quips


Have a cute kid quip you want to share?

I am compiling a gift book (on spec) full of cute kid and grandkid quotes. If you have one you would like to submit, send your cute kid quip to the following email address:

eileenrife@yahoo.com

In the subject line write "Kid Quote."

Please include your full name and email address along with your quote.

If your quote is used, I will contact you. Your attribution will be included in the book, and you will receive a complimentary copy of the published book. Working title: Juice Skies, and other cute kid quips.

Look forward to reading your cute kid quip!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring Fling Gals: Mom/Daughter Outing



Getting away from six little ones four and under is not an easy task for a mommy! With the help of the daddies and grandpa, the girls and I were able to get away for some much-needed girl time. Hit the yard sale circuit and enjoyed a leisurely lunch out with no faces to wipe or spills to clean up. :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Did you know?



Did you know that CHOSEN ONES not only profiles the issue of sex trafficking but other issues as well?

My protagonist Yvonne struggles to come to terms with her infertility, then miscarriage. Based on my own experience, Yvonne's account reflects the heart of thousands of women who have faced the reality of infertility and miscarriage.

Not only does CHOSEN ONES paint a realistic portrait of this often misunderstood loss, but it also provides supplemental information about miscarriage at the end of the novel.

According to Hank Pizer and Christine O-Brien Palinsik, authors of Coping with a Miscarriage, "A miscarriage is a sudden, unexpected, and shocking loss of life. It shatters your hopes for children and fills you with doubts about the future . . . it is normal to have many strong and unpleasant emotions associated with it."

If you or someone you know has suffered or is suffering from this special kind of loss, you may find CHOSEN ONES a valuable read as you walk this healing journey.